• Philippine president to impose quarantine across Luzon
    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will impose “enhanced community quarantine” across the country’s entire main island of Luzon, his spokesman said, adding to existing measures aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus.

More details would follow on the enhanced quarantining procedures, Salvador Panelo told reporters in a text message, without elaborating.

Panelo had earlier said a “total lockdown” of Metropolitan Manila was among options available in what he said was “a matter of national survival”.

  • NYC, four US states shut bars, restaurants
    Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington state and New York City are among the places that ordered bars to close and restaurants to stop dine-in service. Takeout and delivery will still be allowed.

“The time for persuasion and public appeals is over,” Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said. “This is not a joke. No one is immune to this.

The Democratic governor ordered all bars and restaurants in his state to close from Monday night until March 30.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement saying he will limit the city’s 27,000 restaurants, bars and cafes to food takeout and delivery beginning on Tuesday. Nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues will have to close.

  • US Peace Corps suspends global operations
    US humanitarian group the Peace Corps said it will temporarily suspend all global operations and evacuate its volunteers.

“As COVID-19 continues to spread and international travel becomes more and more challenging by the day, we are acting now to … prevent a situation where volunteers are unable to leave their host countries,” Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen said in a letter to volunteers posted on its website.

The group will return to normal operations when conditions permit, Olsen said, adding that host country staff will remain in their current positions.

  • Czechs seal off some towns to prevent coronavirus spread
    Czech authorities sealed off an area in the east of the country to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, the mayor of a town in the region said.

The government tightened restrictions to combat the outbreak, banning people from moving around except for work, shopping and some other limited activities until March 24.

“Unicov together with Cervenka, Litovel and all local affiliates were closed off as of 3:00 a.m. by the order of the regional public health office. The reason is to prevent the Covid-19 disease from spreading,” Unicov mayor Radek Vincour said on the town’s website.