CORONAVIRUS: WORLD 'ON BRINK OF CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC': ALL THE LATEST UPDATES



The disease was also detected for the first time in Estonia, Denmark, Georgia, Brazil, Pakistan, Sweden, Norway, Greece, Romania and Algeria


Here are the latest updates:

Credit to Source: Aljazeera


Thursday, February 27


RECOVERED PATIENTS TESTING POSITIVE AGAIN

Chinese health officials say that about 14% of people who had the coronavirus but recovered and were discharged from hospital have tested positive for the virus again.


Health officials admit they're still learning about the new coronavirus and how it operates within the human body.


The same phenomenon has been reported in Japan, when a woman in her 40s who had recovered and tested negative for the virus then tested positive more than three weeks later.


The authorities in both countries have pledged to continue tracking former patients, even after they've been discharged from hospital.


Credit to Source: BBC Youtube


INFECTED SOUTH KOREAN FLIGHT ATTENDANT WORKED LOS ANGELES ROUTE

A Korean Air flight attendant who worked on flights between Seoul and Los Angeles subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus, South Korea's disease control agency and sources said.


The flight attendant worked on Korean Air's flight KE017 from Seoul's Incheon airport to Los Angeles on February 19, and on the return flight KE012 on February 20, Yonhap news agency and other media reported. A South Korean official familiar with the case verified those flight details.


"She took a flight after showing symptoms, and we are investigating people who had contact with the employee on the flight," the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said in a statement.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


OSAKA CITY TO CLOSE KINDERGARTENS, ELEMENTARY, JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLS

Japan's Osaka city has decided to close all public kindergartens, elementary and junior high schools from February 29 to March 13 in a bid to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, Kyodo reported.


An Osaka city official said the municipal government was holding a meeting to discuss measures concerning the virus but that he was not aware of the reported decision.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


IRAN INFECTION CASES REACH 141, DEATHS 22

Iran's state-run IRNA news agency's latest figures show 141 confirmed cases and 22 deaths.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


ESTONIA CONFIRMS FIRST CORONAVIRUS CASE

Estonia has confirmed its first coronavirus case in a man who returned from Iran, Russian news agencies TASS and Interfax reported on Thursday, citing Estonian health authorities.


"We are talking about a permanent resident of Estonia who is not a citizen of Estonia," Interfax reported, citing Estonian Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik.


"According to my information, he is a citizen of Iran," Interfax cited Kiik as telling Estonian TV.


A worshipper wears a mask at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles [Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP]

Credit to Source: Aljazeera

SAUDI ARABIA HALTS TRAVEL TO MECCA, MEDINA

Saudi Arabia halted travel to the holiest sites in Islam over coronavirus fears just months ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, as the Middle East recorded more than 220 confirmed cases.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


DENMARK CONFIRMS FIRST CORONAVIRUS CASE

Denmark has confirmed its first coronavirus infection in a man who returned from a ski holiday in northern Italy, the Danish health authority said. The man was put in isolation in his own home.



IRAQ ANNOUNCES SIXTH CASE OF CORONAVIRUS

Iraq's health ministry said a young Iraqi man in Baghdad tested positive after returning from Iran.

Credit to Source: Aljazeera

VIRUS STRIKES ANOTHER BLOW AT RELIGIOUS TOURISM IN IRAQ

Iraq's vital religious tourism sector was already suffering after months of protests, political turmoil and sanctions hitting pilgrims from neighbouring Iran - then the novel coronavirus arrived.


In the southern Shia holy city of Karbala, hotels have closed and face masks are more common on the street than the full-length black veils worn by female pilgrims.


Visitors are scarce at the golden-domed tomb of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, despite twice-daily visits by health officials to sanitise the site.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


NORTH KOREA EXTENDS SCHOOL BREAKS OVER VIRUS FEARS

North Korea has postponed the new school term to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, reports said, the latest measure as the ill-equipped country ramps up efforts to prevent a devastating outbreak.


Pyongyang has not reported a single case of the COVID-19.


"School breaks for students have been extended as a preventive measure against the infection," the Korean Central Broadcasting Station reported, according to Yonhap news agency.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera

WORLD ON BRINK OF CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, AUSTRALIA'S MORRISON SAYS
AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON (Reuters/Aap Image/Andrew Taylor)


There is every sign the world is about to be gripped by a pandemic of coronavirus, Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned, as Australia kicked off emergency measures to curb the spread of the disease.


"The advice we have received today is...there is every indication that the world will soon enter a pandemic phase of the coronavirus," Morrison told a televised news conference in Canberra, the capital.


"As a result we have agreed today and initiated the...coronavirus emergency response plan," he added.


