China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

China coronavirus outbreak: All the latest updates

And amid rising suspicions of undetected transmission in Iran plus reports of surges in South Korea and Japan, as well as new local transmission in Italy, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, said the window of opportunity for containing the outbreak has narrowed.

Two Iranians who tested positive on Wednesday for the disease have died, while three tested positive on Thursday, taking the total number of confirmed cases in Iran to five, the Iranian health ministry said.

Fears of a global coronavirus pandemic have been heightened after two more people in Iran died of the infectious disease - with health officials concerned the window of opportunity to contain the outbreak is "narrowing".

They include two deaths in South Korea, which has the biggest cluster of confirmed cases apart from China and a cruise ship quarantined in Japan.

Iran was reportedly the home for the first coronavirus-related fatality in the Middle East, where health officials have confirmed 14 cases.

The figure does not include those who visited the China's Hubei province region where the virus is thought to have originated, as those travelers have flown on charter flights and been quarantined on US military bases, including Travis Air Force base in Fairfield.

Among other efforts, the envoys will be part of an emergency meeting of African health ministers, called by the WHO in conjunction with the African Union and the African CDC, which will focus of preparing the continent's countries for possible COVID-19 cases and ensuring their health systems are adequately prepared. They said the ship will leave the port after loading shipment. Meanwhile, over 20 people linked to a church in Singapore were also found to be infected with the virus. While the apparent impact of those measures has instilled hope in some that there is still time to stop circulation of the virus, skeptics warn that disease levels in China could rebound when the country eases its movement restrictions and allows people to return to their jobs.

The woman's case is relatively mild, she added, and a number of her close contacts have already been put in isolation.

All 74 sites operated by the Shincheonji Church have been closed and worshipers have been told to instead watch services online for a sect whose leader claims to be an angel of Christ, but who is dismissed by many outsiders as a cult leader.

"In China's struggle against coronavirus we deeply felt the friendship of the government and nation of Iran", the ambassador said.

Cumulative new cases in China are now at 75,567. "However, some countries have detected significantly fewer than would have been expected based on the volume of flight passengers arriving from Wuhan City, China", they wrote. Beijing reported 118 new deaths on February 21.

Another death has been reported, in a doctor working at a Wuhan hospital, Xinhua, China's state news agency, reported today.

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