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COVID-19 outbreak: Global panic continues, virus expands footprint

The UK reported 12 new cases, six of whom had travelled to Italy, two to Iran, three with close contact to a known case and one with no travel history or link to any known case so far.

Published: 02nd March 2020 08:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd March 2020 11:20 AM   |  A+A-

Workers wearing protective face masks pack food orders for customers outside a restaurant only offering take-out business to prevent people gathering following the coronavirus outbreak in Beijing, Sunday, March 1, 2020. (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  While anxiety in India ebbed after lab reports attributed the recent death of a Keralite in Kochi to pneumonia, the global panic continued over the rapid spread of novel coronavirus, with new cases emerging and a few countries under-reporting its footprint.

In just a week, the virus extended its reach to over 30 more shores, taking its total spread to 66 nations and territories, including the Japanese cruise ship, Diamond Princess.

In Kerala, a 36-year-old man, who was undergoing treatment with symptoms of COVID-19 at the Government Medical College Hospital in Ernakulam, had arrived from Malaysia on Thursday last.

His death on Saturday had raised concerns, but lab tests established it was due to acute pneumonia. 

A relieved Tamil Nadu reported that all 49 swab samples sent for testing so far reported negative for the virus. But panic-buying of daily necessities was reported in Japan and tourist sites across the world were deserted.

ALSO READ | Coronavirus: Closure of schools extended till March 13 in Pakistan's Sindh province

In Paris, the Louvre Museum closed its doors and priests stopped placing sacramental bread in worshippers’ mouths. Also, the French community church in Rome, St Louis of the French, closed its doors to the public after a priest was infected.

The UK reported 12 new cases, six of whom had travelled to Italy, two to Iran, three with close contact to a known case and one with no travel history or link to any known case so far.

ALSO READ | Germany's coronavirus cases almost double to 129

American Airlines suspended flights to Milan from March 1 to April 25 after the State Department raised its warning to ‘do not travel’ for parts of Italy.

Indians stuck in Iran

Foreign minister S Jaishankar said the government is collaborating with Iran to set up a screening process for the safe return of hundreds of Indian fishermen, including Keralites, caught in the middle of the outbreak, after an appeal by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan 

Oil prices drop below $50

Stock markets in the Gulf plunged on Sunday.

ALSO READ | Man in mid-70s becomes second coronavirus death is US as authorities announce new infections

The Saudi bourse was down 3.7%, its lowest level in 18 months. Saudi Aramco dropped 2.1% to $8.70, its worst performance since listing. Five other markets were also hit as oil prices dropped below $50 a barrel

Five Serie A games off 

Five matches in Italy’s Serie A, including the heavyweight duel between Juventus and Inter Milan, were postponed. Sunday’s clash pitting Juventus and third-placed Inter in Turin was among those fixtures to be called off.



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