From the news desk

Coronavirus toll tops 3,000, more countries hit

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Indonesia has announced its first two coronavirus cases as Iran reported 11 more deaths from the virus, bringing its death toll to 54 – the highest outside China.

The number of people infected in Italy – the centre of the outbreak in Europe – jumped to 1,694, while the number in France increased to 130. With the outbreak deepening, the staff at the Louvre in Paris voted to close the iconic museum.

The Czech Republic, Scotland and the Dominican Republic have confirmed their first cases.

Here are the latest updates:

Monday, March 2

07:12 GMT – Nike ‘temporarily closes’ Europe HQs in Netherlands

Dutch news agency ANP said Nike’s European headquarters in the Netherlands would be closed on Monday and Tuesday following the infection of an employee with coronavirus.

ANP said the patient was staying home in isolation for 14 days while the office in Hilversum would be disinfected.

“The place is on lockdown,” a security guard at the location told Reuters news agency, which said roughly 2,000 employees from 80 countries work at the facility.

06:30 GMT – South Korean church leader issues apology

The leader of a church linked to about half of South Korea’s more than 4,000 coronavirus cases apologised for the spread of the virus

“I would like to offer my sincere apology to the people on behalf of the members,” Shincheonji head Lee Man-hee told reporters in Gapyeong in a breaking voice.

04:45 GMT – China counting methods may underplay extent of outbreak – Caixin

A report from Caixin on the way China counts coronavirus infections has analysed data from the province of Heilongjiang in the northeast.

Since the beginning of last month, the National Health Commission has required that local authorities include “asymptomatic infected individuals” in the coronavirus data but it seems not all are doing so.

Caixin says there were 104 asymptomatic cases in Heilongjiang on February 25 but they were not included in its 408 “confirmed cases”.

Caixin reporter David Yin has more on his Twitter feed. Caixin is an independent financial media and research group.

04:20 GMT – Indonesia confirms first two cases

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo says two Indonesians have tested positive for the coronavirus and are in hospital.

There has been speculation about the absence of cases in Indonesia since a Chinese tourist who returned from the holiday island of Bali was confirmed to have the infection.

04:15 GMT – Australia warns cannot stop spread of coronavirus from overseas

Australia’s chief medical officer has said it is no longer possible to completely prevent people with the coronavirus from entering the country.

“It is no longer possible to absolutely prevent new cases coming in,” Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer, told reporters in Canberra.

“We have got concerns about Japan and South Korea. They are working hard to control their outbreaks but we are still concerned that people in those countries and other high-risk countries may present with an infection.”

Australia has confirmed 29 cases of coronavirus.

03:30 GMT – Kazakhstan to bar Iranian nationals

The government in Kazakhstan has announced it will bar Iranian nationals from the country from March 5 as part of a range of measures to tackle the coronavirus.

It is also reducing the number of flights to and from Azerbaijan, which borders Iran, according to Reuters, and will no longer issue work permits to people from countries hit by the virus.

02:50 GMT – Murder probe sought for S Korea church at centre of outbreak

Officials in the capital, Seoul, are accusing the Christian church at the epicentre of South Korea’s growing coronavirus outbreak of murder.

A case has been filed with prosecutors, claiming the leaders of Shincheonji – the church where the first cases were reported – are liable for the outbreak because they did not cooperate with efforts to stop the disease.

Park Won-soon, mayor of Seoul, said if Lee and other leaders of the church had cooperated, effective preventive measures could have saved those who later died of the virus.

“The situation is this serious and urgent, but where are the leaders of the Shincheonji, including Lee Man-hee, the chief director of this crisis?” Park said in a post on his Facebook page late on Sunday

02:25 GMT – US state of Washington reports second death

The state of Washington on the west coast of the US has reported its second death from coronavirus.

Ian Morse, who is reporting from the area for Al Jazeera, says the person who died was a resident in the same nursing home where two cases of the virus were previously reported.

The man was in his 70s, according to Reuters, citing local health officials.

A handout picture from the National Institutes of Health showing a transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, or 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient [NIAID/National Institutes of Health via EPA]

02:05 GMT – South Korea reports nearly 500 new cases, four deaths

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released the first of its twice-daily updates on the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea – the largest outside China.

The KCDC says four people died overnight and 476 new cases of the virus were confirmed.

In total, 22 people have now died from COVID-19 in South Korea and 4,212 people are infected.

01:25 GMT – Worldwide death toll from the coronavirus passes 3,000

China has announced its latest data on the coronavirus outbreak, reporting 42 new deaths.

That takes the death toll in China to 2,912, and worldwide to more than 3,000.

The National Health Commission says the latest deaths were all in the worst-hit province of Hubei and most were in its sealed-off capital of Wuhan.

Officials said there were also 202 new infections, the lowest number since the end of January.

01:20 GMT – New York state confirms first case

Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, said the US state had confirmed its first case of coronavirus in someone who had recently returned from Iran.


Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s live updates on the new coronavirus as it continues to spread from its epicentre in central China to countries around the world.

I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur, taking over from my colleague Mersiha Gadzo.

Click here to read updates from Sunday, March 1.

Source: Al Jazeera

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