World coronavirus dispatch: The strangest Easter, and surging US death toll

Topics Coronavirus | Lockdown

Travellers wearing protective gear are seen at a check-in counter at the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport. Photo: Reuters
Coronavirus clamps down on services across the world: Social-distancing requirements on Sunday forced churches around the world to hold Easter services in empty cathedrals, as health officials in some countries cautioned that a drop in new coronavirus infections was likely due to a decline in testing on the holiday weekend.

Meanwhile, the US surpassed Italy in coronavirus-related deaths, and Japan aims to cut social distance by 80 per cent. Read these and more from across the world.

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total confirmed cases: 1,787,766
Change over previous day: 75,092
Total deaths: 109,312
Total recovered: 405,972
Nations hit with most cases: US (530,006), Spain (163,027), Italy (152,271), France (130,730), and Germany (125,452).

Source: Research Center

US death toll overtakes Italy’s as Midwest braces: Coronavirus-related deaths in the US eclipsed those in Italy, which had the highest fatality until recently, and surpassed the 20,000 mark, as Chicago and other cities across the US Midwest braced for a potential surge in victims and moved to snuff out smouldering hotspots of contagion before they would erupt. With the New York area still deep in crisis, fear mounted over the spread of the scourge into the nation’s heartland.

Merkel’s crisis stimulus is already seeping into German economy: Germany’s swift turnaround, defying its reputation for red tape, underscores the hands-on approach officials are taking to protect growth as the virus shutters shops and factories globally. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has pledged aid worth more than 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) in state guarantees, loans and direct capital to companies, and also eased access to state wage support for workers.

Russian flight had half of infections found in China on Saturday: More than half of the coronavirus infections reported by China on Sunday stemmed from a Russian flight to Shanghai the day before, underscoring the possible severity of the outbreak in Russia. Shanghai’s Municipal Health Commission said 51 of 52 imported cases on Saturday were of Chinese nationals who were diagnosed to have Covid-19 after they landed in the city.

Japan aims to cut social contact by 80 per cent, here's why: Residents in Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures have been asked to refrain from going out. The plea came after the central government on Wednesday decided to become more aggressive in combating the novel coronavirus and declared a state of emergency.

Sweden challenges Trump, and scientific mainstream, by refusing to lock down: Much of Europe is still under coronavirus lockdown, with severe restrictions on movement and penalties for those who transgress. But not Sweden. Restaurants and bars in the Nordic country are open, and so are playgrounds and schools, and the government is relying on voluntary action to stem the spread of Covid-19.


The crisis in public health care: Many lower- and middle-income families have been struggling with modest or insufficient health plans for years, and towns and cities have been left reeling from budget cuts at hospitals and health clinics. about the general crisis in public health care in America, curated by the New Yorker.

Poor countries need to think twice about social distancing: The coronavirus pandemic represents a serious threat to the entire world, but that threat takes on a different shape in each country. Furthermore, the capacity of societies to respond and to endure the disruption and costs of social distancing vary greatly. The benefits of each policy must be carefully weighed against the economic costs and risks imposed on a particular society. about why policymakers must think carefully about these differences. They must also act quickly, as both the disease and the measures imposed to contain it are already causing suffering throughout the world.

Coronavirus and the language of war: There are similarities between pandemics and war, especially if a realistic view of modern war is adopted and not the model to which we are instinctively drawn – of a titanic life-and-death struggle in which the winner takes all. All wars place huge demands on the countries involved, with great pain and suffering, often without yielding clear-cut results. by Lawrence Freedman on why there are legitimate comparisons between a war and a pandemic that go well beyond rhetorical devices to spur on the national effort.


Bill Gates on the global battle with coronavirus: of Bill Gates with Vanessa Kortekaas about how countries need to tackle the virus, why developing countries will be worse affected and how to prevent the world from being caught off guard by another pandemic.

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