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Coronavirus: Free to read

Coronavirus: Week of Mar. 22 to Mar. 28, US House passes a $2.2tn stimulus

Hong Kong bans gatherings of over 4 people; Trump tweets he is working with Xi

Congress gave final approval to the largest economic package in U.S. history.    © Reuters

The Nikkei Asian Review is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Global cases have reached 512,701 according to the World Health Organization.

The worldwide death toll has hit 23,495.

To see how the disease has spread, click this interactive virus tracker:

Here are the latest developments (Tokyo time):



Saturday, March 28

10:32 a.m. South Korea reports 146 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, taking the national tally to 9,478, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

9:11 a.m. This year's Shangri-La Dialogue: Asia Security Summit scheduled for June 5 to 7 in Singapore has been cancelled due to the the global COVID-19 pandemic, the International Institute for Strategic Studies announces.

5:00 a.m. U.S. stocks tumble to end a three-day surge as investor anxiety grows over the prospect of long-term restrictions on economic activity. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes down 915 points while the S&P 500 sheds 88 points.

4:45 a.m. Toyota says it will start producing medical-used face shields in the U.S. as the number of infections continues to rise in the country. The Japanese automaker will also help producers of ventilators and respirators boost production capacity.

2:36 a.m. The U.S. House of Representatives passes a $2.2 trillion stimulus package by voice vote, sending it to President Donald Trump for his signature.

2:29 a.m. China will set a higher threshold for deficit spending and issue a special type of bond to ramp up fiscal efforts to aid the economy buffeted by the coronavirus pandemic.

2:10 a.m. The Navy's hospital ship Mercy, equipped with 1,000 beds, arrives in the Port of Los Angeles to assist the region in its fight against the coronavirus outbreak. The ship will provide a full range of medical care to allow overextended local health facilities to focus on treating COVID-19 patients.

The hospital ship USNS Mercy arrives at the Port of Los Angeles to assist area medical facilities during the the coronavirus outbreak.   © Reuters

1:48 a.m. Australian supermarket operator Woolworths Group says it will hire up to 20,000 new workers by the end of April, as shopping swells amid the new coronavirus outbreak.

1:30 a.m. Trump via Twitter demands General Motors immediately open idled plants and start producing ventilators. He also tells Ford, which has promised to start producing ventilator parts, to "GET GOING."

Friday, March 27

10:30 p.m. U.S. stocks open lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 870 points and the S&P 500 dipping 90 points.

8:30 p.m. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for COVID-19. "Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus," the prime minister tweets. Johnson says he is isolating himself but would continue to lead the government's response via videoconferencing.

8:02 p.m. Hong Kong will ban gatherings of more than four people for two weeks, starting Saturday at midnight. Restaurants will be obliged to slash their capacity by half and keep tables at least 1.5 meters apart. Cinemas, gyms, amusement arcades and other entertainment venues are required to close from Saturday at 6 p.m.

6:00 p.m. The Philippines reports 96 new cases, bringing the total to 803 with 54 deaths.

5:53 p.m. The total number of cases in Indonesia hits 1,046 after 153 new cases are reported, a new daily high. The death toll now stands at 87, with 46 patients having recovered.

4:06 p.m. Toyota Motor, which maintains a strong financial base, has sought a credit line of 1 trillion yen ($9.23 billion) from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and MUFG Bank as it prepares for uncertainty in the global auto market.

2:30 p.m. U.S. President Donald Trump tweets: "Just finished a very good conversation with President Xi of China. Discussed in great detail the CoronaVirus that is ravaging large parts of our Planet. China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!"

1:41 p.m. The Reserve Bank of India cuts its policy rate by 75 basis points to 4.4%.

12:03 p.m. Sony will ask its new recruits to stay home in April, when recent college graduates begin their careers at most Japanese companies. The new hires will be paid their full salaries during their furlough. The Japanese government has set the stage for declaring a state of emergency by setting up a special coronavirus headquarters led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

11:20 a.m. The International Olympic Committee is considering next spring as an option for the Tokyo Olympics, sources tell Nikkei. On Wednesday, IOC President Thomas Bach said "all options" were on the table, including holding the Games before the onset of Tokyo's stifling summer heat.

