Europe closed its entire border and placed 250 million people under blockade measures against the backdrop of more than 204,000 people infected with Covid-19 around the world.
The number of new infections with the corona virus on March 18 has surpassed 204,000, with new outbreaks now concentrated in Europe and Iran. The number of deaths due to Covid-19 worldwide has reached more than 8,200 cases, of which about 5,000 occur outside of mainland China.
In the context of the rapidly increasing number of people infected with Covid-19, governments in Europe have increased their countermeasures, putting more than 250 million people in a state of blockade. Across the Atlantic, the United States and Canada also for the first time in history closed the common border between the two countries.
Europe blocks more than 250 million people
Belgium and Germany are the two newest countries in Europe to follow a series of tough policies to prevent the spread of the new strain of corona virus.
On March 18, Belgium closed all shops, restaurants and businesses except supermarkets, pharmacies and banks. Workers in Belgium are required to work from home unless businesses ensure the necessary distance between employees if working at the headquarters.
“This decision is made after considering the progress of the situation. Whether we can successfully deal with Covid-19 or not depends greatly on the efforts of each individual,” Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes said. know.
Similar blockades were also imposed by the German government on March 18. It is expected that Chancellor Angela Merkel will give a speech to all Germans on the evening of March 18. Except for the Happy New Year speeches, this is the first time Merkel speaks live on television to the people during her 15 years in Germany.
Chancellor Merkel is expected to call on people to comply with the recommendations of the German government, stay indoors and restrict access to public places. Non-essential business activities have been closed in Germany. It also prohibits gatherings, religious activities and other commemorative events.
Measures taken in Belgium and Germany are said to be relatively light compared to what other more heavily affected countries are taking.
In France, when leaving the house, people must bring documents to prove the purpose of their trip, including a number of reasons people are allowed to leave the house, including buying food, work or medical care.
More than 100,000 police have been deployed by France to ensure enforcement of blockades. Those arrested for violating the blockade order can be fined up to USD 200. French Health Minister Olivier Veran said on March 18 that the spread of corona virus in the country could only begin to slow down in the next 8-12 days.
“We will intervene when necessary, to ensure people comply with the decree on blockade. When I look outside the window, I see people have gradually received the government’s message,” Mr. Veran said.
On the evening of March 17, leaders of EU member states agreed to close the entire border to citizens of countries outside the bloc. The EU’s border order, which lasts for 30 days, applies to all 26 members, along with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. EU officials said the UK, which is in the transition phase of the Brexit process, will join the EU in its border closure plan.
Meanwhile, the US and Canada also agreed on March 18 to close the border between the two countries for non-essential transportation activities. The border closure order was announced simultaneously by US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. However, goods can still be traded between the two countries.
The number of global infections exceeds 204,000
Countries outside China continue to witness a rapid increase in new cases of Covid-19. By the end of March 18, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases globally had exceeded 204,000, with 8,242 deaths. More than 82,000 patients infected with Covid-19 have recovered.
Italy continues to be the focus of the disease in Europe, and is the hottest spot of Covid-19 worldwide at the present time. According to the latest notice released late March 17 by the Italian Civil Protection Agency, the Southern European country has recorded 31,506 positive cases of the new strain of corona virus, of which 2,503 have died.
Meanwhile, Spanish authorities on March 18 reported that the number of new infections with corona virus in the country reached 13,716, while the number of deaths was 558. Thus, Spain witnessed 2,538. infections and 67 new deaths in just the past 24 hours.
“We have never experienced the situation we are now in. Our society, which has grown accustomed to innovations that extend our respect, health and life, is now in a war to protect our people.” What we are familiar with, “said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
In the UK, authorities on March 18 reported an additional 676 new infections in the past 24 hours, an increase of 35% from March 17. The total number of Covid-19 infections in the UK has reached 2,626 cases, of which 104 have died.
In Iran, the corona virus deaths on March 18 reached 1,135, an increase of 147 from the previous 24 hours, marking the largest number of new deaths in a day, according to an Iranian health official. The total number of infections in Iran has reached 17,361.
“Unfortunately, the number of new infections in the past 24 hours has reached 1,192 … Please follow the instructions and stay indoors,” Iranian Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi told state television.
Across the Atlantic, the United States has recorded at least 6,184 new strains of corona virus, according to local and federal health agencies, governments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). . A total of 112 deaths related to Covid-19 were recorded in this country.
The number of Covid-19 infections in Asia has increased rapidly
On March 18, Indonesia announced 55 new cases of Covid-19 virus infection, bringing the total number of cases to 227 in the country. This is also the highest number of confirmed cases in the day in Indonesia.
Achmad Yurianto, an official from Indonesia’s Ministry of Health, also said at a news conference that the number of deaths due to Covid-19 had increased to 19 cases. Seven different provinces have recorded deaths. Besides, 11 patients also recovered.
On March 18, more than 8,000 Muslim pilgrims from many Asian countries flocked to the church in the city of Gowa, Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province, to perform mass during the government’s recommendations despite the risk. disease outbreak.
Meanwhile, Malaysia announced 117 new cases on March 18, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 790. Malaysia’s Ministry of Health said 80 of the new cases linked to the gathering event of 16,000 people at mosque near Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia currently has the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia. Many cases in the country are thought to be related to a global Islamic event held last month. Malaysian authorities warned of a new wave of infection with the corona virus if people do not comply with travel restrictions for the next two weeks.
“We have a slim chance of breaking the Covid-19 chain of infection. Failure is not an option here. Otherwise, we could face a third wave of this virus, which is still large.” more than a tsunami, “said Noor Hisham Abdullah, general manager of Health Malaysia, in a Facebook post on March 18.
Also on March 18, Taiwan’s health authority said the island had 23 new infections, bringing the total number of cases to 100. The head of Taiwan’s health agency said 19 of the cases. new cases of “imports”, most returning from Europe – the hot spot of the Covid epidemic.
In Hong Kong, authorities confirmed 14 new infections on March 18, the highest in a day since the outbreak. Of these 14 cases, only one was not returning from abroad, reflecting the new risk the island faced after initial successful outbreak control efforts. The total number of infections in Hong Kong now reaches 181 with 4 deaths.
“We believe that a large number of people will return to Hong Kong, including many students from Europe and the US,” said Dr. Wong Ka-hing, a control expert at the Hong Kong Health Protection Center, said.
South Korea on March 18 reported an additional 93 cases with Covid-19. The number of Covid-19 infections in Korea increased for the second day in a row, albeit still below 100 cases per day.