State of emergency: Virus fear reaches the USA

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US President Trump fears that the cruise ship off California could spoil his corona statistics. In fact, almost half of those tested are positive. Meanwhile, it has become known that Trump attended a conference with a sick person.

The corona virus continues to spread – and is increasingly becoming an economic challenge. The US state of New York declared a state of emergency. The states of California, Maine and Washington on the west coast of the USA have also declared a state of emergency. According to the “New York Times”, there were around 350 confirmed cases and 17 deaths in the USA by the afternoon. On the cruise ship “Grand Princess”, which is stranded off California, initial investigations have revealed coronavirus infection in almost half of the people tested. In 46 tests, 21 infections were confirmed, according to US Vice President Mike Pence, who expects a high number of infected among the 3533 people on board.

The infections on the “Grand Princess” that have been proven to date affect 19 crew members and two passengers. All people on board were to be tested and quarantined on the ship if necessary, said Pence, who had been commissioned by US President Donald Trump to coordinate measures against the epidemic. He expects a high number of infected persons, especially among the approximately 1100 crew members. The “Grand Princess” has been moored off San Francisco since Wednesday, after two people previously travelling on the ship were found to be infected with coronavirus.

In the fight against the epidemic, Pence plans to have four million test sets delivered to the affected states. For the first time, deaths have now also been reported from the east coast of the country: In Florida, two people died of Covid-19 lung disease.

Meanwhile, in the capital Washington, it was announced that one participant tested positive for the novel coronavirus at an event with US President Trump and his vice president. According to the organization “American Conservative Union” via Twitter, the man had attended the annual meeting of conservative activists and parliamentarians (CPAC), which took place near Washington from 26 to 29 February.

Trump, Pence and other cabinet members and high-ranking White House representatives also attended. However, there was “no interaction” between the infected person and Trump or Pence because they were not in the same hall, the organizers explained. The infected person is therefore under medical care and quarantine in the state of New Jersey.

Worldwide 102,000 infections: Cases in China continue to decline

More than 102,000 officially reported infections have now been counted worldwide, and more than 3,500 people have died from the disease, which first appeared in China. In the People’s Republic, however, the number of new infections fell for the third day in a row.

The largest trouble spots outside China include South Korea and Iran. In South Korea, two complete blocks of flats in the megacity of Daegu were sealed off. Among the 140 residents, 94 are followers of the Christian sect Shincheonji Church of Jesus, with which most of the almost 6800 cases of infection in South Korea are connected. In Iran, according to the Ministry of Health, the number of deaths rose by 21 to a total of 145 and the number of infections increased by more than a thousand within 24 hours to a total of 5823.

Nightly crisis meeting in Italy
The largest source of infection in Europe is Italy, where the cabinet decided on new measures in a nightly crisis meeting: the government began to bring doctors out of retirement. A total of 20,000 new employees are to be recruited for the health system, mainly nurses. In addition, the number of beds in intensive care units is to be increased from 5,000 to 7,500 in the coming days.

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Mette Frederiksen is a The Washington Newsday correspondent. With her coverage of general science, NASA and the interface between technology and society, Frederiksen has been in the Science Desk's Technology Beat since joining Washington Newsday in 2018.

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