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Millions quarantined in Italy as D.C reports first case

Here's the latest on the coronavirus outbreak.
Image: Ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.Alissa Eckert/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / AFP - Getty Images

Italy's government has placed more than 16 million people — a quarter of the population — under lockdown in a drastic bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Lombardy region, including the city of Milan, has been quarantined, as have other cities, including Venice, Parma and Modena.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the first case has been confirmed in the capital, Washington, D.C., and hundreds of other cases have been reported around the country.

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Italy reports another 133 deaths, death toll jumps to 366

People carry supplies while waiting to enter the formerly quarantined town of Casalpusterlengo in the Lombardy region of Italy on March 8, 2020.Claudio Furlan / LaPresse via AP

Italy's coronavirus death toll rose to 366 on Sunday after authorities announced another 133 deaths, the largest daily rise in reported fatalities in the country since the outbreak began. 

The total number of cases in Italy, the European country hardest hit by the virus in Europe, jumped 25% to 7,375 from 5,883 on Saturday, another record jump.

At least 622 people have have recovered from COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus, according to Angelo Borrelli, head of the country's Civil Protection Agency. Victims in Italy who died after contracting the virus are mostly over the age of 50. 

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis called for Italy to ban all its citizens from traveling in Europe in an effort to curb the outbreak. 

"Italy should ban all its citizens from travelling to Europe, because we are not able to order such a thing within (the European Union's borderless area) Schengen," Babis said on Czech Television Sunday.

Italy's government has placed more than 16 million people — a quarter of the population — under lockdown.

Passengers from Grand Princess cruise ship to be quarantined in California, Texas and Georgia

The Grand Princess cruise ship carrying passengers who have tested positive for coronavirus off the coast of San Francisco, Calif., on March 7, 2020.Stephen Lam / Reuters

Grand Princess cruise passengers from the U.S. who have been held off the coast of California will be divided between three states for quarantine, the Department of Health and Human Services said Sunday. 

The Grand Princess, where at least 21 of the 3,500 people on board have tested positive for coronavirus, has been stranded in the water since Wednesday and is set to dock in Oakland on Monday. At least 1,000 passengers who are California residents will complete the mandatory quarantine at Travis Air Force Base, about 50 miles northeast of Oakland, and Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego, HHS said. 

Other passengers will be taken to either Joint Base San Antonio Lackland in Texas or Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia. 

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement Sunday that thirty-four state residents and American citizens from the East coast will be taken to the Marietta base for quarantine and additional testing.

"I am confident that Dobbins is equipped to provide high-quality care for Americans in need while keeping Georgia families safe, and our state stands ready to assist our federal partners if requested," Kemp said. 

HHS said it is still working with the State Department to repatriate several hundred non-American passengers to their home countries.

Uber and Lyft promise to compensate drivers diagnosed with coronavirus

Uber announced that it will support drivers with confirmed cases of coronavirus, the company said  Sunday.

The ride hail giant said it would support its contracted drivers who were diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus, or those forced into quarantine by public health officials, according to Andrew Macdonald, senior vice president of rides and platform. 

Macdonald said that drivers and delivery workers will receive compensation for up to 14 days.

"This has already begun in some markets and we are working to implement mechanisms to do this worldwide," McDonald said. 'We believe this is the right thing to do."

Lyft also confirmed Sunday that it has decided to provide compensation to drivers infected or quarantined. 

The announcements from Uber and Lyft come just a day after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that one of the city's confirmed coronavirus cases involved an Uber driver from Queens. The patient was in isolation at a local hospital, NBC New York reported. 

Another 16 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York

There are 16 new confirmed coronavirus cases in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday, bringing the total in the state to 105.

Top U.S. coronavirus official: 'Above all, don't get on a cruise ship'

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recommended Sunday that elderly and vulnerable Americans limit their exposure to travel and large crowds as the world fights the coronavirus outbreak.

During an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Fauci said that the elderly and those with “underlying conditions” are “overwhelmingly” more likely to have complications if they catch coronavirus.

“If you are an elderly person with an underlying condition, if you get infected, the risk of getting into trouble is considerable. So it's our responsibility to protect the vulnerable,” he said.

“When I say protect, I mean right now. Not wait until things get worse. Say no large crowds, no long trips. And above all, don't get on a cruise ship.”

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A makeshift hospital in Wuhan, empty

A staff member removes waste after the final patients were discharged from a temporary hospital set up to treat people diagnosed with coronavirus in a sports stadium in Wuhan, China, on March 8, 2020.AFP - Getty Images

WHO chief: 100 countries report COVID19 cases for the first time

Coronavirus-stricken cruise ship to dock in California on Monday

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Ten dead after quarantine site collapses in China

Ten people have died and 23 are missing after a hotel housing people quarantined by the coronavirus collapsed in the Chinese city of Quanzhou, authorities in the city said Sunday.

A total of 71 people were trapped under the rubble after the hotel collapsed Saturday night local time and 38 people have now been retrieved, China's ministry of emergency management confirmed. 

Pictures from the site showed rescue workers clad in hard hats, goggles and face masks carrying injured people away. Authorities said more than 1,000 first responders were working on the scene. It was unclear what caused the collapse. 

Rescuers search for survivors in the rubble of a collapsed hotel in Quanzhou on Saturday.STR / AFP - Getty Images

The steel-structured building, built in 2013, was being used as the monitoring space for quarantined citizens who have traveled to or stayed at heavily infected regions, officials said.

Pope streams Sunday blessing via video link to avoid Vatican crowds

A couple takes selfie pictures in front of a screen live-broadcasting Pope Francis' Sunday Angelus prayer on St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Sunday.ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP - Getty Images

Pope Francis did not appear at his palazzo window in the Vatican to deliver his Sunday blessing and remarks amid the growing coronavirus epidemic in Italy. 

Instead, a live stream of him reading his comments and reciting prayers was broadcast on screens set up in St. Peter’s Square to the faithful. After he read his speech from the Vatican’s apostolic library, he made a brief appearance at the window of the Apostolic Palace to greet the worshipers.  

In a bid to deter people from attending, The Vatican announced that he would not appear live at the service on Saturday and it appeared to have worked.While as many as 40,000 have turned out to see the pontiff in the past, only several thousand could be seen on Sunday.   

Moscow threatens prison for those who fail to self-isolate

Moscow city authorities threatened prison terms of up to five years on Sunday for people failing to self-isolate in their homes for two weeks after visiting countries hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.

The city government had announced a "high alert regime" and imposed extra measures on Thursday to prevent a spread of the illness in the Russian capital.

Those who return from China, South Korea, Iran, France, Germany, Italy and Spain and other states showing possible "unfavorable" signs of coronavirus should self-isolate themselves at home for 14 days, Moscow city hall has said.

The Moscow healthcare department said on Sunday that those disregarding the regulation risked severe punishment including imprisonment of up to five years.