Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus.
This is Kate Mayberry keeping track of the latest developments on the outbreak from our bureau in Kuala Lumpur.
The virus continued to spread around the world on Saturday with countries in Europe announcing new cases, Iran revealing another jump in infections, and Qatar becoming the latest Middle Eastern country to report its first case.
South Korea, which is grappling with the largest outbreak of the virus outside China, has urged citizens to stay indoors warning of a ‘critical moment’ in the spread of the infection.
In Europe, Italy has reported more than 1,000 coronavirus cases and 29 deaths, the most in Europe. France said it has 100.
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the spread of the virus is “getting bigger”. More than 85,000 people have been infected worldwide.
Here are the latest updates:
Sunday, March 1
04:50 GMT – South Korea closes churches to limit virus spread
Churches were closed in South Korea on Sunday with many holding services online instead, according to Reuters.
In the capital, Seoul, about a dozen worshippers were turned away from the Yoido Full Gospel Church, which put a sermon for its 560,000 followers on YouTube, filmed with a small choir instead of all 200 members and 60-strong orchestra.
“I had heard there would be no service, but just came to check as I live nearby, but yes, it is so empty,” said one of them, Song Young-koo, as he left South Korea’s biggest church.
“It’s a wise decision to do it online, since the virus would easily spread at mass gatherings and churches can be no exception.”
For the first time in its 236-year history, South Korea’s Catholic church decided to halt masses at more than 1,700 locations nationwide. Buddhist temples have also called off events, while major Christian churches held online services.
Churches were closed and services held online on Sunday as South Korea stepped up efforts to contain the spreading coronavirus by limiting public gatherings [Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo]
04:36 GMT – Thailand records first coronavirus death
Thailand has recorded its first fatality in the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported citing Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoen, director-general of the Department of Disease Control.
The 35-year-old man also had dengue fever, Suwanchai told a news conference on Sunday.
04:20 GMT – Armenia patient had returned from Iran
More details are emerging about the Armenian case.
The patient is a 29-year-old citizen who returned to Armenia from Iran on Friday and went to a doctor because he was feeling unwell, Reuters said citing the Facebook page of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
“He is now in good condition,” Pashinyan said, adding that authorities planned to isolate those had been in contact with him.
Armenia closed its borders with neighbouring Iran a week ago. It has also suspended flights to the country.
04:15 GMT – Australia reports new coronavirus case
Australia said on Sunday that it had confirmed an additional case of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 26.
A scanning electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 (the round gold objects) emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab from a patient in the United States. SARS-CoV-2, also known as 2019-nCoV, is the virus that causes COVID-19. [National Institutes of Health via EPA]
03:50 GMT – Armenia reports first coronavirus case
Armenia’s prime minister said the central Asian nation had recorded its first case of the coronavirus, Reuters reported.
02:32 GMT – American Airlines says suspending Milan flights
American Airlines said it would suspend flights from New York and Miami to Milan because of a “reduction in demand”.
Flights are scheduled to resume on April 25, the airline said in a statement on its website.
02:16 GMT – Australia records first coronavirus death
Australia has recorded its first death from the coronavirus after a 78-year-old man who had been evacuated from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship died in a Perth hospital.
“Our condolences are with his family and unfortunately he’s the first death we’ve had from coronavirus in Australia,” Andrew Robertson, the chief health officer of Western Australia state, told journalists, according to Reuters.
The man’s wife also caught the virus, but is in stable condition, authorities said.
Australia has reported 25 cases of coronavirus.
The first Australian to die of COVID-19 had been evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship which was quarantined in Yokohama in Japan [Eugene Hoshiko/AP Photo]
01:00 GMT – South Korea reports 376 more coronavirus cases
The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said 376 more cases of coronavirus were reported in the country, most of them in the hardest-hit city of Daegu and the province of Gyeong-buk.
No new deaths were reported.
The country now has a total of 3,526 cases.
The KCDC will release a further update at 07:00 GMT on Sunday.
00:01 GMT – China reports 573 new coronavirus cases, 35 deaths
Mainland China reported 573 new confirmed coronavirus cases on February 29, up from 427 on the previous day, the country’s health authority said on Sunday.
The number of deaths stood at 35, down from 47 on the previous day, bringing the total death toll in mainland China to 2,870.
Of the deaths, 34 were in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak. The province also saw 570 of the new cases
Click here to read updates from Saturday, February 29.