What's happening: Virus fears hit Africa, markets, schools

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LaPresse

An Italian army soldier blocks off a road leading to the village of Vo'Euganeo, in Italy's northern Veneto region, on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. Vo'Euganeo is the epicenter of the Veneto cluster of the new virus. (Claudio Fulan/LaPresse via AP)

PARIS – Amusement parks, sporting events, religious gatherings, reality TV shows, even schools. More and more of daily life in a growing swath of the world is being affected by the new coronavirus. And that's messing with global financial markets as basic business, trade and tourism suffers from the disruptions.

Here are some of the latest developments:

THE DANGERS OF AMUSEMENT

While parts of China had already banned fun events, the virus is now canceling gatherings around the world as it spreads. Disney closed its parks in Tokyo for two weeks. K-pop superstars BTS called off an upcoming concert series in Seoul. CBS is suspending production of “The Amazing Race." Formula One teams are worried about being able to travel to races with the season set to start in two weeks. And the Swiss government is banning any event with more than 1,000 people — including the Geneva International Motor Show, one of the car industry's showcase events.

IS AFRICA NEXT?

The virus has now officially reached sub-Saharan Africa, after Nigeria reported its first case. The patient is an Italian traveler who recently arrived in Lagos, Africa's largest city — home to 20 million people. Isolated cases of the virus were confirmed in Egypt and Algeria in north Africa, but there is growing concern that cases around Africa are going unreported. Health officials had worried the virus could hit countries with weak health systems, and that's increasingly what's happening, from Africa to Afghanistan and beyond.

AS MARKETS FALL, ARE JOBS NEXT?

Down, down, down.Financial markets around the world kept dropping and Wall Street suffered its worst week since the financial crisis in 2008. Companies say factory shutdowns in China are disrupting supply chains. In the U.S., officials reported the first drug shortage tied to the outbreak but stressed that alternative medicines are available. British Airways warned of a hit to its profit as people put off or postpone trips. Philippine Airlines is laying off 300 ground personnel as part of an ongoing restructuring that was aggravated by travel restrictions caused by the virus. Some airlines in Europe canceled flights due to reduced demand. U.S. President Donald Trump has been in touch with CEOs amid worries economic impacts could weigh on the election campaign.