Coronavirus Update: Cases Surge Outside of China, Italian Towns in Lockdown, Korea on High Alert

By Anna Breuer on 23 February 2020
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China reported 648 new coronavirus cases and 97 new deaths, with 630 of the new cases in Hubei province.

The new report brings the total of number of coronavirus cases in mainland China to 76,936, with the death toll at 2,442.


02-23 Covid-19 did not originate in Wuhan market, some scientists said.  A new study by a team of Chinese scientists shows the virus may have originated elsewhere but its spread was boosted in the busy marketplace.

02-23 Israel’s ambassador to Seoul is now in quarantine as a result of the coronavirus. Ambassador Zvi Heifetz flew from Tel Aviv to Seoul on February 15 with nine South Koreans who were later confirmed as being infected, the Israeli government said.

02-23 Korea put itself on its highest alert.  “The coming few days will be a critical time for us,” said President Moon Jae-in at an emergency government meeting called after the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 spiraled to 602, with six deaths. He said people “must wage an all-out, concerted response to the problem.”

02-23 The death toll in Iran from the virus is now eight.  The government there announced a week-long closing of schools, universities, and cultural centers in 14 provinces in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

02-23 Japanese officials reported that a third person from the cruise ship Diamond Princess died of pneumonia.  The patient was a Japanese man in his 80s.

02-23 Officials announced the death of two more doctors in China.  Xiehe Jiangbei Hospital said that Xia Sisi, a 29-year-old gastroenterologist, died at the Wuhan hospital after treating coronavirus patients, and the Xiaogan Central Hospital announced the death of its deputy director of the respiratory disease department, Wang Wenjun.

02-23 Israeli will bar entry to non-residents who have visited Japan or South Korea in the 14-day period prior to their arrival.  Officials quarantined two soldiers and several border officials who came in contact with a South Korea pilgrimage group from which nine were found to be infected with the virus after returning home.

02-23 As the number of cases of the coronavirus in Iran continues to rise, both Pakistan and Turkey closed their borders with that country to prevent the spread of the virus. Afghanistan said it is restricting travel to Iran.

02-22 The coronavirus may be spread through fecal matter, some researchers in China believe, although it mainly spreads through respiratory droplets and contact with those infected with the virus.

02-23 Italian officials said that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has risen to 89 in the country, bringing the total to 132.  Two of the cases were in Venice, the first time the virus has appeared in that city, although the region of Veneto, of which Venice is the capital, has reported a total of 25 cases.  Officials also cancelled the final two days of the Carnevale de Venezia, or Venice Carnival, ending the Christian celebration of Lent.

02-22 A number of towns and cities in Italy went into lockdown mode after the deaths of two people infected with Covid-19.  The outbreak appears to be one of a growing number of clusters of cases with no direct to the outbreak in Wuhan. Italian officials closed schools, businesses, and restaurants, and cancelled religious services and sporting events in dozens of towns in Lombardy and Veneto. In Milan, the country’s business capital and the regional capital of Veneto, the city’s mayor closed public offices. A number of Serie A football matches including an Inter Milan match were cancelled in the region as well.

02-22 The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new advisories for those considering travel to Hong Kong and Japan. The Level 2 advisories state that both countries are “experiencing sustained community transmission of respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus,” adding that “older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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