Coronavirus live updates: WHO boosts global risk assessment to very high, Mexico confirms first cases

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All times below are in Eastern time.

  • Total confirmed cases: More than 83,700
  • Total deaths: At least 2,859

The Food and Drug Administration said the pharmaceutical industry reported the first shortage of a drug due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has spread to 44 countries in a matter of weeks. The FDA, which declined to identify the drug, said the shortage is related to a manufacturing site impacted by the outbreak in China. “The shortage is due to an issue with manufacturing of an active pharmaceutical ingredient used in the drug,” the agency said in its notice dated Feb. 27. “It is important to note that there are other alternatives that can be used by patients. We are working with the manufacturer as well as other manufacturers to mitigate the shortage.” —Lovelace

World Health Organization officials are increasing their risk assessment of the coronavirus, which has spread to at least 49 countries in a matter of weeks, to “very high” across the world. “We have now increased our assessment of the risk of spread and the risk of impact of COVID-19 to very high at global level,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said during a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. Outside of China, there are 4,351 cases across 48 countries, including 67 deaths as of Friday morning Tedros said.”He said health officials are seeing “linked epidemics of COVID-19 in several countries, but most cases can still be traced to known contacts or clusters of cases.” —Lovelace

World Health Organization officials are holding a press conference Friday to update the public on the coronavirus outbreak. On Thursday, the WHO said COVID-19 had spread substantially beyond China and was circulating in over 44 countries. Epidemics have emerged in Iran, Italy and South Korea, where the number of cases are rapidly rising every day. “We’re at a decisive point,” WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Thursday. “The epidemics in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea demonstrate what this virus is capable of.” Watch the live press conference here.

United Airlines said it’s reducing service throughout Asia as the spread of coronavirus drives down demand. The air carrier has more service to Asia than any other U.S. airline. United is lowering capacity on flights to and from Tokyo, Osaka, Singapore and Seoul, South Korea. Delta Air Lines said earlier this week it would cut its weekly flights to Seoul to 15 from 28. South Korea has more cases of coronavirus outside of China than any other country. United also said it will extend its suspension of service to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong through April 30. —Josephs


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