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Germany's coronavirus cases almost double

March 1, 2020

The number of coronavirus cases in Germany has risen sharply; official data shows infections have reached 129, compared with 66 on Saturday. More than half are in North Rhine-Westphalia. Follow the latest from DW here.

A doctor in Germany wearing a protecting mask and clothing
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/M. Kusch
  • There are now more than 86,000 confirmed cases globally, with over 3,000 deaths
  • Coronavirus cases in Germany rise to 129
  • The US confirmed its first coronavirus death, as did Australia and Thailand
  • Italy pledged €3.6 billion to tackle COVID-19

All updates in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC/GMT).

22:45 A nursing home near Seattle in the US state of Washington is locked down after a resident and worker were found to have the coronavirus. Two other cases in the area were confirmed on Sunday.

19:10 France's health authority has reported a rise in coronavirus infections. The head of the public health service, Jerome Salomon, said Sunday that Paris had 130 confirmed cases, raising the count from 100 a day earlier. The country also reported the first infection in its overseas territories, on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

Read more: What you need to know about the coronavirus

18:35 Britain said it was evacuating some non-essential staff and dependents from the British embassy in Iran's capital, Tehran, due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. 

"In the event that the situation deteriorates further, the ability of the British Embassy to provide assistance to British nationals from within Iran may be limited," the British Foreign Office said on Sunday as part of a travel advisory posted online.

18:20 Residents of Reunion Island, a French territory in the Indian Ocean, clashed with police on Sunday as they tried to stop passengers disembarking from a cruise ship. The cruise liner had been turned away from nearby Madagascar over fears there may be coronavirus cases among those on board.

Police clash with protesters on Reunion Island
Police used tear gas on local Reunion Island residents who tried to stop passengers from a cruise ship disembarking.Image: Getty Images/AFP/R. Bouhet

18:16 Cases of coronavirus jumped in Italy on Sunday to 1,694, the head of the country's Civil Protection Agency announced. This represented a 50% increase from the day before where the number of infections stood at 1,128. The death toll also rose to 34, up from 29 the previous day. Around 90% of all infections are in the northern regions of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna.

17:38 Germany's center for disease control and prevention, the Robert Koch Institute, says nine of Germany's 16 states now have cases of COVID-19, with Frankfurt, Hamburg and Bremen among the cities reporting their first infections. The number of people infected rose to 129 on Sunday, up from 66 on Saturday. 

Out of these, a total of 74 cases have been confirmed in North Rhine-Westphalia — Germany's most populous state — these account for nearly half of all cases in the country. The states with the next-highest number of infections are Bavaria with 23 cases and Baden-Württemberg, which reported a total of 15 confirmed infections.

Read more: German supermarkets report coronavirus panic buying

17:00 Italy has announced an economic stimulus package worth €3.6 billion ($3.5 billion) to help businesses across all sectors cope with the fallout from coronavirus. The measures will be put in place by the end of next week, said Italy's finance minister Roberto Gualtieri, speaking to newspaper La Repubblica.

16:43 Hungary has barred new asylum seekers from entering its "transit zone" camps over coronavirus fears. "We are suspending indefinitely new admissions of people into the transit zones," said Gyorgy Bakondi, an adviser to Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Entry into the camps will be halted "in the interests of protecting the 321 people waiting for decisions on their asylum applications" said Bakondi.

Hungary has no confirmed cases of the virus.

15:58 "I estimate that the necessary vaccine will be available by the end of the year," said Germany's interior minister Horst Seehofer, speaking to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag. 

"We need to break the chain of infections" added the interior minister.

15:37 In Switzerland, two high school classes have been quarantined after a student tested positive for COVID-19. 

15:30 Japan has issued new travel warnings, urging its citizens not to take trips to South Korea's Daegu and Cheongdo regions, as well as avoiding any non-urgent trips to three areas in northern Italy where the virus has hit.

15:15 Satellite images released by NASA and the European Space Agency show a dramatic decline in pollution levels across China. NASA reported Sunday that the reduction in nitrogen dioxide levels is "at least partly" due to an economic slowdown caused by the virus.

An image showing dramatic decline in pollution over China
A dramatic decline in pollution levels over China is 'at least partly' due to the drop in economic activity caused by coronavirusImage: picture-alliance/dpa/NASA

15:08 The Czech Republic reports its first three cases of coronavirus. Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech confirmed Sunday that two Czech nationals who had been in Italy, and an American who studied in the Czech Republic, had tested positive for COVID-19. 

14:45 US President Donald Trump announced that anyone arriving from designated high-risk countries will be screened both prior to boarding and on arrival. The announcement came shortly after the first death from coronavirus was recorded in the country. Health authorities in the US plan to "radically" expand the number of testing kits for the virus in the coming weeks.

14:33 Saudi Arabia said it had prepared 25 hospitals with a total of 2,200 beds to cope with any cases that might be detected in the country. Authorities said this was a precautionary measure, which also included closing its borders to foreign pilgrims.

Read more: How long is the coronavirus incubation period?

14:20 Health officials in the UK confirmed that there had been 12 new positive cases of coronavirus, bringing the country's overall tall to 35. The country's chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, said one of new patients "had no relevant travel and it is not yet clear whether [the patient] contracted it directly or indirectly from an individual who had recently returned from abroad." 

