What you need to know about COVID-19 today, Sunday March 15.

— With AAP.

Australian cases jumps to nearly 250.

In Australia, there are 248 confirmed cases of the Novel coronavirus COVID-19, with 49 new infections reported in the last 24 hours. Those infected in Australia include the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton as well as actor Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

There has been five fatalities in Australia from the virus.

Worldwide, as of Sunday March 15, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 stands at 156,056. More than 135 countries have now reported confirmed cases.

A total of 5,821 people have died from the coronavirus, and nearly 75,000 people have made a full recovery.

Watch: Mamamia’s Claire Murphy breaks down your most asked questions about COVID-19. Post continues below. 

Video by Mamamia

Vivid Sydney is cancelled.

This year’s Vivid light festival in Sydney has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The festival had been scheduled to run between May 22 and June 13.

The announcement comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison banned public events with more than 500 people.

“Vivid Sydney is a bright star of Sydney’s event calendar so the decision to cancel was not taken lightly,” NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said.

Donald Trump coronavirus test returns negative.

Donald Trump has tested negative for COVID-19, his doctor disclosed on Saturday night.

The president was required to be tested after his direct interactions with at least three confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Neither President Trump nor his family have reported feeling symptoms of the illness.

Despite continuing to appear at large gatherings himself, Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday: “SOCIAL DISTANCING!”


Spain enters two week lockdown.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has announced a two-week state of emergency as of Monday morning.

Spaniards will enter lockdown for a period of at least 15 days, said the Socialist politician. They will only be able to leave the house under exceptional circumstances. Trips to work, to the doctor, to look after children and those in need of help, and to buy food and medicine remain permitted.

Spain is second only to Italy in the severity of its coronavirus outbreak, with the number of cases rising sharply for days. There are currently more than 6,000 cases and over 190 deaths.

In addition to restrictions on citizens’ movements, the state of alarm allows the government to ration food and other important goods, as well as have them confiscated, and to mobilise all security forces, as well as the army, in order to implement the measures.

On Saturday it was also announced that Begona Gomez, the wife of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, has tested positive for coronavirus.

Listen to Mamamia’s daily news podcast The Quicky about what life is really like in COVID-19 lockdown. Post continues below.

New Zealand’s severe travel restrictions.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced almost all international arrivals, including Kiwi citizens, will be required to self-isolate for a fortnight on their return from overseas travel to New Zealand.

The decision will have incredible ramifications for the New Zealand economy, and particularly the travel industry on which the South Pacific nation is deeply reliant.

Economists believe a recession in New Zealand is inevitable in the wake of the global pandemic.

It comes after the government made a last-minute call to cancel Sunday’s national remembrance service on the first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Apple closes their retail stores worldwide.

Apple Inc is closing all their retail stores, except those in Greater China, for the next 14 days to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission. Most major retailers have kept stores open thus far.

The announcements comes after the global response to the outbreak escalates.

Apple’s hourly workers will continue to receive pay in alignment with business as usual operation, Cook said, and online sales will continue as usual.

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Feature Images: Getty.

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