March 11 coronavirus news

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8:58 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Ukraine shuts schools and cancels events after just one case recorded

From Anastasia Graham-Yooll

Medics participate in a coronavirus response exercise at a hospital in Kiev, Ukraine, on February 28.
Medics participate in a coronavirus response exercise at a hospital in Kiev, Ukraine, on February 28. Credit: Stringer/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Ukraine has approved measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus including a three-week quarantine for all schools and a ban on gatherings of more than 200 people.

Gatherings of "state importance" may be exempt and sporting events may take place without spectators, according to a statement on the government's website.

The statement did not specify when the measures would come into force.

Ukraine's capital Kiev will introduce "anti-epidemic measures" from Thursday until the end of March, the city's mayor Vitali Klitschko said Wednesday.

The measures listed by Klitschko include:

  • Shutting down kindergartens, schools, and universities.
  • Restricting mass gatherings and events, including conferences and concerts.
  • Closing movie theaters.
  • Installing "high security and doctor patrols" at shopping malls.

“Friends, don’t panic,” said the mayor in his statement. “We have to be responsible and keep the hygiene protocol. If you’re not feeling well, see the doctor at once.

“Considering the global environment, and the dynamics of the spread coronavirus, there is potential for the state of emergency in the capital."

Ukraine has one case of the virus reported earlier this month, and Kiev has none.

8:44 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Quarantine measures imposed in Spain will affect more than 1.5 million students and their families

From CNN's Laura Perez Maestro in Madrid

A sign with information about coronavirus is posted at a closed school in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday.
A sign with information about coronavirus is posted at a closed school in Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday. Credit: David Benito/ Getty Images

New measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in Spain's "significant transmission areas" take effect today, with more than 1.5 million students affected in Madrid alone.

All schools, nurseries, universities will remain closed for 15 days in the regions of Madrid (where 3,650 institutions will close) and La Rioja, and the Basque cities of Vitoria and Labastida. Four schools in the region of Asturias will close, too.

The Spanish government asked companies to allow employees to work from home where possible and be flexible with hours. It said it will help families financially so they can cover the cost of childcare while these measures are in place.

Patricia Avila, finance director for a logistics company in Madrid and a mother of one, told CNN: “I am lucky, my company allows me to work remotely from home. But I am sure this will last more than 15 days, probably until after Easter at least. I will have to rely on my family and will have to work remotely to deal with this situation, but I can’t be as efficient, there are meetings you have to do in person, it is going to be difficult even for me.”

Regarding the government’s promise of financial aid for families, she said: “I don’t trust them, they won’t be able to help everyone, we don’t even know how long this will last.

“And again, I am lucky, my colleague is having to use her holidays to look after her children while the schools are closed, another colleague has asked for unpaid leave.”

Avila said she was heading to the grocery store after finding the shelves empty the day before.

The Health Ministry’s emergencies coordinator, Fernando Simon, said 2,002 people had tested positive for coronavirus and 47 had died, with half of the cases appearing in Madrid.

He said some hospitals in Madrid were "saturated" and "under stress," but the authorities were solving the uncertainty around a lack of medication.

8:30 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

CNN's Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction podcast looks at the history of viral outbreaks

Each day, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is breaking down the latest news about the coronavirus on the Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction podcast.

In the wake of the coronavirus, what lessons can be learned from past viral outbreaks? In today's episode, Gupta turns to Dr. Howard Markel, a professor of historical medicine, for key context.

You can listen to it here.

8:29 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Big West tournament to be played without spectators

From CNN's Wayne Sterling

The Long Beach State and Cal Poly women's basketball teams play in an empty Walter Pyramid arena during the Big West tournament in Long Beach, California on March 10.
The Long Beach State and Cal Poly women's basketball teams play in an empty Walter Pyramid arena during the Big West tournament in Long Beach, California on March 10. Credit: Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze/Getty Images

The Big West Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in the US will be played without spectators because of the coronavirus pandemic, the conference announced Tuesday.

The Big West Board of Directors, comprised of the chief executive officers of the nine member universities, strongly feel that this is a prudent way to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus while being sensitive to our student-athletes who have pointed towards playing in the tournament all season,” said Big West Commissioner Dennis Farrell. 

He added: “Many of our institutions are developing plans to minimize the interaction of individuals on their campuses that could include the downsizing of events."

The women’s tournament started Tuesday night in Long Beach, California. Both tournaments will be played in Anaheim, California, from Thursday.

