Coronavirus: latest developments worldwide




 

More than 2,200 dead in China, including 500 in its prisons; 200 victims in South Korea; riots in Ukraine. Here are the latest developments in what has become a worldwide coronavirus crisis.

- More than 2,200 dead -

China on Friday raises the death toll to 2,236 -- most of them in the province of Hubei, where the virus was first detected. More than 75,000 have now been infected in China and over 1,100 abroad.

After a drop in new cases in China for the past few days, the number rises again on Friday, with dozens of infections in two hospitals in Beijing and more than 500 in prisons.

In South Korea, the number of cases almost doubles, with more than 200 people infected, most of them linked to a Christian sect in the south.

The leap in cases makes South Korea the country most affected after China by what has been named COVID-19.

A cruise ship called Diamond Princess, quarantined off Japan, remains the location with the most cases outside China with more than 630 infections.

Two Australians evacuated from the ship test positive for coronavirus on their return home, despite being cleared in Japan.

Elsewhere, Iran reports two more deaths among 13 new cases, bringing the total number of fatalities to four.

Earlier cases had already prompted neighbouring Iraq to ban travel to and from Iran.

- Riots in Ukraine -

Ukraine's health minister volunteers to spend two weeks in quarantine with 72 nationals who have been confined after being evacuated from China.

On Thursday, protesters blocked roads and hurled stones at vehicles carrying evacuees -- hundreds of police in armoured vehicles disperse them.

In France, a third plane carrying nationals evacuated from China arrives with 28 French and 36 citizens of other European Union countries, who are placed in quarantine.

- 'Hit hard' -

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls on the international community to "hit hard" against the coronavirus.

"If we don't hit hard now using the window of opportunity we might be faced with a serious problem," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says.

As researchers around the world work on ways of treating the novel coronavirus, an official says China could start clinical trials for a potential vaccine around late April.

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