The toll from the coronavirus outbreak in China has reached 2,715 as of the end of Tuesday, up by 52 from the previous day, AFP reported. This is the lowest figure in more than three weeks.

All the new deaths were in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak. Hubei also reported 401 of the 406 new cases on Tuesday.

Outside Hubei, the number of new cases have declined in China. Several regions on Wednesday said that they would downgrade their emergency response measures after assessing that the risk had receded, state media reported.

However, cases accelerated outside China and several European countries were dealing with their first infections.

Iran deputy health minister tests positive for coronavirus

Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday as the toll inside the country rose to 15. Iran has the highest number of coronavirus deaths outside China and reported 95 cases, but the actual number is said to be higher.

Harirchi coughed occasionally and appeared in physical discomfort during a press conference in Tehran with government spokesperson Ali Rabiei.

“I too have been infected with coronavirus,” Harirchi said in the video apparently shot by himself. “I had a fever as of last night and my preliminary test was positive around midnight.”

“I’ve isolated myself in a place since,” he added. “A few minutes ago, I was told that my final test was final, and now I am starting medication.”

The deputy health minister denied a lawmaker’s claim that 50 people had died from the virus in the Shiite shrine city of Qom, adding that he would resign if the number proved to be true.

He declared that the country will be victorious in fighting the infection in the next few weeks. The minister warned Iranians to be careful as the “virus does not discriminate” and infects anyone, regardless of standing.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman this week reported their first cases, all in people who had been to Iran. Bahrain said it now has 24 confirmed cases.

Italy is another country on the frontline of the global outbreak, with more than 300 cases and 11 deaths. Italians or people who had recently visited the country tested positive in Algeria, Austria, Croatia, Romania, Spain and Switzerland on Tuesday, BBC reported.

Several European Union countries advised their citizens not to visit northern Italy.

Health ministers from neighboring countries met in the Italian capital to discuss the crisis and dismissed some calls to close the border. “We agreed to keep borders open, closing borders would be a disproportionate and ineffective measure at this time,” Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said.

In South Korea, the toll rose to 11 on Wednesday and number of infected people jumped to 1,146.

Meanwhile, Indians quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise in Japan, who have not tested positive for the novel coronavirus, will be repatriated on Wednesday by a chartered flight, the Indian embassy in Tokyo said.

The British-flagged Diamond Princess arrived in Yokohama on February 3 with about 3,700 people onboard after the virus was diagnosed in a man who disembarked last month in Hong Kong.