Coronavirus kills over 21,000 globally, nearly 3 billion under lockdown
A third of the entire global population is locked down and over 21,000 have died, courtesy the coronavirus pandemic which originated in China last year in December. The death toll stands at 21,283 and 471,035 are infected with the virus, whose vaccine is yet unavailable. Italy remains the worst-hit country with 7,503 dying. With 3,647 deaths, Spain has also surpassed China's count.
Background: China is accused of silencing whistle-blowers
The outbreak is believed to have happened at an illegal animal market in Wuhan, China. The unknown virus pushed health officials to a dizzy and the ones who tried flagging their concerns were allegedly silenced by the Communist government, led by President Xi Jinping. From China, the virus went as far as the US and brought several European nations to their knees.
China didn't create the virus, claims official
Facing a lot of hate for being the home to the coronavirus, Chinese officials said the country didn't create the virus nor did it transmit it internationally. Ji Rong, the spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in India, said the international community must appreciate China's effort in combating the disease, rather than stereotyping Chinese people. US President Donald Trump had called the virus "Chinese virus".
Italy's death toll surged within a month, Spain suffered too
Italy reported its first death due to COVID-19 on February 21, and in a little over a month, the country witnessed 7,503 deaths. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte put the entire nation under lockdown this month, to contain the spread. After Italy, Spain became the second worst-affected European nation. The death toll across the nation stands at 3,647 and 49,515 have been infected.
People are dying without seeing families for last time
"It's really hard, we had feverish people for many hours in the waiting room. Many of my colleagues were crying because there were people who are dying alone, without seeing their family for last time," a nurse at Madrid's At La Paz University Hospital said,
Trump wants to get US going again
The US is also not immune to the outbreak with 1,027 deaths and 68,203 infections. Trump said New York, which has emerged as the epicenter will have a few tough weeks. "We want to get our country going again. I'm not going to do anything rash or hastily," Trump said. The US Congress could pass a $2.2 trillion relief package to help economy.
India has been locked down, Russia could follow suit
Considering that the highly contagious disease spreads through respiratory droplets, governments have shut down borders and imposed restrictions to ensure everyone stays home. On Tuesday, India, with its 1.3 billion population, was put under lockdown for 21 days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement. Russia, which saw two deaths, is likely to follow suit. President Vladimir Putin declared a public holiday next week.
Olympic Games postponed, celebrities infected
Japan decided to postpone the Olympic Games, scheduled to happen this year, to 2021. Tokyo's governor urged residents to stay at home this weekend, warning of a possible coronavirus explosion. Leagues and tournaments have been canceled, and celebrities like Tom Hanks, Idris Elba, and Kanika Kapoor have been infected. UK's Prince Charles has also contracted the virus and is in self-isolation.
It's time to attack the virus: WHO chief
Recently, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a concerted effort by countries is the only way to defeat the disease. And WHO's Chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said lockdown measures will not extinguish epidemics. "We call on all countries to use this time to attack the coronavirus. You have created a second window of opportunity," Tedros, who is being slammed for not acting earlier, said.