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19/03/20 COVID-19 Global News Update

19 March 2020

Overview of the latest developments on Coronavirus (COVID-19).


China, Hong Kong stocks join global sell-off on coronavirus worries

Mar 19th, 2020viaReuters UK - Financial Services News

China and Hong Kong stocks fell sharply on Thursday.

How coronavirus is killing off global air travel

Mar 19th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Qantas has become the latest major airline to cancel international flights as it struggles during the coronavirus pandemic. The Australian flag carrier will send home two-thirds of its 30,000-strong workforce, it announced on Thursday.

Playboy magazine stops printing amid coronavirus disruption

Mar 19th, 2020viaThe Guardian Australia World News

Playboy, one of the world’s most recognisable magazines, has announced it will be shutting down the US periodical, with the Spring issue – which arrives on news stands this week – its last for 2020.

ECB launches emergency £706bn coronavirus package

Mar 19th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

The European Bank (ECB) has launched an emergency €750bn ($820bn; £706bn) package to ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It will buy government and company debt across the eurozone, including that of troubled Greece and Italy.

J.P. Morgan to close 1,000 Chase branches on coronavirus concerns

Mar 18th, 2020viaReuters UK - Financial Services News

J.P. Morgan Chase and Co (JPM.N) will temporarily shut about 1,000 bank branches to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Beginning Thursday, the lender is planning to close about 20% of its branches to protect employees, according to a memo seen by Reuters on Wednesday.


Covid-19 puts North Sea oil and gas in 'paper-thin' position

Mar 19th, 2020viaBBC News - UK

The North Sea oil and gas sector is in a "paper thin" position with oil prices tumbling, the industry has warned. The supply chain in particular is at risk with cash flows already tight following the 2016 downturn.

Coronavirus: 'Time is running out,' say UK businesses

Mar 19th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

British firms say time is running out to keep their businesses afloat as coronavirus batters the economy - and that they are uncertain about how to access the financial support promised by the government on Tuesday.

Coronavirus: 'Vulnerable businesses' to get £370m of support

Mar 18th, 2020viaBBC World - Northern Ireland

About £370m is being provided to support the "most vulnerable businesses" in NI during the coronavirus pandemic. Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said the measures would assist more than 30,000 firms. Small businesses with a net asset value up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Coronavirus: Welsh firms to get same support as England

Mar 18th, 2020viaBBC - Wales

Welsh ministers will invest just under £1.4bn to help businesses in Wales deal with the coronavirus outbreak. Economy Minister Ken Skates said the devolved government will match plans to help English businesses through grants and further rate relief.

Coronavirus: Rishi Sunak leaves door open for 'helicopter money' strategies

Mar 18th, 2020viaCity AM - Business

A wave of government cash handouts could be given to individuals and businesses if the scale of the economic downturn from coronavirus is worse than expected, according to Rishi Sunak.

Most British companies not insured for coronavirus closures - industry body

Mar 18th, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

Most companies in Britain don’t have insurance cover for closures caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the Association of British Insurers said on Tuesday.

General UK News

Coronavirus: UK schools, colleges and nurseries to close from Friday

Mar 18th, 2020viaBBC News - Shropshire

Schools in the UK are to shut from Friday until further notice as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. Schools will close except for looking after the children of keyworkers and vulnerable children, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

Coronavirus: Travel restrictions not ruled out by Boris Johnson

Mar 18th, 2020viaBBC News - UK Politics

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the government will not rule out imposing travel restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Coronavirus law to ban UK landlords from evicting tenants

Mar 18th, 2020viaThe Guardian News

Private tenants will not be evicted from their homes for at least three months even if struggling with their rent under emergency coronavirus legislation announced by the housing secretary.

EFL announces £50m relief package for clubs in response to coronavirus

Mar 18th, 2020viaThe Guardian Football

The English Football League has announced a £50m short-term relief package to assist cash-strapped clubs during the coronavirus crisis. Domestic professional football was brought to a halt last Friday in an attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19, with the sport pencilled in for a return in early April.

UK coronavirus deaths rise to 103, up from 71

Mar 18th, 2020viaReuters UK - Health News

The number of deaths of people who tested positive for coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose to 103 on Wednesday, from 71 a day earlier, the health ministry said in a statement.

Coronavirus: MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle tests positive for Covid-19

Mar 18th, 2020viaBBC News - Sussex

A Labour MP diagnosed with coronavirus has called for more widespread testing. Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP for Brighton Kemptown, said he waited six days for the results of his test, after he felt symptoms on 11 March and immediately self-isolated.

Experimental lung drug to be tested on UK coronavirus patients

Mar 18th, 2020viaGuardian UK - Business

Biotech firm Synairgen will trial SNG001 inhaler on 100 people in race to find cure Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The UK biotech firm Synairgen is to trial its experimental lung drug in Covid-19 patients, joining the global race to find a treatment for coronavirus.

Payment Holidays offered to Help to Buy homeowners affected by Covid-19

Mar 18th, 2020viaGov.UK - Homes & Communities Agency Announcements

Homeowners who are struggling to pay interest fees on their Help to Buy equity loans will be offered payment holidays, the Government has announced.

Sellafield nuclear waste site to close due to coronavirus

Mar 18th, 2020viaGuardian - Energy

Magnox reprocessing plant will begin controlled shutdown after 8% of staff self-isolate Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Britain’s nuclear waste site will shut its reprocessing plant at Sellafield after more than 8% of its staff began self-isolating to prevent the spread of the coronavirus .

