China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

Kusum Tewari

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/china-coronavirus-outbreak-latest-updates-200221211643953.html

The number of new coronavirus cases has spiked more than two-fold to 433 in South Korea, as China reported a significant decline in new infections. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the window of opportunity to stem the deadly epidemic was “narrowing” amid concern about a surge in cases with no clear link to China, including in a range of countries in the Middle East. 

Iran’s health ministry reported one more death among 10 new cases of the infection, known as COVID-19. That brough the toll in Iran to five and the number of infections to 28 on Saturday. Lebanon and Israel confirmed their first cases on Friday. 

More:

Italy, meanwhile, reported its first two deaths from the coronavirus as authorities moved to close schools, bars and other public spaces in 10 northern towns. 

In mainland China, the number of new infections fell significantly to 397, with another 109 people dying of the disease. The new figures bring the total number of cases in mainland China to 76,288 with 2,345 deaths. 

Here are the latest updates:

Saturday, February 22

UK passengers from virus-hit cruise ship arrive home

More than 30 British and European passengers arrived back home in the United Kingdom after spending more than two weeks stuck on a quarantined cruise ship in a Japanese port due to the coronavirus outbreak, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed.

They landed at a defence ministry airfield in southwestern England on a government-chartered plane from Tokyo and were being taken straight to quarantine facilities.

The Diamond Princess liner was carrying 3,700 people, including 78 Britons, when it was quarantined in Yokohama on February 5.

Second coronavirus patient dies in Italy

A second patient infected with the new coronavirus died in Italy, Ansa news agency reported, citing healthcare sources. 

The victim was a female resident in Milan’s Lombardy region, Ansa said.

Iran reports one more death among 10 new cases 

Iran reported one more death among 10 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths in the Islamic republic to five and infections to 28.

“We have 10 new confirmed cases of COVID-19,” Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on state television.

“One of the new cases has unfortunately passed away,” he added, noting that eight of them had been hospitalised in Qom and two in Tehran. 

WHO concerned about cases with no clear link  

The WHO is concerned about the number of coronavirus cases with no clear epidemiological link, its director general said on Saturday.

“Although the total number of cases outside China remains relatively small, we are concerned about the number of cases with no clear epidemiological link, such as travel history to China or contact with a confirmed case,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing. 

According to available data, the disease remains mild in 80 percent of coronavirus patients, and is severe or critical in 20 percent of patients, he said. The virus has been fatal in 2 percent of reported cases. 

South Korea reports 87 new coronavirus cases

South Korea reported 87 more cases of the new coronavirus, bringing the country’s total to 433, South Korean news agency, Yonhap, reported.

China’s Xi thanks Bill Gates for coronavirus donation

Chinese President Xi Jinping personally thanked US billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates after his foundation donated $100m to fight COVID-19, the official Xinhua news agency reported

The foundation pledged the nine-figure sum towards efforts to detect the new coronavirus that causes the disease, to provide protection for at-risk populations and to develop a vaccine as well as treatment.

In his letter to Gates, Xi said: “I deeply appreciate the act of generosity of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and your letter of solidarity to the Chinese people at such an important moment.”

Last batch of Japanese passengers leaves cruise ship 

Some 100 passengers who were in close contact with infected people on board began disembarking from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship, local media said.

They included the last batch of Japanese passengers to leave the ship while some foreign passengers were still waiting on board for chartered aircraft to be sent by their governments. Around 970 passengers disembarked earlier this week.

Television footage showed a driver in a white protective suit at the wheel of a bus with the curtains drawn so that passengers could not be identified.

Passengers wearing masks leave the coronavirus-hit cruise ship Diamond Princess at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama

Passengers wearing masks leave the coronavirus-hit cruise ship Diamond Princess at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan [Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters]

Seven cruise ships to house Wuhan medical workers

China is bringing in seven cruise ships to house medical workers in Wuhan, state media reported. 

The first of these ships, the Blue Whale, arrived in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, on Friday from Yichang, a nearby city down the Yangtze River.

The seven ships will provide 1,469 beds in total.

Coronavirus epidemic: Wuhan residents ordered to remain indoors

Australia to allow return of some Chinese students

The Australian government said it will allow the return of some Chinese high school students who have been blocked from entering the country due to coronavirus restrictions.

Australian officials said the targeted easing of the ban would allow about 760 Chinese high school students – none from Hubei province, which is the epicentre of the outbreak – to apply to return.

“It is incredibly important that we bring some normality back to the international student market,” Education Minister Dan Tehan told reporters. “It is a small step we are taking, it is a precautionary step.”

