U.S. braces for coronavirus spread as outbreaks intensify in Italy, Iran

U.S. braces for coronavirus spread as outbreaks intensify in Italy, Iran

ROME/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A 2nd European hotel remained in lockdown on Wednesday as authorities around the world fought to prevent the spread of coronavirus, although a senior U.S. health official said a pandemic was inevitable and urged Americans to prepare.

A male wears a face mask shopping at a market in the Chinatown section of San Francisco, California, U.S., February 25,2020 REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Austria sealed the 108- room Grand Hotel Europa in the Alpine traveler center of Innsbruck after an Italian receptionist checked favorable for the flu-like infection that came from China and has actually spread to about 30 countries.

Italy has actually ended up being a frontline in the global break out of the infection, with 280 cases and 10 deaths, many in Lombardy and close-by Veneto. The receptionist and her partner, who also tested positive, visited their house in Lombardy recently.

A comparable story was unfolding at the four-star H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife on the Canary Islands, which was locked down on Tuesday after an Italian medical professional and his wife were found to be contaminated. Spain likewise reported its very first 3 cases of the illness on the mainland.

The United States told Americans on Tuesday to start getting ready for coronavirus to spread out within the country as outbreaks in Iran, South Korea and Italy escalated and fears that the epidemic would hurt global development rattled markets.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Avoidance (CDC) primary deputy director, said that while the instant danger in the United States was low, the present worldwide situation suggested a pandemic was likely.

” It’s not a concern of if. It’s a concern of when and how many people will be contaminated,” Schuchat stated.

Iran’s coronavirus death toll increased to 16 on Tuesday, the most outside China. Iran’s deputy health minister and a member of parliament were amongst those infected.

There have been about three dozen deaths outside China, including 11 in Italy, according to a Reuters tally.

The infection is believed to have stemmed from a wildlife market in the main Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700 people, the large bulk in China.

The death toll in mainland China increased by 52 on Wednesday, with another 406 validated cases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states the outbreak peaked in China around Feb. 2, after Beijing separated main Hubei province and enforced other severe containment procedures that have actually paralyzed the world’s second-biggest economy.

Beijing has actually prompted “low-risk” regions to return to work as quickly as possible. Several provinces and areas have actually lowered their emergency situation levels today, consisting of Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Sichuan on Wednesday.

Worsening break outs in Iran, Italy and South Korea – where the number of confirmed infections rose by 169 to 1,146 on Wednesday – are raising the threat of pandemic and upsetting global markets.

China quarantined 94 passengers on a flight from the South Korean capital Seoul to Nanjing on Tuesday after three showed indications of fever, the state broadcaster CCTV reported.

The Dow and S&P 500 toppled 3%on Tuesday in their fourth straight day of losses as financiers struggled to evaluate the virus’ economic effect.

Forecasts from economists collected by Reuters on Feb. 19-25 revealed that Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand are all anticipated to put in their worst performance in years in the first quarter.

A similar Reuters poll published a little over a week earlier, found the Chinese economy will grow at its slowest speed in the current quarter since the global monetary crisis of 2008-2009

JUMPING BORDERS

Italians or individuals who had actually recently gone to the nation evaluated positive in Algeria, Austria, Croatia, Romania, Spain and Switzerland on Tuesday.

Several European Union countries encouraged their residents not to visit northern Italy, although the break out was already infecting other areas in the south.

Health ministers from neighboring nations satisfied in the Italian capital to discuss the crisis and dismissed some calls to close the border.

” We consented to keep borders open, closing borders would be an out of proportion and ineffective measure at this time,” Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza stated.

A number of countries suspended flights to Iran and a few of its next-door neighbors closed their borders, while Oman’s Khasab port halted imports and exports with the Islamic republic.

“It is an unwelcome and inauspicious visitor. God ready we will survive … this virus,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a telecasted speech.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait Bahrain and Oman today reported their very first cases, all in individuals who had actually been to Iran. Bahrain stated it now has 24 confirmed cases.

In South Korea, which has the most coronavirus cases outside China with 977 infections and 10 deaths, authorities were evaluating all the approximated 215,000 members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus.

The country’s break out is thought to have actually begun in the city of Daegu with a 61- year-old female who is a member of its parish.

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There was torment too for 34 South Korean newlyweds whose honeymoons on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius became a holiday from hell after they were put in isolation.

Airlines began restricting flights to Italy, a prepared shoot in the country for Tom Cruise’s seventh “Mission: Difficult” motion picture was postponed, Milan cathedral was closed and the Venice carnival canceled.

( Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus here)

Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen in Washington, Diane Bartz in Chicago, Gavin Jones, Francesca Piscioneri and Crispian Balmer in Rome, Ryan Woo, Yilei Sun and Lusha Zhang in Beijing; Hyonhee Shin and Josh Smith in Seoul; Paresi Hafezi in Dubai; Stephanie Nebehay and Michael Shields in Geneva; Writing by Stephen Coates; Editing by Michael Perry

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