The disconcerting headlines around the spread of the coronavirus continued to pile up on Wednesday, as cases topped 435,000 globally and the death toll around the world neared 20,000.
Spain had its deadliest day yet, as the country lost 738 people, bringing the total to 3,434. That morbid news comes a day after hopes of a turnaround in Italy were muted by the country’s second-most fatal 24 hours of the epidemic. 743 people lost their lives in Italy on Tuesday.
New York now has nearly as many cases as Iran and accounts for about half of America’s COVID-19 total. It’s marked in teal on the updated visual.
Italy is prepared to fine anyone disobeying the national lockdown as much as €4,000, Ansa said. The death toll in Belgium (you can see it in the chart – it’s 178) represents a 46% jump from the previous day, but cases rose “just” 16%.
In Russia, cases surged by a third in 24 hours to 658, and Putin has been warned that a lack of testing likely means the infection count is understated. Pakistan has now reached 1,000 cases in just 29 days, a faster rate of infection than Italy experienced.
And speaking of lockdowns, India entered its second day under an effective shelter-in-place order. Narendra Modi on Tuesday told citizens to “forget what it means to go out [because] today’s decision draws a line outside your home”. The three-week nationwide decree amounts to the most ambitious such effort in the world, considering it covers 1.3 billion people. Obviously, India cannot afford for the virus to spread unchecked given the country’s population density. India was already mired in a mini-stagflation prior to the pandemic, and now, growth estimates are being trimmed further.
In Germany, Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute, told a press briefing that things are set to get worse. “I want to emphasize, as I have been doing for a long time, that we are at the beginning of the epidemic”, Wieler said. “Naturally the number of deaths will also rise in Germany”.
The Prince of Wales has tested positive, Clarence House said Wednesday. Prince Charles does have symptoms, “but otherwise remains in good health”, a spokesman remarked. The UK Parliament is planning to close starting tonight.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike implored residents to stay inside this weekend and work from home in light of a rise in the number of virus cases. 41 new infections were confirmed Wednesday in Tokyo. For 10 of them, it’s not clear where the virus came from.
Ventilator demand globally is now 10 times the available supply, according to Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics, a Chinese manufacturer of medical supplies. The company’s board secretary told Bloomberg that global demand is multiples of what the company can process even after ramping capacity to “several times” what it was previously.
China was already sending a record amount (in terms of dollar value, anyway) of medical equipment to the world headed into the pandemic.
Trump has decided he won’t call COVID-19 “The China Virus” anymore.
“Look, everyone knows it came out of China, but I decided we shouldn’t make any more of a big deal out of it”, he told Fox, adding that “I think I made a big deal. I think people understand it”.
“They lost thousands of people”, the president went on to say. “They’ve been through hell”.
With all due respect, the whole world has, sir. And New York is going through it right now.