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World Now Has Almost 100K Coronavirus Cases

Helicopters drop test kits on ship off California
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2020 6:57 AM CST

(Newser) – "This is not a drill," warned the head of the World Health Organization as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world nears 100,000, reports CNN. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said many of the dozens of countries dealing with outbreaks are not taking the crisis seriously enough to "match the level of the threat we all face. This is not a time to give up. This is not a time for excuses," he said, calling for "aggressive preparedness." "This is a time for pulling out all the stops." More:

  • Helicopters deliver test kits. California Air National Guard helicopters dropped hundreds of coronavirus test kits Thursday on the Grand Princess, a cruise ship with suspected coronavirus cases being held off the coast of California, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Around 3,400 passengers and crew are on the San Francisco-bound ship.
  • US death toll rises. Another death in the Seattle area Thursday brought the total US death toll to 12, all but one of them in Washington state, reports Reuters. There were also at least 57 new cases reported across the country, including the first in Colorado, Maryland, Tennessee, and Texas.

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  • Global markets shaken. Stock markets in Asia and Europe dropped sharply Friday amid continued fears about the fallout for world economies, the BBC reports. The Asia Development Bank estimates that the global economy could take a hit of up to $347 billion from the outbreak.
  • Microsoft employees test positive. A Microsoft spokesman tell ABC that two employees in the Seattle area have tested positive for the coronavirus. The company has urged employees in Washington state and the San Francisco area to work from home for the next three weeks if possible.
  • Outbreak now in 90 countries. At least 90 countries have now confirmed coronavirus infections, with Cameroon and the Netherlands reporting their first cases Friday, the AP reports. Vatican City has also reported its first case, but it apparently isn't Pope Francis—the pontiff has been ill, but Vatican authorities say he only has a cold.
  • UK is unprepared. Doctors in Britain, which recorded its first coronavirus death Thursday, say the country's National Health Service is underfunded and has a shortage of intensive care beds, meaning the country is unprepared for a flood of severely ill patients. "If we haven’t got ventilatory support to offer them, it’s going to end in death," Dr. George Priestley, an intensive care doctor, tells the New York Times. "I don’t want to be alarmist. I just want someone to pay attention."
  • Patient went to metal concert. New Zealand has reported four cases of coronavirus, and authorities are worried the fourth patient may have spread the virus at a metal concert he attended last Friday, the New Zealand Herald reports. Authorities say everybody who was at the Tool concert in Auckland should be aware of coronavirus symptoms.
(Read more coronavirus stories.)

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