Greece announced early on Thursday the first death from coronavirus in the city of Patras. The patient, a 66-year-old male, was hospitalized after he returned from a religious pilgrimage to Israel and Egypt at the end of February.
Earlier, in a sweeping decision, President Donald Trump announced in a televised address that the US will institute a complete travel ban from Europe as of midnight on Friday.
Updates on Thursday
21:10: Italy confirms 2,249 more diagnosed cases compared to yesterday. The country now has 12,839 diagnosed cases of coronavirus. A total of 189 people died today in Italy from the virus.
20:30: Cyprus confirms its 10th case of the Covid19 coronavirus.
20:15: The FTSE 100 index in London fell by 10.87% on Thursday, the second-worst one-day fall in British history.
20:12: Turkey decided to temporarily close all schools and universities in the country.
20:10: Spain confirms 31 new deaths from the coronavirus today.
19:40: Greek authorities announced on Thursday a two-week closure of all the courthouses, theaters, cinemas, gyms, children playgrounds and nightclubs in the country to help control the spread of the Covid19 coronavirus. Full story here.
19:00: The UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the public that more families are going ”to lose loved ones before their time,” and announced the UK is entering the ”delay” phase of preparations.
18:51: A woman and her child, the first Greek victims of the virus to be hospitalized in Greece, were discharged from hospital in Thessaloniki.
18:50: Cyprus has confirmed a total of seven Covid-19 coronavirus cases.
18:45: Greece announces 18 new cases of the virus, with the total number of victims rising to 117.
18:40: Canadian PM Justin Trudeau announces he will self-isolate after his wife began showing symptoms of the covid19 coronavirus.
I have some personal news to share today. Sophie recently returned from a speaking event in the UK, and last night she…
18:05: Christine Lagarde, the President of the European Central Bank and former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, warns that the coronavirus will have have “a significant impact on economic activity.”
— FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) March 12, 2020
17:50: A video message from Greek tennis champion Stefanos Tsitsipas urges “Do not take coronavirus lightly. It affects us all and we must all do what we can to reduce its spread. We need to protect ourselves, but also protect the most vulnerable.”
Μην το παίρνετε ελαφριά. Ο κορονοϊός μας αφορά όλους και πρέπει όλοι να κάνουμε ό,τι μπορούμε για να μειώσουμε τη διασπορά του. Να προστατευτούμε εμείς, αλλά και να προστατέψουμε τους πιο ευάλωτους.
— Stefanos Tsitsipas (@StefTsitsipas) March 12, 2020
17:15: Another dreadful performance for the Stock Exchange in Athens, after US President Trump’s travel ban to Europe due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Athens’ index fell to 544.32 on Thursday, down by 9.65 per cent.
17:10: Greece’s Development and Investments Minister Adonis Georgiades said “For the time being there are no shortages of goods and the market is adequately supplied,” referring to potential shortages due to the pandemic.
16:20: Attica Group, the company which owns the Blue Star Mykonos ferry, announced that the vessel has now left the port of Limnos, following instructions from the Greek Health authorities and port authorities. The ferry will continue along its route in the Aegean as normal. Full story here.
16:15: UEFA called an emergency meeting for next Tuesday to discuss whether or not the Champions League, the Europa League and the Euro 2020 football championships and tournaments can continue as normally scheduled.
15:50: Greece’s Public Broadcaster ERT announced that one of its employees has also tested positive.
15:45: The Greek Ministry of Health issued a recommendation for those in high-risk groups not to travel into or out of Greece.
15:28: ”The company has taken all necessary measures to safeguard its employees and to ensure the smooth running of the newspaper. We wish our colleague well and are certain that with the help of our partners and readers we will overcome these difficulties,” the Kathimerini announcement said.
15:25: Greece’s Kathimerini newspaper announced that one of its employees working for the newspaper’s website has been diagnosed positive for the Covid19 coronavirus.
