Number of coronavirus cases worldwide cross 900,0000


Image of novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV (Source: BBC News)

Akriti Dhasmana, Editor-in-Chief

On March 27, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Chief announced that the number of coronavirus cases have now crossed the half a million mark. The COVID-19 disease has claimed more than 20,000 lives globally, according to WHO. The number of cases worldwide has increased to more than 900,000  according to the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

In the United States itself, the number of cases has been growing exponentially with the latest count crossing 200,000, according to John Hopkins. In the light of the growing pandemic, President Trump has extended the social distancing guidelines to April 30, according to CNN News. This comes a month after the President made claims that the virus will miraculously go away come summer. In a press conference on March 31, Trump warned that “This is going to be a very, very painful two weeks”, the BBC News reported. According to the most recent projections, the United States is expected to have somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths, according to BBC News.

Governments across the world have now adopted the tactics to “flatten the curve”, that is, to slow the number of new cases per day, according to WHO. “Social distancing” practices have been adopted all around the world to prevent the spread of the disease. Other measures include strict travel restrictions and lockdowns. Japan has banned entry for non-citizens from 73 countries, according to ABC News. India has grounded all international flights for a week and has entered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days. The European Union has sealed its borders to anyone outside the bloc for at least the next 30 days, according to BBC News.

The worldwide lockdowns have come at a significant cost for some. According to a recent report by the United Nations, about 87 percent of students around the world have been affected by the school and college closures.  In the face of the lockdown, several companies have also had to let go of workers, Forbes Magazine reported. On March 27, Trump signed a two trillion dollars stimulus package into law to send money directly to Americans and greatly expand unemployment coverage. This move comes at a time when the pandemic has almost certainly plunged the American economy into recession, according to the Bloomberg News. On March 31, markets wrapped up for the quarter with U.S. stocks bulging the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s loss in the quarter to a level not seen since 1987, Bloomberg News reported.

The hope remains however that these strict measures will help halt the spread of the pandemic. In Wuhan, where the virus first appeared last year, the two-month long lockdown on citizens has finally been relaxed and people are allowed to leave their housing compounds, according to the Guardian. Life has slowly began to be restored to normal and the markets and businesses are gradually reopening, the Guardian reported.