The coronavirus has been spreading fast with new cases reported in the Middle East, Europe and other parts of the world, with more deaths in Italy.
The virus has now infected more than 80,000 globally, killing at least 2,700.
Tuesday, February 25
Algeria confirms first case
Algeria has confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, an Italian man who arrived in the country on February 17, state television reported.
The man has been put into quarantine, state television said, citing the health minister.
Number of deaths in Italy rises to 11
At least 11 people have died as the coronavirus continues to spread in Italy’s northern region, according to the head of the country’s Civil Protection Department, Angelo Borrelli.
With at least 322 cases, Italy is the worst-hit European country and there are fears the outbreak could affect its neighbours. In Spain, an Italian doctor at a hotel in Tenerife was confirmed to have the virus – that hotel is now on lockdown. And in the UK, three schools have closed after students returned from skiing trips.
Mission Impossible shoot in Italy postponed
A planned three-week shoot in Italy for Tom Cruise’s new “Mission: Impossible” film has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, movie studio Paramount Pictures said.
Filming was due to have started on Monday in Venice, where the final two days of the lagoon city’s annual Carnival festival was canceled on Sunday.
“Out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew, and efforts of the local Venetian government to halt public gatherings in response to the threat of coronavirus, we are altering the production plan for our three week shoot in Venice, the scheduled first leg of an extensive production for Mission: Impossible 7,” Paramount Pictures, a unit of ViacomCBS, said in a statement.
Switzerland confirms first case of coronavirus
A 70-year-old man tested positive for the coronavirus in Switzerland’s southern canton of Ticino, on the border with Italy, Swiss health authorities said, confirming their country’s first case.
“The infected person was in Italy about ten days ago and participated in an event near Milan,” the Swiss health ministry said in a statement.
People he had been in contact with were currently being identified and put in quarantine for 14 days.
Three more deaths reported in Italy
Three more people infected with the coronavirus have died in northern Italy, the chief of the civil protection agency said, bringing the death toll from the worst outbreak of the illness in the country and Europe to 10.
Angelo Borrelli told reporters the three dead had all been in their 80s and came from the worst impacted region, Lombardy.
He added that the number of confirmed cases had risen to 322, the vast majority of them in the north of the country
Bahrain reports six more cases
Bahrain has identified six more new cases of coronavirus all coming from Iran, bringing the total number in the kingdom to 23, the state news agency BNA reported, citing the health ministry.
Thailand confirms new cases
Thailand confirmed two new cases of the coronavirus, taking its total number of infections to 37, health officials said.
The two new cases, both Thai nationals, were people who were being monitored because they had been in contact with someone who had traveled to a risky country, said Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, director-general of the Department of Disease Control.
“We are gradually investigating related individuals and quarantining anyone found with a fever,” he said.
Zarif calls for cooperation against coronavirus
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has called for regional cooperation against the coronavirus.
“Like other viruses – incl terrorism – #COVID19 knows no borders and doesn’t distinguish between ethnicities or faiths,” he tweeted.
“To combat it, neither should we. In line with #HOPE, Iran calls for more regional cooperation incl long overdue Joint Center for Disease Control & Prevention,” he added.
Spain reports new case
Spanish health authorities have identified a case of coronavirus in Catalonia, the first case in mainland Spain, according to the La Vanguardia newspaper.
The case is the country’s fourth after three infected tourists from Germany, Italy and Britain were detected in the Canary Islands and in Mallorca.
Bahrain, Oman confirm more cases
Oman has identified two new cases of coronavirus, while Bahrain has confirmed nine new cases, the two countries health ministries reported.
Both Bahrain and Oman reported their first cases on Monday.
Austria confirms first case
Austria has confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus, a spokeswoman for the health authority in the province of Tyrol has said.
The infected individuals are two Italians who live in the province and were probably infected in Italy’s Lombardy region, Tyrol governor Guenther Platter was quoted as saying by local media.
Croatia confirms its first case
Croatia has confirmed its first case of coronavirus infection in a patient hospitalised in the capital Zagreb, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic has said.
