Countries around the world ramp up measures to stop coronavirus spread

As countries around the world try and contain the outbreak of coronavirus, measures have ranged from the closure of the world's largest art museum to the threat of legal prosecution against travelers from certain countries.

The number of people sickened by the virus has climbed to more than 86,000 globally and there have been more than 2,900 deaths, most of them in China - the epicentre of the virus.

  • Italy

The country has seen the largest outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in Europe.

On Sunday the total number of people infected in Italy had risen to 1,694 - a 50 per cent rise from just 24 hours earlier.

Giovanni Rezza from Italy's National Health Institute said it would be another week or 10 days until the spread of the virus slowed down in the country.

A paramedic walks out of a tent that was set up in front of the emergency ward of the Cremona hospital, northern Italy. Credit: AP

Many countries have issued travel warnings for the 11 Italian towns that have been on lockdown since the virus broke out there on February 21.

While the US government issued the strongest warning, raising the level of warning for the Lombard and Veneto regions to the highest level.

On Sunday St. Louis of the French became the first church in Rome to close its doors to the public in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

  • Europe

The UK confirmed 13 more coronavirus cases on Sunday - with the first confirmed case in Scotland - bringing the total number to 36.

Meanwhile the Czech Republic announced its first three infections - all had travel ties to northern Italy.

Elsewhere in Europe, France raised its number of reported cases to 130 on Sunday, including one in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.

Fears of an outbreak shut down France's Louvre Museum over concerns the attraction's flow of tourists from around the world could spread the virus further.

Almost three-quarters of the Louvre's 9.6 million visitors last year came from abroad.

Louvre workers who guard its trove of artworks fearful of being contaminated by the museum's flow of visitors from around the world. Credit: AP

The number of confirmed cases in Spain rose to 71 on Sunday, while the Dutch health minister announced three new cases bringing the country's total to 10.

New cases elsewhere brought national totals to Norway 19, Sweden 14 and Finland six.

  • Iran

Iran's health ministry raised the nationwide death toll in the country to at least 54 on Sunday.

The number of confirmed infected cases jumped overnight by more than half to 978 people according to official sources.

On Sunday the British Foreign Office confirmed that non-essential staff, as well as dependants, are to be pulled out of the British Embassy in Tehran.

The husband of a British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran believes his wife has contracted the virus as he expressed concern at the prison’s "refusal to test her".

A police vehicle disinfects streets against coronavirus in Tehran, Iran. Credit: AP

The outbreak in Iran has prompted its neighbours to seal their borders to Iranians - while Bahrain threatened legal prosecution against travellers who came from Iran and hadn't been tested for the virus.

  • South Korea

South Korea, the second hardest hit country in the world, reported 813 new cases on Saturday - raising its total to 3,150.

On Saturday its daily increase surpassed that of China for the first time.

Much of the public health response in South Korea has focused on a branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in the city of Daegu.

The mayor of the city has now announced they will file a complaint against Shincheonji’s Daegu church for supposedly slowing quarantine efforts - officials claim the church initially providing an incomplete list of its members.

Some churches in the country are replacing Sunday services with online ones instead to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

People wearing face masks attend Mass at the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul. Credit: AP
  • USA

Washington state declared a state of emergency on Saturday following the death of a middle-aged man who had contracted the virus - it was the first coronavirus-related death in the US.

President Donald Trump said there was "no reason to panic" while Vice President Mike Pence tried to reassure Americans that the government is prepared to handle the outbreak.

It comes after the Trump administration faced criticism over its response.

The US president also urged Americans not to travel to areas in South Korea which have been infected as well as strengthening the warning level for travel to Italy.

  • Japan

In Japan the last group of about 130 crew members left the stranded cruise ship the Diamond Princess.

The country has faced criticised for quarantining the vessel off the coast of Yokohama after more than one fifth of the ship's original population were infected with coronavirus.

Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said the ship is now empty and ready for sterilisation.

Passengers are transported off the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Credit: AP

Hundreds of foreign passengers on board were evacuated by their governments and returned home on chartered flights before completing a 14-day quarantine or virus tests.

Elsewhere Japanese sporting events were held at empty stadiums in a move aimed at halting the spread of the virus.

  • China

The epicentre of the virus, China has seen the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths.

Chinese authorities have enforced an unprecedented lockdown of 60 million people in the hardest-hit province of Hubei.

Manufacturing fell in China in February by a margin wider than expected after the Covid-19's outbreak shut down more of the world's second largest economy, an official survey showed on Saturday.

More than £200 billion was wiped off the value of shares on the London FTSE 100 since the start of the week, amid fears of a global outbreak of coronavirus.