THE World Health Organisation on Monday said that the new coronavirus epidemic had “peaked” in China but warned that a surge in cases elsewhere was “deeply concerning” and all countries should prepare for a “potential pandemic”. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the peak in China occurred between January 23 and February 2 and the number of new cases there “has been declining steadily since then.
“This virus can be contained,” he told reporters in Geneva, praising China for helping to prevent an even bigger spread of the disease through unprecedented lockdowns and quarantines in or near the outbreak’s epicentre. An acceleration of cases in other parts of the world has prompted similar drastic measures. Italy has locked down 11 towns and South Korea ordered the entire 2.5 million residents of the city of Daegu to remain indoors. It also caused falls of more than 3.0-percent in several European stock markets -- with Milan plunging 5.4 percent -- and a boost for safe-haven gold amid fears the epidemic could hit a global economic recovery.
Fourth person from Japan quarantined ship dies: A Fourth person has died in Japan after becoming ill aboard a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship, local media reported Tuesday, as the Government unveiled a new policy to tackle the outbreak. The ‘Yomiuri Shimbun’ daily said the man had tested positive for the new coronavirus and died of pneumonia. The Health Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reports. Nearly 900 cases in S Korea: The novel coronavirus outbreak in South Korea is “very grave”, President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday as he visited its epicentre, even as the country announced its smallest rise in cases for several days. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) confirmed 60 new cases in its morning update -- after three days of triple-digit increases -- taking the tally to 893, the largest national total anywhere outside China.
Iran’s Dy Health Minister says, he has coronavirus
IRAN’S Deputy Health Minister confirmed on Tuesday that he has tested positive for the new coronavirus, amid a major outbreak in the Islamic republic. Iraj Harirchi coughed occasionally and wiped sweat from his brow repeatedly during a news conference in Tehran on Monday with Government spokesman Ali Rabiei. In a video broadcast on State television, the Deputy Minister put on a brave face as he admitted he was infected.
Toll touches 2,663 in China
By K J M VARMA
SEVENTY-ONE new coronavirus deaths were reported from China, taking the total number of casualties to 2,663, even as reports suggested that the number of new cases has seen a sharp decline. According to a daily report released by the National Health Commission (NHC) on Tuesday, the number of confirmed cases has reached 77,658, a jump of 508 cases. The report stated that 68 deaths were reported in Hubei, two in Shandong and one in Guangdong.