- “If you can’t handle these 21 days, this country and your family will go back 21 years,” Mr. Modi said.
- Spain has called for humanitarian assistance from NATO to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
- Australia is alarmed at the rate of infection, where the number of coronavirus patients in Australia has risen from six to 25 in a week.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which will begin Wednesday. The lockdown, which began at midnight local time, will run for 20 days. In a televised address, Mr. Modi said “there will be a complete ban on travel outside the home.” Soon after the announcement, the country started buying necessities.
“If you can’t handle these 21 days, this country and your family will go back 21 years,” Mr. Modi said. “The only option is social distancing, to remain away from each other. There is no way out to escape from coronavirus besides this.” People have been seen lining up outside pharmacies and supermarkets in other cities, including the capital, Delhi, to buy medicines and necessities.
However, in a Twitter message following the announcement of the lockdown, Prime Minister Modi has urged people not to panic. He wrote, “there are enough supplies and medicines necessary. Central and state governments will work together to ensure these.” So far, 606 cases have been confirmed and 11 people have died in India.
Statistics from Worldometers say more than 460,000 people have been infected with coronavirus worldwide. The death toll is around 21,000. The most-affected country is China, where the virus originated. More than 81,000 people in China have been infected with the virus. This is followed by Italy, where more than 74,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus.
The other countries on the list are the United States (62,852 cases, 885 deaths), Spain (47,610 cases, 3,434 deaths), Germany (37,098 cases, 206 deaths), Iran (27,017 cases, 2,077 deaths), France (25,233 cases, 1,331 deaths), Switzerland (10,897 cases, 153 deaths), South Korea (9,137 cases, 126 deaths), and the United Kingdom (8,264 cases, 435 deaths).
Italy has the highest number of casualties in coronavirus, with 7,503 deaths so far. Italy overtook China’s death toll last week, which has registered 3,281 deaths so far. The Netherlands and Belgium have also recorded death tolls in the triple digits.
New York Transitions in to “Bullet Train” Speed
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warns that coronavirus infections are spreading at “bullet train” speed across his state, rather than the “freight train” that was originally forecast. He sought medical help in such a situation. “We are not slowing it, and it is accelerating on its own,” Cuomo said during a news conference at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
He complained that the federal government was not sending enough life-saving equipment to any state to deal with the crisis. Governor Cuomo said the federal government sent only 400 ventilators to New York, where the state needed about 30,000 ventilators. There are currently 7,000 ventilators in New York.
In New York state, more than 30,000 people have been infected and 285 have died. The World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that the United States is likely to become a new center for coronavirus infection. The warning comes just when President Trump says he wants the United States to reopen for business next month.
Spain Seeks NATO Assistance
Meanwhile, Spain has called for humanitarian assistance from NATO to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This follows a day in which 600 people died of the virus, with more than 6,000 in total. The Spanish government has called for the supply of millions of surgical masks, gloves, gowns, thermometers, and other equipment. “This is a very hard week because we’re in the first stages of overcoming the virus, a phase in which we are approaching the peak of the epidemic,” Health Minister Salvador Illa told a televised news conference.
Australia is alarmed at the rate of infection. In a week, the number of coronavirus patients in Australia has risen from six to 25. “We are very worried about the rate of rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Australia, particularly over the last few days,” Brendan Murphy, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, said Tuesday night. Funerals and weddings have been restricted from midnight Wednesday. Many businesses have been ordered to close.
For the first time, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has discouraged family gatherings. In New South Wales, where more than three people have been infected, infections have spread among children under the age of ten, including two-month-old children.