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The Iranian government has decided to close all schools and universities until March 20th, Iran’s Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told the state TV on Thursday. The spokesman further announced that the total number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the country rose to 3,513 with 107 deaths.

Elsewhere, the World Health Organization announced that a traveller who had returned to Egypt from Serbia via France has tested positive for coronavirus to register the first case in an Egyptian national.

Meanwhile, an employee working in HSBC’s research department in London has also tested positive for COVID-19, Reuters reported, citing three sources familiar with the developments. Finally, Kyodo News said that there are seven new confirmed infections in Nagoya and a spokesperson for the Greek Health Ministry noted that they have confirmed 21 new infections among a group that travelled to Egypt and Israel.

Flight to safety

Risk aversion continues to dominate the financial markets on Thursday. As of writing, the 10-year US Treasury bond yield was down 8.4% on the day and major European equity indexes were erasing between 1.4% and 1.8%.