10:36 a.m. South Korea confirms 91 more infections, raising the total number to 9,332 with 139 deaths.

9:35 a.m. BTS, the seven-member K-pop sensation, pushes back its North American tour by two months to June due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Americans and Canadians will have to wait a couple extra months to catch their South Korean music idols in person.   © Reuters

9:20 a.m. Tokyo stocks open higher following a surge in New York, with the benchmark Nikkei index rising 700 points from the previous day's finish at one point in early trade.

6:39 a.m. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases soars in the U.S., putting the country on track to become the next epicenter of the pandemic. As of Thursday, the U.S. had 82,404 confirmed cases and 1,178 deaths, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

5:00 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes up 1,351.62 points, or 6.2%, to 22,552.17, as a huge stimulus package is poised to be passed by Congress. The S&P 500 has its best three-day run since 1933.

3:00 a.m. China will temporarily suspend the entry of foreigners with valid Chinese visas and residence permits starting on March 28, the Foreign Ministry says.

2:50 a.m. Leaders of the Group of 20 nations, meeting in a videoconference, say they are committed to a "united front" against the threat of COVID-19.

12:51 a.m. Thailand declares a state of emergency through April 30, banning most foreigners from entering the country but largely sparing the manufacturing sector.

12:08 a.m. India updates its total number of confirmed coronavirus cases to 694, up by 45 since Thursday morning.

Thursday, March 26

10:32 p.m. Honda says it will extend its shutdown of North American vehicle factories for a week until April 6. The automaker will also halt auto production in Thailand until April 30.

10:30 p.m. U.S. stocks open higher after the Senate approves a $2 trillion stimulus package. A record number of Americans -- 3.28 million -- applied for unemployment benefits last week.

10:22 p.m. Japan reports a one-day increase of 92 coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 1,361. Tokyo tightens entry restrictions in response to the pandemic.

8:25 p.m. Deaths from the new coronavirus have surpassed 21,000 worldwide, Johns Hopkins University said, with confirmed cases topping 480,000.

7:24 p.m. AirAsia suspends international and domestic flights in Malaysia, India and the Philippines, and international flights in Thailand until April 25 while reducing domestic flights in the country. It has also reduced domestic and international flights in Indonesia.

7:19 p.m. Malaysia reports 235 new cases and four deaths, bringing the nationwide total to 2,031 cases and 23 deaths.

7:05 p.m. Singapore unveils a relief package of over 48 billion Singapore dollars ($33.4 billion), adding to the initial SG$5.6 billion of stimulus measures implemented in February.

The central government in Vietnam will enlist the aid of local authorities to help enforce a partial lockdown of the country to combat the coronavirus.   © Reuters

6:20 p.m. Vietnam orders local authorities to ban gatherings of more than 20 people for at least two weeks and close massage parlors, tourist sites, cinemas and restaurants, starting midnight March 28. People will be asked to stay home, public transport and domestic flights will be reduced, and only essential services will be available.

5:39 p.m. Indonesia reports 103 new cases, bringing the nationwide total to 893 including 78 deaths.

5:14 p.m. India announces a $23 billion relief package for the poor, including urban and rural workers, in the form of cash transfers and food grains.

5 p.m. Tokyo has confirmed 47 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, sources tell Nikkei, following the 41 announced the previous day.

3 p.m. Japan's benchmark Nikkei stock index closes Thursday's session at 18,664, down 882 points, or 4.5% from the previous day's finish, on concerns over upcoming curbs on movement in Tokyo and surrounding regions due to the spreading coronavirus.

1:40 p.m. Thailand reports 111 new coronavirus infections, bringing its total to 1,045, according to Reuters. Cases have been rising sharply with the government announcing 107 on Wednesday.

A Buddhist monk wears a face mask before praying during a ceremony at a Bangkok temple for people affected by the coronavirus outbreak.   © Reuters

12:45 p.m. The U.S. Senate unanimously passes a $2 trillion bill aimed at helping unemployed workers and industries hit by the coronavirus pandemic, sending it to the House of Representatives, which is expected to approve the legislation sometime this week.

