Coronavirus Graffiti

Posted: 17th March 2020
WUHAN, CHINA – JANUARY 22: (CHINA OUT) A woman wears a mask while riding an electric bicycle on January 22, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. A new infectious coronavirus known as “2019-nCoV” was discovered in Wuhan as the number of cases rose to over 400 in mainland China. Health officials stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts confirmed can be passed from human to human. The death toll has reached 17 people as the Wuhan government issued regulations today that residents must wear masks in public places. Cases have been reported in other countries including the United States, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. (Photo by Getty Images)

Coronavirus sparks total lockdown in Italy and alarm in the US as cases rise globally

The novel coronavirus outbreak continues to spread globally, sparking a total lockdown across Italy and emergency measures worldwide, as markets recover from Monday’s historic rout. The virus, known as Covid-19, has now infected close to 113,000 people worldwide and resulted in more than 4,000 deaths. The majority of these cases are in mainland China, where the outbreak first emerged — but the rate of infection has been slowing in the country, and the situation stabilizing, even as the virus wreaks havoc elsewhereIn an apparent show of confidence, 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. The trip comes as Chinese authorities recorded 19 new cases, 17 of which were in Wuhan, and two were imported from overseas — marking the third straight day of no locally transmitted cases outside Hubei, the province of which Wuhan is the capital. Of the country’s 80,754 patients, nearly 60,000 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

Other Asian countries like South Korea are also beginning to see a slowdown in the virus’ spread. South Korea, which has carried out more than 190,000 tests as part of a free nationwide screening program, recorded it’s lowest number of daily confirmed cases of the virus in weeks on Tuesday — a sign that the country may has “passed the peak” of the outbreak, South Korean Health Minister Park Neunghoo.

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.

All of Italy is under lockdown

In an unprecedented and potentially legally fraught move, all of Italy and its 60 million residents have been placed under lockdown, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Monday, part of a raft of sweeping quarantine measures intended to contain the outbreak.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 drastic measures include blanket travel restrictions, a ban on all public events, the closures of schools and public spaces such as movie theaters, and the suspension of religious services including funerals or weddings.All of Italy is in lockdown as coronavirus cases riseTo enforce the movement ban, military police, railway police, and health workers are carrying out checks on transportation sites like highways and train stations.

This lockdown represents the toughest coronavirus response to be implemented outside of mainland China, and comes as the country buckles under the weight of the epidemic.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.The new lockdown may help slow the virus from spreading further — but some, like the Lombardy president, fear it is “still insufficient” given the sheer scale and speed of the Italian outbreak.

Markets are slowly recovering from Monday’s crash

Coronavirus fears and an oil price war sparked a global panic on Monday, with markets entering into stunning decline.Oil prices collapsed after Saudi Arabia launched a price war against onetime ally Russia — and the crisis was only worsened by the coronavirus, which has slammed economies worldwide and weighed heavily on investors.Asian stocks mostly recover and Dow futures jump 550 points after chaotic day for markets

Wall Street had already faced heavy losses for several weeks because of the virus; the oil price war served a second blow, and the Dow ended the day with its biggest point drop in history, closing Monday down 2,014 points, or 7.8%.On Tuesday, markets in Asia Pacific mostly stumbled, with South Korea’s Kospi, China’s Shanghai Composite, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 all falling, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index swung between gains and losses.There are some signs of recovery, with Dow futures jumping 500 points, or 2.2%, and Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was trading firmly in the green.But the virus may prove harder to recover from; about $9 trillion was wiped off global stocks in nine days, Bank of America said in a research note on Thursday. And markets are still seeing wild swings, indicative of just how deep investor anxieties run.

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