The latest information on the coronavirus pandemic from around the world.

CONGRESS CONSIDERS ‘URGENT FEDERAL ACTION’ TO EASE ECONOMIC BLOW

With an urgency unseen since the Great Recession, Congress is rushing to develop a sweeping economic lifeline for American households and businesses suddenly capsized by the coronavirus outbreak.

Democrats said at least $750 billion would be needed.

“We will need big, bold, urgent federal action to deal with this crisis,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said.

Republicans often reluctant to spend federal dollars did not flinch at the head-spinning number, as a roster of America’s big and small industries – airlines, hotels, retailers – lined up for aid.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wants a “comprehensive” approach with “significant steps” for the economy, particularly Main Street businesses. He opened the Senate on Monday with a message to Americans: “The Senate stands with you.”

The rush to inject an infusion of cash and resources into the economy is an effort unlike any since the 2008 economic crisis, with political and economic interventions and eye-popping sums to try to protect Americans from the health and financial fallout.

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CANADA CLOSES BORDERS TO NON-CITIZENS

TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he will close the country’s borders to anyone not a citizen, an American or a permanent resident and asked all Canadians to say home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“All Canadians as much as possible should stay home,” Trudeau said said outside his residence, where is self isolating after his wife tested positive for the virus.

Trudeau said his government based its decisions on science and public health recommendations ,but said Americans would exempted despite cases surging in the U.S.

“We recognize that the level of integration of our two economies,” he said.

The U.S. is by far Canada’s largest trading partner — accounting for 75 percent of the country’s exports. Trudeau has spoken to U.S. President Donald Trump in recent days.

Trudeau also said his government will restrict flights to Canada to airports in four major cities. The Canadian government is also mandating air carriers to screen passengers with symptoms of the novel coronavirus out of lines so they don’t board planes home.

He said the country is taking “increasingly aggressive steps” to keep everyone safe.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA TELLS EVERYONE TO SHELTER IN PLACE

Officials in six San Francisco Bay Area counties issued a shelter-in-place mandate on Monday affecting nearly 7 million people, including the city of San Francisco itself.

The order says residents must stay inside and venture out only for necessities for three weeks starting Tuesday in a desperate attempt by officials to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

If affects the counties of San Francisco, Marin, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda and Contra Costa, as well as the city of Berkeley.

People should work from home and unless they provide essential services, such as public safety, sanitation and medical services.

“The most important thing you can do is remain home as much as possible,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed posted on Twitter. “There is no need to rush out for food or supplies, as these stores will remain open.

The dramatic step came officials across California took increasingly strident steps to separate people and contain the spread of coronavirus, promoting millions of the state’s oldest and youngest residents to stay home Monday.

NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY, CONNECTICUT CLOSES BUSINESSES

NEW YORK — Bars and restaurants will become takeout-only and businesses from movie theaters to gyms and beyond will be shuttered Monday night throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut because of the coronavirus, the states’ governors said.

The governors said essential businesses such as supermarkets and gas stations will be able to stay open after 8 p.m. Monday, though all non-essential businesses must close. Restaurants will be able to offer take-out and delivery.

The steps mark the latest escalation of efforts to keep people apart in the New York metropolitan area in hopes of curbing the spread of the virus, and an attempt to coordinate a regional response in the face of what the states’ Democratic governors called lagging federal action.

“We’ve got to work through this together. The feds have been asleep at the switch,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont told reporters on a conference call.

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SUPREME COURT CALLS OFF ARGUMENTS FOR FIRST TIME IN 102 YEARS

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced Monday it would not hold oral arguments during the next two weeks due to the cononarvirus, the first postponement of its kind since 1918.

“In keeping with public health precautions recommended in response to COVID-19, the Supreme Court is postponing the oral arguments currently scheduled for the March session (March 23-25 and March 30-April 1). The court will examine the options for rescheduling those cases in due course in light of the developing circumstances,” the court’s public information office said in a statement.

The court had been scheduled to hear arguments in several high-profile cases, including President Donald Trump’s appeal of three lower court rulings that would require his accountants to disclose his tax returns to several House committees and to a New York district attorney.

