GENEVA, Switzerland (92 News) – World Health Organizations (WHO) on Thursday declared the coronavirus COVID-19 as global epidemic.
The WHO chief said that the new coronavirus outbreak can now be characterised as a pandemic.
“COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva. “We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus.”
on Friday, US President Donald Trump
said the United States will suspend all passenger travel from continental Europe to limit the spread of the coronavirus after the outbreak was formally declared a pandemic, sending global markets into a tailspin.
Trump announced the travel ban on live television along with emergency funds to boost the US economy, saying: “This is not a financial crisis. This is just a temporary moment of time that we will overcome together as a nation and as a world.”
Global markets plunged immediately after the announcement, with the U.S. S&P500 futures ESc1 down more than 3%, and Japan’s Nikkei and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 down more than 4%. The dollar lost 1% against the yen.
Trump’s announcement came after Italy, the worst-affected country in Europe, enacted the most severe controls on a Western nation since World War Two, shutting bars, hairdressers and restaurants along with other restrictions already in place.
Other countries closed schools and cancelled sports events and other big gatherings. The National Basketball Association suspended the season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive.
US actor Tom Hanks said he and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, had tested positive after they felt tired with slight fevers in Australia, where he is working on a film.
Kuwait to suspend all flights over virus: state media
Kuwait will suspend all commercial flights leaving from and arriving at Kuwait City International Airport “from Friday until further notice” to forestall the spread of coronavirus, AFP quoted state media as reporting on Wednesday.
The country will “forbid” its residents meeting in “restaurants, cafes and commercial centres”, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) said. Cargo planes will still be permitted, KUNA reported.
The “arrival of Kuwaitis and their closest relatives” will also be allowed, the agency said, without specifying how this travel would be facilitated.