UK closes down, WHO warned pandemic is ‘accelerating’

UK closes down, WHO warns pandemic 'accelerating'
A man sits in London's Trafalgar Square before the government ordered everyone to stay at home and halt the spread of the coronavirus. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced strict controls of people’s movement, asked people to stay at home in a lockdown that will be enforced by the police. Meanwhile, WHO warned pandemic is ‘accelerating’.

People may only leave home to fulfill any medical or care needs, to exercise once a day, to shop for essential items and to travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary”.

Mr Johnson announced the measures in a rare television address to the nation after 52 more people died from Covid-19 in the country.

“From this evening, I must give the British people a very simple instruction, you must stay at home,” he said.

The UK follows the strict lockdown in Italy, Frace, Spain and slightly looser restrictions elsewhere.

Businesses that will not need to close include:

  • Restaurants, cafes and work canteens – but only for food delivery and takeaway services
  • Supermarkets and other premises selling food, including market stalls
  • “Health shops” such as pharmacies
  • Petrol stations, garages and car rental businesses
  • Bicycle shops
  • Home and hardware shops
  • Launderettes and dry cleaners
  • Pet shops
  • Corner shops, newsagents and post offices
  • Banks

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating.

On Monday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that while it took 67 days for cases to reach the 100,000 mark globally, it took only 11 for cases to reach 200,000 and just four to reach 300,000. As of Tuesday, Coronavirus cases pass 381,000 globally.

More than 6,000 people in Italy have died from the virus, far more than any other country in the world, nearly double the confirmed number of deaths in China, where the outbreak began.

The death toll in the United States increased to 495 and the number of cases surged past 35,000.

According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, nearly 16,500 people have died from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. while 101,000 of the 379,000 people who have been diagnosed with the disease have recovered.

New Zealand prepares for Wednesday lockdown

From midnight on Wednesday, New Zealand is going for a none-month lockdown. Before that, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urged New Zealanders to reduce contacts to a bare minimum in preparation for the lockdown.

Ardern’s government wants to move fast to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Ardern told a news conference in parliament, “Simplest thing is to stay at home … that’s how we will save lives.”

Parliament will sit on Wednesday to impose the state of emergency and lockdown, she said.

Australia’s New South Wales sees big spike in coronavirus cases

From 8 p.m. local time Sunday until 8 p.m. local time Monday, the Australian state of New South Wales reported that it identified 149 new novel coronavirus cases.

The state’s Department of Health confirmed it while WHO warned pandemic is ‘accelerating’.

The new patients include 107 cases related to the Ruby Princess cruise ship. Public health officials were forced to track down nearly 2,647 people who disembarked from the ship in Sydney following revelations that four onboard had tested positive for the virus.

Authorities said, a woman passenger in her 70s, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 onboard the ship, died on Tuesday morning.

Australia has reported 1709 cases of novel coronavirus, 818 in New South Wales, more patients than any other state or territory in Australia.

Two-thirds of India’s population is facing coronavirus-related movement restrictions

Hundreds of millions of people across India have been placed under lockdown until the end of the month as efforts to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country intensify.

37 states and union territories of the country have enacted lockdowns, affecting some two-thirds of the 1.34 billion people of the country.

Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state has still not announced a complete state lockdown but has implemented it across more than a dozen districts.

Residents living in 548 districts across the country — including in major cities such as the capital New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad — now face travel, work, and movement restrictions until March 31.

India has confirmed 500 coronavirus cases, with nine death.

South Korea is in control

South Korea, once one of the worst affected countries, has reported the lowest number of new coronavirus cases since infection rates peaked four weeks ago. The information fuelling hopes Asia’s worst outbreak outside China may be abating.

The country is testing nearly 20,000 people every day, more people per capita than anywhere else in the world.

It has created a network of public and private laboratories and provides dozens of drive-through centers where people with symptoms can check their health status.

South Korea developed its approach after an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) in 2015, when 36 people died in the country, which had the second-largest number of Mers cases after Saudi Arabia.

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