India’s 1.3 Billion People Under Lockdown For 21 Days
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi orders India’s 1.3 billion people to not leave their homes for 21 days.
- A teenager dies from coronavirus in Los Angeles.
- Tokyo 2020 Olympic games are postponed until 2021.
- The UK calls in the military to build a temporary hospital with up to 4k beds in east London.
- A UN official urges top 20 nations to adopt a wartime plan including a multi-trillion dollar stimulus package.
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Globally, more than 19,000 people have lost their lives to coronavirus. There are more than 420k confirmed cases and nearly 3 billion people around the world are under lockdown.
India Under Lockdown For 21 Days
India will begin the world’s largest lock down as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that no one could leave their homes for the next 21 days. Warning that anyone going outside risked inviting the coronavirus inside their homes, the prime minister pledged $2 billion in funding to improve the country’s health care system.
In a statement to the country, Modi stated “To save India and every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes,” adding that if the country failed to manage the next 21 days, it could be set back by 21 years.
India’s stay-at-home order puts nearly one-fifth of the world’s population under lock down. Indian health officials have reported just 469 active cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths, however, the country has conducted relatively few tests for the disease.
First Coronavirus Death Of Person Under 18 Years
The County of Los Angeles has confirmed four new coronavirus deaths, including the first death of a person under 18 years of age. The number of deaths in Los Angeles County is now 11. Of those who have tested positive in the county of 10 million, 42% are of the ages between 18 and 40. Two Cal State Long Beach students also tested positive for the virus.
L.A. County officials have since been cracking down on nonessential businesses and closed boardwalks, parks and hiking trails amid large flocks of people going to outdoor spaces.
Tokyo Olympics Postponed Until 2021
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic games have been postponed until 2021. The decision was made by Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach amid concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The opening ceremony had been planned for July 24.
The decision comes amid pressure from nations and athletes, including Canada, which said it would not send representatives to the Olympics without a delay. Australia, Germany, and Poland later joined in that decision. The World Health Organization had also consulted with the IOC before the decision was made. Despite the postponement, the Summer Olympics will still be called the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Olympic flame will also remain stored and displayed in Fukushima.
UK To Open Temporary London Hospital
In an effort to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, the UK will open a temporary hospital next week at the ExCel exhibition center in east London. The hospital will initially provide up to 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen with the capacity increasing up to several thousand beds if required.
This comes after the country reported its biggest daily rise of 87 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours. The UK now has more than 8,000 confirmed cases with a majority in London. Health Minister Matt Hancock said the new hospital, referred to as the NHS Nightingale hospital, will comprise two wards each of 2,000 people. The military has also been called in to assist with the effort.
Italy Increases Fines For Lockdown Violators
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte has announced stiffer fines for violators of the national lock-down restrictions. The government has increased fines for violators from between 400 to 3,000 euros. Initially, fines capped out at 206 euros.
Italy is in its third week of lock down, under a government order that expires on April 3. Italian health official, Franco Locatelli, said a decision on extending the order would be made based on the development of the outbreak.
Unfortunately, Italy’s outbreak hasn’t peaked as the country reported an additional 743 deaths in the last 24 hours. Gas station workers in the country have also announced strikes later this week amid fears of contagion. Prime Minister Conte says the government will try to alleviate their concerns by allowing for staggered opening hours at stations.
UN Official Urges Wartime Plan
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging leaders of the world top 20 industrialized nations to adopt a wartime plan including a multi-trillion dollar stimulus package. The plan would be for businesses, workers and households in developing countries trying to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Guterres says the top 20 leaders account for 85% of the world’s GDP and have a direct interest and critical role to play in helping developing countries cope with the crisis. The chief says that anything short of the commitment would lead to a pandemic of apocalyptic proportions affecting everyone.
Brazil, Mexico, And Nicaragua Downplay Coronavirus
And lastly, Mexican President Andres Manuél Lopez Obrador, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and Nicaragua leader Daniel Ortega have downplayed the coronavirus pandemic.
On national television, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro repeatedly told his citizens that they are being tricked by the media over a little flu. He even went as far as to claim that if he caught it, it wouldn’t affect him much because he’s an athlete. Brazil has at least 1,981 confirmed cases and more than 34 coronavirus deaths.