The deadly coronavirus that originated in China is showing no signs of ceasing and has now spread to over 60 countries. On Sunday, France temporarily shut down the world-renowned Louvre Museum over fears of rising COVID-19 cases across Western Europe.
Ever since its initial outbreak in the Chinese city of Wihan, the novel virus has been spreading like wildfire and has now infected at least 60 countries with the global death toll mounting to 3,000.
Over 88,000 people have been infected, with coronavirus cases emerging in every continent but Antarctica.
On Sunday, Thailand and Australia reported their first deaths, while the Dominican Republic and the Czech Republic recorded their first infections. Italy announced that the number of infected cases surged 50% to 1,694 in just 24 hours.Italian officials also reported that five more people had died, bringing the death toll there to 34.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased to 130 in France and the country has reported at least 2 deaths.
The US government advised its citizens against travelling to the two northern Italian regions hit hardest, among them Lombardy, which includes Milan. Airlines have also started t suspend flight services to Milan.
With these travelling restrictions, the tourism industries in Itlay and France may have to deal with a heavy hit given spring is a popular time for schoolchildren to visit France and Italy.
“We had already registered a slowdown of Americans coming to Italy in recent days,” Bernabo Bocca, president of Italy’s hotel association, said in a statement Saturday. “Now, the final blow has arrived.”
Meanwhile, Iran, Iraq and South Korea are seeing a stable rise in the number of infected cases. The United States has reported at least 74 cases and one death.
“We must act now to stop this virus from putting more lives at risk,” U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said. The aid “has the potential to save the lives of millions of vulnerable people.”