The coronavirus pandemic has taken over daily lives around the globe, overwhelming hospitals, shuttering schools and offices, halting U.S. presidential campaign rallies and world sports while increasing fears about the financial toll.
The intensifying spread of COVID-19 beyond Asia has dashed hopes about a quick containment, even with travel and social events curbed drastically. And political leaders were among those infected or quarantined due to potential exposure.
Asian markets were sinking further Friday, after U.S. stocks had their greatest losses since the Black Monday crash of 1987 and bad European results. Benchmarks in Japan, Thailand and India sank as much as 10%. Losses in mainland China, where the virus is subsiding, were less severe.
In the United States, Congress neared a deal with the Trump administration on a sweeping aid package with sick pay, free testing and other resources to help reassure anxious Americans and calm markets, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
People fretted over the health risks to the elderly, threatened jobs and dwindling savings while caring for children staying home from shuttered schools.
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