World Health Organisation today said that it now sees the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic.
"We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction," Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.
"We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic."
The novel coronavirus has killed over 4,000 people across the world.
India is also grappling with the outbreak with 67 people tested positive for the virus. The government today suspended all visas to India. In an order this evening, the Union health ministry said all existing visas -- diplomatic, official, UN/International organizations, employment, project visas will be suspended till April 15.
Here are the Updates on Coronavirus Outbreak:
The Indian Army said 16 children (six female and 10 male) and one infant are among the 83 people.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was alarmed by the spread and severity of the outbreak, along with a lack of action taken to combat it.
A 24-year-old man, who recently returned to Madhya Pradesh from Italy, has been admitted to a government hospital in Indore for possible
exposure to the novel coronavirus.
So far, 664 persons with a recent history of travelling to coronavirus-affected countries have been screened in Madhya Pradesh. Of them, 265 are under the home observation.
However, no confirmed case has been reported in the state.
Goa Health minister Vishwajit Rane today said government employees and staff of state-run hospitals will be equipped with masks as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus.
Talking to reporters in Panaji, Mr Rane also said the use of hand sanitizers is important and should be encouraged in schools and colleges.
"Masks will be provided to government employees and hospital staff. Every department is advised to make use of masks and sterillium," he said. People who visit hospitals need to take extra precautions, he added.
The minister said he would be writing to the secretaries of all departments to notify the staff about safety measures.
As many as 43 "first contacts" of five patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Pune have been contacted and they are being monitored closely at their homes, district authorities said today.
Till now, five people have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Maharashtra. All the confirmed cases have been reported from Pune.
According to senior officials in the Pune district administration, currently 17 people have been admitted at a civic hospital, the designated government medical facility here for coronavirus-related cases.
"Out of these 17, five are positive, reports of two persons are inconclusive and results of samples of the remaining 10 people are awaited," said Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar.
He said 43 people who were in "first close contact" with these five positive patients have been identified and contacted."They are being closely monitored at their homes," he said.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today said that the condition of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the state is stable and an alert has been sounded at airports and ports to increase monitoring of passengers.
He also said that the state machinery is ready to tackle the coronavirus crisis and citizens should not panic.
The chief minister held a review meeting with Pune divisional commissioner and district collector through video-conferencing to discuss the steps being taken to tackle coronavirus.
So far, five persons have tested positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra. All five, including a couple, are based in Pune.
He also directed that if required, quarantine facilities be made available at a hospital in Pimpri-Chinchwad located near Pune. At present, quarantine facility is only available at Naidu Hospital in Pune. Medical equipment, which needs to be procured, should be purchased through the district planning fund.
India will be sending a team of doctors to Italy by Thursday for testing its nationals for coronavirus to bring them back, while samples of 529 more people have been brought from Iran, the government said today, asserting it was focusing on bringing Indians stuck in the two countries facing "extreme situation".
Making a statement in Rajya Sabha on the Indians stranded due to restrictions placed in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said India has brought back its 58 citizens from Iran and the government was working with Iranian authorities to operate some limited commercial flights for facilitating early return of the remaining Indians after testing them.
The Minister said Iran and Italy were two "focal points" for the government as any "worldwide activity" will only add to the panic.
The Tripura government has decided to temporarily shut two border "haat" (markets) along the India-Bangladesh border as a precautionary measure to check the spread of novel coronavirus, officials said today.
A state health department advisory asked Land Custom and Border Security Force (BSF) officials to direct their staff to follow hygiene protocol for containing the infection, particularly from Bangladeshis.
"For the time being, Bangladeshis suffering from any respiratory problem should be assessed properly before their entry into our state."
"Moreover, all border haat may be closed for the time being in consultation with Bangladeshi authorities," a memo signed by the Secretary of the Health and Family Welfare Department, Debasish Basu said.
Italy on Wednesday vowed to spend up to 25 billion euros ($28.3 billion) to fight a new coronavirus epidemic that has killed 631 people and put hospitals and the economy under severe strain.
Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said "half of these resources" would be used immediately and the other half stowed away and tapped should the health crisis spiral out of control.
The new plan must still be approved by the leaders of European Union under the bloc's strict budget deficit rules for its 27 member states.
Part of the money is supposed to help restaurants and hotels now suffering the brunt of an implosion in the number of tourists who visit Italy's art-filled churches and achingly beautiful hills.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said there has been no report of anyone testing positive for coronavirus in the state and gave assurances that her government was monitoring the situation.
Three persons with fever and cough have been admitted at Beliaghata ID hospital in the city, but "none of them has tested positive" for the disease, she said.