12:52 p.m. Malaysia's Top Globe, the world's leading maker of medical gloves, has seen weekly orders soar to 2.94 billion pairs due to COVID-19-related demand. Executive Director Lim Cheong Guan says normal weekly orders are around 1.12 billion pairs.

11:50 a.m. The Japanese government sets the stage for declaring a state of emergency with plans to set up a special coronavirus headquarters led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later in the day. Under a law revised earlier in March, the prime minister can declare a state of emergency if the spread of the virus poses a "grave danger" to lives and threatens serious economic damage.

11:00 a.m. Singapore's economy shrank 2.2% on the year in the first quarter, preliminary data released on Thursday shows, as Southeast Asia reels from the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.

10:45 a.m. Mainland China reports a second consecutive day of no new local coronavirus infections, with China's National Health Commission saying the 67 new cases reported as of the end of Wednesday are all imported. A day earlier it had reported 47 new imported cases. China's total infections are now at 81,285.

A Shanghai Airlines flight attendant on March 25 takes passengers' temperatures.   © Reuters

9:30 a.m. Tokyo stocks open 600 points lower as coronavirus uncertainties shake Japan's capital, where cases are on the rise and the governor has asked residents to stay home on weekends and, if they can, to work from home. The benchmark Nikkei index's drop from Wednesday's close brings it below the 19,000 mark.

6:00 a.m. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper issues a stop movement order to the U.S. military, halting travel and movement abroad for up to 60 days, an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus through the ranks. The sweeping measure affects forces around the world.

5:00 a.m. U.S. stocks close higher but off session highs, with the S&P 500 ending with a gain of just over 1%.

4:36 a.m. Apple is preparing to possibly delay the launch of its first 5G iPhones as the coronavirus pandemic threatens global demand, the Nikkei Asian Review has learned.

4:24 a.m. "Recent projections predict an economic downturn and job losses that are worse than the global financial crisis a dozen years ago," World Trade Organization head Roberto Azevedo says.

4:18 a.m. What to make of the mixed signals coming from prominent Chinese diplomats over the coronavirus pandemic? Read more in this week's China up close.

3:50 a.m. Demand for delivery services is skyrocketing in Southeast Asia and India as travel curbs keep more people at home, sending companies scrambling to keep up.

3:00 a.m. Kenya's government unveils tax cuts to support East Africa's biggest economy against the coronavirus pandemic.

1:52 a.m. The looming ventilator shortages facing hospitals worldwide have spurred calls to increase production. Those calls are being answered.

1:46 a.m. Two of Japan's biggest banks are offering low-interest-rate loans to businesses hit by the pandemic.

1:00 a.m. New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., will ban contact sports on playgrounds and start closing some streets to traffic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says. The state reports 5,146 new cases of coronavirus in one day, bringing total infections to 30,811, over half of all cases in the country

New York City's Brooklyn Bridge Park is mostly deserted as COVID-19 cases in the city spike.   © Reuters

Wednesday, March 25

11:05 p.m. India's Health Ministry updates the number of confirmed cases in the country to 606, up by 87 since Tuesday evening. A total of 10 people have died so far.

10:30 p.m. U.S. stocks open modestly higher after lawmakers agree on a $2 trillion bipartisan package of support for the economy.

10:00 p.m. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Japan rise by 69 Wednesday to 1,176.

9:31 p.m. Spain now has more COVID-19 deaths -- 3,434 -- than China, authorities say. Meanwhile, in the U.K., Prince Charles reportedly tests positive for the new coronavirus.

6:00 p.m. Indonesia reports 105 new cases, bringing the total to 790, which includes 58 deaths and 31 people who have recovered.

5:50 p.m. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirms 41 new cases, marking its biggest increase so far. As infections spike, Gov. Yuriko Koike on weekends and work from home if possible on other days.

4:00 p.m. Asian stock markets rally sharply, with Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbing 8% as investors rush back into SoftBank Group, Sony, Toyota Motor and other large corporations.

3:00 p.m. Taiwan's government announces 19 new cases, all imported. The total number of infected people on the island has risen to 235.

