Dubai: Coronavirus cases ballooned in Europe, prompting more lockdown measures to try to slow the spread. New Jersey’s governor followed four other US states that have imposed unprecedented restrictions. Australia announced it was shutting a large array of businesses from Monday.
More than 305,000 people have been infected across the world and more than 13,000 have died according to a Reuters tally.
In its latest desperate effort to halt the epidemic the Italian government ordered that all businesses must close until April 3, with the exception of those essential to maintaining the country’s supply chain.
Italy recorded a jump in deaths from coronavirus of almost 800 on Saturday, taking the toll in the world’s hardest-hit country to almost 5,000.
Spain extended for another 15 days a 15-day state of emergency imposed this month to try to curb the spread. Spain’s death toll soared to 1,720 on Sunday from 1,326 the day before, according to multiple media outlets citing the latest health data.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country’s National Health Service (NHS) could be “overwhelmed” by the coronavirus like the Italian health system in just two weeks.
Nearly 1 in 4 Americans were under orders to close up shop and stay at home on Saturday. At least 23,941 cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in the United States and 306 people have died from the COVID-19 disease as of Saturday evening, according to a Reuters tally of state and local government websites.
Bolivia’s interim government announced it would postpone presidential elections originally slated for May 3 and institute a mandatory countrywide quarantine for 14 days.
Brazil’s largest state Sao Paulo will essentially shut down for two weeks to help fight the coronavirus, its governor said on Saturday, as President Jair Bolsonaro said again that “hysteria” over the outbreak could cause more harm than the virus itself.
Hundreds of millions of Indians stayed indoors on Sunday, heeding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to citizens to self-isolate. At least 341 people have so far contracted the disease and four deaths have been reported in India due to the coronavirus, according to official data on Sunday. China on Sunday reported 46 new cases of coronavirus, the fourth straight day with an increase, with all but one of those imported from overseas, and further stepped up measures to intercept cases from abroad.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday ordered many venues, including pubs, casinos, gyms and cinemas, to close from midday Monday to combat coronavirus after many people appeared to disregard health warnings and congregated in large numbers in recent days.
Members of a South Korean church scuffled with police on Sunday, media reported, as government restrictions on religious services and other gatherings took effect.
Middle East and Africa
Iran’s death toll has reached 1,685 with 129 deaths in the past 24 hours, the health ministry’s spokesman told state TV on Sunday, adding that the total number of infected people in Iran had reached 21,638.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the United States’ offer to help Iran in its fight against the pandemic is strange.
Oman on Sunday banned public gatherings in the Gulf Arab state, limited staffing at state entities and shut currency exchange bureaus.
Angola, Eritrea and Uganda confirmed their first cases of coronavirus, while Mauritius recorded its first death as the virus spreads across Africa.
Republicans and Democrats in the US Senate scrambled on Saturday to complete a deal on a $1 trillion-plus bill aimed at stemming the coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout for workers, industries and small businesses.
Companies should not publish preliminary financial statements for at least two weeks to better assess how the coronavirus epidemic is affecting their business, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said on Saturday.
A Chinese central bank official called on Sunday for stepped up global policy coordination to manage the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, and said Beijing’s recent policy measures were gaining traction while it had capacity for further action.
A wave of credit rating downgrades in the corporate sector risks deepening a funding crisis for company bosses and spreading it to other markets.
Germany is readying an emergency budget worth more than 150 billion euros ($160 billion) to shore up jobs and businesses at risk from the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, the finance minister said on Saturday.
Amazon.com Inc said it is raising overtime pay for associates working in its U.S. warehouses as the world’s largest online retailer tries to meet the rapidly growing demand for online shopping from consumers stuck at home.
Tokyo 2020 organisers have started drafting possible alternatives to holding the Olympics this summer, two sources familiar with the talks said, in contrast to the Japanese government’s stance that postponement is not an option.
Multiple sports events have been cancelled or postponed.