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Live Reporting

By Ashitha Nagesh and Adrian Dalingwater

All times stated are UK

  1. Live coverage ending for now

    We're closing the live page, but we will be back again tomorrow morning.

    To recap:

    • Italy has now closed all of its schools for at least 10 days, while the death toll in the country has risen to 148.
    • Iran closed its schools and universities until early April - and limited travel between cities - as its death toll rose to 107.
    • An elderly person with underlying health issues has become the first person to die of the coronavirus in the UK, after being admitted to hospital in Berkshire.
    • The UK government says it is preparing for a "significant" spread of the virus.
    • Cases are rising in the US, with Tennessee and New Jersey confirming their first cases, the number of confirmed cases in the state of New York doubling, and California declaring an emergency.
    • World Health Organization head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "Countries have been planning for scenarios like this for decades. Now is the time to act on those plans."
    • The International Monetary Fund announced $50bn in funding for affected countries.
    Women wearing medical masks in Bangalore, a medic helps a woman fit her mask
    Image caption: Women in Bangalore, India, taking preventative measures against the coronavirus
  2. Iran urges people not to travel

    A summary of the day's events - in particular the restrictions Iran is placing on travel between cities - can be found in our latest news story.

  3. South Korea denies sending face masks to North

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    South Korea has denied it sent face masks to North Korea to help prevent Covid-19 after rumours began circulating in the country.

    "The government has not provided any masks to North Korea, nor has any non-governmental organisation sought permission from the government to send masks to help the North," Yoh Sang-key, a spokesman for South Korea’s Ministry of Unification said on Thursday.

    He also called on the public to stay alert about disinformation, saying those spreading it would be held accountable in court.

    A few days ago, local South Korean broadcaster YTN aired video footage showing a North Korean medical worker wearing a mask from the South Korean company Yuhan Kimberly. This triggered rumours about President Moon Jae-in's administration secretly sending masks to the North, according to The Korea Times.

    A South Korean official said the masks might have entered North Korea through China.

    South Korea has banned the export of face masks as it struggles with shortages of them.

  4. Russia cancels flagship economic forum

    Russia has cancelled its flagship annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum this year as a precaution against coronavirus.

    First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov confirmed the news to Interfax news agency.

    The forum, which is usually chaired by President Vladimir Putin, was due to be held from 3 to 6 June.

    File photo from St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2017
    Image caption: The forum, pictured in 2017, is usually chaired by Vladimir Putin
  5. More on the first fatality in the UK

    The patient had been "in and out of hospital" for other reasons, Royal Berkshire NHS Trust said, but was admitted on Wednesday and tested positive for the virus.

    In a statement, the trust said: "Sadly, we can confirm that an older patient with underlying health conditions has died.

    "The patient has previously been in and out of hospital for non-coronavirus reasons, but on this occasion was admitted and last night tested positive for coronavirus.

    "The family has been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time."

    Royal Berkshire Hospital sign

    Professor Chris Whitty, England's chief medical officer, said: "We believe they contracted the virus in the UK and contact tracing is already under way."

    Last week, a British tourist who had been on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan died from the virus.

  6. Italy death toll rises to 148

    Italian officials have confirmed 41 new deaths in the country on Thursday, bringing the national death toll to 148.

    The number of deaths is the highest for a single day since the outbreak began in the country last month.

    The number of confirmed cases has also jumped by a new high of 769, and is now 3,858.

  7. Paris Marathon 'postponed'

    Paris Marathon 2019
    Image caption: Last year's Paris Marathon - this year's was due to take place on 5 April

    The Paris Marathon has been postponed to a later date, French media is reporting.

    According to Le Parisien, the race - which was supposed to take place on Sunday 5 April - may be held in autumn instead.

    About 65,000 runners were registered for this year, the paper said.

    Earlier today, the French health ministry said there had been two more deaths from coronavirus in the country, bringing the total up to six.

    It added here had also been 92 new confirmed cases since Wednesday - the biggest one-day jump in the number of French cases since the outbreak began.

    The total number of cases in France is now 377.

  8. BreakingFirst person dies of virus in Britain

    The first person has died in the UK from coronavirus.

    An older patient with underlying health issues died after testing positive for the virus, the Royal Berkshire NHS Trust said.

  9. Lombardy death toll 'rises to 98'

    The death toll in the northern Italian region of Lombardy has risen to 98 over the past day, from 73 yesterday, Reuters news agency has reported.

    The latest national death toll will be released later in the day. On Wednesday, the total death toll in Italy was 107.

  10. UK preparing for 'significant' spread of virus

    Boris Johnson

    Officials are speeding up preparations for the next stage of dealing with the outbreak, a spokesman for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

    He spoke after Mr Johnson was updated on the coronavirus situation by England's chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser.

    "We will continue to try to contain this virus," the PM's spokesman said. "However, it's now highly likely that the virus is going to spread in a significant way.

    "Officials will therefore accelerate work on preparations for the 'delay' phase of the government's plan, focusing on steps we can take to seek to delay the spread of the virus.

    "This will include detailed work on the optimum time to introduce further measures."

    Read more about how the UK is preparing for the outbreak.

  11. Coronavirus in 18 out of 50 US states

    Tennessee and New Jersey have each confirmed their first cases of Covid-19, raising the total number of affected states to 18, according to the New York Times.

