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Global cases of coronavirus rises above 341,000

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JERICHO, NEW YORK – MARCH 21: A close-up view of a swab used by medical workers tend to administer the coronavirus test at the drive-in center at ProHealth Care on March 21, 2020 in Jericho, New York. The facility offers COVID-19 testing as more than 200,000 people in at least 144 countries have been infected, with deaths in the U.S. surpassing 200. The World Health Organization declared coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

At least 341,000 people have contracted the novel coronavirus and over 14,700 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking cases recorded by the World Health Organization and additional sources.

Hong Kong introduces new controls: The city will ban all non-residents from entering as it struggles to contain a new wave of infections. Other parts of Asia have also introduced new measures this week amid fears of imported cases.

Olympic dreams hang by a thread: For the first time Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged that Tokyo 2020 may have to be postponed. Canada has already said it won’t send a team even if the Games go ahead this year as planned.

US relief bill delayed: A key Senate vote related to a massive economic stimulus plan in response to the pandemic has been pushed back as lawmakers continue to wrangle over its contents.

Stock markets take a hit: European markets opened lower on Monday as the US Senate stalled on the stimulus plan for the US economy. The main markets all opened around 3% to 4% down, following losses in Asia and a big drop in US futures.

Indian cities go into lockdown: The capital New Delhi is among 75 districts in the country that will go into lockdown until March 31 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Several districts are now enforcing a pre-existing law that makes it a punishable offence for four or more people to gather.

Australia urges halt to domestic travel: More than a thousand cases have been reported in the country as Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the closure of non-essential businesses and urged people to avoid domestic travel. It’s only the latest blow to Australians after an intense summer of wildfires in what Morrison described as “the toughest year of our lives.”

New Zealand issues highest-level alert: All non-essential businesses across the country will close, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. The Pacific nation had already limited international arrivals amid fears of imported cases.