Virus outbreak batters economies, raises fear of spread

World

In this Feb. 16, 2020, photo, runners, some wearing masks, compete in a Kumamoto castle marathon in Kumamoto city, western Japan. Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon set for March 1, 2020 are drastically reducing the number of participants out of fear of the spread of the coronavirus from China. The general public is essentially being barred from the race. (Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO (AP) – Amid fears about where the next outbreak of a fast-spreading new virus would appear, infections and deaths are continuing to rise across the globe, emptying streets of tourists and workers, shaking economies and rewriting the realities of daily life.

Panic-buying of daily necessities emerged in Japan, tourist sites across Asia, Europe and the Mideast were deserted, and governments closed schools and banned big gatherings.

Amusement parks have been shuttered and concerts cancelled. In Paris, priests stopped placing sacramental bread in worshippers’ mouths.

The United States, meanwhile, recorded its first death, a man in his 50s in Washington state who had underlying health conditions but who hadn’t traveled to any affected areas.

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