By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
Coronavirus is the defining moment of this generation. It has engulfed the entire world. We present some information here in order to help grasp the devastation it has caused in terms of human life.
On Sunday, India experienced the largest jump in one day in coronavirus cases. Confirmed cases stand at nearly 40,000. It has claimed 1,301 lives, 83 alone in 24 hours. India reported about 2,600 new cases on Sunday as it concludes day 40 of a national lockdown. Although the lockdown has been effective in slowing the pace of the virus, it has had devastating effects on the livelihood of millions and on the country’s economy. On Sunday, in a show of gratitude to health care and security personnel, India’s Air Force showered flower petals from the air on hospitals in cities including New Delhi. Due to the rise in the spread of the virus in India’s overcrowded prisons, authorities have responded with both lockdowns and the release of thousands of persons awaiting trial.
Millions of people flocked to tourist sites on Sunday on day 1 of a 5-day holiday. China has relaxed restrictions on travel in a bid to revive the economy. In the last 48 hours, only three new cases have been reported in China. In this country where the first coronavirus cases appeared, the number of confirmed cases overs at 82,877. Deaths attributed to it stand at 4,633.
Beginning on Sunday morning, incoming flights are banned from landing in the Philippines for one week. This is one of the latest measures taken in this nation of islands to stem the tide of the coronavirus. It is also meant to relieve overcrowded quarantine facilities in which approximately 20,000 repatriated Filipinos are being housed temporarily. To date, the Philippines reports 9,223 confirmed cases and 607 deaths due to the virus.
Restrictions began to lift on Sunday in Thailand. The country reported three new confirmed cases on Sunday after a week of such cases remaining in the single digits. They reported no deaths on Sunday. Confirmed cases number 2,969 and they have reported 54 deaths.
It was reported on Saturday that one person in the United States died every 44 seconds from the coronavirus during the month of April. New York is the State that has been hit the hardest with the virus. It is estimated that in New York City alone, 25% of its residents have contracted the virus. The U.S. leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, numbering 1,160,840 with 67,448 deceased from the disease.
On Saturday, Panama, one of the busiest transit routes in Latin America, reported an additional 370 confirmed cases of covid-19. This brings the total to 7,090. Those who have died number 197. Panama’s health ministry says the latest reported cases are due in part to an increase in the number of people tested. Luis Sucre, Panama’s health minister announced that about 25% of the tests are positive.
On Saturday, Brazil reported an additional 4,970 newly confirmed cases, and 421 deaths that had occurred within the last 24 hours. As of Sunday, Brazil has reported 97,100 confirmed cases and 6,761 deaths due to the virus.
It was announced on Friday that the International Monetary Fund approved Ecuador’s request for emergency funding. Ecuador was thus granted a loan in the amount of 643 million USD to fight covid-19. Ecuador’s minister of economy is reported as saying that the funding will provide the "necessary liquidity” to reactivate the economy “and protect jobs”. Ecuador’s President, Lenin Moreno, is facing pressure to default on the country’s debt of approximately 17 billion USD in order to put more resources toward combating the virus. Among Latin American countries, Ecuador has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus. It has 27,464 confirmed cases resulting in 1,371 deaths.
Of all of the countries in Africa, South Africa has reported the most cases of the virus: 6,336 as of Sunday. It has claimed the lives of 123 people. South Africa has applied one of the most stringent lockdowns which has lasted 5 weeks. Restrictions began to ease a bit on Friday. On Saturday, some people waited in line for at least 14 hours in one South African township to receive much needed food supplies. South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has announced a financial package in the amount of 26 billion USD as unemployment is expected to rise above the level of 29% present in the nation prior to covid-19.