China continues to battle virus that has spread around the world with hot-spots in Europe and the Middle East.

The virus continued to spread around the world on Saturday with countries in Europe announcing new cases, Iran revealing another jump in infections, and Qatar becoming the latest Middle Eastern country to report its first case.

South Korea, which is grappling with the largest outbreak of the virus outside China, has urged citizens to stay indoors warning of a ‘critical moment’ in the spread of the infection.

In Europe, Italy has reported more than 1,000 coronavirus cases and 29 deaths, the most in Europe. France said it has 100.

On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the spread of the virus is “getting bigger”. More than 85,000 people have been infected worldwide.

Sunday, March 1

11:20 GMT – Iran coronavirus death toll jumps to 54

Iran has reported 11 new coronavirus deaths. The outbreak has claimed the lives of 54 people, the health ministry said.

“There were 385 new cases of infected people in the last 24 hours, increasing the total number to 978. The death toll is 54,” Kianush Jahanpur, spokesman for the health ministry said.

He called on Iranians to avoid any unnecessary trips and stay at home.

10:05 GMT – Coronavirus fears hits Gulf stock markets

Fears overs the impact of the coronavirus outbreak has hit the stock markets in the oil-rich Gulf countries.

All of the seven exchanges in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which were closed Friday and Saturday for the Muslim weekend, were hit as oil prices dropped below $50 a barrel.

So far, Gulf states have reported at least 115 cases.

09:50 GMT – China pollution declines as virus shuts down factories

Pollution levels over China have declined significantly, US space agency NASA says, partly due to the economic slowdown following the coronavirus outbreak.

Airborne Nitrogen Dioxide Plummets Over China [NASA]
 [Photo credit: NASA]

Satellite images shared by NASA show falling levels of nitrogen dioxide. The gas is emitted by motor vehicles, power plants and industrial facilities.

04:50 GMT – South Korea closes churches to limit virus spread

Churches were closed in South Korea on Sunday with many holding services online instead, according to Reuters.

In the capital, Seoul, about a dozen worshippers were turned away from the Yoido Full Gospel Church, which put a sermon for its 560,000 followers on YouTube, filmed with a small choir instead of all 200 members and 60-strong orchestra.

“I had heard there would be no service, but just came to check as I live nearby, but yes, it is so empty,” said one of them, Song Young-koo, as he left South Korea’s biggest church.

“It’s a wise decision to do it online, since the virus would easily spread at mass gatherings and churches can be no exception.”

For the first time in its 236-year history, South Korea’s Catholic church decided to halt masses at more than 1,700 locations nationwide. Buddhist temples have also called off events, while major Christian churches held online services.

04:36 GMT – Thailand records first coronavirus death

Thailand has recorded its first fatality in the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported citing Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoen, director-general of the Department of Disease Control.

The 35-year-old man also had dengue fever, Suwanchai told a news conference on Sunday.

04:20 GMT – Armenia patient had returned from Iran

More details are emerging about the Armenian case.

The patient is a 29-year-old citizen who returned to Armenia from Iran on Friday and went to a doctor because he was feeling unwell, Reuters said citing the Facebook page of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

“He is now in good condition,” Pashinyan said, adding that authorities planned to isolate those had been in contact with him.

Armenia closed its borders with neighbouring Iran a week ago. It has also suspended flights to the country.

04:15 GMT – Australia reports new coronavirus case

Australia said on Sunday that it had confirmed an additional case of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 26.

03:50 GMT – Armenia reports first coronavirus case

Armenia’s prime minister said the central Asian nation had recorded its first case of the coronavirus, Reuters reported.

02:32 GMT – American Airlines says suspending Milan flights

American Airlines said it would suspend flights from New York and Miami to Milan because of a “reduction in demand”.

Flights are scheduled to resume on April 25, the airline said in a statement on its website.

02:16 GMT – Australia records first coronavirus death

Australia has recorded its first death from the coronavirus after a 78-year-old man who had been evacuated from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship died in a Perth hospital.

“Our condolences are with his family and unfortunately he’s the first death we’ve had from coronavirus in Australia,” Andrew Robertson, the chief health officer of Western Australia state, told journalists, according to Reuters.

The man’s wife also caught the virus, but is in stable condition, authorities said.

Australia has reported 25 cases of coronavirus.

01:00 GMT – South Korea reports 376 more coronavirus cases

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said 376 more cases of coronavirus were reported in the country, most of them in the hardest-hit city of Daegu and the province of Gyeong-buk.

No new deaths were reported.

The country now has a total of 3,526 cases.

The KCDC will release a further update at 07:00 GMT on Sunday.

00:01 GMT – China reports 573 new coronavirus cases, 35 deaths

Mainland China reported 573 new confirmed coronavirus cases on February 29, up from 427 on the previous day, the country’s health authority said on Sunday.

The number of deaths stood at 35, down from 47 on the previous day, bringing the total death toll in mainland China to 2,870.

Of the deaths, 34 were in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak. The province also saw 570 of the new cases


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