The deadly coronavirus that originated in China has now become a significant threat in the United States, while several European nations and Algeria have confirmed their first cases of infection, as the outbreak grows from Italy.
Health officials in the United States are preparing for the “inevitable” spread of the deadly virus and calling for Congress to release emergency funds to deal with the threats after a 22-year-old soldier based in Korea contracted the virus and was placed under quarantine.
“A USFK soldier stationed at Camp Carroll tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first time a U.S. service member has tested positive for the virus,” the US Forces Korea said in a statement on Tuesday
USFK is implementing all appropriate control measures to help control the spread of COVID-19 and remains at risk level “high” for USFK peninsula-wide as a prudent measure to protect the force.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has said that the virus is “well under control”.
Elsewhere, Algerian health minister, Abdel Rahman Ben Bouzid, confirmed the country’s first case of the coronavirus in an announcement on state-owned ENTV on Tuesday evening. In his statement beelow (in Arabic), he explained that the infected person is an Italian that entered the country on 17 February, according to Reuters. This would make Algeria the first African country to confirm a case of nCOV-2019, after reports that it had spread to Egypt were denied.
The biggest story, however, is news emerging that the Coronavirus outbreak is spreading from Italy into other parts of Europe. Austria, Croatia and Switzerland confirmed that the patients in their countries had all been to Italy recently. Italy is, by far, the worst affected country in Europe with over 300 cases and 11 deaths. Meanwhile, a Brazilian became the first infected person to spread the disease into Latin America, testing positive in a virus test after returning from a trip to Italy.
However, officials from Italy, Germany, France and the EU Commission have dismissed the idea of closing borders to contain the virus to Italy.
“We’re talking about a virus that doesn’t respect borders,” Italian Health Minister, Roberto Speranza, told the BBC.
German Health Minster, Jens Spahn also said that they were taking the crisis “very, very seriously” but also that “it could get worse before it gets better”.
At the same time, the UK are dismissing ideas of canceling flights to and from Italy.
“If you look at Italy, they stopped all flights from China and they’re now the worst-affected country in Europe,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
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