The coronavirus outbreak is continuing to spread across the globe, with cases reported in every continent except Antarctica.
In Asia, South Korea reached a grim milestone on Friday of more than 2,000 cases after it reported over 500 new infections for the second consecutive day.
Here’s what you should know:
The latest numbers: There are more than 83,000 cases around the world, includingover 2,850 deaths. The vast majority of these are in mainland China, which has reported 78,824 cases and 2,788 deaths.
The deaths: Outside of mainland China, 71 virus-related deaths have been recorded:
- Iran: 26
- Italy 17
- South Korea: 13
- Japan: 9
- Hong Kong and France: 2 each
- The Philippines and Taiwan: 1 each
South Korea spike: The East Asian country reported 571 coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the national total to 2,337 cases — the largest outbreak outside of mainland China. It has reported 13 deaths. Many of the cases are linked to a religious group in the country’s south.
More cases in Italy: At least 650 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Italy, officials said. Across Europe, at least 11 countries now have confirmed cases of the virus, with many of the patients having visited the Lombardy region at the center of Italy’s outbreak.
Stock markets plunge: A historic fall in US stocks on Thursday has caused shockwaves through Asia Pacific markets today, with drops in major exchanges across the region. It followed a record drop in the United States as the Dow dropped 1,191 points on Thursday, in its worst one-day point drop in history, while the S&P 500 posted its worst day since 2011.
Coronavirus in Africa: The first confirmed novel coronavirus case in Nigeria is an Italian citizen who traveled to Lagos. Nigeria is the third African nation to report the virus, and the first in sub-Saharan Africa. The others are Egypt and Algeria, which both have one case each.
Evacuations from North Korea: A plan is in the works to evacuate quarantined foreign diplomats from Pyongyang, North Korea, a source inside the country tells CNN. The date of the evacuation flight has not been confirmed, but the source says it will likely fly from Pyongyang to Vladivostok, Russia.
Countries report first cases: Lithuania, Belarus and New Zealand reported their first cases overnight. The Lithuanian patient is a woman who is experiencing “mild symptoms.” The Belarus case is a student from Iran, while New Zealand’s case is “a person in their 60s, recently returned from Iran.” Meanwhile, France reported two new cases and Hong Kong one case on Friday.
Artists cancel gigs: K-pop group BTS have canceled four shows in Seoul in April, and American rock band Green Day have called off their upcoming Asia tour over the coronavirus.
Other closures: Hyundai Motor is suspending the operation of a plant in Ulsan, South Korea after one of its employees tested positive for the virus. Meanwhile Tokyo’s Disneyland and DisneySea are closing for two weeks because of the virus. CNN