10,000 deaths globally, 5 deaths and over 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India and China reports no new local cases again

Officials are maintaining that there is no community transmission yet - all known cases have been traced to imported cases.

Myupchar March 20, 2020 13:08:17 IST
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10,000 deaths globally, 5 deaths and over 200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India and China reports no new local cases again

COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across the world. There are now close to 245,000 confirmed cases and around 10,030 deaths. As the pandemic strengthens its grip on the global population, there is a chilling realization that this is not an unforeseen but still rare event. Economic turmoil unseen since the recession of ‘08 is endangering livelihoods, and there is no clear timeline for when restrictions may be lifted.

10000 deaths globally 5 deaths and over 200 confirmed cases of COVID19 in India and China reports no new local cases again

Representational image. Image by t_watanabe from Pixabay.

The situation in India

PM Modi addressed the country yesterday, and while not calling for an official lockdown, urged citizens to stay at home as much as possible. Dubbing most of Sunday ‘Janta curfew’ (people’s curfew) he asked everyone to stay indoors to show that social distancing was a reality that could be realized in the country.

At last count, India had confirmed almost 200 cases of the novel coronavirus, including five deaths. The cases are dispersed throughout the country, with the highest in Maharashtra. PM Modi has urged citizens over 60 and children under 10 to stay indoors and the working population to work remotely as much as possible to limit transmission.

Officials are maintaining that there is no community transmission yet - all known cases have been traced to imported cases. However, this is a tenuous calm before the storm; Narendra Modi, in the national address yesterday, acknowledged that it is incorrect to assume that India is safe from the pandemic. Every citizen needs to stay alert.

PM Modi will also be holding a video conference today at 4 pm with the CMs of the country to discuss measures to tackle the virus.

Cases in Europe surge; Deaths in Italy exceed those in China

In a disturbing milestone, Italy has now recorded over 3,400 deaths, exceeding those in China, where the outbreak began. On Thursday, over 400 new deaths were reported in the region, an alarmingly high number for the stricken state. The country saw nearly a 15% increase in confirmed cases in a day. Experts are suggesting that the situation in the European country is especially bad because of the large elderly population - 87% of the dead were over 70 years of age - and underpowered healthcare infrastructure.

In nearby France and Germany, cases crossed 10,000 in each of the countries as well. While France has reported close to 350 deaths, the number has remained reassuringly low in Germany at around 40.

Spain has recorded over 18,000 cases, just barely behind those in Iran, establishing western Europe as the new epicentre. Most cases in the country are concentrated in Madrid. The Spanish government decided to shut down all hotels to curb the rise in cases.

Countries all around the world are entering stages of lockdown; Argentina announced self-quarantine until the 31st of March and Saudi Arabia has suspended prayers services around the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. India also decreed that all foreign commercial flights will be banned from March 22nd onwards for a week.

China records the second day of no new cases

For the second consecutive day, no new local infections were reported in China and the number of deaths was markedly low as well. While this does not mean that the country is out of danger, the government may take some steps to slowly reboot the afflicted economy. Further, Chinese officials formally apologized to the family of Li Wenliang, the whistleblower ophthalmologist who was amongst the first to raise the alarm about the new virus. Officials had previously reprimanded the doctor for spreading rumours. Dr Li eventually succumbed to the virus himself.

In a more reassuring development, a new study published yesterday in Nature Medicine said that the death rate in Wuhan - where the virus started - was lower than initially suspected. Crude figures had put it at around 2-3% but new statistical analysis has ascertained that it was in fact 1.4%. As known previously, the disease is more severe to older populations, with more serious cases increasing by age.

For more tips, read our article on Coronavirus Infection: Symptoms, Types, Diagnosis and Treatment.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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