A deepening health crisis became an economic one too Friday as the coronavirus outbreak sapped financial markets, emptied shops and businesses and put major sites and events off limits.
The list of countries hit by the illness edged toward 60 as Mexico, Belarus, Lithuania, New Zealand, Nigeria, Azerbaijan and the Netherlands reported their first cases. The threats to livelihoods were increasingly as worrisome as the threats to lives.
“It’s not cholera or the black plague,” said Simone Venturini, the city councilor for economic development in Venice, Italy, where tourism already hurt by historic flooding last year has sunk with news of virus cases. “The damage that worries us even more is the damage to the economy.”