Coronavirus live: latest news on the worldwide pandemic
Coronavirus news: live updates
We'll leave it there for this evening with the latest figures on the Covid-19 pandemic. Worldwide there have been a total of 25,294 new cases on 19 March at time of writing, with 1,060 fatalities. Overall cases are moving towards the 250,000-mark and there have been confirmed cases reported in 178 countries and territories.
As ever, follow the advice of your local and national health authorities, stay at home if you're in lock down and above all, stay safe. We'll be back tomorrow to keep you posted with the latest developments in Spain and globally.
The US has just issued a Level 4 travel alert to its citizens, the highest there is in the States. It advises against all travel out of the country.
The Serbia striker is among a number of high-profile Serbs who have been warned that coronavirus protocols apply to everyone. Jovic has apologised for not self-isolating on arrival in Belgrade.
Scientists are looking at whether an anti-malarial drug chloroquine could be a treatment for coronavirus. US president Donald Trump announced earlier today that the drug, which has been used since the 1940s for the treatment of malaria, is one of a number of approaches being investigated to tackle Covid-19.
According to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, chloroquine was shown to be "highly effective" in controlling infection with the virus.
The US Food and Drug Administration confirmed chloroquine will be used in a clinical trial. Speaking alongside Trump, FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said "What’s also important is not to provide false hope,” adding, “we may have the right drug, but it might not be in the appropriate dosage form right now, and it might do more harm than good.”
La Reppublica are reporting that Juventus player Gonzalo Higuain [link in Italian] was stopped from leaving Italy for Argentina by authorities at the airport. Higuaín is meant to be in quarantine after Juventus teammates Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi tested positive for coronavirus.
According to La Reppublica Higuaín turned up at the airport with a medical certificate stating that he was coronavirus negative and with a private jet waiting for him on the runway. Argentina has blocked all flights from Italy at present, but the Juve striker was able to fly to France, then Spain and from there to Argentina.
Higuaín's mother is suffering from cancer and reports are that he was desperate to see her, having not visited for some time.
Amid global coronavirus pandemic, the new 2020 Belarus Premier League commenced the season today making it the only one of UEFA's 55 member states with an active top flight league.
Following yesterday's news about the death of a 37-year-old guard, news now about what is believed to be the first loss of a health worker.
LaLiga is suspended, but one player from each team is taking to their locked-down console to compete. And you can watch live!
The Premier League states: "The FA’s Board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019/20 season in relation to Professional Football"
No slow down in fatalities in Spain after the health ministry confirmed today that the death toll from Covid-19 rose by 209 to 767 deaths in the past 24 hour period.
As Turkish football carries on despite the Covid-19 virus spreading in the country, the likes of Radamel Falcao, Kayserispor's Bernard Mensah and Jon Obi Mikel have spoken out strongly against the SuperLig continuing.
Real Madrid player Luka Jovic has broken quarantine and headed home to Belgrade. This type of behaviour has been strongly criticised by Serbian primer minister Ana Brnabic: "We've got these bad example of our football stars who earn millions ignoring obligatory self-isolation and returning home."
Newspaper Blic reported that the player had been "having fun around Belgrade" and that the police were tracking his movements.
The Express has an exclusive interview with Birmingham coach Pep Clotet, who sent his family back to Spain as he felt that would be safer for them with the coronavirus taking hold in the UK. However they are now in lockdown near Barcelona and he's very worried.
"My parents are locked down in the house, and my brother calls every few hours. It is incredibly worrying. I am calling my wife and kids, and my parents, several times a day on the phone or using WhatsApp. But I cannot go back to see them because I am working."
He went on “I am caught between two worlds. I feel I cannot do my job properly. I keep thinking, ‘maybe I should go back?’ But I cannot go back - because I am working."
He also said he wasn't optimistic about the situation for football: "I am not optimistic. Even if you play a game behind closed doors you, are still talking about more than 50 people being in the stadium. This is not going to be solved in 2-3 weeks.”
