Article originally appeared here: https://www.yahoo.com/gma/coronavirus-live-updates-china-reports-no-domestic-cases-074226357–abc-news-topstories.html
The novel coronavirus, known officially as COVID-19, has spread to every continent except Antarctica as well as every single European country, infecting more than 222,600 people globally and killing at least 9,115 of them, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. While China still compromises the bulk of the world’s cases and fatalities, that proportion is shrinking by the day as the outbreak appears to ease up there and intensify abroad.
The disease has now infected 9,415 people across all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, making the United States the country with the fifth-highest national total of confirmed cases in the world. At least 141 people have died, according to ABC News’ count.
With more than 35,000 confirmed cases, Italy has the second-highest national total, behind China.
Today’s biggest developments:
China reports no new domestic cases for 1st time since outbreak began Virus now present in all European countries 50 new infections per hour in Iran, health ministry spokesman says Half of the world’s student population out of school U.S. death toll at 141
Here’s how the news is unfolding today. All times Eastern. Please refresh for updates.
8:25 a.m.: ‘This is absolutely serious,’ U.S. surgeon general warns
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams is urging young Americans to take the novel coronavirus pandemic more seriously and cooperate with health precautions, as throngs of college students were seen crowding beaches and bars for spring break.
“This is absolutely serious. People are dying,” Adams told ABC News in an interview Thursday on “Good Morning America.”
“Think about your grandmother, think about your grandfather,” he added. ” You’re spreading disease and that could be what ultimately kills them.”
Adams advised all Americans — young and old — to restrict non-essential travel, to stay home from work if possible and to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
“If we all do that across the country, then we can have our trajectory like China which overnight, good news, reported no new domestic cases,” he said. “Italy looks like the worst case scenario and it’s why we are ringing the alarm, why we’re telling America to take this seriously. But we have a better case scenario and China is reassuring. China shows us that if we do this, then in six to eight weeks we will hit our peak and start to come back down again.”
PHOTO: Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks with ‘Good Morning America’ about the coronavirus, March 19, 2020. (ABC News)
The surgeon general emphasized that everyone has a role to play in fighting the epidemic and “little things that you do add up to big changes over time.”
“If you are negligent, if you don’t practice good hygiene, if you go out and spread disease to someone else, then it can add up over time,” he said. “But good behaviors add up over time and what I tell people is, I want everyone to act as if you have the virus. Whenever you’re interacting with someone else, just imagine you have the virus and act as if you want to protect them or that they have the virus and you want to protect from getting it.”
When asked about the frustration surrounding the lack of diagnostic tests for COVID-19, Adams said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “was never designed to provide millions of tests.”
“What we’re really focused on now is making sure people who are at highest risk, including our health care workers, critically important, and people who have symptoms can get tested,” he said. “Thousands more tests this week, tens of thousands increasing by the day, and we’re not where we want to be but we feel like we’re moving in the right direction.”
“Unfortunately, people who are asymptomatic or don’t really need to be tested based on priorities are out there getting tests and clogging up the lines,” he added. “Then our older people and sicker people, our health care workers won’t be able to get that testing.”
MORGAN WINSOR Good Morning America March 19, 2020