The coronavirus has the potential to become a pandemic and is at a “decisive” stage, the head of the World Health Organization told reporters in Geneva.
In Asia, attention continues to focus on countries outside China as new cases slow at the epicenter of the outbreak. Japan will close all schools, while South Korean infections now top 2,000. The virus also is also spreading in Europe and the Middle East, with countries including Italy, Iran and Kuwait reporting more cases. In Africa, Nigeria confirmed its first infection.
U.S. health authorities moved to greatly expand the number of people who will be tested, adding travelers from several new countries and people with unexplained, severe respiratory illnesses. California is monitoring 8,400 people for signs of the virus after they traveled to Asia. Stocks tumbled.
- Confirmed cases worldwide at 83,048; global deaths 2,858
- China death toll at 2,788, up 44; cases climb to 78,824, up 327
- South Korea confirms 256 more cases, bringing total to 2,022
- Limited virus testing in Japan masks true scale of infection
- Hong Kong dog found to have ‘low level’ of virus