2:00 p.m. Thailand health officials report 107 new coronavirus cases, bringing total to 934.

1:40 p.m. Yokohama announces that the coronavirus infected cruise ship Diamond Princess will leave Yokohama Port at 2:00 pm on Wednesday. Disinfection work on board has been completed, according to the city.

1:20 p.m. China reports 47 new cases of new-coronavirus infection, all arrives from overseas.

12:30 p.m. The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will cost an additional 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion) due to a one-year postponement, Nikkei reports.

10:30 a.m. South Korea confirms 100 new cases, raising the country total to 9,137 with 126 deaths.

10:20 a.m. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks by phone with U.S. President Donald Trump about the one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympics that Abe and IOC President Thomas Bach had agreed to on Tuesday evening.

9:20 a.m. Tokyo stocks open higher following a market surge in New York, with the benchmark Nikkei index climbing over the 19,000 mark, up more than 900 points, or 5%, from the previous day's close.

6:00 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump pushes for a reopening of the U.S. economy by mid-April despite a surge in coronavirus cases, telling a town hall event that shutting down an economy is dangerous. "You can destroy a country this way by closing it down," he said.

5:43 a.m. Toyota and other Japanese automakers are making production cuts that will bring down their global output by around a third. Meanwhile, Japan looks to bring home factories that left after the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

5:00 a.m. U.S. stocks surge after lawmakers say a deal on economic rescue legislation is near. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2,112.98 points, or 11.4%, higher at 20,704. The S&P 500 gained 209.93 points, or 9.4%, to 2,447 and the Nasdaq Composite added 557.18 points, or 8.1%, to 7,417. The Dow's 2112-point gain was the largest in history.

3:00 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbs back above 20,000 as hopes of Congress passing a stimulus package gives optimism to badly battered markets.

2:27 a.m. Indians are rushing to grocery stores to stock up ahead of a nationwide curfew despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's urging not to panic.

Meanwhile, those choosing to shop online face unexpected roadblocks to deliveries.

More than 700 passengers infected in the Diamond Princess.   © Kyodo

Tuesday, March 24

11:48 p.m. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces a "stringent and strict" curfew across the country from midnight tonight for the next 21 days to save the country from the coronavirus. "This 21 days' time is needed to break the cycle of coronavirus transmission," he says in a televised address.

10:30 p.m. U.S. stocks open sharply higher on the hope that stimulus legislation will move ahead today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 rising more than 5%.

10:20 p.m. The Tokyo Olympic Games will be postponed until the summer of 2021, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tells reporters.

7:59 p.m. The World Health Organization says it is seeing a "very large acceleration" in coronavirus infections in the United States which have the potential of becoming the pandemic's new epicenter.

6:00 p.m. Indonesia reports 107 new cases on Tuesday -- a new daily high -- bringing the total to 686, which includes 55 deaths and 30 people who have recovered.

4:50 p.m. The Indonesian parliament discusses relaxing the budget deficit rule to counter hits to the economy by the coronavirus, suggesting the cap be raised to 5% from 3% to help provide funds for economic stimulus.

A bus terminal in Jakarta after the Indonesian capital began a two-week emergency period to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.   © Reuters

4:36 p.m. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha says Thailand is to declare a state of emergency to be enacted on Thursday in an effort to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, without giving details.

4:32 p.m. Thailand's cabinet approves a package of stimulus measures worth at least 117 billion baht ($3.56 billion) to try and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 800 people in the country. The measures include cash handouts worth 45 billion baht for 3 million workers outside the social security system, who will also be offered soft loans worth 60 billion baht as well as tax breaks.

4:30 p.m. India confirms a total of 492 cases and nine dead so far.

2:30 p.m. Hubei Province, epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, will lift all traffic controls that were imposed two months ago, CCTV reported. With the exception of those living in the provincial capital of Wuhan, people will be allowed to leave the region upon declaring their health status.

1:30 p.m. Japan is set to impose an entry ban on travelers from 18 European countries and Iran.

1:15 p.m. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Thomas Bach, chairman of the International Olympic Committee, will talk by phone at 8:00 p.m. Japan Standard Time.