It is not clear whether the postponement will change how or when the court decides those cases. Typically, the justices hear oral arguments through the end of April and issue opinions in those cases by the end of June. But both schedules can be changed. The justices have at times heard arguments in May and have not released their final rulings until July.

The court said the justices would hold a regularly scheduled conference on Friday morning to consider pending appeals. But the announcement said some of the justices might participate by phone.

The virus is particularly dangerous for older people. The court’s two oldest members are Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who marked her 87th birthday on Sunday, and Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who is 81.

The court said the postponement of argument sessions was “not unprecedented. The court postponed scheduled arguments for October 1918 in response to the Spanish flu epidemic. The court also shortened its argument calendars in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to yellow fever outbreaks.”

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TRUMP URGES PUBLIC TO ‘RELAX,’ STOP HOARDING

Trump urges public to ‘relax,’ stop hoarding

President Trump is urging the public to stop hoarding groceries, telling Americans to “take it easy” and “relax.”

Trump’s Sunday message comes as many supermarket shelves across the country have been picked bare, with people stockpiling supplies like canned goods and toilet paper.

Trump said at a White House briefing that stores are working to keep up with demand, but added “there’s no need for anyone in the country to hoard” essentials.

“You don’t have to buy so much. Take it easy. Just relax” because “it all will pass,” the president said, adding: “Can you buy a little bit less, please?”

Trump held a call earlier Sunday with the officials from the nation’s leading grocery stores. He said he was told the stores are stocking up even more than they would around Christmas time.

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FED SLASHES RATE TO NEAR ZERO, EASES LENDING RULES

The Federal Reserve took emergency action Sunday and slashed its benchmark interest rate by a full percentage point to nearly zero and announced it would purchase more Treasury securities to encourage lending to try to offset the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The central bank said the effects of the outbreak will weigh on economic activity in the near term and pose risks to the economic outlook. The central bank said it will keep rates at nearly zero until it feels confident the economy has weathered recent events.

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CALIFORNIA CALLS FOR CLOSURE OF ALL BARS, WINERIES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday called for all bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs to close in the nation’s most populous state and urged seniors and people with chronic health conditions to isolate themselves at home in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The state also will reduce occupancy in restaurants by half to keep people farther away from each other, Newsom said at a news conference.

“We require social distancing in these establishments,” the governor said, using the phrase that’s become part of everyday conversation about keeping away from other people to prevent the spread of the illness.

It comes as the governors in Illinois and Ohio shut down all bars and restaurants and officials elsewhere said they were considering similar restrictions.

In California, the new orders are “guidelines” that “we have the capacity to enforce if necessary,” Newsom said.

The state has confirmed 335 cases of the virus and recorded its sixth death.

BOSTON RESTAURANTS TO CLOSE EARLY, CUT DINERS

Restaurants and bars in Boston will have to reduce their dining room capacity by half and close early in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the city’s mayor announced Sunday.

Mayor Marty Walsh detailed the new rules on the same day that he declared a city public health emergency. That’s a formal step that city officials say will speed up the response to the virus and enable the city to seek state and federal aid.

The number of people infected with the virus in Massachusetts increased on Sunday to 164, up from 138 on Saturday.

Under the mayor’s order, restaurants will have to remove half of their tables and chairs to give diners more space and reduce the risk of transmission. In addition, lines outside restaurants will be prohibited, and all eateries will have to close at 11 p.m.

Drive-through restaurants and delivery and take-out restaurants will be exempt from the rules. Restaurants that violate the new rules are subject to an automatic 30-day closure.

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ITALY REPORTS 368 DEATHS IN LAST DAY

The number of cases of COVID-19 in Italy has surged higher again.

Some 3,590 more cases of the coronavirus were reported in a 24-hour period, nearly 100 more than the increase as the day before. The additional infections reported Sunday represent the country’s biggest day-to-day increase.

Italy’s Civil Protection chief Angelo Borrelli announced the latest number of cases, bringing the total number of people with the new coronavirus to 24,747. The number of deaths increased by 368 to 1,809.

According to the World Health Organization, the vast majority of people who get COVID-19 recover within weeks.

Italy’s national health institute chief Silvio Brusaferro said it is not known if Italy is reaching its peak and might start seeing the number of new cases decline.


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