Britain Commonwealth Day

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London, Monday, March 9, 2020. The annual service, organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the United Kingdom. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

The Latest on the world's coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 185,000 people and killed more than 7,300. The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most people, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or those with existing health problems. More than 80,000 people have recovered so far, mostly in China.


Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is leaving London and heading to Windsor Castle as a precaution because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Buckingham Palace says the 93-year-old monarch will move to the castle, 20 miles (32 kms) west of London, on Thursday, a week earlier than she usually does for Easter.

The palace said in consultation with doctors and the government, it had been decided to cancel or postpone public royal events with large numbers of people in the coming months. The queen will continue to meet with people one-on-one this week, including her weekly audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The British government has urged people -- especially those over 70 -- to avoid “non-essential” contact with others for 12 weeks to slow the spread of the virus, which appears to be a greater risk for the elderly and those with chronic illnesses.

The queen’s spring garden parties, attended by thousands each year, have also been postponed. The fate of future big royal events -- including May commemorations for the end of World War II in Europe and a state visit by Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masakois -- is up in the air.


The eastern Caribbean island of Barbados has confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19 and says both are linked to the U.S.

Health Minister Jeffrey Bostic said Tuesday that one patient is a 48-year-old male U.S. tourist and the other a 39-year-old female Barbadian who recently returned from the U.S. Bostic said both patients will be isolated until they recover.


Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered all of Florida's bars and restaurants closed for 30 days starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, upending St. Patrick's Day revelries.

He's also asking Florida's university board of governors to require students to return home for remote learning for the rest of the spring semester. DeSantis said it's time to act more aggressively to contain this coronavirus that has infected more than 170 and killed six people in Florida.

This latest action follows the death of a 77-year old Broward man in an assisted living facility and four cases among students at the University of Florida.

Across the United States, over 4,660 people have been infected by the COVID-19 virus and 95 people have died.


This year's European Championship soccer tournament has been postponed for one year, upending a tradition dominates European life for a full month every four years.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin says the spreading coronavirus “makes football and all life in Europe quite impossible.” UEFA plans to play the tournament next year from June 11 to July 11.

The 24-team competition was to be hosted in 12 different countries this year.

The postponement clears space to give national leagues and the Champions League and Europa League a chance to finish their seasons by June 30.

European soccer is in a shutdown and it is unclear when games can resume.


The Church of England has put on hold Sunday services to the faithful as a result of the coronavirus outbreak after the British government imposed severe restrictions on public gatherings.

In a joint letter, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Archbishop of York John Sentamu called for the Church of England to become a “different sort of church” in the coming months to face the challenge of coronavirus. As a result, they said it was necessary to put public services on hold “until further notice.”

However, they insisted the church was not shutting up shop, and that it will become a church "rooted in prayer and serving others.” They said it was important that local food-banks still be supported and church-run homeless shelters wherever possible are kept open.

The archbishops expressed their desire that church buildings may, where practical, remain open as places of prayer, as long as worshippers distance themselves.


Brazil has recorded its first death related to the new coronavirus outbreak, according to Sao Paulo state's government.

Authorities do not know where the patient was infected and will provide more details about the patient's identity later Tuesday. Brazil has 234 confirmed cases of the virus, more than half in Sao Paulo.


Greece has announced new restrictions at migrant camps on Greek islands and mainland, aimed at fighting the spread of the coronavirus.

The measures include suspending school classes and all group activities for two weeks, as well as excluding non-essential staff from the sites, many of which are severely overcrowded. Other measures include health tests for newly arrived migrants and creating isolation areas at the camps.

No confirmed cases of the virus at migrant camps have been announced, but authorities fear the spread could be rapid given the camps' poor sanitary conditions and overcrowding.


A dozen residents of a New Orleans retirement home are now infected by the coronavirus, which Louisiana's governor noted has proven more lethal for older people than other age groups.

The latest death from COVID-19 was a resident of the Lambeth House retirement home in New Orleans, Gov. John Bel Edwards said. The 84-year-old New Orleans man has become the third person in Louisiana to die from the new coronavirus.

