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Toll rises, economies struggle: Latest coronavirus developments worldwide

Death toll has surged above 3,500 worldwide, with 105,000 cases recorded in 95 countries and territories

This undated electron microscope image made available by the US National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. (NIAID-RML via AP)
This undated electron microscope image made available by the US National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. (NIAID-RML via AP)

With new tolls and key developments, here is the latest in the coronavirus crisis.

More than 3,550 deaths
Across the world there have been almost 105,000 cases recorded in 95 countries and territories with 3,556 deaths, according to AFP’s latest toll based on official sources at 1700 GMT Saturday.

The main countries affected are mainland China (80,651 cases, 3,070 deaths), South Korea (6,767 cases, 44 deaths), Italy (5,883 cases, 233 deaths), Iran, (5,823 cases, 145 deaths), France (949 cases, 16 deaths) and Germany (785 cases, no deaths).

Colombia, Costa Rica, Maldives and Malta have announced their first cases.

Cruise passengers
The coronavirus was detected in 21 out of 46 people tested on board the cruise ship Grand Princess, moored off the coast of California with 3,533 passengers and crew members.

In this image from video, provided by the California National Guard, a helicopter carrying airmen with the 129th Rescue Wing flies over the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California, March 5, 2020. (California National Guard via AP)

Closures
Russia has closed its borders to foreign travellers from Iran.

The European Central Bank (ECB) asked 3,700 employees based in Frankfurt to carry out a day of telework on Monday, to test its emergency plan in the event of confinement.

Facebook has closed its London offices and part of its premises in Singapore after a worker tested positive.

Nurseries and schools will be closed for two weeks from Monday in two French departments, Oise and Haut-Rhin, where outbreaks have occurred.

Italian reinforcements
Italy is to recruit 20,000 health care staff including retired doctors for hospitals and might create new quarantine zones.

Pope’s prayer
Pope Francis has decided to deliver Sunday’s Angelus prayer by livestream to keep crowds from gathering on Saint Peter’s Square.

Quarantine hotel collapse
Around 70 people were trapped when a hotel used as a coronavirus quarantine facility in eastern China collapsed.

Rescuers work in the rubble of a collapsed hotel in Quanzhou, in China’s eastern Fujian province on March 7, 2020 (STR / AFP)

Economy
Chinese exports plunged 17.2 percent year-on-year in January-February.

Stock markets, oil prices and interest rates on sovereign debt have plunged.

Cancellations
The big cultural festival South by Southwest, which was to be held in mid-March in Austin, Texas, is cancelled.

The Scotland-France rugby match scheduled for Saturday in Glasgow for the Six Nations women’s tournament has been postponed after a Scottish player contracted the coronavirus.

The Barcelona marathon has been postponed from March 15 to October 25.

Hungary has cancelled celebrations for its national holiday on March 15.

But Saudi officials reopened the area around the sacred Kaaba in Mecca’s Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site.

Dollars in quarantine
Dollar banknotes on their way back to the United States after being used in Asia are subject to quarantine, for a minimum period of 7-10 days instead of five previously, and up to 60 days.

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