PHNOM PENH: The first Cambodian has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.
The report came as the global total passed 102,000 cases in 94 countries and territories with 3,515 deaths.
The 38-year-old Cambodian man was one of four people tested because he had direct contact with a Japanese man who later tested positive for the virus, Health Ministry spokesman Or Vandin said at a news conference.
Forty other people who had indirect contact with the Japanese man were also quarantined.
The Japanese man reportedly runs a recruitment agency in Siem Reap province, the site of Angkor Wat, and some applicants attended a lecture he gave there. He later left Cambodia from Siem Reap.
In recent weeks the same man has travelled to Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, Kyodo News reported.
Cambodia had earlier reported a virus infection in a Chinese man. He recovered and went home.
As of Saturday evening, the main countries affected by the virus were mainland China (80,651 cases, 3,070 deaths), South Korea (6,767 cases, 44 deaths), Iran, (5,823 cases, 145 deaths), Italy (4,636 cases, 197 deaths), Germany (684 cases, no deaths) and France (613 cases, nine deaths).
Colombia, Costa Rica and Malta announced their first cases. In Iran, meanwhile, the death toll swelled to 145 and a newly elected 55-year-old lawmaker died in the first fatality among 23 infected members of parliament.
In the United States, the week-long South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, was cancelled. The annual music, media and creative arts gathering is one of the largest of its kind in the ccountry.
In Italy, the government is making plans to announce new quarantine measures after the death toll surged by about a third in Europe’s worst-affected country. One person was diagnosed in the Vatican — the tiny walled city-state in central Rome that is home to Pope Francis.
Austria and Georgia are halting flights to Italy, and Norwegian Air suspended services between Oslo and Milan. In other developments:
Duterte declares emergency
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed to declare a state of national public health emergency after a local transmission was reported.
The health department reported the country’s sixth infection on Saturday, a 59-year-old woman who is married to the country’s fifth patient, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said in Manila. The woman is stable but her husband, 62, is in critical condition.
Officials are bracing for an increase in cases as the government repatriates hundreds of citizens from affected areas abroad, including tourists, overseas workers and undocumented migrants.
Vietnam air crew quarantined
All air crew and ground staff working on a Vietnam Airlines’ flight from London to Hanoi on March 1 are being quarantined after a passenger tested positive for coronavirus, according to the country’s health minister.
The 26-year-old woman is the country’s 17th confirmed case, the first in Hanoi. City officials are trying to contact about 30 people who traveled in business class with the patient.
Another cruise death
A former passenger of the Diamond Princess cruise ship who was infected with coronavirus has died, bringing the death toll from the ship to seven. The passenger, a non-Japanese male, died on Friday, the broadcaster NHK said.
US reports new deaths in Florida, Washington
Florida health officials confirmed the state’s first two deaths from coronavirus as well the first pair of cases in the Miami metropolitan area. The health agency for Seattle and King County said a man in his 60s died on Thursday, the ninth fatality associated with the outbreak at an area nursing home.
Nebraska and Kentucky reported their first cases. A person in Alameda County, California, who had been on a cruise ship last month tested positive for the virus, as did a Chicago school aide and a Starbucks barista at one of the coffee chain’s downtown Seattle stores.
21 cases on ship off California
At least 19 passengers and two crew members on the Grand Princess rise ship, currently off the coast of California, tested positive for the virus, US Vice President Mike Pence said.
Forty-six people on the ship have been tested, Pence said in Washington. The Grand Princess will be brought to shore and everyone will be tested and quarantined as needed. He said cruise ships “represent a unique challenge for health officials” and advised elderly Americans to carefully consider whether to to take cruises.
LeBron won’t play in empty arena
Basketball superstar LeBron James has said he will not take to the court if the NBA bars fans from attending games to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The NBA sent a memo to teams on Friday detailing the need for contingency plans in case it becomes necessary to play games with only essential staff present.
“Play games without the fans? No, that’s impossible. I ain’t playing,” James said after his Los Angeles Lakers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 113-103 on Friday to clinch a playoff berth.
“That’s who I play for. I play for my team mates, I play for the fans, that’s what it’s all about. If I show up to an arena and there are no fans in there, I ain’t playing. They can do what they want to do.”
The European Central Bank (ECB) asked its 3,700 employees based in Frankfurt to carry out a day of telework on Monday, to test its emergency plan in the event of confinement.
Facebook has closed its offices in London and part of its premises in Singapore after an employee tested positive.
Dollars in quarantine
Dollar banknotes on their way back to the United States after being used in Asia are subject to quarantine, for a minimum period of 7-10 days instead of five previously, and up to 60 days.