Quantcast
Connect with us

Virus deaths surge past 13,000 as one billion confined to homes

Published

on

Nearly one billion people around the world were confined to their homes on Sunday, as the coronavirus death toll crossed 13,000 and factories were shut in worst-hit Italy after another single-day fatalities record.

The raging pandemic has forced lockdowns in 35 countries across the globe, disrupting lives, travel and businesses as governments scramble to shut borders and unleash hundreds of billions in emergency measures to avoid a widespread virus-fuelled economic meltdown.

ADVERTISEMENT

More than 300,000 infections have been confirmed worldwide, with the situation increasingly grim in Italy where the death toll spiked to more than 4,800 — over a third of the global total.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced a closure of all non-essential factories in a late-night TV address on Saturday.

The Mediterranean nation of 60 million is now the epicentre of the disease, which first emerged in central China late last year before marching out to the rest of the world.

Italy has now reported more deaths than mainland China and third-placed Iran combined, and it has a death rate of 8.6 percent among confirmed COVID-19 infections — significantly higher than in most other countries.

Across the Atlantic, more than a third of Americans were adjusting to life in various phases of lockdown, including in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles — the three biggest US cities. Other parts of the United States are expected to ramp up restrictions as well.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This is a time of shared national sacrifice, but also a time to treasure our loved ones,” US President Donald Trump said. “We’re going to have a great victory.”

As world leaders have vowed to fight the pandemic, the number of deaths and infections has continued to rise, especially in Europe — the main global hotspot.

Spain reported a 32 percent spike in new deaths on Saturday, and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez warned in a TV address that the nation needs to prepare for “very hard days ahead”.

ADVERTISEMENT

Fatalities in France jumped to 562 as police officials said helicopters and drones were being deployed to boost the government’s attempts to keep people in their homes.

The unprecedented measures to counter the spread of COVID-19 have shredded the international sports calendar, and pressure is mounting on Olympic organisers to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Games.

ADVERTISEMENT

The pandemic has bludgeoned global stock markets, and the United States — the world’s biggest economy — is preparing a huge emergency stimulus package that could top $1 trillion.

Millions have been ordered to stay home in the United States.

New Jersey on Saturday followed several states in telling residents to stay indoors. Governor Phil Murphy ordered all non-essential businesses to close their physical stores from 9:00 PM (0100 GMT Sunday).

ADVERTISEMENT

And in neighbouring New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo warned that the disruption is likely to last for months, not weeks.

“I don’t think it’s possible in a city of this size for people to maintain it for much longer than three weeks before they start losing it,” Yona Corn, a 35-year-old singer, told AFP.

“I think there’s going to be a big mental health crisis. I worry about what’s going to happen to people.”

Congress members are hoping to agree on a $1 trillion emergency aid package as fears grow about the economic fallout from the crisis.

ADVERTISEMENT

The US Food and Drug Administration also approved the first coronavirus test that can be conducted entirely at the point of care for a patient — and deliver results in 45 minutes.

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife tested negative for the coronavirus, his press secretary tweeted Saturday. The couple had taken the test after one of Pence’s staffers contracted the illness.

The drastic confinement measures follow the example of China, where the lockdown of Hubei province appears to have paid off. Wuhan, Hubei’s capital, is where the virus was first detected.

China reported its first local infection in four days on Sunday. While the number of cases in the mainland has slumped dramatically since the crisis began, there are fears of “imported” cases from other hotspots like Europe.

ADVERTISEMENT

France, Italy, Spain and other European countries have ordered people to stay at home, threatening fines in some cases, while Australia on Sunday told citizens to cancel domestic travel plans.

Britain has told pubs, restaurants and theatres to close and warned citizens to stop panic-buying.

And India went into lockdown on Sunday with a one-day nationwide “self-imposed curfew”.

While the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions are the hardest hit by the virus, the WHO has warned that young people are also vulnerable.

Accurate COVID-19 figures are difficult to reach because many of the victims suffered from other illnesses, and infection rates are uncertain because of a lack of testing in many countries.

ADVERTISEMENT

The coronavirus has infected more than 1,000 across Africa too, where healthcare systems are limited and social distancing measures — like the ones being adopted in North America and Europe — are difficult in crowded cities.

The Middle East also remains on high alert, where Iran — which suffered a major outbreak — reporting 123 new deaths on Saturday. But the Islamic Republic has refused to join the rest of the world in imposing heavy restrictions.

burs-qan/je


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Northern Kentucky bar owner flouts mask order in viral video: ‘We’re Americans — we want to have fun’

Published

on

A northern Kentucky bar owner shared video of himself and dozens of customers flouting the governor's mask mandate.

Patrick Townsend, owner of Town's End Bar and Grill in Florence, boasted in the video that he would not obey Gov. Andy Beshear's new order requiring masks in public to fight the spread of the coronavirus, reported WXIX-TV.

"What we're saying right now is, f*ck you, we're not wearing any masks," Townsend says in the Facebook Live video. "We are Americans -- we're going to do what we want and we want to have fun."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Morning Joe’s Mika rains hell on ‘pathetic’ Trump for White House smear campaign against Dr Fauci

Published

on

MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Mika Brzezinski went off on an extended diatribe on Donald Trump and the White House for attempts to smear the reputation of Dr. Anthony Fauci based upon a report from NBC News.

According to the NBC report, "The White House is seeking to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's leading infectious disease expert, as President Donald Trump works to marginalize him and his dire warnings about the shortcomings of the U.S. coronavirus response."

Using that as a jumping-off point, the "Morning Joe" host called the president "pathetic," and blamed the massive and resurgent spread of the coronavirus solely on the president's bungling of the government's response from day one.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Criminal malpractice’: MSNBC doctor shreds Betsy DeVos for evidence-free plan to reopen schools

Published

on

A public health expert blasted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for pushing to send children and teachers back to school as coronavirus cases explode.

President Donald Trump's education secretary repeatedly dodged questions about safety during Sunday morning interviews on CNN and Fox News, and Dr. Vin Gupta told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the administration's lack of planning was unconscionable.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image