Coronavirus deaths have surpassed 1,50000 all around the world with a quarter of them happening in United States alone, owing to Donald Trump encouraging people who are protesting against lockdown orders.
Even if COVID-19 continues adding to the death rate globally, especially in hard-hit countries, governments worldwide are focusing on restoring their crumbling economies by trying to ease the lockdown orders. Evidence shows that social distancing has proved beneficial in slowing down the outbreak after confining about half of the world population(4.5 billion people) in their residences. Even when Trump mentioned the guidelines to stage the reopening of the national economy, he has left major lowdown easing decisions to state officials.
This week, protestors in 3 major US states gathered together in public to demonstrate their opposition towards the placed restrictions, with the largest crowd in Michigan, around 3000, with some of them being armed. A series of tweets by Trump on his call to “liberate” Michigan, Virginia and Minnesota were immediately reprimanded by the Democratic leaders of the 3 states. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam commented, “ I do not have time to involve myself in Twitter wars.”
US alone accounted for around 37,000, more than any other country, followed by Italy, Spain and France. It has also recorded around one-third of the deaths reported globally (2.2 million) due to coronavirus infections. Apparently, no nation is left untouched by the pandemic, with Africa alone exceeding 1000 deaths overnight. These numbers are also believed to represent only a fraction of the death rates because in many countries, tests are only being conducted only for the most severe cases.
China also sharply raised its death toll to 4,636 for the city of Wuhan, where the disease first emerged last year, on Friday. Trump tweeted, “It is far higher than that and far higher than the US, not even close!” and accused Beijing of downplaying the pandemic’s impact within its boundaries. This has put a certain degree of pressure on Beijing to come clean over its management of the virus outbreak. France and Britain leaders have also raised questions about China’s handling of the virus, but Beijing shot back by saying that it had not concealed information about the illness.
Germany’s Health Minister has said that infection rates have “sunk significantly” in the country after 3400 deaths, which has now begun the task of lifting up some restrictions without giving rise to a secondary outbreak. Some children will return to their schools and small shops will be allowed to function from Monday. Venice’s citizens in Italy have also started strolling around the canals as lockdown eases in some parts of the country. Denmark, Finland and Switzerland have also begun to reopen shops and schools within this week. On the other hand, Britain, Mexico and Japan have extended the prevailing movement restrictions.
Effects of the pandemic are ever-growing as China reports a fall in GDP in several decades. As farmers and agriculture industry suffer a major setback due to the closing of restaurants, dairies and markets, Trump’s government has pledged another $19 billion as a relief for farmers. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said, “Having to dump milk and plough under vegetables ready to market is not only financially distressing, but it’s heartbreaking as well to those who produce them.”
On Friday, African state leaders and financial bodies warned that the continent needed tens of billions of dollars as additional funds to cope with the coronavirus outbreak. IMF also stated that the disease could spark another “lost decade” in Latin America.