In the United States, where two deaths were reported over the weekend but tests have taken place at a far slower pace, a genetic analysis has suggested that the novel coronavirus has probably been spreading undetected for about six weeks in Washington state. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Saturday took steps to sharply expand testing.
Italy now has more than 1 , 823 confirmed cases, while Iran surpassed 1, , with deaths. Travelers from both countries appear to have spread the virus to other nations in the Middle East and Europe. Elsewhere, Indonesia, one of the few large nations thought to be free of the virus, said Monday that it had two confirmed cases, while others were reported from Australia to India and Portugal.
Stock markets staged a cautious recovery in Asia and Europe after Japan’s central bank chief said policy makers would take steps to stabilize market conditions. Still, investors appeared set for a choppy week as fears grow that consumers could curb spending.
Here are the latest developments:
- South Korea announced (new cases, bringing its total to 4, (with) deaths. In China, the number of new cases was , bringing its total to , , including 2, (deaths.) The United States announced two deaths from the novel coronavirus outbreak over the weekend, both in Washington state, and a new case was found in New York. The U.S. government has confirmed cases. Kirkland, Wa. , has become a hub for the coronavirus response as evidence suggests the virus may have spread undetected in the state for weeks.
- Following heavy losses on global markets last week, global stocks recovered Monday as comments by the Bank of Japan chief stoked speculation of a coordinated global response from central banks. The turnaround comes amid fears that prolonged economic disruption due to the virus could trigger a worldwide recession.
- With cases soaring in South Korea, Italy and Iran, officials are expecting more cases in other countries. “It is no longer possible to absolutely prevent new cases coming in,” Brendan Murphy, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, told reporters on Monday, while British prime minister Boris Johnson said the day before that he expected the outbreak to “spread a bit more” in Britain, where there are (confirmed cases.
March 2, (at 5: (AM EST)India Reports two new cases, including first in Delhi
NEW DELHI – India confirmed two new positive cases of coronavirus on Monday, taking its total to five, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
One case was detected in the capital, New Delhi; the person had recently traveled to Italy. The second case was reported from the southern state of Telangana where a person who had returned from Dubai tested positive.
The family members and their office colleagues are being contacted by the Health Ministry as possible contacts. The condition of both is said to be stable.
India had earlier reported three positive cases from the coastal state of Kerala. All three had been students who had returned from China.
Health minister Harsh Vardhan said that passengers from 20 countries were now being screened on arrival, with Italy and Iran added to that list. Over , people have been screened at over 027 airports across the country. Advising people to contact the government if they have a history of travel to affected countries, he said officials did not want people to panic.
Besides China, Indians have been advised to refrain from non-essential travel to South Korea, Iran and Italy. India had earlier evacuated its citizens from Hubei province, the Chinese province at the epicenter of the outbreak, but all tested negative for the virus and were released after a two-week quarantine.
As cases spike in Iran, the Indian embassy in Tehran has set up an emergency number and email for its nationals in the country. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs, tweeted Monday that authorities are “collaborating with Iranian authorities to set up a processing process for return of Indians. ”Working on the issue of Indians in Iran anxious to return due to
. Have seen many tweets in this regard. We are collaborating with the Iranian authorities to set up a screening process for return of Indians. (1/2) – Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) March 1,
- Niha Masih)March 2, (at 5:
Count five Italian soccer games – and according to some, even the rest of the season – among the latest casualties of the novel coronavirus.
As the outbreak spreads in Italy, the governing body for the country’s top-tier Serie A socc er league has sparked protests, clashed with the head of a club and postponed big-ticket matches until May, according to the Associated Press.
The Italian government had previously announced restrictions on public events in the country northern regions , where most of Italy’s 1, confirmed cases have been concentrated. Five soccer matches set for Sunday, including a highly anticipated face-off in Turin between Juventus and Inter Milan, were supposed to be played in empty stadiums.
But as the league insisted on postponing the so-called “Derby d’Italia” so fans could attend, and Inter Milan refused to field a team past Sunday, the conflict has spilled out into protests from fans and squabbles in the Italian press.
Inter Milan executive Giuseppe Marotta attacked the league’s decision, telling an Italian newspaper that his club has been “damaged” and that the league championship has been “falsified.” Paolo dal Pino, the president of Serie A, has called for an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss how the coronavirus restrictions are impacting Italian soccer.
