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All 50 states report coronavirus cases, U.S. death toll crosses 100

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
Image: A worker wearing a mask watches a road in New York on March 17, 2020.
A worker wearing a mask watches a road in New York on Tuesday. Eduardo Munoz / Reuters

The United States and European nations are stepping up measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus and counteract its economic impact, as the numbers of deaths and infections continue to grow.

The U.S. death toll surpassed 100 on Tuesday as all 50 states have now reported cases, and the E.U. announced sweeping restrictions on most travel within the 27-country bloc.

The White House announced Tuesday that it is looking to send checks directly to Americans in order to soften the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement comes as many parts of the U.S. have taken extraordinary measures to health the spread of the coronavirus. California officials announced a complete lockdown of the Bay Area, including San Francisco, that requires people to stay home except for essential needs.

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Olympic torch relay to go ahead in Japan as planned

Olympic torch lit up during the flame lighting ceremony at the closed Ancient Olympia site, birthplace of the ancient Olympics in southern Greece, on Thursday, March 12. Thanassis Stavrakis / AP

The Olympic torch relay will kick off in Japan on March 26 according to plan, the head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee said Tuesday, but all accompanying celebrations and events will be cancelled.

Toshiro Muto told reporters the grand opening event in Fukushima will have no spectators. 

As for the actual torch relay, Muto said anyone who is not feeling well is asked to refrain from watching from the sidelines. Spectators will also be asked not to pack together along the streets where runners will be passing through. 

Despite a growing coronavirus pandemic, Japan has so far ruled out postponing or cancelling this year's  Olympics. 

Thai Muslim students wear face masks donated by a school official at a school in Thailand's southern province of Narathiwat on Tuesday.Madaree Tohlala / AFP - Getty Images

China reacts to Trump’s tweet referring to coronavirus as ‘Chinese virus’

China had harsh words for President Donald Trump Tuesday after he referred to the coronavirus as "Chinese virus" in a tweet. 

State media CGTN quoted China’s foreign ministry spokesperson saying Beijing strongly opposes Trump's use of those words.

Geng Shuang said the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community are clearly against linking the virus to specific countries and regions, according to CGTN. 

The disease the coronavirus causes was dubbed indiscriminate COVID-19 by the WHO earlier this year to avoid names that can be stigmatizing, singling out a country or a group of people. 

On Weibo, Chinese equivalent of Twitter, hashtag #trumpcallingCOVID19Chinesevirus was mentioned 24 million times Tuesday as social media users voiced their discontent with the U.S. president's tweet. 

The comments also prompted massive backlash in the U.S., including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said the tweet was misplacing blame and could put more Asian Americans in danger.

All but one new confirmed cases in China are imported: health officials

Health officials at China’s National Health Commission said Tuesday there were 21 new confirmed cases in mainland China, of which 20 were imported cases. The only new domestic case was recorded in Wuhan, the city where the coronavirus outbreak is believed to have originated. 

It’s a huge change of pace for China, where officials are now focusing on stopping people bringing new cases from abroad. 

On Tuesday, Wuhan officials said they will now require overseas arrivals to undergo 14-day quarantine at a central location at the people’s own cost, emulating Beijing.

Other cities in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, are doing the same, as is Anhui province.

The rate of new infections has slowed down considerably in China, according to officials figures released by the state, since a surge in number of cases in January. Nearly 81,000 people have been confirmed to have the virus so far, with 3,226 deaths recorded. 

Israel's security forces to track coronavirus patients and people in self-isolation

Health ministry inspectors speak with a woman who is in self quarantine as a precaution against coronavirus spread in Hadera, Israel on Monday. Ronen Zvulun / Reuters

Israeli's security forces will track coronavirus patients and people in self-isolation using technology used to locate terrorists to make sure they stay isolated, officials said Tuesday.

They will also use this information to track people who were in proximity to the coronavirus patients and notify them of the need to self-isolate themselves. 

Israel has so far recorded more than 300 cases of the coronavirus, with no recorded deaths. 

Israel's military force, IDF, also confirmed to NBC News Tuesday that it's taking over two hotels - each able to hold 500 people - and transforming them into facilities to house patients with mild symptoms.

Qatar stops prayer in mosques indefinitely

An almost deserted Souq Waqi in Qatar's capital Doha on Monday. AFP - Getty Images

Qatar has stopped prayers in mosques indefinitely amid the growing coronavirus epidemic.

The Qatar News Agency reported Tuesday that government officials directed the closure of mosques and suspension of all congressional prayers, including the obligatory five prayers and Friday prayers as part of measures to prevent and contain coronavirus. 

The country has so far recorded 439 coronavirus cases, but no deaths. 

Two pedestrians cross an empty San Francisco street on Monday.Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

San Francisco police ready to enforce health orders

Beverly Hills’ iconic Rodeo Drive closed to shoppers

Beverly Hill’s iconic Rodeo Drive and the rest of the city’s “non-essential” retail stores are being ordered closed for most business to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The City Council approved an ordinance that says non-essential retail businesses “shall be closed except for pick up, delivery and certain transactions by appointment.”

Also closed are bars and nightclubs that don’t serve food, and restaurants are restricted from serving food to be eaten on premises. Gyms and movies theaters are closed. 

Nordstrom to temporarily close all stores

Nordstrom will close all of its stores for two weeks starting Tuesday for the health and safety of customers and employees, the retailer said Monday.

Its websites will remain open for business. Employees will receive pay and benefits. “We realize the impact a closure can have on our store employees, and this is not a decision we made lightly,” Nordstrom said.

Nordstrom has 117 full-line stores in the U.S. and Canada, and also has 250 Nordstrom Rack stores among other businesses, according to its website.

Several other companies, including Apple, have also announced temporary closures. Cosmetics and beauty chain Sephora also on Monday announced it would close all stores in the United States and Canada starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday and lasting until April 3.