Journalists gather outside the private health center where the first Argentine infected with the new Coronavirus, COVID-19, is…
Journalists gather outside the private health center where the first Argentine infected with the coronavirus, COVID-19, is located, in Buenos Aires, March 3, 2020.

Argentina is reporting its first coronavirus case, and Spain has announced its first death, as global health experts grapple with how to control a virus about which little is still known.

A Spanish health official in the Valencia region said Tuesday an autopsy carried out on a man who died Feb. 13 shows he was killed by the coronavirus.

Argentina's health minister says that country's first coronavirus victim is a 43-year-old man who spent two weeks in northern Italy, the center of Europe's outbreak.

He is recovering in a hospital, and his case is described as mild.

Officials in Washington state are also reporting nine new cases and three more deaths since Monday. That brings the number of confirmed cases in the United States to more than 100.

Protective gear

Earlier Tuesday, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged people around the world to stop hoarding masks and other protective gear, saying health care workers need them.

People wearing masks stand in a line to buy face masks in front of a drug store amid the rise in confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease of COVID-19 in Daegu, South Korea, March 3, 2020.

Experts say surgical masks are no guaranteed protection against the virus, but say they are essential equipment for doctors and nurses.

Tedros said he is concerned about the "severe and increasing disruption to the global supply of personal protective equipment caused by rising demand."

Hand sanitizers are also in short supply. Drug store and supermarket store shelves where the product is usually stocked are bare in many areas of the United States.

Experts say sanitizers with a high alcohol content are effective against the virus but not essential, because they say proper hand-washing is just as good. They caution people against making their own, saying a wrong mixture of ingredients can be more harmful than helpful.

Global economy

Earlier Tuesday, finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading economies said they will use policy to support the global economy that is showing signs of weakening due to the coronavirus, which has now spread to nearly 80 countries.

The ministers issued a statement after a teleconference saying they are “closely monitoring” the  virus’s “impact on markets and economic conditions,” and that they have committed to “use all appropriate policy tools” to support economic growth.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in Tuesday declared "war" on the coronavirus. It is the world's hardest-hit country outside China with nearly 5,000 cases.

WHO officials have arrived in another badly affected country — Iran — where Britain, France and Germany have pledged to send supplies to fight the virus.

China reported just 125 new cases Tuesday, its lowest number in several weeks. Thousands of recovered patients are starting to leave hospitals.

The outbreak erupted in China in December and has since increased  to 91,000 cases worldwide, and 3,100 deaths — the vast majority in China.
 

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