UK pledges 20 billion pounds to support coronavirus-hit businesses

Mar 18th, 2020viaReuters UK - Business News

Britain will support businesses through the coronavirus crisis with a 20 billion pound direct package, while homeowners will be able to access a three-month mortgage payment holiday, finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Tuesday.

Indyref 'paused' for this year due to coronavirus

Mar 18th, 2020viaBBC News - UK

The Scottish government has confirmed it is no longer planning to hold an independence referendum this year. Constitution Secretary Mike Russell said the plans had been "paused" due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Day-to-Day Impact

Johnson plans to increase coronavirus tests to 25,000 a day

Mar 18th, 2020viaGuardian UK - Italy

Boris Johnson has announced his ambition for an unprecedented scaling up of testing for the coronavirus in the UK to 25,000 a day, as the World Health Organization urged all countries to go further.

Coronavirus: 40 London Underground stations to be closed

Mar 19th, 2020viaBBC - Front Page

Up to 40 stations on the London Underground network are to be shut as the city attempts to reduce the effect of the coronavirus outbreak.

Global Situation

Coronavirus: Australia and New Zealand ban non-residents from entry

Mar 19th, 2020viaBBC News | News Front Page | World Edition

Australia and New Zealand will ban entry to all non-residents from Friday in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Beijing hit by record imported coronavirus cases, no China transmissions

Mar 19th, 2020viaReuters UK - Health News

Beijing saw a record number of imported coronavirus cases, data released on Thursday showed, as new local transmissions in China fell to zero, putting more pressure on the capital to screen out infected passengers and isolate suspected cases.

Coronavirus in Africa: What impact could virus have on the continent?

Mar 19th, 2020viaBBC World

Coronavirus has been slow to take root in Africa but the number of cases is now beginning to grow. In Johannesburg, Andrew Harding has been looking at some of issues that could make controlling the virus on the continent particularly challenging.

South Korea reports rebound in new coronavirus cases after nursing home outbreak

Mar 19th, 2020viaReuters UK - World News

South Korea posted a jump in new coronavirus cases on Thursday, reversing days of slowing infections after a new outbreak emerged in a nursing home in the hardest-hit city of Daegu.

U.S. suspending visa services worldwide due to coronavirus

Mar 18th, 2020viaReuters UK - Top News

The United States is suspending all routine visa services as of Wednesday in most countries worldwide due to the coronavirus outbreak, a spokeswoman for the State Department said, an unprecedented move that will potentially impact hundreds of thousands of people.

UAE suspends entry of valid residence visa holders abroad over coronavirus concerns

Mar 18th, 2020viaReuters UK - World News

United Arab Emirates will suspend entry of valid residence visa holders who are still abroad starting at noon on Thursday for two weeks, over coronavirus concerns, state news agency WAM said on early Thursday. The UAE has recorded 113 cases on the flu-like disease.

U.S.-Canada border shuts as battle against coronavirus intensifies

Mar 18th, 2020viaReuters UK - Top News

The United States and Canada closed their mutual border to “non-essential traffic” on Wednesday while President Donald Trump moved to speed up medical equipment production and said hospital ships would be deployed in the battle against the coronavirus.

France reports huge spike in coronavirus deaths, raising total to 264

Mar 18th, 2020viaReuters UK - World News

French health authorities reported 89 new deaths from coronavirus on Wednesday, taking the total to 264 or an increase of almost 51%, a much more marked rise than recently seen as the country was in its second day of a lockdown aimed at containing the outbreak.

Coronavirus could cut costs in world's most expensive cities

Mar 18th, 2020viaReuters UK - Financial Services News

Hong Kong, Singapore and Osaka were named as the world’s most expensive cities on Wednesday but researchers warned that the coronavirus outbreak could change the ranking.

Coronavirus: Death toll in Italy surges to 2,978

Mar 18th, 2020viaCity AM - Business

The death toll from coronavirus in Italy has surged in the last 24 hours by 475 to 2,978, an increase of 19 per cent, the biggest jump in numerical terms since the contagion came to light last month, Italian officials said today.

Israel moves towards mass testing as coronavirus detections rise

Mar 18th, 2020viaReuters UK - World News

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel have jumped by 40% to 427 in the past 24 hours, authorities said on Wednesday, predicting a steeper rise as mass testing is implemented, and a blanket ban on entry of foreign nationals was imposed.

Rattled world 'at war' with coronavirus as cases pass 200,000

Mar 18th, 2020viaReuters UK - Health & Drugs News

Hundreds of millions of people faced a world turned upside down on Wednesday by once-in-a-generation emergency measures against the coronavirus pandemic that is killing the old and vulnerable and threatening prolonged economic misery.

Russian media ‘spreading Covid-19 disinformation’

Mar 18th, 2020viaGuardian UK - Russia

Pro-Kremlin media have been spreading disinformation about coronavirus with the aim of “aggravating” the public health crisis in the west, the European Union’s diplomatic service has concluded in a leaked report.

Legal Developments

Coronavirus: LAA promises to be flexible

Mar 18th, 2020viaLaw Society Gazette - Headlines

The Legal Aid Agency says it will operate flexibly to ensure providers can continue to advise clients in coronavirus-related guidance published today.


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