The virus outbreak in South Korea continued to grow and millions of children in Japan stayed home from school on Monday.
|The global toll of the new coronavirus epidemic surpassed 3,000 deaths on Monday, as contagion soared in Italy and South Korea and in France the Louvre, the world's most visited museum, closed its doors.|
While authorities in more than 60 countries fought an epidemic that has now reached the United States, where two people have died.
While new fronts were opening up around the world against the new coronavirus, recovered patients were rushing out of hospitals and isolation zones built at full speed in China, freeing up beds in the city hardest hit by COVID-19.
China, where the epidemic began in December, reported just 202 new cases in the previous 24 hours, with another 42 deaths. That brought the country's total to 80,026 cases, with 2,912 deaths recorded in all. Most of the new cases were in the city of Wuhan, where 2,570 patients were also discharged.
Monday's increase was the lowest in China since Jan. 21.China still had about three-quarters of the nearly 89,000 cases worldwide, although outbreaks in countries such as South Korea, Italy and Iran were experiencing sharp increases.
By Sunday, the United States counted 80 cases and two deaths, both men with previous health problems who were hospitalized in Washington state. The U.S. total included evacuees from Wuhan and from a cruise ship affected by the virus. However, new infections in New York, Rhode Island, Washington state and among medical personnel in California increased concern on both coasts of the country.
The second death in the United States was a 70-year-old who lived in a nursing home near Seattle, where dozens of sick people were tested for the virus, according to state health officials. The virus could have been circulating in Washington state for weeks without being detected, researchers said earlier.
Indonesia confirmed its first cases Monday, two people infected by a foreign traveler.The growing outbreak in South Korea's fourth-largest city has overwhelmed its health care system despite assistance from the national government. The problem in Daegu was reflected in the deaths of at least four elderly people waiting to be hospitalized.
From now on, hospital places will be reserved for patients with serious or previous medical problems and patients with milder symptoms will be isolated in designated facilities outside the hospitals, said South Korean Deputy Health Minister Kim Jang-lip.
South Korea reported 476 new cases, totaling 4,212. Twenty-two people have died.Twenty-two people have died. The growing sense of crisis hit the financial markets, emptied the main streets and tourist attractions and forced millions of people to change their routine.
In Japan, many schools began to follow Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to close for more than a month at the end of the Japanese academic year.
While the virus has caused serious problems especially among the elderly and people with previous health problems, most patients have had mild symptoms and some infected people seem to show no symptoms at all.
WHO is working closely with clinicians caring for patients with #COVID19, in China & across the globe & experts on infectious disease to better understand the clinical presentation, natural history & most effective treatment interventions for COVID-19.#coronavirus pic.twitter.com/9PrVLIpbQK— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 2, 2020
But efforts to contain the virus are widespread.The Louvre Museum closed after France restricted large crowds, and the United States advised against travel to the northern region of Italy where the local outbreak of infection is centered.
The outbreaks and the increasing reluctance to travel could be a major blow to the tourism sectors in these countries. Spring, and especially Easter, is a very popular time to travel with children to France and Italy.