Britain ordered a three-week lockdown on Monday in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus as world health officials warned that the pandemic was “accelerating” around the globe.
As Britain joined other nations in imposing strict stay-at-home orders, the number of virus deaths worldwide surged past 16,500 and the number of confirmed cases surpassed 378,000.
The death toll in New York City neared 100, sparking growing concern over the spread of the virus in the largest US metropolis, home to some 8.4 million people.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for an immediate ceasefire in the world’s conflict zones, and France and China called for urgent talks of the G20 major economies to respond to the escalating crisis.
In Washington, congressional efforts to pass a nearly two-trillion-dollar rescue package for the teetering US economy failed for a second straight day after Democrats said the Republican proposal prioritizes big corporations and insufficiently protects workers.
Markets on both sides of the Atlantic were hammered again as the virus continued to wreak havoc on the world economy, spurring fears of a global fallout not seen since the Great Depression.
And with major cultural and sporting events already wiped off the calendar, there were mounting calls to postpone the Tokyo Olympics. Japan’s prime minister admitted a delay could be “inevitable.”
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