1.5 Billion People Under “Stay At Home” Quarantine

The latest in COVID-19

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1.5 Billion People Under “Stay At Home” Quarantine

Quick Take

  • Boris Johnson issues a national stay-at-home order, banning all public gatherings of more than two people.
  • US President Trump activates the National Guard in New York, California, and Washington State.
  • Italy may have reached its peak as daily deaths have decreased from a high of 793 deaths in one day.
  • Unemployed Australians to receive a $550 payment booster.

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Globally, more than 16,500 people have lost their lives to coronavirus. There are nearly 400k confirmed cases and more than 1.5 billion people around the world are under lockdown.

Boris Johnson Issues Stay-At-Home Order

The UK is now the latest country to impose a nationwide lockdown as Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a stay-at-home order effective immediately.

The nation is banning all public gatherings of more than two people. All shops selling non-essential goods, libraries, gyms, and places of worship will be closed and all social events including weddings will be postponed. Police will break up any public gatherings and will fine patrons that do not follow the rules. Johnson said the measures were necessary to keep the UK’s health care system, the NHS, from collapsing under pressure. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also urged all Britons abroad to return home while it’s still possible.

US Activates National Guard In 3 States

This past weekend US President Trump activated the National Guard in New York, California, and Washington State. The president ordered FEMA to supply New York with four large medical facilities with 1,000 beds, California with eight large medical facilities with 2,000 beds, and Washington State with three large and four small medical facilities with 1,000 beds.

President Trump also said that the federal government will fund 100 percent of the National Guard units carrying out approved missions in those states and will provide additional resources including medical supplies to be shipped out in the coming days.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the situation will get worse before it gets better in New York, the country’s hardest-hit state with 157 deaths and nearly half of the nation’s confirmed cases. The governor announced plans to convert the mammoth New York City Javits Convention Center into a hospital with 1,000 beds. NYC mayor Bill de Blasio warned that the city’s hospitals are just 10 days away from shortages in basic supplies needed to protect health care workers and patients alike.

Troops will be helping construct medical facilities in both New York and California. Navy Hospital Ship Comfort with 1,000 beds will also dock in New York City and hospital ship Mercy will dock in Los Angeles.

Spain And Italy Become Hardest-Hit

Italy continues to be the world’s hardest-hit country, reporting more than 1,200 new deaths over the past 48 hours. The country’s total death toll is now more than 6,000. It may possible that Italy reached its peak this past weekend as daily deaths have decreased from a peak of 793 in one day. Italy has seen at least 18 doctors with coronavirus die. 

Spain is now the world’s third hardest-hit country in terms of deaths, just behind China. With more than 539 deaths in the past day, an ice rink inside a Madrid shopping mall was turned into a temporary morgue to deal with the crisis in the Spanish capital. Under an agreement reached by the regional government of Madrid and the defense ministry, soldiers have started to help transport the remains of people who died from the virus.

In Madrid, patients have been spotted lying on the hospital floors as hospitals become overrun. According to the New York Post, several patients have spent as many as three days sitting in the ER waiting room awaiting beds that only become available when those admitted either die or recover and are sent home. Spain also reported that more than 3,900 health care workers have become infected, accounting for roughly 12% of the country’s total cases.

China Claims 90% Recovered Cases

Cases in China continue to drop as the country’s National Health Commission reported just 78 new cases over the past 24 hours, including 74 of which it claims came from overseas arrivals.

The National Health Commission says that more than 400 cases have come from abroad and around 90% of China’s total reported 81,171 patients have recovered. Seeking to prevent a reappearance of the virus, the government is imposing a strict quarantine on individuals entering the country.

Long Lines For Unemployment In Australia

In Australia, unemployment lines across the country were reminiscent of the Great Depression after a government website crashed from tens of thousands of online applications. The Australian government is asking applicants to wait a few days before registering for unemployment benefits. Unemployed Australians are also expecting a $550 payment booster as part of a huge coronavirus welfare package.

In a press conference, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the changes, which effectively double the rate of Jobseeker Payment, reflect a desire to cushion those who will be feeling the first blows of the economic impact from the coronavirus. Australia put thousands out of work amid the shut down of bars, gyms, cinemas, nightclubs, restaurants and all places where large groups of people gather.

Italy Patient #1 Released From Hospital

In Italy, a man known as patient #1, has been released from the hospital a month after he arrived in critically ill condition. Authorities in Italy’s hardest-hit region of Lombardy played an audio message recorded by the 38-year-old man in which he says, “You can get cured of this illness.”

The man identified only by his first name of Mattia spent 18 days in intensive care on a respirator. Last week, Italian media reported the death of his father, who lived in one of the first hit towns in Lombardy. Italian doctors say that even before Mattia’s case, they suspect the virus was circulating in Italy.

We Can Change The Trajectory Of This Pandemic

Noting that it took 67 days to reach the first 100,000 global cases but just four days to go from 200,000 to 300,000, head of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on countries to take strong coordinated action.