The virus, known as Covid-19, has now infected close to 113,000 people worldwide and resulted in more than 4,000 deaths. The rate of infection in China has decreased rapidly and the situation is quite stable.
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in virus-stricken Wuhan Tuesday, his first visit to the city at the epicenter of the global outbreak since the crisis began. Of the country’s 80,754 patients, nearly 60,000 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.
In other Asian countries like South Korea began to show the rapid spread of the virus. However, up to now, Korea has “surpassed the peak”
But these cautious signs of progress throw into sharp relief the deteriorating situation in the West.
States across the US are declaring emergencies, with even congressmen being self-quarantined after exposure to a patient. And in Europe, the outbreak that began in Italy has spread far and wide, with nearby countries like Germany reporting dramatic spikes in daily cases.
In Italy, the outbreak was at its peak when 60 million residents were locked in to prevent further outbreaks.
The northern region of Lombardy and 14 other provinces had already been placed under lockdown — but this new decree will extend those restrictions across the entire country, as the virus continues to spread throughout Italy and mainland Europe.
The country has banned public events, closed schools and public spaces such as cinemas, restricted travel and suspended religious services including funerals or weddings.
Military police, railway police, and medical personnel are on duty and conduct checks on traffic locations such as highways and train stations.
Parts of Italy, particularly the northern regions, are seeing a “tsunami of patients,” and the healthcare system is “one step from collapse,” said Antonio Pesenti, intensive care coordinator in the Lombardy crisis unit.
So far, Italy has 9,172 cases and 463 deaths — the most of any country outside of China. With the strong spread of the virus, locking 60 million people into fear is not enough.