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Coronavirus: Casualty Figure Rises In South Korea, As Italy, Iran Impose Stricter Measures

Different countries with the ravaging COVID-19 disease are taking stricter measures to curb the spread of the disease while South Korea continues to battle with a rising number of infected persons. 

The World Health Organisation has also lamented the spread of the virus to African countries. 

According to AFP, the death toll rose to four with two additional fatalities reported a day after Prime Minister, Chung Sye-kyun, said South Korea faced a “grave” situation.

The Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the Southern city of Daegu — considered by many a cult — has emerged as a hotbed of contagion, with hundreds of members infected.

Sye-kyun called on Koreans to avoid large gatherings, including religious services.

Already one of the worst-hit nations outside China, South Korea reported 123 new cases Sunday, taking its total to 556.

Italy and Iran began introducing the sort of containment measures previously seen only in China, which has put tens of millions of people under quarantine lockdown in the epicentre province of Hubei.

More than 50,000 people in about a dozen Northern Italian towns near the business hub of Milan were urged by authorities to stay home, while shops and schools were shuttered.

Among dozens of cases, Italy on Friday became the first European country to report one of its nationals had died from the virus — a 78-year-old retired bricklayer in the region of Veneto.

Iran ordered the closure of schools, universities and cultural centres across 14 provinces from Sunday following five deaths in the Islamic Republic — the most outside East Asia and the first in the Middle East.

Iran’s outbreak surfaced on Wednesday and has quickly worsened with 28 cases confirmed.

Iraq on Thursday clamped down on travel to and from Iran, and flag carrier Kuwait Airways has suspended flights to the country.

Although Egypt is the only African country with a confirmed case of COVID-19, the WHO warned that the continent’s health systems were ill-equipped to cope with a potential major outbreak and urged more cooperation among the African Union.

WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said necessary treatment tools such as respiratory support machines are “in short supply in many African countries and that’s a cause for concern”.

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