Coronavirus: Concerns over Iran, Italy restrictions and hotel lockdown

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People wait in a line to buy face masks at a retail store in the southeastern city of Daegu

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Live Reporting

By Sophie Williams and Emma Owen

All times stated are UK

  1. First coronavirus cases confirmed in Croatia and Austria

    Both Austria and Croatia have confirmed their first cases of coronavirus.

    One person is in hospital in Croatia’s capital, Zagreb. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic confirmed in a news conference that the patient was young and had milder symptoms. The patient had visited Milan from 19 – 21 February.

    In Austria, a provincial government official from Tyrol has confirmed to the BBC that there are two cases of coronavirus.

    Tyrol governor Guenther Platter told local media that the infected people were Italians who live in Austrian Tyrol.

  2. Flight restrictions imposed in Gulf states

    Flight screening in Baghdad

    Copyright: EPA

    Fears about the spread of coronavirus have prompted further curbs on air travel in affected regions.

    Bahrain has announced it will suspend flights to and from Dubai until further notice.

    The UAE meanwhile, has suspended all flights to and from Iran, with the exception of the capital Tehran.

    Find out more on how airlines are reacting to the outbreak here.

  3. Why have infections shot up in South Korea?

    South Korea has seen the largest number of coronavirus cases outside of China.

    The skyrocketing numbers have many asking how this could have happened. Here’s a look at the situation there and whether a similar outbreak could happen elsewhere.

    Read more

    A woman wears a face mask

    Copyright: Getty Images

  4. Turkey to quarantine Iran plane passengers

    Turkish nationals on board a plane from Iran to Istanbul are to be quarantined for 14 days and tested for possible coronavirus.

    The flight was put on by the Turkish government after it closed the border with Iran at the weekend.

    CNN Turk reported that 17 passengers were suspected of having the virus, including 12 from Iran’s Qom region.

    Qom is at the centre of the outbreak in Iran.

    An aviation source told Reuters the plane was originally due to land in Istanbul but was diverted to Ankara. The Health Ministry denied this.

  5. Where and how is the virus spreading?

    Woman with face mask on walking past masses of bikes

    Copyright: EPA

    With infections reported in many different countries, it can be hard to get a handle on where the virus is taking hold, and how rapidly it is spreading.

    So our data journalism team has produced this visual guide to the outbreak – packed with maps, charts and graphs, that should help you understand what’s going on.

  6. BreakingIran’s deputy health minister tests positive for coronavirus

  7. Analysis: How close are we to a pandemic?

    San Fiorano is one of the Italian towns on lockdown

    Copyright: Reuters

    Image caption: San Fiorano is one of the Italian towns on lockdown

    Scientists are debating whether it is still possible to contain the new coronavirus.

    Our health and science correspondent James Gallagher, considers how close the World Health Organisation is to declaring a pandemic.

  8. Global stock markets plunge

    Trader at New York Stock Exchange looks despairing

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Global financial markets saw some of the sharpest falls in years on Monday after a rise in coronavirus cases renewed fears about economic slowdown.

    As our New York business reporter Samira Hussain says, part of the answer can be found in the ballooning number of confirmed cases in China and elsewhere. Investors worry this could mean a prolonged economic slowdown around the world.

    Read about the financial markets in more detail here.

  9. President urges Iranians not to panic over virus

    A woman wearing a protective mask shops at a pharmacy in Tehran, Iran (24 February 2020)

    Copyright: AFP

    Iran’s president has urged people not to panic as it struggles to contain a coronavirus outbreak.

    Hassan Rouhani expressed confidence that the country would overcome the crisis, which has left at least 16 dead.

    Iran has reported 95 confirmed Covid-19 cases since last week, but the actual number is thought to be far higher.

    The World Health Organization has said the sudden rise is “deeply concerning”.

    You can read more about the situation in Iran here.

  10. How are people coping with the lockdown in Italy?

    A policeman wearing a face mask warns a driver on the road between Codogno and Casalpusterlengo

    Copyright: Reuters

    Italy has the largest number of cases in Europe. Seven people have died and a total of 260 infections have been confirmed.

    Over the weekend it announced a series of drastic measures to try and contain the outbreak.

    A lockdown is in place in several small towns in the northern region of Lombardy and Veneto.

    It comes as authorities in Italy opened a probe into rising prices for face masks and hand gels.

    Police have also issued warnings that criminals posing as health inspectors have been using false papers to access people’s houses and steal valuables.

    Mark Lowen is in Lombardy, and has written this piece about how people are coping with the sudden imposition of restrictions.

  11. Iraqi family test positive for infection

    An Iraqi family of four who had returned to Iraq after a visit to neighbouring Iran have tested positive for coronavirus, according to Reuters.

    The have been placed in quarantine in Kirkuk, where the governor said authorities were implementing emergency measures to prevent a larger outbreak.

    Iraq reported its first case on Monday – an Iranian theology student in the city of Najaf.

  12. Could coronavirus become a pandemic?

  13. What is the World Health Organisation saying?

    In a press conference on Tuesday, World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesman Christian Lindmeier said countries had to be prepared for the virus “literally knocking at the door”.

    Referring to whether it would announce a pandemic, he said many countries have pandemic plans and some may act on it depending on the situation.

    However the WHO itself does not plan “a big announcement”, he said.

    A pandemic is when an infectious disease spreads easily from person to person in many parts of the world.

    Mr Lindmeier said a mission to Iran, which had been announced for Tuesday, has been delayed and no date for its departure has been announced.

  14. Welcome to our coverage

    Welcome to our coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.

    Here’s what’s happening today:

    • A hotel in Tenerife with hundreds of guests has been locked down after a visiting Italian doctor tested positive for the virus
    • Italy, the country in Europe worst affected, has reported a total of 260 cases. Seven people have died
    • In South Korea, 10 people have now died with the number of infections reaching 977. Americans have been warned against all but essential travel to the nation
    • Japan has now confirmed more than 850 infected people, most of them on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise liner
    • Three more deaths have been recorded in Iran, state media say, taking fatalities there to 15
    • China reported 508 new infections on Monday with the bulk of cases in Wuhan. The death toll in China rose by 71 to 2,663 – more than 77,000 people in the country have been infected

Read More