Madrid and London are facing worse coronavirus outbreaks than Lombardy in Italy with deaths doubling every two days – but New York’s mortality rate could be set to outpace them all.
The humanitarian cost of the pandemic continues to mount globally as more than 415,000 people have been infected with the deadly disease, and more than 18,000 have been killed.
Lombardy, Italy, replaced Wuhan in China, as the most badly impacted region in the world, with authorities in the European country announcing that 743 more people had died in the country on Tuesday, bringing the total dead to 6,820.
Italian authorities believe some of the restrictive measures taken may be beginning to have an impact after officially registered new infections rose by just eight percent, the same percentage increase as Monday- the lowest level since Italy registered its first death on February 21.
The trajectory of the rapidly spreading virus shows that Madrid and London could become the next hotspots of the disease, with deaths now doubling every two days in the respective capital cities.
In the UK, 87 more patients died overnight in England, including 21 at the one NHS trust in London. The UK’s death toll has risen almost six-fold in the space of a week, with just 71 fatalities recorded last Tuesday.
And in Spain the armed forces asked NATO for humanitarian assistance to fight the novel coronavirus as the national death toll touched 2,700 and infections soared towards 40,000.
The Madrid region has suffered the brunt of the epidemic with 12,352 infections – just under a third of the total – and 1,535 deaths, or 57 percent of the national figure.
Outside of Europe, in the United States, the death toll has risen quite slowly compared to other nations so far, but the trajectory for New York’s mortality curve is much steeper, suggesting it could overtake Madrid.
More than 12,000 people have tested positive in the city and 125 have died. A state-wide lockdown took effect on Sunday night.
Health officials say the US is also on track to eventually overtake China’s infections. The US last week was already reporting more new daily cases of coronavirus than China did at the apparent peak of the outbreak there.
Fully protected soldiers are preparing at Sanitas Mayores Residential Centre, located in the Carabanchel neighbourhood of Madrid, to carry out disinfection tasks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on Tuesday
New Yorker’s are clearly not taking any notice of the stay at home order put in place as they are out in mass enjoying the weather along Riverside Park and Central Park on Tuesday
A busy Jubilee line eastbound train carriage, the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus
Doctors and nurses work in the intensive care department of the Vizzolo Predabissi Hospital, dedicated to coronavirus patients, in Milan, Italy
An aerial view of a nearly empty Presidente Vargas Avenue and Central do Brasil Station in the center of the city during a lockdown aimed at stopping the spread of the (COVID-19) coronavirus pandemic
Preparations at The Spanish Army- UME-Health Ministry and CAM install a field hospital at IFEMA near Madrid
A man wearing a gas mask gives the thumbs-up as a woman wearing an air filtering mask applauds at their window as part of a daily 8 o’clock applause in support of medical workers in the French Riviera city of Nice
In India more than 2.6 billion people worldwide are in lockdown after the country introduced its measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic at 1830 GMT, more than one-third of a global population.
In Senegal, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone come under state of emergency and nightime curfew and Egypt will impose a night-time curfew for two weeks from Wednesday.
The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States has the potential to exceed that in Europe and become the new epicentre of the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns.
The Pentagon says it assumes the epidemic in the United States will last at least several months, with a return to normal in June-July.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says coronavirus infections in New York are doubling every three days.
US President Donald Trump warns that a long coronavirus lockdown could “destroy” the country, saying he wants it relaxed in the United States by mid-April, He says the coronavirus would kill fewer than a “massive recession or depression”
And Russia says the G20 will hold an emergency online summit on Thursday to discuss a global coronavirus response.
In other coronavirus developments in the UK:
- Builders across the UK have said they feel ‘angry and unprotected’ as they continued working on busy construction sites
- Britain was placed under new draconian measures which to keep people indoors, including allowing outside exercise only once a day, social gatherings of more than two people banned, and non-essential travel prohibited, with police handed powers to slap offenders with fines;
- Londoners continued to cram into packed Tube carriages during this morning’s rush-hour, with union chiefs calling on Sadiq Khan to get a grip of the capital’s public transport;
- The Mayor of London came under fire for blaming commuters for flouting advice over non essential travel;
- Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt demanded more NHS workers were tested for coronavirus, which has killed 335 and infected 6650 in the UK;
- Supermarket websites crashed and delivery slots were booked solid for weeks as lockdown begun;
- Sports Direct insisted it was providing an essential service and tried to open it stores, but was forced to U-turn under pressure from the government;
- The FTSE 100 opened up 4 per cent as investors seemingly took confidence in the PM’s measures.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said home is now the ‘front line’ in the fight against coronavirus, as he urged people to come together to reduce the number of people in the UK who will die from the spread of the infection.
