The virus is spreading rapidly, forcing governments to impose restrictions rarely seen outside wartime closing borders, ordering home quarantine and scrapping public events including major sporting fixtures. Worldwide, the number of deaths has passed 6,500 with more than 168,000 infections in 142 countries.
In Italy, the hardest hit nation in Europe announced another surge in deaths. 349 new deaths were reported on Monday taking the total toll to 2,158. Italy now has 27,980 infections, compared to 15,113 four days ago. It has reported more than 700 deaths in two days.
The second most affected country outside mainland China is Iran which reported another 129 fatalities on Monday, the largest one-day rise in deaths since it began battling the pandemic. Authorities have reported 14,991 confirmed cases and 853 deaths. Several Iranian officials have died while, Cabinet ministers, members of parliament, Revolutionary Guard members and Health Ministry officials have caught the virus.
Spain also announced it would seal off its land borders as the number of cases edged closer to 10,000. Total infections have risen to 9,191, and the number of fatalities rose to 309. People are banned from leaving home except to go to work, get medical care or buy food. Spain has officially became the third-most infected country outside mainland china, surpassing South Korea as its arc of contagion curved higher.
While, in France, over half of country’s coronavirus patients in intensive care are under the age of 60. The country is the fourth worst-hit in Europe, with 5,437 confirmed cases. President Macron ordered people to stay at home and only go out for essential duties with restrictions in place for at least 15 days. France has so far registered over 6,000 infections and 148 deaths.
While, in China, the respiratory illness is on the decline in China, demonstrating that the course of the outbreak there has been altered. Just over 80,000 cases have been reported inside. The government says its tough measures including quarantining entire cities have stopped the spread of the virus. Over 67,000 have now recovered in mainland China.