PARIS (AP) – The United States asked its citizens to avoid international travel and warned those abroad to return now if they do not want to be left out for “indeterminate” time, while the Governor of California asked the 40 million Inhabitants of his state stay home to try to stop the spread of a pandemic that has killed more than 11,100 people worldwide.
The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic originated, provided a ray of hope by not reporting new infections for the second consecutive day and only 39 across the country, all from abroad, according to the government.RELATED
But the effects of the paralyzed global economy were beginning to show, from millions of unsold flowers piled in Kenya to the slow emptying of the world’s skies. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned of an impending global recession “perhaps of record dimensions.”
In a sign of the movement of the disease from east to west of the planet, a Chinese Red Cross official at the head of a delegation to Milan lashed out at the Italians for not respecting their quarantine. Sun Shuopeng said it was a scandal to see so many people on the streets, on public transportation and in hotel restaurants.
“We must stop all economic activity now and stop the mobility of people,” he said. “Everyone should stay home in quarantine.”
China also sent medical teams to Prague.
Governments of the world try to strike a balance between the need to confine their inhabitants to their homes and the need to maintain the supply of medicines, food and other essential items. In Britain, the category of essential workers includes doctors, paramedics and nurses, as well as religious, truckers, garbage collectors and journalists.
French President Emmanuel Macron urged employees of supermarkets, production locations and other essential services to continue working. “We must keep the country going,” he said.
The number of deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, exceeded 11,100 people and the infections exceed 263,000, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University. Italy, with 60 million inhabitants, has registered until Friday more than 4,000 deaths, surpassing 3,253 in China, a country with a population 20 times greater.
Although the disease is mild to moderate in most people, the elderly are particularly susceptible to serious complications. The vast majority of the dead in Italy, 87%, are over 70 years old.
More than 71,000 patients have already recovered, mostly in China, but the pace is much slower than that of its spread. Mild or moderate cases of COVID-19 take about two weeks to heal, a time frame that can be extended to a month and a half in more severe conditions, according to the World Health Organization.
On the other hand, countries are imposing ever stricter border controls and quarantines for the population to stay home and prevent outsiders from entering, hoping to reduce infections, as they prepare for an avalanche of the sick.
In California, Governor Gavin Newsom said that if drastic measures were not taken, 56% of the state’s 40 million residents could contract the virus in the next eight weeks. In addition, he expanded the restrictions on non-crucial outlets, arguing that it is necessary to control infections, which threaten to saturate the region’s health system.
Similar restrictions were applied in some of the most serious outbreaks of the virus, such as Italy, Spain and central China.
The largest mosque in Southeast Asia canceled Friday prayers. The great mosque of Istiqlal, in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, is often crowded with thousands of worshipers who come to pray on the most important day of the week for Muslims, but in the fourth most populous nation in the world, which has More than 300 cases are feared because of the possible severity of the outbreak. The president’s call to cancel all mass events will be difficult to apply in the vast archipelago.
In the United States, the military prepared mobile field hospitals to install them in large cities, and drivers waited in long lines to undergo further tests to detect the disease without getting out of their car.
The virus has infected at least one head of state in Europe, Prince Albert of Monaco, 62, who was still working from his office. It adds to the long list of officials from Iran, Brazil, Australia and other nations afflicted with COVID-19.
Journalists from The Associated Press around the world contributed to this report.
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