Senior health director Jerome Salomon said a 60-year-old French man died overnight after being admitted in a serious condition to the Pitie-Salpatriere hospital in Paris yesterday. In a televised statement, Mr Saloman said: “Unfortunately he died during the night.”
It’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when and how many people will be infected
The man was one of three new cases in France, bringing the total confirmed coronavirus infections in the country to 17.
His death came as fears of a global pandemic intensified when Brazil confirmed a 61-year-old São Paulo man who recently returned from Italy had tested positive for the deadly flu-like disease.
The country’s Ministry of Health said officials were awaiting second test results but if confirmed it would be the first case recorded in South America. Public health experts at the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe a pandemic is now inevitable as the virus continues to spread to new countries.
It ordered citizens to start preparing for the virus in a statement that signalled a change in tone for the agency which until now has focused on efforts to stop the virus from entering the country.
CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat said: “It’s not a question of if. It’s a question of when and how many people will be infected.”
There have been nearly 50 deaths outside China, including 11 in Italy and 16 in Iran, the most outside China where coronavirus emerged late last year.
Iran’s deputy health minister – seen mopping his brow at a televised news conference – is among those infected.
Dr Bruce Aylward, head of a joint World Health Organisation-Chinese mission on the outbreak, said: “Think the virus is going to show up tomorrow.
“If you don’t think that way, you’re not going to be ready.”
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12.02pm update: More new coronavirus cases confirmed outside China
World Health Organisation director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of new cases of coronavirus outside China was now greater than that within the country, signalling a major turning point in the global spread of the disease.
Dr Ghebreyesus said: “Yesterday, the number of new cases reported outside China exceeded the number of new cases in China for the first time.
“The sudden increases of cases in Italy, Iran and the Republic of Korea are deeply concerning.
“There are now cases linked to Iran in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait and Oman. There are now cases linked to Italy in Algeria, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Spain and Switzerland.”
11.48am update: Canary Wharf building evacuated over coronavirus fears
More than 300 staff members of American oil company Chevron have been sent home after an employee reported flu-like symptoms after returning from a country battling the virus.
Traders, exploration and refining unit staff were instructed to work from home until the test results have determined whether the employee has the virus.
The office is located at 1 Westferry Circus in Canary Wharf, east London.
In a statement, a company spokesperson said: “Chevron continues to monitor the situation very closely, utilizing the guidance of international and local health authorities.
“Our primary concern is the health and safety of our employees and we are taking precautionary measures to reduce their risk of exposure.”
11.29am update: WHO chief says 80,988 now have coronavirus
The World Health Organisation’s European director Hans Kluge has told a press conference the were now 80,988 cases of coronavirus globally.
Dr Kluge said four out of five people who contract the virus have mild symptoms and recover.
He said: “We take the virus and the situation very seriously.
“At the same time we should remember that four out of five patients have mild symptoms and recover.
“The mortality is about 2 percent, in China 1 percent, and it is mainly people over 65, elderly people with weakened immunity, with other diseases at the same time.”
11.26am update: Italy coronavirus death toll rises to 12
A 12th person has died from coronavirus in northern Italy while the number of confirmed cases has risen by more than 50 to 374.
Angelo Borrelli, head of the Civil Protection agency said the latest victim was was a 69-year-old man.
All those who have died so far in the outbreak, which came to light on Friday, have been elderly and most had underlying health problems.
11.15am update: EU members states urged to review coronavirus pandemic plans
European Union health commissioner Stella Kyriakades said Europe was still in the containment phase of the outbreak.
Ms Kyriakades said the European Commission was calling on all member states to review their plans for handling a pandemic.
Speaking at a World Health Organisation briefing in Rome, she said member states should co-ordinate their responses to the outbreak and avoid diverging approaches.
Ms Kyriakides said countries should not give in to panic and that the EU would issue information for travellers on the virus.
She said: “All member states need to inform us of their preparedness plans.
“Diverging approaches across the EU should be avoided.”
11.08am update: Greece confirms first coronavirus case
Greece has confirmed its first coronavirus case, the country’s health ministry said today.
10.44am update: Crisis deepens in Italy as officials confirm 30 new cases
Italy’s coronavirus crisis deepened today with more than 30 new cases confirmed in the two worst-hit regions and children found to have the illness for the first time.
Officials in Lombardy, which includes Italy’s financial capital Milan, said cases had risen overnight to 259 from 240 with four children, including a four-year-old girl, infected in the first such cases in the country.
