Baby, dog contract Coronavirus as new cases, deaths rise

A forty-five day old baby and a dog have become the latest confirmed carriers of Coronavirus pandemic.

The parents of the baby in South Korea and owner of the pet in Hong Kong had earlier tested positive to the virus.

More than 87,690 people are infected as the virus spreads around the world with hotspots in South Korea, Europe and the Middle East.

The Korea Times reported that the baby boy, the youngest so far to contract the virus, and his mother, are in self-quarantine and in good condition. The baby is healthy, report says

South Korea, which is grappling with the largest outbreak of the virus outside China, urged citizens to stay indoors, warning of a “critical moment” in the spread of the infection.

Its Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported 376 cases and one death linked to the virus. The country’s total number of infections stood at 3,736 last night.

Churches were closed in the country yesterday with many following services online.

In the capital Seoul, about a dozen worshippers were turned away from the Yoido Full Gospel Church, which put a sermon for its 560,000 followers on YouTube, filmed with a small choir instead of the usual 200 members and 60-strong orchestra.

“I had heard there would be no service, but just came to check as I live nearby, but yes, it is so empty,” said one of them, Song Young-koo, as he left South Korea’s biggest church.

For the first time in its 236-year history, South Korea’s Catholic Church decided to halt mass at more than 1,700 locations nationwide. Buddhist temples also called off events.

In Hong Kong, the infected dog was quarantined after it tested “weak positive” for coronavirus. Authorities said however there was no evidence yet that the virus could be transmitted to man’s best friend.

China reports 573 new positive cases

Mainland China reported 573 new confirmed cases as of Saturday, up from 427 the previous day and the highest daily increase in a week, the country’s health authorities said on Sunday.

The number of deaths stood at 35, down from 47 on the previous day, bringing the total death toll in mainland China to 2,870, the National Health Commission said.

Of the deaths, 34 were in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, and the others were in neighboring Henan. Hubei accounted for 570 of the new cases, of which 565 were in the provincial capital of Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated.

The three new cases outside Hubei is the lowest since the National Health Commission began compiling daily numbers on January 20 with a baby and a dog.

U.S. records 71 confirmed and presumptive positive cases

There are now 71 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in the United States (U.S.). They include 44 people who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, three people repatriated from China and 24 cases that occurred in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The two dozen cases across the U.S. are in Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington state and Wisconsin.

A presumptive case is a patient who has tested positive at a state, county or city lab, but whose results have not yet been confirmed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Washington State health officials are also investigating a possible outbreak of   the virus at a long-term nursing facility in which two people tested positive for the disease.

The news comes the same day the first US death from coronavirus was reported in Washington state, health officials said Saturday. The man in his 50s, who had underlying health conditions, was not a resident at the care facility.

UK records 12 new cases

There have been 12 new cases in the UK, bringing the total to 35, according to British health authorities.

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said in a statement on Twitter that three of those who tested positive were close contacts of a known case.

Six others had recently travelled from Italy, and two from Iran. One patient had no relevant travel, and authorities were investigating how they had caught the virus.

Iran’s records 11 new deaths, 385  cases

Iran has reported 11 new coronavirus deaths. The outbreak has claimed the lives of 54 people, the health ministry said.

“There were 385 new cases of infected people in the last 24 hours, increasing the total number to 978. The death toll is 54,” Kianush Jahanpur, spokesman for the health ministry said.

He called on Iranians to avoid any unnecessary trips and stay at home.

Australia records one death, new case

Australia has recorded its first death from the coronavirus after a 78-year-old man who had been evacuated from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship died in a Perth hospital.

“Our condolences are with his family and unfortunately he’s the first death we’ve had from coronavirus in Australia,” Andrew Robertson, the chief health officer of the state of Western Australia, told journalists.

The man’s wife also caught the virus, but is in stable condition, authorities said.

The new case brings the total number of infections in the country to 26.

Lebanon confirms three new cases

Lebanon’s health ministry said three more people tested positive for virus after arriving from Iran, bringing the total in the country to 10.

The three patients, who had been in isolation at home, were quarantined at a Beirut hospital after showing symptoms.

Lebanon closed its schools and halted flights for non-residents from countries with outbreaks, namely China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.

Qatar confirms two new cases

Qatar also confirmed two more cases of the virus, according to the health ministry’s Twitter account, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to three.

The two Qatari individuals were evacuated from Iran on February 27 and have been placed in full quarantine, it said.

Thailand reports first death

Thailand recorded its first fatality in the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported, citing Suwanchai Wattanaying charoen, director-general of the Department of Disease Control.

The 35-year-old man also had dengue fever, Suwanchai told a news conference on Sunday.  (NAN)