Prince Charles , the heir to the British throne, has tested positive for coronavirus, his household said. Charles, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth, is 71 years old. “The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus,” Clarence House said in a statement. “He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual.” “The Duchess of Cornwall has also been tested but does not have the virus,” Clarence House said. The Prince and his wife, Camilla, are self-isolating at home in Scotland. “It is not possible to ascertain from whom the Prince caught the virus owing to the high number of engagements he carried out in his public role during recent weeks.” Earlier, India’s billion-plus population went into a three-week lockdown on Wednesday, with a third of the world now under orders to stay indoors, as Spain reported its deadliest day yet with 738 fatalities, taking the total death toll to 3,434. Donald Trump’s administration reached a deal on a US$2 trillion package to combat the economic fallout from the virus. India ordered it’s 1.3 billion people - the world’s second-biggest population - to stay at home for three weeks. That doubled the number of people around the globe under some form of movement restriction to more than 2.6 billion people. Hubei, where the novel coronavirus was first detected late last year, will allow healthy residents to leave the province. Officials say rules will be relaxed in the hardest-hit city of Wuhan on April 8. Almost 18,000 deaths have been recorded since the virus first emerged in December. More than 385,000 declared cases have been registered in 175 countries and territories. Mainland China reported a drop in new confirmed cases, all of which involved travellers arriving from abroad, the National Health Commission said on Wednesday. The number of new cases fell to 47 on Tuesday from 78 a day earlier, according to the health authority. That brings the total accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China to 81,218. The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China reached 3,281 as of the end of Tuesday, up by four from the previous day. Hong Kong, meanwhile, has struggled to contain a disturbing surge in cases that has taken the tally to 410. Some had a recent history of travel. Here are the developments: Death toll in Spain surpasses China Spain’s coronavirus death toll overtook that of China on Wednesday, rising to 3,434 after 738 people died over the past 24 hours, the government said. Across the world, only Italy now has a higher death toll than that of Spain. In China, where the virus emerged late last year, 3,281 people have died. The spiralling number of deaths came as Spain entered the 11th day of a lockdown to try and rein in the outbreak that has now infected 47,610 people, the health ministry said. Despite the national lockdown imposed on March 14, which is to be extended until April 11, both deaths and infections have continued to mount, with officials warning this week would be particularly bad. “We are approaching the peak,” the ministry’s emergencies coordinator Fernando Simon said in announcing the figures. The Madrid region has suffered the brunt of the epidemic with 14,597 infections and 1,825 deaths. Spain also signed a multimillion-euro contract with China to acquire medical supplies to fight the coronavirus epidemic, Health Minister Salvador Illa said. Worth some 432 million euros (US$467 million), the deal will cover 550 million masks, 5.5 million rapid test kits, 950 respirators and 11 million pairs of gloves to address shortages in the country. ‘Deal’ reached on massive US relief package “We have a deal,” White House official Eric Ueland said after the White House, Senate Democrats and Republicans came to an agreement on a US$2 trillion stimulus plan , following several days of tense negotiations. The package had been expected to include a US$500 billion fund to help hard-hit industries and a comparable amount for direct payments of up to US$3,000 to millions of US families, as well as US$350 billion for small-business loans, US$250 billion for expanded unemployment aid and US$75 billion for hospitals. It aims to cushion the economic blow from a pandemic that has killed almost 700 people in the United States and sickened more than 50,000, shuttered thousands of businesses, thrown millions out of work and led states to order 100 million people – nearly a third of the population – to stay at home. The Senate could vote as soon as Wednesday. The House also would need to pass the bill before it gets to President Donald Trump’s desk. Also on Wednesday, Canadian lawmakers approved a Can$82 billion (US$57 billion) aid package to help individuals and businesses through the pandemic, after all-night negotiations on what emergency powers to grant the minority government. Thirty-two members of Parliament, proportionally representing each party instead of the full 338, had gathered in Ottawa for a vote on the emergency measures on Tuesday. But opposition parties balked at additional provisions giving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals unlimited borrowing and spending powers for 21 months without oversight. Putin delays vote allowing him to keep power Russian President Vladimir Putin has postponed a nationwide vote on proposed constitutional amendments that include a change that would allow him to seek another term in power. Putin didn’t set a new date for the plebiscite originally set for April 22, saying that it would depend on how the new coronavirus pandemic develops. He also announced during a televised address to the nation that the government doesn’t want Russians except those working in essential sectors to come to work next week. He said that stores, pharmacies and banks will stay open. “Health, life and safety of the people is an absolute priority for us,” Putin said. The number of recorded coronavirus cases in the country reached 658 on Wednesday, a day after the mayor of Moscow told Putin that the real scale of the problem in the capital far exceeded the official figures. Putin ordered the army to carry out drills designed to increase its readiness to fight the coronavirus if necessary, the Defence Ministry said. The president has previously said the situation is under control, but some doctors have questioned how far official data reflect reality, and the government on Tuesday closed nightclubs, cinemas and children’s entertainment centres to slow the spread of the virus. Tokyo governor asks people to stay indoors Warning of the risk of