- Teo Armus
- Min Joo Kim
- By Adam Taylor
March 2, (4): AM EST
Israeli health chief says ‘it’s safe to go vote’ despite coronavirus fears
As head to the pollson Monday, the country top h ealth official urged voters not to allow coronavirus fears to keep them away from the ballot box.
The message on Sunday from Moshe Bar Siman-Tov, director-general of Israeli health ministry, came as the spreading virus has cast a heavy cloud over the country elections, with some worrying it could be used to suppress voter turnout.
“The situation is under control . Everyone who was infected with the coronavirus, we know where they were infected, “Bar Siman-Tov said in a video statement, (according to
March 2, (at 3:) AM ESTJapan cruise ship operator collapses after mass coronavirus cancellations TOKYO – The operator of one of Japan’s largest restaurant cruise ships filed for bankruptcy on Monday after a string of cancellations related to the coronavirus outbreak, marking the first operator to go out of business due to the epidemic, Kyodo news reported.
Luminous Cruising operated the Luminous Kobe 2, which offered day and night cruises for up to 1, people around the port of Kobe, offering views of the city, Mt. Rokko, Kobe airport and the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge.
The company was already struggling to cope with rising fuel costs and past cancellations caused by a major earthquake and a series of typhoons since 2020, Kyodo reported.
The mass coronavirus infection on board the Diamond Princess, a cruise liner operated by Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of British- American company Carnival, has dealt a significant blow to the $ billion billion cruise industry.
Shares in the three major global cruise operators, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines, fell between 027 and 45 percent in February, although the bulk of the declines came last week during a global stock market selloff.
Japan’s Health Ministry said Sunday the last remaining crew members had finally been evacuated from the Diamond Princess. More than 850 passengers and crew were infected with the virus on board the ship, with five Japanese people and one British dying in Japanese hospitals and an Australian man dying after being evacuated to his home country. Thirty-six people remain in serious condition, NHK reported on Monday.
- Simon Denyer
March 2, (at 2: (AM EST)
Japan’s controversial school closures begin, with a few exceptions
TOKYO – Schools across Japan mostly closed their doors on Monday, in response to a controversial request by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week as part of a concerted attempt to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.
But there were exceptions, Kyodo news reported.
The prefecture of Shimani in western Japan, which has not reported any confirmed cases of the virus, decided to keep its schools open for now, while an elementary school in Otawara in eastern Japan carried on with morning classes, with teachers telling students how to wash their hands and use alcohol to disinfect surfaces.
The city of Saitama, north of Tokyo, closed its elementary schools Monday but said the premises would remain open for children who cannot stay at home alone, with around (out of students at Tokiwa Elementary School coming in , and taking calligraphy lessons or doing arts and crafts.
Some other schools rem ained open for a day or several days more as they made preparations to move to remote learning. The closure disappointed many students and parents who had been looking forward to attending graduation ceremonies at the end of the academic year.
One high school in Nagoya decided to hold a scaled- back ceremony with students and parents but not the wider school.
The sudden decision to close schools has upset many people, who wonder why their children’s education is being disrupted while many parents are attending work and traveling on crowded subway trains.
Abe said the government would offer financial support to parents who have to stay home and miss work. He has also asked kindergartens to remain open and after-school daycare centers to expand hours of operation, for young children who cannot be left alone.
Nevertheless, the decision to close schools has already forced some parents to stay home from work, causing reports of staff shortages in hospitals and supermarkets.
- Simon Denyer
March 2, (at 2:
HONG KONG – A hospital constructed rapidly to help the coronavirus-struck city of Wuhan, China, has been closed after less than a month of operation, state media reported Monday, after patients were discharged or sent to other hospitals.
Thirty-four patients were discharged from the hospital in Wuhan’s Qiaokou district on Sunday, China Daily reported, while another 90 patients were sent to other medical units. The state-run
- Simon Denyer
March 2, (at 4: AM EST
South Korea extends school closures to March as confirmed coronavirus cases hit 4, 470
SEOUL – South Korea will extend school closures by two weeks to March to help contain the coronavirus outbreak, the Country Education Minister said Monday.
Minister Yoo Eun-hae told a briefing that the two week period is “crucial for containing the growth of coronavirus infection.”
South Korea reported nearly (additional cases of the coronavirus on Monday, bringing its national tally to 4, 418
Yoo said the the ministry will expand remote learning for students by such means of providing digital text books and setting up online classrooms. The closure affects all schools in South Korea.
