Hong Kong face masks ban largely upheld despite coronavirus

Law against use at legal and illegal assemblies was introduced during protests

As health experts in Hong Kong call for masks to be made mandatory to tackle coronavirus, a ban on their use that was introduced in response to protests has been largely upheld by the appeal court.

The court also used its ruling to push back at accusations that its role in assessing the constitutionality of laws was an affront to Beijing.

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Have Australia and New Zealand stopped Covid-19 in its tracks?

Southern hemisphere neighbours have developed different strategies but both are working – for now

Its more than 35,000km of coastline was always going to be Australia’s most potent weapon in the fight against coronavirus, but even so, the speed with which it was deployed was breathtaking.

Without warning on Thursday 19 March, the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, announced “Australia is closing its borders to all-non citizens”, the ban effective from 9pm the next day.

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How did coronavirus start and where did it come from? Was it really Wuhan’s animal market?

It’s likely Covid-19 originated in bats, scientists say. But did it then spread to pangolins and humans?

In the public mind, the origin story of coronavirus seems well fixed: in late 2019 someone at the now world-famous Huanan seafood market in Wuhan was infected with a virus from an animal.

The rest is part of an awful history still in the making, with Covid-19 spreading from that first cluster in the capital of China’s Hubei province to a pandemic that has killed about 80,000 people so far.

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How coronavirus changed the world in three months – video

In just three months, the coronavirus has turned the world upside down. But how did it play out so quickly? We take a look back to where it all began – from its origins in south east Asia, to its acceleration across Europe and the US. As the infection rate increased and countries went into lockdown, people began to find imaginative and inspiring ways of coping with our new reality

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Global coronavirus cases near 1.5m as fresh WHO row erupts

US officials voice hope that isolation measures are working amid accusations of racism in fight between Taiwan and WHO

Global cases of Covid-19 approached 1.5 million, as both the US and the UK recorded their deadliest day yet in the pandemic, and a fresh World Health Organization row erupted.

Despite the grim US death toll for Tuesday – 1,858 in total, including 806 in New York City – White House taskforce officials said on Wednesday night there were signs isolation measures were working and the death toll may not be as high as the 100,000 and 240,000 feared.

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Global coronavirus cases near 1.5m as fresh WHO row erupts

US officials voice hope that isolation measures are working amid accusations of racism in fight between Taiwan and WHO

Global cases of Covid-19 approached 1.5 million, as both the US and the UK recorded their deadliest day yet in the pandemic, and a fresh World Health Organization row erupted.

Despite the grim US death toll for Tuesday – 1,858 in total, including 806 in New York City – White House taskforce officials said on Wednesday night there were signs isolation measures were working and the death toll may not be as high as the 100,000 and 240,000 feared.

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Clash looms in Japan as Tokyo governor says Abe’s Covid-19 measures not enough

Yuriko Koike is expected to name the businesses she wants closed under PM’s state of emergency

Tokyo’s governor, Yuriko Koike, is poised to call for further business closures to contain the coronavirus outbreak, setting her on a collision course with the prime minister, Shinzo Abe.

Disagreements between Koike and Abe over how far the emergency measures should go have quickly escalated since Tokyo’s 14 million residents were asked to stay home earlier this week amid record numbers of new cases.

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New Zealand election: Ardern resists calls for delay amid Covid-19 outbreak

Just 29 new cases recorded as deputy prime minister calls on Ardern to move election from September to November

Jacinda Ardern has refused to postpone New Zealand’s September elections over the coronavirus pandemic, despite calls for a delay from her deputy and the deputy opposition leader.

On Thursday New Zealand recorded a significant drop in corona cases for the fourth day in a row, with just 29 new infections, 21 fewer than the previous day.

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Coronavirus live news: Iran deaths pass 4,000 as US insists isolation measures are working after record daily toll

Boris Johnson still in intensive care; US protective equipment stockpile nearly empty; virus could push 500m people into poverty

Wednesday marked the 100th day since China, on 31 December 2019, first reported cases of pneumonia caused by a hitherto unknown coronavirus to the World Health Organization. Since then there have been over 1.3m confirmed cases, and over 75,000 deaths. Billions of people are confined to their homes and stock markets have plummeted

The Guardian’s visuals team has put together an interactive graphic showing how the pandemic has spread across the globe, from the very beginnings of the outbreak in Wuhan. It’s worth a look.

Related: How coronavirus spread across the globe - visualised

Bangladesh has imposed a “complete lockdown” in its Cox’s Bazaar district, which is home to over a million Rohingya refugees from neighbouring Myanmar.

The area “will be put under complete lockdown - no entry, no exit - until the situation improves,” a government directive issued late on Wednesday said, according to AFP. No cases have been confirmed in the camps but one infection has been recorded nearby.

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Sex toy sales triple during New Zealand’s coronavirus lockdown

Speculation rife about an impending baby boom, but experts say uncertain times mean this is unlikely

They were warned by the officials against stockpiling toilet paper or flour. But that’s not all New Zealanders have been hoarding, according to the nation’s largest retailer of sex toys, which said sales of its products tripled after Jacinda Ardern announced a month-long lockdown of the country.

New Zealanders are permitted to leave their homes only to access essential services or take walks during the national shutdown, which began a fortnight ago and will remain in place for at least a further two weeks.

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