▶️ Chinese officials on Wednesday reported 433 new cases and 29 new deaths from the novel coronavirus. That brings the country’s total to 78,497. cases, and 2,744 deaths.
▶️ The total number of cases globally has now topped 81,000 and nearly 3,000 have died.
▶️ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 59 cases in the U.S. CDC announces possible case of community spread of coronavirus in the U.S.
▶️ South Korea reported 334 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total to 1,595.
▶️ Iran’s leaders continued to downplay the seriousness of the outbreak there on Wednesday, even as the number of cases in Iran or linked to it kept climbing quickly. The health ministry reported 139 cases and 19 deaths.
▶️ Italy’s government reported Wednesday that the total number of coronavirus cases in the country — home to the largest outbreak outside Asia — had risen to 374. It was an increase of 52 from Tuesday. So far 12 people have died of the disease in Italy, where the outbreak is centered sharply in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto.
▶️ Dozens of passengers cleared and let off ship in Japan now showing symptoms.
▶️ Trump says schools should prepare pandemic plans ‘just in case’.
▶️ Top Senate Democrat calls for $8.5 billion to fight coronavirus.
▶️ Stocks extend slide as Trump downplays coronavirus fears.
▶️ Online travel giant Booking Holdings said the outbreak of coronavirus will damp travel demand and drive down sales in the first quarter.
▶️ Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, said Wednesday night that testing is underway for an antiviral drug called remdesivir, a potential treatment for the coronavirus. A randomized, controlled clinical trial of remdesivir is currently taking place at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
▶️ President Trump puts Pence in charge of coronavirus response.
▶️ South Korea, U.S. postpone annual military drills due to virus.
▶️ Face mask prices surge as coronavirus fears grow. Amazon had largely sold out of different mask varieties. Keepa, which tracks the prices of items sold on Amazon, shows that a 10-pack of 3M N95 respirators that sold for $18.20 roughly a month ago now costs $99.99.
▶️ The countries of Norway and Georgia both announced their first coronavirus cases. Brazil confirms first coronavirus case in Latin America.
▶️ Saudi Arabia on Wednesday temporarily barred Muslim pilgrims from entering the country to visit the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.
▶️ China seizes 31 million fake or inferior face masks, arrests 1,500 people.
▶️ Pope offers prayers to coronavirus-hit Italians.
▶️ Coca-Cola says the coronavirus has disrupted its supply chain and artificial sweeteners from China could be in shorter supply if the outbreak continues to spread.
▶️ CDC recommends men shave their beards to protect against coronavirus.
▶️ The Times is beginning a coronavirus newsletter, an informed guide to the outbreak with the latest developments from our reporting and expert advice about prevention and treatment.
Photo by REUTERS/YANA PASKOVA