But he issued a stark warning, saying stricter measures introduced by the Prime Minister on Monday were not advice but rules that must be followed.
He told MPs in the Commons: ‘The spread of coronavirus is rapidly accelerating across the world and in the UK.
Boris Johnson’s coronavirus lockdown backed by 93 PER CENT of the public – poll finds
Boris Johnson’s coronavirus lockdown is backed by 93 per cent of Britons, according to a poll today.
But in a potentially worrying sign for the PM, two-thirds believe that the extraordinary curbs will be easy to obey.
The announcement by the PM last night mean that everyone must stay inside unless it is absolutely essential.
Gatherings of more than two people have been banned in the most dramatic restrictions on freedom ever seen in Britain in time of peace or war.
But research by YouGov shows the measures have overwhelming endorsement from the public,
‘The actions we took yesterday are not actions that any UK government would want to take but they are absolutely necessary. Our instruction is simple: stay at home.’
He said people should only be leaving their home for four reasons – shopping for essentials such as food and medicine, one form of exercise per day, medical need or to provide care to a vulnerable person, and travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
Mr Hancock said: ‘These measures are not advice, they are rules and will be enforced including by the police, with fines starting at £30 up to unlimited fines for non-compliance.’
He continued: ‘We are engaged in a great national effort to beat this virus, everybody now has it in their power to save lives and protect the NHS. Home is now the front line.
‘In this national effort, working together, we can defeat this disease, everyone has a part to play.’
His comments come as some trains on London’s Tube network were crowded again this morning despite Boris Johnson placing the UK on a lockdown.
he Prime Minister ordered people only to leave their homes for ‘very limited purposes’, banned public gatherings of more than two people and ordered the closure of non-essential shops.
But police chiefs warned of phone lines being inundated with calls last night with questions about what movements are still permitted, while MPs also called for answers.
Shocking images show workers on the UK’s biggest construction project being forced to work in close proximity – despite the country being put into lockdown.This morning, over 4,000 Hinkley Point C staff were told that business will continue running as normal despite Boris Johnson’s announcement yesterday
Visitors to an outdoor gym exercise on Clapham Common in South West London this afternoon
Pictures on social media suggested that many people in the capital were continuing to use the Underground to travel around, prompting a desperate plea from London Mayor Sadiq Khan: ‘I cannot say this more strongly: we must stop all non-essential use of public transport now. Ignoring these rules means more lives lost.’
Coronavirus UK: New lockdown measures in full
Boris Johnson tonight announced a lockdown plan to stem the spread of the coronavirus in the UK as he told the nation to stay at home.
People will only be allowed to leave their home for the following ‘very limited’ purposes:
Shopping for basic necessities as infrequently as possible.
One form of exercise a day.
Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
Travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary.
Meanwhile, the PM has announced a ban on:
Meeting with friends.
Meeting with family members you do not live with.
All weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies but excluding funerals.
All gatherings of more than two people in public.
The PM said the police will have the powers to enforce the lockdown measures through fines and dispersing gatherings.
To ensure people comply the government is also:
Closing all shops selling non-essential goods.
Closing all libraries, playground, outdoor gyms and places of worship.
Parks will remain open for exercise, but will be patrolled.
Senior police figures have warned that the stringent measures, similar to those already in place in Italy, will be ‘challenging’ with forces across the UK having far fewer officers to call upon than authorities in Rome – with shortages of up to 20,000 officers.
Mr Apter told the BBC today: It’s going to be really tough and what we have to get across to the public is that as far as policing is concerned it is not business as usual.
‘The normal things my colleagues, officers, would normally go to, we need to decide what it is we cannot go to any more.
‘Because dealing with this partial lock-down is going to put incredible amounts of pressure on my colleagues – and they are up for this.’
His warning came after former GMP chief constable Sir Peter Fahy contrasted the police numbers in Italy with those here.
Sir Peter told BBC Breakfast: ‘If you compare us to Italy, we have about half the number of police officers that they have.
‘We don’t have a paramilitary police force like the Carabinieri. Our police officers are already very stretched.
‘I think the Government needs to continue to close down businesses and other parts of operations to limit the places that people can be going, but absolutely at the same time reinforcing the message and clarifying as far as possible all those individual issues.
‘We don’t really want 43 separate police forces in England and Wales interpreting this in different ways and individual officers being faced with real dilemmas about whether to allow this or not to allow it.’
