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Live updates: Coronavirus sparks new travel disruption; markets stabilize


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Positivity     41.00%   
   Negativity   59.00%
The New York Times
SOURCE: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/coronavirus-china-live-updates/2020/02/25/f4045570-5758-11ea-9000-f3cffee23036_story.html#link-COTCELFYRMYJ5PZEWPHAXE2E4I
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Summary

The first two cases — a German tourist on an island near Tenerife and a British man in Mallorca — have both been discharged from the hospital after periods in quarantine.Spain was the latest European country struggling to respond to the threat of a virus whose potential arrival was faster than health authorities initially expected.According to Spain’s El Pais newspaper, Tuesday was slated to be the first meeting of the country’s newly created Interministerial Committee on the Coronavirus, overseen by Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.ISTANBUL — Fifteen people have died in Iran from the new coronavirus and at least 95 are confirmed infected, a Health Ministry spokesman said Tuesday, as authorities extended a ban on public gatherings to include conferences and weddings amid the widening outbreak.Iran’s Assembly of Experts, an 88-member body that meets twice a year, said Tuesday it was postponing its meeting scheduled for next month due to coronavirus fears.The Health Ministry spokesman, Kianush Jahanpur, said authorities were enacting a ban on conferences, company training sessions, sports events and weddings and ordering the closure of cinemas and theaters until the Persian New Year next month. The plane landed before the Bahraini decision to halt flights to Dubai.The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health announced that four of the six cases in Bahrain are Saudi nationals, and will remain in Bahrain while being treated.TOKYO — Japan’s soccer league postponed three rounds of matches scheduled until March 15 on Tuesday, to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.The J-League said 94 league games would be rearranged, in response to government advice that the next two weeks were critical in combating the spread of the virus, Kyodo news reported.Japan’s government has not banned all mass gatherings, but urged organizers on Tuesday to consider if such events were necessary in coming weeks.The J-League season began last weekend with matches in the top two divisions, while the matches in the third tier were due to begin on March 7.Shigeru Omi, a medical expert and senior government adviser, said on Monday it was too early to tell if Japan would still be able to stage the Olympics in Tokyo this summer.Separately, the Kyodo News Agency reported that the Yomiuri Giants, the Tokyo baseball team, will play two games behind closed doors.LONDON — British health officials on Tuesday changed their advice for travelers returning to the U.K. from northern Italy, urging them to self-isolate if they had flu-like symptoms.The new advice comes as Italy struggles to contain the biggest flare-up of coronavirus in Europe, with cases rising from three to more than 200 in a few days.Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that anybody who was returning from northern Italy — areas north of Pisa — should self-isolate “if they have flu-like symptoms.” He added that anybody who had traveled to areas around the country that the Italian government has quarantined should self-isolate “whether or not they have symptoms.”In the U.K., 13 people have been infected with the virus, including four Britons who caught the virus while onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. In recent days, a number of provinces have lowered their health emergency levels, from level one, the highest, to level two, a sign that they are trying to resume normal economic activity as businesses reopen and workers emerge from quarantines.For decades, the ability to deliver continued economic growth and a rise in living standards — in return for strict limits on political freedoms — has underpinned the Communist Party’s hold on power in China.By Adam Taylor in Hong Kong and Liu Yang in BeijingTOKYO — Bracing for a surge in coronavirus cases, Japan announced a new policy on Tuesday designed to focus medical care on the most serious cases, while urging people with mild symptoms to treat themselves at home.It is radically different approach from that adopted by China, which has relied on locking down entire cities and keeping tens of millions of people virtual prisoners in their own homes, but it’s one that wins support from many medical experts.The basic premise is that the spread of the virus can’t be stopped, so efforts need to focus on slowing the pace of transmission and reducing mortality rates.Japan has confirmed at least 160 cases of coronavirus , aside from more than 700 people who caught covid-19 on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The government didn’t issue a blanket ban on large-scale events, but asked organizers to consider if such events were necessary.Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said now is a crucial time to control the outbreak, and appealed for public cooperation.SEOUL — South Korea reported 84 additional cases of the coronavirus late Tuesday, bringing to 144 the number of new infections confirmed for the day, as the country’s leader sought to reassure citizens about health officials’ capacity to contain the epidemic.Some 543 out of South Korea’s 977 confirmed cases of the virus are in the southeastern city of Daegu, according to Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The country’s death toll from the virus also rose to 10.President Moon Jae-in visited Daegu, which officials have declared a “special care zone” along with the surrounding North Gyeongsang province.