The number of new infections in China is gradually declining. But now the Asian country is reporting an increase in corona cases that have been brought in from abroad.
Iran is hoarding medical devices, Italy is pulling retired doctors out of retirement, and South Korea wants to spend billions in aid measures – the coronavirus still has a firm grip on the world. But the increasing spread of the causative agent of lung disease in the Middle East, Europe, and South Korea stands in contrast to the increasing optimism in China. Thousands of infected people have already been released home cured.
But the virus is coming back to China, albeit to a manageable extent: The authorities report an increase in coronavirus cases that are being imported from abroad. 13 cases were confirmed in which Chinese citizens were infected with the pathogen upon entry. According to official agencies in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, eight of them were Chinese who had worked in the same restaurant in the northern Italian region of Lombardy. They arrived from Italy last week.
Four other people affected, therefore, returned to China from Iran, and an infected Chinese citizen traveled from Great Britain to Hong Kong via the Hong Kong metropolis of Shenzhen.
The decline in new infections
Overall, the number of new infections in China after massive quarantine measures has already decreased. 125 new cases are currently being reported. This is the lowest number of new infections in six weeks. China’s ambassador to the United Nations said the country is winning its fight against COVID-19. “We are not far from victory,” said Zhang Jun.
According to the National Health Commission, the number of deaths increased by 31. All fatalities came from Hubei Province, the epicenter of the epidemic. So far, more than 2900 people have died from the virus nationwide.
The virus first appeared in Hubei province in December. There are now infected people in more than 70 countries. In total, more than 80,000 people have contracted China. Worldwide, more than 90,000 people became infected.
Drive-through virus testing centers in South Korea
South Korea continues to be a focus outside of China. More than 370 new infections have been reported, mainly in the Greater Daegu area in the southeast, where many cases around a local church are piling up. Overall, according to the health agency KCDC, more than 5100 people in South Korea have now tested positive for the virus.
Drive-through virus test centers have been put into operation in various cities in the country. Employees in protective suits are there to take saliva samples from motorists using cotton swabs. Soldiers are on the move to spray disinfectants on streets and alleys.
The country’s death toll has now risen to 28. President Moon Jae-in called the corona outbreak “a serious situation”. His government would press for more than 30 trillion won (22.6 million euros) to be used to finance clinics, help for small businesses and other measures related to the virus. The money injection still requires the approval of Parliament. “The whole country is at war against infectious disease,” said Moon.
Aid from Europe for Iran
Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) arrived 6500 kilometers further west in Iran to support doctors and nurses and to deliver medical supplies. France, Germany and the UK agreed to deliver urgently needed test supplies, protective suits, and gloves to Iran. They also offered support of around five million euros.
Iranian Supreme Court President Ebrahim Raisi said some people had stored medical supplies for profit. He urged the prosecutor to show “no mercy for hamsters”. Hoarding disinfectants would play with people’s lives, according to Raisi.
A further increase in the number of infected people is reported from the European hotspot Italy, now to more than 2030 cases. Officials said it could take up to two weeks to determine whether measures were effective – including restrictions in the 11 cities that were quarantined in the north of the country. According to information from the AP news agency, retired doctors are now to help fight the virus.
There was at least one all-clear for a celebrity in Rome: Pope Francis suffers from a cold and has no corona. A corresponding test was negative for the 83-year-old, reports the newspaper “Il Messaggero”.
Leipzig Book Fair falls victim to Corona
From Germany, the precautionary cancellation of a major event is reported again. The Leipzig Book Fair will not take place due to the spread of the coronavirus. This was decided by the trade fair management and the city leaders, as a spokeswoman for the book fair said. The book show should start on March 12th.
In an effort to contain the virus, other major events had previously been canceled, not only in Germany. In this country, the ITB tourism fair, the Michelin Guide award in Hamburg and the international craft fair in Munich have already been canceled.