In Geneva, the director of the World Health Organization said there’s a “long list of countries not doing enough” to combat the virus.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “We’re concerned that some countries have either not taken this seriously enough or have decided there is nothing they can do. … This is not a drill. This is not the time to give up. This is not a time for excuses. This is a time for pulling out all the stops.”
In a positive sign, Chinese officials reported a drop-off in new coronavirus cases in the central province of Hubei, where the outbreak began. But the virus continues to spread elsewhere in China and in other parts of the world.
In Egypt, health authorities reported 12 new coronavirus cases on a Nile cruise ship.
In the Middle East, both Israel and the Palestinian Authority ordered the closure of Bethlehem Thursday following the diagnosis of the first seven coronavirus cases seen in the West Bank.
Iran ordered nearly 60,000 mosques closed ahead of Friday prayers, as the coronavirus death toll rose to 124. Among the dead was a top Iranian diplomat. Meanwhile, 8% of Iran’s parliament has tested positive for coronavirus.
In France, a member of Parliament was sent to an intensive care unit after testing positive.
And Japan ordered a two-week quarantine for anyone hoping to enter the country from China or South Korea, sparking a diplomatic row.