Live tv
search
  1. You Are At:
  2. English News
  3. World
  4. In desperate times, COVID-19 wreaks havoc; global death toll surges past 7,500

In desperate times, COVID-19 wreaks havoc; global death toll surges past 7,500

With over 7,500 deaths worldwide, COVID-19 has wreaked large-scale chaos in the world. Desperate measures are being taken by nations across the world to contain the virus that has over 180,000 people infected. Coronavirus, which began spreading from China has now shifted its epicenter to Europe. Countries like Italy and Spain now having more active cases than China.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: March 17, 2020 23:46 IST
In desperate times, COVID-19 wreaks large-scale chaos;
Image Source : AP

In desperate times, COVID-19 wreaks large-scale chaos; global death toll surges past 7,500

With over 7,500 deaths worldwide, COVID-19 has wreaked large-scale chaos in the world. Desperate measures are being taken by nations across the world to contain the virus that has over 180,000 people infected. Coronavirus, which began spreading from China has now shifted its epicenter to Europe. Countries like Italy and Spain now having more active cases than China. 

With 8,940 cases, China seems to have a tight grip on the virus. The same, however, cannot be said about other countries. Italy, which is being tipped as the European epicenter for coronavirus has over 26,000 active cases. This alarming figure has brought out unprecedented measures in the country. On Tuesday, Italy reported 345 deaths and over 2,500 new cases. Similarly, Spain also has over 9,000 active cases of coronavirus. 

The United Kingdom, which initially did not take stringent measures to counter coronavirus, has now banned social gatherings all together. The country which recently disassociated itself with the European Union has reported almost 400 cases in the last 24 hours, taking its overall total to over 1,900. 

India Tv - Coronavirus spread around the world

Image Source : AP

Coronavirus spread around the world

Traffic jams swelled along borders and travelers appealed to their governments for help getting home Tuesday as countries in Europe and beyond imposed strict controls along their frontiers and grappled with the challenge of allowing the flow of goods but restricting people to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Tens of millions around the world were already hunkered down in government-ordered isolation after many countries ordered stores, schools and businesses shut down to combat the pandemic. The border closures stopped not only people but also needed goods, prompting the widespread hoarding of essentials.

German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner castigated people for spreading panic by posting fake reports over social media that supermarkets would be closing, while urging people only to purchase what they needed for their own households.

“There is enough for everybody,” she said. “I’m certain we will weather this society-wide situation well, so long as we behave as a society.”

The European Union issued guidelines Monday aimed at facilitating the flow of critical goods like food and medicine, while helping individual nations restrict non-essential travel in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

But on Tuesday it was chaos on many borders with traffic backed up for dozens of kilometers (miles).

“We are all desperate, cold and sleepless here for a third day,” said Janina Stukiene, who was stuck in Lithuania on the border with Poland with her husband and son. “We just want to go home.”

The line of cars and trucks in Lithuania was some 60 kilometers (37 miles) long after Poland closed its border, while similar traffic jams could be seen on the borders with Germany and the Czech Republic.

Lithuania was sending military airplanes and special trains to Germany to help hundreds of its citizens stranded at the crossing points with Poland.

The Curious Case of Iran

India Tv - As global death toll crosses 7,500, COVID-19 wreaks large-scale chaos

Image Source : AP

As global death toll crosses 7,500, COVID-19 wreaks large-scale chaos

Appearing before the cameras coughing and sweating profusely, the man leading Iran’s response to the new coronavirus outbreak promised it was of no danger to his country.

“Quarantines belong to the Stone Age,” Iraj Harirchi insisted.

A day later, he himself would be in quarantine from the virus.

Harirchi’s story is a microcosm of what has happened in Iran amid the coronavirus pandemic. Roughly nine out of 10 cases in the Middle East come from the Islamic Republic, which has reported over 16,000 people infected and at least 988 deaths amid fears that cases may still be underreported. While most people who are infected recover, the virus spreads rapidly and can kill the elderly and those with breathing problems or other underlying illnesses.

Days of denials gave the virus time to spread in Iran as the country marked the 41st anniversary of its 1979 Islamic Revolution with mass demonstrations and then held a parliamentary election in which authorities desperately sought to boost turnout. Now, state television warns the virus could kill “millions” as its supreme leader issued a religious order Tuesday banning “unnecessary travel.”

Although Iran has one of the Mideast’s best medical services, its hospitals appear to be overwhelmed and authorities have asked for 172 million masks from abroad. It also has asked the International Monetary Fund for $5 billion, the first such loan for Iran since 1962.

The Islamic Republic has an opportunity to limit the virus with the approach of the Persian New Year, Nowruz. The rare religious decree by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei curtailing travel in the country could help, but it came days after Iraq and Lebanon, both allies of Iran, restricted movement while facing a fraction of the reported infections.

What happens next will not only affect Iran’s civilian government and Shiite theocracy, whose officials already have fallen ill, but also the wider world.

“Judging by the fact that Iran has now asked for a $5 billion loan from the IMF, this speaks to how dire the situation is getting and them realizing that it’s spun out of control,” said Dr. Amir A. Afkhami, an associate professor at George Washington University who studies Iran.

(With Inputs from Associated Press)

Also Read | Coronavirus outbreak: Prominent world personalities who tested positive for COVID-19

Latest World News