As the virus crisis ebbs in China, it is shifting increasingly westward to areas in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States.

Clusters of the new coronavirus have emerged in South Korea, Iran, Italy, and Japan.

Iran on March 3 reported a total of 2,336 confirmed cases and 77 fatalities. Twenty-three members of Iran’s parliament and the head of the country’s emergency services were reported infected.

Deaths in Italy climbed to 79, making it the deadliest reported outbreak outside China, where the virus originated in December.

South Korea, with a total of 5,328 cases reported on March 4, is limiting human contact by introducing drive-thru testing.

And Ukraine and Morocco recorded their first cases on March 3.

Worldwide, more than 92,000 people have fallen ill and over 3,100 people have died, with China accounting for about 95 percent of them.

The death toll in the United States rose to nine on March 3 and more then 100 people have the infection across at least 15 states. Seattle, Washington has emerged as a cluster where all the deaths occurring there.

“What is happening now in the United States may be the beginning of what is happening abroad,” said Nancy Messionnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Most cases have been mild.

A $7.5 billion emergency bill to fund the government’s response to the outbreak is making its way through Congress.

Still, frustration has been mounting over lack of access to coronavirus tests in the United States. CDC kits delivered to states and cities in January proved faulty by providing inconclusive results.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn told Congress that testing kits should be available by the end of the week that would give labs the capacity to perform about 1 million coronavirus tests.

As of March 3, only 54 state and local labs were able to conduct tests, according to the Association of Public Health Laboratories.

With reporting by the BBC, CNN, AP, and Reuters

Source link