By Nuri Aydin
ANKARA (AA) - More than 79,000 people worldwide have so far tested positive for the novel coronavirus that first emerged in Wuhan city of China’s Hubei province in December last year.
The death toll from the outbreak has reached 2,592 in mainland China, while two more lost their lives in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China.
The coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, also reportedly killed at least 12 people in Iran, seven in South Korea, four in Japan, five in Italy, and one each in Taiwan, the Philippines, and France, bringing the total number of deaths in the world to 2,625.
The novel coronavirus is an air-borne disease and its first symptoms are high fever, sore throat, cough, difficulty in breathing, and diarrhea.
In later stages, the virus causes pneumonia and kidney failure and eventually may result in death.
- Cases in over 31 countries, regions
While the virus is detected in Hong Kong and Macau special administrative regions, and Taiwan outside the mainland China, the authorities in Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Nepal, India, and the Philippines also confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
The virus also spread to France, Italy, England, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Finland, Russia, Canada, the U.S., Australia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Iran, Israel, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Afghanistan.
The number of cases in different regions and countries is as followed:
77,150 in mainland China, 74 in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, 10 in Macau Special Administrative Region, 28 in Taiwan, 838 in Japan, 833 in South Korea, 219 in Italy, 89 in Singapore, 47 in Iran, 35 in the U.S., 35 in Thailand, 23 in Australia, 22 in Malaysia, 16 in Vietnam, 16 in Germany, 13 in England, 13 in the UAE, 12 in France, 10 in Canada, three each India, the Philippines, two each in Kuwait, Russia, Spain, Israel, one each in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Egypt, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Bahrain.
- Many airlines suspend flights to China
Many airlines around the world from the Asia-Pacific region to Europe and from the Middle East to Africa have temporarily suspended flights to China after the virus spread to other countries.
Air France, Air India, Air Seoul, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, and Qatar Airways joined others, such as Air Canada, Delta and American Airlines of the U.S., and Ural Airlines of Russia which suspended flights to four Chinese cities.
Turkish Airlines also suspended flights to China’s Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Xian until the end of February.
New Zealand on Monday extended its travel ban, which was put in place in early February, to China for eight more days against COVID-19 outbreak.
- Measures outside China to tackle coronavirus
The total number of deaths in Iran from the coronavirus has risen to 12, with 47 confirmed cases.
The Health Ministry of Kuwait also announced that COVID-19 was found in three people coming from Iran.
While Turkey, Pakistan, and Armenia closed their border crossings with Iran, Afghanistan issued a travel warning to the country.
As the number of cases increases in Iran, Kuwait evacuated its 800 citizens from Iran.
The Jordanian government decided not to allow the entrance of foreigners coming from Iran and South Korea to their country as part of the measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, North Korea has placed 380 foreigners in quarantine as the virus started to spread rapidly in its neighbor South Korea.
Israel also banned the entrance of foreigners coming from Japan and South Korea. It is also said that the country prepares to put around 200 South Koreans, mostly tourists, under quarantine in a military base with a suspicion that they might be carrying the novel virus.
- Coronavirus outbreak
The virus was first found on Dec. 12, 2019, in Wuhan city, and the first death outside China was seen in the Philippines.
Any vaccines or pills have yet to be developed to cure the virus, which is thought to have emerged in the closed Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan.
According to the initial findings in the scientific researches in China, it was found that the virus originated from bat and snake species native to China, prompting the country to ban wild animal trade until the outbreak ends.
As the virus rapidly spread to the other cities and provinces from Wuhan, the public transportation has been halted since Jan. 22 in 17 cities of Hubei province.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.
* Writing by Sena Guler