Coronavirus in 18 U.S. states as California declares emergency

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Italy, Iran close schools as deaths rise

California has declared a state of emergency after announcing its first coronavirus death, bringing the United States (U.S.) death toll from the disease to 11.

The 71-year-old man had underlying health conditions and had been on a cruise ship, said officials.

Eleven passengers and 10 crew members are potentially infected on board the Grand Princess now being held off the coast of California.

There are now at least 150 reported US patients with Covid-19 in 16 states.

Tennessee and New Jersey have each confirmed their first cases of Covid-19, raising the total number of affected states to 18, according to the New York Times.

Officials in New Jersey said on Wednesday that a 32-year-man from the New York City area was being isolated in hospital after he was tested for the virus.

The patient is Tennessee is a 44-year-old man who recently returned home from out of state travel, according to the state’s governor. He is now remaining at home while authorities try to trace everyone with whom he had contact.

Worldwide, authorities have confirmed more than 92,000 cases of the virus, of which more than 80,000 are in China.

More than 3,000 people have died globally, the vast majority in China where the virus originated.

Ten of the 11 US deaths were in Washington State.

Meanwhile, Washington and Florida both declared states of emergency over the weekend to help prevent the coronavirus.

Such a declaration gives cities and counties the ability to ask the state or other municipalities for aid if and when their own resources are depleted. Officials have said that a state of emergency is meant to expedite the distribution of resources and should not be cause for panic.

It is believed that the deceased California man became infected aboard the Grand Princess, a cruise ship which made a round trip from San Francisco to Mexico last month.

After the ship docked in San Francisco on 21 February, thousands more passengers boarded and thousands disembarked. The vessel then began a round-trip to Hawaii.

Some 62 passengers were on both the Mexico and the Hawaii trips. They have been restricted to their rooms for testing.

United Kingdom (UK) officials are speeding up preparations for the next stage of dealing with the outbreak, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

He spoke after Johnson was updated on the coronavirus situation by England’s chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser.

“We will continue to try to contain this virus,” the PM’s spokesman said. “However, it’s now highly likely that the virus is going to spread in a significant way.

He spoke after Johnson was updated on the coronavirus situation by England’s chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser.

Italy has confirmed that it will shut all schools from Thursday for 10 days as it battles to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

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And all professional sport, including Serie A football matches, will be played behind closed doors for a month.

A total of 107 people have now been killed by the coronavirus in Italy, which has the most serious outbreak in Europe.

PM Giuseppe Conte said the health service risked being overwhelmed.

Most of the more than 3,000 cases are in the north but others have been confirmed in 19 of Italy’s 20 regions.

Schools and universities in Iran will remain closed until early April, the country’s health minister Saeed Namaki has said.

Namaki told reporters that schools and universities would remain closed until the end of the current Iranian year.

The Iranian year ends on 19 March 19, and there are then national holidays until early April.

“People should not consider this as an opportunity to go travelling,” Namaki said. “They should stay home and take our warnings seriously. This virus is highly contagious – it is a serious matter, do not joke about it.”

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