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Coronavirus continues to spread through the planet

European stocks plummeted further on Thursday as the rapid spread of the coronavirus continues to dominate market sentiment. The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 2% during European trading hours, with travel and leisure stocks plunging 3.6% to lead losses as almost all sectors and major bourses traded sharply in the red.

Coronavirus continues to spread through the planet

The spread of the coronavirus — which has now infected more than 81,000 people and killed over 2,700 — continues to rattle markets and policymakers around the world. South Korea confirmed 505 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, Yonhap news agency reported, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 1,766.

It marks the sharpest daily spike yet in South Korea, outnumbering the 433 new cases in China. Most of the country’s new infections stemmed from the city of Daegu, Yonhap reported, citing the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health authorities began testing more than 210,000 members of a religious sect at the center of South Korea’s epidemic for coronavirus on Thursday.

The U.K. has confirmed two further people have contracted the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 15. The deadly flu-like virus was passed on in Italy and Tenerife, according to England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty. The patients have been transferred to specialist National Health Service infection centers in Royal Liverpool Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital, London, Whitty said Thursday.

Saudi Arabia will temporarily suspend the entry of foreigners for pilgrimage and tourism purposes, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced. The decision comes as health authorities take precautionary measures to prevent COVID-19 from reaching the kingdom, according to the ministry. Saudi Arabia has not reported any cases of the new coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization’s latest situation report. The kingdom urged its citizens to “exercise caution before traveling to countries experiencing Coronavirus outbreaks,” the ministry said in a tweet.

Coronavirus live updates: South Korea outnumbers China with daily spike, UK confirms more cases, CNBC, Feb 27

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