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COVID19: Over 7 lakh cases, 33000 deaths globally as virus torments US, Europe

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New Delhi, Mar 30: The coronavirus pandemic continued to torment the US and Europe as the number of Covid-19 infections globally crossed 700,000 on Sunday. At least 33,000 people have died from the disease, with the US continuing to be the worst-hit country, followed by Italy, China, Spain and Germany.

Struggling to cope with the outbreak, the Trump administration issued a travel advisory urging people of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the worst-hit US states, to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days as the nationwide death toll crossed 2,000 – doubling in just two days.

 

The travel advisory issued late on Saturday night by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was not the quarantine that US President Donald Trump had threatened earlier in the day, drawing furious response from governors, one of whom had called it a “declaration of war on states”.

“Due to extensive community transmission of Covid-19 in the area, the CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately,” the CDC said in a statement, adding that governors of the states will have “full discretion” in enforcing the advisory. Essential services are exempted.

Stay-at-home orders are already in force in all the three states with all non-essential services shut down and their workers sent home, with exemptions for trips to grocery stores, pharmacies and pick-up food orders.

US cases climbed by well more than 21,000 over the previous day to at least 133,000 on Sunday. The death toll crossed 2,300. New York state remained the worst hit with the total number of cases crossing 59,000 and deaths going past 950.

838 die in Spain in a day

Spain moved to tighten its lockdown and ban all non-essential work on Sunday as it hit another daily record of 838 dead. The country’s overall official toll was more than 6,500.

Spain’s health emergencies chief, Fernando Simón, said the country’s infection rate fell on Sunday to 9%, down from 18% three days before.

The death toll in Italy climbed by 756 to 10,779, the civil protection agency said on Sunday, the second successive fall in the daily rate. The number of fatalities, by far the highest of any country in the world, account for more than a third of all deaths from the infectious virus worldwide.

The total number of confirmed cases in Italy rose on Sunday to 97,689 from a previous 92,472, the lowest daily rise in new cases since Wednesday. Lombardy, the hardest hit Italian region, reported a rise in deaths of around 416 on Sunday.

Egypt shut its beaches as cases in the Mideast surpassed 50,000. Police in the Philippines stepped up arrests of quarantine violators, and more tourists were evacuated from Mount Everest and the Indonesian island of Bali.

Poland is considering delaying its May 10 election, and Russia ordered borders to close on Monday. French politician Patrick Devedjian, 75, died from Covid-19, becoming France’s first death of a senior official.

US deaths from the coronavirus could reach 200,000 with millions of cases, the government’s top infectious diseases expert warned on Sunday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, estimated in an interview with CNN that the pandemic could cause “between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths” in the US.

Since 2010, the flu has killed between 12,000 and 61,000 Americans a year, according to the website of the CDC. The 1918-19 flu pandemic had killed 675,000 in America, according to the CDC website