The number of coronavirus cases reportedly surpassed 200,000 worldwide as of March 18, and the global fatalities hit 8000 as countries resort to lockdown and isolation as containment effort to stem the pandemic.
The United States and other high-risk European nations, including Italy imposed drastic measures like mandatory curfews and movement restrictions. Several countries have now suspended the immigration and visa issuance facilities banning the foreign national from entering their territory, as per media reports.
According to the reports, the WHO instructed the countries on March 16 that the best way to combat the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus across nations was to ramp up the testing programs. WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a conference in Geneva that the “simple message” he has for all countries is “test, test, test”. He further added that the countries will remain unsuccessful to tackle the pandemic if they fail to test all suspected cases and remain “blindfolded”.
“As the virus moves to low-income countries, we're deeply concerned about the impact it could have among populations with high HIV prevalence, or among malnourished children. That’s why we’re calling on every country and every individual to do everything they can to stop transmission,” WHO’s Tedros said in a press conference. Hans Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe, which is the hotbed of the pandemic, said in a press conference, “Every country, with no exceptions, needs to take their boldest actions to stop or slow down the virus threat." WHO Europe includes 53 countries as diverse as Russia and Andorra, Germany and Tajikistan.
Many European countries, from France to Germany to Spain, confined millions in lockdown in containment measure. The pubs, bars, and restaurants nationwide in many countries suspended operations as per media reports. The US and Canada announced a deal to seal off their borders as the Canadian PM Trudeau’s wife tested positive to the malignant coronavirus. European leaders have also edged towards banning non-essential travel to the continent. The mass lockdown measures, as never seen before, have reportedly upended society and roiled financial markets, prompting governments to roll out emergency economic measures as fears mount of a global recession.