Coronavirus world update: Lockdown across the globe, leaders plead with their citizens to stay home
The World Health Organization has warned that the coronavirus disease pandemic is "accelerating" but it was still possible to "change the trajectory". The WHO head asked people to stay at home and said that other physical-distancing measures were an important way of slowing down the spread of the virus.
As the novel coronavirus cases continue to spiral across the globe with over 15,000 deaths and 350,000 infection cases so far, world leaders and health officials are appealing to citizens to stay inside their homes and maintain social distancing. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the coronavirus disease pandemic is "accelerating". It took 67 days from the first reported of Covid-19 to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000, and just four days for the third 100,000.
But WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was still possible to "change the trajectory". He urged countries to adopt rigorous testing and contact-tracing strategies.
Dr Tedros said asking people to stay at home and other physical-distancing measures were an important way of slowing down the spread of the virus, but described them as "defensive measures that will not help us to win".
"To win, we need to attack the virus with aggressive and targeted tactics - testing every suspected case, isolating and caring for every confirmed case, and chasing and quarantining every close contact."
HERE'S WHAT WORLD LEADERS/POLITICIANS ACROSS THE WORLD SAID:
In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson enforced the strictest curbs on movement of people for at least three weeks to try and control the spread of Covid-19 in the country, where the death toll reached 335 and confirmed cases stand at 6,700. In a televised address to the nation on Monday evening, he said while no Prime Minister wants to make such demands on the population, the situation was such that he was forced to clamp down on people's movement and crackdown on any gatherings of more than two people.
"From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home."
People will only be allowed to leave their home to shop for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible; one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of household; any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
"You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say 'No'. You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home. You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine -- and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can," Johnson said.
The UK Prime Minister warned that anyone flouting these strict rules would have to deal with police, who will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and force dispersal gatherings.
In Italy, the worst-hit country from the coronavirus, officials are taking to social media or scolding people who are going outside despite orders to stay in. There were 601 new coronavirus-related deaths confirmed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities to 6,077. The total number of cases there is 63,927.
"Go home, this is not a film on TV, this is a national emergency!," Antonio Decaro, Mayor of Bari, stressed to his residents last week. "Go home, you can't play ping pong, go to your Playstations," he said. More than 80,000 people have been reported in Italy because they did not comply with the coronavirus emergency restrictions.
In Germany, the number of confirmed cases has risen by 4,764 in a day to reach to 27,436, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said on Tuesday.
In Spain, the Health Ministry reported 33,089 total cases on Monday -- 4,517 more than Sunday, and 2,182 deaths -- 462 more than Sunday. A total of 114 people have died, an increase of 28 from the total published on Monday.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a tough message for his countrymen who choose to ignore social distancing advice: "Enough is enough. Go home and stay home."
"If you choose to ignore that advice, if you choose to get together with people or go to crowded places, you are not just putting yourself at risk, you are putting others at risk too," he said.
This morning, I spoke with G7 leaders about COVID-19. This is a global issue, and we are committed to doing all it takes to protect people and support our economies. We will coordinate our responses, take strong and collective action, and get through this together. ???????? Ce matin, j’ai parlé avec les dirigeants du G7 de la COVID-19. C’est un enjeu mondial, et on va faire tout ce qui est nécessaire pour protéger les gens et soutenir nos économies. On va coordonner nos réponses, prendre des mesures fermes et concertées et traverser cette épreuve ensemble.
A post shared by Justin Trudeau (@justinpjtrudeau) on
A significant increase in cases reported, especially in its largest provinces of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. On Monday, new cases spiked by nearly a third. There are at least 2,000 cases and 23 deaths nationwide.
The US has now the third highest number of cases -- more than 42,000 -- in the world, behind Italy and China. Public health authorities have pushed for the stay-at-home restrictions as essential to curb widespread transmission of a highly contagious respiratory virus that has killed at least 559.
Half of America's total caseload is in New York state, which has recorded more than 20,000 positive tests and 157 deaths.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said: "This is a moment where we need some straight talk. As individuals and as a community, we need to do more to meet this moment."
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said: "This weekend we saw too many people packing beaches, trails and parks." He said people should heed the closures and stay home. "That doesn't mean gather elsewhere. This is serious. Stay home and save lives."
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said: "I am disappointed to see photos and videos on social media of boats close together and large groups of people congregating."
"We are in a state of emergency, and I cannot stress enough the need for personal responsibility."
In Brazil, the Ministry of Health reported 1,891 cases in the country as of Monday, a spike of almost 400 new cases in a single day. Cuba has now closed its doors to all tourists, and those that are already in the country will have to go into quarantine. There were on Monday around 32,500 overseas tourists in Cuba - of which 9,400 were staying in homestays. The government says they will be moved to state-run hotels to complete their quarantine, according to Reuters. There are currently 40 confirmed cases in Cuba.