LaLiga alone is looking at a loss of between €800 and €950 million.
Iran has announced another big jump in cases, with 1,046 new confirmed infections in the last day to take the country's total to 18,407. 149 people have died of the virus in the past 24 hours. Meanwhile Costa Rica has announced it's first death from coronavirus - an 87-year-old man. The Central American country has 69 confirmed cases and has shut its borders to tourists as part of its state of emergency.
Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, has tested positive for coronavirus. That's not going to make the Brexit talks over the future UK - EU deal any easier. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the transition period will end on 31 December no matter what, despite a pandemic wreaking havoc across the continent. This week's second round of negotiations have been cancelled, the next round scheduled for 6 April is in serious doubt.
Scottish side Heart of Midlothian have asked their players and staff to take a 50 per cent pay cut from the start of April in attempt to save the club from financial collapse. Chairman and CEO Ann Budge said in statement that the reduction in income for the club caused by the coronavirus meant the situation was not sustainable without taking immediate action to cut staff costs and overheads. She said no-one's salary would fall below the UK living wage of £18,135.
Russia has seen its first death from coronavirus, a 79-year-old woman from Moscow who died yesterday. She had underlying medical conditions, including diabetes and hypertension. Russia has had remarkably few infections so far, recording 147 confirmed cases by Wednesday evening. There are concerns that the official numbers may however be underestimating the situation to avoid public panic.
Thierry Breton, the European commissioner for industry, has released a statement asking for Netflix and other streaming services to take action to reduce congestion on the internet by, for example, switching to standard definition from high definition as millions of people stuck at home turn to online content to help get through the lock-downs.
"Streaming platforms, telecom operators and users, we all have a joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet during the battle against the virus propagation.
The commission would also like internet users to reduce their data consumption, by using Wi-FI or choosing lower resolution for content.
The coronavirus has led to a spike in internet usage, as parents working at home make video conference calls, while children log on for online lessons or digital games."
With football leagues being suspended around the planet, the 2020 Belarus Premier League kicks-off today with two games scheduled. Belarus and Turkey are the only European nations where top flight football is carrying on. However, reports from Istanbul based media suggest that the majority of SuperLig clubs want action to be halted and are lobbying the TFF. Only Kasimpasa and Trabzonspor are anxious for league to continue.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said the extension of the current lock down period in Italy is “inevitable”.
"The restrictive measures are working and it is obvious that when we reach the peak of contagion, I hope in one day, we will not be able to return to normal life immediately," he told Il Corriere della Sera today.
Conte, who claimed the health system has been "prevented from collapsing" as a result of the lock down measures, confirmed the restrictions will be extended beyond the original April 3 date. Italy has now registered 35,713 cases of coronavirus and 2,978 deaths.
Lockdown in Ireland imminent: Ireland is set to follow Spain, Italy and France by imposing lock down measures. The Irish parliament is set to fast track emergency legisation on Thursday which will allow authorities to impose lockdown by decree and forcibly detain people who refused to self-isolate. Ireland has so far confirmed 366 cases of COVID-19.
Some Positive news from China: China reports no domestic cases of coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began in Wuhan in December. All new cases were recent overseas arrivals.
The Premier League has called an emergency board meeting for Thursday afternoon, where it will reiterate its commitment to completing the season. But it is expected to extend the suspension for another two weeks beyond April 4.
New York Stock Exchange: The NYSE is set to temporarily close its trading floor in lower Manhattan after two people tested positive for COVID-19. The news comes amid the worsening coronavirus situations in the U.S. where there have been more than 8,700 confirmed cases.
Good morning from Madrid. We're here to keep you up to date with coronavirus news as it breaks from the sporting world and more. As it stands, there has been almost 220,000 confirmend cases across the globe, with almost 9,000 deaths. The lastest figures here is Spain: 14,769 cases; 638 deaths.