LONDON/LOS ANGELES – The number of people infected with the new coronavirus surpassed 100 000 across the world on Friday, as the outbreak reached more countries and economic damage intensified, with business districts beginning to empty and stock markets tumbling.
In many affected countries, people were being asked to stay home from work, schools were closed, large gatherings and sports and music events were cancelled, stores were cleared of staples like toiletries and water, and face masks became a common sight.
The outbreak has killed more than 3 400 people and spread across more than 90 nations, with seven countries reporting their first cases on Friday.
More than 100 300 people have been infected globally, according to a Reuters tally based on statements from health ministries and government officials. Mainland China has seen more than 3 000 deaths, but the epidemic is now spreading faster elsewhere.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said every country should make containing the epidemic its top priority, pointing to Iran’s national action plan to combat one of the worst outbreaks after a slow start.
Iran’s death toll from the virus jumped to 124, as more than 1 000 new cases were diagnosed over 24 hours.
About 3.4 per cent of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have died, far above seasonal flu’s fatality rate of under one per cent, the WHO said this week.
A bill signed by United States President Donald Trump will provide $8.3 billion to bolster the country’s capacity to test for coronavirus and fund other measures to stem the outbreak that has spread to 22 states, with Pennsylvania, Indiana and Minnesota reporting their first cases. The death toll in the world’s economic powerhouse was 15, with more than 230 cases.
A cruise ship has been barred from docking in San Francisco after at least 35 people developed flu-like symptoms while on board. The ship has been linked to two confirmed cases COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus.