China on Sunday reported 27 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the nationwide total to 3,097. There were 44 new cases of the infection, most in the virus epicentre of Wuhan, which also accounted for all of the deaths, according to the National Health Commission.
Meanwhile, South Korea reported 93 new cases of the virus on late Saturday, bringing the total to 7,134, making it the largest outbreak outside of mainland China.
Only three cases, all imported from abroad, were reported outside of Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, in Beijing and the northwest province of Gansu. As the virus continues to spread worldwide at an alarming rate, it is starting to impact cruise ships, airlines and other international companies.Two cruise ships traveling in Asia have been forced to quarantine thousands of passengers.
New infections reported from Hubei have been on a downward trend for several weeks and at 41, the number of new cases is the lowest since quarantine measures were imposed on the province in late January. Nationwide new infections have also been on a downward trend, but confirmed imported cases have prompted fears in recent days that infections could swell as people get infected overseas.
However, Italy seems to be struggling to contain the spread of the deadly virus. According to the Guardian, the Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, announced early on Sunday that the entire region of Lombardy and a number of provinces in other regions were put into lockdown as the coronavirus continued to spread throughout the country.
The country had already banned all public events, closing cinemas, theatres, gyms, discos and pubs. The Guardian reports, the new measures will apply to more than a quarter of the Italian population – about 16m people – and will be in force at least until 3 April. The region of Lombardy is home to more than 10m people. Italy has confirmed 5,883 cases, with more than 1,200 reported in a single 24 hours. The spread shows no sign of slowing.
The number of coronavirus cases has risen worldwide to more than 100,000, with 3,500 dead across 95 nations and territories.