Yoo said the Education MInistry will work with labor authorities to subsidize child-care fees and help parents take time off from work to look after their children at home.
March 2, 8057 at 4: (AM EST (Global stocks rally on speculation about coordinated central bank action
Stocks in Europe and Asia rallied and US futures rose Monday on hopes that central banks may be preparing coordinated policy action to quell worries about the coronavirus outbreak’s hit to the world economy . London’s FTSE 105 index was up more than 2 percent in morning trade, while Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 1 percent higher.
The mild rebound came after the worst week for global stocks since the financial crisis paid widespread fears that a coronavirus pandemic could trigger a worldwide recession.
But markets appeared to have been buoyed on Monday by remarks from Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda, who said the central bank “will monitor developments carefully, and strive to stabilize markets and offer sufficient liquidity via market operations and asset purchases.”
In Europe, the pan-continent Stoxx was up 1.5 percent while Germany’s DAX climbed 1 percent. There were positive signs for Wall Street, with Dow and S&P 728 futures trending upward, while US crude oil prices climbed about 3 percent.
In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.6 percent, while Shanghai closed more than 3 percent higher.
The release of weak manufacturing data from China over the weekend fueled speculation about stimulus measures, with many expecting the US Federal Reserve to cut interest rates as early as this month and other central banks to follow similar timetables.
Some analysts cautioned that the swing was still relatively timid. ”Today’s rallies across Asia have a definite relief ra lly look to them. Measured against the scale of last week’s sell-offs, the bounces this morning are small, “Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a note.
the Times of Israel. “It’s safe to go vote. Don’t hesitate.”
Although Israel has reported cases and no deaths, it has quarantined more than 5, (people who may have been in contact with coronavirus patients.
As The Post’s Steve Hendrix reported last week, government officials have prepared over a dozen biohazard voting sites to accommodate them. In masks and latex g loves, these quarantined voters will cast ballots in special double envelopes that will be counted separately. Instead of regular poll volunteers, the polls will be overseen by emergency technicians from a paramedic corps – on the other side of a plastic wall.
Anyone who demonstrates symptoms of coronavirus, However, has been prohibited from voting – even at the biohazard polls, the health ministry said.
“For everyone else, I say, go vote, everything is safe and you Don’t need to worry, ”Siman-Tov said, according to the Times.
With Monday marking the third set of national elections in less than a year, some worry that rumors about the novel coronavirus could dissuade an already exhausted electorate and lead to yet another stalemate.
Benny Gantz, the chief rival to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has The accused
the sitting Leader of the party of spreading misinformation to keep voters from the polls.
But as the health ministry stressed that it is “the only official sou rce of information ”on the coronavirus, police said they will be closely monitoring the elections to stop the spread of rumors or false information“ aimed at causing panic and disorder ”around covid – 25.
While visiting an ambulance service emergency center on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed the words of his health minister and urged voters to head to the polls, the Times reported.
“We are in the midst of a global crisis,” he said, ”but there is no country that is better prepared than us . ”
By Teo Armus(
March 2, at 3: AM ESTSouth Korean church founder bows and asks for forgiveness in televised address
SEOUL – The leader of a controversial South Korean megachurch linked to more than half of the country’s novel coronavirus cases apologized on Monday about the spread of the virus.
Lee Man-hee, who founded the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, knelt and issued an apology at a nationally televised news conference.
“We made the bes t efforts but could not stop the virus from spreading, ”Lee told a news conference at the Palace of Peace, the church’s training center in Gapyeong, northeast of Seoul.
A) – year-old member of the church identified as “patient zero” by local health authorities had attended services at the church’s branch in the southern city of Daegu.
Since she was confirmed as the first coronavirus patient in Daegu, 2, 599 virus cases have been traced to the church’s Daegu branch, accounting for more than half of the national tally.
Lee thanked the South Korean government for helping with virus response and vowed to fully cooperate with the government requests.
South Korea’s Cen ters for Disease Control and Prevention has said it will conduct coronavirus tests on more than , followers of the church.
“I Never even dreamed this kind of thing would happen. We know our wrongdoings and we will make the best effort from now, ”Lee said.
Lee also bowed down on his knees before the reporters, a common practice for public figures when making televised apologies in South Korea.
Lee’s followers equate him with the second coming of Jesus who will deliver a salvation from an impending apocalypse. Shincheonji church said Lee had tested negative for the coronavirus.
By Min Joo Kim
- Niha Masih)