Prince William has questioned whether media coverage of the coronavirus has fuelled the spread of hysteria and misinformation.
Chatting to emergency workers during his first official visit to Ireland, William also joked that he and his wife Kate were spreading coronavirus.
“I bet everyone’s like: ‘I’ve got coronavirus, I’m dying’, and you’re like ‘no, you’ve just got a cough,'” William told emergency workers at a reception organised by the British ambassador at Dublin’s Guinness brewery.
“Does it seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment? Is it being a little bit hyped up do you think in the media?”
The latest data shows COVID-19 has infected more than 94,000 people and caused 3214 deaths.
In New South Wales, health authorities have confirmed the death of a 95-year-old woman in a nursing home was coronavirus-related after a health worker there tested positive for COVID-19.
The worker, aged in her 50s, from BaptistCare’s Dorothy Henderson Lodge, is in a stable condition in hospital, as concerns remain for eleven of the 13 residents she cared for who are now in isolation.
Another resident, an 82-year-old man, was on Wednesday evening confirmed to have COVID-19.
Meanwhile, in Darwin, a 52-year-old male tourist tested positive for coronavirus in what is the first confirmed case in the community in the Northern Territory.
The man recently arrived in Darwin via Sydney and has had limited contact with the local community, NT Health said in a statement after confirming the case on Wednesday evening.
Education facilities shut
South Korea, Italy and Iran now account for 80 per cent of the new virus cases outside China, according to the World Health Organisation.
Italy has taken a drastic step in its bid to stop the coronavirus from further spreading by announcing that it will be closing all schools and universities until March 15.
Parents and guardians were issued letters informing them of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s decision which hopes to serve as a preventative measure.
In Iran, which has one of the biggest outbreaks, President Hassan Rouhani confirmed COVID-19 has spread to almost all provinces and promised to ensure a “minimum” number of people died from the virus.
So far, 2922 civilians have been infected and there have been 92 deaths, the most of any country outside of China.
Among those infected is first vice president Eshaq Jahangiri and several Iranian officials, including one senior official who died from an infection on Monday.
Tokyo Olympics won’t be cancelled
President of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organising committee Yoshiro Mori rebuffed speculation that the games might be cancelled due to deepening concern about the coronavirus outbreak, declaring that was not an option.
“I am totally not considering this,” Mr Mori told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday when asked about a possible cancellation.
Asked when the organisers could decide on changes to the Olympics, he said: “I’m not God so I don’t know.”
But Mr Mori, who repeated several times that the only plan right now was to hold the Games as scheduled, also emphasised that the organisers were listening to various opinions and would be flexible.
“The situation changes every day. It changes depending on the place. That’s why we need to respond in a flexible manner,” Mori said.