The latest information on the coronavirus pandemic from around the world.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday ordered the state’s 40 million residents to stay at home, restricting non-essential movements to control the spread of the coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm the state’s medical system.

“This is a moment we need to make tough decisions,” Newsom said. “We need to recognize reality.”

Counties and communities covering about half the state’s population already had issued similar orders. He said the restriction is “open-ended,” and it could raise false hopes if he predicted how long the order might last.

People may still leave their homes for walks and exercise and for essential needs such as food and medical care. Restaurant meals can still be delivered to homes.

The Democratic governor also announced that he is mobilizing 500 California National Guard troops to help with food distribution, but said they will be in place only for humanitarian reasons.

Read the full story here.

U.N. Secretary-General: World ‘is at war with a virus’

UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the world “is at war with a virus” and warned that “a global recession – perhaps of record dimensions – is a near certainty.”

The U.N. chief said “people are suffering, sick and scared” and stressed that current responses by individual countries will not address “the global scale and complexity of the crisis.”

“This is a moment that demands coordinated, decisive, and innovative policy action from the world’s leading economies,” Guterres told reporters from U.N. headquarters. “We must recognize that the poorest countries and most vulnerable — especially women – will be the hardest hit.”

He welcomed next week’s emergency summit of leaders of the Group of 20 major economic powers to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic saying he will participate with the message that this is an unprecedented situation which requires creativity – “and the magnitude of the response must match its scale.”

Coronavirus death toll in Italy now surpasses that of China

ROME — The death toll in Italy from the coronavirus overtook China’s on Thursday in a stark illustration of how the outbreak has pivoted toward Europe and the United States.

Italy, with a population of 60 million, recorded at least 3,405 deaths, or roughly 150 more than in China — a country with a population over 20 times larger.

Italy reached the bleak milestone the same day that Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged three months ago, recorded no new infections, a sign that the communist country’s draconian lockdowns were a powerful method to stop the virus’ spread.

On Thursday, a visiting Chinese Red Cross team criticized Italians’ failure to properly quarantine themselves and take the national lockdown seriously.

Read more about the pandemic’s impact worldwide here.

Mass. woman who concealed illness and flew to China faces criminal charges

SHANGHAI — A woman who flew last week from Massachusetts to Los Angeles — then to Beijing, where she tested positive for coronavirus — is under investigation on allegations of concealing her symptoms and putting fellow travelers at risk of infection.

The woman took fever-reducing medication before boarding a plane and lied to flight attendants, according to Beijing’s disease control center and an Air China representative, who held a news conference on Monday.

The woman, who was hospitalized and is receiving treatment, is under investigation for the crime of “impeding prevention of infectious diseases.” According to Chinese law, she could face up to three years of imprisonment or detention with possible forced labor, or up to seven years of prison if there are “serious consequences.”

As the pandemic worsens around the world but slows in China, authorities in Beijing are tightening controls. All passengers arriving in Beijing from abroad, including Chinese nationals, are required to quarantine in government centers for 14 days.

Canadian-U.S border likely to close Friday night

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Canada-U.S. border likely will be closed to all non-essential travel in both directions on Friday night. He says it will take “weeks to months” for social-distancing measures in his country to be lifted.

Both the U.S. and Canada have been in talks in recent days to negotiate a mutual halt to tourism and family visits but leaving the flow of trade intact. Canada relies on the U.S. for 75% of its exports and about 18% of American exports go to Canada. Much of Canada’s food supply comes from or via the U.S.

Trudeau says his government is following the advice of health experts and won’t lift restrictions on public activities and movements in Canada until it is safe to do so. Trudeau made his comments in front of his residence where he is self-isolating after his wife tested positive for the virus. Canada has about confirmed 770 cases and nine deaths.

Louisiana governor worried about virus predictions

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards told President Donald Trump that a growing number of new coronavirus cases could push the state past its capacity to deliver health care in seven days.

Edwards stressed at a later news conference that the number was a “worst case scenario,” which he said was “sobering.”

The number of people known to be infected with the virus in Louisiana jumped to nearly 380, Edwards said Thursday afternoon. That was up from 280 a day earlier.

