UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The outbreak of the new Coronavirus expanded outside the borders of China on Monday, with South Korea turning as the number of infections increased to the largest outpost while the situation in the Middle East and Europe worsened.
The number of deaths in China continued to rise with the confirmation of 150 additional deaths, bringing the official death toll to about 2,600.
The Chinese authorities insist that they are making progress in controlling the virus, noting that infection rates have decreased thanks to the travel ban and its quarantine measures at the epicenter and vicinity of the disease.
But the rise in the number of new injuries and deaths in other parts of the world reinforced fears that it could become a pandemic with the emergence of South Korea, Italy and Iran last week at the forefront of the spread of the disease.
Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq each reported their first cases of HIV, while the total number of deaths in Iran rose to 12, the highest outside China.
South Korea has witnessed a rapid increase in the number of injuries since a group of injuries appeared among a religious community in the city of Daegu (south) last week.
More than two hundred additional injuries and two deaths were recorded in South Korea on Monday, which brought the total number of injuries to more than 830, the largest number ever recorded outside of Chinese territory.
Eight people died of the virus in South Korea, where President Moon Jae-in announced at the weekend that the alert level of the virus had been raised to the highest level (red).
As part of efforts to contain the virus, the kindergarten and school holidays have been extended nationwide, while the start of the K-League season, which was scheduled for the weekend, has been postponed.
At Daegu’s main express train station, the city that is usually buzzing with life and numbering 2.5 million, there were only a very small number of passengers.
A long row of taxis waited outside the station, while the streets seemed uncharacteristically quiet and the few people who were on the site wore protective masks and gloves.
– Postponing football matches and fashion shows –
In Italy, the fourth death from the virus was confirmed on Monday, deepening concerns about the virus spreading across Europe.
More than 150 people were injured in Italy as several football matches in the Italian Serie A were postponed.
The famous Venice Festival was also suspended, while several fashion shows were canceled at Milan Fashion Week.
More than 50,000 people in about a dozen towns in northern Italy were ordered to abide by their homes while police set up checkpoints to enforce the ban.
In Iran, the authorities ordered the closure of schools, universities and cultural centers in about 14 provinces.
The virus appeared in the Islamic Republic last Wednesday, to spread rapidly, with 467 confirmed cases, prompting neighboring countries to close their borders.
An Iranian lawmaker accused the city of Qom, where the first cases of newly infected Koruna were announced in Iran, on Monday the government of “not telling the truth” about the size of the virus in the country, according to the semi-official “ISNA” news agency reported.
However, the government was quick to respond by pledging to be “transparent” on the issue of the virus, especially with regard to the number of deaths and injuries.
More than 30 people have died outside China now after contracting the virus, while about 30 countries have reported infections.
In China, the confirmed death toll from the virus was 2592 Monday, after 150 new deaths were recorded.
The number of confirmed new referrals decreased compared to the previous day to 409, bringing the total number of injuries in the country to more than 77,000.
On Monday, China announced the postponement of its annual parliamentary session due to the virus, for the first time in decades.
Beijing also decided, immediately, to impose a “comprehensive ban” on the trade and eating of wild animals, which is suspected to be the cause of the outbreak of the new Coruna virus.
– Economic implications –
The virus is increasingly affecting the global economy, with many factories in China closed or staff down due to quarantine measures, while global travel has been greatly affected.
Asian stock markets fell on Monday after an increase in the number of injuries in South Korea and developments in Europe and the Middle East region over the weekend.
“While the Corona virus is probably slowing in China, it is accelerating (spreading) elsewhere,” said Charles Giles, of RJMG Asset Management.
For its part, the International Monetary Fund warned on Sunday that the virus posed a threat to the already “fragile” recovery of the global economy.
The finance ministers and central bank governors in the G20 countries expressed their concern about the repercussions of the virus globally.
Only about 30 percent of small and medium-sized companies in China have resumed operations, an official said on Monday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping acknowledged on Sunday that the virus had turned into “the largest public health emergency” since the People’s Republic was founded in 1949.
“It is a crisis for us and a great test,” Xi said in comments carried by state television.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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