COVID-19 | Nearly 1 bn people confined to homes as global toll crosses 11,000

COVID-19 death toll crosses 11,000 worldwide; More U.S. States order residents to stay home

March 21, 2020 10:24 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 06:44 am IST

Volunteers use disinfectant to clean Wat Traimit temple in Bangkok on March 18, amid concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak across the world.

Volunteers use disinfectant to clean Wat Traimit temple in Bangkok on March 18, amid concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak across the world.

Close to one billion people worldwide were confined to their homes on Saturday as the global COVID-19 death toll shot past 11,000 and U.S. States rolled out lockdown measures already imposed across swathes of Europe.

The pandemic has completely upended lives across the planet, restricting movement, shutting schools and forcing millions to work from home.

While President Donald Trump insisted the U.S. was “winning” the war against the virus, individual States dramatically ramped up restrictions, with New York and Illinois joining California in ordering residents to stay home.

COVID-19 | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

The virus death toll surged past 11,000 worldwide, with 4,000 alone in worst-hit Italy where the daily number of fatalities has shot up relentlessly over the past week.

An estimated 900 million people are now confined to their homes in 35 countries around the world — including 600 million hemmed in by obligatory government lockdown orders — according to an AFP tally.

Message for the youth

While the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions are the hardest hit by the virus, the World Health Organization warned that young people were also vulnerable.

“Today, I have a message for young people: you are not invincible. This virus could put you in hospital for weeks — or even kill you,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “Even if you don't get sick, the choices you make about where you go could be the difference between life and death for someone else.”

Also read: Your COVID-19 queries answered


Italy reported its worst single day death toll on Friday, adding another 627 fatalities and taking its reported total to 4,032 despite efforts to stem the spread.

The nation of 60 million now accounts for 36% of the world's coronavirus deaths and its death rate of 8.6% among confirmed infections is significantly higher than in most other countries.

France, Italy, Spain and other European countries have ordered people to stay at home, threatening fines in some cases, while Bavaria became the first region in Germany to order a lockdown. Britain also announced restrictions, telling pubs, restaurants and theatres to close.

With virus fears gripping the U.S. , its largest state California — with over 1,000 cases and 19 deaths — told its 40 million residents to stay at home. New York state, which has reported over 7,000 cases and 39 deaths, followed suit on Friday, ordering its nearly 20 million residents to do the same from Sunday evening. Trump applauded the New York and California decisions, but said he did not think a nationwide lockdown was needed. “Those are really two hotbeds,” he said. “I don't think we'll ever find (a US-wide lockdown) necessary.”

Shortly after the President spoke, the Governor of Illinois ordered residents of the midwestern state to stay at home and the Connecticut governor did the same. The restrictions so far imposed in seven States cover around 100 million people, with the country's three most populous cities — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — under lockdown.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.