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Latest developments on the coronavirus

* In Europe, the number of people who tested positive for the illness in Italy increased by more than 200 to 650.

Germany, which warned of an impending epidemic, has about 27 cases, France around 18 and Spain 15. Greece announced tighter border controls.

* South Korea reported its largest daily increase yet as the total number of infections rose by 571 to 2337 on Friday. The death toll stood at 13, unchanged from a day earlier.

* Iran said on Thursday its death toll had risen to 26, by far the highest number outside China, and the total number of infected people now stood at 245.

* Mainland China - where the virus originated late last year - reported 327 new cases on Friday, the lowest since January 23.

* In eastern Europe, Lithuania reported its first infection in a woman who returned this week from a visit to Italy, and Belarus confirmed its first case, a student from Iran.

* New Zealand's health ministry on Friday confirmed the country's first case in a person who recently returned from Iran.

* Nigeria's health ministry said on Friday it has confirmed a case in Lagos state.

* Japan's confirmed cases topped 200 on Friday, including four deaths, as officials told schools to close and said big gatherings should be scrapped or curtailed.

* Thailand recorded one new case on Friday, bringing the total in the country to 41.

* The virus has caused nearly 80,000 infections and almost 2800 deaths, according official Chinese figures. It has spread to another 46 countries, where about 3700 cases and 57 deaths have been reported, according to the World Health Organisation.

* Recovered patients who were discharged from hospital but later tested positive again have been found not to be infectious, an official at China's National Health Commission said on Friday.

* Russia on Friday temporarily barred Iranians from entering the country and said it would also restrict the entry of South Koreans from March 1 as a precaution.

* It would be a "fatal mistake" for any country to assume it will not be hit by the virus, and rich countries that might have thought they were safer should expect surprises, the WHO said.

* California is monitoring more than 8400 people who arrived on commercial flights for symptoms, but the state lacks test kits and has been held back by federal testing rules.

* US intelligence agencies are monitoring the global spread and the ability of governments to respond.

* The risk to American people from coronavirus is low, but that could change, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said

* US President Donald Trump's administration was considering invoking special powers to rapidly expand domestic production of protective gear, two officials told Reuters.

* Global share markets were headed for the worst week since the depths of the 2008 financial crisis as investors ditched risky assets on fears the coronavirus would become a pandemic and derail economic growth.

© RAW 2020