Los Angeles County declared a local health emergency as officials confirmed six new cases of coronavirus there, and nine new cases were confirmed in New York. American workers face increasing disruptions to their routines as companies, schools and local governments implement precautions to curb the outbreak, with many firms restricting travel or weighing work-from-home arrangements.
In China, the outbreak appeared to be easing. Far more new cases were reported outside the country than within, suggesting that Chinese authorities’ draconian efforts to curb transmission may be paying off at home, even as the casualty count mounts elsewhere. The World Health Organization said Tuesday that covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, has killed about 3.4 percent of those diagnosed with the illness — a higher rate than experts previously estimated.
Governments are struggling to contain anxiety among households, businesses and investors about a prolonged economic impact. South Korea proposed a $10 billion stimulus package Wednesday as its coronavirus infection total soared past 5,200, the highest national count outside China. Elsewhere, authorities are warning against the hoarding of emergency supplies and price gouging, and some large-scale events, including the London Book Fair, have been canceled.
Here are the latest developments:
- New cases of the virus continued to emerge Wednesday in the United States, with Texas and New Jersey the latest states to identify individuals testing positive for the new coronavirus. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Wednesday declared a state of emergency in California, where the number of coronavirus cases exceeded 50. In Washington, AIPAC warned that some attendees at a recent event may have been in contact with someone who had the virus.
- Italy said it will close schools and universities throughout the country in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus as it battles the most serious outbreak in Europe. Senegal, the only country in sub-Saharan Africa to have confirmed a case of the respiratory illness besides Nigeria, reported two new cases, doubling its total.
- Early on Thursday, China announced 139 new cases, along with 31 new deaths, marking a slight uptick in the spread of the illness following what many experts had interpreted as a promising decline.
- The Trump administration vowed that any American can be tested for the virus if a doctor deems it necessary. On Wednesday, Vice President Pence said that the risk of contracting the virus “remains low” but that all passengers flying directly from Italy and South Korea will be screened multiple times.