China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

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People wear masks after deaths and new confirmed cases revealed from the coronavirus in Tehran, Iran on February 21, 2020 [Fatemeh Bahrami/ Anadolu]

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned the window of opportunity to stem the deadly coronavirus pidemic was “narrowing” amid concern over a surge in cases with no clear link to China, including in a range of countries in the Middle East. 

Lebanon and Israel confirmed their first cases on Friday, while Iran’s health ministry reported two more deaths among 13 new cases of the infection, known as COVID-19. That brings the toll in Iran to four and the number of infections to 18.


Italy meanwhile reported its first death from the coronavirus as authorities moved to close schools, bars and other public spaces in 10 northern towns. 

In mainland China, the death toll stood at 2,236 while the number of infections reached 75,465. 

Here are the latest updates:

Saturday, February 22

First Italian patient dies of coronavirus 

A patient in the northern city of Padua has died after being infected with the coronavirus, becoming the first Italian victim of the disease, Ansa news agency reported. 

The dead man was aged 78, it said. 

A police car is seen in the village of Codogno after officials told residents to stay home and suspend public activities as 14 cases of coronavirus are confirmed in northern Italy in the province of Lodi, Italy, February 21, 2020 [Reuters]

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Friday, February 21

Kuwait stops all flights to and from Iran

Kuwait’s civil aviation authority has decided to stop all flights to and from Iran amid fears from coronavirus outbreak, the state news agency said, citing an official statement.

Kuwaiti nationals arriving from Iran will be subjected to quarantine, it said, adding that residents or those with entry permission who were in Iran during the past two weeks will be barred. 

Moreover, any foreign travelers coming from Iran will also be denied entry. 

Zelensky criticises people that attacked Ukrainians evacuated from Wuhan

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had harsh words for an angry mob who smashed windows on buses carrying dozens of Ukrainians evacuated from China over the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“We keep saying that Ukraine is Europe. But yesterday it seemed like we were Europe in the Middle Ages,” Zelensky said in Kiev.

Fearing the passengers would bring the first deadly case of the novel coronavirus to Ukraine, hundreds of people – some armed with metal  rods and rocks – turned out to protest their return on Thursday.

Ukrainians protest over coronavirus evacuees

Public spaces closed in 10 Italian towns over coronavirus fears

Authorities in northern Italy ordered the closure of schools, bars and other public spaces in 10 towns following a flurry of new coronavirus cases.

Five doctors and nine other people tested positive for the virus in Lombardy, after apparently frequenting the same bar and group of friends, with two other cases in Veneto, authorities said at a press conference.

Over 50,000 people have been asked to stay at home in the areas concerned, while all public activities such as carnival celebrations, church masses and sporting events have been banned for up to a week.

Read the rest of the updates from Friday, February 21 here

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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