President Donald Trump speaks to the media in Washington. File photo
The United States and Britain led a multi-billion-dollar global fightback against economic havoc wreaked by the coronavirus as the European Union shut its borders to travellers from outside for 30 days to stem the pandemic's ferocious spread.
The sweeping measures, never before seen in peacetime, have upended society worldwide and roiled financial markets on fears of a global recession.
The coronavirus outbreak, which first emerged in China late last year, has quickly marched across the globe, infecting nearly 200,000 people and killing 7,900 as governments scramble to contain it.
Following criticism that they were mismanaging their crisis response, London and Washington on Tuesday announced massive economic stimulus packages.
President Donald Trump said the White House was discussing a "substantial" spending bill with Congress that would include immediate cash payments to Americans.
Officials did not give hard numbers but “The Washington Post” reported the amount could reach $850 billion, with a chunk destined for airlines fearing ruin.
"We're going big," Trump told reporters.
British Finance Minister Rishi Sunak also unveiled an "unprecedented package" of government-backed loans worth 330 billion pounds ($400 billion) for businesses struggling in the sudden economic paralysis caused by mass self-quarantine.
France has pledged a 45 billion euro ($50 billion) aid package.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel meanwhile confirmed the 30-day "entry ban" into the EU.
European countries were already in near-total internal lockdown, with Belgium starting from Wednesday until at least April 5.
The World Health Organization urged the "boldest actions" on the continent, the pandemic's latest epicentre.
In the United States, restrictions continued to build, with Maryland becoming the latest state to delay presidential election primaries and New York City considering curfews.
Australia urged citizens to not travel abroad, and banned gatherings of more than 100 people.
Asian hotspots China and South Korea have seen new infections and deaths level out in recent weeks — China reported just one new domestic case for the second consecutive day on Wednesday — but numbers are ballooning across Europe.
Africa, with its fragile healthcare systems, has also recorded more than 400 cases, and Latin America has more than 1,100, with the continent's most populated country Brazil confirming its first death on Tuesday.
The overall death toll jumped to more than 5,000, including nearly 1,500 in Europe, with total infections topping 140,000 internationally, according to an AFP tally based on official sources.
The travel ban "is a big surprise and a big shock to the market" and shows that investors are yet to see the full financial fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, said IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda. On the flip side, traders are selling gold to fund margin calls, providing a headwind for the metal, Rodda added.
President Donald Trump’s decision to halt funding to the World Health Organisation has sown confusion within his administration, as staff members argue over what the decision means and whether some programmes that the agency oversees should be protected from the cut.
Muizzu was leading the count with 54% of the vote against 46% won by Solih, local media reported. Maldivians also voted at polling stations in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Britain and Abu Dhabi.
The programme is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of seniors through various housing initiatives and services within its projects. I
This will be coinciding with the launch of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (Adipec) 2023. Vehicles of public cleaning companies and logistical support vehicles are excluded from decision.
The Dubai Future Experts Program, developed by the Dubai Future Foundation in collaboration with The Executive Council of Dubai, prepares a group of future-focused experts in different sectors across Dubai’s government.