Australia will extend a travel ban on foreigners arriving from China by at least another week, Morrison said, although there was as yet no need to stop mass gatherings.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


CHINA ASKS LOW-RISK AREAS TO RESUME VISA, PASSPORT SERVICES

Passengers wearing masks at a railway station in Shanghai [Aly Song/Reuters]


Regions in China at low risk of the coronavirus should resume visa and passport services for both Chinese and foreign travellers to help the nation get back to work, immigration authorities said.


Medium-risk areas should do the same, depending on the state of the epidemic within their borders, the China Immigration Administration also said.


The immigration authority said on its official Weibo account that it would roll out measures to facilitate such moves, without providing further details.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


TRUMP SAYS US 'VERY, VERY READY' FOR CORONAVIRUS:

The coronavirus is spreading more quickly in Europe, the Middle East, and other parts of the world than in China where the virus first emerged in the central city of Wuhan at the end of last year.


The number of new coronavirus infections inside China was for the first time overtaken by fresh cases elsewhere on Wednesday, with Italy, Iran and South Korea emerging as new hotspots for COVID-19. The disease was also detected for the first time in Brazil, Pakistan, Sweden, Norway, Greece, Romania and Algeria.


In the United States, where health authorities are dealing with 59 cases - mostly Americans repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Japan - President Donald Trump sought to calm concerns.


Speaking in a live broadcast, Trump said the US was "very, very ready" to face the virus threat and that Vice.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


CHINA CITY OFFERS $1,400 REWARD TO VIRUS PATIENTS WHO REPORT TO AUTHORITIES

Qianjiang, a city of around one million people in China's Hubei province, will pay residents as much as 10,000 yuan ($1,425.96) if they proactively report symptoms of the illness and it is confirmed after testing.


The city is located around 150 kilometres (90 miles) from the provincial capital of Wuhan, and has so far reported a total of 197 cases.


Hubei has reported more than 65,000 cases and more than 2,600 deaths.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


INDIA EVACUATES NATIONALS, FOREIGN CITIZENS FROM WUHAN

An evacuation flight carrying 76 Indian citizens as well as a number of foreign nationals from Wuhan arrived back in India on Thursday.


It earlier dropped medical supplies in the city where the outbreak originated at the end of last year.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


CHINA INVESTIGATES RELEASE OF CORONAVIRUS-INFECTED INMATE IN HUBEI

China has sent an investigation team to Wuhan after reports that a prison released an infected inmate who then managed to travel to Beijing.


A team led by the Ministry of Justice, Supreme Court and Ministry of Public Security will look into the incident, the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China said in a news release on Thursday.


Media reports said an infected inmate was released from a Wuhan women's prison after completing her sentence. Family members then drove her to Beijing.


The report triggered an uproar on social media, as people asked how she could have escaped the sealed off city.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


TAIWAN RAISES EPIDEMIC RESPONSE LEVEL TO HIGHEST AMID VIRUS CONCERNS

Taiwan on Thursday raised its epidemic response level to the highest, official media reported, amid growing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.


Taiwan's Central News Agency said Premier Su Tseng-chang announced the decision in a cabinet meeting on Thursday, citing sporadic cases of community transmission on the island.


Taiwan has logged 32 cases of the coronavirus and one death, and has largely suspended travel and tourism links with China to curb its spread.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


JAPANESE WOMAN CONFIRMED WITH CORONAVIRUS FOR 2ND TIME

A woman working as a tour-bus guide in Japan has tested positive for the coronavirus for a second time, Osaka's prefectural government said on Wednesday, the first person in the country to do so amid growing concerns about the spread of the infection.


The second positive test comes as the number of confirmed cases in Japan rose to 186 by Thursday from around 170 the day before.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


NEW US CORONAVIRUS CASE MAY BE 1ST FROM UNKNOWN ORIGIN

A new coronavirus case in California could be the first in the US with no known connection to travel abroad or another known case, and a possible sign the virus is spreading in a community within the country, health officials said.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the case on Wednesday.


California officials said the person is a resident of Solano County, northeast of San Francisco, and is getting medical care in Sacramento County. They did not immediately release any other details.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


SOUTH KOREA REPORTS 13TH DEATH FROM CORONAVIRUS

The Mayor of Daegu, the city at the centre of South Korea's coronavirus outbreak, said a 13th person had died from the infection on Thursday. The figure was not confirmed by the KCDC.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


SOUTH KOREA REPORTS 334 ADDITIONAL CORONAVIRUS CASES, LIFTING TOTAL TO 1,595

Dongsung-ro, a major shopping thoroughfare in Daegu, has been left almost entirely deserted as a result of the spread of coronavirus in South Korea [Yonhap via EPA]


South Korea reported 334 additional cases of the new coronavirus on Thursday, raising the total tally to 1,595, the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (KCDC) said.


The figure is the largest reported additional cases in the country since its first case was confirmed on January 20.

