Nearly 22,000 virus deaths in the US, global infections exceed 1.8 million

A parish priest told parishioners at an "drive over" Easter Mass in Brooksville, Florida. Photo: New York Times.
A parish priest told parishioners at an "drive over" Easter Mass in Brooksville, Florida. Photo: New York Times.

Almost the entire United States has a quiet Easter celebration at home when the Covid-19 pandemic is still raging, with nearly half a million infections and nearly 22,000 deaths.

The US is currently the largest epidemic area in the world with 554,226 cases of corona virus, an increase of 29,323 cases compared to yesterday, of which 21,994 people died.

Most churches were closed, with 42 states giving strict orders at home. Many churches set up crosses outside or have passages for drivers, performed by priests wearing masks and rubber gloves.

Many Americans turn to online mass to celebrate the holy day in the Christian calendar, according to Reuters.

In Louisiana, the Life Tabernacle Church near Baton Rouge resists government blockade, still celebrating Easter Sunday Mass.

In some states, the government’s request not to celebrate mass has led to litigation over whether the state has the right to ban people from practicing religion, even in the middle of a pandemic.

On April 11, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that a state ordinance would ban more than 10 people from gathering at funerals or religious services. The ruling was a victory for Governor Laura Kelly of the Democratic Party, after the Republican legislative assembly wanted to reverse the decree.

A Easter Mass in Brooklyn was broadcast live, April 12. Photo: New York Times.
A Easter Mass in Brooklyn was broadcast live, April 12. Photo: New York Times.

The US has led the world in the number of deaths with nearly 22,000 victims, as of April 12. Nearly 2,000 people die every day in the past four days, the heaviest in New York City.

Even so, the death toll has not been accounted for, and New York is seeking to adjust the numbers as the number of deaths at home is skyrocketing.

The blockade orders have hit the economy hard, and the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits in the past three weeks has exceeded 16 million. President Trump wanted to lift the blockade soon on May 1, but the director of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned it was still early to know if it was feasible.

In the latest developments illustrating the disruption, one of the largest pork processing plants in the US was closed after workers became ill. The factory owner warned the United States was nearing the limit in the food supply chain.

Dozens of other workers at a beef processing plant in Colorado were also positive for Covid-19.

Officials have raised optimistic signs that the worst phase of the epidemic may have passed. Dr. Anthony Fauci, an expert leading the US anti-epidemic effort, said he was cautiously optimistic when in New York, although there were record deaths, new hospital admissions were declining, and the number of newcomers in intensive care (ICU) or ventilators also decreased.

“Once you get through that curve, hope it will be time for a sharp decline,” Fauci told CNN. But “if we suddenly decide, ‘OK, let’s open May, a certain day,’ and then keep opening, there will definitely be a problem.”

Fauci and health experts say widespread testing will be crucial to reopening the economy, including antibody testing to determine who is ill and can return to work safely.

The corona virus has spread to 210 countries and territories around the world recording more than 1.8 million infections and more than 114,000 deaths. America and Europe continue to be the biggest hot spots.

According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, the world recorded 1,846,680 infections and 114,090 deaths from Covid-19 as of April 13, an increase of 78,825 and 5,809 cases compared to yesterday. 421,497 people have recovered.


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