- Coronavirus infections continue to increase worldwide.
- Countries are putting up transnational blockades.
- There’s a decrease in deaths in China.
Earlier this week, European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni asked international leaders not to panic over the coronavirus development in Italy. Speaking after a conference with E.U. financial leaders in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, he expressed confidence that the issue would be resolved in due time.
Just moments after Gentiloni’s statement, Austrian authorities detained a passenger train at the border with Italy that was traveling from Venice to Munich. According to Italian media, the train was stopped because two of its passengers showed signs of illness. They were reported to the Austrian authorities by an Italian conductor and transferred to Verona to undergo tests.
The Austrian Federal Railways agency soon after announced on Twitter that it was suspending all trains from Italy due to the threat of coronavirus.
Highest Threat Level is in South Korea
South Korea has raised its threat alert level to maximum in response to the coronavirus. Stringent precautionary measures have been put in place to curb the virus after a sharp increase in infection cases. They spiked from a few dozen incidences to over 600 in just a week.
So far, 11 people have died from the illness. President Moon Jae-in proclaimed on Sunday that the country had reached a critical point and hard decisions would have to be made in coming days to overcome the scourge.
South Korea is the third most affected country after China. According to data released on Sunday, 90 new cases of the disease were noted in the fourth largest South Korean city of Daegu. This brought the total number of infected residents to just over 250.
More than half of those affected have been linked to the Shincheonji, Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony (SCJ) religious sect, which has its headquarters in Daegu.
The Situation in China
The coronavirus outbreak is believed to have begun in the Chinese province of Hubei at the end of last year. The virus has now spread to 26 other countries. More than 2,600 deaths have occurred in China, and over 70,000 people infected. Chinese authorities have reported a reduction in deaths and a slowdown of the spread.
In other countries, however, the number of coronavirus cases has continued to increase. Incidences lacking a direct link to Chinese carriers are still worrying. As the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus noted, countries with poorly developed health care systems, especially in Africa, are now causing the greatest concern.
Israel Turns Back South Korean Citizens
Earlier this week, Israel turned back 130 non-Israeli passengers after arriving from South Korea by plane. Twelve Israelis on board were, however, granted entry and quarantined. The move prompted Seoul to summon Israel’s charge d’affaires to protest the treatment of South Korean nationals. Israel soon after issued a communique preventing entry of both South Korean and Japanese nationals.