To a question about the sharp dip in prices of chicken in the wake of rumours of virus contamination, Ms Banerjee said, "Please tell people the disease has nothing to do with chicken consumption."
"We have also asked the enforcement department to keep a tab on the situation," Ms Banerjee added.
The 45-year-old man who had tested positive for coronavirus has recovered with results of his samples coming out negative and as of now there are no confirmed virus cases in Tamil Nadu, State Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar said today.
The speedy recovery was possible only because of meticulous treatment and expertise of the state health department to handle exigencies, the minister posted on social media.
The man, who recently returned from Oman, tested positive on March 7, making him the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the state.
"As of now, there are no confirmed coronavirus cases and there are no more pending samples for testing at labs as all have tested negative," he said.
On Tuesday, Mr Vijayabhaskar said results of samples of eight people for suspected coronavirus had turned negative.
A total of 71 Chinese workers engaged at a construction site in Nepal have been placed under quarantine after their return from China, an official said in Kathmandu today.
The Chinese workers, who returned to Nepal between March 4 and 6 from Chengdu and Beijing after celebrating the Chinese New Year, have been kept in isolation at the Pokhara Regional Airport project where they work.
"They had already been quarantined in China for 14 days before embarking for Nepal. As neither we nor the workers wanted to take any chances, we decided to place them in quarantine again," said airport project manager Binesh Munkarmi.
The workers' temperature is being checked three times a day, he said.
Earlier, 36 Chinese workers of the airport project were also quarantined after their return from China. Mr Munkarmi said a total of 190 Chinese workers, including the 36 who underwent quarantine, had been deployed to work.
After a passenger who arrived at the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) from Italy tested positive for COVID-19, airport authorities have decided to quarantine staff who came in contact with him.
As part of precautionary measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, the staff at the airport who had come into direct contact with the passenger will be quarantined.
"The airport authorities identified the staff with the help of the CCTV footage," informed CIAL director ACK Nair.
"We have identified the staff members who came in contact with the man who returned from Italy. We received information that he mingled with some of his relatives in Italy who had developed coronavirus. We have put our staff members under home quarantine for 14 days," Mr Nair said.
The Spanish region of Catalonia imposed limits on holding large public events to stem the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, regional leader Quim Torra said on Wednesday.
All events involving more than 1,000 people are to be suspended and all sports events will be held without audience, Torra told a news conference. Spanish health ministry has reported 124 coronavirus cases in Catalonia as of Tuesday afternoon.
Britain's parliament has no plans to shut over coronavirus, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday, after a minister tested positive for the virus and another lawmaker was advised to stay at home as a precaution.
Junior health minister Nadine Dorries said she had tested positive for coronavirus and was self-isolating.
An opposition lawmaker who met Dorries was also advised to isolate herself by health authorities.
"At present there are no plans to suspend parliament," a parliamentary spokeswoman said in a statement.
"We are closely following guidance from Public Health England in response to the situation and have been reassured that the measures we are taking are proportionate and appropriate."
A British woman has died in Bali from coronavirus, authorities said Wednesday, marking Indonesia's first confirmed death from the rapidly spreading illness.
The 53-year-old died early Wednesday in a hospital on the Indonesian holiday island, but it was unclear if she contracted the virus before or after arriving in Bali late last month, local officials said.
She was taken to hospital last week. Indonesian health authorities said Wednesday the woman had serious health problems.
"The patient had severe illnesses including diabetes, hypertension, hyperthyroid and lung disease," Achmad Yurianto, a spokesman for the government's virus response team, told reporters in Jakarta.
The British embassy in Jakarta said it was "supporting the family of a British woman who has died in Indonesia and are in contact with local authorities".
Iran on Wednesday reported 63 new deaths from the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day toll since it announced the first deaths from the outbreak.
"Based on new lab results, we have identified 958 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in the country, bringing the total number of cases to 9,000," health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said in a televised news conference.
"Unfortunately in the past 24 hours, we have had reports of 63 deaths and overall 354 have lost their lives" to the virus, he added.
Belgium has recorded its first death from the novel coronavirus strain that is sweeping the globe and four staff at the European Commission have been taken sick, officials said Wednesday.
Maggie De Block, health minister in Belgium's caretaker federal government, said the victim was 90 years old.
As of Wednesday, Belgium had recorded 314 cases of the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19, up from 267 the day before, according to the health ministry.
Belgium's first death was in Brussels, which in addition to being the Belgian capital is home to the headquarters of the European Union and the NATO military alliance.
Ukraine's capital Kiev will close schools and universities from Thursday until the end of March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, city mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Wednesday.
He said the city would also restrict mass events in the capital, including concerts and conferences.
Cinemas and entertainment areas in shopping malls will also close. Ukraine has so far reported one coronavirus case.
