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Coronavirus Hits World's 4th Most Populous Country

EU raises alert level to high
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2020 7:36 AM CST

(Newser) – As the US reported its second death from the coronavirus, yet more countries reported their first cases—including Indonesia, the world's fourth most populous nation. Joko Widodo, the country of 272 million people's president, says two women have been hospitalized in Jakarta after being infected by a Japanese citizen who has now left the country, the Guardian reports. Since there is a lot of traffic between China and Indonesia, the lack of reported COVID-19 cases puzzled experts, who suspect many cases are undetected. More:

  • Sect leader apologizes. Lee Man-hee, head of a religious sect linked to hundreds of coronavirus cases in South Korea, bowed his head to the floor in a televised apology Monday, AFP reports. "I seek the forgiveness of the people," said 88-year-old Lee Man-hee. Authorities in Seoul have charged him with murder, accusing him of failing to cooperate with efforts to stem the largest coronavirus outbreak outside mainland China. Authorities said Monday there have been 4,335 cases detected in South Korea and at least 26 deaths.

  • EU raises alert level. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday that the European Union has raised the coronavirus risk level from "moderate" to "high," the BBC reports. Health officials say the coronavirus has now spread to at least 18 European Union countries, with more than 2,100 confirmed cases and almost 40 deaths, most of them in Italy.
  • Senior official dies in Iran. Authorities in Iran confirmed Monday that Mohammad Mirmohammadi, a 71-year-old member of the council that advises the country's supreme leader, had died of the coronavirus, reports the AP. Iran has now reported 66 deaths and 1,501 confirmed cases, though based on the number of deaths, experts believe there are many more infections.
  • World markets volatile. After major losses last week, world markets were "unsteady" Monday, with investors reacting both to suggestions that central banks would step in to ease the economic pain and to predictions that the global growth will be hit hard if the outbreak continues to spread, the New York Times reports.
  • Cases jump in France. In France, authorities said Sunday that the number of confirmed cases had jumped from 100 to 130, with two deaths. Authorities said the epidemic is now in "Stage 2" of a three-stage process, and promised a "very adapted, pragmatic and reactive attitude."
  • New cases in India. For the first time in weeks, India reported new coronavirus infections Monday, bringing the total to five, the Washington Post reports. One patient had traveled to Italy and the other to Dubai, authorities say. India is now screening travelers from more than a dozen countries.
(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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