The virus has rapidly spread across the world over the past week (AFP Photo/STR)

The number of global coronavirus infections shot past 200,000 on Wednesday, as governments across Europe, North America and Asia rolled out tough measures to put the brakes on the ferocious spread of the deadly pandemic.

Worldwide fatalities topped 8,000 and more deaths have now been recorded in Europe, the new virus epicentre, than in Asia since the outbreak first emerged in China in December.

From Belgium to Britain and the United States, governments across the world have imposed draconian lockdown measures, forcing unprecedented social change and sending financial markets into a tailspin.

The European Union sealed its borders on Wednesday, barring travellers from outside the bloc for 30 days to try to slow the rapid spread of the virus.-

Europe has now recorded 3,437 deaths — including 2,503 in Italy — leapfrogging Asia’s 3,384 fatalities, according to an AFP tally.

There are more than 79,000 cases across Europe, with Italy, Spain and France leading infections and fatalities.

As the spectre of a deep global recession looms large, London and Washington announced massive economic stimulus packages after coming under fire over their response to the crisis.

But financial markets were unimpressed, with US, European and Asian stocks all sinking on Wednesday.

And the International Labour Organization warned that the pandemic could leave up to 25 million more people out of work and drastically slash workers’ incomes.

US President Donald Trump said the White House was discussing a “substantial” spending bill with Congress that would include immediate cash payments to Americans.

Officials did not give hard numbers but The Washington Post reported the amount could reach $850 billion, with a chunk destined for airlines fearing ruin.

“We’re going big,” Trump told reporters.

On Wednesday he promised more “very important” news from the Food and Drug Adminstration to be announced at a press conference later, calling the illness the “Chinese Virus” — a term that irks Beijing.

Britain also Tuesday unveiled on Tuesday a loan package for businesses struggling in the sudden economic paralysis caused by mass self-quarantine, following similar moves by France and Germany.

London also announced sweeping emergency powers including proposals allowing police to detain potentially infected people for tests.

– ‘Unprecedented’ education challenge –

The EU warned of long-term ripples from the virus as it imposed its new travel restrictions, the most significant emergency measure from Brussels, which has struggled to develop a unified response.

EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen told Germany’s Bild newspaper that politicians had initially underestimated the virus threat.

“But now it is clear that this is a virus that will keep us busy for a long time yet,” she said. “We understand that measures that seemed drastic two or three weeks ago, need to be taken now.”

Within the bloc some countries have sealed borders, while bars, restaurants and most shops have closed their doors until further notice, grinding life in Europe’s normally bustling cities to a halt.

Some 850 million youngsters have been kept home globally — about half the world’s student population — according to UNESCO.

“The scale and speed of the school and university closures represents an unprecedented challenge for the education sector,” it said.

Trump said the US-Canada border would close for all non-essential travel — but assured trade would continue unfettered — building on a previous ban on most visitors from Europe and China.

In the US itself, Maryland became the latest state to delay presidential election primaries and New York City is considering curfews.

Australia’s government urged citizens to not travel abroad and banned gatherings of more than 100 people as cases topped 500.

The World Health Organization called for “aggressive” action in Southeast Asia to combat the virus after it was largely spared the alarming number of cases clocked elsewhere in the region early on.

Malaysia has already banned travellers from overseas, while Vietnam has blocked visitors from several European nations.

– Africa rising –

The WHO has called for every suspected coronavirus case to be tested, though many countries, especially in Europe, are only screening those who require hospitalisation or who are very sick.

Asian hotspots China and South Korea have seen new infections and deaths level out in recent weeks — China reported just one new domestic case for the second consecutive day.

Africa, with its fragile healthcare systems, has also recorded nearly 600 cases — with numbers quickly climbing in South Africa — and Burkina Faso reported the first confirmed death in sub-Saharan Africa.

Latin America has more than 1,100 recorded infections and the continent’s most populated country Brazil announced its first fatality.

– Eurovision, Glastonbury scrapped –

Every sector from tourism to food to aviation is affected as the global economy effectively goes into shutdown.

Major world airlines have axed almost all flights temporarily, triggering pleas to help carriers survive.

The outbreak has also shredded the global sporting and cultural calendar.

In football, The European and Copa America championships have been postponed until next year, and the French Open tennis tournament has been delayed to the autumn.

The Tokyo Olympics still hang in the balance.

The International Olympic Committee acknowledged there was no “ideal” solution, after some top athletes said they were being forced to take health risks should the summer extravaganza go ahead.

Both the Eurovision Song Contest and the annual Glastonbury music festival in England have been axed.

