The World Health Organization (WHO) cautioned world governments that the continued spread of the novel coronavirus is "not a drill" and will require significant action to contain the deadly outbreak.

The virus has acted as the sand on the global economic engine, with markets worldwide suffering losses. The Dow Jones closed down 970 points, or 3.6%, Thursday, marking its fifth-worst single-day point drop on record.

The WHO's warning comes at the number of those infected across the globe that are quickly nearing the 100,000 mark. The vast majority of those infected are in China. Some 3,000 odd people have died in China. More than 260 have died outside of China, mainly in Italy and Iran. The virus has spread to at least 85 countries since it began in China in December last year.

The coronavirus could wipe more than $200 billion off Asia-Pacific economies in 2020, S&P Global Ratings warned Friday in a report. It painted a worst-case scenario where China could see less than 3% growth, while Japan, Australia, and Hong Kong could "flirt with recession."

Asian shares fell Friday as disruptions to global business from the coronavirus beyond China worsened. Japanese markets dropped more than 3%. The airline industry could lose as much as $113 billion in revenue, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Facebook has reportedly told its Bay Area employees to stay home and cancel all the trips. Microsoft, which said two of its employees in Washington state have been infected, will pay hourly workers even if their work hours are affected by the virus.

Gap reportedly shut down its New York City office after an employee tested positive.

Amid the coronavirus crisis, the airlines have drastically cut services to China, South Korea, Italy and Iran, many of them cannot accurately estimate their annual losses. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) now sees global revenue losses for 2020 potentially hitting $113 billion for passenger airlines.

China reported 30 new coronavirus deaths and 143 new infections as of Thursday-end. At least 29 of the new deaths and 126 new cases were from the province of Hubei, the epicenter of the infections in China. Across China, the total number of deaths has reached 3,042, with the number of infections hitting 80,552.

South Korea, one of the nations worst affected outside China, reported 518 new cases on Friday, bringing to 6,284 the total number of infections, according to Yonhap news agency. 42 people, mostly elderly with underlying illnesses, have died from the disease in the country. The country said it will consider countermeasures to Japan barring visitors from areas that have been hard hit by the coronavirus, including in South Korea and Iran.

Italy, meanwhile, is overtaking South Korea as the infection is spreading at a fast pace. It recorded 769 new cases Thursday, with 3,858 people infected in all. It has recorded 148 deaths from COVID-19 so far.

Iran, where 124 people have so far died of COVID-19, has limited travel between cities and urged people to avoid contact with banknotes. It also canceled Friday prayers for the second week in a row. But the numbers coming out of Iran are not credible as the country, with a history of suppressing numbers, is suspected of revealing the actual extent of the outbreak. Reports say more than 4,700 people have been infected by the virus in Iran.

France has so far reported 423 cases of the virus as of late on Thursday, up by 138 in one day, according to the national health service. There have been seven deaths so far in France.

Vatican City reported its first coronavirus case. The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan reported its first case of the coronavirus after a U.S. tourist tested positive.

India has so far identified 31 cases, the majority of which have been linked to travelers from Italy, leading worries the world's second-most populous country could see cases spike in the coming days.

Israelis wearing protective masks vote at one of the special polling station erected for the 5,600 voters under quarantine
Israelis wearing protective masks vote at one of the special polling station erected for the 5,600 voters under quarantine AFP / GALI TIBBON

Trump to sign bill: President Donald Trump is likely to sign an $8.3 billion emergency spending bill approved by Congress to fight the virus. Lawmakers across the country are cracking down on scam coronavirus claims and excessive pricing of consumer medical supplies.

The death toll in the United States from the coronavirus has risen to 12 as King County in the state of Washington reported the latest death Thursday. Across the U.S., there are now at least 129 cases confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as of March 5. Other news reports say the number of cases has already reached at least 225.

Health officials in Colorado said a second person has presumptively tested positive for the coronavirus illness COVID-19. Houston's health department said the first person within the city has presumptively tested positive for the coronavirus illness COVID-19.

Some 3,500 people are on a cruise ship that had previously carried a passenger who later died on the coronavirus. The Grand Princess is now headed back to the United States, but will not be allowed to dock anytime soon. Dozens of passengers who had traveled with that coronavirus victim are still on the ship.