The U.S. warned Americans to avoid all international travel and told citizens abroad to return now or face an “indefinite” absence, and California’s governor asked all 40 million residents to stay home, to try to slow the new coronavirus pandemic toll that on Friday surpassed 10,000 people worldwide.
Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began, offered a ray of hope with no new infections reported for a second day in a row and only 39 cases reported nationwide — all of them brought from the outside, the government said.
In a measure of how the fortunes of East and West have shifted, a Chinese Red Cross official heading an aid delegation to Milan castigated Italians for failing to take their national lockdown seriously. Sun Shuopeng said he was shocked to see so many people walking around, using public transportation and eating out in hotels.
“Right now we need to stop all economic activity, and we need to stop the mobility of people,” he said. “All people should be staying at home in quarantine.”
But globally, governments are trying to balance the need to lock down residents with the need to keep food, medicine and other essentials flowing.
French President Emmanuel Macron urged employees to keep working in supermarkets, production sites and other necessary businesses amid stringent restrictions of movement.
“We need to keep the country running”, Macron said.
Italy surpassed China in deaths from the outbreak, and Iran’s official toll was rising quickly as well amid fears it is underreporting the scale of the pandemic.
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