Home » World » Six coronavirus deaths in the United States, cases in China slow down: live updates | news

Six coronavirus deaths in the United States, cases in China slow down: live updates | news

The United States has reported six coronavirus deaths as the outbreak started in China continues to spread to new countries around the world and the World Health Organization urges countries to step up containment measures to curb the infection.

The director general of the WHO, dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said Monday evening that the world was in “unexplored territory” with the new coranvirus because, although it spreads within communities, it can also be contained.

“Containment of COVID-19 is feasible and must remain the top priority for all countries,” he said.


Dr. Tedros was speaking as other countries reported their first cases and the United States announced four more deaths. Most are connected to a nursing home in the northwestern city of Seattle, where it is feared that the virus would have spread for weeks without being discovered.

In South Korea, the country with the most serious outbreak outside China, the number of infected continues to rise with three more deaths reported on Tuesday morning.

In China itself, the infection appears to be slowing down. Tuesday reported only 125 new cases, the lowest since January.

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday 3 March

03:15 GMT – The Church leader tests negative for the virus

Lee Man-hee, the founder of the controversial Shincheonji Church of Jesus, tested negative for coronavirus after being brought to a drive-through test site on Monday.

The church is at the center of the epidemic in South Korea and has been heavily criticized for its response to the virus.

Lee apologized on Monday and called the epidemic a “major calamity”, but he refused to be tested by public authorities until a local governor threatened to force-drag him to be tested. Rob McBride of Al Jazeera is in Seoul and you can see his story below.

The South Korean church leader apologizes for the coronavirus epidemic

02:25 GMT – Australia will use biosecurity law in the fight against viruses

The Australian attorney general said the government will use its biosecurity to legally limit the movements of people suspected of having coronavirus.

Speaking with the country’s public service broadcaster ABC, Christian Porter said the government would use the law to designate out-of-bounds places or to put a patient in detention at home.

“Under the biosecurity law, there could be prevention of movement by people inside and outside particular places,” Porter told ABC.

“You could have a big sporting event where people would be very, very close to each other and … it could be determined that the risk of transmission in such a place was too high.”

Australia approved the biosecurity law in 2015, replacing the Quarantine Act, which has been in force for over 100 years. You can find more information about the act in this report from two Australian National University academics.

02:20 GMT – Hong Kong to bring Wuhan citizens home

Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam held his regular weekly press briefing.

He says the territory has hired four planes to bring 533 Hong Kong people back from Wuhan. Flights will take place on Wednesday and Thursday and passengers will be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival.

02:12 GMT – China appears to have recovered to face COVID-19

There has been a lot of talk about COVID-19 vaccines, but it will take a long time to become available.

In the meantime, in addition to not getting infected in the first place (washing your hands more and touching your face less), doctors are looking for ways to treat the disease more effectively.

My colleague, Shawn Yuan, spoke to doctors in China about the difficulties they encountered in treating the new virus. Read his story here.

China coronavirus

Plasma donated by recovered patients was collected for use in the treatment of people fighting severe coronavirus cases [Yuan Zheng/EPA]

02:10 GMT – Pakistan confirms the fifth case

Pakistan has reported a new case of coronavirus.

“We now have the 5th confirmed case of COVID19 in federal areas,” said Zafar Mirza, the country’s health minister, in a tweet early Tuesday morning.

The patient is stable and well managed, the minister added.

01:40 GMT – World in “unexplored territory” with new virus – WHO

Tedros, director general of the World Health Organization Adhanom Ghebreyesushe said the world is in “unexplored territory” with the new coronavirus because, although the infection can spread through a community, it can also be contained.

It is urging countries around the world to focus on containing the virus, calling for “early and aggressive measures”.

01:20 GMT – The South Korean epidemic continues to grow

South Korea reported 600 new coronavirus cases in its first daily update Tuesday. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) also claim that three other people died overnight.

The total number of cases in the country now stands at 4,812, making it the largest outbreak outside China.

01:15 GMT – The governor of New York tries to reassure about the costs

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has just issued a directive for all insurers to waive the cost sharing associated with virus testing.

“We can’t let costs be a barrier to accessing COVID-19 tests,” he wrote on Twitter.

00:45 GMT – Cases in China continue to slow down

The figures just published by the Chinese National Health Commission suggest that the epidemic could slow down.

Mainland China had 125 new cases confirmed on Monday, compared with 202 the day before. It is the lowest since the country started publishing national data in January.

In Wuhan, the number of new cases was 111, compared to 193.

The commission said 31 people died of the infection.

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s live updates on the coronavirus as it continues to spread from its epicenter in central China to countries around the world.

I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur, who takes over from my colleague Hamza Mohamed.

A summary of Monday’s main developments:

The death toll in the United States has risen to six with growing concern that the virus has spread unnoticed in the northwestern state of Washington for weeks.

Deaths in Italy have risen to 52, while Iran’s toll has risen to 66. Italy is the hardest hit country in Europe, while Iran has recorded the most deaths outside of China.

Countries including Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, the Czech Republic and Tunisia have announced their first cases of illness.

China has reported more cases, but the infection rate appears to be slowing down.

Click Here to read the updates from Monday 2 March.

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