Dr. Jennifer Avegno, leader of the city health department, stressed that the virus was spreading much faster in New Orleans than in other U.S. cities. She says there is "substantial community spread.”

The governor has ordered bars, gyms and movie theaters to close and limited restaurants to delivery and takeout. Louisiana has 136 infections.


The aid group Doctors Without Borders says it’s essential for European Union nations to put their separate interests aside and share essential medical equipment in their response to the coronavirus crisis if they want to protect healthcare workers.

With Europe now the epicenter of the pandemic, the group said shortages of medical equipment such as protective gloves or masks are “increasingly commonplace” in Italy, where it has started to work in four hospitals.

"Nearly 1,700 healthcare workers, or 8% of the total COVID-19 cases in Italy, have been infected whilst tirelessly caring for the rising number of severely ill patients who require long-term hospitalization and specialized intensive care,” MSF said. “Without an influx of urgently needed protective equipment, more healthcare workers will fall ill, reducing the availability of care for patients, generating new clusters of cases.”

According to Dr. Claudia Lodesani, the situation in Italy is so critical that some doctors are forced to wear the same face mask for 12 hours.


The British government is advising its citizens against non-essential international travel anywhere in the world for the next 30 days.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says that with more and more countries losing their borders, there is a risk many Britons will become stranded.

He said the government had brought home hundreds of Britons stranded in China and other places hit by the outbreak, but warned that from now on people would only be repatriated “in exceptional circumstances.”


China's financial hub of Shanghai is expanding the number of countries whose citizens must undergo a 14-day quarantine rules to cover passengers entering the city from more countries and regions.

Passengers who have traveled or lived in 16 countries, 14 days prior to entering Shanghai, are required to be quarantined at home or in designated facilities, the local government said at a press conference.

The 16 countries are the Republic of Korea, Italy, Iran, Japan, France, Spain, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Austria.


The United Nations is appealing to donors not to lose sight of other humanitarian crises as the world responds to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said in Geneva on Tuesday that “if we highlight one crisis, others should not fall into the shadows.”

Laerke said that more than 100 million people around the world rely on support from the U.N.’s humanitarian agencies.


Regional authorities in Spain’s Balearic Islands are effectively locking down the Mediterranean archipelago by restricting all but a handful of daily flights and incoming boats for returning island residents.

The move comes after the local Diario de Mallorca newspaper reported that 48 private flights had landed in the islands over the weekend despite Spain’s state of emergency restrictions to stem the coronavirus outbreak. The archipelago has 92 of the country’s more than 11,000 infections.


As clocks around France struck noon, the police patrols commenced, stopping anyone outside to try to contain the spreading virus.

The empty Eiffel Tower guarded over a Paris gradually going into lockdown.

Some Parisians looked out on their changing city from their wrought-iron balconies as the deadline hit.

Dozens of police deployed along the tree-lined Champs-Elysees, whose luxury boutiques stood shuttered, its wide sidewalks devoid of shoppers or selfie-takers. Tourists were told to go inside.

France’s government ordered the confinement as the number of virus cases topped 6,600, including 148 deaths.


Canada's largest province is declaring a state of emergency amid the pandemic.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says all organized events of over 50 people are prohibited.

Ford says all restaurants and bars will be closed except for takeout or delivery. Grocery stores, pharmacies, corner stores and public transit will remain open.

Schools, child care centers and theaters are also closed in Canada's most populous province.


African nations are seeing two major investments in their coronavirus response.

Jack Ma, founder of the Chinese tech company Alibaba, says his foundation will donate more than 1 million testing kits. That's 20,000 testing kits to each of Africa’s 54 countries as the coronavirus starts to spread on the continent.

Thirty African countries have confirmed cases but about a dozen lack testing capability. Ma says “we cannot ... assume this continent of 1.3 billion people will blissfully escape the crisis."

And Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a $40 million initiative to help vulnerable countries, notably in Africa.


Canada's second largest airline is suspending all commercial international and trans-border flights for a 30-day period as it helps operate rescue and repatriation flights in partnership with the Canadian government.

Westjet says it will suspend normal service on Sunday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says now is the time for Canadians to come home.


