Coronavirus deaths in Italy at 79, China cases slow: Live updates

Health

Italy overtakes Iran with the most deaths outside China as the global toll surges past 3,000.

The World Health Organization warned the world was in “uncharted territory” as coronavirus cases continued to spread in the West and Italy announced 27 more people died from the disease.

More than 92,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide and the number of deaths from the virus has reached 3,110 globally, according to the WHO.

Protective gear — such as masks and goggles used by health workers fighting coronavirus — were running out and the WHO warned against “hoarding and misuse”.

Tuesday, March 3

20:40 GMT — Coronavirus death toll in Washington state climbs to 9

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Washington state rose to 27, including nine deaths, up from 18 cases and six deaths a day earlier, the state’s Department of Health reported.

The deaths — eight in King County and one in neighbouring Snohomish County — mark the first fatalities documented in the United States from the respiratory illness.

All 27 confirmed cases are clustered in those two counties in the greater Seattle area, making it the largest concentration detected to date by the US public health system.

20:30 GMT — Rapid increase in understanding ‘unique’ coronavirus: WHO chief

The understanding of how the coronavirus spreads is rapidly increasing, the World Health Organization said.

With more data available, there is a growing insight of the virus and how it spreads, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters, stressing it is “unique”.

While often compared with the flu, Tedros said coronavirus was far more deadly.

Globally, about 3.4 percent of reported COVID-19 cases died, while seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected, he said.

“To summarise, COVID-19 spreads less efficiently than flu, transmission does not appear to be driven by people who are not sick, it causes more severe illness than flu, there are not yet any vaccines or therapeutics, and it can be contained,” Tedros said.

20:05 GMT — Virus crisis tracks West; ebbs in China

The coronavirus crisis has shifted increasingly westward towards Europe and the United States with cases in China continuing to decline.

Virus clusters in the US led schools and subways to sanitise, quicken the search for a vaccine, and spread fears among nursing home residents who are especially vulnerable.

The US Food and Drug Administration gave healthcare workers the green light to use an industrial type of respirator mask often used to protect construction workers from dust and debris. The masks, which have a close fit and filter out 95 percent of particles, are also frequently used to stop the spread of bacteria in hospitals and operating rooms.

The mushrooming outbreaks in the West contrasted with optimism in China, where thousands of recovered patients were going home and the number of new infections dropped to the lowest level in several weeks.

20:00 GMT — Trump says US may block travel to coronavirus hot spots

US President Donald Trump says his administration may cut off travel from the United States to areas with high rates of coronavirus, but said officials were not weighing any restrictions on domestic travel.

Trump, speaking to reporters ahead of a visit with US health researchers to discuss the virus outbreak, says he was considering blocking travel to virus hot spots.

19:55 GMT — Seventh death recorded in Washington state

Washington state has reported a seventh death from coronavirus.

A spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center in Seattle said the patient died on February 26. She said the person had been a resident at a suburban Seattle care home that has reported multiple virus cases and deaths.

All the COVID-19 deaths in the United States have been in the Seattle area.

19:50 GMT — Algeria confirms three new coronavirus cases

Algeria has confirmed three new cases of coronavirus, bringing to eight the total number of people who have tested positive for the virus, the health ministry said.

The eight cases include seven Algerians from the same family and an Italian man, the ministry said in a statement.

19:41 GMT — Spain confirms country’s first death from coronavirus

A man in the Spanish region of Valencia died from coronavirus, marking the country’s first death from the outbreak, a local health official said.

Tests showed the man, who died on February 13, was killed by the virus, regional health chief Ana Barcelo said at a press conference.

18:36 GMT — Italy death toll reaches 79, surpasses Iran

The death toll from the coronavirus in Italy has climbed to 79, the head of Italy’s civil protection agency announced.

Angelo Borelli said 27 more people died from the disease over the past 24 hours with the death toll now surpassing Iran, which has 77 recorded deaths.

The total number of cases in Europe’s worst-hit country rose to 2,502 from 2,036 on Monday.

The increase in deaths was the largest since the outbreak surfaced 12 days ago in the wealthy northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto.

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Source: Kate Mayberry , Farah Najjar & Usaid Siddiqui | ALJAZEERA

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