The World Health Organization (WHO) recently warned that the U.S could be the new epicenter of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic. The American death toll has surpassed 1,384 as of March 27, with 93,329 reported cases and 2,424 recoveries. WHO’s spokeswoman Margaret Harris said there had been a large acceleration of Covid-19 infections in the U.S.
“We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S. So, it does have that potential,” Harris said.
The Global Impact of Coronavirus
The virus, which started in a wet market in Wuhan, China, has infected more than 572,000 worldwide and killed 26,348, with 129,949 recoveries. The symptoms sometimes overlap with those of the flu and other respiratory illnesses such as the cough, fever, and shortness of breath.
Several states in the U.S have slapped a lockdown to contain the outbreak, including New York and California. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the closure of non-essential businesses and banned all gatherings and events.
Previously, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a total lockdown and told the state’s 40 million people to stay at home. Drugstores, banks, laundries, and gas stations are still open, while restaurants can only provide take-out services.
Italy and Spain’s Rising Coronavirus Death Tolls
The Covid-19 death tolls in Italy and Spain have reached an alarming level. Italy and Spain’s coronavirus fatalities are now higher than China, despite the decrease in the number of deaths in the past two days.
The alarming Covid-19 fatality rate in Italy is linked to several factors: the limited number of Covid-19 tests (as the tests only focused on people with acute symptoms while many people get infected without showing any signs at all), its aging population (23 percent of the Italian population are 65 or older), and loose social distancing measures despite the tough lockdown measures.
A video showing Italian mayors ranting at residents for ignoring social distancing rules recently went viral on social media. A Chinese doctor deployed in northern Italy complained about how Italians tended to underestimate the outbreak. Both Italy and Spain have been under lockdown for almost a month, however, the quarantine may be extended due to the increase in the number of Covid-19 deaths.
Indonesia’s Coronavirus Cases Surpass 1,000
As of March 27, Indonesia has recorded 1,046 positive cases of Covid-19 and 87 deaths, whilst 46 patients have recovered from it. The number of Covid-19 cases doubled in three days, jumping from 172 on March 17 to 369 on March 20.
A study from a London-based Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases released on Monday March 23 estimated that only 2 percent of Covid-19 infections in Indonesia have been reported. The research predicted that the actual figure of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia is around 34,300: even higher than that in Iran, as ABC quoted.
The Indonesian Government tried to calm down in responding to experts’ forecasts that Indonesia could be like either Wuhan or Italy if its Covid-19 cases are not contained swiftly.
“We won’t be like that,” said Indonesia’s government spokesperson for Covid-19 mitigation, Dr. Achmad Yurianto, referring to the comparison to the outbreaks in Italy and China.
Indonesia has not imposed a nationwide lockdown like Italy and Spain. However, Jakarta has called on local residents to obey stay-at-home and social distancing rules. The emergency status for Covid-19 has also been extended until May 29, with offices, malls to remain closed until early April.