The US deaths come as more countries report cases of the infection, and WHO says virus ‘uncharted territory’.
The US has reported six deaths from the coronavirus, as the outbreak that started in China continues to spread to new countries around the world and the World Health Organization urges countries to step up containment measures to rein in the infection.
WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a breifing on Monday night that the world was in “uncharted territory” with the new coranvirus because while it does spread within communities, it can also be contained.
“Containment of COVID-19 is feasible and must remain the top priority for all countries,” he said.
Dr Tedros was speaking as more countries reported their first cases and the US announced four more deaths. Most are linked to a nursing home in the northwestern city of Seattle where there is concern the virus could have been spreading for weeks undetected.
In South Korea, the country with the most severe outbreak outside China, the number infected continues to grow with three more deaths reported on Tuesday morning.
In China itself the infection seems to be slowing. It reported only 125 new cases on Tuesday, the lowest since January.
Here are the latest updates:
Tuesday, March 3
02:12 GMT – China looks to recovered to tackle COVID-19
There’s been lots of talk about vaccines for COVID-19, but they will take a long time to become available.
In the meantime, beyond not getting infected in the first place (wash your hands more and touch your face less), doctors are looking for ways to treat the illness more effectively.
My colleague, Shawn Yuan, has been speaking to medics in China about the difficulties they’ve encountered in treating the new virus. Read his story here.
02:10 GMT – Pakistan confirms fifth case
Pakistan has reported a new case of coronavirus.
“We have now 5th confirmed case of COVID19 in federal areas,” Zafar Mirza, the country’s health minister said a in tweet early on Tuesday morning.
The patient is stable and being managed well, the minister added.
01:40 GMT – World in ‘uncharted territory’ with new virus – WHO
World Health Organization Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesushas said the world is in “uncharted territory” with the new coronavirus because while the infection can spread through a community, it can also be contained.
He is urging countries around the world to focus on containing the virus, calling for “early, aggressive measures”.
01:20 GMT – South Korea outbreak continues to grow
South Korea has reported 600 new coronavirus cases in its first daily update on Tuesday. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) also says three more people died overnight.
Total cases in the country now stand at 4,812, making it the largest outbreak outside China.
01:15 GMT – New York governor seeks to reassure on costs
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has just issued a directive to all insurers to waive cost-sharing associated with virus testing.
“We can’t let cost be a barrier to access to COVID-19 testing,” he wrote on Twitter.
BREAKING: I am announcing a new directive requiring NY health insurers to waive cost sharing associated with testing for #coronavirus, including emergency room, urgent care and office visits.
We can’t let cost be a barrier to access to COVID-19 testing for any New Yorker.
00:45 GMT – China cases continue to slow
Figures just released by China’s National Health Commission suggest the outbreak there might be slowing.
Mainland China had 125 new confirmed cases on Monday, compared with 202 the day before. That’s the lowest since the country started publishing national data in January.
In Wuhan, the number of new cases was 111, compared with 193.
The commission said 31 people died from the infection.
I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur, taking over from my colleague Hamza Mohamed.
A recap of Monday’s major developments:
The death toll in the United States has risen to six with mounting concern that the virus has been spreading undetected in the northwestern state of Washington for weeks.
Deaths in Italy rose to 52, while Iran’s toll rose to 66. Italy is the hardest-hit country in Europe, while Iran has reported the most deaths outside China.
Countries including Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, the Czech Republic and Tunisia announced their first cases of the disease.
China reported more cases, but the rate of infection appeared to be slowing.
Click here to read updates from Monday, March 2.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES