Africa should ‘prepare for the worst’ with virus, WHO says

JOHANNESBURG — Africa should “prepare for the worst” as the coronavirus begins to spread locally, the World Health Organization’s director-general said Wednesday, while South Africa became the continent’s new focus of concern as cases nearly doubled to 116 from two days before.

Ravaged by war, Middle Eastern countries face a new scourge

CAIRO — When Dr. Ismail al-Mansouri goes to work in Yemen’s capital, he puts on one of the hospital’s few pairs of medical gloves. Then he enters a cramped clinic teeming with listless patients, many malnourished, some vomiting, others with diarrhea.

Italy struggles to make room for onslaught of virus patients

BRESCIA, Italy — Three weeks into Italy’s coronavirus crisis, Dr. Sergio Cattaneo has seen an unused ward outfitted into an intensive care unit in six days, a hospital laundry room converted into a giant stretcher-filled waiting room and a tented field hospital erected outside to test possible new virus patients.

China to expel American reporters after US curbs its media

BEIJING — China announced that it will revoke the media credentials of all American journalists at three major U.S. news organizations, in effect expelling them from the country, in response to new U.S. restrictions on Chinese state-controlled media.

Putin orders Russian constitutional vote despite virus fears

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday ordered a vote on changes to the constitution which could allow him to extend his rule to be held next month as planned, but warned it could be delayed if the coronavirus situation worsens.

Spying on the virus: Israel secret service to track patients

JERUSALEM — The head of Israel’s shadowy Shin Bet internal security service said Tuesday that his agency received Cabinet approval overnight to start deploying the agency’s phone surveillance technology to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus in Israel, a move that sparked widespread criticism from lawmakers and civil rights groups.

Cuba welcomes cruise ship with COVID-19, others seek ports

HAVANA — A British cruise ship that was turned away from several Caribbean ports after passengers fell ill with novel coronavirus is scheduled to dock in Cuba Tuesday after the island agreed to help transfer those aboard to planes bound for the United Kingdom.

Lockdowns, stocks down as virus fight shifts away from China

MADRID — The global battle to contain the coronavirus breached a new level of urgency Monday, as governments locked down borders, millions of workers, students and worshipers were ordered to stay home, and pleas went out to funnel masks and ventilators to places struggling with soaring caseloads.

Canada closing borders to non-citizens, Americans exempted

TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he will close the country’s borders to anyone not a citizen, an American or a permanent resident — and even they have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival — due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Virus toll in Iran climbs as lockdowns deepen across Mideast

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran reported another 129 fatalities from the new coronavirus on Monday, the largest one-day rise in deaths since it began battling the Middle East’s worst outbreak, which has claimed more than 850 lives and infected a number of senior officials in the country.

Christchurch marks anniversary of mosque shootings

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — People in the New Zealand city of Christchurch honored the 51 worshipers who were killed in a mass shooting a year ago in small but poignant ways Sunday, after a planned national memorial event was canceled due to fears it might spread the new coronavirus.

Thousands of police seal Philippine capital to fight virus

MANILA, Philippines — Thousands of police in the Philippines, backed by the army and coast guard, started sealing the densely populated capital from most domestic travelers Sunday in one of Southeast Asia’s most drastic containment moves against the new coronavirus.

Spain locks down its citizens, while France shuts nightlife

BARCELONA, Spain — Spain locked down its 46 million citizens and France ordered the closing of just about everything the rest of the world loves about it — the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the cafes and restaurants — as governments took increasingly desperate measures to put more space between people and contain the coronavirus.

Mexico holds big music festival despite coronavirus concerns

MEXICO CITY — While the coronavirus pandemic has led authorities around the globe to cancel concerts and sporting events, and even shut down daily activities in some places, Mexico City is going ahead with Vive Latino — one of the most important music festivals in the country.