Coronavirus concerns see Catholics push changes to holy communion

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has urged a number of measures to reduce transmission of the virus, including stopping communion being distributed from the chalice and the removal of holy water from stoups.

In a statement, the conference said dioceses and parishes should consider the changes "given the regular assembly of large groups for liturgical celebrations and a number of enquiries from dioceses, parishes and individuals".

Coronavirus: Tourism operators in PNG demand answers over ship ban

Over 3000 tourists on the Queen Elizabeth Two, which had sailed from Australia, were restricted from disembarking at Rabaul by the local administration late last month due to coronavirus fears

Rabaul Hotel owner Susan McGrade organised a subsequent meeting of local tourism operators.

She said operators wanted to know why East New Britain governor Nakikus Konga decided to deny access to the ship despite it being cleared by PNG's health department.

Suspected case of coronavirus in Marshall Islands

A male, 66, was quarantined at Majuro hospital on Thursday and is identified by health authorities as a "patient under investigation", said Health Secretary Jack Niedenthal in a statement.

Mr Niedenthal also called for donor assistance to provide laboratory-testing equipment so the islands have the ability to test for the coronavirus locally.

"This case is being treated and investigations are underway, including laboratory testing, to determine if this is a confirmed case of Covid-19."

He advised the public to remain calm and practice preventative measures.

Coronavirus: Olympics rugby sevens test event cancelled

The Japanese Rugby Football Union announced that next month's Asia Sevens Invitational, which was to double as a test event for rugby sevens at the  2020 Games, has been cancelled due to concerns over the spreading of the deadly virus.

Organisers are now hoping to reschedule the rugby sevens test event at some stage when the situation is more safe.

Rugby sevens made its Olympics debut at the last Games at Rio 2016.

Coronavirus: IMF provides $50bn to fight outbreak

The organisation also warned that the outbreak had already pushed this year's global economic growth below last year's levels.

The emergency measure came after the virus has spread rapidly outside China to more than 70 countries.

This week governments and central banks around the world have taken action to ease the impact of the virus.

The IMF said it is making the money available to help poor and middle-income countries with weak health systems respond to the epidemic.

Release of James Bond film No Time To Die delayed amid coronavirus fears

The producers said they had moved the release of No Time To Die from April to November after "careful consideration and thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace".

The announcement comes days after the founders of two 007 fan sites called on the film studios to delay its release.

It will now come out in the UK on 12 November, and in the US on 25 November.

No Time To Die, which is due to be Daniel Craig's final appearance as the British secret service agent, had been due for release on 3 April.

Despite coronavirus, IOC unwavering on Tokyo Olympics starting in July

“Neither the word cancellation nor the word postponement was even mentioned,” International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach told a news conference today about the second day of executive board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Bach sought to project calm assurance after holding a conference call with local organisers. In Tokyo, officials then briefed local media, some of whom wore protective masks.

Asked how he could be so confident the July 24-August 9 Olympics will go ahead as scheduled, Bach replied: “Because we talk to the experts.”

China orders travellers quarantined amid coronavirus outbreak

Travellers from the virus hotspots of South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy arriving in the capital will have to be isolated, a Beijing official has said.

Shanghai and Guangdong announced similar restrictions earlier.

Authorities are worried the virus might be imported back into the country.

Although most virus deaths have been in China, Monday saw nine times more new infections outside China than in.

Shanghai said it would require new arrivals from countries with "relatively serious virus conditions" to be isolated, without naming the countries.

NBA urge players to avoid autographs, hi-fives to combat coronavirus

The league, in a memo obtained by The Associated Press, offered 10 recommendations to players with hopes of decreasing risks of getting the virus — among them, not taking items such as pens, markers, balls and jerseys from autograph-seekers.

The NBA also told teams that it is consulting “with infectious disease experts, including the Centers for Disease Control” and infectious disease researchers at Columbia University in New York.

Six Nations confirm fixtures will go ahead despite coronavirus fears

The committee met in Paris earlier today to discuss the threat posed by the spread of the coronavirus across Europe.

Following talks, is has been decided that both England’s game against Wales in Twickenham on Saturday, and Sunday’s meeting of Scotland and France in Edinburgh, will go ahead as planned. Tournament bosses are looking at relocating the Women’s and U20 Italy vs England matches to a new Italian location, and will make a further announcement to confirm.