It is the worst known outbreak of the new corona virus in Europe: In Italy Sars-CoV-2 has now been detected in more than 50 people, the authorities said. 39 of the coronavirus infections were recorded in Lombardy in northern Italy, and twelve in Veneto.
Two deaths have been linked to the virus: In a 77-year-old woman from Lombardy who died on Thursday, the Sars-CoV-2 virus was posthumously proven to be now consideredCovid
19 fatalities, even if it is unclear exactly what she died of, said Lombardy Health Commissioner Giulio Gallera. A 78-year-old from Veneto also believes that the lung disease is believed to be the cause of death, as a spokesman for the Italian civil defense said.
In ten municipalities in Lombardy, schools and most of the shops were temporarily closed. Around 50,000 residents are encouraged to stay at home if possible. Major events such as services, carnivals and sports events were prohibited. Measures were also prepared in Veneto to prevent the virus from spreading further. Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte met for crisis talks with the country’s civil protection agency.
The problem: The authorities have not yet fully understood how the outbreaks could have occurred: According to the current state of knowledge, a 38-year-old who was seriously ill in Lombardy could have been infected by a friend. He had returned from China on January 21, but had shown no symptoms himself. For the outbreak in Veneto, Chinese businessmen working there are suspected to have been brought in, but there is no concrete evidence of this.
It is a problem that health authorities face in Singapore and Japan also know: There are also sick people for whom the route of infection has not been unequivocally clarified. This makes the fight against the disease difficult because contact persons cannot be fully recorded.
In France twelve cases are recorded, including one death. In Germany 16 cases were reported. On Saturday, six German passengers on the cruise ship “Diamond Princess” landed in Berlin, which had previously been quarantined in Yokohama, Japan. The returnees from Berlin, Lower Saxony and Hesse should now remain in quarantine for two weeks as a precaution in order to be able to safely rule out that they are infected with Sars-CoV-2.
32 British and other Europeans from the cruise ship who landed in London on Saturday are said to be in a hospital in quarantine for 14 days. Such a quarantine was also ordered for 19 Italian returnees in a military complex in Rome.
All passengers disembarking were inJapan
tested negative for the virus, but the pathogen was later found in at least three of them in their home country. On Saturday, such a case became known from Japan: The virus was found in a woman who initially tested negative for Sars-CoV-2, the television station NHK reported.
The Tokyo government, like hundreds of other Japanese passengers, had sent the woman home by public transport and had not ordered any further quarantine. This decision had been misunderstood by experts.
According to the current status, well over 600 of the 3700 passengers and crew members of the “Diamond Princess” have been shown to have contracted the virus. Two Japanese passengers died, an infected couple from Hesse was initially cared for in a Japanese clinic. Not counting the infected people from the ship, more than a hundred people have already contracted the corona virus in Japan, including children.
The situation is also becoming more acute on the Korean peninsula: As the health authorities announced on Saturday, South Korea 229 further infections with the pathogen Sars-CoV-2 were detected within one day. The number of cases recorded rose to 433. No other country outside of China, where the disease broke out in December, has reported more infections so far. Three deaths have been recorded so far. The virus was last detected in a man after his death.
The majority of the new cases are concentrated in the southeastern city of Daegu and its surroundings. Affected are numerous members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus. The origin is a 61-year-old follower of the Christian sect, who is said to have initially refused a virus test despite symptoms of illness. There was another outbreak in a Cheongdo hospital.
In IranFear of the virus overshadowed the general election on Friday, where five deaths in patients with Covid-19 were reported in quick succession by the Ministry of Health. Many voters and observers wore protective masks in the polling stations.
By Saturday, around 30 people had tested positive for the virus, but the actual number of people infected could be much higher. In the capital, Tehran, disinfectants are now sold out in almost all drug stores, pharmacies and supermarkets.
In China The number of infections recorded in the official statistics on Saturday was a good 76,000, so far more than 2,300 people have died of the lung disease. Experts assume that the number of unreported cases in the People’s Republic is much higher. By far the largest number of deaths and infections are still reported from the particularly severely affected province of Hubei, where Covid-19 had broken out in the million-strong city of Wuhan in December.
Large parts of the Chinese economy have practically come to a standstill because of Covid-19 and the associated measures. Figures from the Chinese car association show what this means in practice. Accordingly, car sales slumped 92 percent from February 1 to 16 compared to the same period last year. While 59,930 cars were sold in the first two weeks of February in 2019, dealers were now only able to sell 4909 vehicles.
Icon: The mirror