South Korea raises coronavirus alert level

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    (Photo Credit: AFP)

    South Korea has raised its COVID-19 coronavirus alert to the “highest level” as confirmed cases keep rising.

    According to the BBC, President Moon Jae-in said the country faced “a grave turning point”, and the next few days would be crucial in the battle to contain the outbreak.

    Six people have died from the virus in South Korea and more than 600 have been infected.


    ITALY AND IRAN

    Italy and Iran have announced steps to try to contain outbreaks within their borders.

    In Italy, strict quarantine restrictions are in force in two northern “hotspot” regions close to Milan and Venice.

    The BBC says aound 50,000 people cannot enter or leave several towns in Veneto and Lombardy for the next two weeks without special permission.

    Outside the zone, many businesses and schools have suspended activities, and sporting events, including several top-flight football matches, have been cancelled.

    The last two days of the Venice Carnival, on Monday and Tuesday, have also been cancelled.

    Italy has seen two deaths and over 100 confirmed cases.

    Meanwhile Iran’s outbreak has significantly worsened, with 43 confirmed cases and eight deaths.

    Officials there have warned the virus may have spread to “all cities” and schools, universities and cultural centres across 14 Iranian provinces have been closed from Sunday.