14:25: The U.S. death toll stands at 38 early Thursday, with more than 1,310 confirmed cases, and all but six states now have diagnosed coronavirus cases after Arkansas, Mississippi and Wyoming are among the states to report their first encounters.
14:05: Hundreds of passengers on board the ferry boat “Blue Star Mykonos” docked at port on the Greek island of Limnos are still under quarantine after a crew member developed symptoms of the coronavirus. Full story here.
14:00: The Italian government has ordered all shops, bars and restaurants across the country to close, after the country’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose by 31% in the space of 24 hours, to a total of 827.
13:55: Two of the first victims of coronavirus in Greece, a 38-year-old woman from Thessaloniki and her son, will be discharged from the hospital after recovering from the virus, the head of the AHEPA hospital coronavirus referral center Symeon Metallidis, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency on Thursday.
13:50: The European Union is unhappy with President Trump’s decision to impose a ban on all flights originating from Europe. Full story here.
"The Coronavirus is a global crisis and requires cooperation. The 🇪🇺 disapproves of the fact that the 🇺🇸 decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation.
The 🇪🇺 is taking strong action to limit the spread of #COVID19"@eucopresident @vonderleyen
— EU Council (@EUCouncil) March 12, 2020
13:30: Coronavirus instructions have now been written for the Greek-speaking populations of southern Italy. They are mostly in Greek but are written in Latin characters.
12:35: The Olympic Flame lighting ceremony was held Thursday in Olympia, Greece, without spectators due to coronavirus concerns. For the first time in history, a woman was the first Olympic torch relay torchbearer — Rio de Janeiro shooting gold medalist for Greece, Anna Korakaki. Full story here.
12:00: World markets, including the Athens Stock Exchange, have plummeted after President Donald Trump announced that travel from more than two dozen European countries to United States will be suspended for 30 days due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Full story here.
11:30: Alpha Bank predicts a slowdown of growth in Greece between 0.4% and 0.9% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic in conjunction with the migrant crisis.
11:05: Scientists in the US released new tests indicating that the COVID-19 virus could remain viable in the air “up to 3 hours post aerosolization,” while remaining alive on plastic and other surfaces for up to three days. Full story here.
10:30: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has canceled Thursday’s planned visit to Athens due to developments in the coronavirus epidemic. “In view of the evolving situation in Europe related to #COVID19 and in agreement with the Greek PM @kmitsotakis, I have decided to postpone my trip to Athens tomorrow,” she said in a post on Twitter on Wednesday night.
10:00: The Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople has issued a statement on Holy Communion calling on believers to comply with both WHO’s health guidelines and the relevant guidelines and laws of each state.
09:30: The total number of coronavirus cases worldwide now stands at 126,258, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. There have been 4,638 deaths.
09:15: Passengers on board a ferry boat docked at port on the Greek island of Limnos were quarantined as a precaution after a crew member said he felt unwell, a health ministry spokesman said. The crew member disembarked for further health checks. The Athens Macedonia News Agency reported there were 341 passengers and 77 crew on board the ferry. Full story
09:10: This is Elena Pagliarini, a nurse at a hospital in Cremona who fell asleep exhausted in full protective gear and, because of this picture taken by a colleague, has become the symbol of Italy’s battle with coronavirus.
09:00: Greece’s “patient zero”, a 38-year-old woman who was the first in the country to be diagnosed with coronavirus in late February, is to be discharged from a hospital in Thessaloniki, according to reports.
08:45: A patient at the University Hospital of Patras in Rio diagnosed with coronavirus was intubated on Wednesday, but is under stable condition, the attending doctors and the Health Ministry said. A 66-year-old patient infected with coronavirus died earlier on Thursday in the same hospital.
08:30: European Council president Charles Michael reacted to the US decision to suspend all flights from and to Europe through Tweeter:
Following the travel ban @realDonaldTrump announced, we will assess the situation today.
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) March 12, 2020