India yesterday went into a three-week lockdown, with one-third of the world now under orders to stay indoors.
India ordered its 1.3 billion people — the world’s second-biggest population — to stay at home for three weeks.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “total lockdown” call doubled the number of people around the globe under some form of movement restriction to more than 2.6 billion people.
However, the order did not stop crowds of people thronging to stock up at grocery shops and pharmacies.
India’s tally of 536 cases and nine deaths seems tiny compared with those in China, Italy and Spain, but Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and health experts have warned that the world’s second-most populous country faces a tidal wave of infections if tough steps are not taken.
Meanwhile, China, where the new virus emerged last year, loosened tough rules on the 50 million people in Hubei Province after a months-long lockdown as the country reported no new domestic cases.
However, there were another 47 imported infections from overseas, the Chinese National Health Commission said, as the number of cases brought into the country continued to swell.
Four more people died, health officials said, adding that three were in central Hubei.
Across the planet, the grim COVID-19 toll mounted further, with more than 18,200 deaths and 405,000 declared infections, half of them in Europe, an Agence France-Presse tally showed.
The medical situation is still critical in Europe, where hardest-hit Italy had mixed news.
The Mediterranean country’s daily death toll shot back up to 743 after two days of slight decline from a world-record peak of 793 on Saturday.
However, officially registered new infections rose just 8 percent for the second straight day.
Spain’s coronavirus death toll overtook that of China, rising to 3,434 after 738 people died in the past 24 hours, the government said.
Only Italy now has a higher death toll than that of Spain.
The spiraling number of deaths came as Spain entered the 11th day of lockdown to try and rein in the virus that has now infected 47,610 people, the Spanish Ministry of Health said.
Ireland ordered non-essential businesses shut, the UK planned a 4,000-bed emergency hospital in London and Spain called for practical support from the NATO military alliance.
In the US, nearly 130 million people, or 40 percent of the population, are under or would soon come under some lockdown order, including in the largest state of California.
Global markets finally started to recoup some of the losses they have logged over a tumultuous few weeks.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday surged 11.3 percent, its biggest rally since 1933 during the Great Depression.
The massive rise — which was followed by huge jumps on Asian markets, including an 8 percent bump in Tokyo — came as traders took heart from agreement on Capitol Hill for the US’ largest-ever emergency spending effort.
Additional reporting by Reuters
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