South Korea coronavirus cases surge due to church, hospital outbreaks

South Korea reported 142 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, almost all linked to outbreaks at a hospital in Cheongdo county and a church in Daego city, bringing the national tally to 346.

Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) designated both the city of Daegu, which has a population of 2.5 million people, and Cheongdo county, home to around 43,000 people, as “special care zones” on Friday as case numbers began to surge upwards.

Cases from the Cheongdo hospital jumped in the latest daily figures, with the total rising from 16 to 108 overnight.

Two cases were reported in Busan, the first in South Korea’s second-largest city, while the Island of Jeju, a spot popular with domestic and international tourists, also recorded its first case.

China reports 397 new confirmed cases on mainland

Mainland China had 397 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections by the end of February 21, the country’s National Health Commission said on Saturday, marking a significant drop from the 889 cases recorded a day earlier.

That brings the total accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 76,288.

The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China reached 2,345 as of the end of February 21.

The central province of Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 109 new deaths, while in the provincial capital of Wuhan, 90 people died.

Wuhan woman with no symptoms infects five relatives with coronavirus

A 20-year-old Chinese woman from Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, travelled 675km (400 miles) north to Anyang where she infected five relatives, without ever showing signs of infection, Chinese scientists reported, offering new evidence that the virus can be spread asymptomatically.

According to the report by Dr Meiyun Wang of the People’s Hospital of Zhengzhou University and colleagues, doctors isolated the woman and tested her for the virus after her relatives started getting sick.

Initially, the young woman tested negative for the virus, but a follow-up test was positive.

All five of her relatives developed COVID-19 pneumonia, but as of February 11, the young woman still had not developed any symptoms, her chest CT remained normal and she had no fever, stomach or respiratory symptoms, such as cough or sore throat.

The case study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

British passengers from virus-hit cruise ship due to arrive home

Some 35 British passengers were due to arrive back home on Saturday after spending more than two weeks stuck on a quarantined cruise ship in a Japanese port due to the coronavirus outbreak.

They were landing at a defence ministry airfield in southwestern England on a government-chartered plane from Tokyo and being taken straight to quarantine facilities.

The Diamond Princess liner was carrying 3,700 people, including 78 Britons, when it was quarantined in Yokohama on February 5. More than 620 passengers on board have been infected with the coronavirus, the most outside mainland China.

First Italian patient dies of coronavirus 

A patient in the northern city of Padua has died after being infected with the coronavirus, becoming the first Italian victim of the disease, Ansa news agency reported. 

The dead man was aged 78, it said. 

A police car is seen in the village of Codogno after officials told residents to stay home and suspend public activities as 14 cases of coronavirus are confirmed in northern Italy

A police car is seen in the village of Codogno after officials told residents to stay home and suspend public activities as 14 cases of coronavirus are confirmed in northern Italy in the province of Lodi, Italy, February 21, 2020 [Reuters]

Friday, February 21

Kuwait stops all flights to and from Iran

Kuwait’s civil aviation authority has decided to stop all flights to and from Iran amid fears from coronavirus outbreak, the state news agency said, citing an official statement.

Kuwaiti nationals arriving from Iran will be subjected to quarantine, it said, adding that residents or those with entry permission who were in Iran during the past two weeks will be barred. 

Moreover, any foreign travellers coming from Iran will also be denied entry. 

Zelenskyy criticises people that attacked Ukrainians evacuated from Wuhan

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had harsh words for an angry mob who smashed windows on buses carrying dozens of Ukrainians evacuated from China over the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“We keep saying that Ukraine is Europe. But yesterday it seemed like we were Europe in the Middle Ages,” Zelenskyy said in Kyiv.

Fearing the passengers would bring the first deadly case of the novel coronavirus to Ukraine, hundreds of people – some armed with metal rods and rocks – turned out to protest their return on Thursday.

Public spaces closed in 10 Italian towns over coronavirus fears

Authorities in northern Italy ordered the closure of schools, bars and other public spaces in 10 towns following a flurry of new coronavirus cases.

Five doctors and nine other people tested positive for the virus in Lombardy, after apparently frequenting the same bar and group of friends, with two other cases in Veneto, authorities said at a news conference.

Over 50,000 people have been asked to stay at home in the areas concerned, while all public activities such as carnival celebrations, church masses and sporting events have been banned for up to a week.

Read the rest of the updates from Friday, February 21 here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

Donald Trump’s Peace Deal With the Taliban is Exceedingly Bad News for India

https://www.news18.com/news/india/donald-trumps-peace-deal-with-the-taliban-is-exceedingly-bad-news-for-india-2511039.html