3 Billion People under Lockdown, Virus Death Count passes 20,000
More than three billion people round the world were living under lockdown on Wednesday as governments stepped up their efforts against the coronavirus pandemic which has left quite 20,000 people dead.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that only a concerted global effort could stop the spread of the virus.
UN chief General Antonio Guterres said the world needs to ban together to stem the pandemic.
“COVID-19 is threatening the whole of humanity – and the whole of humanity must fight back,” he said, launching an appeal for $2 billion to help the world’s poor.
“Global action and solidarity are crucial,” he said. “Individual country responses aren’t getting to be enough.”
In Spain, the amount of fatalities surpassed those of China, where the novel coronavirus first emerged three months ago, making it the hardest-hit nation after Italy.
In Washington, President Donald Trump said ny , the epicenter of the US outbreak with over 30,000 cases, likely features a few “tough weeks” ahead but he would decide soon whether unaffected parts of the country can get back to work.
India’s stay-at-home order for its 1.3 billion people is now the biggest, taking the total number of individuals facing restrictions on their daily lives to more than three billion.
Russia, which announced the death of two patients who tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, is expected to follow suit. President Putin declared next week a public holiday and postponed a public vote on controversial constitutional reforms, urging people to follow instructions given by authorities.
The G20 major economies will hold an emergency video-conference on Thursday to discuss a global response to the crisis, as will the 27 leaders of the European Union, the outbreak’s new epicenter.
China has begun to relax its own draconian restrictions on free movement in the province of Hubei, where the outbreak began in December, after the country reported no new cases.
Spain saw the number of deaths surge to more than 4000 and the government announced a 432 Million Euro deal to buy medical supplies from Beijing.
The death count in Italy jumped in 24 hours by 683 to 7,503 – by far the highest of any country.
The number of French deaths was up by 231 on Wednesday to quite 1,330, and metro and rail services in Paris were move a minimum.
Spain and Italy were joined by France and 6 more EU countries in urging Germany and therefore the Netherlands to permit the difficulty of joint European bonds to chop borrowing costs and stabilise the eurozone economy.
Coronavirus cases are also spreading in the Middle East, where Iran’s death count topped 2,000, and in Africa, where Mali declared its first case and several nations announced states of emergency.
In Japan, which has postponed this year’s Olympic Games, Tokyo’s governor urged residents to remain home this weekend, warning of a possible “explosion” of the coronavirus.
The economic damage of the virus – and the lockdowns – could also be devastating, with fears of a worldwide recession worse than the financial meltdown more than a decade ago.
But financial markets rose after US leaders reached agreement on a stimulus package worth roughly 10 percent of the US economy, an injection Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said represented a “wartime level of investment.”