COVID-19 | Fears rise as coronavirus cases, deaths hit new high

China reports 573 fresh infections; toll rises to 54 in Iran; number of infections in Italy rises by 40% to 1,576 in 24 hours.

Updated - March 02, 2020 01:04 am IST

Published - March 01, 2020 10:58 pm IST - Tokyo/Beijing

In this handout photo provided by ITBP, a Chinese boy undergoes screening tests for the novel coronavirus at an ITBP quarantine facility in Chhawla, New Delhi on March 1, 2020.

In this handout photo provided by ITBP, a Chinese boy undergoes screening tests for the novel coronavirus at an ITBP quarantine facility in Chhawla, New Delhi on March 1, 2020.

The number of countries hit by the COVID-19 outbreak climbed past 60 on March 1, as infections and deaths continued to mount around the globe, emptying streets of tourists and workers, shaking economies and rewriting the realities of daily life.

Australia and Thailand reported their first deaths on March1, while the Dominican Republic and the Czech Republic recorded their first cases.

Italian authorities announced that the number of people infected in the country had surged 40% to 1,576 in 24 hours, and five more people had died, bringing the death toll there to 34.

Iran , Iraq, Italy and South Korea, among other places, saw the number of infections rise.

More than 87,000 people worldwide have been infected, and nearly 3,000 have died.

Cases in the U.S. climbed to at least 72, with the first death inside the country reported on Saturday — a man in his 50s in Washington who had underlying health problems but hadn’t travelled to any affected areas.

“Additional cases in the United States are likely, but healthy individuals should be able to fully recover,” President Donald Trump said at a February 29 briefing.

Also read | Many fishermen from Kerala stranded in Iran amid COVID-19 outbreak | WHO raises global virus risk to maximum level |Why is COVID-19 not a pandemic yet?

China, where the outbreak began two months ago, on March 1 reported a slight uptick in new cases over the past 24 hours to 573 , the first time in five days that the number has exceeded 500. They remain almost entirely confined to the hardest-hit Province of Hubei and its capital, Wuhan.

South Korea reported additional cases and two more deaths from the virus, raising its total to 3,736 cases and 20 fatalities. South Korea has confirmed the second largest number of infections outside mainland China, with most of the cases reported in Daegu and nearby areas.

Iran’s death toll from COVID-19 climbed to 54 as the number of cases jumped overnight by more than half, to 978 people. The new figures represent 11 more deaths than reported on February 29 and 385 new cases.

Also read | Armenia reports first COVID-19 case | Brazil confirms second case of virus | All about COVID-19

Pakistan’s Interior Ministry said it was closing its Chaman border with Afghanistan for a week amid the virus outbreak. Pakistan has confirmed four cases, while Afghanistan has confirmed one case.

British health authorities said the number of people confirmed as infected rose by 12, bringing the country’s tally to 35, with one death. Most of the new cases involved people who had been in Italy or Iran.

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