Millennium Post

Over 1 bn people worldwide told to stay home over virus

Over 1 bn people worldwide told to stay home over virus

Paris: More than one billion people have been asked to stay home in more than 50 countries and territories around the world as governments battle the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, according to an AFP tally Monday.

Some countries imposed mandatory lockdown measures, while others have issued stay-at-home recommendations to stem the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, global emergency efforts to slow the Coronavirus pandemic ratcheted up Monday with more nations and cities imposing extraordinary lockdowns, as the number of deaths around the world from the novel Coronavirus cases stood at 15,189, according to a tally on Monday from official sources.

More than 341,300 declared cases have been registered in 174 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December.

From Germany banning gatherings of more than two people, New Zealand announcing a four-week lockdown and Hong Kong shutting its borders to all non-residents, the new round of containment efforts highlighted a deepening sense of panic around the world.

At least 34 countries or territories has established mandatory lockdown measures ordering people to stay in their homes, accounting for some 659 million people.

This includes France, Italy, Argentina, the US state of California, Iraq and Rwanda.

Greece is the most recent country to impose mandatory confinement measures, which came into effect on Monday morning. Colombia will enforce an obligatory lockdown on Tuesday and New Zealand will follow suit Wednesday.

In most cases it is still possible to leave the house to go to work, buy essentials or seek medical care.

At least four countries with a collective population of more than 228 million people, including Iran, Germany and Britain, have urged their populations to stay indoors and limit contact with other people as much as possible. But the impact of these non-mandatory recommendations has been limited.

In Britain, the government warned of tougher measures after crowds gathered in parks and beaches over the weekend, while millions of people in Iran travelled for the Persian New Year last week.

At least 10 countries and territories with a total population of 117 million people have issued curfews and barred overnight travel.

These measures are in place in Burkina Faso, Chile, the Philippines' capital Manila, Serbia and Mauritania, while in Saudi Arabia a curfew will be imposed from Monday evening.

Elsewhere, some countries have imposed isolation measures in main cities, with measures barring people from entering or exiting.

These measures have been seen in Almaty, Bulgaria, Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan's Baku. Combined, these cities have an estimated 10 million inhabitants.

Italy, which recorded its first Coronavirus death in February, now has more fatalities than China with 5,476, as well as having 59,138 declared infections with 7,024 recoveries.

China -- excluding Hong Kong and Macau -- has to date declared 81,093 cases, including 3,270 deaths, with 72,703 people recovered. It reported 39 new cases and nine new fatalities since Sunday. The third worst hit country is Spain with 2,182 fatalities and 33,089 cases, followed by Iran with 1,812 fatalities and 23,049 cases, France with 674 deaths and 16,018 cases, and the United States with 471 deaths and 35,224 cases.

Since 1900 GMT Sunday, the Czech Republic, Nigeria and Montenegro announced their first deaths. Papua New Guinea and Syria reported their first cases. By continent, Europe has listed 172,238 cases and 9,197 deaths to date, Asia 97,783 cases and 3,539 deaths, the US and Canada together 36,554 cases with 490 deaths, the Middle East 26,688 cases and 1,841 deaths, Latin America and the Caribbean 5,130 cases with 65 deaths, Africa 1,479 cases with 49 deaths and Oceania 1,433 cases with eight deaths.

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