SITUATION IN OTHER COUNTRIES
Australia's most populous state Sydney recorded its highest daily rise in coronavirus cases on Tuesday and officials warned of harsher penalties for anybody violating self-isolation orders as the country stepped closer to a full lockdown. While schools officially remained open in most of the country, parents were strongly advised to keep their children home, as all other non-essential services, including cinemas, pubs and houses of worship, were closed for the first full day.
New South Wales (NSW) state identified 149 new coronavirus cases overnight, bringing the state total to 818, and the national toll to 1,886 cases. The national death toll remained unchanged at eight.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urged her countrymen on Tuesday to reduce contacts to a bare minimum to help fight the coronavirus, as the country prepared for a one-month lockdown. New Zealand’s cases of the coronavirus crossed the 100 mark this week as the government imposed self-isolation for everyone, with all non-essential services, schools and offices to be shut for a month from midnight on Wednesday.
“Simplest thing is to stay at home ... that’s how we will save lives,” Ardern told a news conference at Parliament. “The underlying principle of an alert level 4 is to reduce contact between people to the bare minimum,” she said.
New Zealand has a total of 155 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases, with four local transmission cases. It has had no deaths.
Thailand has recorded 106 new coronavirus cases and three more deaths, a health official said on Tuesday. The country now has 827 cases and 4 fatalities since the outbreak began.
Malaysia is ramping up coronavirus tests in preparation for the “worst scenario”, as it grapples with Southeast Asia’s highest number of infections, a Health Ministry official told Reuters. The WHO has urged countries to widen testing to contain the virus. Malaysia’s tally of infections has jumped six-fold in just 10 days to more than 1,500, exceeded only by China, South Korea and Japan in Asia. Malaysia has recorded at least 14 virus deaths.
South Korea reported 76 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, maintaining a downward trend in new infections which raised hopes that Asia's largest outbreak outside China may be slowing.
The daily tally brought the country's total infections to 9,037, according to the Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC). The death toll rose by two to 120.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health says the country’s total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases stands at 501, with 33 recorded deaths and 19 recoveries.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN CHINA?
China reported 78 new confirmed cases, including 74 imported infections, while the death toll from the novel coronavirus increased to 3,277 after seven more fatalities were confirmed from the COVID-19, health officials said on Tuesday. The overall confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland have reached 81,171 by the end of Monday.
The NHC said, 78 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported on the Chinese mainland on Monday, of which 74 were imported from abroad taking the number of overseas cases to 427.
Coronavirus epicentre Wuhan has reported one confirmed case after a gap of five days prompting officials to begin to ease restrictions. According to the state media, the lockdown in Wuhan will be lifted on April 8.
In Wuhan, officials said people are allowed to go back to work while restrictions on the public transport are gradually being eased. The Hubei province and its capital Wuhan with over 56 million people were under lockdown since January 23. The vicious virus broke out in city, reportedly at a live animal market in December last year and became virulent inflicting thousands of people in the city and province catching the government off guard.
As the country saw a surge in imported infections, the Chinese government announced that all international flights scheduled to arrive in Beijing will be redirected to airports in 12 other Chinese cities from Monday.
Singapore reported its biggest one-day surge in cases since the outbreak began. There were 54 new reported cases on Monday, the city state's biggest one-day surge to date, taking the national total up to 509 cases.
Myanmar has recorded its first two cases of coronavirus, the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar reported. Until now, Myanmar - the South East Asian country with a population of more than 50 million - was the most populous country without any confirmed cases.
Iran -- the epicentre of the virus in the Middle East -- confirmed 1,411 new cases, bringing the total number to 23,049, on Monday. It also reported 127 new coronavirus-related fatalities, bringing the total death toll to 1,812.
Turkey imposed restrictions on Tuesday on grocery store opening hours and numbers of shop customers and bus passengers, adding to steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus after the country's death toll from the illness rose to 37.
In South Asia, Pakistan has the highest number of cases in the region – with 878 as of Monday evening. The government announced sweeping restrictions although it stopped short of imposing a nationwide lockdown. However, several provinces have announced them independently. The Army is being brought in to help enforce the restrictions.
Almost all of India is under lockdown. State borders have been closed, which means interstate buses, trains and other forms of public transport have been suspended. On Monday evening, the country’s civil aviation body announced domestic flights would also be suspended. The number of active novel coronavirus cases reported in the country has climbed to 455. Thirty four people have been cured of the disease so far, while 10 people have died.
Bangladesh has reported 33 cases of the infection and three deaths, although there are concerns that the real number of cases could be much higher. The government has announced that all public and private offices will be shut from 26 March.
Nepal shut its borders on Monday until April 15, refusing entry to even its own citizens.This caused chaos at land borders, with people clamouring to be let in.
A nationwide curfew in Sri Lanka that was meant to end on Monday evening was extended until Thursday as the number of cases went up to 100. Police have been arresting those caught violating the curfew.