China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates
South Korea has reported 161 more cases of the new coronavirus on Monday, bringing its total to 763 cases.
Officials also confirmed two more deaths of virus patients, bringing the country’s death toll to seven.
On Sunday, it raised its disease alert to the highest level after a surge in infections and more deaths.
Meanwhile, Turkey, Pakistan and Armenia closed their borders with Iran on Sunday as the latter reported more coronavirus infections and deaths, prompting neighbouring Afghanistan to also introduce travel restrictions.
At least 152 cases and three deaths were also reported in Italy, prompting emergency measures in Europe.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was concerned about a rise in cases with no clear link to China – where the virus that is officially known as COVID-19 was first detected in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late December – and called for urgent funding to support countries with weaker health systems.
Here are the latest updates:
Monday, February 24
South Korea reports 161 more coronavirus cases
South Korea reported 161 more cases of the new virus on Monday, bringing its total to 763 cases.
On Sunday, the country raised its disease alert to the highest level after a surge in infections and two more deaths.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in also ordered officials to take “unprecedented, powerful” steps to stem the spread of the outbreak.
Austria stops train from Italy due to suspected infections
Austria denied entry to a train from Italy on suspicion that two of the travellers might be infected with the coronavirus, Austria’s Ministry of the Interior said.
“Tonight a train on its way from Venice to Munich was stopped at the Austrian border,” the ministry said.
The Italian State Railways informed Austrian train operator OBB that there were two people with fever symptoms on the train, the ministry’s statement said.
The train was now waiting at the Brenner Pass in Italian territory. “The further procedure is currently being discussed together with Italian authorities.”
France, EU partners to discuss coronavirus: French health minister
French Health Minister Olivier Veran said he would talk to his European counterparts soon to discuss how to best cope with a possible epidemic risk in Europe as Italy battles an explosion in cases.
“Tonight there is no epidemic in France. But there is a problematic situation at the door, in Italy, that we are watching with great attention,” Veran told a news conference.
“The situation tonight is very evolutive at [the] international level,” he added. “I spoke with my Italian and German counterparts … We have agreed to have a discussion between several European health ministers, probably next week, to assess how we can together face epidemic risk,” he said.
A third person dies in Italy
A third person infected with the coronavirus died in Italy, a regional official said, as the government struggles to contain an outbreak of the illness in the north of the country with more than 130 cases reported since Friday.
Lombardy regional councillor Giulio Gallera told reporters the victim was an elderly woman from the province of Cremona, in the Lombardy region.
The woman was also suffering from cancer, Gallera said.
Read updates from Sunday, February 23 here.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies