The novel coronavirus or COVID-19, which emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, has spread rapidly around the world this week, with more new cases now appearing outside China than within.

Governments around the world on Tuesday shifted their focus to contain the spread of the coronavirus, and airports in countries that have been badly affected have ramped up screening of travellers.

Here’s what we know so far about the spread of the virus:

  • China reported 125 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 80,151. The death toll reached 2,943 as of end-Monday, up by 31 from the previous day. All travellers entering Beijing from South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy would have to be quarantined for 14 days. Shanghai has introduced a similar quarantine order.
  • The Indian government said it has detected “high viral load” in six people who had been in contact with a patient who contracted the coronavirus in Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed for calm and said that people need to work together, and take small but important steps towards self-protection. On Monday, India reported three new cases of coronavirus, including an Italian tourist in Rajasthan. The other new cases were detected in New Delhi and Telangana. The Delhi patient had been in Italy and the one in Telangana had been Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the government said, adding that both were stable and being closely monitored. 
  • Overall, more than 3,100 people have died and over 90,000 have been infected, according to CNN.
  • Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Andorra, Armenia, Czech Republic, Iceland and Indonesia confirmed their first cases.    
  • In South Korea, President Moon Jae-in declared war on the coronavirus as the country reported 600 new infections on Tuesday. “The entire country has entered war against the infectious disease as the crisis in Daegu and Gyeongbuk province has reached the highest point,” he told a cabinet meeting, referring to the hardest-hit parts of the country.
  • The United States also scrambled to prepare for more infections with an emphasis on increasing testing capacity. There are now more than 100 confirmed cases in 15 states and six deaths were reported in Seattle on Monday. Officials also planned new containment measures, ranging from closing schools to temporary quarantine housing for mildly ill homeless patients. 
  • Iran continued to remain a source of concern in Middle East after 66 people died on Monday and 1,501 have been infected by coronavirus. Nearby Bahrain and Kuwait also reported dozens of new cases.
  • The toll from coronavirus in Italy jumped to 52 on Monday from 34 the day before and the total number of confirmed cases climbed past the 2,000 mark.
  • Officials from the world’s seven largest advanced economies will hold a conference call later on Tuesday to discuss the response to coronavirus outbreak.

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