World harshens its virus response as epidemic worsens by day
Over the past week, several countries have implemented strict temporary travel bans and heightened security as the number of people infected with the novel coronavirus continues to rise and spread to new countries. Saudi Arabia has blocked travel to the Kaaba in Mecca, one of Islam’s holiest sites, while South Korea has toughened penalties for those breaking quarantines. Latin American airports have begun to look for signs of infection as the virus spreads to the Middle East and Europe.
The illness is transmitted easily and has mild symptoms at first, making it very difficult to contain and prevent from spreading. South Korea has become the hardest-hit country outside of China as it has reported 2,022 cases as of yesterday. The global count of those infected with the COVID-19 exceeds 82,000 as China struggles to combat the virus as it experiences drastic economic effects. In Japan, schools have been closed for weeks, impacting 12.8 million students. Iran, Italy and South Korea have all reported sharp increases in the number of those infected with the disease over the past few days.