Dr. Deborah Birx, who is coordinating the U.S. federal response to the virus, is calling on the "army of millennials" to lead the charge in fighting back against the coronavirus.

Birx said Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that the nation needs millennials out doing everything they can to protect themselves from getting infected, but also protecting their parents and grandparents.

She says millennials who get infected typically will have milder symptoms than at-risk and older Americans. She says millennials, a term referring to those born in the 1980s to early 1990s, also tend to be good at networking and sharing information.


The number of deaths in Spain due to the new coronavirus has jumped from 309 to 491 in 24 hours and new infections have risen to 11,178, nearly 2,000 more than a day earlier.

The numbers were reported Tuesday by the nation’s health emergency center director, Fernando Simón. With a population of 46 million, Spain became on Monday the fourth country in the world with most coronavirus cases, surpassing South Korea and edging closer to Iran.


Britain’s dramatic escalation of social restrictions to fight COVID-19 was sparked by new scientific evidence suggesting that 250,000 people in the U.K. and more than 1 million in the U.S. might die if the country did not suppress the spread of the new coronavirus.

Imperial College London epidemiologists advising the U.K. government have published an analysis drawing on data from Italy, the hardest-hit European country with nearly 28,000 cases and 2,158 deaths.

They found that a strategy of “mitigation” -- slowing but not stopping the spread of the virus while protecting vulnerable groups like the elderly -- would still lead to a huge number of cases that would overwhelm the health care system.


Turkey is bringing home more than 3,600 of its citizens who have been stranded in nine European countries after Turkey suspended flights to 20 destinations over the coronavirus outbreak.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday that the citizens will be returned to Turkey later in the day, on board 34 Turkish Airlines flights.

He said the returnees will be placed in quarantine for 14 days in Istanbul and in the nearby city of Kocaeli.


Germany has launched a drive to bring home thousands of tourists stranded in popular winter vacation spots across the globe — particularly people on package holidays in Morocco, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, the Maldives and Egypt.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Tuesday that the government is spending up to 50 million euros ($56 million) on the effort to bring Germans home over the coming days in cooperation with airlines including Lufthansa.

Maas didn’t give a precise number of stranded Germans but said there was a particularly large number in Morocco, with around 4,000 or 5,000.


France's government is pledging 45 billion euros ($50 billion) in aid for small businesses hurt by the spreading coronavirus.

That's in addition to tens of billions already promised for French workers forced to stop working because of store and restaurant closures and strict new confinement measures.


India says it will bar all passengers — including Indian citizens — from entering the country on flights from the European Union, Turkey and the United Kingdom beginning Wednesday.

India's tourist ministry announced this week that it is shutting down the Taj Mahal, its iconic “monument of love,” to visitors.


Qantas, Australia’s largest airline, says it will cut its international passenger capacity by 90% until the end of May due to falls in travel demand due to the new coronavirus and travel restrictions across multiple borders.

Qantas said in a statement Tuesday that domestic capacity will be cut by 60% until at least the end of May.

This represents the grounding of around 150 aircraft, including almost all of Qantas’ wide-body fleet.


Wuhan, the city at the center of China's coronavirus outbreak, recorded just one new case on Tuesday as officials said they believed the country was over the worst of the crisis.

Another 20 cases were recorded around the country, including nine in Beijing. All were reported among people who arrived from overseas.

Beijing has required all arrivals to undergo 14 days of quarantine but has not closed its borders. Other Chinese cities have adopted similar measures, even as authorities work to restart industries that are key to global supply chains.


A South Korean province surrounding Seoul has threatened to shut down nearly 140 churches that have failed to implement preventive measures amid a spread of the coronavirus in the country’s most populous metropolitan region.

Gyeonggi Province said Tuesday that it has issued an administrative order for the churches to list the names of attendants, screen them for fever and ensure that they wear masks and are at least 2 meters apart during services.

More than 70 of the province’s COVID-19 cases have been connected to gatherings at Protestant churches.

South Korea has also postponed the beginning of the new school year by two weeks to protect students. The school year will start on April 6, five weeks later than usual.

South Korea has 8,320 infections and 81 fatalities from the virus.

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