Italy, Iran, South Korea coronavirus cases jump amid pandemic fears

Italy is reporting a leap in coronavirus deaths and infections, causing concern among EU nations the virus will spread throughout Europe.

Italy ordered a quarantine of several northern towns on the weekend but the number of infections surged to 213 on Monday.

Five people have died so far including the latest reported death of an 84-year-old man who passed away in hospital.

Italy’s ministry of health tweeted the following figures on Monday. 99 people were hospitalized with 23 in intensive care and 91 ordered isolated at home.

The rising Italian tally has raised concern throughout the European Union.

29 other countries have reported infections putting the world on the edge of a pandemic declaration.

“Viruses know no borders, it is only through global cooperation and coordination that we will be able to contain the spread of COVID19. I would like to thank ECDC_EU and WHO_Europe for the close collaboration and their efforts to support a coordinated EU response,” said Stella Kyriakides, the EU health commissioner.

A team of experts from the European Centre for Disease control is headed to Italy.

As well the EU committed to fund containment and research to the tune of over 230 million Euros. It described the spread of the virus as a “global challenge.”

Meanwhile, Iran reports 12 deaths and 66 infections. But the virus spread from Iran to Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bahrain and Iraq.

South Korea reports a spike in cases. More than 800 people are infected.

In China the daily death toll remains steady at about 140 people dying each day mostly in Hubei province.

The ministry of health said:

As of 24:00 on Feb 23, the National Health Commission had received 77,150 reports of confirmed cases (after correction by Hubei by subtracting 195 double-counted cases) and 2,592 deaths in 31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, and in all 24,734 patients had been cured and discharged from hospital.

“There still remained 49,824 confirmed cases (including 9,915 in serious condition) and 3,434 suspected cases. So far, 635,531 people have been identified as having had close contact with infected patients.