South Korea’s president said Monday his nation could become “a model case” for dealing with the novel coronavirus if the number of new confirmed cases continued to decrease, but cautioned against being too optimistic about the progress being made.
“The number of new coronavirus confirmed cases peaked to 916 on Feb. 28 and has since been steadily decreasing to 248 on [Sunday]. This trend must continue,” President Moon Jae-In said at a presidential staff meeting. “As the number of new cases continues to grow in many countries around the world, if we continue with a decrease in the curve, South Korea can be regarded as a model case for good practice for COVID-19 protection.”
But Moon said small group infections are still occurring in areas including Daegu and North of Gyeongsang province.
“The continued small-scale infections can mean that infections can occur on a larger scale as well,” he added. “We should not be relieved by the situation.”
South Korea reported 7,478 confirmed cases and 53 virus-related deaths Monday.
NATO staffer in Brussels tests positive for COVID-19
A NATO staff member working at the Brussels headquarters has tested positive for coronavirus, the alliance said Monday.
The staff member came back from a holiday in northern Italy, felt unwell at the end of last week and was tested after getting fever-like symptoms, according to a statement from NATO.
“Within minutes of receiving the result, all the immediate work colleagues were informed,” the statement added.
The staff member, who wasn’t named, is currently working from home, where they are in self-isolation.
NATO said it has already taken preventative measures at its headquarters to reduce the risk of virus spread, including temporary suspension of travel for some staff and group visits to NATO headquarters in Brussels.
Iran sees a spike of nearly 600 new coronavirus cases
Health officials in Iran reported nearly 600 new coronavirus cases, increasing the total to 7,161 as the country struggled to contain the outbreak.
Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said a total of 237 people have died from the virus since the epidemic began, with 43 new deaths reported Monday.
Dow set to open with a decline of 1,300 points as oil war adds to coronavirus stresses
Wall Street is preparing for a bloodbath on Monday, after oil prices cratered by 30 percent overnight, pushing all three major averages to declines of around 5 percent and adding stress to an economy already feeling intense pressure from the coronavirus epidemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average looked set to open down by 1,300 points on Monday morning, with trading on the S&P 500 halted overnight after hitting critical levels that triggered a “circuit-breaker,” which prevents further losses.
Investors took shelter in safe havens, pushing gold to a seven-year high and pushing the 10-year Treasury yield to an all-time historic low of 0.3 percent by early morning.
Conditions worsened after the world’s oil-producing countries failed to strike a deal at a meeting between cartel members in Vienna last week. The stalemate continued over the weekend, with Saudi Arabia and Russia reportedly planning to ramp up production on their own terms after the current deal expires at the end of the month.
Italian celebrities encourage fellow citizens to stay home
Italian celebrities reacted to the country’s partial coronavirus lockdown by posting messages on social media encouraging their followers to stay home and follow government advice.
Musicians, comedians and TV personalities showed themselves lounging at home while reminding their fellow citizens of the fun to be had indoors using the hashtag #iostoacasa or “I’m staying home.”
“It’s been hours, long hours, waiting for someone to say that this damned story will come to an end and that finally tomorrow we’ll be able to go outside,” sang pop group Negramaro’s frontman Giuliano Sangiorgi in a tongue-in-cheek video posted to Twitter.
Some posts showed celebrities cuddling with cats or picking up new instruments for the first time, but their tone was also serious.
“Let’s stay home as long as it takes for this to be resolved,” said Italian singer-songwriter Lorenzo “Jovanotti” Cherubini while strumming a traditional Middle Eastern oud. “Follow the government guidance and listen to the experts … It’s not vacation: it’s an emergency.”
Many celebrities were voluntarily self-isolating despite not living in the so-called red zone — areas mainly located in northern Italy where the government is currently restricting up to 16 million citizens’ movements.
Stock markets around the world plunge as oil price war adds to coronavirus fears
Stocks across the world tumbled early Monday after a shocking all-out oil price war added to anxiety around the economic fallout from the spreading coronavirus.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average indicated an opening drop of more than 1,300 points. The S&P 500 futures indicated a 5 percent drop at Monday’s open. The S&P futures trading was briefly halted overnight. The sharp declines in the futures market signaled more turbulence ahead after a roller-coaster week that saw the S&P 500 swing up or down more than 2.5 percent for four days straight.
The massive sell-off could trigger key market circuit breakers during regular trading hours.
7 Trinity College students in self-quarantine for possible coronavirus exposure
Seven Trinity College students in Connecticut are in self-quarantine for possible coronavirus exposure.
The students at the Hartford, Connecticut, college are not displaying symptoms and their possible exposure did not occur on or near campus, Joe DiChristina, vice president of student affairs and dean of campus life, said in a statement on Sunday. They have left campus and the school said it is checking in regularly with the students who are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, it added.
“We ask for your assistance in not engaging in rumors or speculation, which may stigmatize individuals and spread fear and misinformation,” DiChristina added.
As of Sunday, there was one reported case of coronavirus in Connecticut.
Rep. Gosar’s use of ‘Wuhan virus’ sparks anger
When Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., said he will self-quarantine for 14 days on Sunday after he came into “extended” contact with a person who since been hospitalized for coronavirus, he set off a debate by referring to the disease as “Wuhan virus.”
Rep. Gosar called the disease COVID-19 in an official statement, but on his personal Twitter account he wrote that he had “sustained contact…with a person who has since been hospitalized with the Wuhan Virus.”
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said in a tweet that Gosar’s use of “Wuhan virus” is “an example of the myopia that allowed it to spread,” adding the virus is “not constrained by country or race.”
Many on social media said Gosar’s reference was racist, including NARAL president Ilyse Hogue, as anti-Asian bias and xenophobia have been rising as the virus spreads.
Others, particularly figures in conservative media, defended Gosar, saying it is commonplace to refer to diseases by the place from where they originated, citing Lyme, Connecticut as the namesake of Lyme’s Disease and Zika Virus, named after the Zika Forest of Uganda.
Gosar himself responded to the criticism on Twitter late Sunday, saying it is “just astoundingly ignorant to have all major media refer to it as #WuhanVirus for months but somehow, today, you’ve decided that’s #racist.”
When coronavirus first appeared, many people, including those in the media, referred to it as “Wuhan virus.” But in mid-February, the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) put out guidelines for reporting responsibly on the outbreak, and cautioned against saying “Wuhan virus.” AAJA cited 2015 guidelines from the World Health Organization which discourage naming illnesses after geographic locations to avoid stigmatizing those who live there.
Japan’s professional baseball season postponed by outbreak
Japan’s professional baseball league decided to postpone the season opening due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The league’s commissioner, Atsushi Saito, announced that the season opening matches slated for March 20 will be postponed during a meeting with Japan’s twelve professional baseball teams Monday.
“While continuing to seek advice from experts, we will aim to start the season some time during April,” Saito said.
Japan has so far recorded 488 cases of the virus and 15 deaths.
Milan turns into a ghost town amid coronavirus lockdown
First published here: nbcnews.com