WHO says virus at 'decisive point' as world battles spread

29 Février, 2020, 01:21 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Mounted police visit remote areas to promote awareness of the virus to residents in Altay in Xinjiang farwest China. AFP  STR

Stocks took an earlier hit on Wednesday after health officials in Nassau County, New York, said they were monitoring 83 people who visited China and may have come in contact with the coronavirus.

While new case numbers and deaths are dwindling at the disease epicentre in China, the country remains by far the hardest hit.

US health authorities, managing 59 cases so far - mostly Americans repatriated from a cruise ship in Japan - have said a global pandemic is likely.

He reiterated concern about the sudden surge in cases in Iran, Italy and South Korea. It was one of just a handful of times that the president has appeared in the White House briefing room.

About 40 nations and regions so far have prohibited or restricted South Korean visitors, according to Lee Tae-ho, Seoul's second vice minister of foreign affairs, who described such moves as excessive and said his government has been effectively utilizing its "world-best quarantine capabilities".

But there are now more daily cases being recorded outside China, raising fears that poor countries with weak health infrastructures would not be able to cope. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

It is thought that the virus began at a market in the city of Wuhan in China, which was selling animals.

The virus has killed 2,715 people and infected over 78,000 in China.

While radical quarantining measures have helped slow the rate of transmission in China, it is accelerating elsewhere.

Countries other than China are accounting for about three-quarters of new infections.

China reported 29 more deaths Thursday - its lowest daily tally since January - and 433 new cases, a lot of them in hard-hit Hubei province and well below massive increases from just a week ago.

"Yesterday, the number of new cases reported outside China exceeded the number of new cases in China for the first time", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday.

"Using the word pandemic carelessly has no tangible benefit, but it does have a significant risk in terms of amplifying unnecessary and unjustified fear and stigma, and paralyzing systems".

Powell also thinks that a Trump government is unlikely to choose reduced economic activity, writing in a recent research note that "our base case hypothesis is that a Trump government is unlikely to choose reduced economic activity, and supply chain disruption, so spread of the virus, if it were to emerge in the United States, would be more likely".

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He went to Sunnybrook Health Science Centre's emergency department the next day, and has since tested positive for the virus. When she returned home, her husband, who had not been to Iran with her, also started to show symptoms of the virus.

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France's confirmed cases more than doubled in a day from 18 to 38.

The WHO says the outbreak in China peaked around February 2, after measures that included isolating its epicentre Hubei province.

Iran said on Thursday its death toll from coronavirus had risen to 26 and the total number of infected people now stood at 245, the highest number of deaths from the virus outside China.

There is no known vaccine for the virus.

Hyundai Motor 005380.KS shut down a factory in South Korea after a worker tested positive for the virus, disrupting production of popular vehicle models.

In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for sports and cultural events to be scrapped or curtailed for two weeks to stem the virus as concern mounted for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A 23-year-old United States soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in Daegu was also infected.

The number of people who tested positive for the illness in Italy increased by more than 200 to 650.

In Europe, France's number of reported cases doubled, Germany warned of an impending epidemic and Greece, a gateway for refugees from the Middle East, announced tighter border controls.

"It's very scary because everyone is out, in the pool, spreading the virus", said 45-year-old Briton Lara Pennington.

On the Covid-19 front, all seemed well at the start of this week but a total of three new cases were reported over the last 24 hours.

Iranian authorities also announced domestic travel restrictions for people with confirmed or suspected cases of the coronavirus.

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