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March 16 coronavirus news

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What you need to know now

  • The White House has advised people not to gather in groups of more than 10.
  • France has banned all family and social gatherings and closed its borders.
  • An Ohio judge denied the governor’s request to move the state’s primary election.
  • Canada will deny entry to anyone who isn’t a citizen or permanent resident.
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Malaysia imposes nationwide movement control order

A man walks through an unusually empty shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

Malaysia will impose a nationwide movement control order from Wednesday until the end of the month to combat spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced Monday night.

The order includes a “comprehensive restriction on movements and public gatherings” including a ban on all religious, sports, social, and cultural activities, reported the state-run Bernama News Agency. All houses of worship and business premises will be closed, except for supermarkets, wet markets, grocery shops and convenience stores selling daily necessities.

Most government premises, except those providing essential services such as water and electricity, will be closed, Bernama reported. All educational institutions will also be closed until the end of the month. 

Malaysians will be banned from traveling abroad, while foreign tourists and visitors will be restricted from entering the country, it added.

“I appeal to everyone to always comply with this movement control order. It is our common responsibility that we must implement as citizens who are concerned about our family, our society and our country,” Muhyiddin said.

Colombia will close borders to slow coronavirus spread

Colombian President Iván Duque announced Monday his decision to close the country’s borders to protect the health and well-being of citizens.

In a series of tweets, Duque explained the closure, which will go into effect midnight local time Monday through May 30, will restrict entry and exit for all citizens and foreign nationals.

According to the statement, cargo will be allowed to enter the country through authorized points of entry.

Los Angeles will stop issuing parking tickets for next two weeks, mayor says

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city will stop issuing parking tickets for the next two weeks effective immediately.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Garcetti said there are more cars parked on city streets because people are working from home or are taking care of others.

More on Los Angeles: On Sunday, Garcetti ordered the closure of bars, nightclubs, entertainment venues and gyms until March 31 in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus. His order also limits restaurants to takeout and delivery orders only.

Social Security offices will close in-person services starting Tuesday

Beginning Tuesday, Social Security offices will close for in-person appointments and will only provide phone service. 

The agency said it is doing this to protect older Americans.

The agency has come under fire from the union representing SSA workers, which filed an OSHA complaint alleging that some workers weren’t being allowed to telework, putting themselves and the people SSA services in danger from coronavirus.

The agency said despite closing in-person services, it will still be able to provide help online or over the phone.