“We can sufficiently overcome and definitely triumph over the covid-19,” Moon said, referring to the virus by its official name.“The government has mobilized a nationwide support system joined by the military, the police and private medical personnel,” Moon told a meeting with Daegu officials.South Korean officials said Tuesday they would test all 200,000 members of Shincheonji Church of Jesus the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, a controversial church in Deagu at the center of the outbreak.The 2.5 million residents of South Korea’s fourth-largest city have been advised to stay indoors as the number of cases in the city rose from half a dozen to hundreds over the past week.After the meeting, President Moon visited Daegu Medical Center, where 115 coronavirus patients are hospitalized.The center’s president Yoo Wan-sik told Moon that the hospital is “absolutely understaffed,” saying some medical workers did not have time to go home for rest.Moon voiced concerns about the physical burden on doctors and promised support.HONG KONG — Schools in Hong Kong, shut down for weeks to prevent coronavirus transmission, will not reopen before April 20, the city’s education minister said Tuesday.The closures affect kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, while universities are expected to follow suit.Students in Hong Kong have been out of school since the Lunar New Year holiday in January. At least 50 people are known to be infected, the Iranian authorities have said, but the death toll suggests the true number is higher.The United Arab Emirates was the first Middle Eastern country to detect the virus in late January, and has since confirmed 13 cases, linked mostly to travel to Iran but also China.Dubai is the world’s busiest international airport and a hub for passengers from Iran to other parts of the region.A Chinese woman who tested negative for the novel coronavirus eight times has been found to have the virus, according to a local government announcement.The 56-year-old woman had been working in a hotel in Chongqing where she came into contact with an infected staff member, according to officials in Anyue county in Sichuan province.The woman was placed under medical observation on Feb. 2, local news site Sichuan Observer reported on Tuesday, and subsequently tested for coronavirus eight times between Feb. 7 and Feb. 23.A hospital test on Feb. 24 confirmed that she had the novel coronavirus, Anyue county officials said Tuesday. In a second briefing, Hong said he did not mean a “Wuhan-style lockdown” involving restrictions on all travel in and out of the city.President Moon Jae-in also said the expression did not mean a regional lockdown of the Daegu area but a maximal obstruction of the viral spread, according to his spokesman Kang Min-seok.The approach of officials in South Korea, a democracy, differed from that of authoritarian China and appeared to reflect concern over the potential political effects of placing a major metropolis under lockdown.In response to the mention of “lockdown,” Daegu Mayor Kwon Young-jin said “the political establishment should not rashly exploit that matter.”More than half of South Korea’s 893 coronavirus cases are in Daegu, according to Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.South Korea’s government has designated Daegu city and North Gyeongsang as “special care zones” where support will be concentrated.As debate continues about how long the incubation period is in cases of the novel coronavirus, a Chinese official suggested Monday evening that the country needs at least 28 days without new cases to show the virus is not spreading.Zhang Ying, deputy director of Tianjin’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, was asked during a news program on state broadcaster CCTV when citizens could feel safe that the outbreak was contained.“Speaking in terms of epidemiology, we have to keep observing for at least two longest incubation periods of time since the last infection cleared, and in the case of coronavirus, it is 28 days in total,” Zhang said, referring to the 14-day quarantines currently in place.“When no more new infections have been reported after 28 days, we can feel 100 percent at ease,” Zhang continued.The remarks drew thousands of comments on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service, where many wondered how long they would have to wait before normal life resumed. There were more than 200 people over the age of 80 on board the ship and the rising death toll will reinforce criticism about keeping vulnerable people confined on board the cruise ship, where it was difficult to protect them from infection and provide prompt medical care.Japan says 691 people on board the Diamond Princess tested positive for the virus, although that number does not include more than 20 people who were also found to have the virus on their return to the United States, Australia and Hong Kong, and one Japanese passenger who fell ill after returning home.Separately Japan has recorded 160 cases of the new coronavirus as of the start of Tuesday, according to a tally by NHK, including 14 Japanese citizens who were evacuated on charter flights from the Chinese city of Wuhan.HONG KONG — The Chinese government announced Tuesday that there had been 508 new confirmed cases by the end of the previous day, along with 74 deaths, bringing the total number of accumulated infections to 77,658 with 2,663 deaths.As in line with a recent trend, the vast majority of the impact was in the locked-down province of Hubei.

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