Global virus death toll hits 3,000

Source:AFP Published: 2020/3/2 21:33:40

Cases continue to multiply as drastic containment measures enacted

Staff members transfer medical supplies provided by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to help China combat the novel coronavirus in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 12, 2020. TO GO WITH XINHUA HEADLINES OF FEB. 17, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

The global death toll from the new coronavirus epidemic surpassed 3,000 on Monday after cases soared around the world, with a second fatality on US soil.

The virus has now infected more than 89,000 people and spread to about 70 countries and regions.

A second person died in the northwestern US state of Washington as President Donald Trump, who has downplayed the risk of a major outbreak, faced criticism over his administration's preparedness.

Australia, one of the first countries to put restrictions on its borders in a bid to limit the spread of the virus, confirmed its first death from the disease on Sunday.

South Korea reported 586 new cases on Monday, raising its total past 4,000.

Half of South Korea's cases are linked to a sect whose leader apologized Monday for the spread of the disease. 

COVID-19 Infections nearly doubled over the weekend in Italy, Europe's hardest-hit country with nearly 1,700 cases.

Tehran has ordered schools shut until Tuesday and extended the closure of universities and a ban on concerts and sports events for a week. Authorities have also banned visits to hospitals and nursing homes as the country's total cases hit over 1,500.

France reported 30 new cases for a total of 130 as of Monday and Germany reported 51 new cases of the disease, bringing its total to 150.

Two Indonesians have tested positive for coronavirus after coming into contact with an infected Japanese national, President Joko Widodo said on Monday, marking the first confirmed cases in the world's fourth-most populous country.

Thailand has reported one new coronavirus case, bringing the total number of such cases in the country to 43 since January, a senior health official said on Monday.

With fears of a pandemic on the rise, the World Health Organization (WHO) urged all countries to stock up on critical care ventilators to treat patients with severe symptoms of the deadly respiratory disease.

The rapid spread of the coronavirus has raised fears over its impact on the world economy, causing global markets to log their worst losses since the 2008 financial crisis, though Asian markets rebounded on Monday.

Many countries have started to enact their own drastic containment measures, including banning arrivals from virus-hit countries, locking down towns, urging citizens to stay home and suspending major events such as football matches and trade fairs.

In a stark example of growing global anxiety, the Louvre closed on Sunday after staff refused to work over fears about the virus.

The WHO says the virus appears to particularly hit those over the age of 60 and people already weakened by other illnesses.

It has a mortality rate ranging between two and five percent - much higher than seasonal flu, at 0.1 percent, but lower than another coronavirus-linked illness, SARS, which had a 9.5 percent death rate when it killed nearly 800 people in 2002-2003.



blog comments powered by Disqus