The Japan Olympics Museum. The 2020 Tokyo Games have been delayed until 2021. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

12:48 p.m. Thailand reported three fatalities, raising the total in the kingdom to four while confirming 106 new cases, bringing the total to 827.

12:30 p.m. Asian stock indexes chase the surging Nikkei 225, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng up 4.2%, the Shanghai Composite up 2.2% and South Korea's Kospi up 6.3%.

12:10 p.m. Nepal begins a weeklong lockdown affecting about 30 million people, who have been ordered to stay home.

11:50 a.m. Macao announces it will prohibit visitors from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

10:50 a.m. Beijing Daily reports that all people entering the capital will be subject to a centralized quarantine and testing regime. The report says the capital is focusing on people who have been abroad anytime in the previous two weeks.

10:20 a.m. South Korea confirms 76 more cases, raising the total to 9,037; the country also counts 120 deaths.

9:50 a.m. Tokyo Stocks open on a bullish note, sending the Nikkei 225 Index up more than 800 points from Monday's closing price.

9:40 a.m. The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee says the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics should be postponed.

6 a.m. Myanmar announces its first two confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, a 36-year-old man and a 26-year-old man who had been in the U.S. and U.K.

5:38 a.m. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tells Britons to stop holding weddings and other large gatherings and to stay away from playgrounds.

5:11 a.m. From New Delhi to Bangkok, lockdown orders are starting to paralyze Asia's megacities.

5:00 a.m. U.S. stocks close 3% lower despite the force of the Federal Reserve's pledge of unlimited monetary easing.

3:50 a.m. Read the inside story of how Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set out to avoid his worst-case scenario: calling off the Tokyo Olympics altogether.

3:28 a.m. France's sports minister says it would be better to announce an Olympics delay soon. Meanwhile, Japan faces the possibility of if the Summer Games do not proceed as planned.

3:08 a.m. A total of 30 Indian states and federally governed areas announce complete lockdowns as of Monday night.

3:07 a.m. A bill to pump stimulus into the coronavirus-hit U.S. economy has stalled on a procedural vote in the Senate, CNBC reports.

1:43 a.m. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls for a global cease-fire to "focus together on the true fight of our lives."

1:37 a.m. U.S. stocks' sell-off deepens, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 falling 3% in midday trading.

1:33 a.m. Toyota Motor will halt assembly lines at five Japanese plants next month to offset the slump in global demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, iPhone assembler Foxconn says it has enough workers at Chinese factories.

Foxconn is scrambling to boost production capacity ahead of iPhone releases in the fall.   © Reuters

1:14 a.m. India raises its coronavirus death toll to nine. The country's benchmark Sensex stock index plunges 13% as nonessential businesses nationwide are shuttered.

12:45 a.m. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tells hospitals in the state to increase capacity by 50% after coronavirus cases rise 38% overnight to 20,875, CNBC reports

Monday, March 23

10:30 p.m. U.S. stocks fall at the open even after the Federal Reserve announces a slew of new support measures. The New York Stock Exchange operates without its iconic trading floor from today.

9:17 p.m. Singapore reports 54 new cases -- 48 of them imported -- raising its total to 509, according to Reuters. The city-state's death toll remains at two.

9:00 p.m. India will suspend domestic passenger flights, effective Wednesday. An official statement says airlines will have to ensure all flights land before 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday. The order, which does not apply to domestic cargo flights, follows a one-week ban on all international flight arrivals imposed on Sunday.

8:29 p.m. U.S. automaker Ford Motor will suspend vehicle and engine production at plants in India, Thailand, Vietnam and South Africa in response to the pandemic, Reuters reports. The company expects the stoppages will last for several weeks.

8:00 p.m. Indian stocks close deep in the red, with the benchmark BSE Sensex plunging a record 3,935 points, or 13.15%, to 25,981. The broader NSE Nifty slips 1,135 points, or 12.98%, to settle at 7,610.

7:22 p.m. Malaysia's Health Ministry reports 212 new infections, raising the total to date to 1,518. Another four deaths brings the country's toll to 14.

