World markets plunged Friday as the director-general of the World Health Organization warned that the coronavirus epidemic "could get out of control." Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the epidemic, which has now hit 53 countries, has "pandemic potential" and is at a "decisive point globally," where countries will have to move aggressively to contain it, the Guardian reports. "This is not a time for fear," he said. "This is a time for taking action to prevent infection and save lives now." In other developments:
- First case in sub-Saharan Africa. New countries reporting coronavirus infections include Lithuania, Belarus, and New Zealand, but health officials are especially worried by a case in Nigeria, the first confirmed infection in sub-Saharan Africa. Authorities fear the epidemic could spread widely and overwhelm health systems across the continent, the New York Times reports. The patient in Nigeria is an Italian citizen who traveled to Lagos from Milan on Tuesday.