What's Happening: Isolation measures spread, markets dive

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A health official checks the body temperature of a government employee in Peshawar, Pakistan, Thursday, March 12, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)

People around the world have become increasingly isolated from each other due to a mounting number of travel bans, school closures and canceled public events.

These are some of the latest developments on Thursday:


A day after the World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, people across the world were facing the prospect of being stuck where they are for the foreseeable future. Restrictions on travel from much of Europe to the United States are to begin this weekend, while the U.S. State Department warned Americans to reconsider foreign travel. Austria's 25,000 police officers were told they were not allowed to take any vacation at least until the end of April, a measure aimed at having enough officers to ensure order.


The massive sell-off that caused markets to plunge in response to the outbreak got even worse. European stocks tumbled 10%, despite moves by the European Central Bank to boost the economy. In Asia, stocks in Thailand and the Philippines fell so fast that trading was temporarily halted. And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 2,300 points, or 10%, and the S&P 500 was off 9.5%.


Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s communications director tested positive for the new virus, days after traveling with Bolsonaro to a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Florida. Fábio Wajngarten posted a photo of himself posing beside Trump at the Mar-a-Lago resort. The meeting included Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner. The White House said the president does not plan to be tested or go into self-quarantine.