Afghanistan has confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, in the country's Herat province, the Minister of Public Health Ferozuddin Feroz said today.
Three suspected cases were identified yesterday. They lived in Herat and had recently returned from Iran, where there are 43 confirmed cases.
“After testing their blood we came to know that one of them were coronavirus positive. Those three suspected had recently returned from Qom city of Iran,” said Feroz today.
Feroz declared an emergency in Herat, calling for restrictions on air and ground transport to and from the province.
3:45 a.m. ET, February 24, 2020
Kuwait confirms 3 coronavirus cases
From CNN’s Alla Eshchenko and Sara Mazloumsaki in Atlanta and Mostafa Salem in Abu Dhabi
Three people tested positive for coronavirus in Kuwait, after returning from the Iranian city of Mashhad, the country's health ministry said today.
The trio includes a 61-year-old Saudi citizen and a 53-year-old Kuwaiti national. The third person's nationality was undisclosed.
Kuwait evacuated 800 citizens from Iran on Sunday citing the coronavirus outbreak there, according to state news agency KUNA.
“(All of them) showed no symptoms of the disease,” the health minister Abdullah Al-Sanad said, KUNA reported.
3:32 a.m. ET, February 24, 2020
More than 230 new cases were confirmed in South Korea today, raising national total to 833
From CNN’s Sophie Jeong in Seoul
South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced 231 new cases today, bringing the country’s total to 833 in a massive jump.
161 cases were announced this morning, and another 70 in the afternoon.
Among the 70 cases, 41 are from the city of Daegu, and 12 are from North Gyeongsang Province -- two places where the outbreak has been concentrated. The other cases are spread out across Seoul, Busan, Daejeon, Ulsan, and Gyeonggi Province.
The total number of deaths related to the coronavirus is now at seven, with the latest death happening yesterday.
About half of all cases nationwide are linked to a religious group in the south of the country.
3:30 a.m. ET, February 24, 2020
Two Japanese health workers who went on board the Princess Diamond cruise ship have coronavirus
From CNN’s Junko Ogura in Tokyo
Two more Japanese government health workers who went on the Princess Diamond during its 14-day quarantine have tested positive for novel coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health confirmed that a quarantine officer in his 50s and an administrative staffer in his 40s were hospitalized after they developed fevers.
In total, six of the ministry’s staffers have tested positive for the virus after working aboard the ship.
2:50 a.m. ET, February 24, 2020
Qatar Airways to quarantine passengers arriving from Iran and South Korea
Qatar Airways announced today it would ask all travelers arriving in Doha from Iran and South Korea to isolate themselves at home or in a quarantine facility for 14 days.
"Passengers arriving from those countries who are showing symptoms will be transferred to the Communicable Disease Centre at the Hamad Medical Corporation," said the airline in a statement. "We thank our passengers for their cooperation in this matter."
Spike in cases: This move comes after both countries reported a spike in cases over the weekend. Iran now has 43 cases and eight deaths, while South Korea has 763 cases and seven deaths.
2:24 a.m. ET, February 24, 2020
How the coronavirus went global
The novel coronavirus began in December in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, Hubei province. Now, it's reached more than 30 other countries and territories, and is spreading in Europe and the Middle East. Take a look at how we got here:
December 8: First patient develops symptoms of coronavirus in Wuhan.
December 31: Earliest cases of virus reported to World Health Organization (WHO).
January 1: Seafood and wildlife market in Wuhan, where the outbreak is believed to have originated, is closed for disinfection.
January 7: Chinese authorities confirm they have identified the virus as a novel coronavirus.
January 9: First person dies of the virus, though his death wasn't announced until January 11.
January 23: Wuhan is placed on lockdown and Lunar New Year celebrations are canceled in major Chinese cities. Around 60 million people are affected by lockdowns and travel restrictions in other parts of China. WHO says virus is not yet a public health emergency of international concern
January 28: Death toll tops 100. The number of confirmed cases in mainland China overtakes the deadly 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak.
January 30: WHO declares a public health emergency of international concern.
February 15: The first coronavirus death in Europe is confirmed.
February 17: American passengers on the Diamond Princess are evacuated out of Japan.
February 23: Cases in South Korea surged past 600 after several hundred new infections were reported in 48 hours, with more than half the cases linked to a branch of a religious group. Italy also sees a spike -- cases rise from 3 to 152 over the same weekend.
2:10 a.m. ET, February 24, 2020
Drones, disinfecting robots, supercomputers: The coronavirus outbreak is a test for China's tech industry
Tech giants have responded by deploying autonomous vehicles to bring supplies to medical workers, fitting drones with thermal cameras to improve detection of the virus and lending their computing power to help develop a vaccine.
Robots waiters: The food delivery giant Meituan Dianping introduced robots last week in some of its partners' restaurants in Beijing to help bring food from kitchens to delivery workers, and to customers waiting for takeout.
Robot deliverymen: Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, meanwhile, enlisted self-driving robots to bring goods to medical workers in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
Cutting humans out of the equation has helped protect customers and employees, said Qi Kong, head of autonomous driving at JD Logistics.
"As we learned of the situation in Wuhan, we started to pivot our resources there," Qi told CNN Business. "Time has been really tight. It only took us four days to make sure our algorithm was ready to go, from simulation to practice."
And a startup, Shanghai TMIRob, is sending dozens of robots inside hospitals throughout Wuhan, according to Chinese state media. There, they are spraying disinfectant in isolation wards, intensive care units and operating rooms.
WHO: The "window of opportunity" to contain the virus in China is closing
From CNN's James Griffiths
On Sunday, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the "window of opportunity is narrowing" to contain the worst of the coronavirus outbreak to mainland China.
"Although the total number of cases outside China remains relatively small, we are concerned about the number of cases with no clear epidemiological link, such as travel history to China or contact with a confirmed case," he said.
This weekend's increase in cases in Iran, South Korea and Italy "is also a matter of concern," Tedros added.
G20 concerns: Members of the G20, meeting in Saudi Arabia, warned that the coronavirus poses the greatest risk to the global economy.
The conference's final document concluded the member countries would "enhance global risk monitoring, including of the recent outbreak of Covid-19."
"We all agreed that all countries and states will be ready to intervene as needed to face these risks and it'll be a multilateral intervention including the WHO to monitor these risks and use relevant policies as needed," said Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan, the host of the G20 meeting.
15 countries have travel restrictions on South Korea
By CNN's Sophie Jeong
Six countries have banned the entry of foreigners who have visited South Korea in the last 14 days, and nine others are tightening travel restrictions for the country.
The restrictions come after a surge in cases in South Korea this past week.
Israel, Bahrain, and Jordan have banned the entry of foreigners who have visited South Korea in the past 14 days.
Kiribati and Samoa require those traveling from South Korea to spend 14 days in a country that has no reported cases of the novel coronavirus. American Samoa requires those from South Korea entering through Hawaii to spend 14 days in Hawaii.
Brunei, Britain, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Macao, Oman, Ethiopia, Uganda and Qatar have heightened entry procedures, such as self-quarantine if they show symptoms or conducting a health check.