Coronavirus: 4,23,000 global cases and death toll reaches 18,900 as all of India enters lockdown for 21 days

So far, India has reported over 560 cases and 11 deaths. There has been a gradual increase in recoveries as well, with around 50 people declared virus-free.

Myupchar March 25, 2020 14:16:05 IST
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Coronavirus: 4,23,000 global cases and death toll reaches 18,900 as all of India enters lockdown for 21 days

Coronavirus is not showing any signs of letting up with global cases now over 4,23,000 and the deaths caused by it over 18,900. However, there is some solace - over 1,09,100 have made a full recovery.

Developments in India

In a major development, PM Narendra Modi declared a 3-week national lockdown during a national address yesterday. There was panic in the streets afterwards with people rushing to buy supplies, fearing supply issues and shop closures. The government has urged calm, and state authorities will issue separate instructions about essential services and provisions. The Uttarakhand government, for example, said that essential commodity shops will remain open between 7 am and 10 am. The Ministry of Home Affairs has told all states and UTs to set up 24*7 helplines to address concerns over this 3 week period and ensure smooth supply of essential goods and services. 

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Representational image. Image source: Getty Images.

So far, India has reported over 560 cases and 11 deaths. There has been a gradual increase in recoveries as well, with around 50 people declared virus-free.

The country begins Navratri celebrations today, but all temples in the National Capital Region have remained closed. In a tweet, the PM acknowledged that celebrations were minimal and maintained that lockdown measures were necessary. 

A charter plane carrying 277 Indians nationals from Iran landed in Delhi this morning. The passengers will be placed in quarantine in a government facility. 

To combat the rise in cases, private hospitals will begin admitting COVID-19 patients starting tomorrow - so far they were just sending tests to diagnostic facilities. More details are awaited on this development.

Around the world 

Many other countries have opted for lockdowns as well. South Africa announced a 3-week lockdown, Egypt declared a two-week nightly curfew between 7 pm to 6 am and New Zealand is also expected to announce a lockdown today. 

On the other hand, parts of Hubei province also began to open up, with some signs of normalcy returning to the province where the outbreak originated. People were allowed to travel more freely, except within Wuhan. Parts of the Great Wall were reopened and people were seen walking around the monument. The vast majority of new cases in China have been from those travelling from outside, but experts have urged caution and said that the country needs to remain alert to prevent a second wave. 

The situation remained grim in Italy. 743 deaths were reported on Tuesday, the second-highest toll to date. This was disappointing as deaths were gradually lowering over the past 2 days with observers hoping that the worst had passed. The silver lining is that the rate of infection appears to be reducing - Tuesday saw an 8% gain, the lowest since the first death was reported in late February.

Spain now has over 40,000 infections and around 3,000 deaths. The country has asked for humanitarian assistance from NATO and the army has been called in to maintain social distancing. Despite strict lockdown measures, community transmission does not seem to be going down yet.

The US, and in particular New York City, has seen a surge in cases. About 40% of new cases have emerged from the US and WHO officials warned that the epicentre may shift there soon. The mayor of New York acknowledged the challenging situation and said that there could soon be a shortage of ventilators and hospital beds. 

The response has been scattered in the US; several (but not all) states are in lockdown, and President Trump seems to be favouring an approach quite different from his health advisers. He was reported suggesting that life will return to normal in a couple of weeks and that no national lockdown would be ordered.

The Olympics have been postponed for a year

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed global suspicions and said that the Olympics will be postponed and held no later than the summer of 2021. Many countries, including the US, Australia, and Canada had said days earlier that they would not send their athletes to the games given the current global situation.

For more tips, read our article on Coronavirus.

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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