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Workers disinfect the streets of Daegu, South Korea
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/AP/Yonhap/Kim Hyun-Tai

Coronavirus: Over 85,000 people infected globally

February 29, 2020

COVID-19 has been confirmed in 59 countries. More than 2,900 people have died, with over 85,000 people globally contracting the virus, the WHO reports. Follow the latest from DW here.

  • There have now been over 85,000 cases globally, with over 2,900 deaths
  • The US advises citizens against travel to Italy, and cancels the ASEAN summit in March
  • WHO opens TikTok account to spread awareness about coronavirus
  • Wall Street sees worst week since 2008 financial crisis

Read more: What you need to know about the coronavirus

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

22:39: A state of emergency has been declared in the US state of Washington, after a man died of COVID-19 and more than 50 people in a nursing facility were being tested for the virus.

19:58: Turkey is banning all passenger flights to and from Italy, Iraq and South Korea due to the coronavirus outbreak, the country's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced on Saturday. The measure takes effect from 12 a.m. (2100 UTC) on Sunday, he said, adding that land crossings between Turkey and neighboring Iraq had also been closed.

18:20 The first COVID-19 virus death in the United States has been reported. The patient died in the western state of Washington. Three people had been infected with the virus in three West Coast states, including Washington, Oregon and California.

17:30 In Italy, officials said the number of confirmed cases has now jumped to over 1,000. The death toll from the virus in Italy has also risen, bringing the total number to 29.

14:30 The number of confirmed cases in the UK rose as well on Saturday, with 23 people currently testing positive for the virus. The first British citizen died of the virus in Japan after contracting the virus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was under quarantine for weeks in Japan.

14:10 France has temporarily banned public gatherings with more than 5,000 people, the government announced on Saturday. The announcement followed news that the Paris half-marathon had been canceled over concerns about the virus. The number of confirmed cases in the country has now risen to 73.

12:29 "It's normal and understandable to feel anxious, especially if your country or community has been affected by COVID-19," Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus wrote on Twitter.

12:17 Four children who attend a kindergarten in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia have been infected with coronavirus. The wife of the man who was the first case in the state was a teacher at the kindergarten.

12:14 Iran is expecting tens of thousands of people to come and be tested for COVID-19, after the numbers there spiked earlier on Saturday.

11:40 Five Serie A Italian football matches scheduled for this weekend have been postponed in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus case in Italy.

Italy now has 888 reported cases and 18 deaths.

11:26 Qatar has reported its first case of coronavirus, according to the health ministry.

10:17 Pope Francis, who is suffering from a cold, has canceled group audiences for the third day in a row. He has dismissed speculation that he may be suffering from coronavirus, calling his illness a "slight indisposition."

10:01 Iran has now confirmed 295 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to state TV. Iran now has 593 confirmed cases, with 43 dead.

How to protect yourself from coronavirus
How to protect yourself from coronavirus

Read more: How long is the coronavirus incubation period?

08:39 Sporting events in Japan will play to empty stadiums on Saturday in a move aimed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

08:22 South Korea has reported 219 new coronavirus cases, bringing the country's total infections to 3,150, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Earlier in the day, 594 new cases had been confirmed. Taken together, the results mean a record daily increase in infections since the country confirmed its first patient on January 20.

07:36 The German city of Bonn has reported its first case of coronavirus, bringing the total of cases in Germany to more than 60. Forty of the cases were reported in the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, all in relation to the first case diagnosed, after a man visited a carnival parade near the Dutch border.

Read more: Coronavirus: How can I protect myself from infection?

07:05 Australia announced they will bar foreigners arriving from Iran, from March 1.

"There is likely at this stage a high level of undetected cases and therefore those cases won't be intercepted or identified on departure from Iran," Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

06:59 Taiwan has reported five new cases, bringing their total to 39. One case was a woman who had recently visited the Middle East.

06.00 Japan will cancel cherry blossom festivals in light of COVID-19 cases. The outbreak is having a noticeable effect on tourism around the world.

Read more: Coronavirus: Consequences for tourism in Germany

05:42 Thailand has recorded a new case, bringing their total number of cases to 42.

04:51 South Korea has urged its citizens to stay at home following the alarming rise of coronavirus cases. "Please stay at home and refrain from going outside and minimize contact with other people," advised vice Health Minister Kim Kang-lip.

04:36 Japan's schools have been shut since Thursday in a bid to control coronavirus. The government now plans to help companies pay subsidies to those workers who need to take days off to look after their children. 

03:44 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has asked ministers and diplomats to skip a meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women due to coronavirus fears. The annual meeting was scheduled to happen in New York next month, with more than 7,000 people attending.

02:53 The state of Oregon in the US reported its first case of coronavirus. The origin is still unknown.

02:24 The Swiss government put an immediate ban on public and private events involving more than 1,000 people to control the spread of coronavirus. This ban will last until March 15. This includes carnival celebrations, concerts, football matches, and the Geneva auto show.

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

Calls for free speech in China

02:19 Germany reported 27 new cases, bringing the total to 60 with more than 1,000 people in quarantine. Italy had 888 cases in total. France has also reported 38 cases.

01:24 President Trump accused democrats of "politicizing" the preventive steps taken by his administration to control the spread of coronavirus, calling it their new "hoax." Some democrats have criticized him for not taking action soon enough.

01:24 South Korea, one of the worst affected nations by the coronavirus, reported 594 more cases. The total now stands at 2,931.

01:09 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned top party officials of "serious consequences" if they failed to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country. The nation, which shares borders with China and South Korea, has already closed borders. Officially, the country has not reported any cases. 

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

00:43 K-pop boy band BTS canceled four of their concerts that were to happen in April this year, as South Korea saw a huge leap in the number of cases of coronavirus. Almost 600 new cases were reported in the country on Friday.

00:31 Mainland China reported 47 more deaths on Friday, a slight rise from the 44 deaths seen on the previous day. The Hubei province, which has been the epicenter of the infection, reported 423 new cases. 

00:06 Here's a look at how the markets closed on Friday, a less pronounced set of losses after a particularly brutal week in the US. Europe took the biggest hit on Friday. Asian markets also suffered, although they had been dogged by coronavirus fears for some time already so shed less in the course of this week. 

  • Dow Jones (US) -1.39%
  • S&P 500 (US) -0.82%
  • NASDAQ (US) +0.01%
  • FTSE 100 (UK) -3.18%
  • DAX (Germany) -3.86%
  • CAC 40 (France) -3.38%

Read more: Coronavirus: How Africa has been preparing for outbreak

23:54 The US has postponed the ASEAN summit that was scheduled for March 14 due to worries over coronavirus. President Trump was supposed to meet the members of ASEAN in Las Vegas, after he failed to attend a summit in Bangkok last November.

23:32 Mexico has confirmed two new cases of coronavirus. One of the patients is in Mexico City, and the other is in the northern state of Sinaloa. Mexican assistant health secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell said that neither was seriously ill.

23:28 A new case of COVID-19 was confirmed in northern California on Friday.

23: 21 The World Health Organization announced that it had started two new TikTok accounts, to spread information on protection from the virus.

23:15 The US has urged its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Italy. The European nation has become a hotbed for the infection, and has reported at least 21 deaths. 

23:09 Wall Street saw the biggest weekly drop since the financial crisis of 2008, over fears of coronavirus.

23:00 Read how things unfolded on Friday here: Coronavirus updates: WHO upgrades global virus spread risk to 'very high'

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

ed,tj/aw (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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