The number of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic rose to over 37,000 worldwide by Tuesday morning, and has infected more than 7,87,000 people, according to an estimate by Johns Hopkins University.
The United States has reported the highest number of cases – over 1,64,000. On the other hand, Italy reported the most number of deaths at over 11,500.
United States President Donald Trump urged Americans to be ready for a major lockdown as the toll from the outbreak climbed past 3,000 on Monday, the deadliest day yet in the country’s mounting crisis. The White House’s coronavirus coordinator warned that the pandemic could kill 2,00,000 people in the country, The Washington Post reported. Trump had earlier this week extended the shutdown till April 30. On Monday, the US president said “the economy is No 2 on my list” behind saving people’s lives.
Trump, who has faced criticism for playing down the pandemic in its early stages, also urged people to follow the restrictions.
Daily deaths in the United States exceeded 500 for the first time, with New York state recording the most number once again. At Monday’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the White House, Trump said at least 10 companies are making ventilators, BBC reported. “I think we’re going to be in a very good shape,” he said when asked whether there would be enough ventilators for people in two weeks’ time, when the peak of the pandemic is expected in the United States.
Italy reported a significant drop in coronavirus cases on Monday, though the number of deaths increased yet again. The country reported 4,050 new coronavirus cases, over 1,000 less than on Sunday, according to The Local. The number of deaths on the other hand, rose from 756 on Sunday to 812 on Monday.
Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza announced on Monday evening that “all containment measures would be extended at least until Easter” on April 12. Originally, the lockdown in the country was to end on April 3. The government had already confirmed that schools would remain closed past the initial deadline. Italians have been under lockdown for three weeks, with most shops, bars and restaurants shut and people forbidden from leaving their homes for all but non-essential needs.
The number of cases as well as the toll continue to remain extremely high in Spain. The country reported 812 deaths in 24 hours on Monday, down from 838 on Sunday, bringing the total number of deaths to 7,340. The growth in the number of new confirmed cases slowed to 8%, compared to 20% on Monday.
The Spanish government banned funeral ceremonies and limited the number of mourners to just three, in an unprecedented step to extend the lockdown and prevent the spread of the virus. However, the presence of families and friends in homes for funerals was excluded from the ban.
Mainland China, which was the original epicentre of the pandemic, reported a rise in cases on Tuesday, reversing four days of decline, due to an uptick in infections involving travellers arriving from overseas, Reuters reported. As many as 48 new cases were reported on Monday, up from 31 on Sunday. All the 48 cases were imported, bringing the total number of imported cases in China up to 771.
Iran, another country where the pandemic has been surging, reported a total death count of 2,757 on Monday, including 117 more deaths over the past 24 hours, AFP reported. The number of infections crossed 40,000. There is no official lockdown in Iran’s cities although the government has repeatedly urged Iranians to stay home.
Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London, said on Monday that the epidemic in the United Kingdom is slowing down. Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, also said there were signs that the lockdown had slowed the rate of transmission of the virus. The government said that 22,141 people had been infected so far, and 1,408 dead.
India reported 227 more cases of Covid-19, and seven more deaths on Monday. The increase in the number of cases was the highest ever. The total number of cases is now 1,251, and 32 people have died, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.