Virus scare: Saudi Arabia stops pilgrimages to Mecca, Iran cancels Friday prayers

BANGKOK Saudi Arabia banned citizens from doing it in Italy, ordered schools to close across the country and I ran canceled for a second week while nations fought on Wednesday to control the.

From religion to sports, countries were taking drastic and increasingly visible measures to curb the new coronavirus that first emerged in China and was spreading rapidly throughout Europe, the Middle East and America. In the USA In the US, frustration increased due to delays and missteps by US officials in virus testing.

Deaths spiked in I ran and Italy, which along with South Korea account for 80% of the new virus cases outside China, according to the World Health Organization . In total, more than 94,000 people have contracted the virus worldwide, with more than 3,200 deaths.

“People have fear and uncertainty. Fear is a natural human response to any threat, '' said WHO leader Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. But as we get more data, we understand this virus and the disease it causes more and more. The WHO said that about 3.4% of people infected with the Covid-19 virus worldwide have died, which makes it more deadly than the common flu.

In Daegu, the city of South Korea in the center of that country's outbreak, the shortage of hospital space meant that some 2,300 patients were being treated at other facilities while waiting for a hospital bed. South Korea reported 435 new infections on Wednesday, much smaller than its maximum of 851 a day earlier. A total of 5,621 people in South Korea have contracted the virus and 32 have died.

Italy's deaths from viruses increased to 107, most of any country outside of China. Its outbreak has focused on the northern region of Lombardy, but fears about how the virus is spreading inside and outside the country led the government to order all schools to close across the country until March 15.

I ran reported 92 deaths among its 2,922 confirmed cases. The country on Wednesday cancelled Friday prayers for the second week in a row.

The UN chief of health strongly warned against hoarding medical supplies, saying they are necessary to protect health workers. Consequently, the Czech Republic, Russia and Germany announced export bans on protective equipment such as masks. That followed a similar movement from France, where the main hospitals have seen their masks stolen by the boxfuls.

In the United States, more than 120 cases have been reported. Nine people have died, all in Seattle and the surrounding area, Washington.

China reported 119 new cases on Wednesday, all but five in the outbreak’s epicenter of Wuhan. Beijing’s health commissioner said two new cases in the Chinese capital were apparently infected abroad, in I ran and Italy.