14:21 Nigeria reports 100 people may have been exposed to the country's first case of coronavirus, according to Abuja's health commissioner.

14:15 Organizers of the Leipzig Book Fair announced Sunday on Twitter that they plan to go ahead with the event on March 12-15. The book show is Germany's second-biggest after the Frankfurt book fair. Over 286,000 visitors attended the fair last year, which took place in over 100 venues throughout the eastern Germany city. 

14:05 In Bavaria, Germany, a total of four new COVID-19 cases were confirmed, including an employee at machine tool manufacturer DMG Mori. The company will remain shut on Monday and Tuesday, affecting a total of 1,600 staff at the Ostallgäu plant.

14:02 The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has jumped to 117 from 66, the Robert Koch Institute for disease control said on Sunday. More than half the cases are the country's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Several schools and daycare centers will remain closed on Monday in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 after several members of staff tested positive for the virus.

12:46 Armenia has confirmed its first COVID-19 case. Around 30 people who had been in contact with the patient had also been placed in isolation, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Facebook.

12:21 “It is clear that the virus has not reached its peak," viral infection and vaccine expert Muhammad Munir told DW.

“It is worrying that the disease has reached people who have no known contact with the virus," he added. He explained that the fact that the virus has a relatively low fatality rate allows it to spread more quickly through communities.

11:58 Paris's Louvre Museum will remain closed today owing to a staff meeting about coronavirus, causing long lines of tourists to be disgruntled.

11:25 Iran confirmed the death toll has jumped to 54, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 978.

Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said new cases were confirmed in a number of cities, including Mashhad.

Read more: Will warmer weather stop the spread of the coronavirus?

FAQs: Answers from a virologist at Germany's Robert Koch Institute

09:43 The quarantine in the German district of Heinsberg in North Rhine-Westphalia ended this morning, allowing hundreds of people to leave their houses.

09:32 The UK's health minister, Matt Hancock, reported that the British government is planning in case the epidemic gets "much, much worse."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair an emergency response committee meeting on Monday. The UK has had 23 reported cases and one death.

09:28 COVID-19 has reached the small European nation of Luxembourg, the health minister reported.

08:58 Italy is to introduce measures to tackle coronavirus amounting to €3.6 billion ($3.9 billion), 0.2% of their GDP.

08:30 A reminder that the World Health Organization has warned against fake coronavirus information on the web.

08:23 South Korea has reported 586 new cases on Sunday, bringing their total to over 3,700. South Korea has by far the largest national total of any country except for China.

"The government is now waging all-out responses after raising the crisis alert to the highest level," President Moon Jae-in said.

07:32 China will take measures to repatriate its citizens in countries seriously affected by the coronavirus if necessary, a foreign ministry official said on Sunday.

Cui Aiming, who made the comments at a news briefing, did not name any specific countries.

07:13 Stock markets in the Gulf states have plunged at the start of trading. The Saudi bourse, the largest in the region, was down 3.1%.

06:39 Mexico confirmed its fourth cases of coronavirus as the number of cases in the Americas continues to grow.

06:15 Japan has confirmed another death of COVID-19, a man in his 70s on Hokkaido. Authorities say he may have caught the disease in hospital.

Read more: Coronavirus: Are Japan's school closures a political move to save the Olympics?

Staff disinfect a train station in Daegu, South Korea
Staff disinfect a train station in Daegu, South Korea Image: Imago Images/Xinhua

05:32 Some members of the "cult-like" church at the heart of South Korea's coronavirus outbreak had visited Wuhan in China, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

04:45 Thailand registered its first coronavirus death. A 35-year-old man who also had dengue fever died from the virus.

04:00 Armenia confirmed that a 29-year-old man, who had recently returned from a trip to Iran, was the country’s first case of coronavirus. Armenia’s president said the man was in good medical condition and that authorities planned to isolate all of those who had been in contact with him.

03:00 The Tokyo marathon went ahead as planned, but with just 200 elite competitors. Authorities scaled back the event in an effort to combat the outbreak. Various sporting events around the country have been cancelled or postponed.

03:30 Australia has confirmed its first COVID-19 death. The victim was a 78-year-old man who had been quarantined after being evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. He was among more than 150 Australians taken off the vessel.

03:10 US carrier American Airlines announced it would suspend all US flights to Milan, following a "Level 4 - Do Not Travel" advisory by the US State Department on the Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto.

02:15 South Korea reported 376 new coronavirus cases, raising the country's total number of infections to 3,526.

01:00 China has confirmed 573 new coronavirus cases, a rise of more than 100 from the day before.

00:20 Ireland has confirmed its first case of coronavirus. The infected person was linked to an affected area of northern Italy.

00:10 The United States is set to extend its travel restrictions on Iran as part of its containment strategy. Vice President Mike Pence said it would ban entry to foreign nationals who had been in Iran the past 14 days. 

23:05 A state of emergency has been declared in the US state of Washington after a man died of COVID-19 and as more than 50 people in a nursing facility were being tested for the virus.

23:00 Read how things unfolded on Saturday here: Coronavirus: Over 85,000 people infected globally 

Calls for free speech in China

kmm,ed,jcg/aw (Reuters, AP, AFP, dpa)

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