Coronavirus cases hit 100,000 as cruise ship fears grow

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The number of cases from the new coronavirus reaches 100,000 worldwide as the United States battled to contain an outbreak on board a stranded cruise ship where 21 people have tested positive.

The World Health Organization called the spread of the virus “deeply concerning” as a wave of countries reported their first cases of the disease — which has now killed nearly 3,500 people and infected more than 100,000 across 92 nations. Twenty-one people onboard a cruise ship stranded off the coast of San Francisco have tested positive for the virus, including 19 crew members and two passengers, after the California National Guard flew test kits out to the ship earlier this week.

The epidemic has wreaked havoc on international business, tourism, and sports events, with almost 300 million students sent home worldwide as schools and universities close. The number of international tourist arrivals is expected to drop sharply this year due to the virus, the World Tourism Organization said Friday, reversing a previous forecast for a substantial increase. The South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas and the Ultra electronic dance festival in Miami were among the latest events to be cancelled as scrutiny grows on events that draw large crowds.

Meanwhile in Switzerland, the authorities urged the over-65s to avoid travelling at peak hours and banned meetings of more than 150 people. Stock markets and oil prices have collapsed as investors panic over the expected devastating damage of the coronavirus to global economic growth.

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