Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Portugal restricts movement to stem coronavirus, rules out rationing
Portugal's government told people to stay indoors but assured them there would be enough food on the shelves as a nationwide state of emergency to combat the coronavirus outbreak began on Thursday. For at least 15 days, all non-essential businesses will be closed to customers, although restaurants will be allowed to provide takeaway services. The government recommended that people work from home if possible.
Bavaria head more popular than Merkel in midst of coronavirus crisis
The premier of the southern state of Bavaria, Markus Soeder, is Germany's most popular politician, a poll showed on Friday, boosting his chances of standing as the conservative chancellor candidate in the next election and succeeding Angela Merkel. During the coronavirus crisis, which has hit Bavaria particularly hard, Soeder has impressed commentators by introducing tough steps to restrict social contact before the rest of Germany while displaying a calm and reassuring air.
Coronavirus deaths in Italy overtake China as economic damage mounts
The world's richest nations poured unprecedented aid into the global economy on Thursday as coronavirus cases ballooned in the new epicentre Europe, with the number of deaths in Italy outstripping those in mainland China, where the virus originated. With over 242,000 infections and nearly 10,000 deaths, the epidemic has stunned the world and drawn comparisons with painful periods such as World War Two, the 2008 financial crisis and the 1918 Spanish flu.
Spain to help nursing homes, most vulnerable as coronavirus deaths climb
Spanish authorities promised to take special measures to prevent more deaths from coronavirus in nursing homes after cases of mass contagion there swelled the country's death toll to 767 on Thursday, 209 more than the previous day. The government also promised that no one in a "difficult situation" would have home utility services cut for nonpayment.
Watching patients die alone breaks doctors' hearts in provincial Italy hospital
Doctor Romano Paolucci, who came out of retirement to help at a hospital in Italy's coronavirus epicenter, says one of the hardest things for him is not so much seeing people die - he is used to that. It is seeing them die alone, without a loved one by their side, often having to say their final farewell over a scratchy cell phone line.
Exclusive: Trump cancels G7 at Camp David over coronavirus, to hold video-conference instead
President Donald Trump will cancel an in-person meeting of G7 leaders at Camp David in June because of the coronavirus and will hold a video-conference instead, the White House said on Thursday. The decision comes as nations around the world seal their borders and ban travel to stop the virus' spread.
U.N. condemns Libya shelling deaths after coronavirus truce plea
The United Nations Libya mission condemned a shelling attack on Thursday that it said killed four girls and young women hours after international pleas for a humanitarian pause to help with the fight against the coronavirus. It said in a tweet that the four, aged 14 to 20, as well as five others including an 11-year-old, were hit during "indiscriminate shelling affecting a civilian neighborhood in Ain Zara, reportedly by LNA forces".
Argentina to announce obligatory quarantine to curb coronavirus: sources
Argentina will announce an obligatory quarantine to curb the spread of coronavirus, provincial government sources said on Thursday. The quarantine will be in effect from midnight on Friday morning until March 31, the sources said.
Under emergency law, Jordan seals capital to contain coronavirus
Jordan's army sealed off the capital from the rest of the country on Thursday as the country put its 10 million people on lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus, witnesses and officials said. Army checkpoints on main entrances to the sprawling capital of more than 3 million inhabitants began imposing a ban that allows entry only to vehicles carrying essential goods or people with authorized business from other provinces, witnesses said.
Canada-U.S. border to close as early as Friday as Canadians overseas try to get home
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that he expected the closure of the U.S.-Canada border to take effect overnight on Friday and was working with domestic carriers to bring home citizens stranded overseas. Canada, which closed its borders this week to most foreign nationals, agreed with the United States to close their shared border to "non-essential traffic" to curb transmission of the novel coronavirus.