The Coronavirus Updates, Episode 04: Italy May Be Beginning to Flatten Its Peak?
In the latest episode of The Coronavirus Updates, we look at the latest numbers from Italy, updates from India, Pakistan and the UAE
China has announced an end to travel curbs at the epicenter of the pandemic. Hubei province, where novel coronavirus emerged late last year, will now allow HEALTHY residents to travel from midnight. This move comes two months after they were ordered to remain indoors. The relaxation of rules however, will not apply to Wuhan which was one of the hardest hit cities of the world. Wuhan has these restrictions until April 8. And after that people will be allowed to move out.
Similarly, the gross of cases has slowed down in Italy. As you know, Italy’s case has been absolutely tragic. It witnessed a record number of deaths due to COVID19.
But for the second consecutive day Italy recorded smaller day-to-day increase in the cases. Of course, it’s too early to say if the worst is behind for the country, but it’s a sign of hope nevertheless that the restrictions and lockdown are working. According to data released by Italy’s Civil Protection Agency, it showed 4789 new cases from a day earlier. That’s nearly 700 fewer than the day to day increase of 5,560 new cases that were reported on Sunday. The number of deaths also did not rise too much. So that’s some sliver of hope. The UK meanwhile has joined the list of countries implementing very drastic measures to prevent the spread of the virus. If you remember, the UK had been criticized for being a little slow to implemented lockdown but now they are not taking any chances.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in a televised broadcast that people must stay at home and travel outside only and only for essential purposes. In fact, the police will have powers to enforce the rules strictly. The government has also issued orders for touring & temporary stay-based UK nationals abroad to return to the UK soon. The Summer Olympics have been postponed for a year. They were scheduled to begin in Tokyo in late July.
UAE government, meanwhile , is stepping up measures too. From Wednesday March 25, there will be no flights taking off or landing in the country. Similarly, on Monday the government announced the closure of malls and markets. However, don’t worry, to reiterate – supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open. Restaurants will be closed for dining in but home deliveries are open. So use your mobile phones and order in, do not step out. As far as working is concerned, no order has been given yet for employees to stop attending office but there is an advisory that you try to work from home.
Now here are some important things you need to know:
- You can step out but only if it is an emergency. Also keep a distance from others if you are outside.
- The mall closure will last for two weeks and may be extended if necessary. But pharmacies and supermarkets will be open. So , DO NOT HOARD OR PANIC
- You can also go to supermarkets and pharmacies but try and use online shopping wherever possible.
- As of now, there is no update on taxis and public transport but as far as possible, use your own car.
- And no, you can’t fly anywhere. So just stay put.
India, meanwhile, has announced a slew of measures economically to give some relief to people during these difficult times. Among the most important of these is that the last date for filing March, April and May GST returns and compensation returns has been extended to June 30. In more positive news, at Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai which has been testing and treating the bulk of patients in the financial capital, 12 patients have recovered. Talking of Mumbai, on the lighter side, a number of people are sharing pictures of empty streets, clear skies and clean beaches now that strict curfew has been imposed in the financial capital of the country.
Celebrities – be it in Bollywood, Tollywood or Lollywood are doing their bit to spread awareness about the importance of self distancing. Sonam Kapoor has urged everyone to do their part as she has also done hers on trying to help health workers and hospital staff. Kareena Kapoor Khan posted a ‘sleepy’ collage of herself and her besties Malaika Arora, Amrita Arora, Mallika Bhat and her sister Karisma Kapoor, as they’re all in isolation. Pakistani stars Humayun Saeed and Adnan Siddiqui posted about how they tested negative for the virus after their return from the US while Tollywood star Prabhas went into self-quarantine after returning from the US where had gone for a shoot. Now, that’s responsible behavior. Contrary to new reports abt a fashion designer in Pakistan who reportedly sent their domestic staff, someone who tested positive for Covid 19, to their village instead of quarantining. This is a developing story and make sure to check back tomorrow on further details on this case. Take a cue from all those who are isolating themselves. Stay home, stay safe.