California Orders Mandatory “Stay At Home” As U.S. Cases Top 20k
- Italy considers extending lockdown as it sees 627 deaths in one day.
- California and Illinois mandated a mandatory “Stay At Home” order.
- Border closures to non-essential travelers from Canada and Mexico take effect this weekend.
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces the nationwide closure of cafes, pubs, and restaurants.
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Italy Reports A Staggering 627 Deaths In One Day
Coronavirus cases and deaths in Italy continue to rise at an uncontrollable rate as the country reported a staggering 627 deaths in one day. Italy holds a total of 47,021 cases and 4,032 deaths in the country. According to USA Today, America’s trajectory in cases is trending toward Italy’s. Some public health experts believe that the U.S. is between one and two weeks behind Italy, where a lockdown has been imposed on 60 million citizens for nearly two weeks.
Yesterday, the US passed 13,000 confirmed cases as some states are mandating stay at home orders. Italy locked down the northern half of the country on the day it reached 13,000 cases and extended the lockdown to the southern half just one day later.
California Mandates Stay At Home Order
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has mandated a mandatory Stay At Home order, requiring all Californians to stay home except for essential needs. Essential needs include getting food, caring for a relative or friend, getting necessary health care, or going to an essential job. There have been 19 deaths and 1,074 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state. The order is in effect until further notice and could last north of eight weeks.
In a letter to the president asking for help in combating the outbreak, Gov. Newsom projected that more than half of Californians will become infected with the novel coronavirus by the end of May. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker also ordered residents to stay at home for nonessential activity. The order in Illinois will take effect Saturday evening for more than 13 million people in the state, and will end on April 7th.
U.S. Closes Canada And Mexico Borders
At a White House briefing this morning, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that border closures to non-essential travelers from Canada and Mexico would go into effect at midnight on Saturday. Mr. Pompeo also reiterated that the State Department had implemented a Level 4 travel advisory warning Americans against traveling abroad.
UK Closes Pubs And Restaurants
In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced nationwide lockdown measures, including the closure of cafes, pubs, and restaurants. Restaurants will still be able to provide takeout services. Johnson ordered all nightclubs, theatres, cinemas, gyms, and leisure centers to close “as soon as they reasonably can”. The chancellor has said the government will pay 80% of wages for employees who are not working, up to £2,500 a month.
The announcement about closures follows similar measures taken in Ireland, where pubs and bars were asked to close from last Sunday. To date, the UK has 177 coronavirus deaths and nearly 4,000 cases.
Spain Becomes World’s Third-Largest Hit Country
Isabel Díaz Ayuso, President of the Region of Madrid, says that eight out of ten people in the Spanish capital will get COVID-19. She called the disease “lethal” for elderly people with pre-existing conditions and said that in 24 or 48 hours it can end the life of a person who is in the vulnerable population group. Spain has quickly become the world’s third-largest hit country with over 20,000 confirmed cases and more than 1,000 deaths.
The region of Madrid is working to unify healthcare in the public and private sectors, and convert beds into ICUs. The politician said some 580 beds in the critical units are already occupied and the Ministry of Health plans to facilitate “new rapid tests” to detect coronavirus this weekend.
Europe Considers Lockdown Extensions
Nations in Europe may be forced to extend their lockdowns. Italy shut down most businesses and banned public gatherings nationwide until April 3rd, but Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Thursday that the measures taken must be extended beyond their original deadline.
France began its lockdown on Tuesday morning, requiring citizens to carry official paperwork stating why they were not at home. French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told Europe 1 radio on Thursday the 15-day period may be extended if necessary.