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A laboratory technician reaches for a pipette while demonstrating the Covid-19 test kits at the CBRNE Laboratory in Singapore, on Thursday, March 5, 2020.

100 nations affected: coronavirus update

A laboratory technician reaches for a pipette while demonstrating the Covid-19 test kits at the CBRNE Laboratory in Singapore, on Thursday, March 5, 2020.

Italy, Europe’s most hard-hit country, is restricting movement and activity for a quarter of its population in the region around the financial capital of Milan. Cases jumped in Spain by a third.

Workers wear protective suits near the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship at the Daikoku Pier on February 21, 2020 in Yokohama, Japan.

As of Sunday, about half of the world’s countries have reported cases of Covid-19, according to the World Health Organization.

The global death count outside of China is edging towards 500, leading to further limits on travel. Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific suspended flights to cities in Japan. Malaysia banned cruise ships from entry, and the United Arab Emirates temporarily ceased all cruise ship operations.

People wear protective masks walk at Hong Kong Station of MTR in China on Feb.11.

US President Donald Trump said he intends to continue holding large campaign rallies regardless. Washington, DC, and Virginia reported their first cases, and Argentina its first death.

Key Developments:

  • Cases surpass 105,000 worldwide; deaths exceed 3,500
  • China death toll rises to 3,097
  • CPAC attendee was infected; Trump had no contact
  • US tests fewer than 6,000 samples
  • The virus becomes dangerous when it reaches the lungs

100 countries affected by coronavirus: WHO

As of Sunday, 100 countries have reported cases, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a tweet. That’s about half of the world’s countries.

“While very serious, this should not discourage us,” he said. “There are many things everyone, everywhere can and should do now.”

US tests fewer than 6,000 virus samples

The US has tested fewer than 6,000 samples of suspected coronavirus cases, the top drug regulator acknowledged, as health officials struggled to explain the government’s difficulty creating a diagnostic tool to contain the disease.

The US has tested fewer than 6,000 samples of suspected coronavirus cases.

Food and Drug Commissioner Stephen Hahn said the government doesn’t know how many people have been tested. The number is less than the 5,861 specimens checked, because each patient needs from two and 20 tests to confirm a diagnosis, he told reporters at the White House on Saturday.

The US response is set to ramp up substantially, Hahn and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, as deaths nationwide reached 19. About 1.1 million tests have been shipped in the past week and another one million are being prepared, Hahn said.