Global virus cases near million as US records youngest death

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NEW YORK A six-week-old baby died of COVID19 and global agencies warned of food shortages as coronavirus infections around the world neared one million Wednesday. Governments expanded lockdowns to affect about half of the planet, with funeral parties banned in the Democratic Republic of Congo, New York locking up its famed street basketball courts and hard-hit Italy extending its economically crippling lockdown until April 13. More than 900,000 people have been infected by the novel coronavirus and nearly 46,000 have died since it first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year,according to an AFP tally. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), said the number would hit one million “in the next few days.” “I am deeply concerned about the rapid escalation and global spread of infection,” he said. “The entire world is shut down,” said US President Donald Trump. “It s very sad.” Cases in the United States soared, rising to more than 213,000, the most anywhere in the world. The death toll in the US over the past 24 hours was a new one-day record of 884, and new known cases exceeded 25,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University database. “We re going to have a couple of weeks, starting pretty much now, but especially a few days from now, that are going to be horrific. But even in the most challenging of times, Americans do not despair. We do not give in to fear,” Trump told an evening news conference. Among the victims was a sixweek-old in Connecticut who was brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week, believed to be the youngest victim yet of the virus. “Testing confirmed last night that the newborn was COVID-19 positive,” Governor Ned Lamont wrote on Twitter. “This is absolutely heartbreaking.” The victims of the new coronavirus have been disproportionately elderly, but a number of recent cases have highlighted that the disease can befall even youngsters with seemingly strong immune systems.—AFP

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