March 25 coronavirus news

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8:06 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Thailand announces state of emergency starting tomorrow until April 30

Medical staff prepare to test people for coronavirus at a drive-through testing center in Bangkok on March 25.
Medical staff prepare to test people for coronavirus at a drive-through testing center in Bangkok on March 25. Jack Taylor/AFP/Getty Images

A state of emergency for Thailand will come into effect starting tomorrow, as the country combats the novel coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced on Wednesday.

The state of emergency will be in place until April 30.

Prayut said supplies of food and other necessities will be "adequately available," and urged citizens to comply with the order to prevent the virus from spreading in the community.

However, he did not specify what new measures will be implemented.

"Some may feel they lose their rights and freedom, but this is for protecting you, your family’s lives, and that of every Thais," he said.

"If everyone understands, follows strictly and seriously, soon I am confident we will pass through this crisis together."

7:58 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Vladimir Putin cancels flight, will address Russia on Covid-19 shortly

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks in Sevastopol, Crimea, on March 18.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks in Sevastopol, Crimea, on March 18. Alexander Nemenov/Pool/AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin will address the nation shortly on the pandemic and measures to contain the coronavirus, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.

Peskov told reporters in a conference call that Putin had canceled a flight to St. Petersburg to work on the text of the speech and would address citizens in the coming hours. 

The announcement followed a visit by Putin on Tuesday to a hospital for coronavirus patients in Moscow and a meeting with his top economic and political advisers.  

Russian state television said Putin’s remarks would be broadcast at approximately 3:00 p.m. Moscow time on Wednesday (right about now).

Putin has previously insisted his country managed to stop the mass spread of coronavirus -- and that the situation was "under control," thanks to early and aggressive measures to keep more people from getting the disease.

7:46 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Get up to speed with the latest coronavirus pandemic developments

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks to reporters after arriving at the U.S. Capitol to continue negotiations on a $2 trillion economic stimulus in response to the coronavirus pandemic, on March 24.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks to reporters after arriving at the U.S. Capitol to continue negotiations on a $2 trillion economic stimulus in response to the coronavirus pandemic, on March 24. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A record deal: White House and Congressional leaders worked into the early hours of Wednesday morning to strike a deal on a $2 trillion stimulus package to give the US economy a much needed respite from the dire effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the measures enacted to limit its spread.

Spain's death toll climbs: Spain has overtaken China in the number of Covid-19 deaths, rising to the second highest worldwide after Italy.

Italy surpasses Hubei, issues jail threat: Italy now has more confirmed cases than the Chinese province of Hubei, the original epicenter of the pandemic. Rome announced strict new punishments to try and clamp down on the outbreak, including possible jail time for people who have the virus and violate quarantine.

Prince Charles tests positive: The Queen's son and the first in line to the British throne has tested positive for coronavirus and is now self-isolating in Scotland.

India lockdown: 1.3 billion people have woken up to a nation-wide lockdown in India. Under the new rules, all Indians must stay at home and all nonessential services such as public transport, malls and markets will be shut down for 21 days.

Antipodean isolation: Australia and New Zealand are hoping that recently enacted travel restrictions combined with their geography -- specifically that they have no land borders with other countries -- will help them combat the spread of the virus.

US sees deadliest day: At least 163 people died Tuesday, bringing the US death toll past 700, as the WHO warned the country could be the next epicenter of the virus. More than 52,000 people have been infected with the virus throughout the country.

7:42 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Spain overtakes China in Covid-19 deaths, rising to second worldwide

Deceased victims of the virus are transported to the Palacio de Hielo ice rink in Madrid on Tuesday, which has been converted into a morgue.
Deceased victims of the virus are transported to the Palacio de Hielo ice rink in Madrid on Tuesday, which has been converted into a morgue. Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Spain has recorded 3,434 deaths from coronavirus, the health ministry announced Wednesday – making it the country with the second highest death toll in the world.

That’s an increase of over 27% on Tuesday’s figures. The country now has 47,610 cases in total. 

In China, where the outbreak began, 3,281 people have died, according to its National Health Commission.

Italy has the highest death toll in the world at 6,820, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

A top Spanish health official, Fernando Simon, said Wednesday that he expects the number of Covid-19 cases to continue increasing in the coming days, despite having said earlier this week that he expected infections to peak soon.