“My fear, based on modeling that I’ve received today, is that in as little as seven days we could start to exceed our capacity to deliver health care,” Edwards told Trump during a conference call the president held with governors that was carried by news networks.

“We’ve got some requests in, for example we have a VA hospital in New Orleans where we’ve requested to be able to surge patients there,” Edwards said.

“I’m going to try to get you immediate approval on the hospital,” Trump told Edwards.

Red Cross faces severe shortage of blood; Americans called to donate

Surgeon General Jerome Adams is calling on Americans, particularly the younger generation, to consider donating blood to help assist healthcare providers battling the coronavirus outbreak.

The American Red Cross announced earlier this week that it faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during the virus outbreak.

Adams said donating blood remains safe and blood centers are taking extra precautions based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Cannes Film Festival postponed, potentially to June or July

CANNES, France — France’s Cannes Film Festival, arguably the world’s most prestigious film festival and cinema’s largest annual gathering, has postponed its 73rd edition.

Organizers of the French Riviera festival, scheduled to take place May 12-23, say they are considering moving the festival to the end of June or the beginning of July.

Organizers had been reluctant to cancel Cannes. But as the coronavirus pandemic spread through France, it became all but inevitable that a massive gathering like Cannes couldn’t go on as scheduled. “See you very soon,” the festival said in a statement.

Three NH residents challenge state’s ban on large gatherings

HOPKINTON, N.H. — Three people who planned to attend political and religious events in the next few weeks are challenging New Hampshire’s statewide emergency ban on gatherings of 50 people or more to prevent spread of the coronavirus.

David Binford, Eric Couture and Holly Rae Beene filed a lawsuit Tuesday, the day after Republican Gov. Chris Sununu issued the order prohibiting large scheduled gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational activities. They argue there is no emergency, and that the governor is violating their constitutional rights.

“We can choose to assemble if that is our desire. What cannot occur is one man in a position of power deciding to strip us of our rights in the name of safety and without due process,” Couture said in press release.

A judge on Wednesday denied the group’s request for an immediate order halting enforcement of the ban and scheduled a hearing for Friday in Merrimack County Superior Court. A spokesman for Sununu said Thursday that the emergency order is consistent with actions taken across the country and is clearly within the governor’s authority.

“We are confident the court will agree,” said Ben Vihdstadt.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs describe a variety of events they planned to attend, including meetings of the Grafton County Republican committee, services and Sunday school at a Baptist church and a Meetup group to discuss “petitioning the government for redress of grievances.” The complaint also mentions buying food at a supermarket, though the order does not apply to shopping for food. It does, however, prohibit on-site dining at restaurants.

“We ask others to let the governor’s office know that they are opposed to living under a government that controls the people, instead of the other way around,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney, Daniel Hynes.

Nearly people have tested positive in New Hampshire for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Carnival cruise line to make ships available as temporary hospitals

MIAMI — Carnival Corp. says it will make cruise ships from four of its brands available to serve as temporary hospitals in locations that need them to combat the new coronavirus.

The announcement came after President Donald Trump said at a White House news conference he had spoken with Carnival Chairman Micky Arison about the possibility.

The world’s largest cruise line says its ships could serve mainly to treat non-coronavirus patients, freeing up beds in land-based hospitals for those patients. The company says ships can provide up to 1,000 hospital rooms and are able to be quickly provisioned with the necessary medical equipment, including intensive care units.

Carnival crew would provide such things as food and beverage, and cleaning services, with local medical personnel to handle the treatment of patients, the statement said.

Trump said at a White House briefing that he would present the offer to New York and California during a teleconference later Thursday will all 50 governors.

Two Navy hospital ships also will become part of the effort.

Monaco’s Prince Albert II has tested positive for the coronavirus

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Prince Albert of Monaco in 2019 Associated Press

MONTE CARLO, Monaco –The palace of Monaco says Prince Albert II has tested positive for the coronavirus, but says there’s little concern for his health.

In a statement, the palace says the 62-year-old is being treated by doctors from the Princess Grace Hospital, named after his U.S. actress mother.

Albert plans to continue working from his home office in the palace.

