The World Health Organization has warned that the coronavirus could spread globally even as five more countries reported cases of infection of the disease and Switzerland cancelled the giant Geneva car show while fears of a coronavirus epidemic increased because of the rapid spread of the disease.
The worst week since the global financial crisis of 2008 was witnessed on the world share markets that crashed again on Friday with a total of $5 trillion of global wealth being wiped out in a about a week.
The spiraling number of international cases of the coroinavirus has apparently shattered hopes that the outbreak, which first emerged in China in December of 2019, would get over in months and the quick returning back to normal of economic activities.
“The outbreak is getting bigger,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva. “The scenario of the coronavirus reaching multiple countries, if not all countries around the world, is something we have been looking at and warning against since quite a while,” Lindmeier said.
The mega Geneva international car show that was scheduled for next week had to be cancelled by Switzerland because of fears of spreading of the virus. This, one of the largest and most important events of the global auto industry, is the latest incident of large corporate shows and events being cancelled all over the world over fears of coronavirus infection spreading.
A direction of avoiding visiting crowded space such as malls and cinemas was given by the United States to its troops stationed in Saudi Arabia.
327 new cases of the viral infection were reported from Mainland China which is the lowest number of such cases since January 23. The total number of coronavirus infections in the country now stands at more than 78,800 with almost 2,800 deaths.
While some international flights were resumed by China’s three biggest airlines, the earlier postponed Shanghai fashion show was conducted online.
But now as China seems to have some control over the outbreak, it is spreading in other parts of the world.
Lindmeier said that their first cases of coronavirus infection was reported by Nigeria, Estonia, Denmark, Netherlands and Lithuania, and all of these new cases had a history of travelling to Italy.
About three-quarters of new infections are now accounted for by countries other than China, the WHO said.
In a strong step to not only prevent influx of illegal migrants but also to prevent them carrying the deadly coronavirus with them, up to a 1,000 troops and military equipment could be placed at its border with Turkey, Bulgaria has said. Te country has not yet reported any positive cases of the coronavirus infection.
In the first half of the year, there would be a global and US recessions if the coronavirus turned itself into a pandemic – which essentially means the disease spreading quickly in different places, the ratings agency Moody’s has said.
According to state media reports in Mongolia, the country’s president Battulga Khaltmaa has been kept in quarantine as a precautionary measure after his visit to China. The country is yet to report a case of infection.
Reports of some people getting re-infected are being carefully studied by the WHO, Lindmeier said.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)