World coronavirus dispatch: The US' triple whammy and the Rohingya timebomb

Topics Coronavirus | Lockdown

File photo: Medical personnel help each other suit up at a federal COVID-19 drive-thru testing site
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 has crossed 1 million globally. The US now has more cases — at least 245,573 — than anywhere in the world and over 6,000 fatalities. Spain reported 950 new deaths yesterday, while Russia has extended stay-at-home measures in the country as the virus’ spread accelerates.

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total confirmed cases: 1,030,628

Change over the previous day: 67,651

Total deaths: 54,137

Total recovered: 218,771

Nations hit with most cases: US (245,573), Spain (117,710), Italy (115,242), Germany (85,063), and China (85,509)

Rohingya timebomb

Aid workers are bracing for a possible outbreak in one of the world's largest refugee camps in Bangladesh. They warn that containing the disease among more than 1 million tightly packed Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar will be a daunting task. The density here is 40,000 people per square kilometre — 40 times the average density of Bangladesh. Read more here.

Israeli equivalent of India’s Tablighi Jamaat

For the past couple of weeks, the Israeli city of Bnei Brak has been bustling with shoppers as ultra-orthodox residents, obeying their religious leaders, have ignored pleas to stay at home in the face of the coronavirus threat. By Friday, Bnei Brak had become the country’s worst hotspot and it was estimated that nearly 40 per cent of the city’s population might be infected. Read more here.

Europe services sector hit

Service sector activity across Europe crashed in March. For the euro zone as a whole, the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for services and manufacturing, dropped from 51.6 in February to 29.7 in March, the lowest reading since the survey began 22 years ago. Any level below 50 indicates that a majority of companies said the activity in their businesses had declined from the previous month. Read more here.

China mourning day

China will observe a national day of mourning on Saturday for those who sacrificed their lives in the fight against the coronavirus, including the whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang. China now has over 3,300 confirmed deaths due to the infections. Read more here.

Queen Elizabeth to address the nation

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II would address the nation on Sunday over coronavirus, Buckingham Palace said. The pre-recorded address will broadcast at 12:30 am IST Monday. So far, 684 people have died of Covid-19 in the UK. Read more here.

Shenzhen bans cat and dog meat

Shenzhen has become the first Chinese city to ban the sale and consumption of dog and cat mean. The measures come into force on May 1. A countrywide ban on the sale and consumption of wild animals had already been rolled out after a link between Wuhan’s meat market and the virus was established. Read more here.

15% of population of the US could be unemployed

About 6.6 million workers applied for unemployment allowance in the US last week, the highest in a very long time. However, economists believe that unemployment by the middle of this year could be 10-15 per cent of the population, as many employers are likely to go bust in the coming months. Read more here and refer to the chart below from The Economist to get a sense of the US employment crisis.

New trouble: Hurricanes in the US

Eight hurricanes could spin out of the Atlantic with a chance that at least one will make landfall in the US, forecasts show. If a hurricane hits early enough in the season, or if the Covid-19 virus isn’t overcome for months, it could complicate social-distancing efforts in key coastal areas. Read more here.


Understand the genomics of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, its chemistry, and how it infects human cells and approaches to made anti-dotes through this interactive chart.

Mapping the spread: Global coronavirus cases are now past 1 million. Here is a series of infographics, mapping the spread of the diseases, and country-wise charts that will help you get a better grip of the crisis. Experience it here.

What to do in off-screen time? How to teach your dog to shake hands. Here are some instructions.

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