States report over 4,500 new coronavirus cases during 24-hour period
From CNN's Amanda Watts
US states reported 4,581 new cases of novel coronavirus over the last 24 hours, according to a tally by CNN.
CNN had tallied at least 8,898 cases with 149 deaths at 6 a.m. ET Thursday, rising to 13,479 total cases, with 196 deaths, one day later.
This is an increase of 4,581 cases and 47 deaths.
A week ago, on March 13, CNN was reporting 1,666 cases and 41 deaths.
These tallies include all cases detected and tested in the United States through the public health system across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories.
Members of the White House Task Force and public health officials have been warning the number of cases in the United States would be increasing as more testing is completed.
7:58 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020
Italy's Conte promises task force of 300 doctors for worst-hit areas
From CNN’s Valentina DiDonato in Rome
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte promised that 300 doctors will form a task force made up of people from all over Italy to support the areas of the country most critically affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The doctors participating will be volunteers, his office said in a statement Thursday.
"We are supporting the community that are on the front line to deal with this emergency, we continue to fight this battle with them," reads the statement.
7:45 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020
Coronavirus cases in Germany increase by nearly 3,000 in 24 hours
From Nadine Schmidt in Berlin
The number of coronavirus cases in Germany jumped by 2,958 in the last 24 hours to a total of 13,957, the head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany's federal public health agency, said Friday.
There have been 31 total deaths as a result of coronavirus, with 11 fatalities in the last 24 hours, said RKI chief Lothar Wieler at a press conference in Berlin.
''We will see more fatalities over the next few weeks -- including here in Germany," Wieler said.
The head of the RKI also warned about hospital capacity in the country.
"More people will get infected; more people will be admitted to the emergency room and more people will require respiratory aid and therefore we have to fear that there will not be enough ventilator places," Wieler said.
Germany is only at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, Wieler warned. He urged people to keep their distance to fight the pandemic, but said it is up to local authorities to decide on specific measures designed to achieve that.
He went on to issue a stark warning.
"If there are still people in our country who don't believe this, who don't believe me, who think that this is panic making, then I can only call upon them to finally open their eyes to this reality," he said.
"If everyone sticks to what is set, we can slow down this epidemic by the maximum possible."
7:37 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020
Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace canceled until further notice
From CNN’s James Frater in London
The Changing the Guard ceremony at London's Buckingham Palace has been canceled until further notice in light of the coronavirus outbreak, Royal Communications said in a statement Friday.
"In line with Government advice to avoid mass gatherings, it has been agreed that the ceremonial of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and Windsor Castle will be postponed until further notice," reads the statement.
"Advice will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, with a view to restarting when appropriate."
7:20 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020
New Delhi and Maharashtra impose restrictions and suspend government services
From CNN's Swati Gupta in New Delhi
India’s capital city of New Delhi announced restrictions on businesses and government services starting Friday, as did the country's second most populous state of Maharashtra.
Under measures that will extend through March 31, all non-essential services in Maharashtra state will shut down, according to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. This includes the city of Mumbai.
All stores except ones providing essential commodities will be closed, and government services will be carried out by just 25% of the state’s employees. Public transport will continue to run for the time being.
Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of New Delhi, also announced the shutdown of all non-essential government services. “In view of the prevailing situation, we are closing down all Malls (except grocery, pharmacy and vegtable (sic) shops in them),” tweeted Arvind Kejriwal.
7:16 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020
Man arrested for breaching coronavirus self-isolation rules on Isle of Man
From CNN's Jack Guy in London
A 26-year-old man has been arrested on the Isle of Man for breaching coronavirus self-isolation rules, according to a police spokesman.
The man was detained after refusing to self-isolate upon arriving from England by boat, and could face a three-month jail sentence or a £10,000 ($11,800) fine, an Isle of Man Police spokesman told CNN.
Anyone who travels to the Isle of Man -- a small British crown dependency that sits in the Irish Sea, between Britain and Ireland -- must self-isolate for 14 days under rules designed to stop the spread of coronavirus introduced Monday.
You can’t currently be arrested for not self-quarantining in the UK.
6:51 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020
More than 100,000 French citizens stranded abroad must show “patience,” says foreign minister
From CNN’s Barbara Wojazer in Paris
The 130,000 French citizens currently stranded abroad must show “patience” as the government is trying to ensure they can return to the country, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Friday.
Le Drian said the government was working on enabling their return “as fast as possible” but did not give an exact deadline.
French nationals who travel back to France would still be expected to pay for their ticket, he added.
Le Drian also encouraged French citizens living abroad to stay in their country of residence.
6:31 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020
Hong Kong confirms largest single day increase in cases
From Vanessa Yung and Isaac Yee in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has confirmed 48 new cases of coronavirus Friday in the largest single day increase there since the outbreak began.
Thirty-six of the new cases have recent travel history to countries including Singapore, the UK, the US, Canada, Thailand and Switzerland, according to Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan of the Center for Health Protection.
The 48 new cases bring Hong Kong's total number of cases to 257, of which 106 patients are in stable condition and one is in critical condition.
Hong Kong also confirmed that the pet dog of a confirmed case tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to Dr. Thomas Sit of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
6:06 a.m. ET, March 20, 2020
EU open to Brexit deadline extension due to coronavirus crisis
From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin
The European Union is open to requests from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to extend the Brexit deadline in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Brexit talks are continuing despite the fact that the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has tested positive for coronavirus, Von der Leyen said Friday in an interview with Germany's Deutschlandfunk radio station.
Von der Leyen also called on all EU member states to support companies suffering from the coronavirus crisis.
''Money must be pumped into the economy to build a bridge for the companies'' in these difficult times, and ''once the virus is tackled, we need all the companies we are supporting now to help the economy," she said.
The bloc will do everything to support the economy '"without ifs and buts," said Von der Leyen, adding that the Commission is considering ''relaxing the debt rules.”
“It's right to be flexible now and generous," she said.