Britain in lockdown as WHO warns pandemic ‘accelerating’


Britain in lockdown as WHO warns pandemic ‘accelerating’

“Stay at house,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned in a televised tackle to the nation, as he unveiled unprecedented peacetime measures (AFP Photo/Paul ELLIS)

‘Stay at house,’ Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned in a televised tackle, as he unveiled unprecedented peacetime measures after the nationwide demise toll climbed to 335.

Britain was beneath lockdown Tuesday, its inhabitants becoming a member of round 1.7 billion individuals across the globe ordered to remain indoors to curb the “accelerating” unfold of the coronavirus.

Across Europe, Asia, North America, the Middle East and elements of Africa, governments have instructed their residents to stay at house as they grapple with a illness that has claimed 1000’s of lives — and exhibits no indicators of slowing.

But in an indication of hope, China’s central Hubei province, the place the lethal coronavirus first emerged late final 12 months, is to elevate journey curbs after two months beneath lockdown.

The world shutdown continued to throw up horrifying tales; troopers in Spain tasked with preventing the outbreak reported discovering deserted aged individuals — some useless — at retirement properties.

And on the abandoned streets of New York, one psychologist who ventured out voiced fears over the long-term psychological well being results on everybody affected.

“I’m scared for me and sufferers that this might go on” for months, mentioned Lauren, who declined to present her surname.

Anxiety and melancholy “all will get heightened at a time like this,” she added.

The monetary impression of economies grinding to a halt continued to unnerve policymakers, who opened the spigots and flooded the markets with but more money — their newest effort to maintain the wheels turning.

In the United States, the Federal Reserve unveiled an unprecedented bond-buying programme, in a transfer not seen because the world monetary disaster greater than a decade in the past.

The Fed, which has already slashed rates of interest to report lows, mentioned it would purchase limitless quantities of Treasury debt and take steps to lend on to small and medium-sized companies hammered by a national lockdown.

Asian markets cheered the information, with Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul rocketing in their newest rollercoaster session.

That upswing got here regardless of US politicians’ failure to log out on a $2 trillion package deal that President Donald Trump says is aimed toward supporting ailing enterprises and helicoptering money to American households.

His opponents say the invoice is just too closely weighted to bailing out massive enterprise.

The British authorities, which has confronted accusations it dithered over the well being disaster and needlessly allowed colleges to stay open far longer than European counterparts, got here into line on Monday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a three-week shutdown of “non-essential” retailers and providers and banned gatherings of greater than two individuals.

“Stay at house,” Johnson mentioned in a televised tackle, as he unveiled unprecedented peacetime measures after the nationwide demise toll climbed to 335.

The announcement got here after crowds of individuals have been seen having fun with weekend sunshine in parks and countryside, prompting requires harder motion.

World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the worldwide pandemic was clearly “accelerating.”

The variety of coronavirus deaths has topped 16,500, with greater than 378,000 declared infections in 174 international locations and territories.

Tedros mentioned it took 67 days from the start of the outbreak in China in December for the virus to contaminate the primary 100,000 individuals worldwide.

In comparability, it required solely 11 days for the second 100,000 instances and simply 4 days for the third 100,000, he mentioned.

Tedros acknowledged that many international locations have been struggling to take extra aggressive measures due to an absence of sources however mentioned “we aren’t helpless bystanders.

“We can change the trajectory of this pandemic,” he mentioned.

There was a glimmer of hope Monday in figures from Italy, the European floor zero of COVID-19.

New infections in the continent’s hardest-hit nation dipped to simply shy of 5,000, down from over 6,500 the day earlier than.

Its every day demise toll additionally fell barely, though cumulatively the nation has recorded greater than 6,000 fatalities, far-exceeding even that of China, the place the illness emerged late final 12 months.

In the United States, hard-hit New York metropolis was beneath lockdown, with its common logjam commute now only a trickle of pharmacists, grocery retailer employees and medical workers.

But Trump — who faces re-election in November and is eager to keep away from prolonged financial harm in the US — instructed reporters he would quickly be “opening up our nation to enterprise as a result of our nation was meant to be open.”

As war-ravaged Syria introduced its first coronavirus case, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for a worldwide ceasefire to guard the weak in battle zones.

“The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of warfare,” he mentioned.

And with main cultural and sporting occasions already wiped off the calendar, there have been mounting calls to postpone the Tokyo Olympics, Japan’s prime minister having admitted Monday {that a} delay might be “inevitable.”

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live at 2020-03-24 07:56:07



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