The coronavirus appeared for the first time in New York, Moscow and Berlin and clusters of the disease surged around the world, even as new cases in China dropped to their lowest level in six weeks Monday and hundreds of patients were released from hospitals at the epicenter of the outbreak.
Almost nine times more cases were reported outside China than inside the country in the past 24 hours, according to the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Amid the good-news, bad-news developments, the global death toll from COVID-19 pushed past 3,000, and the number of people infected topped 89,000, with fast-expanding outbreaks in South Korea, Italy and Iran.
Around the world, the virus reshaped people's routines, both at home and at work, from the millions of Japanese schoolchildren facing four weeks without class to special voting booths for Israelis under quarantine. Mobile hospitals were planned in Iran, and the “Mona Lisa” hung in a vacant room of the shuttered Louvre in Paris. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned that the world economy could contract this quarter for the first time since the international financial crisis more than a decade ago. Wall Street nevertheless opened higher after the worst week for stocks since the 2008 crisis. In the United States, infections ticked upward to at least 80 and the country recorded its second death, both of them in Washington state. Health officials said the latest victim was a man in his 70s from a nursing facility near Seattle, in a region where researchers believe the virus may have been circulating for weeks undetected. In densely populated New York City, a health care worker who had returned from Iran was in quarantine at home, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He said the city is ramping up preparations and cautioned against panic.
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We reached out to the Centers for Disease Control. They did not get back to us in time for this interview.
With files from the Associated Press