Coronavirus outbreak: 627 die in Italy in 24 hrs, global toll crosses 10,000 – Times of India

The peril posed by the twin scourges of pestilence and material ruin brought on by the swift advance of the coronavirus deepened on Friday as the global death toll hit 10,000 and jobless numbers soared. On both sides of the Atlantic, policymakers struggled to find an effective response for both a public health disaster and a growing economic crisis. California extended its “shelter in place” orders to all 40 million residents of the state, saying people should leave their homes only for essential business. Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York has expressed his dislike of the term, but with more than 5,200 confirmed cases — the highest in the nation — the state has asked for much the same thing. The State Department warned Americans not to leave the country, and said that citizens who are already abroad should either return home or stay where they are. A Senate debate over a $1 trillion relief package was hamstrung by the kind of partisan division that had largely paralyzed Congress before the pandemic. Economists warned that the suspension of ordinary commerce was already savaging businesses and producing record levels of job losses. The Labor Department reported a 30 percent increase in unemployment claims last week, one of the largest spikes on record. The department also asked state officials not to release precise figures, according to an email reviewed by The New York Times. And as countries around the world try to confront a crisis within their own borders, there has been a creeping sense that nationalistic interests are also at work. Vaccine trials are underway in the United States, Europe and China. While there is cooperation, governments will try to ensure that their own people are the first in line. And an effective vaccine is likely to be 12 to 18 months away, public health experts say. The immediate challenge remained trying to slow the spread of the virus, and limit the corresponding surge of patients that could overwhelm health systems, as happened in China and Italy. The death toll in Italy, which has 64 million people, surpassed China’s, with a population of 1.4 billion, raising profound questions about the effectiveness of restricting movement in Western democracies unable to enforce those measures with the efficiency of an authoritarian regime. With other European countries seeing exponential increases in confirmed cases, officials said it was only a matter of days before hospitals throughout the continent would begin to be overwhelmed. Germany has 14,000 confirmed infections and 31 deaths. Starting at midnight, residents across the southern state of Bavaria will no longer be allowed to leave their homes without a justifiable reason such as grocery shopping or caring for a relative — but only alone or with family members.