Experts say that world approaches coronavirus tip point

78,000 confirmed cases with Italy and Iran battling to control significant outbreaks


Experts who warn that the disease is overtaking efforts to prevent it after major outbreaks forced Italy and Iran to enact stringent domestic travel restrictions and the President of South Korea warned the region. The world is fast approaching a tipping point in spreading the coronavirus.

Two days after the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the international community had to act quickly, before the closing “chance window” completely shut down.

Researchers now say the situation will reach a critical level with almost 78,000 cases of Covid-19 confirmed globally.

In 11 north Italian cities, since Friday night, 50,000 people have been locked up, police patrolling the streets and fining anyone caught in or out of the city. In Iran, the authorities in 14 provinces have “committed preventive action” to closure schools, universities and other educational centers.


President Moon Jae-in of South Korea put the country on the Red Alert on Sunday, after confirming its sixth death and over 600 infections.

The Chief Medical Officer for England said Sunday that four of the 32 passengers of the British and Irish cruise liners returning to the United Kingdom on Saturday had been screened positively for Covid19. The number of confirmed cases in the United Kingdom is thirteen.

As the number of patients’ worldwide increases, there is no clear connection between certain virus clusters and China, which means experts are struggling to determine where they started.

Paul Hunter, University of East Anglia Professor of Medicine and the New Coronavirus Infection Authority, echoed Tedros ‘ warning and said that time had run out for the disease to be contained.

“Recently, the WHO Director-General spoke about reducing the chances of managing the epidemic today,” he says. Hunter said that while there were decreasing cases in China, which started the epidemic, the weekend had seen “highly developments elsewhere” “the tipping point after which our capability for preventing a global pandemic ends seems much closer after the past 24 hours.’

He added that the upsurge in the cases in South Korea was unparalleled in the outbreak so far, adding that “Identification of the large cluster of cases in Italy is a major worry for Europe and there will be several other cases reported in the coming days.” “The larger armed conflicts in the region are another issue in Iranian cases,” he said.


Dr. Robin Thompson, a junior research fellow at the University of Oxford in mathematical epidemiology, said that between Friday and Saturday the number of cases in Italy doubled. “The coronavirus outbreak is an important stage,” he said. “Even mild cases in affected areas are quickly isolated in order to prevent large-scale transmission from person to individual in Europe. Two people have died in Italy since Friday and over a hundred incidents, most of them centering in the small town of Codogno, some 40 kilometers south-east of Milan, have now been identified.

Those living in the affected areas are now confronted with a lock-up of weeks by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. The last two days were cancelled and the fashion week in Milan was also struck.

In Iran, eight deaths were recorded from the virus, a country outside China’s highest death toll. Of the fifteen new cases, the last three deaths reported on Sunday brought the total number of infections to 43. The health ministry spokesperson, Kianoush Jahanpour, reported that in the capital of Tehran four new infections occurred, seven in the city of Qom, two in Gilan, and one in Markazi and Tonekabon.

Pakistan responded by closing its border with Iran, and Afghanistan said that “to prevent the spread of new coronavirus and to protect people” it was suspending travel to Iran. Turkey also shut down its borders and said the arrivals would stop, adding that on Sunday afternoon it would close all motorways and railways on the border.

Meanwhile, in reaction to this deadly outbreak Jordan will not allow people from China, Iran and South Korea and others traveling from those countries.


Moon declared its decision to raise warning rates in South Korea on Sunday, saying that the government should not hesitate, without “regulations” to take “unparalleled, solid” steps for the control of the virus disease.

The president described the coming days as “a very important time” while struggling to contain the outbreak in Daegu’s capital, said Yonhap’s news agency. Out of 123 additional cases, 75 were related to Daegu Shincheonji Church and the nearby hospital.

More than 9 000 Shincheonji participants were put in self-quarantine and thousands of admirers for the Virus were screened by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The increase in alerts caught up when the Japanese Minister of the Government apologized for the fact that a woman had on Saturday allowed the Diamond Princess Coronavirus hit cruise ship to leave, and raised additional questions about the management of the outbreak.

The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, on Sunday called for further efforts to stop outbreaks, revitalized the industry and prevent the disease from affecting the spring plantation. The Chinese government cautioned that China’s virus epidemic was “very bleak and complex.” Xi argued that in a video conference with officers in charge of anti-disease work, Xinhua news agency argued for the ruling Communist Party’s response “time and effectively.” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying, “The present epidemic is always bleak and complex.

• The AFP and Associated Press contributed this article “Prevention and control are in the most critical stage.

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