00:13 GMT01 April 2020
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    Coronavirus Outbreak Turns Into Pandemic (233)
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    The Maduro government earlier declared a state of emergency across Venezuela to tackle the spread of the Chinese COVID-2019 disease, banning mass gatherings and suspending air traffic with Europe and neighboring Colombia.

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced on Sunday a "collective quarantine" for the capital city of Caracas and several other regions across the nation, ordering the closure of all entities, with the exception of essential services, including medical facilities.

    ​The measure means that Venezuelan residents must remain in their homes. Maduro said, in a televised broadcast, that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country had risen from 10 to 17.

    Earlier, local health officials registered eight new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, bringing the total to 10.  Neighboring Colombia closed its border with Venezuela, amid the pandemic.

    Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza earlier called on Colombian authorities to join forces in combating the spread of COVID-19.

    As of Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) has registered over 9,700 new cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outside of mainland China - Ground Zero for the contagious pneumonia-type infection - bringing the total number infected across the globe to over 162,000, with over 6,000 dead.

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    Coronavirus Outbreak Turns Into Pandemic (233)

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    Nicolas Maduro, Nicolas Maduro, coronavirus, COVID-19, Venezuela
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