Coronavirus Concerns Spread Faster and Further Than Pathogen

A deadly new coronavirus has spread to two dozen countries from China. So far, Iceland isn’t one of them.

That hasn’t stopped the country of 363,000 people from preparing a building called “Place X” to quarantine hundreds of people, should the need arise. Iceland has also established a coordination center, where emergency and government officials meet for daily briefings.

Local officials in many remote corners—from Iceland to Antarctica—are rushing to prepare for the possible arrival of the virus, a reflection of China’s global reach and how quickly fear is spreading.

Since the virus first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late December, it has killed at least 811 people, primarily in mainland China, among nearly 37,198 confirmed cases. Neighboring nations like Thailand and Malaysia have reported several cases, as have large economic centers with established Chinese communities, including Paris and Sydney. The virus has also reached more-remote areas, including Lapland in northern Finland and the island of Tenerife, off the coast of West Africa.


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