Trumps warns of a "very, very painful two weeks"
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 30,000 lives in Europe alone, a global tally showed on Wednesday, in what the head of the United Nations has described as humanity’s worst crisis since World War II
Italy and Spain bore the brunt of the crisis, accounting for three in every four deaths on the continent, as the grim tally hit another milestone even though half of the planet’s population is already under some form of lockdown in a battle to halt contagion.
Spain reported a record 864 deaths in 24 hours, pushing the country’s number of fatalities past 9,000.
The toll is only surpassed by Italy’s, where the virus has killed nearly 12,500 people.
Britain recorded its biggest day-on-day jump in the number of deaths, with 2,352 people having succumbed to the disease.
Since emerging in China in December, COVID-19 has spread across the globe, claiming over 43,000 lives and infecting more than 860,000 people, according to an AFP tally.
President Donald Trump has warned of a “very, very painful two weeks” as the United States registered its deadliest 24 hours of what he called a “plague”.
In a scramble to halt the contagion, governments have shut schools, most shops, and ordered millions of people to work from home.
Cancellations of key events on the global calendar have swept both the sports and cultural worlds, with the Wimbledon Grand Slam tournament and the Edinburgh arts festival the latest to be scrapped.
For UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the extraordinary upheaval spurred by the virus presents a real danger to the relative peace the world has seen over the last few decades.
The disease “represents a threat to everybody in the world and… an economic impact that will bring a recession that probably has no parallel in the recent past,” he said.
“The combination of the two facts and the risk that it contributes to enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict are things that make us believe that this is the most challenging crisis we have faced since the Second World War.”