SOURCE: AFP

Country,
Other
Total
Cases
New
Cases
Total
Deaths
New
Deaths
Total
Recovered
Active
Cases
Serious,
Critical
Tot Cases/
1M pop
China80,894+133,237+1169,6148,0432,62256
Italy31,5062,5032,94126,0622,060521
Iran17,361+1,1921,135+1475,38910,837207
Spain13,910+2,084623+901,08112,206563298
Germany11,302+1,93527+18611,1892135
S. Korea8,413+9384+31,5406,78959164
France7,7301756026,953699118
USA7,538+1,127117+81067,3151223
Switzerland3,070+32827153,028355
UK2,626+67671652,4902039
Netherlands2,051+34658+1521,99145120
Austria1,646+314491,63312183
Norway1,550+796+311,54327286
Belgium1,486+24314+4311,44133128
Sweden1,292+96811,28312128
Denmark1,057+80411,05224182
Japan899+2129144726417
Malaysia790+1172607281524
Diamond Princess712745624914
Portugal642+1942+146361863
Canada598812578116
Australia565+1106+143516122
Czechia464+303461543
Qatar4424438153
Israel433+9611422650
Greece418+315143991340
Brazil367+2112364182
Finland359+3710349265
Singapore313+471141991454
Ireland29225285659
Slovenia286+1112854138
Pakistan272+2522701
Estonia258+3312571194
Bahrain255+141881663150
Poland251+135124537
Iceland250+352451733
Romania246+2919227513
Chile238+37238312
Indonesia227+5519+12111970.8
Thailand212+3514117013
Luxembourg203+632+12011324
Philippines202+1517+3418112
Egypt1966261642
Hong Kong181+1349285424
Saudi Arabia17161655
Iraq164+1012+1411114
India155+123141380.1
Ecuador155+44215329
Russia147+3381391
Peru145+28114484
Kuwait142+1215127433
Lebanon133+944125319
San Marino119114104113,507
South Africa116+311162
UAE1132687211
Slovakia105+8105219
Armenia102+241101234
Taiwan100+23120794
Turkey981971
Mexico93+1148910.7
Colombia93+281922
Bulgaria92+1129013
Panama86+17185720
Serbia83+1118249
Croatia81+1257620
Argentina79237412
Vietnam75+916590.8
Algeria72+116+110562
Latvia71+1117038
Brunei68+12682155
Albania59+42+157221
Hungary58+8125546
Faeroe Islands58+111571,187
Jordan52+41515
Belarus51+155465
Sri Lanka51+73482
Costa Rica5050310
Uruguay505014
Morocco49+5214611
Cyprus4949141
Malta48+10246109
Palestine44449
Andorra39138505
Bosnia and Herzegovina39+523712
Georgia38+4137110
Kazakhstan36+3362
Venezuela36+3361
Cambodia35+21342
North Macedonia35+4134117
Azerbaijan3416273
Lithuania33+7132112
Oman3312216
Senegal31+42292
Moldova301+112827
Tunisia29+212822
Guadeloupe27+92767
Afghanistan221210.6
Dominican Republic211202
Burkina Faso20+51+1191.0
New Zealand20204
Martinique19+411851
Liechtenstein1919498
Macao15+210523
Uzbekistan15+4150.4
Ukraine142120.3
Bangladesh14+41+13100.09
Jamaica132114
Maldives131324
Bolivia12121
Réunion12+31213
French Guiana111137
Paraguay11+21112
Cameroon10100.4
Monaco99229
Honduras9+190.9
Guatemala8170.4
Nigeria8+5170.04
Gibraltar8+526237
Guam8+3847
Rwanda8+180.6
Cuba770.6
DRC7+470.08
Ghana770.2
Kenya7+370.1
Trinidad and Tobago7+275
Channel Islands6635
Ivory Coast6+2150.2
Ethiopia660.05
Mongolia6+162
Seychelles6+2661
Puerto Rico552
Guyana4135
Aruba4+1437
Equatorial Guinea4+343
Curaçao3318
French Polynesia3311
Gabon331
Kyrgyzstan3+330.5
Mayotte3311
St. Barth33304
Saint Martin3+1378
Tanzania3+230.05
Sudan2+1110.05
Barbados227
Benin2+120.2
Greenland2+1235
Liberia220.4
Mauritania2+120.4
Montenegro223
Namibia220.8
New Caledonia2+227
Saint Lucia2211
U.S. Virgin Islands2219
Zambia2+220.1
Cayman Islands11015
Nepal1100.03
Antigua and Barbuda1110
Bahamas113
Bhutan111
CAR110.2
Congo110.2
Djibouti1+111
Gambia110.4
Guinea110.08
Vatican City111,248
Montserrat1+11200
St. Vincent Grenadines119
Somalia110.06
Suriname112
Eswatini110.9
Togo110.1
Total:208,42110,2038,27330682,902117,2466,43926.7

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