February 25 coronavirus news

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4:50 p.m. ET, February 28, 2020

Number of cases in Italy jumps to 283

A view of tents prepared for coronavirus patients at a hospital in Padova, Italy, on Monday.
A view of tents prepared for coronavirus patients at a hospital in Padova, Italy, on Monday. Credit: Massimo Bertolini/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The number of coronavirus cases in Italy has jumped to 283, Angello Borreli, head of Italy's Civil Protection Agency said in a briefing on Tuesday. 

Of the cases, 212 are in Lombardy, 38 in Veneto, 23 in Emilia Romagna, three in Piedmont, three in Lazio, two in Tuscany, and one in Sicily.

The case recorded in Sicily is the first occurrence of coronavirus in southern Italy. 

Out of the 283 total cases in Italy, seven patients have died, and one has recovered.

10:57 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Iran confirms more than 30 new cases, death toll rises to 15

An ambulance drives on a street of Tehran, Iran on Monday.
An ambulance drives on a street of Tehran, Iran on Monday. Credit: Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Iran has reported 34 new confirmed cases and 1 new death from coronavirus, health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said in a ministry Telegram channel on Tuesday.

The current number of confirmed cases across Iran is 95, while there are 15 confirmed deaths.

Iran struggling to contain outbreak: Across the Middle East, flights from Iran have stopped and borders with the country have been closed as the region tries to keep the spread of a deadly coronavirus at bay.

Economic sanctions imposed against Iran by the United States and other bodies have made tackling the disease harder, a board member of Iran's Association of Medical Equipment Importers said yesterday.

6:36 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

South Korea announces 11th novel coronavirus-linked death

Disinfection professionals spray anti-septic solution outside the National Assembly building in Seoul.
Disinfection professionals spray anti-septic solution outside the National Assembly building in Seoul. Credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Another novel coronavirus patient in South Korea has died, bringing the total number of deaths linked to the virus to 11 in the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

The cause of death is still being investigated for the patient, a 35-year-old Mongolian man who reportedly had a pre-existing liver condition.

There are now nearly 1,000 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in South Korea, after authorities there announced Tuesday that 114 more people were infected.

Of the total 977 cases, the highest concentration are in three locations, including 543 in the southern city of Daegu, 248 in North Gyeongsang Province and 43 in the port city of Busan. 

Flights suspended and religious group self-isolating: All flights have been suspended to Daegu, the southern city where the initial outbreak occurred. Several countries and territories have announced restrictions on travel from South Korea, or new warnings for citizens traveling to the country.

The Daegu outbreak had centered around the Shincheonji religious group, but the virus appears to have spread now beyond practitioners.

Several hundred members of the group have tested positive for the virus, and more than 9,000 practitioners have been put into self-isolation while they are tested by health authorities. 

11:11 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Trump says he thinks coronavirus is "a problem that's going to go away"

President Donald Trump speaks at a business roundtable in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump speaks at a business roundtable in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday. Credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump has expressed optimism that the novel coronavirus will be a short-term problem, which won't have a lasting impact on the global economy.

I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away," Trump said at the start of a business roundtable in India's capital New Delhi on Tuesday.

The President, who is in India on a two-day state visit, noted a plunge on Wall Street Monday, but said futures were higher ahead of Tuesday's market open.

"Things like that happen and you have it in your business all the time," he told gathered executives. "It had nothing to do with you. It was an outside source."

Trump outlined the administration's efforts to contain the virus, claiming the US had "essentially closed the borders."

We’re watching very carefully," Trump said. "We’re fortunate so far and we think it’s going to remain that way."

He also heaped praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping for his efforts to contain the virus, despite the leader coming under withering criticism from others.

If you know anything about him, I think he’ll be in pretty good shape," Trump said of Xi. "They’ve had a rough patch."
6:13 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Japan's pro soccer league postpones all matches until mid-March

Spectators wearing face masks watch a J League soccer game in Kobe, Japan, on Sunday.
Spectators wearing face masks watch a J League soccer game in Kobe, Japan, on Sunday. Stringer/JIJI Press/AFP/Getty Images

Japan’s professional soccer league, “J League,” has announced it will postpone all games until March 15. In a statement, the league said it is fully committed to stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The announcement comes after a government panel of experts recommended that the public avoid gatherings and large crowds.

Cases in Japan: Japan has confirmed 840 cases of novel coronavirus; nearly 700 of those are linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was docked in Yokohama for two weeks while under quarantine. Four people have died.

 

11:00 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Only 30% of small businesses in China have reopened

A vendor wearing a protective face mask waits for customers at a shop in Beijing.
A vendor wearing a protective face mask waits for customers at a shop in Beijing. Credit: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

A survey of small enterprises in China found that only 30% have resumed business, Shu Chaohui of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said at a news conference on Tuesday. 

The survey applied to businesses in several industries with 100 employees or fewer.

Shu called the situation “grim," and said that the smaller the business, the lower the resumption rate was.

“We have launched taxation and social insurance policies to support these enterprises,” Shu said. 

Fan Zhenyu of China's Ministry of Transport said that 27 provinces have resume inter-provincial buses to transport people back to work.

More than 100 cities have already resumed public transportation within epidemic guidelines and have reduced the number of health check points from 17,000 to 9,000, Fan reported.

Global economic damage: Factory closures in China, as well as reduced demand for goods and services, were already expected to slam China's economic growth in the first quarter, weigh on trade and rattle global markets. But the spread of the virus further afield increases the risk of substantial damage to economies that were growing at a much slower place than China, or -- as in the cases of Germany, Italy and Japan -- already at risk of recession.

10:57 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Iran's death toll rises to 14

A worker disinfects Qom's Masumeh shrine on Tuesday. The city is the epicenter of Iran's virus outbreak.
A worker disinfects Qom's Masumeh shrine on Tuesday. The city is the epicenter of Iran's virus outbreak. MEHDI MARIZAD/FARS NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Images

Iran has announced two new deaths from coronavirus, which brings its death toll to 14, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday.

Iran is on the front line of the outbreak -- the health ministry has confirmed 61 cases so far.

Yesterday, a lawmaker from Qom -- the site of the outbreak -- criticized the government’s handling of the outbreak and accused officials of covering up its true scale.

Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani claimed Monday that 50 people had died from the virus in Qom, but Iran's health ministry denied his claims.

Cases in Iraq: Meanwhile in neighboring Iraq, a family of four tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday in Kirkuk governorate, the health ministry said in a statement, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Iraq to five.

The family had recently returned from Iran and are currently in quarantine, the statement added.

10:57 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

Coronavirus cases in Italy rise to 272

Another 40 coronavirus cases have been detected in Northern Italy since Monday evening, the Italian Civil Protection Department’s media office said Tuesday,

That brings the current number of cases across the country to 272.

The number of deaths due to coronavirus in Italy remains at seven -- six in Lombardy, and one in Veneto.

Where in Italy has the virus spread?

  • Lombardy: 206 (Northern Italy)
  • Veneto: 38 (Northern Italy)
  • Emilia-Romagna: 21 (Northern Italy)
  • Piedmont: 3 (Northern Italy)
  • Bolzano, Trentino: 1 (Northern Italy)
  • Rome: 3 (Central Italy)
10:58 a.m. ET, February 25, 2020

British travelers from northern Italy should self-isolate, authorities say

The UK Department of Health has released a new travel advisory saying that travelers returning from Northern Italy should self-isolate if they display flu-like symptoms.

Northern Italy is defined by the department as anywhere north of, but not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini.

This comes a week after some schools in the UK were on half-term holidays.

"If you have returned from these areas since February 19th and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms," the advisory said.

Other countries included in the advisory are:

  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar

Travelers returning from the following areas since February 19 have been asked to self-isolate, even if they do not have symptoms:

  • Iran
  • Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the Italian government.
  • Special care zones in South Korea as designated by the South Korean government.
  • Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)