Here are the latest updates:
Six coronavirus cases have been discovered in north Italy, hundreds to be tested:
Six people have tested positive in Italy for coronavirus, the northern Lombardy region said, in the first known cases of local transmission of the potentially deadly illness in the country.
Officials told residents from three small towns some 60 km (40 miles) southeast of Italy’s financial capital Milan, to stay at home as doctors tested hundreds of people who might have come into contact with the six coronavirus sufferers.
None of the six were believed to have visited China.
First case of coronavirus confirmed in Lebanon:
The first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Lebanon after a woman arriving from Iran was found to be positive. There were also two other suspected cases.
“We confirmed the first case today,” Lebanese health minister Hassan Hamad said at a press conference in Beirut.
The woman arrived in Lebanon from the Iranian holy city of Qom, where several infections and deaths were reported this week.
Japan Govt. faces questions over coronavirus handling
Japan faced growing questions about whether it was doing enough to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
More than 400 Japanese and foreign passengers were set to disembark from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship near Tokyo after weeks aboard in quarantine, despite reports of new cases coming in from around Japan.
The growing number of cases across the country – particularly the high rate of infection on the cruise liner – have stoked concerns about Japan’s quarantine practices.
Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, faced questions about why one of the passengers who died – an 84-year-old woman – was not tested or transferred to a hospital until a week after she developed a fever.
“The woman was removed from the ship on the 12th after the fever continued for days.
“A decision was made not to wait for the test results before moving her to hospital to protect the health of those remaining on the ship,” he said.
Iran reports 2 new deaths, 13 new cases:
Iran’s health ministry reported two more deaths among 13 new cases of coronavirus in the Islamic Republic, bringing the total number of deaths to four and infections to 18.
“Thirteen new cases have been confirmed. Unfortunately two of them have lost their lives,” ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Twitter.
Israel confirms first case of new coronavirus:
An Israeli woman who returned to Israel from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship near Tokyo tested positive upon return to her home country, Israel’s health ministry confirmed.
A health ministry statement said: “In the course of testing conducted by the Health Ministry’s central laboratory, one of the passengers who returned from the ship in Japan was found to be positive.
“The laboratory is pursuing confirmation of the finding. The remaining returning passengers tested negative today. The patient is in quarantine and under supervision and this is not an infection that took place in Israel.”
Amaka E. Nliam