6:00 p.m. Indonesia reports 65 new cases, bringing its total to 579. The country's death toll stands at 49. Earlier, in the afternoon, the Indonesia Stock Exchange halted trading for 30 minutes after the benchmark index dipped 5%, following a further fall by the rupiah to 16,600 per dollar -- a level not seen since the Asian financial crisis in 1998.

5:20 p.m. Hong Kong says it will ban tourist arrivals from everywhere except mainland China, Macao and Taiwan, as it attempts to stem a rise in imported infections. The government is also considering suspending the sale of alcohol in licensed bars and restaurants to discourage socializing. Hong Kong has 356 confirmed cases as of Monday.

5:07 p.m. Philippines reports 82 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total to 462 with 33 deaths.

3:13 p.m. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes to Twitter to scold citizens across the country who are not following lock down procedures. "Please save yourselves and your families and take the [government] directives seriously," his tweet says in Hindi. "I request state governments to ensure that the rules and laws are followed." India's Health Ministry says the country now has 415 confirmed coronavirus cases.

3:00 p.m. Tokyo stocks gain as the Bank of Japan aggressively buys exchange-traded Funds, buoying hopes that the central bank's operation will sustain the market's new direction. The benchmark Nikkei index closes at 16,887, up 334 points as SoftBank Group shares finish way up on a share-buyback announcement.

2:43 p.m. Thailand announces that tourist arrivals dropped 42.78% in February from a year earlier after a 2.46% rise the previous month. Visitors from China, Thailand's biggest source of tourists, tumbled 84.92% from February 2019.

2:27 p.m. India's Health and Family Welfare Ministry updates the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases to 390 on Monday, up by 30 since the previous night. Seven people have died in the country so far.Separately, the Indian stock market this morning halted trading for 45 minutes after the benchmark BSE Sensex hit the lower circuit limit of 10%.

12:47 p.m. The new coronavirus outbreak is set to cost the Asia-Pacific region $620 billion, according to a new estimate from rating agency S&P Global Ratings. This cost will be borne by governments, banks, companies and households. The agency says it now expects China's economy will grow just 2.9% this year while Singapore, South Korea and Japan join Hong Kong in recession.

Singapore Airlines has announced a drastic capacity reduction now that the city-state is banning short-term travelers from entering or transiting in the country.    © Reuters

12:15 p.m. Singapore Airlines says it will cut 96% of its capacity as the pandemic decimates travel demand. The group will ground 138 of its 147 aircraft, including those of SilkAir. Low-cost Scoot will ground 47 of its 49 aircraft

11:30 a.m. The Australian Olympic Committee says its athletes should prepare for a Tokyo Olympics in 2021, following the IOC's announcement of a potential postponement due to concerns about the coronavirus. AOC Chief Executive Matt Carroll says athletes need certainty to do the right thing "for themselves, their families and the world community."

11:00 a.m. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announces that travelers entering the country from the U.S. will be asked to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

10:50 a.m. The Canadian Olympic Committee and Paralympic Committee say Team Canada will not participate should the Tokyo Games go ahead four months from now. The committees "urgently call on the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee and the World Health Organization to postpone the Games for one year and we offer them our full support in helping navigate all the complexities that rescheduling the Games will bring," their statement says.

10:28 a.m. South Korea confirms 64 more cases -- its lowest daily figure for new coronavirus infections-- bringing its total to 8,961, with 111 deaths. The government has strongly recommended that people stay at home as much as possible for 15 days until April 5.

9:13 a.m. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says postponing the Tokyo Olympics may become an option if holding a "complete form" of the games becomes difficult. In addition, Abe emphasizes that the International Olympic Committee and Japan maintain that cancellation is not an option.

7 a.m. Canada's death toll from the new coronavirus rises to 20, from 13 previously, with the number of confirmed cases soaring to 1,430 from 1,099.

