World Europe 29 Mar 2020 Death toll surges in ...

Death toll surges in Spain, US as a third of world goes under lockdown

AFP
Published Mar 29, 2020, 4:10 pm IST
Updated Mar 29, 2020, 8:18 pm IST
The number of confirmed cases in Spain has now reached 78,797 -- after an increase of 9.1 percent in one day
A priest and relatives pray as a victim of the COVID-19 is buried by undertakers at the Almudena cemetery in Madrid, Spain. AFP Photo
 A priest and relatives pray as a victim of the COVID-19 is buried by undertakers at the Almudena cemetery in Madrid, Spain. AFP Photo

Madrid: Spain confirmed another 838 deaths in 24 hours from coronavirus on Sunday, a new daily record bringing the total number of deaths to 6,528, according to health ministry figures.

The number of confirmed cases in Spain has now reached 78,797 -- after an increase of 9.1 percent in one day -- as the country battles the world's second most deadly outbreak.

 

Long Haul

Cities around the world have fallen eerily quiet as a third of humanity adjusts to life confined within the walls of their own homes.

Some leaders warn the worst is yet to come as governments roll out new containment measures and rescue packages aimed a staunching the bloodletting of economies everywhere.

In Britain, deaths have now topped 1,000 as Prime Minister Boris Johnson -- who tested positive for the virus last week -- warned that dark days were on the horizon.

"We know things will get worse before they get better," Johnson, who said he has only mild symptoms, wrote in a leaflet sent to all UK households explaining how to help limit the spread.

 

While Johnson initially said the shutdown would last three weeks, a leading expert warned it could be in place until June.

"We're going to have to keep these measures in place, in my view, for a significant period of time -- probably until the end of May, maybe even early June," Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, one of the epidemiologists advising the government, told the Sunday Times.

The carnage in worst-hit Italy and Spain suggests quarantine measures are unlikely to be lifted anytime soon, despite their devastating impacts on the vulnerable.

 

On the Italian island of Sicily, police with batons and guns moved to protect supermarkets after reports of looting by locals who could no longer afford food.

"We have no money to pay, we have to eat," someone reportedly shouted at the cashiers in a Palermo supermarket, according to La Repubblica newspaper.

Spain has toughened an already tight nationwide lockdown by halting all non-essential activities.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the country must prepare to adjust to "the new way of life" for a long time, after 123 more deaths were recorded.

 

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