Confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world surpassed 300,000 over the weekend — but many more than that are being affected by policies put in place to contain the deadly disease’s spread.
According to the latest reports, nearly one billion people around the world have been told to stay home in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus. “An estimated 900 million people are now confined to their homes in 35 countries around the world,” AFP reported Saturday, “including 600 million hemmed in by obligatory government lockdown orders.”
Countries on lockdown
Putting restrictions on the movement of people to control the spread of the virus started where COVID-19 started: in China’s Hubei province. With such measures appearing to have some success, many European countries followed suit.
France, Italy, and Spain have all instituted lockdowns, according to NBC News. The U.K., meanwhile, has put restrictions on the frequenting of public places like restaurants, gyms, and movie theaters, The Guardian reports.
Such measures have been implemented beyond Europe, as well. Australia, for example, has closed down Bondi Beach, one of its most popular tourist spots, according to CBS News.
The shutdowns have even made their way to the United States. Two of the states hardest-hit by the virus, California, which has over 1,000 cases, and New York, which has over 8,000 cases, have both ordered residents to “stay in their homes unless they have vital reasons to go out,” according to the Associated Press.
Similar measures are also being implemented in states like Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and Connecticut, according to USA Today.
“We will win this war”
With the number of states with shelter in place policies growing, some are beginning to speculate over whether the U.S. will soon be under a nationwide lockdown. Asked by reporters about that possibility on Friday, President Donald Trump has said he doesn’t think such a measure will be necessary, however.
“Essentially, you’ve done that in California, you’ve done that in New York. Those are really two hotbeds,” Trump told reporters at a press briefing Friday, according to a transcript provided by the White House. “You go out to the Midwest, you go out to other locations and they’re watching it on television, but they don’t have the same problems. They don’t have, by any means, the same problem… I don’t think we’ll ever find [a national lockdown] necessary.”
As of Sunday afternoon, at least 325,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, with at least 14,390 deaths across 157 countries, according to The New York Times. The U.S. currently has at least 31,772 confirmed cases of the disease, and over 300 deaths.
Despite these rising numbers, President Trump is remaining optimistic.
“Americans from every walk of life are coming together. And thanks to the spirit of our people, we will win this war, and we are,” the president said Friday. “America will triumph and America will rise higher than ever before.”