2:30 a.m. Britain says it will tell 1.5 million of its most vulnerable citizens they must stay at home for the next 12 weeks to protect themselves from the new coronavirus, Reuters reports. A further 47 people have died in the U.K. after testing positive for the virus, bringing the total number of deaths to 281, the government say.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson details his government's response to the growing pandemic.   © Reuters

0:37 a.m. Travelers entering Japan from the U.S. will be asked to quarantine at home or at a hotel for 14 days upon arrival, the Japanese government decides. The measures will start within the week and be in effect until the end of April. Similar steps are being enforced in China and South Korea. Arrivals from European countries such as the U.K., France and Germany as well as those from Egypt and Iran have been subject to the same order.

Sunday, March 22

6:45 p.m. Malaysia's Ministry of Health reports 123 new cases, bringing total cases to-date to 1,306. Two more deaths bring that total to 10. Malaysians' movements are restricted until March 31.

6:04 p.m. Among other measures, Thailand introduces a liquidity support fund worth 70 billion baht to 100 billion baht ($2.14 billion to $3.06 billion) to reduce debt market risks.

5:46 p.m. Indonesia confirms 64 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total to 514, and 10 new deaths, bringing the toll to 48.

5:02 p.m. Romania confirms its first coronavirus death. The nation, which has recorded 367 cases to date, declared a state of emergency on March 16.

2:50 p.m. Japan advises citizens to avoid nonessential and non-urgent travel to the United States, citing the national emergency declared by U.S. President Donald Trump.

12:13 p.m. Australia will inject A$66.4 billion ($38.5 billion) into the economy as part of a second stimulus to cushion the financial impact of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says. Australia has registered seven deaths linked to the virus and 1,098 confirmed cases.

10:15 a.m. India launches a 14-hour long curfew to slow the fast-spreading pandemic. India has confirmed 315 cases.

9:30 a.m. Italy's fatalities jump by 793 to 4,825 in the largest one-day rise since the country's battle began a month ago. The government has ordered all businesses to close until April 3, with the exception of those essential to maintaining the country's supply chains.

5:32 a.m. U.S. policy measures to blunt the fallout from the pandemic are expected to exceed $2 trillion, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says. The measures are expected to include shouldering wage payment obligations of smaller companies.

Saturday, March 21

7:54 p.m. Nissan decides to lay off about 3,000 workers in Spain where the company is suspending production in three factories.

5:48 p.m. Authorities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan announce fresh restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus as the number of cases in Central Asia snowballed, Reuters reports.

4:59 p.m. Malaysia reports 153 new cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 1,183 cases. It also reports two deaths, bringing the total to four deaths to-date.

2:46 p.m. Jordan blows sirens at the start of a nationwide curfew on Saturday, limiting the mobility of its 10 million citizens indefinitely to combat the spread of coronavirus, Reuters reports.

2:45 p.m. The Philippines' health ministry on Saturday reports a 19th death related to coronavirus and says the number of confirmed cases has risen to 307 from 230 a day before. The government has placed more than half of the country's population under strict home quarantine to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

1:49 p.m. Thailand reports its largest daily increase in coronavirus infections on Saturday, with 89 new cases taking the national tally to 411. Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a Public Health Ministry spokesman, says the new cases are linked to earlier infections that occurred at a boxing match, an entertainment complex and a religious gathering in neighboring Malaysia.

1:09 p.m. Singapore reports two coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, marking the city-state's first fatalities from the infection. The patients who died are a 75-year-old Singaporean woman and a 64-year-old Indonesian man, the health ministry says in a statement.

10:25 a.m. South Korea confirms 147 new coronavirus infections on Saturday, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new cases bring the country's total to 8,799.

9:21 a.m. Mainland China reports zero locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus for a third day running, while the daily log of infections involving travelers arriving from other countries continues to rise, the country's National Health Commission says in a statement on Saturday. Mainland China had 41 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections on Friday, all travelers from abroad. The total number of confirmed cases in mainland China reaches 81,008, after the death toll reached 3,255 as of the end of Friday.

5 a.m. U.S. stocks ended another week of tumultuous trading with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 913 points, or 4.6%, to close at 19,173. The wider S&P 500 fell 4.3%, while the Nasdaq dropped 3.8%. The Dow has now erased its gains since Trump's inauguration, a rally the president has prided his administration on ahead of his reelection bid.

To catch up on earlier developments, see last week's latest updates.

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