Coronavirus cases top 80,000 in China, 4,000 in South Korea

Beijing (dpa) – China reported 202 new coronavirus infections and 42 deaths in the past day, bringing the number of cases of the novel coronavirus in mainland China to 80,026, authorities said Monday.

Meanwhile, South Korea saw another spike in cases of the virus, with 599 new infections bringing the total to 4,335, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
The number of deaths from the disease in mainland China reached 2,912, according to the National Health Commission, while four new deaths in South Korea brought the death toll there to 22.
In China, more than half of patients who fell ill from the virus since the outbreak have now recovered, according to official information.
The South Korean outbreak, the largest outside China - where the novel coronavirus began spreading in December - is mainly concentrated in the south-eastern city of Daegu and the surrounding North Gyeongsang province.
Of the new cases, 446 were reported in the province, including 377 in the city of Daegu.
The cases mostly come from followers of Christian sect the Shincheonji Church, which has ties to China.
The leader of the sect and 12 of his followers are facing charges including murder. Authorities accuse him of withholding the names of sect members who may have been infected and thereby causing other people to become infected.
While the disease is spreading at a slower pace in China, according to official data, infections in other countries, such as South Korea and Italy, have continued to soar.
Indonesia saw the first two cases of the new coronavirus confirmed on Monday. 
"This morning I received information from the Health Ministry that the mother and her daughter have tested positive for the coronavirus," President Joko Widodo told reporters. 
The two had had contact with a Japanese tourist who had the virus, the president said. 
In Japan itself, most schools were closing for a month from Monday to contain the spread of the coronavirus, on the orders of the national government.
Shimane, one of Japan’s prefectures not to have any confirmed cases of the coronavirus, is the only prefecture to say it will not yet shut schools.
Japan has confirmed a total of 967 infections, the majority from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was docked in Yokohama while under quarantine.
India has been largely unaffected. Delhi announced two more cases on Monday, bring the country's total to five.
The new coronavirus has spread to dozens of countries across the globe, and killed more than 2,900 people worldwide, since the outbreak began in Wuhan in China's Hubei province in December.
It has also affected major sports events, notably in Asia. The latest event affected was the Thailand Grand Prix international motorcycle race, which has been indefinitely postponed.
Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul told reporters Monday that the event has not been cancelled, but postponed “until it's safe.”
“We still cannot say until when,” he added.
Measures to counter the spread of coronavirus with travel bans and health precautions are still being stepped up in the region.
The international airports in Vietnam's two biggest cities - Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport and Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City - have stopped receiving passenger flights from virus-hit regions of South Korea.
All passengers arriving from South Korea will have to go into quarantine, local media reported.
Taiwan's disease authority, meanwhile, announced that its production of face masks had hit 8.2 million per day. That number is expected to rise as new production lines come into operation.
Taiwan would allow each family to buy three face masks per adult per week, instead of their current allocation of two. Children were allocated five per week each as compared to four previously.


Monday, March 2nd 2020

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