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Coronavirus Outbreak

By Thza Kanapathipillai

Photo: Aljazeera
A world map of locations with confirmed COVID-19 cases as of March 18, 2020

The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has been detected in at least 108 countries, and the number of cases have dramatically increased since the virus began to be tracked in late January. The World Health Organization declared Wednesday, March 11th, that the coronavirus outbreak spreading around the globe can now be labeled a pandemic, and the outbreak has spread to every continent except Antarctica.

Efforts to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading further have shaken financial markets, cancelled widespread flights, and shuttered cities. According to data collected by the International Air Transport Association, more than 70 governments have responded by banning entry to travelers who have come from the affected regions by barring flights to certain countries and changing visa requirements. The airline industry has suspended multiple routes and thousands of employees have been laid off or placed on unpaid leave after virus fears and restrictions.

The United States has closed its border with Canada to all nonessential traffic, and the CDC has advised against non-essential travel to China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran. A month long travel ban from the US bars entry to foreign nationals who have been in the UK, Ireland, or another one of 26 European nations in the 14 days prior to their scheduled U.S. arrival. The Czech Republic instated a similar ban after declaring a state of emergency. The United Arab Emirates has temporarily banned all citizens from traveling abroad, and in India, all tourist visas have been suspended and travelers from the European Union are banned from entering the country. Now serving as the epicenter of the pandemic, Europe has already restricted nonessential travel to the EU for a month. Italy has already closed multiple airports to tourists, and Spain, having recently declared a state of emergency, is expected to follow suit. In a policy similar to China’s, all people arriving in Australia are being made to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

There have been 80,761 cases in China with 3,136 deaths, and Italy has been the second most affected with 10,149 recorded cases of COVID-19 and 631 deaths. In Iran, there have also been 8,042 cases with 291 deaths.

As of March, the death toll reached 5,000, while the global number of cases has surpassed 132,000. About 68,000 victims have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. Countries that have confirmed at least one case include China, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, the United States, France, Australia, Malaysia, Nepal, Germany, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, India, and Russia, which do not even make up half of the countries affected. 

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