Over 1b people forced to stay at home over coronavirus

AFP
Some countries have imposed mandatory lockdown measures, while others have issued stay-at-home recommendations.
AFP

More than 1 billion people have been asked to stay at home in over 50 countries and regions around the world as governments battle the novel coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, according to a tally on Monday.

Some countries have imposed mandatory lockdown measures, while others have issued stay-at-home recommendations.

At least 34 countries or regions have taken mandatory lockdown measures, ordering people to stay in their homes, accounting for some 659 million people.

This includes France, Italy, Argentina, the US state of California, Iraq and Rwanda.

Greece is the most recent country to impose mandatory confinement measures, which came into effect on Monday. Colombia will enforce an obligatory lockdown on Tuesday and New Zealand will follow suit tomorrow.

In most cases it is still possible to leave the house to go to work, buy essentials or seek medical care.

At least four countries with a collective population of more than 228 million people, including Iran, Germany and Britain, have urged their populations to stay indoors and limit contact with other people as much as possible.

But the impact of such suggestions has been limited. In Britain, the government warned of tougher measures after crowds gathered in parks and beaches over the weekend, while millions in Iran traveled for the Persian New Year last week.

Parts of India, the world’s second-biggest country by population, also faced lockdown orders affecting some 700 million people.

At least 10 countries with a total population of 117 million have issued curfews.

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