South Korea urged citizens on Saturday to stay indoors as it warned of a “critical moment” in its battle against the coronavirus after recording the biggest daily jump in infections, with 813 new cases taking the tally to 3,150 with 17 new deaths.
Seoul is grappling with the largest outbreak of the virus outside China, the epicentre of the deadly disease. The National Health Commission reported on Saturday at least 47 new deaths, bringing to 2,835 the number of fatalities nationwide among 79,251 confirmed cases.
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Meanwhile, Italy has reported 888 coronavirus cases and 18 deaths, the most in Europe.
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) had warned that the spread of the virus is “getting bigger”. Over 85,000 people have been infected worldwide.
Here are the latest updates:
Saturday, February 29
10:55 GMT – Taiwan accuses China of waging cyber ‘war’ to disrupt virus fight
Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu has accused China of using “cyber warriors” to wage “war” on the island and disrupt its fight against the coronavirus with fake news.
The coronavirus outbreak has strained already poor ties between Taipei and Beijing, who claims the island as part of China. Taiwan says China has blocked its efforts to participate with WHO independently.
#PRC officials say they care about our health as if we’re blood relatives. But while #Taiwan is dealing with #COVID19 originating from #Wuhan, their cyber warriors are waging war to disrupt our efforts. So this is epidemic fighting with Chinese characteristics. I’m speechless. JW pic.twitter.com/mOsZMNpEOe
— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) February 29, 2020
10:00 GMT – Iran health ministry says nine new deaths
Iran’s health ministry has said that 205 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the country in the last 24 hours, with nine new deaths reported.
The new numbers bring the total deaths in the country to 43 among 593 cases.
09:40 GMT – North Korea Kim Jong Un calls for stronger anti-virus efforts
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for stronger anti-virus efforts to guard against COVID-19, saying there will be “serious consequences” if the illness spreads to the country.
During a ruling party meeting, Kim called for the country’s anti-epidemic headquarters to strengthen screening and tests to seal off all “channels and space through which the infectious disease may find its way,” Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said.
Kim said that all fields and units of the country should “unconditionally” obey quarantine instructions laid-out by the anti-epidemic headquarters, according to the Associated Press news agency.
An undated picture released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on February 15 shows people in protective suits spraying disinfectant at an undisclosed location in the country[AFP]
09:25 GMT – Saudi Arabia calls on citizens to postpone Lebanon travel
Saudi Arabia called on its citizens and residents to postpone travel to Lebanon over concerns of the spread of coronavirus, the Saudi embassy in Lebanon said on Twitter on Saturday.
Lebanon confirmed its fourth case of the virus on Friday and announced that it was closing all schools until March 8.
09:10 GMT – Kuwait calls on citizens to avoid traveling
Kuwait is calling on its citizens to avoid traveling over concerns of coronavirus contamination, a health ministry official said at a media conference.
The Gulf state has not registered any new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, she said. The total number of people infected with the disease in Kuwait is 45, the health ministry said on Friday, which has reported no deaths.