More new coronavirus cases outside China than inside for the first time

More new coronavirus cases outside China than inside for the first time
Paramedics carry a stretcher off an ambulance in Hong Kong on Sunday, February 23. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: For the first time since the outbreak, the number of new coronavirus cases reported outside of China in one day was larger than those reported inside China, the WHO said Wednesday. That means coronavirus spike would create more concern and tensions globally.

Iran to Italy, South Korea to Pakistan, it is spreading in an alarming way.

South Korea and Italy are the worst affected nations outside China. The East Asian country reported 334 new cases and one death on Thursday, bringing the national total to 1,595 cases and 13 deaths. Many of the cases are linked to a religious group in the country’s south. A joint South Korea-US military drill has been postponed ‘until further notice’ after several members of the South Korean Military and a US soldier infected by the virus.

Many countries are implementing travel restrictions to and from South Korea. The US also advised its citizens to think further to visit the country. South Korea reported 13 deaths so far from the virus. The latest patient was a 74-year-old man who was a member of the Shincheonji religious group. He died on Thursday morning.

Italy became the hotbed of the coronavirus in Europe. The country already reported 400 cases, making it the largest outbreak outside Asia. The virus is spreading across Europe as countries like Romania, Norway, Georgia, and North Macedonia reported their first cases. Many European countries are taking emergency measures to tackle the virus from becoming an outbreak. Italy effectively placing 100,000 under quarantine with travel restrictions.

Indian citizens who were trapped in Wuhan, flown back to their home country by a special Indian Air Force Flight. 76 Indian and 36 other foreign nationals were on the flight. Bangladeshi authorities confirmed that 23 Bangladeshi citizens also came to India by the special flight.

India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said the plane landed in New Delhi this morning. The same plane also carried medical relief to Wuhan yesterday. All evacuated passengers will now undergo 14 days quarantine, said the government.

The Chinese city of Wuhan is thought to be the place, where the coronavirus outbreak began. Cases and deaths are also up in China, although mainly in Hubei. 40 countries have been affected so far.

The US has reported 57 cases so far. On Wednesday, they reported a case which the authorities say the case may be the first example in the country of “community spread,” where the patient did not have “relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient.”

Iraq also implemented steps to protect its people from infected by the virus. The country’s Minister of Health and Environment Jaffar Allawi announced that the government has decided to close schools, colleges, cinemas, cafes, clubs and various public gathering spots from today until March 7.

The minister said in a statement that the government also banned its citizens from traveling to the coronavirus-hit countries of China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Italy, Kuwait, and Bahrain.

“Official and foreign delegations and diplomatic missions are excluded from the travel ban,” the statement added.

The situation in Hong Kong seems under control, as the city took some early measures to prevent coronavirus from spreading. However, the city confirmed two new coronavirus cases of the novel coronavirus yesterday, raising the citywide total to 91.

One case is a 49-year-old woman who developed a cough and a sore throat on February 18. She has no recent travel history but is linked to a Buddhist temple that a previously confirmed case visited. Another case is a 26-year-old man who is the son of a previous case. He developed a fever and a cough on February 20.

China reported another 433 new coronavirus cases and 29 deaths on Thursday, making the national total to 78,497 cases and 2,744 deaths. The total global cases have reached nearly 82 thousand, while 78,497 are from mainland China. There are 57 deaths reported outside of China so far. The total reported death number is now 2,801.

Japan has confirmed its seventh death related to the novel coronavirus. The patient was an 80-year-old man who lived in Tokyo. Health authorities said they have not yet found any evidence of direct contact with another infected patient.

Japan’s defense minister announced another 22 coronavirus cases today. The cases were confirmed yesterday, Taro Kono said in a tweet. Two of the patients are asymptomatic.

That brings the total number of “domestic infections” to 186 in Japan.

There are also 693 cases in Japan linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Iran has reported 139 cases and 19 deaths – the highest number of deaths outside China.

The death rate of the country is 14%, which is far higher than the global rate. Some epidemiologists say the number of cases could be far higher.

Saudi Arabia has stopped foreigners from entering the country for Umrah, a religious visit. Millions of people through out the year go to the country every year for Umrah, with a big surge in visitors during the Hajj pilgrimage.

It’s unclear if Hajj, which is due to begin in late July, will be affected.

The country has also barred visitors from countries where the new coronavirus has spread.

Saudi Arabia has no confirmed cases of the disease.

Pakistan is closing all schools today and tomorrow in the southeast province of Sindh as a precaution against the coronavirus. The decision was announced by the Sindh provincial government today.

Schools have also closed in the Balochistan province, which borders Iran, and will stay shut until March 15.

This decision comes after the country confirmed its first two coronavirus cases yesterday, both people who have traveled to Iran recently.

Amid fear raising in the US as how the country will handle the situation, if coronavirus outbreak begins there, President Trump in a news conference on Wednesday showed confidence saying the US was “very, very ready” to handle the coronavirus, as he appointed his vice president Mike Pence to take charge of the outbreak.

The WHO urges the world to do more to prevent the virus from further spreading.