The Latest: Coronavirus Watch, March 23 -- Merkel In Self-quarantine, U.S. Cases Top 30,000, 1st Case In Syria

Germany: Merkel in self-quarantine

U.S.: senator tests positive, cases top 30,000

Italy: 59,138 cases, 5,476 dead

Greece: 14-day nationwide lockdown

Syria: 1st case

Africa: 1,198 cases in 41 countries 

Iran: rejects U.S. help offer

BEIJING, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Here is quick review of the latest development of the novel coronavirus epidemic around the world:

A notice reading "face masks and disinfection supplies are sold out" is seen at the entrance of a pharmacy in Frankfurt, Germany, March 17, 2020. (Xinhua/Lu Yang)

BERLIN -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel has put herself in quarantine after a doctor she met Friday tested positive for coronavirus, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Sunday.

A man wearing a face mask rides a bike in Rome, Italy, March 22, 2020. (Photo by Elisa Lingria/Xinhua)

ROME -- The coronavirus epidemic continued to spread in locked-down Italy on Sunday with total cumulative number of infected cases reaching 59,138 and deaths reaching 5,476, according to the latest data released by the Civil Protection Department.

A man wearing mask walks on a street in downtown Tehran, Iran, March 12, 2020. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua)

TEHRAN -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday rejected the U.S. help offer to the country over the COVID-19 outbreak.

Khamenei said the U.S. officials have continuously sent messages to Iran about their offer to fight the pandemic, but Iran did not accept it since Iran "does not trust" them.

Photo taken on Dec. 4, 2019 shows the Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Rand Paul, Republican from the state of Kentucky, confirmed Sunday that he tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the first member of the upper chamber of Congress to be infected by the virus.

At least 254,000 Americans have so far been tested and received results for coronavirus and more than 30,000 have tested positive, said U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Sunday.

Empty streets are seen in Damascus, capital of Syria, March 22, 2020. (Photo by Ammar Safarjalani/Xinhua)

DAMASCUS -- The Syrian Health Ministry on Sunday confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in the country, state TV reported. 

The person who was infected with coronavirus came from abroad, said the Health Ministry. All needed measures to deal with the case have been adopted, it added.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis delivers a televised speech in Athens, Greece, on March 22, 2020. (Dimitris Papamitsos/Pool via Xinhua)

ATHENS -- Greece proceeds to a 14-day nationwide lockdown effective from Monday in the context of confinement measures aimed to contain the further spread of the novel coronavirus, the government announced on Sunday.

Photo taken on March 16, 2020, shows a Senegalese Red Cross volunteer at the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar in Dakar, Senegal. (Photo by Eddy Peters/Xinhua)

ADDIS ABABA -- A total of 1,198 COVID-19 cases have been reported in 41 African countries so far, the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) disclosed on Sunday.

Cars wait at a petrol station before the curfew in Colombo, Sri Lanka, March 20, 2020. (Photo by Ajith Perera/Xinhua)

COLOMBO -- Over 300 people were arrested in Sri Lanka for violating a countrywide curfew which was imposed on Friday evening, the police said in a statement here Sunday.