Half of world population under coronavirus restrictions; global death toll tops 21,000

  • News Desk, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-03-26 13:57:14 BdST

A person walks across an open space in front of the steps of the Sydney Opera House, in the wake of New South Wales implementing measures shutting down non-essential businesses and moving toward harsh penalties to enforce self-isolation as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reached what the state's premier calls a "critical stage" in Australia, March 26, 2020. REUTERS

Nearly half of the global population now lives under some coronavirus restrictions with the death toll exceeding 21,000.

At least three billion people across 41 countries face some form of restriction, such as being urged to work from home, with more than 1.5 billion under stringent lockdown, according to a Sky News analysis.

Large parts of Western Europe are currently under lockdown, with the UK one of the latest countries to ask its citizens to stay at home, with penalties imposed on those seen in large gatherings.

China has since relaxed restrictions on movement as the number of people dying from coronavirus has fallen sharply.

According to its national health commission, the vast majority of China's cases have been in people coming into the country rather than from community spread.

Similarly, Japan's education ministry has said it will not renew restrictions on schools from April despite warnings from world health authorities.

At least 35 countries have schools closed until the end of March, with many governments giving local authorities powers to keep schools closed indefinitely.

Police in the UK have been asked to break up gatherings of more than two people whereas Russia has said it will not impose a city-wide lockdown on Moscow.

Large parts of the world saw new restrictions this week on restaurants, which were previously allowed to seat customers during the day at a safe distance from each other but are now only allowed to stay open to provide delivery or takeout services.