The coronavirus is soon headed to becoming a pandemic as several countries are reporting a considerable jump in infection numbers. Here is all the latest news on the coronavirus.
The situation of the coronavirus in China
China reported 508 new cases on Tuesday in an outbreak of the coronavirus that has spread to other parts of Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Another 71 deaths were reported in mainland China, 68 of them in the city of Wuhan, where the epidemic has been concentrated. The updates bring mainland China’s totals to 77,658 cases and 2,663 deaths.
First Cases of Coronavirus in some Middle East Countries Reported
On Monday, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq and Afghanistan reported their first infection from the coronavirus. Kuwait reported three cases, Bahrain and Iraq reported one each. The reports of new infections in these countries brings the number of countries in the middle east with the coronavirus to eight.
Meanwhile, Turkey, Armenia and Pakistan have closed their borders with Iran as deaths the from coronavirus in the country jumped to 12 with 43 infections.
Pakistan has also quarantined close to 200 people in the southwestern Balochistan Province close to the Iranian border. The quarantine announcement came shortly after Pakistan sealed off its land border with Iran.
Afghanistan’s minister of public health has said the country had identified its first case of coronavirus. Ferozuddin Feroz, the minister of public health, told a press conference in Kabul one of three suspected cases had been confirmed in the Western province of Herat. He announced a state of emergency in the province, which borders Iran.
Sporadic spread of the coronavirus in South Korea and Italy
South Korea has declared the highest emergency alert in the country following a sporadic spike in the spread of the coronavirus. 8 people have died from the infection and more than 800 have been infected.
Italy has also seen a sporadic spread of the coronavirus with the country having the highest number of infections in Europe. The country currently has 229 cases of the coronavirus infection and it is still unclear how the virus entered the country. The affected parts in Italy is the Lombardy and Veneto regions with many small towns under lockdown for the next two weeks. Even outside the zone, many businesses and schools have suspended activities, and sporting events have been cancelled. The five deaths announced on Monday were all in Lombardy.
Amid the growing restrictions, the last two days of the Venice Carnival scheduled to hold on Monday and Tuesday was cancelled.
Mauritius blocks entry to Italian Visitors
In the Indian ocean island of Mauritius, an Alitalia plane that landed opted to return to Italy after being told they would have to go into quarantine because of local concerns over the coronavirus. The plane carrying some 224 passengers and crew flew from Rome to the Indian Ocean island. Forty people from the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto decided to head home because of the quarantine threat, Alitalia said in a statement.
Officials in Mauritius held an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss how to deal with the coronavirus epidemic, ultimately deciding to deny entry to anyone who has been in South Korea or the three northern Italian provinces most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The ban on South Korea and northern Italy would apply to anyone who had visited those affected regions in the past 14 days. It is the same policy put in place on February 2 for any travellers from China, where the outbreak began.
The Indian Ocean island nation has a few dozen people in quarantine but has not confirmed any COVID-19 cases.
China Postpones Parliament
For the first time in decades, China has decided to
postpone the annual meeting of its parliament due in March as the country
fights to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
The standing committee of the National People’s Congress will decide on a new date later.
China’s top legislative committee has begun deliberating a proposal to ban all trade and consumption of wild animals, a practice believed responsible for the country’s deadly coronavirus outbreak.
New UK case of the coronavirus infection
Four evacuees of the Diamond Princess ship in Japan flown to Britain on Saturday have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 13. They were among 30 repatriated Britons and two Irish citizens beginning a 14-day quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral.
They have now been transferred to specialist NHS infection centres. Two patients are in the Royal Hallamshire in Sheffield, one is in the Royal in Liverpool and a fourth was transferred to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, NHS England said.