SEOUL/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – International concern about the spread of coronavirus outside China grew on Sunday with sharp rises in infections in three countries – South Korea, Italy and Iran.
South Korea went on high alert after the number of infections surged over 600 with six deaths. Italy saw a rise to 132 cases and imposed stringent curbs in parts of the country to try to stop the spread. Iran has reported 43 cases, with eight deaths.
In China, which has seen the vast majority of cases, authorities reported 648 new infections – higher than a day earlier – but only 18 were outside of Hubei province, the lowest number outside the epicenter since authorities began publishing data a month ago and locked down large parts of the country.
President Xi Jinping said that while measures to deal with the virus had been effective, the battle to contain it was still at a crucial stage. State run television urged people to avoid complacency, drawing attention to people gathering in public areas and tourist spots without wearing masks.
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