International desk – The new coronavirus outbreak has been spreading in more countries with the head of the world Health Organization saying it was heading towards an unchartered territory.
The virus, which found first in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has contacted more than 90,000 people in 73 countries across the world as of Monday. More than 3,000 people have been died, most in China.
Outside China, the virus took major toll in Iran and Italy.
The virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica since it was first identified in December. Medical workers are now battling deadly outbreak clusters in South Korea, Iran and Italy, while other countries are working furiously to avoid a similar fate by readying public health authorities, alerting their citizens and enacting travel restrictions to affected areas.
There have been 172 deaths reported outside mainland China as of Tuesday, raising the global death toll to 3,115.
Several nations that have seen cases are putting in place measures to limit the virus’ spread: closing schools, encouraging remote work and canceling or scaling back public events, just to name a few, according to CNN.
“We have never before seen a respiratory pathogen that is capable of community transmission, but which can also be contained with the right measures,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the global health watchdog.
“We are in unchartered territory with #COVID19.”
Investors are also bracing for the possibility that the spread of COVID-19, as the virus is formally known, could throw the global economy into recession.
At least 80,151 cases have been identified in mainland China to date, and the death toll in that country is 2,943 people.