The number of coronavirus related deaths in the United States has surged past 2000, doubling within just two days. Johns hopkins University, which is monitoring the spread of the virus, said the number of infections has reached 120,000. A quarter of the deaths are in New York State. Earlier, President Trump said he was considering imposing a quarantine on New York to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Our North America correspondent says it's unclear how that quarantine might work. From the few comments that we've had so far from the president, it appears it would apply to all but essential travel. He did mention truck drivers trade, it wouldn't have any impact on, although the governor Andrew Cuomo said that it would cause chaos, and he in fact questioned whether it could be legally enforced. Now the president does have quite sweeping powers, especially during times of national emergency, but generally it's the state and local governments that take the lead in preventing the spread of diseases like this, so it could be fraught with problems.
Portugal has announced that it will approve all applications for legal residents by migrants because of a backlog of cases made worse by the coronavirus. All asylum seekers who have begun their applications will now be eligible for resident status. Officials described it as an act of solidarity at a time of crisis. The minister for internal affairs said the aim was to defend public health and guarantee the rights of migrants. The BBC's correspondent in Lisbon says it's not clear how many migrants will benefit.
Spain has imposed new nationwide restrictions on people's movements as it steps up attempts to fight the coronavirus. The prime minister Pedro Sánchez said all nonessential staff had been going to work must now stay at home for two weeks. The announcement came after the country recorded 832 deaths from the virus in a single day, its largest number yet. More than 5.5 thousand people have now died in Spain of COVID-19, second only to Italy worldwide.
The British prime minister Boris Johnson is to write to every household in the country to urge people to stay at home. The letter will warn that things will get worse before they get better. But if the rules are followed, fewer lives will be lost. Landing on the doormats of 30 million homes across the UK, a personal appeal and a warning from the prime minister. The letter from Boris Johnson states that things will get worse before they get better, and signals that the government is prepared to consider more stringent controls on public life, saying it will not hesitate to go further in its attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus, if scientific and medical advice shows it's necessary.
Russia's state-controlled oil giant Rosneft has announced that it's ceasing all its activities in Venezuela. In a statement, the company said the move was aimed at protecting the interests of its shareholders. Rosneft will sell all its assets in Venezuela and will leave the country. The announcement is a big blow for President Nicolas Maduro, who's under increasing pressure from the United States over alleged human rights violations. He has relied heavily on support from Russia and China to keep the struggling economy afloat. The US has imposed tough economic sanctions on his government. It said it would target companies from other countries that kept that links with the Maduro government.
South Korea says the North has fired an unidentified projectile into the sea off its east coast. A report by South Korea's Yonhap News Agency, citing the country's military joint Chiefs of Staff says the projectile was launched towards the sea of Japan. It's the fourth in a series of launches this month by Pyongyang, which is continuing to conduct military drills despite a border lockdown and quarantine measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
State media in Saudi Arabia say that at least two ballistic missiles were intercepted and destroyed in the sky above the capital Riyadh, and another missile near the southern city of Jizan. Residents in Riyadh say they heard three loud explosions shortly before midnight local time. It's unclear who fired the missiles. But the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have fired missiles over the border in the past aimed at military and civilian targets.
The security forces in Lebanon have dismantled a protest camp in central Beirut which has for months been the focus of nationwide antigovernment unrest. Video footage shows some tents flattened and others on fire. The interior minister said the move was aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.