    Officials in New Jersey said on Wednesday that a 32-year-man from the New York City area was being isolated in hospital after he was tested for the virus.

    The patient is Tennessee is a 44-year-old man who recently returned home from out of state travel, according to the state's governor. He is now remaining at home while authorities try to trace everyone with whom he had contact.

  12. India-EU summit cancelled

    An India-EU summit set for 13 March has been cancelled because of the coronavirus, Indian officials said on Thursday.

    "Both sides have agreed that due to health authorities advising against travel between regions, it would be wise to reschedule the summit to a mutually convenient date," Indian foreign ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters.

    India's PM had been due to attend.

    So far there have been 30 cases of Covid-19 in India. The government has said it plans to set up testing centres in every district in the country.

  13. 'This is not a drill'

    Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
    Image caption: Dr Tedros warned countries that "this is not a time for excuses"

    In today's coronavirus briefing, World Health Organization head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said countries needed to take an "all-government approach" to the virus, and not leave the response to their health ministries.

    "This epidemic can be pushed back but only with a collective, co-ordinated and comprehensive approach that engages the entire machinery of government," he said.

    "We're calling on every country to act with speed, scale and clear-minded determination."

    He warned that countries needed to take the outbreak seriously, adding: "This is not a drill. This is not the time to give up. This is not a time for excuses. This is the time for pulling out all the stops.

    "Countries have been planning for scenarios like this for decades. Now is the time to act on those plans."

  14. North Korean media warns against misinformation

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    North Korea's official daily Rodong Sinmun is calling on the country's people to beware of misinformation on Covid-19, saying it is important to use only scientifically proven knowledge to prevent the virus spreading.

    The paper says there is currently no evidence to support spraying high-concentration disinfectants indoors to kill the virus, or taking anti-viral drugs to prevent infection.

    It also urges senior citizens to refrain from going outside and for people in general to avoid large crowds as it seeks to prevent a Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

    North Korea, a secretive, centralised communist state, has not reported any confirmed cases of coronavirus. Neighbouring South Korea has reported 5,766.

  15. Sunderland players banned from travelling abroad

    Sunderland players have been told not to travel abroad during a forthcoming break as a precaution against coronavirus, says boss Phil Parkinson.

    The team are without a game over the 21-22 March weekend, when a match with now-defunct Bury should have been played, giving the players a break.

    "It's important we give ourselves every chance of keeping that virus away," Parkinson told BBC Look North.

    "We said to the lads they can't go abroad, some wanted to go away."

    Read more here.

    Chris Maguire of Sunderland looks to cross the ball during the Sky Bet League One match between Coventry City and Sunderland at St Andrews
    Image caption: Chris Maguire of Sunderland, left, will need to stay at home during the break
  16. Total number of UK virus cases 115

    The total number of UK coronavirus cases has now risen to 115 - an increase of 30 on yesterday - the UK's Department of Health and Social Care has said.

    As of 09:00 GMT on 5 March, a total of 18,083 people have been tested in the UK, of which 17,968 were confirmed negative, it added.

  17. Ukraine president greets evacuees after attack row

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hugs one of the evacuees in Novi Sanzhary, central Ukraine. Photo: 5 March 2020
    Image caption: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hugs one of the evacuees in Novi Sanzhary

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has personally greeted 72 evacuees from coronavirus-hit China at the end of their 14-day quarantine, trying to end a row over their treatment in the country.

    "I wish you good health," said Mr Zelensky at a medical facility in in Novy Sanzhary, central Ukraine.

    And he hugged one of the evacuees, whose birthday happened to be on 5 March.

    Last month, buses carrying the evacuees - 45 Ukrainian nationals and 27 foreigners - were attacked by dozens of protesters in Novy Sanzhary.

  18. Cambodian way of greeting to prevent Covid-19

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    As countries around the world change their greeting styles, Cambodian PM Hun Sen has also called on locals to use “sampeah” instead of shaking hands to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

    Sampeah is a traditional Cambodian greeting where a person places both palms on the chest in a prayer-like fashion while bowing slightly.

    "We should avoid shaking hands until the Covid-19 is over. Instead, we use the gesture of sampeah to greet each other, it's easy and fast," he said in a speech during the closing ceremony of the health ministry's annual conference.

    Cambodian PM Hun Sen gives a speech
    Image caption: Cambodian PM Hun Sen
  19. After James Bond delay, what next for Hollywood's new releases?

    Daniel Craig's swansong as James Bond has become the first major film to fall foul of the coronavirus outbreak,with the release of No Time To Die delayed by seven months until November.

    With growing health concerns around the world, what could it mean for the film industry?

    You can read the full story here.

    A woman wearing a mask looks at her phone
  20. Iran's schools closed as death toll rises

    Iranian women in Tehran wearing medical masks

    Schools and universities in Iran will remain closed until early April, the country's health minister has said.

    Saeed Namaki told reporters that schools and universities would remain closed until the end of the current Iranian year.

    The Iranian year ends on 19 March, and there are then national holidays until early April.

    "People should not consider this as an opportunity to go travelling," Mr Namaki said. "They should stay home and take our warnings seriously. This virus is highly contagious - it is a serious matter, do not joke about it."

    Iran is one of the worst-hit countries outside China. Its official death toll has also risen by 15 to a total of 107, and the number of cases has increased by 591 - bringing the total number of cases to 3,513.

    Officials have already suspended large cultural and sports events and have reduced working hours.