Coronavirus live news: UN warns of ‘biblical’ famine as Trump reveals 60-day immigration halt | World news

China’s northeastern border province of Heilongjiang on Tuesday reported seven new locally transmitted coronavirus cases and one imported case – a Chinese national returning from Russia – prompting authorities to issue more restrictions.

In Harbin, the capital of the province and where the seven new cases were reported, authorities said only local residents may enter their residential compounds. More screenings would be implemented at airports, train stations and highways. Those living in residential buildings where there have been confirmed or suspicious cases must also quarantine for 14 days. Anyone arriving from outside the city must be quarantined.

While the number of imported infections has levelled off in China, the border region has become a risk to the country’s recovery. The province of Heilongjiang has reported a total of 537 locally transmitted cases and 119 imported cases, mostly Chinese nationals returning from Russia. In the border town of Suifenhe, residents have been ordered to stay at home, with only one person from each household permitted to leave every three days to get supplies.

Neighbouring provinces including Jilin and Liaoning have started to require quarantines and several rounds of tests for anyone travelling from the cities of Harbin or Mudanjiang in Heilongjjiang.

A chronically ill refugee held in immigration detention in Australia – and at serious risk of contracting Covid-19 – has launched a case in the high court seeking his release into the community to protect him from infection.

His challenge, lodged in Melbourne late Tuesday by the Human Rights Law Centre, is being seen as a test case for other women and men living in close confines in immigration detention and at risk of a Covid-19 outbreak. Guardian Australia understands his case is likely to be “the first of many”.

Business leaders expect drawn out, U-shaped recession

Trump announces 60-day ban on immigrants seeking permanent status in US

Donald Trump has announced a 60-day ban on immigrants seeking to live and work in America permanently, and said he could extend it depending on the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The US president framed the executive order, which he expects to sign on Wednesday, as an effort to protect American workers from foreign competition. He said it would apply only to those seeking green cards and not temporary workers, but he did not explain how those whose applications are currently being processed would be affected.

“By pausing immigration, we will help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens – so important,” Trump told reporters at Tuesday’s coronavirus taskforce briefing. “It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labour flown in from abroad. We must first take care of the American worker.”

The “pause” would be in effect for 60 days, he added, after which the need for an extension or alternation would be reviewed “based on economic conditions at the time”. Under questioning, he confirmed that he might then decide to add a further 30 days or more.

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