Spain broke another national record of daily coronavirus deaths on Sunday, when more than 40 percent of the world’s population was asked to stay home to stop the fatal march of an illness that killed 33,500 people.
Hospitals are rapidly filling up with a flood of patients in Europe and the United States, which are now the focus of a pandemic that started in Asia but is now turning the global economy upside down and messing up everyday life in an unprecedented way.
Spain announced 838 deaths within 24 hours, the third consecutive day of an increase.
The United States saw explosive growth in coronavirus cases, including doubling the number of cases in just two days, with New York most affected.
Senior government scientist Anthony Fauci made a preliminary forecast on Sunday that COVID-19 could take 100,000 to 200,000 lives.
“This is how pandemics work,” added Deborah Birx, who, like Fauci, is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, “and that’s why we’re all deeply concerned.”
“No state, no subway area will be spared,” she told NBC.
A day earlier, President Donald Trump had implemented the idea of quarantining the state of New York and two neighboring countries before dropping the idea in favor of a travelogue a few hours later.
This turn caught up with the confusion that was developing across much of the world.
According to an AFP database, more than 3.38 billion people were ordered or ordered to take detention measures on Sunday as the virus infected every area of life, wiped out millions of jobs, postponed elections and paused the sports scene.
The worst-hit Italy, with 756 deaths in the past 24 hours, and Spain, with 838 deaths, have together caused more than half of the world’s deaths.
However, both countries are hoping that they are nearing the peak of the crisis.
– ‘We are on the edge’ –
While Trump continues to criticize that he hoped that the Americans would work again by Easter, other countries warned citizens that indefinitely bans will be the new normal.
Spain is already tightening strict restrictions on movement, while the Italian authorities have announced that the closure will be extended after the April 3 deadline.
“My intensive care unit is full,” said Eduardo Fernandez, a nurse at Infanta Sofia Hospital in Madrid, where the authorities set up a 5,500-bed field hospital and turned an ice rink into a mortuary.
“If it’s not a complete breakdown, we’ll be close to it,” he added.
The pandemic has led to a worldwide battle for medical equipment as doctors and nurses struggle to distribute limited supplies of face masks and life-saving ventilators.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said his city, with more than 670 deaths so far, only had enough protective gear for another week.
“I have nothing for my head, nothing for my shoes,” said Diana Torres, who works in a rehabilitation center in the city.
“Everyone is afraid.”
– long distance –
The United States currently has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections with more than 135,000 cases. This is evident from a balance sheet by Johns Hopkins University, which recorded 33,551 deaths worldwide.
The death toll in the U.S. reached nearly 2,400 on Sunday, with cities like Detroit and New Orleans coming to New York as hotspots.
When the U.S. federal states imposed a patchwork of measures, Trump caused confusion at the weekend by resigning his proposal to largely block New York and its neighbors to prevent residents from visiting viral areas to Florida and elsewhere .
Just a few hours after the New York metropolitan area was stunned with its proposed “quarantine,” he reversed the course – a move that Governor Andrew Cuomo dismissed as “absurd”.
Across the Atlantic, the death toll in the UK was 1,200 when Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for the virus last week, warned that dark days were approaching.
“We know things will get worse before they get better,” said Johnson, who reports mild symptoms.
The country’s deputy chief physician warned that life would not normalize for six months or more.
France used two specially equipped trains to transport coronavirus patients from crowded hospitals in the east to facilities along the west coast.
In hard-hit Iran, President Hassan Rouhani also said the country must prepare for the “new way of life” in the foreseeable future after 123 more deaths have been recorded.
The Mayor of Moscow ordered self-isolation of all residents as Russia prepares to close its borders on Monday and take a week off.
– Global divide –
According to the Johns Hopkins report, more than 710,000 cases of the novel coronavirus have been officially reported worldwide since the outbreak began late last year.
Variations in the test regimes mean that the true number is likely to be far higher.
As health facilities in rich countries collapse under pressure, aid groups are warning of the toll on millions in poor countries and war zones such as Syria and Yemen.
According to UN experts, three billion people around the world have no access to running water and soap, the most basic weapon against the virus.
In Africa, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a two-week ban in Lagos and the capital Abuja.
But in Benin, President Patrice Talon said his country could not enforce public detention because it did not have the “means of the rich countries”.
In China, however, life in the ground-zero city of Wuhan is returning to normal.
Officials say the biggest threat to public health is now imported cases.
“We were more scared at first, and maybe thought it was safer overseas,” said Han Li, who is helping floods of locals returning to Wuhan.
“But now it doesn’t seem that way. It seems that it is safer in China.”
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