Spain joined Italy on Wednesday in seeing its death toll from the coronavirus epidemic surpass that of China, as more than a billion Indians joined a lockdown that has confined a third of humanity.
Markets rebounded after Washington vowed to spend $2 trillion to fend off a US economic collapse, while capitals elsewhere are still taking ever more dramatic steps to slow the spread of the disease.
“COVID-19 is threatening the whole of humanity -– and the whole of humanity must fight back,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, launching an appeal for $2 billion to help the world’s poor.
As of 1100 GMT on Wednesday, the number of deaths around the world from the new coronavirus strain stood at 19,246, with more that 427,000 declared cases registered in 181 countries and territories.
India’s stay-at-home order is now the biggest, and Russia will follow suit, with President Vladimir Putin declaring next week a public holiday and postponing a public vote on constitutional reforms.
The G20 major economies will hold an emergency videoconference summit on Thursday to discuss a global response to the crisis, as will the 27 leaders of the European Union, the outbreak’s new epicentre.
Spain saw the number of deaths surge to 3,434 after more than 738 people died in the past 24 hours, following Italy in overtaking the figure in China, where the virus originated late last year.