The number of infected in Spain has exceeded 100,000, and the US authorities believe that the disease can take from 100,000 to 240,000 lives.
Spain on Wednesday reported that the number of confirmed cases of infection in the country exceeded 100,000, while a representative of the Saudi authorities urged people to postpone the decision to make the traditional pilgrimage, the Hajj.
Spain is one of the epicenters of the pandemic, second only to the United States and Italy in the number of cases. Spanish authorities on Wednesday also reported that the number of victims of the virus in the country exceeded 9,000.
In July, pilgrims from all over the world must come to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj, which is considered a religious duty of every Muslim. However, amid the pandemic, the Saudi authorities have already closed access to Mecca and Medina, and the Minister for Hajj and Umrah, Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Banten, announced on state television that people should wait until the situation clears up.
Meanwhile, US authorities warn that the coronavirus can claim between 100,000 and 240,000 lives while stressing the need to adhere to recommendations on social distancing to reduce the number of victims.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for the study of allergic and infectious diseases, hopes that the number of deaths will not be so high, but notes that soberly assessing the situation, you need to be prepared for the worst.
“People are suffering. People are dying,” – he notes. – All these (restrictive measures) are inconvenient both from a social and economic point of view. But this will be the answer to our problems. Therefore, let’s join forces and try to comply with the recommended measures with all possible intensity over the next 30 days.”
Many governments around the world have quarantined individual cities, regions, and even entire countries in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.
One of the last two-week quarantines was declared by Vietnam: the restrictive measures took effect on Wednesday.
Restaurants, bars, offices, and schools closed in New Zealand last week. Prime Minister Jacinda Arden on Wednesday said it was too early to judge how effective the measures were, and called for more tests to track the spread of infection and prevent new cases.
Her government reported 61 new cases of infection. In total, 708 cases were recorded in the country.
“If the virus is already present in society in this way… the worst thing we can do is relax, allowing it to spread further unnoticed,” Arden stressed.
In South Korea, where mass testing has reduced the number of cases of domestic transmission, authorities on Wednesday reported 101 new cases. Authorities also imposed a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals.
Due to the threat that importing the virus from other countries will undermine the success of deterrent measures, similar measures have been taken in China, which for several months led in the number of cases of infection, and now serves as a source of hope due to the gradual lifting of the quarantine.
In Germany, the health authorities have reported about 5,500 new cases. Thus, the country may soon overtake China as well.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council, following the call of the Secretary-General of the organization, Antonio Guterres, to stop fighting around the world, called on the warring parties in Afghanistan to a ceasefire.
The Security Council called on “the political leadership of Afghanistan to put differences aside and put the country’s interests first.”