Coronavirus continues to spread in countries outside China

Tourists stand outside the Louvre museum, in Paris, France, Sunday, March 1, 2020. The spreading coronavirus epidemic shut down France’s Louvre Museum on Sunday, with workers who guard its trove of artworks fearful of being contaminated by the museum’s flow of visitors from around the world. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)

The coronavirus outbreak continued to spread more rapidly outside China on Sunday.

Australia and Thailand reported their first deaths from the flu-like virus, and the Dominican Republic, Scotland, and the Czech Republic announced their first confirmed infections.

Italy, which closed off a dozen northern towns after a local outbreak last week, said the number of confirmed infections within its borders jumped by 50 percent in 24 hours, reaching 1,694.

The country also reported five more deaths, bring its total to 34. France reported a 30 percent increase in its cases, to 130.

The U.S. government urged Americans to avoid traveling to hard-hit parts of northern Italy, and major airlines suspended flights to Milan. France’s Louvre Museum shut down on Sunday over fear of contamination by foreign visitors.

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