11 Mar 2020

Covid-19: Overnight international developments

From Morning Report, 6:38 am on 11 March 2020

In Covid-19 developments overnight, more than 116,000 people have now been infected with Covid-19 across the world; and over 4000 have died.

Mainland China reported less than 20 new cases yesterday - and Chinese President Xi Jinping has visited Wuhan, the city of 11-million people where the outbreak began.

It's being seen as a sign that authorities' efforts to control the virus are working.

Containment efforts continue to ramp up across much of Europe and the Middle East, with several countries closing their borders for people from coronavirus-affected countries, and limiting public gatherings.

The official number of fatalities in Italy has risen from 463 to 631 in the last 24 hours.

The country's streets are nearly deserted, after the government announced an unprecedented lockdown - extending quarantine measures across the entire country in a bid to slow the disease down.

People can now only go out for work and emergencies, while all public gatherings and sporting events are suspended. Austria has announced a ban on people entering the country from Italy unless they carry a medical certificate, it has also banned indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.

In France, gatherings of over 1000 people have been banned.

The European Commission, the EU's executive, estimates Italy and France were now at risk of a technical recession.

Spain has reported 1,622 cases, almost half in the Madrid area, and all Spanish sport is to be played behind closed doors until April.

In the Netherlands a large group of hospital staff have tested positive for the illness.

One of Poland's top armed forces generals has tested positive for the virus after returning from a military conference in Germany.

Closer to home Australia has announced a $30 million public health campaign.

There are now 100 confirmed cases in the country, most in New South Wales.