In neighbouring Veneto, the number of people confirmed to have caught the deadly flu-like virus was 58, an increase of 13 on the previous tally given yesterday.
The death toll from the contagion, which came to light on Friday, remained unchanged at 11.
All those who have died so far have been elderly and most had underlying health problems.
After first emerging in Italy in Lombardy and Veneto, the country’s economic powerhouse, the illness has now spread to seven other regions, including Sicily in the far south, with the
total number of cases nationwide climbing above 350.
10.22am update: Coronavirus death toll reaches 19 in Iran
Iran has announced its coronavirus death toll had risen to 19 overnight with the number of confirmed cases of the disease now standing at 139.
The Islamic Republic has the highest number of deaths from coronavirus outside China.
10.13am update: Leaked ‘worst case’ memo says 80 percent of Britons at risk of coronavirus
Up to 80 percent of British people could be at risk of catching coronavirus in a worst case scenario, a leaked memo has revealed.
Public Health England is said to be planning to test thousands of patients who show signs of the virus at 11 hospitals and 100 GP surgeries.
This will be to see if the disease has spread into the UK population. People who go to hospital with severe chest infections at eight NHS hospitals will be immediately tested for coronavirus.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Prof Paul Cosford, Director for Health Protection, said: “The country, the NHS and the government is preparing for a range of scenarios and worst case has to be one.
“We’re an awfully long way from that and it’s difficult to know what will happen but we need to prepare as best we are able.”
And a memo, seen by The Sun, has stated that 500,000 people in the UK would die under the worst-case scenario, according to health sources.
9.22am update: France reports first death of coronavirus patient
France has confirmed the country’s first death of a coronavirus patient and said three more people had tested positive for the disease.
Jerome Salomon, the head of the French Public Health Service, said a 60-year-old man had died from the virus.
The total number of cases in the country now stands at 17.
8.39am update: Tenerife hotel hit by two fresh coronavirus cases
Two more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed at a Tenerife hotel placed in lockdown following an outbreak of the disease.
The H10 Costa Adeje Palace in La Caleta has announced it is closing until the middle of March to “guarantee the safety of guests and staff”.
At least 1,000 guests were reportedly given letters and told to stay in their rooms, which said: “Dear guest, we regret to inform you that, for medical reasons the hotel has been closed.
“Until the health authorities decide, you must remain in your room.”
9.02am update: China coronavirus death toll climbs to 2,715
China’s National Health Commission reported another 406 new infections overnight, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 78,064.
Its death toll rose by 52 to 2,715.
8.29am update: Coronavirus patient faces jail for giving false information
A Chinese man infected with coronavirus has been charged by Singaporean authorities for allegedly giving false information about his whereabouts in the city-state and could face up to six months in jail.
Singapore has won international praise for its fastidious approach in tackling the virus – which has included using police investigators and security cameras to help track suspect
The wealthy island state, an important regional financial centre and transport hub, has confirmed 91 cases so far.
The health ministry on Wednesday said it had charged a 38-year-old man from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus first surfaced late last year, and his wife who resides in Singapore for allegedly providing false information to authorities about their movements for contact tracing.
BREAKING NEWS: WHO official urges Britons to ‘get ready’ for big coronavirus outbreak
8.17am update: Austria quarantines 12 suspected coronavirus patients
Austria has quarantined 12 people who were in close contact with an Italian couple who were the country’s first coronavirus cases.
Shortly after the Italian couple tested positive for the virus the authorities sealed off the hotel where the woman worked in Innsbruck, the regional capital, locking in guests and staff while they tested 62 of them for the virus.
Tyrol’s provincial government said nine of those people, including a hotel receptionist, had been put in a two-week quarantine along with three more from the couple’s immediate social
8.06am update: South Korea confirms new cases
South Korea has reported 115 new cases of coronavirus overnight, bringing the total number of people infected with the disease to 1,261 in the country.
7.41am update: Abe calls for event cancellations
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for sports and cultural events to be scrapped or curtailed for two weeks to stem the spread of coronavirus amid growing fears for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
Japan has 164 virus cases and 691 linked to a quarantined cruise ship docked south of Tokyo.
7.30am update: US soldier infected with coronavirus
The US military has confirmed a 23-year-old soldier based in Camp Carroll, about 12.4 miles from Daegu in South Korea, had tested positive for coronavirus.
The camp is also near a disability centre that has had an outbreak.
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