Morocco announces first coronavirus death

Morocco announces first coronavirus death

Morocco's health ministry said on Tuesday the country had recorded its first death linked to the new coronavirus, an 89-year-old woman who suffered from chronic health problems.

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The woman, a Moroccan citizen who had been living in Italy, "suffered from chronic illnesses affecting the respiratory and cardiovascular system", the ministry said in a statement.  

She returned to Morocco in late February, before testing positive for the virus and being transferred under medical supervision to a hospital in Casablanca, according to the statement.

Two other infections have been confirmed in the kingdom -- a Moroccan man who came home from Italy and a French tourist who arrived in Marrakesh on Saturday. Both are under medical supervision.

Moroccan authorities have imposed restrictions on sporting and cultural events, including closing stadia to the public. 

READ: Pope tells priests to go out and meet the virus sick

Local media outlets have reported that the vital tourism sector is being hit by cancellations of travel bookings.

Several people have been arrested by authorities in recent days for allegedly spreading misinformation on coronavirus on social networks.

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis: 

- More than 4,000 deaths - 

Since the novel coronavirus first emerged in late December 2019, more than 115,124 cases have been recorded in 105 countries and territories, killing 4,067 people, according to an AFP tally compiled at around 1200 GMT on Tuesday based on official sources. More than 15,000 cases have been counted in Europe.

The worst affected countries are mainland China, (80,754 cases, of which 3,136 deaths), Italy (9,172 cases, 463 deaths), South Korea (7,513 cases, 54 deaths), Iran (8,042 cases, 291 deaths) and France (1,412 cases, 25 deaths).

Mongolia and northern Cyprus announce their first cases.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus: US plane diverted after passengers upset by sneezing

In China, more than 70 percent of those who have been infected have been cured since the epidemic broke out.

- Italians 'stay at home' -

Italy tells its 60 million people to "stay at home" from Tuesday in a government decree which allows travel only for the most urgent work or health reasons.

Riots in at least 10 Italian jails over measures aimed at preventing the virus entering the prison system leave several inmates dead.

The Vatican announces the closure of Saint Peter's Square and the basilica until April 3.

The football league is suspended until April 3.

Austria bans entry for people from Italy, unless they have a doctor's certificate.

- Restrictions eased in China -

The central Chinese province of Hubei, the epicentre of the coronavirus, eases travel restrictions on its inhabitants. 

China's leader Xi Jinping, on a visit to the provincial capital Wuhan, says the epidemic has been "basically curbed" there.

Year-on-year car sales in China plunge by 78.4 percent in February.

- Grand Princess docks -

The first passengers disembark on Monday afternoon from the cruise ship Grand Princess after it docks at California's port of Oakland in the San Francisco Bay after days stranded at sea after infections were detected aboard.

- Politicians infected -

Five members of the US Congress, including at least two Republicans who have mixed with President Donald Trump, are in voluntary confinement after being exposed to the coronavirus. Trump himself has not been tested.

In France, where five parliamentarians have been infected, Culture Minister Franck Riester contracts the coronavirus and is staying at home.

- Cancellations, postponements - 

In Ireland, St Patrick's Day parades scheduled on March 17 across the country are cancelled, as is the parade in the US city of Boston.

All matches in the world judo championships are cancelled until April 30.

Romania and Slovenia respectively ban gatherings of more than 1,000 and 100 people.

Barcelona's Champions League round of 16 return match against Napoli on March 18 will be played behind closed doors.

- Israel gets tougher -

Israel imposes a two-week quarantine on all arrivals. The measure, already in force for several European countries, has so far spared countries such as the United States.

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