Coronavirus Latest - More than 100,000 affected globally

Coronavirus Latest - More than 100,000 affected globally

The coronavirus epidemic continues to cross more borders, the global health crisis hit a milestone on Friday when the total number of cases topped 100,000.

The head of the U.N.’s food agency, the World Food Program, warned of the potential for “absolute devastation” as the outbreak’s effects ripple through Africa and the Middle East. India scrambled to stave off an epidemic that could overwhelm its under-funded, under-staffed health care system, which lacks enough labs or hospitals for its 1.3 billion people.

COVID-19, which has already claimed nearly 3,400 lives, has spread to more US states, at least four additional countries and even breached the halls of the Vatican.

As the international markets continue to fall, the virus is increasingly threatening livelihoods as well as lives. US President Donald Trump signed an $8.3 billion bill containing measures designed to tackle the crisis.

In Geneva, the World Health Organization, the UN’s health agency, said it has received applications for 40 potential virus tests and 20 vaccine candidates are in development. Numerous clinical trials of experimental drugs designed to combat the virus are also underway, it added.

COVID-19 claims 3,400 lives

Uncertainty continues to surround the situation in Iran, one of the worst-affected nations, and whether the authorities there can control the epidemic. The number of reported infections in the country rose to more than 4,700 on Friday, with 124 deaths.

The head of the World Food Programme, the UN’s food agency, warned of the potential for “absolute devastation” as the effects of the outbreak ripple through Africa and the Middle East. India is scrambling to stave off an epidemic that could overwhelm its underfunded, understaffed health care system.

Latest from United States COVID-19

In the US, the number of confirmed cases stands at more than 230, across 18 states. China reported 143 new cases on Friday, and the numbers continue to grow in Europe. The number of cases in Lebanon stands at 22.

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Latest from Iran COVID-19

The death toll from coronavirus in the United States rose to 15 on Saturday as half a dozen states reported their first cases of the fast-spreading respiratory disease.

According to US officials, twenty-one people aboard a cruise ship that was barred from docking in San Francisco have tested positive for coronavirus.

Vice President Mike Pence, who is running the White House’s response to the outbreak, said at a news conference that 19 crew members and two passengers out of 46 people tested so far on the Grand Princess ship had the virus.

He said the vessel with about 3,500 passengers and crew would be taken to a non-commercial port where everyone on board would be tested.

Uncertainty continues to surround the situation in Iran, one of the worst-affected nations, and whether the authorities there can control the epidemic. The number of reported infections in the country rose to more than 4,700 on Friday, with 124 deaths.

Latest from London COVID-19

In London, Two members of British Airways staff have tested positive for coronavirus the airline announced on Friday.

In a statement, it said: “Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that two members of our staff have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Heathrow Airport, the airline’s headquarters, said in a statement: “The welfare of our passengers and colleagues is our top priority.

Latest from Beijing China – COVID-19

From Beijing, the northwestern Chinese province of Gansu has confirmed 17 new coronavirus cases imported from Iran, bringing the total imported cases to 28, the province’s health authorities said late on Friday.

The 17 new patients were among quarantined passengers who entered the provincial capital of Lanzhou on commercial flights from Iran between Mar. 2 and Mar. 5, the Gansu Health Commission said in a statement on its website.

Latest from Italy COVID-19

Italy’s COVID-19 death toll has seen another sharp increase, with Rome reporting 49 new fatalities on Friday evening.

It means 90 people have died in just 48 hours, according to the latest figures from Italy’s civil protection agency.

A day after announcing it would shut all schools and universities for two weeks, Italy reported a sharp hike in COVID-19 deaths.

The 100,000 figure of global infections is largely symbolic but dwarfs other major outbreaks in recent decades, such as SARS, MERS and Ebola. The virus is still much less widespread than annual flu epidemics, which result in up to 5 million annual severe cases around the world and from 290,000 to 650,000 deaths annually, according to WHO.

But the epidemic’s economic impact snowballed, with world stocks and the price of oil dropping sharply again Friday.

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The travel decline and a broader economic downturn linked to the outbreak threatened to hit already-struggling communities for months. In response to plummeting demand, German airline Lufthansa announced a reduction of its capacity in coming weeks to as much as 50% of pre-coronavirus outbreak levels. Slovakia banned all flights to and from Italy.

The figures were compiled from data collected by AFP offices from the competent national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO).

A Guide to Coronavirus: Everything you need to know to protect yourself

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