The Philippines today confirmed 16 new cases of coronavirus, taking the total number to 49, most of which were reported this week.
The country reported its first domestic transmission on Saturday, in what were its first cases since January, when three Chinese nationals tested positive, one of whom died.
It declared a public health emergency declared on Monday, and schools and universities across the capital Manila have been closed this week.
The Delhi government will convene a special session of the Assembly on Friday to discuss on coronavirus situation, an official said.
The Delhi cabinet took the decision today in a meeting headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
All the samples collected from 56 suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Gujarat have tested negative, the government said today.
After the deadly coronavirus outbreak, more than 2,200 passengers have arrived in Gujarat from abroad till date, but not a single case has been found positive in the state.
"In Gujarat, 2,231 passengers have arrived from the COVID-19 affected countries. Out of this, 1,207 passengers have finished their 28 days quarantine period. We have had a total of 56 suspected cases, out of which none has been found positive," Nitin Patel, Deputy Chief Minister and health minister, told the state assembly.
Pakistan's Balochistan province has reported its first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus bringing the countrywide tally to 19.
China announced Wednesday that key companies will be allowed to resume work in coronavirus-hit Wuhan, in another sign authorities are confident the quarantined city is winning its battle against the epidemic.
The decision came a day after President Xi Jinping paid his first visit to the capital of Hubei province since it was placed under lockdown in late January after the outbreak became a national emergency.
Three staff members of Formula One teams have been isolated at the Australian Grand Prix while tests are conducted to see if they have coronavirus, officials said on Wednesday.
Two were from the Haas F1 team and one from McLaren.
China reported an increase in imported coronavirus cases Wednesday as Beijing stepped up measures at its main international airport over fears that infections from abroad could undo the country's progress against the epidemic.
There were 22 more deaths and 24 new cases nationwide, according to the National Health Commission.
A 52-year-old tour guide from Angoda became the first case of coronavirus in Sri Lanka, health authorities said on Wednesday.
The first case of the viral infection in the country was identified last night from the country's western province wherein the victim recalled that he had recently provided services to an Italian tour group, a media release issued by the Presidential Secretariat was cited by local Sri Lankan newspaper Daily Mirror.
President Ram Nath Kovind's scheduled programme in Sonbhadra district on March 15 has been cancelled in view of coronavirus scare in the country.
President Kovind was scheduled to attend Vanvasi Samagam and also inaugurate the newly-built school and hostel of Seva Samarpan Sansthan of Akhil Bhartiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram at Seva Kunj Ashram, Chapki in Sonbhadra distric.
India has temporarily suspended all the visas and e-visas granted on or before March 11 to nationals of three more coronavirus-affected countries -- France, Germany and Spain -- effective immediately, as part of the measure to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
The number of US cases of the novel coronavirus surged to more than 900 on Tuesday, according to an AFP tally, after public health experts criticized authorities for downplaying the epidemic and lagging behind in testing efforts.
At least 28 people have died and some 910 people have been infected, according to a state-by-state count, a significant jump of some 550 cases the day before.
The Kerala goverment has closed the Periyar Tiger Reserve for tourism till March 31 following government advisory on self-quarantine to passengers coming from coronavirus-affected area.
Tamil Nadu Health Minister Dr C Vijayabaskar on Tuesday announced that the state has become "coronavirus free".
He said that the lone patient undergoing treatment for the same made a "speedy recovery".
Canada'' national carrier is suspending flights to Italy beginning Wednesday till May 1, Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick said in a statement to Sputnik.
"Due to Italian government regulations and ongoing health and safety concerns, Air Canada will suspend its service between Canada and Italy as of March 11," Fitzpatrick said on Tuesday.
"We continue to monitor this situation and evaluate conditions prior to resuming service; we currently plan to restart service on May 1," said the statement.
Organizers on Tuesday rescheduled the Coachella music festival for October over coronavirus concerns, following a directive from local health authorities.
"While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously," Goldenvoice, the company that puts on the massive event in the California desert, said in a statement.
The two-weekend festival set for April will now take place over the weekends starting Friday October 9 and 16.
Panama's health minister on Tuesday confirmed eight cases of the new coronavirus in the country, including one death, the first virus-linked death in Central America.
"Of the eight patients we are reporting, one person is in intensive care, another unfortunately died," Minister Rosario Turner said during a press conference in Panama City.
In the backdrop of threat from the deadly coronavirus, the Doda district administration is running 24X7 control rooms and is providing training to the village heads to create awareness and teach people about the precautions required to be taken.
District Development Commissioner (DDC) Dr Sagar D Doifode on Tuesday said that the administrative machinery is ready to deal with any situation and is following the standard operating procedure laid down by Department of Health, Government of India and J-K administration.