Official Coronavirus figures from Italy offer a glimmer of hope that lockdown measures introduced two weeks ago have slowed the spread of the virus. The registered Covid-19 death toll has dropped for a second consecutive day, as has the number of new confirmed infections. The crisis has pushed northern Italy’s health system to breaking point – with critical care units filled to capacity. Unions in the worst-affected region, Lombardy, are demanding even tougher shutdown measures to protect the health of workers. Many factories are still operating in the region – though the government says they are essential for the economy.
Meanwhil in Spain things do lot look very bright: The government is expected to extend the state of emergency by two weeks. The number of new coronavirus cases jumped by some 6,600 overnight, with more than 500 reported to have died. Pictures taken at a hospital in Madrid show patients lying unattended in a corridor. The Spanish capital has been particularly affected, with nearly 10,000 cases. An ice rink inside a shopping mall in Madrid has been turned into a makeshift morgue. And soldiers helping to fight the virus have made shocking discoveries at nursing homes, where elderly residents have been found abandoned, some dead in their beds. Prosecutors have launched an investigation.
Some more of the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic:
– Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a nationwide lockdown. Beginning at midnight, some 1.3 billion people will be barred from leaving their homes for 21 days.
– Here in Germany, 95 percent of people say they support the government’s ban on gatherings of more than two people – according to a new poll.
– Some 6 Million protective masks that were destined for Germany have gone missing at an airport in Kenya. A German firm had produced the masks and it’s unclear why they were in Kenya to begin with.
– The World Health Organization is warning about a big acceleration in case numbers in the United States. It says the US could become the new epicenter of the global pandemic.
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