“The patient is in the Zagreb clinic for infectious diseases. It is a younger person and has milder symptoms. He is in isolation and his condition is good at the moment,” Plenkovic told a news conference.
Health Minister Vili Beros said that the patient had stayed in Milan from February 19 to 21.
Iran deputy health minister and MP have coronavirus
Iran’s deputy health minister and an MP have been infected with the new coronavirus, according to a ministry official and the MP in question, amid a major outbreak in the Islamic republic.
“The coronavirus test for Mr Harirchi, the deputy health minister who was on the front lines combating the coronavirus, was positive,” Alireza Vahabzadeh, a media adviser to the health minister, said in a tweet.
Iraj Harirchi coughed occasionally and appeared to be sweating during a press conference on Monday with government spokesman Ali Rabiei.
MP Mahmoud Sadeghi wrote on Twitter: “My corona test is positive … I don’t have a lot of hope of continuing life in this world.”
Health officials confirm hundreds of tourists in Tenerife hotel lockdown
Hundreds of people were confined to their rooms at a Tenerife hotel Tuesday after an Italian tourist was hospitalised with a suspected case of coronavirus, health officials in the Canary Islands said.
“Hundreds of hotel clients are being monitored for health reasons and the degree of supervision will be assessed during the day, but so far, we’re not talking about quarantine,” health authority spokeswoman Veronica Martin told AFP, confirming that the Italian tourist “was staying at this hotel while on holiday in Tenerife”.
Saudi Arabia warns against travel to Italy, Japan
Saudi Arabia has advised citizens and residents to avoid travelling to Italy and Japan amid fears of a coronavirus outbreak, state-owned Al Arabiya TV has reported.
Iran confirmed cases rises to 95
Iranian health officials said the number of confirmed cases in the country has risen to 95, with 15 confirmed deaths.
“It will be safer for people to stay at home. There were 34 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, including 16 people in Qom city,” Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour told state TV.
Turkish health minister says passengers, crew of plane will be quarantined
The Turkish health minister has said that the passengers and crew of a Turkish Airlines flight that was diverted to Ankara while traveling from Iran to Istanbul will be quarantined for 14 days.
The Turkish health minister said all 132 people on board, all Turkish citizens, will be tested for coronavirus.
China planner says regions at low risk must resume activity
Chinese regions deemed at low risk from the coronavirus outbreak should fully resume normal activities and end transport bans, an official at the state planning agency said on Tuesday.
China needed to take a more nuanced approach to controlling the epidemic to ensure the economic impact is minimised, Ou Xiaoli of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) told a news briefing.
“Low-risk areas … are to restore order in production and life, cancel transport restrictions and help enterprises solve employment, raw material, funding, equipment and other difficulties,” he said.
UAE halts Iran flights, cargo over coronavirus
The United Arab Emirates, Iran’s biggest Gulf trading partner, has suspended all passenger and cargo flights to the Islamic republic in what it said was a precaution against the coronavirus.
The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority “suspended all passenger flights and cargo to and from Iran starting today and for one week that can be renewed,” a statement carried by the official WAM news agency said. The decision is a precautionary measure undertaken by the UAE to ensure strict monitoring and prevention of the spread of the new coronavirus, the statement said.
Turkish Airlines plane from Iran diverted to Ankara
A Turkish Airlines plane flying from Iran was diverted to Ankara on Tuesday at the Turkish Health Ministry’s request, an aviation source told Reuters news agency, and an aviation news website said one passenger was suspected of being infected by coronavirus.
Turkey’s Demiroren news agency broadcast video showing ambulances lined up beside the plane, with several personnel wearing white protective suits on the tarmac. The plane was flying from Tehran and had been scheduled to land in Istanbul.
Canary Islands hotel under lockdown
One hotel in the Canary Islands was put under lockdown after one coronavirus case was identified the day before, El Pais newspaper reported.
Spanish health authorities could not immediately confirm the lockdown but said hundreds of tourists and staff in the hotel were being tested for the virus.
“We are checking people who had contact with the patient including the people in the hotel,” a spokeswoman for Canary Island’s health department.