New COVID-19 cases outside China exceed those in China

28 Février, 2020, 04:10 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • New COVID-19 cases outside China exceed those in China

The US and South Korea have postponed joint military exercises that were supposed to start next week as a result of the growing COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, officials announced this week.

A 23-year-old American soldier stationed in South Korea became the first U.S. service member confirmed to be infected with the virus on Wednesday.

According to local outlet Yonhap News Agency, about 46 percent of the 1,766 cases are connected to the localized outbreak from Shincheonji Church in Daegu.

US health authorities, managing 59 cases so far - mostly Americans repatriated from a cruise ship in Japan - have said a global pandemic is likely.

In the US, which had 60 cases, US President Donald Trump declared that the nation was "very, very ready" for whatever threat the coronavirus brings and he put US Vice President Mike Pence in charge of overseeing the response.

Meanwhile, the Korean won (KRW) witnessed wild moves on a surprise rates on-hold decision by the Bank of Korea (BOK) earlier today. Thursday's updates bring mainland China's totals to 78,497 cases, and 2,744 deaths.

At the same time, Tedros said, "This virus is not influenza".

Iran, the main hotspot in the Middle East, has reported 141 cases and 22 deaths, which is the highest number of deaths outside China.

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Of the new cases, 383 were in the epicenter of the city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December.

The virus is believed to have originated in a market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where it is suspected of having hopped from animal to human before spreading across the country and proliferating overseas. According to Politico, South Korea has reported 21 cases of the virus among its military personnel.

But UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet voiced concern Thursday about the widespread use of quarantine, and said the epidemic had "set off a disturbing wave of prejudice against people of Chinese and East Asian ethnicity".

The virus that can lead to pneumonia is believed to have originated in a market selling wildlife in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late previous year. They have 140 cases and 19 deaths, the highest death toll outside of China. Hubei officials have been accused of initially covering up the outbreak and silencing a whistleblowing doctor who later died from the disease.

Spooked by the impact on China, the heart of corporate supply chains and the increasing effect on other countries, stocks sank deeper into the red on Thursday and oil prices fell.

Latin America's first case was in a 61-year-old man in Sao Paulo, Brazil, who had recently visited Italy, a new front line in the global outbreak. Countries from Denmark to Spain and Algeria have also reported infections linked to Italy. The first cases in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Estonia involved people who had been in Iran. The WHO has urged countries to prepare for a potential pandemic, though it stopped short of declaring one.

"We're going to be trying to slow down the spread so that our hospitals are not overwhelmed in one big gulp, one big hit", said Ian Mackay, who studies viruses at the University of Queensland in Australia. But EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides appealed for calm.

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