Coronavirus: India on alert as China's death toll touches 3,042

World health officials have warned that countries are not taking the coronavirus crisis seriously enough, as outbreaks surged across Europe and in the United States where medical workers sounded warnings over a 'disturbing' lack of hospital preparedness.

Global markets tumbled again over concerns about the impact on the economy and as countries took more drastic steps to prevent contagion of a disease that has killed more than 3,300 people and infected nearly 100,000 in about 85 nations.Cases soared in Italy, France, Greece and Iran, while a cruise ship was held off the coast of California to test passengers showing symptoms of the disease -- echoing a harrowing episode in Japan several weeks ago that saw hundreds infected on a luxury liner.

The epidemic has wreaked havoc on international business, tourism, sports events and schools, with almost 300 million students sent home worldwide. Even religion is affected: The Vatican said Pope Francis may have to change his schedule, Bethlehem was placed under lockdown, and Saudi Arabia emptied Islam's holiest site in Mecca to sterilise it.