'This is not a drill': WHO calls for action; virus conspiracy theories continue to spread
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'This is not a drill': WHO calls for action; virus conspiracy theories continue to spread

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APTOPIX Italy Virus Outbreak

A woman wearing a mask poses for photos at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, in Rome, Thursday, March 5, 2020. Italy's virus outbreak has been concentrated in the northern region of Lombardy, but fears over how the virus is spreading inside and outside the country has prompted the government to close all schools and Universities nationwide for two weeks. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

The global march of the new virus triggered a vigorous appeal Thursday from the World Health Organization for governments to pull out “all the stops” to slow the epidemic, as it drained color from India's spring festivities, closed Bethlehem's Nativity Church and blocked Italians from visiting elderly relatives in nursing homes.

Here's a look at developments from the past 24 hours:

  • The head of the World Health Organization says nations cannot stop their battle against the coronavirus that is sweeping across the globe.

  • California authorities say they have confirmed a third case of novel coronavirus from a passenger who traveled on the Grand Princess cruise ship last month from San Francisco to Mexico.

  • A patient with an underlying health condition in southeast England has died after testing positive for the new coronavirus, the first person in the UK to succumb to the disease. Switzerland also reported its first virus death on Thursday.

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Japan will impose a 14-day quarantine on all visitors from China and South Korea before they are allowed an entry permit.

  • Italian grandparents are ignoring a government plea to stay home to contain the spread of the new coronavirus and are instead stepping in as last-minute babysitters after schools were closed nationwide.

For deeper coverage of the latest developments, select from the stories below. Scroll further for a gallery of how Venice is handling a lack of tourists.

Photos: Venice a shell of itself as tourists flee virus

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The message from Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, could not have been any clearer. Wearing a face mask is critical to reducing the spread of coronavirus, especially since many carriers don't even know they're contagious, she said yesterday.

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