COVID-19 Death Toll Passes 20,000 Globally
The pace of new coronavirus infections continues to rise globally and with it, so too does the death toll from the virus. In the US this week, the death till soared past 1000 while Spain moved up to second place in terms of the highest number of deaths from the virus, passing China. Italy still has the highest death toll.
Over the last 24 hours, Spain has seen a dramatic increase in its death toll with the number of those dying as a result of the virus jumping by 738, to a total of 3434. This increase was even above the rise in Italian COVID-19 deaths which rose by 683.
Italy has so far reported the higher number of deaths at 6820, while Spain has reported the second highest and China has now fallen to third place at 3,285 deaths, despite the virus originating there.
In Spain, the pace of infection continues to grow, surging by 20% over recent weeks with over 27000 people now in hospital receiving treatment. Regionally, Madrid has been the worst affected with Catalonia also seeing a sharp increase in infection.
State of Emergency in Spain
The country has been on nationwide lock down for over a week now under the State of Emergency declared by the government. MP’s are now due to vote on potentially extending the State of Emergency until the 11th April. Citizens have been confined to their homes except for essential shopping (food, fuel, medicine) with police and the military enforcing the lockdown.
In the UK, citizens have now been placed on a similar lockdown with all but essential workers working from home as businesses around the country close for three weeks under the PM’s orders. The police have been given the power to enforce the lockdown with only those exercising or doing essential shopping allowed out of their houses.
In the US, which has also been placed on lockdown, President Trump is defying advice from health authorities, telling the nation that America will be “open for business” within a few days, despite experts advising that the lockdown needs to continue for the foreseeable future.
There are now in excess of 460,000 cases of the infection globally with the death toll soaring above the 20,000 mark. While China has been reporting fewer cases and fewer deaths, in the US and Europe, the rate of infection (and the death toll) is still increasing rapidly. The situation has become so severe in Europe that it is now classed as the centre of the virus, overtaking China.
UN & WHO Warn Over Virus
The UN said this week that the virus is “threatening the whole of humanity” and pleaded that “global action and solidarity are crucial. Individual country responses are not going to be enough”. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom labelled the virus “public enemy No.1” during a new briefing this week, saying: “We had been saying to the world the window of opportunity is narrowing and the time to act was actually more than a month ago, two months ago”. In terms of his outlook for the final impact of the virus, Tedros said: “We have lost more than 16,000 lives, we will lose more. How many more will be determined by the decisions we make,”
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