Schools Are Still Closed; Louvre Reopens


Additional school closures and the suspension of work trips are some of the measures that are implemented worldwide to combat the outbreak of coronavirus.

Here is a look at the most recent events on Wednesday:

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NOT TO SCHOOL OR TO THE TEMPLE

Italy ordered the closure of schools across the country after reporting more than 3,000 cases of the new coronavirus and more than 100 deaths. In the United States, some schools in the state of Washington weigh the possibility of teaching online after the number of deaths in the entity increased to 10. In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia banned pilgrimages to the sacred city of Mecca. Iran canceled Islamic prayers on Friday in some of its main cities. In Israel, the great rabbi urged practicing Jews to refrain from kissing the mezuzah, small objects that have prayers and are placed at the doors.

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DEATH RATE

The World Health Organization states that 3.4% of people infected with the new virus worldwide have died so far. But it is too early to know if the coronavirus mortality rate is actually so high. When viruses appear in new places, the first to be counted are usually the sickest. And health authorities believe that many people with mild cases of COVID-19 are still not counted at this time. With SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, about 10% of the patients died. On average, stationary influenza has a mortality rate of about 0.1%.

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CRUISE RETURN

A cruise ship was called back to a port in San Francisco after it was confirmed that “a small group” of expanders is infected with the new virus. The group included a person believed to be the first to die from COVID-19 in California. The Grand Princess is located offshore off the coast of Mexico, but will return directly to San Francisco. The health chief of the boat said that passengers who left for the trip from February 11 to 21 and are currently on the ship need to remain in their cabins until medical personnel discharge them.

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SOUTH KOREA NEEDS HOSPITAL BEDS; NO CASES IN THE NORTH

The city of Daegu, in South Korea, needs thousands of hospital beds for its patients, while in neighboring North Korea there are apparently no cases. However, experts say the virus could already be circulating in North Korea, which also shares a border with China, where the virus first appeared. Meanwhile, Liechtenstein and the Faroe Islands, off European coasts, reported their first cases on Wednesday.

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MONA LISA SMILE AGAIN

The Louvre Museum in Paris reopened its doors after its directors promised measures to calm the fears of its employees of contracting the virus from visitors from other parts of the world. Measures include the distribution of more disinfectant gel and giving staff more time to wash their hands. In addition, the staff will only need to stand at the entrance of the room where Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” is displayed, and not inside the place. The museum will also stop accepting cash payments for fears that the tickets may contain the virus.

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FLYING LOW

The demand for flights could take another blow after companies like Amazon and Nestle asked their employees to stop taking business trips. The International Air Transport Association indicated that January registered the lowest monthly growth year-on-year since April 2010. And the group states that it is only the first of many strokes planned for air traffic after travel restrictions to China because of the virus were not implemented until the end of January. On Wednesday, United Airlines said it would freeze its contracts and ask its employees to volunteer to receive a license without pay in response to low travel demand due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

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