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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

* Cambodia on Saturday (March 14) announced restrictions on visitors from five countries for a month in a bid to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. “The Ministry of Health decided to temporarily ban foreigners from Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the United States from entering Cambodia for 30 days,” Health Minister Mam Bunheng said in a statement. He said the restrictions will take effect from March 17 at midnight.

* The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority in the Philippines announced Saturday that a curfew, starting March 15, will be imposed in the National Capital Region as part of community quarantine measures to contain the COVID-19 spread.

* US President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency to open up US$50 billion in federal aid to help combat the spread of COVID-19 across the country. The country reported 1,663 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday with at least 40 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

* A plane carrying Chinese medical supplies for Europe to assist its battle against the novel coronavirus landed in Liege, Belgium on Friday night. The supplies were donated by two charities — Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation and comprise half a million face masks, which will be sent to Italy. The two charities are donating in total two million masks and other crucial supplies such as test kits.

* The death toll from COVID-19 passed 500 in Iran on Friday, while most countries in the Middle East reported rise in the number of confirmed cases amid the raging epidemic. Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education announced on Friday that a total of 11,364 people have been infected with COVID-19 in Iran, while the death toll rose to 514, from 429 on Thursday. A total of 3,529 people have recovered.

* Leaders of Group of Seven (G7) will hold a videoconference on COVID-19 early next week, the White House said on Friday. During his phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, US President Donald Trump agreed to host a videoconference on the coronavirus with all of the G7 leaders early next week, according to a White House statement.

* The Bank of Canada on Friday cut its interest rate by half a percentage point to 0.75 percent in response to COVID-19. The central bank already cut its rate to 1.25 percent on March 4 to help counteract the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The central bank said it will provide a full update of its outlook for the Canadian and global economies on April 15.

* Representatives of the G20 leaders have vowed to counter coronavirus with “swift actions,” the Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday. The representatives, in a meeting held on Thursday in Saudi city of al-Khobar, discussed development of COVID-19 and its effects on peoples and the global economy.

* Malaysia on Friday announced 39 new cases of COVID-19, marking the largest one day increase in the country and bringing the total number of cases to 197.

* Singapore records 13 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 200, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in Singapore on Friday.

* Japan’s health ministry and local governments said Friday the number of COVID-19 infections rose by 21 to 697 cases in Japan as of 6:30 p.m. local time. The death toll currently stands at 26, according to the health ministry, with the figure including those from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Yokohama, close to Tokyo.

*The number of COVID-19 cases in India Saturday rose to 83, India’s federal health ministry officials said. Of these, 66 cases are Indian nationals and 17 are foreign nationals. Indian health ministry on Friday confirmed the death of a 68-year-old woman because of COVID-19. This is the second confirmed COVID-19 death in the country.

* The government of Pakistan has announced to upgrade its measures against COVID-19 across the country after 28 people tested positive of the virus during the last 17 days, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza told media here Friday night.

* Tokyo 2020 will work closely with all municipalities and related organisations in Japan to ensure the Olympic Torch Relay safely begins on March 26, the organizers said Friday after the torch relay for the Games on Greek soil was cancelled.

* Myanmar has planned to allow foreigners to participate in daily share trading of listed companies on Yangon Stock Exchange (YSX) next week, according to the press conference by the YSX on Friday. Aiming to boost the market, the YSX set to increase the stock trade matching time from four to seven per day starting from March 26.

* Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday proposed that countries in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) should formulate a joint strategy to fight COVID-19. The number of COVID-19 cases in India has risen to 75.

* The Cuban Ministry of Culture announced Friday that massive cultural activities have been canceled amid efforts to contain the novel coronavirus spread on the island.

* The Brazilian Health Ministry confirmed on Friday that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached 98. According to the ministry, most patients are quarantined at home, and only 12 patients are currently hospitalized. So far, the majority of the confirmed patients were believed to be infected during trips abroad.

* New Zealand has cancelled its national remembrance service for the first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attacks as the sixth COVID-19 case is confirmed on Saturday. The event, scheduled on Sunday afternoon, was expected to be attended by thousands of people travelling from around New Zealand and from overseas.

* The US House of Representatives passed early Saturday a relief package for Americans hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak. The bill, which was passed by 363 votes to 40, and will move to the Senate for a vote.

* All football games of all leagues across the board were suspended until the end of March, as part of measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the Cyprus football association (CFA) announced on Friday. It said the decision was made following consultations with the European football governing body UEFA and the state’s health authorities.

* Slovenia got its 14th government amid the coronavirus pandemic as the National Assembly approved the center-right cabinet of Janez Jansa in a 52:31 vote at a session on Friday.

* Sudan, which had reported no case of coronavirus infection before, confirmed on Friday the first death from COVID-19 in the capital Khartoum.

* In Israel, a total of 34 Israelis tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 143. Israel’s sports and health ministries announced the cancellation of all sports events as part of the efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

* In Riyadh, Saudi Arabian Health Ministry announced 24 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 86. It said 14 of the 24 new cases are of Egyptian nationality, who are under quarantine in Mecca.

* In Kuwait, the Ministry of Health reported 20 new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of infected people in the country to 100.

* In Cairo, Egypt announced that 13 people tested positive for COVID-19, including five Egyptians and eight foreigners who have been in contact with previous cases. The total number of the infected people in Egypt rose to 93.

* In Baghdad, Iraqi Health Ministry confirmed 10 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 93. Meanwhile, the Iraqi crisis committee, headed by the Iraqi Health Minister Jaafar Sadiq Allawi, decided to ban the entry of travellers from Qatar and Germany, except for official delegations and diplomatic missions.

* In Beirut, Lebanon’s Health Ministry announced six new cases of COVID-19, leading the total number of confirmed cases to 77.

* In Tunis, Tunisian Health Ministry reported three new cases of COVID-19, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 16. A 14-day quarantine is now obligatory for all passengers arriving in Tunisia.

* Palestine on Friday reported four new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infected people to 35, including 34 in Bethlehem and one in Tulkarem.

* Turkey’s Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced three new COVID-19 cases, raising the total number of the cases in Turkey to five.

* Morocco, which confirmed on Friday its seventh case of COVID-19 infection, decided to suspend all air and sea travels to and from France.

* Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Friday appointed caretaker Prime Minister Ludovic Orban to form a new government. The head of state made the decision after Florin Citu, caretaker finance minister, tendered his resignation as Prime Minister-designate on Thursday.

* Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his visiting Ethiopian counterpart Sahle-Work Zewde on Friday discussed the peace and security situation in Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia.

* The UN-backed government’s forces repelled an attack by the rival east-based army in southern Tripoli, killing at least 25 soldiers and destroying four military vehicles of the east-based army, a spokesman of the forces of the UN-backed Libyan government said Friday.

* The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday said it evacuated 128 refugees from Libya to Niger. According to the UNHCR, there are currently some 1,000 refugees and asylum-seekers held in official detention centers in Libya.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News