an explosive rise in coronavirus infections in Japan’s capital, Tokyo’s governor on Wednesday asked residents to avoid non-essential outings through until April 12. Yuriko Koike told a news conference that the situation was “severe” after 41 new cases were reported in Tokyo on Wednesday alone. She asked residents to cooperate to stem the spread by avoiding unnecessary outings, working at home as much as possible and staying away from restaurants and gatherings. The city has become the centre of Japan’s coronavirus epidemic, with 212 cases, more than any other region after increases this week. It overtook the hard-hit northern island of Hokkaido island on Tuesday as the prefecture with the most infections, public broadcaster NHK reported. The outbreak has infected 1,271 people in Japan as of Wednesday evening, with 44 deaths linked to the virus, NHK said. That excludes 712 cases and 10 deaths from a cruise ship moored near Tokyo last month. The Japanese government has warned citizens to refrain from all non-essential overseas travel due to the pandemic. Iran warns of tough new measures Iran is to ban intercity travel from Thursday or Friday in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus as the death toll from one of the world’s deadliest outbreaks topped 2,000. “New journeys will be banned, leaving towns and cities will be banned,” government spokesman Ali Rabii announced after President Hassan Rouhani revealed the government was poised to introduce tough new measures against the outbreak after weeks of largely unsuccessful cajoling. So far, Iran has resisted imposing any lockdown, choosing instead to rely on verbal appeals for people to stay home. But those have been widely ignored. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the roads as usual last weekend to spend the two-week Persian New Year holiday with family despite fears of the disease spreading from the big cities to the countryside. Iran on Wednesday announced 143 new fatalities from the coronavirus, raising the official death toll to 2,077. Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said “our colleagues have registered 2,206 new cases of Covid-19 infection” in the past 24 hours, bringing total infections to 27,017. Fighting the Coronavirus: Dr. Ian Lipkin reveals his own personal battle with the coronavirus and says if it can hit him, it can hit anybody. #AmericaFirst #KAG2020 #Dobbs pic.twitter.com/IxTpJ54sFn — Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) March 24, 2020 Italy: 743 deaths in one day Italy’s daily Covid-19 death toll shot back up Tuesday, but more evidence emerged that the coronavirus infection rate is slowing thanks to a painful national lockdown. Italy’s 743 new deaths broke two days of successive declines that had taken the number down to 601 on Monday. It set a world record of 793 fatalities on Saturday. But the rate of officially registered new infections was just 8 per cent – the same as Monday and the lowest level since Italy registered its first death on February 21. It had been as high as 50 per cent at the start of March. “The measures we took two weeks ago are starting to have an effect,” civil protection service chief Angelo Borrelli said before Tuesday’s toll came out. Cases spike in Indonesia, Philippines Indonesia has confirmed 105 new coronavirus cases, bringing the Southeast Asian country’s total to 790, Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto said on Wednesday. Three more people had died, taking the total number of deaths to 58, he said, adding 31 people had recovered from the virus. The official said Tuesday’s total had been revised down one to 685 after a patient was counted twice. In the Philippines, the health ministry on Wednesday reported 84 new coronavirus cases and three deaths. The latest figures brought total infections in the country to 636, and deaths to 38, the ministry said. Malaysia extends lockdown to April 14 Malaysia announced the extension of a restricted movement order which was meant to expire on March 31 but will now last until April 14. In a televised address, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the extension was necessary to “flatten the curve” of infection and curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has led to 1,796 cases in Malaysia so far – the highest in Southeast Asia. “You know that this is good for you, your family and the people around you. Your awareness and sincerity in abiding by the rules imposed by the government during this Movement Control Order period is highly commendable,” Muhyiddin said, adding that he knew it “was not easy”. The premier also asked Malaysians to refrain from panic buying. “You don’t have to unnecessarily stock up on food because the supply is sufficient,” he said. “I assure you that food is enough for everybody. I know you feel burdened but I don’t have a choice. I have to extend the Movement Control Order for your own safety.” Thousands of covert cases ‘go under the radar’ in Wuhan First known US child death was teen ‘in good health’ The first known death of a child due to the novel coronavirus in the United States was a teenager in previously good health, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. The death of the youth from Lancaster, just north of Los Angeles, was reported hours earlier by public health officials, and comes despite the disease not typically proving severe for juveniles. The victim’s identity and sex were not specified. “Covid-19 does not discriminate by age, race or income level,” said Los Angeles County public health director Barbara Ferrer, using the scientific term for the disease caused by the SARS-coV-2 virus. Multiple studies have found Covid-19 disproportionately affects older patients and those with underlying conditions. ‘Virus hunter’ Lipkin tests positive W. Ian Lipkin, one of the world’s top virus hunters, has tested positive for the new coronavirus. A professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, Lipkin served as a medical consultant for the 2011 pandemic thriller Contagion and was in Hong Kong during the 2002-03 Sars crisis. He recently worked with scientists in China during the coronavirus outbreak. He made the revelation in an interview on Fox Business Network – describing the experience as “miserable”. “If it can hit me, it can hit anybody,” Lipkin said. “I know where I think I got it but that’s not the same as proving. But it doesn’t matter. This virus can be found all over the United States.” Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow said that he and his wife, Adele Bacow, both tested positive. In the last 24 hours, the US death toll from the illness caused by the coronavirus increased by nearly 100 people, reaching almost 700 total. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange denied bail WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is fighting extradition from Britain to the United States, was denied bail on Wednesday after his lawyers said he should be released from prison because of the coronavirus outbreak. The 48-year-old is wanted by the US on 18 criminal counts of conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law and says he could spend decades in prison if convicted. Judge Vanessa Baraitser at Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled that he should remain in Belmarsh Prison in London. Italian professor repeats warning coronavirus may have spread outside China last year Europe’s richest man gains US$11 billion on day stocks surged Luxury-goods mogul Bernard Arnault has been hard hit by the spread of the coronavirus, losing more financially than anyone else in the world. He’s directly enlisted his conglomerate – which controls Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton – in the battle against the virus by financing the delivery of millions of medical masks to France from Chinese suppliers and converting a Dior perfume factory outside Orleans into a producer of hand sanitiser. On Tuesday, he got some financial relief as global stocks jumped on optimism a massive US stimulus package is on its way. Shares of Christian Dior and LVMH surged and his fortune increased US$11.3 billion on the day, the biggest trading-driven gain in the history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Arnault, whose net worth climbed more last year than anyone else on the 500-member index, is still down US$35.2 billion so far in 2020 as the pandemic has spread. After four days of declines, the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its biggest advance since 1933 on Tuesday. Warren Buffett was the next-biggest gainer on the index, rising US$6.5 billion, while Spain’s Amancio Ortega, the titan behind the Zara fast-fashion brand, added US$5.9 billion. Still, overall the world’s 500 richest people have lost more than US$1 trillion since the start of the year. Emergency declared in New Zealand New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared a state of national emergency as the country prepared to go into a complete lockdown at midnight. New Zealand’s cases of the coronavirus surged to 205 cases as the government imposed self-isolation for everyone, with all non-essential services, schools and offices to be shut for a month. A record 50 new cases were confirmed on Wednesday. All non-essential services, bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, cinemas, pools, museums, libraries, playgrounds and any other place where the public congregate will be closed. Supermarkets, doctors, pharmacies, service stations and access to essential banking services will all be available. This is only the second time in New Zealand’s history that a national emergency has been declared, with the first one on 23 February 2011, after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island city of Christchurch, killing almost 200. Trump hedges on ‘Chinese virus’ term President Donald Trump told Fox News he would stop using the term “Chinese virus” – a day after doing so at a White House briefing . It was the latest indication that the Trump was seeking to de-escalate the blame game with China over the deadly pandemic. “I don’t regret it, but they accused us of having done it through our soldiers, they said our soldiers did it on purpose, what kind of a thing is that?” Trump said in an interview Tuesday with Fox News. “Look, everyone knows it came out of China, but I decided we shouldn’t make any more of a big deal out of it. I think I made a big deal. I think people understand it. But that all began when they said our soldiers started it. Our soldiers had nothing to do with it.” Trump cited the Ebola virus and Lyme disease as other illnesses named for their location of discovery. “They do name it after places, it came from China,” he said. He also said that he maintained a “very good” relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping and that China had been though “a lot”. “They lost thousands of people. They’ve been through hell,” he said. On Tuesday, Trump also tweeted his support for Asian-Americans, who have increasingly faced racism in recent weeks as the illness spreads across the US. Athletes and officials react to ‘right decision’ to postpone Olympics Virus-hit Diamond Princess leaves Japan The Diamond Princess , a coronavirus-hit cruise ship off Japan that saw 712 passengers and crew contracting the disease with 10 deaths, left its moorings in Yokohama on Wednesday, a city official said. The ship, which originally carried some 3,700 passengers and crew members, dominated international headlines as Japan’s clumsy handling of its quarantine made it at one point the biggest cluster of coronavirus carriers outside China. “Disinfection work has been finished. Quarantine confirmed that the work has been finished,” a Yokohama city official said. “It is leaving the pier” around 0500 GMT, he said, without revealing where it was heading or how many crew members were onboard. The departure ends the ship’s troubled two-month stay in Yokohama where passengers on the luxury cruise were abruptly told to remain inside their small cabins for two-week quarantine from February 5, except for brief exercise time. Afro-Jazz star Manu Dibango dies of Covid-19 Afro-Jazz star Manu Dibango, best known for his hit single “Soul Makossa,” died in Paris after contracting the coronavirus, his family said on his Twitter account. He was 86. Dibango, who was still performing extensively in France last year, informed fans that he was “calmly recovering” from the disease in hospital in a March 18 statement on his Facebook page. Born in the Cameroonian port city of Douala in 1933, Emmanuel N’Djoké Dibango, who used Manu Dibango as his stage name, was renowned as a saxophonist and songwriter, and also played the vibraphone. His songs, which incorporated jazz, funk and traditional Cameroonian music, failed to capture local attention and he moved to France where he gained international recognition. Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg, Reuters Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. 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