U.S. applications for unemployment benefits surge by 70,000 last week

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits surged last week by 70,000, indicating that the impact of the coronavirus was starting to be felt in rising layoffs in the job market.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for benefits, a good proxy for layoffs, rose by 70,000 to a seasonally adjusted 281,000 last week.

Both the one-week rise and the total number of applications were far above the levels seen over the past year as the country’s unemployment rate fell to a half-century low of 3.5%.

Economists are predicting a surge in layoffs as efforts to contain the spreading coronavirus result in people losing jobs in a variety of industries from restaurants and bars to airlines and hotels.

There have been a number of states such as Ohio reporting huge jumps in unemployment applications already. The Trump administration and Congress are scrambling to produce a support package of around $1 trillion which would provide checks to Americans who have been affected by the virus and support for small businesses and big companies such as the airlines.

A proposal from Treasury has suggested spending $500 billion to provide checks for Americans who have suffered economic harm because of the virus.

Maine’s unemployment claims jumped higher than all of March 2019. Read the full story here.

Conservative lawmakers push back on Kansas governor for closing schools

TOPEKA, Kan. — As most of the U.S. raced to get ahead of the coronavirus pandemic, conservative Republican lawmakers in Kansas moved Wednesday to limit their Democratic governor’s emergency powers, including the ability to establish quarantine zones if the need arises.

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Kansas House members Blaine Finch, Tom Sawyer, left Les Mason confer during talks with senators over extending a state of emergency in Topeka, Kan. Associated Press/John Hanna

Conservatives are angry with Gov. Laura Kelly’s order to close all of the state’s K-12 school buildings for the rest of the spring semester. They view it both as an overreaction that is fueling panic and a sign that she’s willing to have state government move aggressively into people’s businesses and lives.

Some of her most conservative critics also suggested that Kelly’s bold action on the coronavirus suggests that she might go after firearms and try to limit their sale. She’s never mentioned that she was considering anything like that and despite her past support for gun-rights measures as a legislator.

Kelly declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic last week to mobilize state resources, but it will expire March 27 unless legislators pass a resolution extending it. Lawmakers are now set to have the GOP-controlled Legislature’s leaders scrutinize all of Kelly’s future coronavirus orders and to give them the power to revoke many of them within days.

U.S. pauses Afghanistan deployments, isolates arrivals there

WASHINGTON  — The U.S. military says it is pausing the movement of any new troops into Afghanistan and is quarantining 1,500 troops and civilians who recently arrived in order to protect them from the new coronavirus, the top commander in the country said Thursday.

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American soldiers wait on the tarmac in Logar province, Afghanistan in 2107. The U.S. is pausing movement of troops into Afghanistan and quarantining 1,500 new arrivals to country due to virus. Associated Press/Rahmat Gul

Troops who are already in the country may have their deployments extended so missions can continue.

The announcement comes as the U.S. is reducing its troops presence in Afghanistan as part of the peace deal signed last month between the Taliban and the United States.

In a tweet, Army Gen. Scott Miller said the military has started new screening procedures for personnel arriving in the country. About 1,500 service members, civilians and contractors who have gone to Afghanistan from various countries in the past week are living in screening facilities.

Miller said most are either new deployments or people returning from leave and they are being quarantined “out of an abundance of caution, not because they are sick.” He added that the U.S.-led coalition is also limiting access to critical personnel and bases.

So far, 21 U.S. and coalition personnel exhibiting flu-like symptoms are in isolation and receiving medical care.

Flame arrival faces calls for Tokyo Olympics be delayed

TOKYO  — The Olympic flame is set to arrive in Japan from Greece even as the opening of the Tokyo Games in four months is in doubt with more voices calling for the event to be postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Artemis Ignatiou stands next to the Olympic flame during the Olympic flame handover ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics in Athens on Thursday. Aris Messinis/Pool via Associated Press

The flame will touch down Friday aboard a white aircraft painted with the inscription “Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay” along its side, and “Hope Lights Our Way” stenciled near the tail section.

Everything about the arrival ceremony at the Matsushima air base in northern Japan will be subdued. The flame is to be greeted by a few dignitaries, saluted by a flyover from an aerial acrobatic team — if weather permits — and then used to ignite a cauldron.

