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CORONAVIRUS: Latest epidemic updates

The World Health Organization puts the global death rate from the Covid-19 coronavirus at 3.4 percent. Here’s how the world’s nations are faring.
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY

The World Health Organization puts the global death rate from the Covid-19 coronavirus at 3.4 percent. There are an estimated 93,000 cases, and more than 3,200 have died from the various outbreaks. Over 80,000 of these cases are located in China, and that country has experienced 95 percent of global deaths from the virus.

World leaders should note that China, the locus of the outbreak, has reported a decline in cases. The drastic restrictions that Chinese officials have put on citizens and their daily lives has shown to be effective. WHO’s Maria Van Kerkhove, an outbreak expert, visited China and stated that “We scrutinized this data and we believe this decline is real.”

Japan’s current count is at 1,000, primarily from the infections aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Haruhiko Kuroda, Bank of Japan Governor, noted concerns over potential economic damage.

In South Korea, where secretive religious sect Shincheonji is being held accountable for the growing outbreak, there are over 5,600 cases.

In the Middle East, Iran has cancelled weekly prayers for the second week running. The death toll in Iran is currently at 92, while the number of cases continues to increase. It is currently at 2,922. There have been concerns that officials have not been accurate in their reporting when it turned out that official figures and local counts didn’t match up.

The outbreak has impacted every province in Iran, according to President Hassan Rouhani. The director of the World Health Organization’s emergency program noted that while Iran has a considerably able health-care workforce, they lack resources of equipment and medical supplies, including ventilators.

Iran has also moved ahead with releasing more than 54,000 prisoners in hopes of reducing the viruses spread.

The announcement to do so was made by Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili, who said only the inmates who tested negative for the hyper contagious virus that could post bail would be released.

“Security prisoners,” sentenced to more than five years, would not be released.

Pilgrimages to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina have been suspended by Saudi Arabian officials, and Israeli poll workers who tallied recent presidential election results wore masks and gloves while handling ballots cast by quarantined citizens.

Turkey has no cases, and the government has stopped all flights with China, Italy, South Korea, Iraq, and Iran, save for those nations’ citizens who return home. Ministry of Health officials are using thermal cameras to screen travelers at points of entry.

A map showing where the coronavirus has spread to most

In Europe, Italy has closed schools for two weeks. The nation has seen a drastic increase in cases since the first reported infection on February 19, and is the centre of the European outbreak. Spain has had one death, in Valencia, while there are ongoing quarantines in the Basque region. U.K. numbers are increasing, from 51 to 85.

France has 212 cases, with four deaths, though President Macron believes that this could be just the beginning of a months’ long health crisis.The Louvre was briefly closed, but staffers who had stayed away due to infection fears voted to return to work.

Canada’s Covid-19 case count is at 27 with no fatalities. In the U.S., The Centers for Disease Control shows that 13 states are currently reporting cases, with 80 total infections, and 9 deaths. With 6 cases, Los Angeles has declared a state of emergency. New York City also has 6 cases, but has not.

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