Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic today

Current evidence suggests that with the new coronavirus outbreak, one infected person passes the disease on to two to three other people.

As coronavirus is tightening its grip across the world, with nearly 250,000 positive cases and over 10,000 deaths — India is also gearing up on war footing to fight it. PM Modi has called for a nation-wide 'Janata curfew' on Sunday and adviced the population to practice social distancing. To facilitate this, the nation has already got into a virtual lockdown, with govt offices cutting down attendance, private offices availing work from home regime and schools, colleges, shopping malls, and public places shut down across the country. 

Meanwhile, here are certain tidbits that you need to know about the virus outbreak: 

YouTube no longer high definition in EU

As millions of Europeans are confined to their homes, as several countries have locked down, YouTube will be reducing its streaming quality across the European Union to avoid internet gridlock. 

The company issued a statement saying, "We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default." Standard definition videos are not as sharp as high definition videos.

Another cruise ship hit

Costa Luminosa, an Italian cruise ship, which has been hit by coronavirus, will be disembarking its passengers in Marseille, France, in small groups. The ship has over 600 passengers, including 187 French nationals. 

"Guests will be accompanied to their flights and transfers, organised by the company, through a sanitary cordon of isolation," Costa Cruises said, Reuters reported.

The ship will continue towards Italy where the remaining guests will disembark.

Virus tracker

Covid-19 has infected more than 245,000 people globally and the death toll exceeded 10,000. Italy's death toll stands at 3,405, which has overtaken China, where the virus first emerged. 

In the US, more than 13,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus and 200 have died, with the largest numbers so far in Washington state, New York and California.

In Iran, coronavirus is killing one person every 10 minutes, the health ministry spokesman tweeted on Thursday, as the country's death toll climbed to 1,284.

Olympics flame arrives in Japan

Amid the outbreak, Olympic cauldron was ignited in Japan on Friday by a flame carried from Greece, with officials pledging the Tokyo 2020 Games would proceed despite mounting pressure to halt the event due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan is grappling with pressure to avoid a health crisis among 600,000 expected overseas spectators and athletes at the event, which could see $3 billion in sponsorships and at least $12 billion spent on preparations evaporate.

The flame will now tour the Tohoku region hit by the tsunami and earthquake in 2011, in what organisers call a "recovery flame" tour before the official kick-off ceremony in Fukushima on March 26.

"Herd Immunity" and how do we get it?

Some experts have said a phenomenon called herd immunity will play a role in the coronavirus outbreak. It refers to a situation where enough people in a particular region have immunity to the infection to be able to effectively stop that disease from spreading. This can happen either through vaccination or from people having had the disease and recovering from it.

Current evidence suggests that with the new coronavirus outbreak, one infected person passes the disease on to two to three other people. By reducing the number of people one infects with social distancing measures, the point at which herd immunity kicks in can be lowered.




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