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Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump’s Travel Restrictions, N.B.A. Suspension and a ‘Pandemic’ (The New York Times)

 Picture Credit : Doug Mills - The New York Times

The World Health Organization declared a global pandemic. Tom Hanks tested positive for the coronavirus and the N.B.A. canceled its season over an infection concern.
President Trump said he would suspend most travel from Europe starting Friday. The 30-day restriction would not apply to U.S. permanent residents or affect travel from Britain.
Here’s what you need to know:
President Trump says restricting travel from Europe is necessary.
This is a global pandemic, the W.H.O. says.
Tom Hanks says he and his wife have the coronavirus.
The N.B.A. suspends its season after a player tests positive for the coronavirus.
Trump’s European travel ban shakes global stock markets.
President Trump says restricting travel from Europe is necessary.
President Trump announced on Wednesday night that he was taking action to stem the spread of the coronavirus by suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for 30 days, beginning on Friday. The restrictions do not apply to Britain, he said.
Speaking from the Oval Office, Mr. Trump also said health insurance companies had agreed to extend insurance coverage to cover coronavirus treatments as well as waive related co-payments.
Mr. Trump added that he planned to soon announce emergency action to provide financial relief for workers who fall ill or need to be quarantined. He said he would ask Congress to take legislative action to extend that relief but did not detail what that would be. He said he would instruct the Treasury Department to “defer tax payments without interest or penalties for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted.”
The president, sitting behind the Resolute Desk with his arms crossed, finally appeared to be acknowledging the severity of the virus, calling it a “horrible infection” and acknowledging that Americans should cut back on travel that was not necessary.
It signaled a break from the business-as-usual attitude he had been trying to project as recently as Tuesday, when he urged Americans to “stay calm” and said the virus would soon go away. But Mr. Trump continued to anticipate a fast end date to the spread of the coronavirus, even as medical experts have warned that the pandemic will worsen.
“This is not a financial crisis,” he said. “This is just a temporary moment in time that we will overcome as a nation and a world.”
The address capped a day when concerns about the threat of the virus seemed to reach a new pitch and measures to protect vulnerable populations began to upend regular life across the country. Many schools announced they would close indefinitely, some nursing homes banned visitors, and workplaces across the country urged their employees to work from home.
The N.B.A. suspends its season after a player tests positive for the coronavirus.
The N.B.A. will suspend its season after a Utah Jazz player was found to have tested positive for the coronavirus, the league announced on Wednesday. The league said the suspension would take effect after the completion of Wednesday’s schedule.
In Oklahoma City, a game between the Thunder and the Jazz was seconds away from starting when the Thunder’s head medical staffer sprinted onto the court to talk to referees. Players from both teams then left for their locker rooms.
Earlier Wednesday, the N.C.A.A. announced that its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments — the grandest annual exhibition in U.S. college sports — will be played with “only essential staff and limited family attendance.”
“While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how Covid-19 is progressing in the United States,” Mark Emmert, the N.C.A.A. president, said in a statement.
The move will allow the games to go on for the benefit oftelevision audiences, but in a dramatically different playing atmosphere that is certain to change the tenor of the tournaments.

Italy orders businesses to close, tightening its lockdown.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy on Wednesday ordered almost all businesses nationwide to close as infections and deaths from the new coronavirus continued to soar, two days after he announced stringent travel restrictions.
Pharmacies, grocery stores, banks and public transit will be allowed to operate, but any other commercial enterprise that is not vital — restaurants, bars, most stores, cafes, beauty salons — must close to limit the contagion, Mr. Conte said in an evening address to the nation.
Italy had already imposed controls unlike anything seen in a modern democracy, banning public gatherings and telling a nation of 60 million people to halt travel except for work or emergencies. But in Italy and across Europe, the epidemic has spread at a speed that has left countries scrambling to come up with containment plans.
Mr. Conte did not say when the new order would go into effect, but many businesses had already closed, either based on their own judgments or in expectation of a government decree.
“If the numbers keep going up, which is not at all improbable,” Mr. Conte said, it would mean not that new measures were needed, but that Italians should stick to those already imposed. “We must be lucid, measured, rigorous, responsible.”
The benefits of Italy’s sacrifice will not be seen for weeks, he warned.
Italy reported more than 2,300 new cases on Wednesday, driving its total to more than 12,000, with 827 deaths — the second-worst outbreak in the world, after China. Italy has more than half the cases in Europe.
Across Europe, the number of confirmed infections jumped by almost a quarter from Tuesday to Wednesday, reaching more than 22,000.
Stocks plunge as world leaders grope for an economic response.
The coronavirus outbreak ended one of the longest winning streaks in the financial markets’ history on Wednesday, as major stock indexes plunged and global policymakers grappled with the growing economic crisis.
The widely followed S&P 500 was off nearly 5 percent for the day, and the Dow Jones industrial average fell nearly 6 percent, putting it more than 20 percent below its peak in February — the threshold for a bear market.
The full economic toll of the outbreak will not be clear for months. But there is mounting evidence that it will be severe.

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