Coronavirus: Cases jump in Iran and Italy
Iran has confirmed almost 6,000 coronavirus infections and 145 deaths as the number of cases worldwide passed 100,000, officials say.
A second MP was reportedly among those to have died in Iran, where health officials fear the number of cases may actually be much higher.
Europe's worst hit-country Italy also reported a steep rise in cases.
Leading Italian politician Nicola Zingaretti said on Saturday he had tested positive for the virus.
"I am fine but I will have to stay home for the next few days", the leader of Italy's centre-left Democratic Party (PD) said in a Facebook post.
The death toll in Italy has risen to 197, with officials reporting 49 deaths in 24 hours.
The country has said it will start recruiting retired doctors in an effort to combat the escalating outbreak.
There have so far been nearly 3,500 coronavirus deaths recorded worldwide. The majority have been in China, where the virus originated in December.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has called the spread of the virus "deeply concerning" and urged all countries to make containment "their highest priority".
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In other developments:
- Pope Francis will deliver Sunday's Angelus Prayer by livestream to avoid the usual crowds forming
- Malta, Serbia, Slovakia, Peru and Togo reported their first cases of the virus
- France confirmed two more deaths, bringing the nationwide total to 11
- Spain also recorded two more fatalities, with the total now standing at 10
- The number of confirmed cases in the UK rose to 206
- The UK government has warned people travelling to Moscow that they may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival
- The FBI says one of its employees in San Francisco has tested positive for Covid-19
- Cases in the Netherlands have risen by 60 to 188, health officials said
- Canada confirmed its first "community" case of a person who had not recently left the country and had no known contact with someone infected
In Iran, 21 people were reported to have died as a result of coronavirus in the past day.
A spokesman for Iran's health ministry, Kianoush Jahanpour, said in a televised news conference on Saturday that more than 16,000 people were currently being tested in the country.
He added that 1,669 people with the illness had recovered.
The WHO's representative in Iran, Dr Christoph Hamelmann, said Iran was making tremendous progress at its hospitals, with facilities made available for treatment in every province.
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In the US, a cruise ship with 3,533 passengers and crew is being held off the coast near San Francisco after 21 people tested positive for the disease.
US Vice President Mike Pence said the vessel will be moved to a non-commercial dock over the weekend, where all on board will be tested.
The cruise liner, the Grand Princess, is a sister ship of the Diamond Princess, which was the scene of a major coronavirus outbreak while moored in Japan.
In Germany, the number of confirmed cases rose to 680. The country has not yet reported any deaths.
More than 80,000 people have been infected with coronavirus in China since its emergence in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province. Globally the number of infections stands at more than 100,000.
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