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Coronavirus in Europe: As unknown carriers loom, nations scramble for masks | World News

Confirmed coronavirus cases topped one million around the world on Thursday as Europe reeled from the pandemic and the United States reported record numbers of people out of work.
The virus has killed over 51,000 globally with the largest number of deaths in Italy, followed by Spain and the United States. The first 1,00,000 cases were reported in around 55 days and the first 5,00,000 in 76 days. Cases doubled to 1 million within the past eight days. The US cases surpassed 233,000, double that of Italy, the country with the second most.
Spain reported its record one-day number of deaths, 950, bringing its toll to over 10,000, despite signs that the infection rate is slowing. Italy recorded 760 more deaths, for a total of 13,900, the worst of any country, but new infections continued to level off. Over 10,000 medical personnel in Italy have been infected and 69 doctors have died, authorities said.
Meanwhile, the global race to protect people against being infected by unwitting coronavirus carriers intensified, pitting governments against each other as they buy protective gear and prompting new questions about who should wear masks, get temperature checks or even be permitted to go outside. In the China’s Wuhan, a green symbol on residents’ smartphones dictates their movements. Green is the “health code” that says a user is symptom-free. It’s required to board a subway, check into a hotel or enter the city of 11 million. Serious travel restrictions still exist for those who have yellow or red symbols.
In Italy, guards with thermometre guns decide who can enter supermarkets. In Los Angeles, the mayor has recommended that the city’s 4 million people to wear masks. They’re mandatory for all in Israel, as well as customers of stores in Austria and pharmacies in Pakistan.
A top official in France complained that American officials swooped in at a Chinese airport to spirit away a planeload of masks that France had ordered. “On the tarmac, the Americans arrive, take out cash and pay three or four times more for our orders, so we really have to fight,” Dr Jean Rottner, president of the Grand Est regional council, said.
Latest research shows anywhere between 25% to 50% of people who get it are asymptomatic but they can pass it on to others who may be lethally affected. In Greece, authorities placed an entire refugee camp of 2,400 people under quarantine after discovering that a third of the 63 contacts of just one infected woman tested positive — and none had showed symptoms. In response to the study, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed how it defined the risks of infection, saying essentially that anyone may be a carrier.

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