7:25 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

The Queen last came into contact with Prince Charles on March 12

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles are pictured during the State Opening of Parliament in December 2019.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles are pictured during the State Opening of Parliament in December 2019. Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II "remains in good health", Buckingham Palace said in a statement following the news that the Queen's eldest son, Prince Charles, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, are currently in Windsor, outside London, while Prince Charles is in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The last time Charles came into contact with the 93-year old monarch was on March 12, after he conducted an investiture ceremony for public awards at Buckingham Palace.

On the same say, he attended a dinner in aid of the Australian bushfire relief efforts in London, his last known public engagement.

7:09 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Prince Charles, 71-year-old heir to throne, tests positive for virus; Queen 'in good health'

Prince Charles, pictured on March 12 in London.
Prince Charles, pictured on March 12 in London. Eamonn M. McCormack/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Charles, the Queen's son and the first in line to the British throne, has tested positive for coronavirus and is now self-isolating in Scotland.

Here's the statement from Clarence House:

“The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus. He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual. 

"The Duchess of Cornwall has also been tested but does not have the virus. In accordance with government and medical advice, the Prince and the Duchess are now self-isolating at home in Scotland. The tests were carried out by the NHS in Aberdeenshire where they met the criteria required for testing.

“It is not possible to ascertain from whom the Prince caught the virus owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks.”

The palace added the Queen "remains in good health."

This post has been updated.

6:47 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

China to resume domestic flights to and from Wuhan

The Wuhan Tianhe airport in Wuhan has been closed to passenger flights since the city was locked down on January 23 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
The Wuhan Tianhe airport in Wuhan has been closed to passenger flights since the city was locked down on January 23 due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

China will resume domestic passenger flights to and from Wuhan starting April 8, when travel restrictions placed on the original epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak are to be lifted, according to the Hubei provincial transportation authority.

Speaking on Wednesday, the authority's deputy head Wang Benju said that while most domestic flights will resume, all flights from Wuhan to Beijing and international destinations will remain suspended.

On Tuesday, the Hubei provincial government announced that travel restrictions on Wuhan will be lifted on April 8, and residents that have been issued green health QR codes will be able to leave the city and move about.

5:52 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Head of German diseases control and prevention agency says “we are at the beginning of the epidemic"

Lothar Wieler, President of Germany's Robert Koch Institute, gives a press conference on the spread of the novel coronavirus in Germany on March 23, in Berlin.
Lothar Wieler, President of Germany's Robert Koch Institute, gives a press conference on the spread of the novel coronavirus in Germany on March 23, in Berlin. Bernd von Jutrczenka/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

The President of Germany's Robert Koch Institute, the national agency for disease control and prevention, has warned that the coronavirus epidemic is just starting in the country.

“We are at the beginning of the epidemic and the number is growing,” Lothar Wieler said.

Addressing the comparatively low death rate in Germany, Wieler said “We don’t know why this is the case but there are several factors playing into it.”

There was widespread testing in Germany and many mildly ill people were detected, he said. And there hasn't been a large number of old people who have fallen sick so far.

But Wieler warned that it is completely "open ended how this epidemic will develop," and added that the death death toll will rise in Germany.

5:50 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Germany's parliament debates coronavirus aid package

Members of the Bundestag rise to applaud medical and emergency workers on the front line of the nationwide struggle against the coronavirus prior to debates and the likely passing of a massive federal financial aid package to shore Germany up against the effects of the virus on March 25 in Berlin.
Members of the Bundestag rise to applaud medical and emergency workers on the front line of the nationwide struggle against the coronavirus prior to debates and the likely passing of a massive federal financial aid package to shore Germany up against the effects of the virus on March 25 in Berlin. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The German Parliament is debating a financial aid package to help combat the coronavirus.

The package would be around 750 billion euros ($812 billion) and is expected to be ratified quickly, German chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday.

Senior German conservative Ralph Brinkhaus, who is parliamentary leader in Merkel's CDU party, said on Wednesday that, ''this will probably not be the last aid package we agree upon here."

Earlier this week, Merkel hailed the emergency aid package as ''unprecedented."

Germany's Bundesrat -- the federal council representing the country's 16 federal states -- is set to approve the emergency aid package on Friday.