March 20, 2020 / 8:16 AM / in 19 days

What you need to know about coronavirus right now

(Reuters) - Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus today:

YouTube no longer high definition in EU

Youtube said on Friday it will reduce its streaming quality in the European Union to avoid internet gridlock as thousands of Europeans are confined to their homes.

“We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default,” the company said in a statement.

Standard definition videos are not as detailed or as sharp as high definition videos.

Another cruise ship hit

Over 600 passengers, including 187 French nationals, with tickets to travel back to their home countries were disembarking the coronavirus-hit Costa Luminosa cruise ship in Marseille in small groups.

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

The ship is scheduled to continue to Italy where the remaining guests will disembark.

The spread

The virus has infected more than 245,000 people globally and the death toll exceeds 10,000.

Italy’s death toll has overtaken China, where the virus first emerged. Italy registered 427 deaths over the past 24 hours, bringing the total nationwide to 3,405 since the outbreak surfaced on Feb. 21.

More than 13,000 people across the United States have been diagnosed with the illness and 200 have died, with the largest numbers so far in Washington state, New York and California.

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

(For an interactive graphic tracking global spread, open tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.)

Olympics flame arrives in Japan

An 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.

Indonesia's red cross member wearing a protective suit sits before spraying disinfectant to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a prison complex in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Wahyuwidi Cinthya

What is 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 population have immunity to an 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.

Compiled by Karishma Singh

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