And governments from across Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East, to parts of Africa, have ordered their citizens to stay in their homes in light of efforts to deal with the epidemic that has claimed thousands of lives while it does not yet appear that its pace may be declining.
But a hopeful sign emerged as central China’s Hubei Province was due to lift the ban, as the virus first appeared late last year, restrictions on movement after it imposed complete isolation that lasted for two months.
Global isolation measures were accompanied by tragic narratives, such as those from Spain, where soldiers entrusted with the task of fighting the virus found elderly people left in a nursing home, some of whom died.
In the deserted streets of New York, a psychiatrist who toured the city expressed concern about the long-term repercussions on the mental health of people affected by the repercussions of the epidemic.
“I am afraid for myself and the sick that this situation will last for months,” said Lorne, who refused to reveal her family name.
She added: “anxiety and depression” are getting more severe at times like this.
Significant financial implications of corona virus on the world economy
As for the financial implications of freezing major economies, it raised the concerns of global decision makers who rushed to flood markets with more liquidity in the hope of keeping the economy spinning.In the United States, the Federal Reserve unveiled an exceptional program to buy stocks in an unprecedented step since the global financial crisis a decade ago.
The bank, which has basically cut interest rates to record levels, has announced that it will purchase unlimited amounts of treasury debt and take steps to provide direct loans to small and medium-sized companies affected by total isolation measures across the country.
Asian markets welcomed the news, with stock indices in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul surging significantly in the last trading session.
This came despite the failure of politicians in the United States to approve a trillion dollar package, which US President Donald Trump said was aimed at supporting affected companies and providing cash to American families.
But his opponents pointed out that the plan focuses more on saving big business.
And the British government, which faced accusations that it slouched in dealing with the health crisis and allowed schools to be kept open unnecessarily for much longer than their European counterparts, finally moved Monday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a three-week closure of “non-essential” shops and services and banned more than two people from gathering.
“Hold your homes,” Johnson said in a televised speech, while unveiling unprecedented measures in periods of peace after the death toll in the country reached 335.
The announcement came after crowds were seen walking on weekends in parks and rural areas, prompting calls for more stringent action.
Global health in the Corona crisis: We are not spectators
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Gebresus warned that the global epidemic was clearly “accelerating”.
The number of deaths from the emerging coronavirus exceeded 16,500, while more than 378,000 infections were confirmed in 174 countries and regions.
Tidros said that the virus took 67 days since it spread to China in December to infect 100,000 people worldwide.
On the other hand, the injury of another 100,000 people took 11 days, while the third batch of 100,000 people injured in only four days, according to Tedros.
The director of the international organization acknowledged that some countries are having difficulty implementing “offensive” measures to counter the virus due to lack of resources, but he said, “We are not mere spectators, we have no strength.”
“We can change the course of this global epidemic,” he added.
There was a glimmer of hope on Monday from figures from Italy, the spread of Covid-19 in Europe, as the number of new infections in the country most affected by the virus in the continent fell to 5,000, compared to more than 6,500 the previous day.
Its daily death toll has also decreased slightly, although Italy’s total death toll of more than 6,000 has far exceeded the numbers recorded even in China.
In the United States, complete isolation was imposed in New York City, and its busy streets were usually deserted, with only a number of pharmacists, food store employees, and health personnel seen.
But Trump, who hopes to be re-elected for a second term in November, is seeking to avoid any long-term economic damage to his country. He told reporters that soon “we will open our country to business because our country must remain open.”
While Syria announced its first case of the new corona, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a ceasefire around the world.
“The severity of the virus exposes the folly of war,” he said.
While major cultural and sports events have been canceled, calls have been made to postpone the Tokyo Olympics, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged on Monday that the postponement may be “inevitable.”