In South Korea, the death toll rises as new cases skyrocket to over 760.
South Korea reported 161 more cases of virus causing Covid-19 disease on Monday, bringing the nation’s total to 763 cases and seven deaths.
President Moon Jae-in on Sunday placed South Korea on the highest possible alert in its fight against coronavirus, a move that allows the government to block cities and take other radical measures to contain the epidemic.
“The next few days will be a critical time for us,” he said at an emergency meeting of government officials to discuss the epidemic. “The central government, local governments, health officials and medical personnel and the whole population must undertake a comprehensive and concerted response to the problem.”
Many of South Korea’s coronavirus cases are found in the southeastern city of Daegu, which has essentially been put into a state of emergency, although people are still free to enter and exit the city.
More than half of the people confirmed to have been infected are members of both the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a secret religious sect with a strong presence in Daegu, or their relatives or other contacts.
Markets plunge in response to the spread of the epidemic.
A slide in the stock markets that began at the end of last week seemed to accelerate across Asia on Monday morning, as investors seemed to fear that the economic downturn already seen in China due to the coronavirus epidemic could have effects elsewhere.
The South Korean market collapsed by almost 3 percent in early trading, after a surge in coronavirus cases confirmed there over the weekend. The Australian market fell by just over 2% in early trading, while the Hong Kong market fell by more than 1%. Forward market trading has suggested that American and European stock markets may drop just over 1 percent even in early trading when they open.
The equity markets of Shanghai and Shenzhen declined slightly. “The worse the virus outbreak, the greater the chances that the central bank will release” more money in the financial system, which tends to support stock prices, said Hao Hong, director of research for international operations at the Communications Bank. Chinese.
The Japanese stock market was closed on Monday, a public holiday there in honor of the emperor’s birthday.
The coronavirus epidemic in China has already severely reduced economic growth in China. Factories have been slow to reopen, in part because mass quarantines have prevented many employees from returning to their jobs, but also because demand in China has temporarily collapsed for a wide range of goods. Auto sales plummeted 92% in the first two weeks of February compared to the same period last year.
One of the big questions investors are facing now is whether the economies of other countries will be affected similarly. Italy blocked at least 10 cities over the weekend in response to an outbreak there. South Korea is now also facing a rapidly growing number of cases and on Sunday President Moon Jae-in put the country on the highest alert.
Europe confronts the coronavirus while Italy hurries to contain spikes in cases.
As Italy climbed on Sunday to contain the first major coronavirus outbreak in Europe, a new nervousness pervaded the continent, with officials from neighboring countries pledging to prevent the outbreak from spreading further.
The virus presents Europe with perhaps its biggest challenge since the 2015 migration crisis, which radically changed the policy of the European Union and exposed its institutional weaknesses. If the virus spreads, the fundamental principle of open borders in much of Europe – so central to the identity of the blockade – will undergo a stress test, as well as the vaunted but tense European health systems, especially in countries that have suffered austerity measures.
A European commissioner stated that the European Union was in constant contact with the authorities in Italy. And the French health minister, Olivier Veran, said on Sunday in a press conference that the country is closely observing the “problematic situation” in Italy.
The peak in Italy has already sparked an aggressive response from Italian officials. The country has blocked more than 50,000 people in 10 cities in the northern region of Lombardy, where a considerable group of coronavirus infections has emerged, and approved emergency measures that apply across the country.
Block residents should have left or entered their cities only with a special permit. Police and armed forces personnel were deployed to monitor city entrances. Officials closed schools and canceled the last two days of the Venice carnival, which attracts thousands of people from all over the world, and canceled fairs, opera performances and football matches.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy has risen to 152, officials said Sunday, from three on Thursday. More than 100 of these cases are located in the Lombardy region. At least three people died, including a 77-year-old woman and a 78-year-old man, and at least 26 are in intensive care, officials said.
Pakistan and Turkey close their borders with Iran when cases arise.
Pakistan and Turkey temporarily closed their borders with Iran on Sunday, while Tehran announced a weekly closure of schools, universities and cultural centers in 14 provinces in an attempt to curb the coronavirus.
The outbreak killed at least eight people in Iran, state television said – the largest number of coronavirus-related deaths outside of China.
Long lines have formed outside pharmacies and there is a shortage of masks and disinfectants, according to health officials and people in Iran. Officials warned that hospitals are too stressed and said people should refrain from going to the emergency room unless they have acute symptoms.
Although the origin of the epidemic in Iran is unclear, the Fars news agency He quoted the country’s health minister on Sunday as saying that Chinese carriers of the virus were a source of the epidemic in Iran.
A few days ago, Iran said it had not been touched by the virus and the sudden increase in cases raised concerns that a significant outbreak could occur. The Iranian ministry of health said Saturday that 43 people tested positive with eight deaths, according to state-run Press TV.
Experts said that based on the number of deaths, the total number of cases is likely to be much higher, as Covid-19 appears to kill around one in 50 infected people.
Pakistan’s 596-mile border with Iran is predominantly porous, and controlling a potential coronavirus spread is a major challenge.
Turkish health minister Fahrettin Koca said in a press conference: “As the picture in Iran is getting worse, we have decided to temporarily close our border with our neighbor.”
Turkey has four border gates to Iran and all of them have been closed.
National Security Council of Afghanistan he said on Sunday that all travel to Iran would be reduced to “essential humanitarian needs”.
Reports and researches were provided by Choe Sang-Hun, Elisabetta Povoledo, Austin Ramzy, Motoko Rich, Makiko Inoue, Salman Masood, Mujib Mashal, Isabel Kershner, Tiffany May, Derrick Bryson Taylor, Tess Felder, Amy Harmon, Farah Stockman, Edward Wong, Vivian Wang, Mihir Zaveri, Katrin Bennhold and Constant Méheut.