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Coronavirus: G7 foreign ministers meeting in U.S. to be held via teleconference

U.S. State Department announced on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 that the U.S. has decided to host G7 foreign ministers meeting by teleconference instead of in-person gathering amid the coronavirus fears.

Justin Trudeau
Justin Pierre James Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada: Canada hosts the 2018 meeting of G7 leaders in Charlevoix, Quebec. Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

“Out of an abundance of caution, the U.S. has decided to host the upcoming G7 ministerial virtually by video teleconference instead of gathering in Pittsburgh, March 24-25,’’ the statement said.

As America scrambled to understand the scope of an escalating public health crisis, the number of known coronavirus cases surpassed 1,000 on Tuesday.

This signaling that the virus was spreading widely in communities on both coasts and in the centre of the country.

According to a New York Times database, at least 1,026 people in 38 states and Washington, D.C. have tested positive for coronavirus, and at least 31 patients with the virus have died.

The first known U.S. coronavirus case was announced on Jan. 21 in Washington State, but the pace of diagnosis has quickened significantly in recent weeks.

In March, 70 cases had been reported in the U.S. most of them tied to overseas travel.

In Massachusetts, dozens of new cases were announced on Tuesday, and in South Dakota, the governor announced the state’s five first cases, including one man who died.

The number of states with no reported cases stands at about a dozen, declining by the day.

The number of patients treated in the U.S. remains a small fraction of those with the virus overseas, where thousands of people have died and thousands have been infected.

Health officials in California, Oregon, and Washington State have seen the virus turning up in people who have not traveled overseas and have warned that the virus was spreading within the local community.

Officials in some places have urged residents, especially older people, to avoid large gatherings.

Officials in Santa Clara County, Calif, where dozens have become ill with the virus and one person has died, announced a ban on large gatherings.

Leaders in the nursing home industry on Tuesday called on nursing homes and assisted living centres to curtail most social visits and even take steps to keep some employees away.

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