8:29 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Iran confirms 958 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, bringing total to 9,000

From CNN’s Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran and Hira Humayun in Atlanta

Iranian firefighters disinfect streets in Tehran, Iran, on Wednesday.
Iranian firefighters disinfect streets in Tehran, Iran, on Wednesday. Credit: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

Iran has confirmed 958 new cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing the overall count to 9,000, according to health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpour on Wednesday.

Speaking on state TV, Jahanpour confirmed 63 new deaths, bringing the death toll to 354.

He advised people to cancel all holiday travel plans and to stay at home.

Iran has the second highest death toll outside mainland China. 

7:51 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Bahrain evacuates 165 citizens from Iran and 77 test positive for coronavirus

From CNN’s Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi

From left: Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed al-Benghdair, chief executive of the National Disaster Commission, and COVID-19 Task Force members Manaf al-Qahtani, alongside Jameela al-Salman, hold a press conference in the Bahraini city of Riffa on February 28.
From left: Lieutenant Colonel Mohammed al-Benghdair, chief executive of the National Disaster Commission, and COVID-19 Task Force members Manaf al-Qahtani, alongside Jameela al-Salman, hold a press conference in the Bahraini city of Riffa on February 28. Credit: Mazen Mahdi/AFP/Getty Images)

Seventy-seven Bahraini nationals evacuated from Iran have tested positive for coronavirus, according to Bahrain’s Ministry of Health.

The 77 were part of a group of 165 Bahraini nationals who were evacuated on a plane from coronavirus-hit Iran on Wednesday.

That flight was the first of several repatriation services that will be evacuating Bahrainis from Iran, the ministry said. 

Iran has more than 8,000 coronavirus cases and 291 deaths, its ministry of health said on Tuesday.  

The positive cases in Bahrain will be moved to a hospital for quarantine, state news agency BHA said. 

Bahrain now has a total of 187 cases.  

7:34 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

New York's containment zone aims to "prevent exposure," says health official

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia in New York

The one-mile radius originates from Temple Young Israel in New Rochelle, New York, according to Governor Cuomo's office.
The one-mile radius originates from Temple Young Israel in New Rochelle, New York, according to Governor Cuomo's office. Credit: Governor Cuomo Press Office

A New York health official told CNN's New Day that the goal of the state's containment zone is to “prevent exposure, because if there is no exposure there is no risk.”

Asked about whether the move had come too late for the city of New Rochelle, Westchester County Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler said “it's never too late, because although we have over a hundred cases, we don’t have thousands of cases yet, and that’s what you want to prevent."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday plans to deploy the National Guard and create a one-mile containment area in New Rochelle in an attempt to stop a growing cluster of coronavirus cases.

“Right now the risk is in large gatherings where there may be individuals who are infected who are capable of spreading the disease,” Amler continued.

She said that in terms of trying to track individual cases, “we’re getting to a point where that’s really not going to be very productive. We have to have a broader -- a broader reach, a broader plan.”

7:24 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

UK health minister contracts coronavirus, days after attending event with PM Boris Johnson

From CNN's Rob Picheta in London

Boris Johnson appears with Nadine Dorries during an event in Wyboston, Bedfordshire, in July 2019.
Boris Johnson appears with Nadine Dorries during an event in Wyboston, Bedfordshire, in July 2019. Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Images/Getty Images

A health minister in Boris Johnson's government has become the first British MP to test positive for coronavirus, raising fears about the potential spread of the disease in Westminster.

Nadine Dorries, who attended a reception with the Prime Minister and his fiancé Carrie Symonds in Downing Street last Thursday, said in a statement on Tuesday that she had been diagnosed with the virus and is in self-isolation.

Health officials are now racing to trace those who have had contact with Dorries, who has kept a busy diary of engagements in and around the UK's political center.

"I can confirm I have tested positive for Coronavirus," Dorries, a junior health minister, said in a statement released through the Department of Health. "As soon as I was informed I took all the advised precautions and have been self-isolating at home."

Her diagnosis raises questions about whether the UK's Parliament will need to be temporarily shut down. Officials confirmed to CNN that there are still no plans to take such a step.

Read the full article here

8:55 a.m. ET, March 11, 2020

Poland to close all schools from Monday after 25 cases confirmed

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy in London

Poland is to shut all schools from Monday in a bid to halt the spread of the coronavirus, after 25 cases were confirmed in the country.

A spokesperson for the Ministry for National Education confirmed to CNN that all schools in Poland will close until March 25. Schools will remain open this week to assist parents unable to sort out last-minute childcare arrangements but no lessons will take place.

Parents of children aged eight or younger who stay at home with their children will be entitled to a care allowance for up to 14 days from the Polish Social Insurance Institution.