‘It will require a huge amount of public support, public acceptance and public compliance because if officers are going to be dispersing groups they are going to be asking about things like ‘is there a power of arrest?’ and that will then tie up more and more officers.
‘So, really, there is no way that this can be achieved through enforcement alone.
‘It will have to be that the public hugely accept it and the government continues to issue clarification and reinforces the message.’
Michael Gove forced to apologise after WRONGLY saying children of separated parents cannot travel between homes
Michael Gove was forced to apologise this morning after telling separated parents their children cannot travel between their homes during the coronavirus lockdown – because they are allowed to.
The Cabinet Office Minister appeared on GMB after Boris Johnson’s momentous decision last night to bring in the most stringent peacetime restrictions on the UK’s way of life.
The Prime Minister ordered all but essential workers to remain at home and cease all non-essential travel to combat the spread of the virus, which has so far killed 335 Britons.
But questioned by Susannah Reid Mr Gove told GMBs audience, which includes a high number of anxious mothers and fathers, that youngsters would not be allowed out of one parent’s home to go to the other, if they lives apart.
But this caused an uproar, as official advice issued by the Government last night said that under-18s are among those allowed out of homes if they need to go to their other parent.
Mr Gove swiftly took to Twitter after his interview to say: ‘I wasn’t clear enough earlier, apologies.
‘To confirm – while children should not normally be moving between households, we recognise that this may be necessary when children who are under 18 move between separated parents.
‘This is permissible and has been made clear in the guidance.’
Police have also warned that they will have to ignore other crime if they are switched to focusing on coronavirus.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan today said that if people continue to flout the rules police should check ID of workers and use their powers to disperse crowds, which include issuing fines or even arresting those who should be in self-isolation.
Police officers will get new powers to issue the fines and make such arrrests when the Coronavirus Bill becomes law on Thursday.
They will reportedly start at £30 but rise sharply to four figures if the public fail to heed orders to stay at home.
Travellers in the capital could not stick to social distancing on their Tube journey to work this morning, hours after the Prime Minister warned all but essential workers to stay at home.
Mr Khan demanded that employers enable their staff to work from home ‘unless it’s absolutely necessary’, adding: ‘Ignoring these rules means more lives lost. Some of the people on the Tube yesterday and today are not essential workers, I can tell you that’. He added that many packed on to trains appeared to be heading to building sites.
He added that if people continue to flout the rules police should check ID of workers and use their powers to disperse crowds, which include issuing fines or even arresting those who should be in self-isolation.
Many people were nose-to-nose with people on the Tube, trains and buses as well as platforms despite being told to be two metres apart to avoid catching coronavirus, which has claimed 335 lives so far.
The government has come under pressure to urgently clarify who it counts as a ‘key worker’ after Britons woke up in a state of confusion over who is permitted to leave home.
Many construction workers are operating in environments where social distancing is impossible, leaving them fearful of spreading the deadly disease which has killed 335 and infected over 6,000.
A group of young men are spoken to by Kent Police officers before being dispersed from a children’s play area in Mote Park, Maidstone,
Labourers on lunch break at a building site in Battersea, London, were even pictured squeezed around canteen tables just inches from each other.
The Government has set out its key worker definition to battle coronavirus – but many believe it is too vague and is leaving many schools and parents confused about who is eligible
Some said they felt compelled to come in for fear of losing their jobs, with one telling MailOnline: ‘It’s mad that we have to carry on as normal while everyone at the office sits at home.’
As well as builders, non-essential delivery drivers were also on the roads today, with high street chains John Lewis, H&M, Debenhams and Boux Avenue all maintaining normal services.
Last night in his historic address to the nation, Boris Johnson ordered the public to stay at home unless travelling to work was ‘absolutely necessary’.
It was wrapped into an emergency package of draconian measures to keep people indoors to stem the tide of coronavirus infection, which threatens to overwhelm the NHS.
But the wriggle room left by the Prime Minister over exactly who was allowed to travel was seized upon by many workers who continued to commute to their jobs this morning.
Responding to claims that details of the lockdown were ‘murky’, Michael Gove, the minister for the cabinet office, said: ‘It is the case that construction should continue on sites.
‘People should obviously exercise sensitivity and common sense and follow social distancing measures. But construction sites carried out in the open air can continue’.
He also confirmed that plumbers could continue to carry out emergency repair jobs so long as they observed the two-metre distancing policy.
Yet images from the first day of lockdown showed construction staff huddling together on sites, brazenly flouting social distancing guidelines.