The number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases has gone up to 1,05,523 cases, and 3,584 people have died as of Sunday, according to the World Health Organization’s latest update. The virus, officially known as COVID-19, has affected 101 countries, areas or territories with the majority cases – 80,859 – reported from China.
According to China’s National Health Commission, 44 new cases of the virus were reported by Saturday-end with 41 of them in Hubei province’s Wuhan city – the epicentre of the outbreak. Three other cases were from outside mainland China. The agency said cases went down by approximately one half on Saturday when compared to the previous day, reported Reuters.
Chinese authorities have reportedly eased up on quarantine measures put in place more than a month ago while authorities keep an eye on the virus’ spread outside the country. A 100-year-old man, said to be the oldest known patient in the country, has recovered from the virus, reported Xinhua. He was among a group of over 80 patients that was discharged from a hospital in Wuhan. The man was hospitalised on February 24, and had other health problems, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Meanwhile, at least 10 people were killed after a five-storey hotel that was used as a coronavirus quarantine facility collapsed in the Chinese port city of Quanzhou on Saturday.
In Iran, one of the worst-hit countries outside China, the health ministry said 49 new deaths were reported, taking the toll to 194. The total number of confirmed cases has risen to 6,566 on Sunday, said Iran’s Ministry of Health spokesperson Kianush Jahanpoor, adding that 743 more cases of infection had cropped up in the country, reported CNN. Iran Air has also reportedly suspended flights to Europe indefinitely, according to AFP.
In Italy, the worst-affected European country, 16 million people have been quarantined in the northern region, according to BBC. Residents of Lombardy and 14 other central and northern provinces will require special permission to travel. The country has 5,883 confirmed cases as of Saturday. The toll has gone beyond 230 as officials reported over 36 deaths in 24 hours.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said schools, gyms, museums and nightclubs, among other venues across the whole country will be shut. The closure will continue till April 3. “We want to guarantee the health of our citizens,” said Conte. “We understand that these measures will impose sacrifices, sometimes small and sometimes very big.” On Sunday, WHO lauded Italy’s efforts to contain the virus, and said the country was making “genuine sacrifices” to protect its citizens and the world.
In South Korea, authorities on Sunday said 367 new cases were reported in the previous day. This takes the total cases in the country to 7,134.
Two more people in United States’ Washington state have died due to the coronavirus, taking the toll in the country to 19, officials said on Saturday. The number of confirmed cases in New York went up to 89, reported Reuters. There are 444 positive cases of the novel coronavirus in the US, according to CNN.
On Sunday, India’s neighbour Bangladesh has confirmed its first three cases of coronavirus, the Dhaka Tribune reported, citing the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research. Two of the three people had recently returned from Italy, and all of them are between the ages of 20 and 35.