The burning vessel will be displayed in three northern prefectures before the official relay begins on March 26 from Fukushima prefecture, which was devastated nine years ago by an earthquake, tsunami and the meltdown of three nuclear reactors.

Thousands of people from the region are still in temporary housing and life has not returned to normal for many. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes to use the Olympics to crown his run as Japan’s longest serving premier, and many suggest he may not be around if the games are put off and the economy slumps.

Taro Aso, the Japanese finance minister and former prime minister, characterized the Tokyo Games as the “cursed Olympics” when speaking on Wednesday in a parliamentary committee. Aso was born in 1940, the year Tokyo was to hold its first Olympics, which were called off because of World War II.

“This isn’t a phrase that the press could like to hear, but it’s true,” said Aso, who was a member of Japan’s shooting team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Aso pointed out that even as the situation in Japan and Asia improves, it’s worse globally.

Italy on track to surpass China’s virus deaths

ROME, Italy — Italy is on track to surpass China in the number of coronavirus-related deaths, a gruesome milestone that is being blamed on the country’s large elderly population, its overwhelmed health care system and the delayed imposition of complete lockdown measures across the epicenter, Lombardy.

Italy registered 2,978 deaths on Wednesday after another 475 people died. Given Italy has been averaging more than 350 deaths since March 15, it is likely to overtake China’s 3,249 dead when Thursday’s figures are released.

U.N. and Italian health authorities have cited a variety of reasons for Italy’s high toll, key among them its large elderly population, who are particularly susceptible to developing serious complications from the virus. Italy has the world’s second oldest population after Japan’s and the vast majority of Italy’s dead — 87% — were over age 70.

In addition, virtually all of Italy’s dead had one or more underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension or renal insufficiency.

Australia bans foreign visitors

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia is banning incoming passengers who are not citizens, permanent residents or direct family members of residents.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday the change will take effect at 9 p.m. AEDT.

Morrison says 80% or cases of the new coronavirus detected in Australia have been infected overseas or by direct contact with someone who had been infected overseas. Overseas arrivals are currently expected to self-isolate for 14 days.

New Zealand also is closing its border to people who aren’t citizens or residents from Friday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she had become increasingly concerned that visitors to New Zealand have not been properly isolating themselves for 14 days as required. There are a few exceptions, including children and partners of residents.

London Underground and buses limit service

LONDON — Londoners are being urged to stay off public transport as authorities consider imposing tougher curbs on people mixing with one another in the British capital.

London, home to almost 9 million people, is the center of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, with about a third of its confirmed cases.

Transit operator Transport for London said it will close up to 40 London Underground stations and reduce subway and bus service starting Thursday. Mayor Sadiq Khan said the reduced service would “allow critical workers to make essential journeys.”

Britons have been urged to work from home and avoid bars, shops and restaurants to slow the spread of the virus. But unlike countries such as Italy and France, Britain has not ordered bars to close or restricted people’s movement.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said “further and faster” measures may be needed in London if people do not practice social distancing. He told reporters on Wednesday that “we rule nothing out.”

The British government plans to introduce a bill in Parliament on Thursday that will give authorities stronger powers to respond to the pandemic. The bill gives police and immigration officers powers to detain people and put them in appropriate isolation facilities if necessary to protect public health.

Britain has also doubled, to 20,000, the number of troops on standby to help civilian authorities in an emergency.

Mexico has first coronavirus death, closes pyramids at Teotihuacan

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s health department has confirmed the country’s first death from the new coronavirus.

The department wrote on Twitter late Wednesday that the person began showing symptoms on March 9 and had diabetes. It provided no more details about how, where or from whom the person became infected.

Mexico has 118 confirmed cases of infection and officials expect the numbers to rapidly increase in the coming weeks.

Authorities have been urging people to keep their distance in social situations and schools have halted classes.

Spring equinox visits to Mexico’s pre-Hispanic pyramids have also been stopped.

Mexican authorities will close off the Teotihuacan archaeological site Saturday and Sunday to prevent large gatherings and the potential spread of coronavirus.

As many as 100,000 people climb the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon at Teotihuacan each spring to receive “energy.”

The Yucatan governor earlier said the ruins at Chichen Itza will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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