As the number of people worldwide infected with the new coronavirus approaches 100,000, there is a sense of déjà vu across the West. The spreading outbreak brought scenes of disruption like the ones that played out in Asia: runs on household basics, canceled public events and a cruise ship ordered to stay at sea over virus fears. The potential for the epidemic to deepen poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

as the epidemic takes an economic toll is another concern.

These are some of the latest developments Friday:


The virus’ economic toll from disruptions such as halted travel, closed businesses and reduced factory orders threatens already struggling communities for months to come. The head of the United Nations’ food agency warned of the potential for absolute devastation as virus cases worldwide closes in on 100,000 and the outbreaks effects ripple through Africa and the Middle East.


A Vatican spokesman confirmed the first case of coronavirus at the city-state that is home to the pope. Spokesman Matteo Bruni said non-emergency medical services at the Vatican have been closed for sanitizing. More details on the identity of the person testing positive were not made available. Pope Francis has been recovering from a cold all week and the Vatican has said he doesn’t have another pathology.


Some passengers and crew members aboard a cruise ship held off the California coast were awaiting test results to know if they are infected with the novel coronavirus. A traveler from a previous voyage on the Grand Princess died of COVID-19 disease and at least four others became infected. As results were expected Friday, more than 3,500 people were trapped aboard the 951-foot (290-meter) vessel.

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