New Delhi: With at least 427 deaths recorded within a day, Italy’s death toll due to coronavirus or Covid-19 touched 3,400, overtaking China where at least 3,245 people have died because of the new virus. The overall situation in terms of containing the outbreak, however, remains critical in Italy as the country still has more than 33,000 active cases — the highest across the world — of coronavirus.
And it’s not just Italy. As China, from where the new virus first originated, appeared to have contained the outbreak within its borders, Europe is now the centre of the epidemic.
According to data, Europe now has 93,396 or 67.26 per cent of the total 1,38,840 active cases of coronavirus globally as of Thursday. To be sure, more than a third of these cases are spread between just four countries: Italy, Spain, Germany, and France.
At 15,485, Spain has the second-highest active coronavirus cases globally followed by Germany at 14,387. France has the sixth-highest number of active coronavirus cases globally at 8,268.
In complete contrast, the Wuhan city in China, where the virus first emerged, recorded no new cases of infection on Thursday.
Last week, the director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, had warned in a press briefing at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, that Europe was now at the centre of the global coronavirus outbreak. He had stressed the importance of a comprehensive approach from all the European states in order to contain the epidemic.
Meanwhile, the number of active coronavirus cases in India stands at 149 as of Thursday evening, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. While 19 patients have recovered from the infection, at least four people have died.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an address to the nation on Thursday evening, appealed to citizens to observe a 'Janata Curfew' on Sunday, March 22, from 7 AM till 9 PM. He said that the number of cases of coronavirus suddenly exploded a few days after the first cases came to light. Considering this, he urged to not take this epidemic lightly and remain indoor as much as possible for the next few days in order to contain the outbreak.
"If you think nothing will happen to you...if you roam around in the market... it's not the right thing to do," he said.
He also asked everyone to express their gratitude towards people who are working day and night, putting their own lives at risk in these trying times, in hospitals and other places providing essential services.