Global Coronavirus Cases Top 100K; U.N. Agencies, Governments Worldwide Step Up Responses

AP: As virus outbreaks multiply, U.N. declines to declare pandemic
“As cases of the coronavirus surge in Italy, Iran, South Korea, the U.S., and elsewhere, many scientists say it’s plain that the world is in the grips of a pandemic — a serious global outbreak. The World Health Organization has so far resisted describing the crisis as such, saying the word ‘pandemic’ might spook the world further and lead some countries to lose hope of containing the virus…” (Cheng, 3/7).

Devex: PAHO to deploy extra COVID-19 support to weaker regional health systems
“The Pan-American Health Organization will deploy teams this week to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that require extra support on their response to the outbreak of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. PAHO said on Friday it will assess the current status of country responses so far, review national response plans and surveillance systems, and help countries identify how and where they will isolate and quarantine identified cases of the disease…” (Welsh, 3/9).

New York Times: As Death Toll Mounts, Governments Point Fingers Over Coronavirus
“An Iranian official claimed without evidence that the epidemic could be an American bioweapon, after some U.S. officials said the same about China. Saudi Arabia said its cases were Iran’s fault. South Korea lashed out at Japan over travel restrictions and responded in kind. At a time of global crisis, when the new coronavirus has infected more than 100,000 people, killed more than 3,400, and all but shut down whole industries, the world’s scientists and public health officials are working together across ideological and national borders to try to stop the epidemic. But as the virus continues its rapid spread, political leaders in many countries seem to have seized on a different question: Who can be blamed?…” (Wang et al., 3/7).

U.N. News: COVID-19: ‘Sombre moment’ as cases top 100,000 worldwide
“The global number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has surpassed 100,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Saturday. ‘As we mark this sombre moment, the World Health Organization reminds all countries and communities that the spread of this virus can be significantly slowed or even reversed through the implementation of robust containment and control activities,’ the U.N. agency said in a statement…” (3/7).

Wall Street Journal: Global Viral Outbreaks Like Coronavirus, Once Rare, Will Become More Common
“The rapid and global spread of the deadly new coronavirus caught households, business leaders, investors, and policy makers off guard, but health experts and economists who study pandemics say it shouldn’t have come as a surprise at all. … The public needs to prepare for more of them, they add…” (Hilsenrath/Xiao, 3/6).

Washington Post: Governments step up coronavirus response as U.S. cases top 500
“Governments intensified their efforts Sunday to combat the global spread of the novel coronavirus, as Saudi Arabia followed Italy in enacting new travel restrictions, Iran suspended flights to Europe, and the United States, where the number of cases topped 500, warned citizens against cruise travel. Uncertainty continued to permeate the response effort, however, amid muddled directives from the Trump administration and reports of some patients unable to access testing…” (Sonmez et al., 3/8).

Additional coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak’s global impacts is available from AP (2) (3), The Atlantic (2) (3), The Hill, New York Times, Reuters (2), Science, TIME, U.N. News (2), Vox, and Washington Post (2).