Following is a summary of current world news briefs.
Turkey shuts cafes to halt coronavirus spread as cases jump to 47
Turkey will temporarily close cafes, sports and entertainment venues and is suspending mass prayers in mosques in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases rose to 47, authorities said on Monday. Ankara also extended a flight ban to six more countries including Britain and the United Arab Emirates, bringing the total number of countries to 20, the health minister said.
Coronavirus causes historic market drop, global scramble to contain 'invisible enemy'
Coronavirus fears led to a historic drop in U.S. stocks, shut borders and disrupted daily life around the world, as governments took increasingly drastic measures to try to reduce the severity of the global outbreak. Financial markets had their worst day in 30 years despite emergency action by global central banks to try to prevent a recession, with U.S. stock markets falling 12% to 13%, wiping out trillions of dollars in market value.
Italy pumps cash into coronavirus-hit economy as death toll passes 2,000
Italy approved 25 billion euros ($28 billion) of spending measures on Monday to help the fragile economy survive the onslaught of coronavirus as the death toll in Europe's worst-affected country jumped above 2,000. The decree throws a financial lifeline to families and firms who face hardship after the government last week ordered a draconian lockdown on the entire country to stem the contagion.
El Salvador suspends flights, accuses Mexico of letting coronavirus patients board plane
President Nayib Bukele suspended passenger flights to El Salvador on Monday after accusing Mexico of allowing a dozen people with coronavirus to board a flight to San Salvador, an assertion quickly questioned by Mexico's government. Bukele did not provide evidence for the claim, which he made on Twitter. He described Mexican authorities as "irresponsible."
'We are at war': France imposes lockdown to combat virus
French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday ordered stringent restrictions on people's movement to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and said the army would be drafted in to help move the sick to hospitals. France had already shut down restaurants and bars, closed schools and put ski resorts off limits, but Macron said measures unprecedented in peacetime were needed as the number of infected people doubled every three days and deaths spiraled higher.
In bid to slow coronavirus, Canada shuts borders to foreign nationals
Canada closed its borders to all foreign nationals except U.S. citizens and permanent residents on Monday, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging people to limit social contact to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. Several other countries have taken the same step. The 27-nation European Union proposed shutting its external borders for 30 days on Monday.
Special Report: 'All is well'. In Italy, triage and lies for virus patients
The fight against death pauses every day at 1 p.m. At that time, doctors in the intensive care unit of Policlinico San Donato phone relatives of the unit's 25 critically-ill coronavirus patients, all of whom are sedated and have tubes down their throats to breathe, to update the families. Lunchtime used to be for visiting hours at this Milan hospital. But now, as the country grapples with a coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 2,000 people, no visitors are allowed in. And no one in Italy leaves their homes anymore.
UK closes down social life as coronavirus outbreak accelerates
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday shut down social life in Britain and ordered the most vulnerable to isolate for 12 weeks, ramping up the battle against a coronavirus outbreak just as it accelerates towards it peak. Johnson had faced a backlash after his government took a less stringent approach to tackling the virus than countries such as Italy, France and Spain which have effectively locked down much of Europe.
Irish PM expects 15,000 coronavirus cases by end of March
Ireland expects its number of coronavirus cases to increase to around 15,000 by the end of the month from 223 currently, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Monday, as the government advised against all non-essential travel overseas until then. Ireland has so far closed all schools, universities, bars and childcare facilities until March 29 and limited mass gatherings in a bid to curb the spread of the virus that has so far led to two deaths.
U.S. seen spurning China's coronavirus-linked call for Iran sanctions relief
The United States is unlikely to ease sanctions on Iran despite an appeal from China that it do so because of the coronavirus pandemic, sources familiar with the matter said, arguing that Tehran continues what Washington regards as its malign behavior. The sources, who included a U.S. official, diplomats and analysts, noted Washington has made offers to help Tehran with the outbreak but these have been spurned by Tehran.