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March 15, 202012min1660

Lock down in US. Lock down in UK. Lock down in Italy. Lock down in Australia. Lock down in Austria. Lock down in Spain. Lock down in France. Lock down in the Koreas. Lock down in Japan. Lock down in Philippines.

Everywhere there’s a lock down. Frantic efforts by governments to issue out guidelines and then enforce lock down using drones to ensure people stay indoors.

Medical workers are being shuttled all around with race to fine vaccines going down to the wire such that the US and German governments are going into a head-to-head to woo a German vaccine maker.

It’s total chaos across the world, Daily Mail reports.

Gathering of more than ten people are cancelled in most places. Shops are locked. Restaurants are locked. Sport competitions have been stopped. Political campaigns and elections have been stopped.

To many, the coronavirus pandemic has stopped life. And nothing is worth living any more.

In the US, there’s chaos across the airports as the government increases efforts to contain the virus.

Ohio governor, Mike DeWine announced on Twitter that all bars and restaurants will close in the state from 9pm on Sunday.

The decision comes amid growing pressure for state and city governments to act as the number of coronavirus infections in the US rises. As of Sunday afternoon there were more than 3,000 cases in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Washington, DC.

Boris Johnson has discussed the coronavirus pandemic with Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Guardian has reported.

“The prime minister spoke to Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman this afternoon about the coronavirus pandemic,” Downing Street said.

“The prime minister updated the crown prince on the steps the UK is taking, driven by scientific advice, to tackle the spread of the virus.

“Both leaders agreed on the need for an internationally co-ordinated response to the outbreak, particularly on developing a vaccine and limiting the economic disruption caused by the pandemic.

“They resolved to work closely on this, including through the G20 presidency which Saudi Arabia holds this year.”

In Australia, the University of Queensland has has announced it will halt all classes for a week, as the number of Covid-19 infections in the state rise.

Vice-chancellor Peter Høj announced that all coursework would pause at the Brisbane-based university – including in person and online lectures and classes. This comes after the government on Sunday warned against all non-essential static gatherings of 500 people or more.

The university has approximately 53,000 student and 2,800 full-time equivalent staff, and is a member of Australia’s “Group of Eight”, a body of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious universities.

Three students at UQ have so far tested positive for Covid-19.

Urban Outfitters announced on Sunday it was closing all of its stores globally until at least 28 March.

“The health and wellbeing of our community is always our number one priority, from our dedicated staff, partners and suppliers to you, our customer,” the fashion store said in a statement. “With this in mind, we have decided to close all our stores globally.”

Staff will continued to be paid, the company said.

Australian Associated Press is reporting that Woolworths, one of Australia’s two big supermarket chains, will open its doors only to the elderly and disabled for an hour on Tuesday morning.

Woolworths will open its doors exclusively to the elderly and people with disabilities for a dedicated shopping hour, after panic buying due to the coronavirus stripped shelves of essentials items.

Most of its supermarkets across the nation will open to the vulnerable only from 7am to 8am, beginning on Tuesday.

Panic buying in recent weeks sparked by the spread of Covid-19 in Australia has seen supermarkets stripped of toilet paper, pasta and tinned and other dried goods.

“The move has been prompted by the unprecedented demand in supermarkets over the past week, which has seen many elderly and vulnerable people in the community missing out on vital items they may need when they shop,” Woolworths announced on Monday.

The managing director, Claire Peters, said despite the retailer’s attempts to quickly restock shelves, many elderly customers had continued to miss out.

“This temporary measure will give them, and those with a disability, the opportunity to shop before our stores officially open – helping them obtain the essential items they need most in a less crowded environment,” Peters said.

Access will be granted if the shopper has a relevant government issued concession card.
All other shoppers will be granted access after 8am.

“Now – more than ever – we need to be kind to each other,” Peters said.

France’s Public Health Authority on Sunday reported there are 36 new deaths from coronavirus, taking the total to 127, and said there had been an increase of more than 1,000 cases.

The updated figure follows confirmation earlier on Sunday that the death toll had risen from 91 to 120.

The number of cases had risen to 5,423 cases, up from 4,449 on Saturday.

A number of schools in Scotland are closing from Monday due to coronavirus outbreaks.

Dunblane High School has closed to all pupils and staff after a pupil tested positive for Covid-19. Stirling Council said a deep clean of the school will take place immediately.

Isobel Mair School and Nursery in Newton Mearns and Murroes Primary School in Angus have also been closed after the emergence of coronavirus cases linked to their communities. Shetlands Islands Council previously said that some of its schools would be closed for the whole week for “operational and resilience reasons”.

Scotland has 153 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the latest figures. One person has died after testing positive.

Over in Spain police have been fining cyclists, and army specialists in protective suits have been spraying disinfectant in train stations.

It comes after the country imposed severe limits on public life and the coronavirus death toll more than doubled overnight.

Spaniards, house-bound by law since Saturday, emerged onto balconies and stood at windows on Sunday evening to whoop, cheer and beep horns to salute emergency services dealing with Europe’s second-worst outbreak after Italy.

The government’s official coronavirus death toll rose by 152 overnight to 288. The number infected rose by 2,000 new cases to 7,753.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro took selfies with supporters and celebrated the thousands of protestors gathering in major cities on Sunday, just days after he had called for a suspension of the demonstrations due to the spreading coronavirus.

Bolsonaro appeared to shrug off the advice of medical experts suggesting he remain isolated after several members of his delegation to Florida recently tested positive for the virus.

Bolsonaro strode down the ramp of the presidential palace in a Brazilian football shirt and met a throng of his hardcore supporters at the front gate, where he bumped fists, grabbed cell phones to take pictures and leaned in for selfies with the crowd.

“Although I suggested (a postponement), I can’t order anything because this protest isn’t mine,” Bolsonaro said.

The White House on Sunday urged Americans against “hoarding” as thousands flocked to supermarkets to stock up on essentials, saying US supply chains were strong and leaders were working together to ensure food supplies are available.

President Donald Trump held a phone call with more than two dozen grocery store and supply chain executives from across the country, White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.

“The president reminded the participants that this is an all-of-America approach and each of their stores and the stores they support can help Americans feel calm and safe when shelves are stocked with the items they need,”

Luxembourg on Sunday followed its neighbours France and Belgium in closing bars and restaurants to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.

Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said that, from midnight, bars and restaurants would be closed but grocery shops, pharmacies and other essential businesses could remain open.

He called on citizens to limit their movements to travelling to work, food shopping, medical appointments and visits to help the elderly.

The over-65s – who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 – were urged to stay at home to reduce the risk of infection.

“They must cancel their activities and limit what is not essential,” Bettel said after an emergency meeting of his government.

Swimming pools, museums, sports centres, night clubs, libraries and cinemas are also to be closed to try to stop the transmission of the virus.

The tiny Grand Duchy has reported 77 cases of the virus and one death so far.

Illinois has joined Ohio in ordering all bars and restaurants to close due to the coronavirus outbreak, CNN has reported.

But amid this pandemic, Africa remains free and buzzes of activities except for unconfirmed cases driven by hysteria and few others cases that have been reported that those infected are not Africans but Europeans who just returned.

All Nigerian cases test results came out negative except for the index cases that the situation appears cloudy.

But as the novel virus has cut off both local and international trade, it has finally brought the world to it’s knees.

(Additional reports from agencies)

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