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World markets tumble and all of Italy goes on lockdown

Here's the latest on the coronavirus outbreak.
Image: South Korean soldiers spray disinfectants inside an apartment complex which is under cohort isolation after mass infection of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Daegu
South Korean soldiers spray disinfectants inside an apartment complex that is under isolation in Daegu on Monday. Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters

World stocks tumbled with investors bracing for the economic fallout of the epidemic, with a shocking all-out oil price war adding to anxiety.

Wall Street suffered its worst day since the financial crisis of 2008 as the Dow plummeted more than 2,000 points by Monday's closing bell, and London's FTSE 100 plunged to a three-year low after oil prices cratered by 30 percent overnight.

Meanwhile, Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte announced Monday that the containment measures introduced Sunday for the Lombardy region in the country's north would be applied to the whole nation. More than 9,000 people have been confirmed to have the virus in Italy so far while Germany and Spain also saw spikes in the number of cases Monday.

The number of confirmed U.S. cases of coronavirus has risen to more than 650 on Monday, including 26 deaths.

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Milan turns into a ghost town amid coronavirus lockdown

889d ago / 10:40 AM UTC
Image: Empty streets around the Via Corsico in Milan, Italy
Empty streets around the Via Corsico in Milan, Italy on Sunday as the city went into lockdown Sunday. Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images

Saudi Arabia locks down province as coronavirus cases rise

889d ago / 10:36 AM UTC

Saudi Arabia has imposed a temporary lockdown on the eastern Qatif province, an oil-producing region and home to a large Shiite Muslim population, to prevent the spread of coronavirus after 11 people there were infected.

Four new cases, including an American arrival who visited Italy and the Philippines, took the tally to 15 on Monday, as the kingdom suspended travel with nine nations, from neighboring United Arab Emirates to Bahrain, Kuwait and Egypt.

The Saudi interior ministry said in a statement Sunday that no one would be allowed to enter or exit Qatif and that work at all public and private sectors in the province had been suspended with the exception of institutions providing necessary services.

London's FTSE 100 plunges to three-year low amid coronavirus, oil price war fears


889d ago / 9:41 AM UTC
Image: A Kuwaiti trader checks stock prices at Boursa Kuwait in Kuwait City, on March 8, 2020.
A Kuwaiti trader checks stock prices at Boursa Kuwait in Kuwait City, on Sunday. Yasser -Al-Zayyat / AFP - Getty Images

Stock tumbled early Monday morning as markets in Europe and Asia tanked after a shocking all-out oil price war added to anxiety around the economic fallout from the spreading coronavirus.

London's FTSE 100 plunged to a three-year low, down eight percent, after a sharp drop in oil stocks, as a move by Saudi Arabia to raise crude output sent prices of the commodity crashing.

That came as investors were still alarmed about the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Read full story here. 

Germany tops 1,000 cases

889d ago / 9:18 AM UTC

Germany has recorded more than 1,000 cases of the novel coronavirus, becoming the third country in Europe to reach the mark after Italy and France. 

German health officials reported 210 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, raising the total to 1,112, up from 902 reported on Sunday.

The largest number of cases, 484, were in the western region of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state.

South Korea introduces three-layered airport fever check


889d ago / 9:16 AM UTC

Health officials in South Korea were on Monday rolling out a three-step process to check the temperature of people departing from the country's largest airport in response to widening entry restrictions on South Korean citizens by other countries. 

The procedure, which South Korean officials are calling “a water-tight containment system," came into effect at the Incheon International Airport. 

The first step involves checking the temperature of passengers when they get to the airport with thermal cameras. Then, once they move into a departure area, more thermal camera checks will be conducted before passengers can proceed to the security check. Finally, a non-contact thermometer will be used to measure their temperatures at the boarding gate. 

Dozens of countries have limited arrivals of people from South Korea as it struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak. It reported 344 new cases of COVID-19, the disease that the coronavirus causes, Monday, increasing the total to 7478 confirmed cases. Fifty people have died from the virus so far. 

Image: A worker checking his protective gear as he prepares to spray disinfectant on an airplane as part of preventive measures against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at Incheon International Airport in South Korea
A worker prepares to spray disinfectant on an airplane as at Incheon International Airport in South Korea on March 4. AFP - Getty Images



Shanghai Disneyland resumes some resort operations

889d ago / 4:58 AM UTC
Image: FILE PHOTO: People visit the opening event of Disney-Pixar Toy Story Land, the seventh themed land in Shanghai Disneyland in Shanghai
Shanghai Disneyland in 2018. Some resort operations will resume Monday, officials said.Aly Song / Reuters

SHANGHAI — Walt Disney Co.'s Shanghai Disneyland said on Monday it will resume a limited number of resort operations as the first step of a phased reopening, although the main theme park will remain shut amid worries about the coronavirus outbreak.

Some shopping, dining, and recreational activities will reopen in Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel with limited capacity and reduced hours of operation. All guests will be required to have their temperature taken on arrival and to wear a mask for the duration of their visit.

"Guests will also be reminded to maintain respectful social distances at all times while in stores, queues and restaurants," Shanghai Disneyland said in a statement on its website.

Shanghai Disneyland was closed on Jan. 25 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland were shut in subsequent days.

North Korea flies out foreign diplomats

889d ago / 4:03 AM UTC

SEOUL, South Korea — A special North Korean flight carrying presumably dozens of diplomats and other foreigners arrived in Russia's Far East on Monday as the country tightens its lockdown intended to fend off the coronavirus.

North Korea has not publicly confirmed a single case of the COVID-19 illness, but its state media have reported thousands of people have been quarantined as part of strict prevention measures.

Seemingly dozens of passengers, most of them masked and some accompanied by children, lined up at Pyongyang International Airport. North Korean health workers wearing white protective suits scanned them for fevers.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many were flown out to Vladivostok. The North lifted a monthlong quarantine on foreign diplomats based in Pyongyang on March 2, allowing them to leave the country if needed.

Anxiety in an aging Congress as coronavirus spreads across U.S.


889d ago / 3:05 AM UTC

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress are becoming increasingly anxious about coronavirus, and there is growing pressure on leadership to take steps to protect lawmakers — even potentially recessing for a period of weeks — two Democratic congressional sources said Sunday.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., said he will close his office in Washington and will self-quarantine at home in Arizona for 14 days after he came into "extended" contact with a person who is hospitalized with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. They came into contact at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Gosar said.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced late Sunday that he will stay home in Texas this week because he had a brief interaction with a person attending CPAC who has tested positive. Gosar and Cruz said they were experiencing no symptoms but were acting out of caution.

"Members are very nervous," a senior Democratic leadership aide said. "There's a lot of concern that members could bring it home."

But some members were urging Congress to stay the course to "show leadership in a time of great anxiety" and conduct oversight of the Trump administration's response.

Read the full story here.

889d ago / 2:02 AM UTC

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., self-quarantining for 14 days after 'sustained' coronavirus exposure at CPAC

889d ago / 1:47 AM UTC