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Coronavirus: How the spread of disease is impacting 'the global village'

An Iranian woman wears a protective mask to prevent contracting coronavirus, as she is seen at a drug store in Tehran, Iran February 25, 2020.
An Iranian woman wears a protective mask to prevent contracting coronavirus, as she is seen at a drug store in Tehran, Iran February 25, 2020. REUTERS
4 min

As European stock markets slumped more than 2.0 percent at the start of trading on Thursday on surging cases of coronavirus outside China, the following is a non-exhaustive list of events and gatherings which have been cancelled or postponed, along with other developments due to the continuing worldwide spread of infections. It will be updated regularly.


There have been more than 82,100 infections and 2,800 deaths worldwide, according to the latest statistics from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

The number of deaths in China -- where the virus was first detected -- has declined, with 29 deaths reported on Thursday, the lowest daily figure in almost a month.

Here are some of the latest developments:

  • Cases of the virus have appeared in nine new countries -- Romania, Algeria, Austria, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Norway, Pakistan and Switzerland -- bringing the number of countries hit to more than 45.
  • The organiser of Geneva's international fine watch trade fair have decided to cancel the April event because of the spread of the new coronavirus.

  • Saudi Arabia on Thursday suspended visas for visits to Islam's holiest sites for the "umrah" pilgrimage, an unprecedented move triggered by coronavirus fears that raises questions over the annual hajj.

  • A cruise ship carrying 6,000 people which was turned away by Jamaica and the Cayman Islands after a crew member tested positive for seasonal flu has now docked in Mexico.

  • Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said the country considered the new coronavirus to be a pandemic on Thursday, going a step beyond the World Health Organisation as he extended a travel ban on visitors from China.

  • Authorities in Taiwan have accused Chinese internet trolls of sowing panic over the coronavirus outbreak, with much of the disinformation falsely implying the island has an out-of-control epidemic. Police say they are investigating a surge of stories spreading online and through social media claiming President Tsai Ing-wen's government is trying to cover up a major outbreak.

  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday urged schools nationwide to close for several weeks to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, as authorities reported the country's fourth death linked to the outbreak.

  • American President Donald Trump has played down fears of a major coronavirus outbreak in the United States, even as infections ricochet around the world. Trump's upbeat comments contradict US health officials who have urged Americans to be ready to cancel mass gatherings and work from home. There are 60 cases in the US so far.

  • The US and South Korean militaries on Thursday postponed forthcoming joint exercises as the Asian country announced its biggest increase in coronavirus cases to date. The United States has 28,500 troops in South Korea.

  • A woman in Japan who contracted the new coronavirus and was released from hospital after recovering has tested positive again, officials said Thursday. The case is the first time a patient apparently cleared of the virus has subsequently tested positive for it, according to a local official in Osaka.

  • Japan is at a "crossroads" in its bid to prevent a major coronavirus outbreak and may need to reconsider the Olympics if domestic transmissions are not brought under control, an expert advising the government has warned.

  • Crew members from the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess, currently moored off Japan, began leaving the vessel Thursday for a new quarantine on-shore after passengers left the boat, the Tokyo government said.

  • Denmark reported its first coronavirus case on Thursday, a man who recently returned from a skiing holiday in northern Italy which has become a hotspot for the disease.

  • Greece on Thursday cancelled all carnival festivities planned for the weekend as two new coronavirus cases were found in the northern city of Thessaloniki and Athens, raising the total to three, officials said.

  • A double blow of the coronavirus and a new salary cap has seen the bottom fall out of Chinese football's transfer market, due to close on Friday.

  • Ireland's Six Nations rugby match against Italy planned for Dublin on 7 March has been postponed to a later date.

  • Several major companies say their sales will be hit by the epidemic, including British drinks group Diageo, the maker of Guinness stout and Smirnoff vodka, French food giant Danone, and American air company United Airlines.

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