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Coronavirus: at a glance | World news

Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:

European clinical trial launched

A European clinical trial involving some 3,200 people has been launched to test four possible experimental coronavirus treatments, French public health research body Inserm has said. Participants will have been hospitalised with coronavirus and are expected to be drawn from Belgium, the UK, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and the Netherlands.

UK residents asked to self-isolate in their ‘primary residences’

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has stressed that “essential travel” does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. The statement on the updated guidance comes as people travel to remote and rural areas to try to escape the outbreak, drawing criticism from Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and Plaid Cymru’s leader, Adam Price.

National guard deployed in New York and California

Rand Paul has become the first US senator to test positive for Covid-19 as it emerged that New York is a hotspot for the virus, accounting for 5% of cases worldwide. At a press conference, Donald Trump announced the national guard would be deployed to the city along with the states of Washington and California to help deal with the outbreak. Meanwhile Democrats have blocked an economic stimulus package, claiming it favoured big business over the rights of workers.

Syria’s health minister announces the country’s first case

The war-torn country’s health minister, Nizar Yazigi, has announced the country’s first confirmed coronavirus case. Yazigi said that “necessary measures” had been taken regarding the patient, who reportedly had come from abroad. The minister said they would be quarantined for 14 days and given medical checks.

2020 Olympic Games could be postponed

The International Olympic Committee has set itself a four-week deadline to make a decision about Tokyo 2020. The committee is considering postponing the Games, saying cancellation is “not on the agenda”. It said in a statement: “These scenarios relate to modifying existing operational plans for the Games to go ahead on 24 July 2020, and also for changes to the start date of the Games.” A “scaled-down” Games will also be considered.

Georgian municipalities shut down

The Georgian prime minister, Giorgi Gakharia, has announced that the government is shutting down the municipalities of Marneuli and Bolnisi, south of the capital city of Tbilisi. The move comes as reportedly the Georgian healthcare authorities could not identify the source for the latest case confirmed in Marneuli, and follows the country’s declaration of a state of emergency on Saturday.

NHS to contact 1.5 million UK ‘vulnerable’ residents

As part of the UK government’s “shielding” strategy, the NHS will contact those who are considered to be particularly vulnerable to the virus to advise them to stay at home for 12 weeks. The government will be rolling out a network of local “hubs” to distribute medicine and food via local authorities to those in need. Emergency services and armed forces will support this effort.

Costa Rica announces 17 more cases, bringing the total to 134

President Carlos Alvarado urged Costa Ricans not to drop their guard against the virus as the nation has gone into lockdown. The country has the second largest outbreak in Central America after Panama, which has seen confirmed cases rise to 245 and three deaths this weekend. Meanwhile, Guatemala has entered an eight-day curfew.

First Covid-19 patient dies in the Czech Republic

A 95-year-old Czech man infected with coronavirus has become country’s first victim of the pandemic, the chief of the Czech crisis committee has said. Reuters reported that the patient was said to have been suffering from pre-existing health conditions. The death comes as the Czech Republic reaches 1,120 cases.

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