Of the new cases, 307 were in the southeastern city of Daegu, where a church that was at the centre of the outbreak is located, the KCDC statement said.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


CHINA REPORTS 433 NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES, 29 DEATHS ON FEB 26

Mainland China reported 433 new cases of coronavirus infections on February 26, the National Health Commission said on Thursday, up from 406 on the previous day.


The total number of confirmed cases on mainland China has now reached 78,497, the health authority said.


The number of new deaths stood at 29, the lowest daily rate since January 28, and down from 52 the previous day. A total of 2,744 people have now died as a result of the outbreak.


Hubei, the central Chinese province at the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 409 new cases and 26 deaths on Wednesday. Beijing and the provinces of Heilongjiang and Henan were the locations of the other three fatalities.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


US, SOUTH KOREA POSTPONE JOINT EXERCISES OVER VIRUS

The US and South Korea on Thursday postponed planned joint military exercises as a result of the coronavirus. The decision to delay the training was made after Seoul declared its highest "severe" alert level over the virus, Combined Forces Command said, adding the postponement was "until further notice". The United States has 28,500 troops in South Korea.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


TRUMP SAYS US 'VERY READY' FOR VIRUS; PENCE TO LEAD RESPONSE

US President Donald Trump sought to reassure Americans over the spread of the coronavirus at a news conference on Wednesday [Carlos Barria/Reuters]


President Donald Trump declared on Wednesday that the US was “very, very ready” for the coronavirus and put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of overseeing the nation's response.


Trump also sought to minimise fears of the infection spreading widely across the US, saying, “I don't think it's inevitable.”

He said the US might have to restrict travel to Italy, South Korea and other countries as a result of the outbreak, but now was not the right time.


Health authorities at the White House news conference said Americans should be ready for what could become a wider outbreak requiring such steps as school closures.


“Our aggressive containment strategy here in the United States has been working and is responsible for the low levels of cases we have so far. However, we do expect more cases,” said Dr Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


SHANGHAI TRYING TO FIND PEOPLE WHO CROSSED CORONAVIRUS PATIENT FROM IRAN

More new cases of coronavirus are being reported outside China than in the country, where the outbreak first began in the central city of Wuhan late last year. The city remains sealed off [China Daily via Reuters]


Shanghai is taking action to try and identify people who came into contact with a coronavirus patient who arrived in the city from Iran, the local government said on Thursday.


The patient, who has not been identified, was diagnosed in Zhongwei, a city in the northwestern region of Ningxia, some 2,000 km (1,240 miles) away, on Wednesday.


Authorities in Zhongwei said the patient arrived in Shanghai on February 20 after flying from Iran via Moscow. The patient then travelled to Zhongwei via the city of Lanzhou by train.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


TRUMP SAYS READY FOR CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ON 'MUCH LARGER SCALE'

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the US was prepared to escalate its response to the novel coronavirus on a "much larger scale" should the pathogen continue to spread. "We do have plans for a much larger scale should we need that," he said. "We have hospitals in states that make rooms available and they're building quarantine areas where you can keep people safely." Asked if the US had increased its stockpile of protective equipment such as face masks and gowns, he said: "We've ordered a lot of it, just in case we need it."


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


IMF, WORLD BANK CONSIDER 'VIRTUAL' SPRING MEETINGS AS VIRUS SPREADS

Growing concerns inside the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank about the spread of the new coronavirus have prompted the institutions to consider scaling back their Spring Meetings in April or hold them by teleconference, people familiar with the discussions told Reuters.


The institutions' April 17-19 Spring Meetings are scheduled to bring some 10,000 government officials, journalists, business people and civil society representatives from across the globe to a tightly packed, two-block area of central Washington DC.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


SAUDI ARABIA SUSPENDS ENTRY FOR MUSLIM PILGRIMS

Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended visas for the Islamic pilgrimage and visits to Al-Masjid an-Nabawy in Medina, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Twitter on Thursday.


The kingdom has also suspended entry to Saudi Arabia for anyone with tourism visas from countries where the coronavirus is a threat. The foreign ministry also called on citizens not to travel to countries where the new coronavirus is spreading.


Credit to Source: Aljazeera


CORONAVIRUS: CHINA EXPELS REPORTERS FOR ARTICLE IT DEEMED RACIST

China has ordered three foreign journalists of the Wall Street Journal to leave the country over an opinion piece it said was "racist".


The article published on 3 February criticised the country's response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.


The Chinese foreign ministry said it had asked the newspaper to apologise several times but it had declined.


The newspaper said the journalists - who had not written the opinion piece - were given five days to leave China.


China's decision came a day after the US State Department tightened rules on Chinese state media organisations operating in the US, classifying them as foreign missions.


Credit to Source: Bbc News Youtube






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