Coronavirus continues to take its toll worldwide
March 05 2020 11:31 PM
Medical staff in protective gear look at a screen while checking temperatures of passengers upon the
Medical staff in protective gear look at a screen while checking temperatures of passengers upon their arrival, following an outbreak of the coronavirus, at Najaf airport, in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq


*Covid-19 claims about 3,350 lives and infects over 95,000 people across 85 countries

The rapidly spreading novel coronavirus has claimed about 3,350 lives and infected over 95,000 people across 85 countries and territories by on Thursday evening.

In Italy, one of the worst affected countries, coronavirus cases have jumped to 3,858 on Thursday, from around 3,000 a day earlier.

Official sources said 41 new deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of fatalities to 148.

Italy said it was doubling the sum it initially planned to tackle its coronavirus outbreak to $8.4bn, saying funds were urgently needed to help the health service as well as families, firms and workers.

The fear of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 disease (Covid-19) has rattled the world economy with the full impact of the epidemic on global business expected to be felt in the coming days.

One of the worst affected has been the aviation industry with tourism and hospitality taking an equally bad hit.

Britain's Flybe collapsed on Thursday after a plunge in travel demand, making the long-struggling regional airline one of the first big corporate casualties of the coronavirus outbreak.

The airline industry could lose up to $113bn in revenue this year, an industry body warns.

Wall Street's losses deepened and the Dow Jones Industrials shed 1,000 points in afternoon trading as the coronavirus death toll in the United States rose to 11 and travel related stocks took a severe beating.

Technology giants Alphabet Inc, Inc, Facebook Inc and Microsoft Corp recommended their employees in Seattle work from home.

The state of California declared an emergency, a day after US lawmakers approved an $8.3bn bill to combat the outbreak.

Scores of international sport events have been either cancelled or postponed.

Serious questions about the forthcoming Olympics in Japan have been raised in the background of the spread of the virus to many of the world.

Russia has cancelled its flagship annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum this year due to be held from June 3-6, as a precaution against coronavirus.

Some 290.5mn students worldwide face weeks at home as 13 countries shut schools and nine others implement localised closures, according to Unesco.

The main countries affected are: mainland China (80,409 cases, 3,012 deaths), South Korea (6,088 cases, 35 deaths), Italy (3,858 cases, 148 deaths) and Iran (3,513 cases, 107 deaths).

Britain and Switzerland recorded their first deaths on Thursday.

Fears over the spread of the virus in Saudi Arabia have prompted authorities to take the uncommon step of restricting access to Islam's holiest sites.

The state Saudi news agency reported that an overnight closure would be carried out in the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet Muhammad's Mosque in Madina.

"It has been decided to close the two holy mosques one hour after the end of the evening prayer and reopen them one hour before the dawn prayer."

Meanwhile, Kuwait said it was suspending its decision asking passengers from 10 countries including India, Turkey and Egypt to produce certificates issued by the Kuwaiti embassy in their country, saying they are coronavirus free.

The Gulf state's cabinet said authorities were working to find practical measures that would guarantee the safety of travellers and its citizens.

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