Mexico Confirms First Coronavirus Infections

South America

28 February 2020, 20:20

MEXICO-CHINA-VIRUS-COVID-19

Mexican health authorities announced Friday they have confirmed the first two cases of coronavirus in Mexico, VOA news reports.

A man in Mexico City who recently visited Italy tested positive Friday, and another patient is confirmed in the northern state of Sinaloa. Brazil is the only other country that has coronavirus in Latin America.

The coronavirus emerged in at least five other countries Friday: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Lithuania, New Zealand and Nigeria.

The case in Nigeria, detected in the economic capital Lagos, is the first case in sub-Saharan Africa and the third to be confirmed in Africa. Nigerian officials said the case involved an Italian citizen who entered the country this week.

In Azerbaijan, a Russian citizen who had arrived from Iran has been confirmed with the virus, and in Belarus an Iranian student who arrived from Azerbaijan tested positive.

Lithuania also announced Friday, a woman who returned this week from a visit to Italy tested positive.

New Zealand confirmed its first coronavirus case Friday, saying a recent arrival from Iran had tested positive.

People wearing protective masks walk on street in Minsk, Belarus, Feb. 28, 2020. Belarus, Lithuania and New Zealand have reported their first cases of coronavirus.
People wearing protective masks walk on street in Minsk, Belarus, Feb. 28, 2020. Azerbaijan, Belarus, Lithuania, New Zealand and Nigeria have reported their first cases of coronavirus.

In the Netherlands, first case was confirmed late Thursday and another Friday, both had recently traveled in Northern Italy.

The number of new coronavirus cases has dropped in the center of the outbreak, China, but has risen in South Korea — the hardest-hit country outside China.

China’s National Health Commission reported 327 new cases and 44 deaths early Friday — the lowest number of new cases in more than a month.

But the number in South Korea reached 2,337, with 571 new cases and 16 deaths. Most of the cases are in Daegu, the South’s fourth largest city.

At least 46 countries are reporting cases, and governments in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East are taking some extraordinary steps to contain the virus.

The United States and South Korea called off joint military drills. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered schools to close at least through March.

A sign advertising protective face masks is marked "Sold out" inside a store in Berlin, Germany, Feb. 28, 2020.
A sign advertising protective face masks is marked “Sold out” inside a store in Berlin, Germany, Feb. 28, 2020.

About 1,000 people were in quarantine in Germany’s most populous state, as the number of confirmed cases in Europe’s biggest economy exceeded 50.

California health officials said they were monitoring 8,400 people for symptoms after their arrival on domestic flights.

Australian doctors warned the public health system could be overwhelmed in the event of a pandemic, a day after the government launched its emergency response program.

As of Friday, there were more than 83,670 coronavirus cases worldwide, and more than 2,865 deaths. Most of the cases are in China.

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