More than three billion people around the world are living under lockdown as governments stepped up their efforts against the coronavirus pandemic which has left more than 21,000 people dead. As the number of confirmed cases worldwide soared past 450,000, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that only a concerted global effort could stop the spread of the virus.
Till now, China has reported 81,285 coronavirus cases and the death toll stands at 3,287, according to worldometres. China has begun to relax its own draconian restrictions on free movement in the province of Hubei - where the outbreak began in December - after the country reported no new cases. Crowds jammed trains and buses in the province as people took their first opportunity to travel.
Considered to be the second epicenter of the deadly disease after China, the death count in Italy jumped in 24 hours by 683 to 7,503 - by far the highest of any country. Italy has reported total confirmed cases of 69,176 while 8,326 patients have been recovered so far. More than 60 per cent of the latest deaths reportedly occurred in the northern region of Lombardy, where the hospitals are flooded with patients that have left intensive care beds hard to find and respirators in dire supply.
Stock markets rebounded after the US Congress moved closer to passing a $2.2 trillion relief package to prop up a teetering US economy. Secretary Guterres said that COVID-19 is threatening the whole of humanity -- and the whole of humanity must fight back, during launching an appeal for $2 billion to help the world's poor. He also added that global action and solidarity are crucial. Individual country responses are not going to be enough to fight this deadly disease. In Washington, President Donald Trump said New York, the epicenter of the US outbreak with over 30,000 cases, likely has a few "tough weeks" ahead but he would decide soon whether unaffected parts of the country can get back to work.
Spain is the latest in a string of countries to be badly hit by the deadly coronavirus. The disease was first detected in Catalonia but has since spread to regions throughout the country, including the Canary Islands. In Spain, the number of deaths surge to more than 3,400 after 738 people died in the past 24 hours and the government announced a 432-million-euro ($467 million) deal to buy medical supplies from Beijing, making it the hardest-hit nation after Italy.
Currently, the coronavirus pandemic has infected 37,323 people in Germany, and 206 deaths. Following the disease, German police are tenaciously trying to trace nearly six million faces maks which went missing at an airport in Kenya, international media reported. Though it was unclear why the masks were in Kenya, authorities have said that they were actively searching for it.
Iran is currently the sixth-worst virus hit the nation with 27,017 reported cases of infection and 2,077 deaths. According to reports, a multitude of citizens travelled during the Iranian new year holidays. Iranian President warned that his government was poised to introduce tough new measures against the coronavirus on March 25 as the death toll from one of the world's deadliest outbreaks topped 2,000.