COVID-19 continues to sweep the world.
Around the world, social distancing, self-quarantines and national lockdowns are in place to combat the rising number of cases and deaths, with varying degrees of success.
Different countries implemented different strategies to combat further spread of the new virus.
On Tuesday, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, ordered a mandatory 21-day total lockdown for the entire country, leaving 1.3 billion people with four hours’ notice to gather all of the essentials they need to survive for three weeks. This is the most drastic action taken by a country to combat the spread of the virus to date.
India joined over a dozen countries by implementing a total lockdown. Other countries in a required lockdown include:
The United Kingdom
New Zealand is expected to mandate a national lockdown by Wednesday, according to Newsweek. Other countries have required quarantines in certain parts of their territory, but not a complete national lockdown.
Italy has been hit especially hard by the virus. With over 69,000 confirmed cases and 6.820 deaths related to the virus, the country now has the highest fatality in the world, even surpassing China, where the pandemic started. The country continues to set new records for fatalities related to COVID-19 with 743 confirmed deaths on Tuesday alone.
In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, Italy has been on national lockdown since March 9. This has proven mostly unsuccessful in flattening the curve of the pandemic for the country.
Meanwhile, South Korea, along with China, have managed to decrease the number of new COVID-19 cases, according to the New York Times. In South Korea’s case, the country attributes its dropping numbers to quick action, copious testing, contact tracing and support from its citizens. After a minor MERS outbreak in 2015 that killed 38 people, the country prepared itself for another respiratory illness outbreak.
While a resurgence of the virus could happen, head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, praised South Korea for flattening the curve of the virus in their country.
During the WHO Director-General’s opening remarks during a media briefing on March 18, Ghebreyesus said, “WHO is working in solidarity with other countries with community transmission to apply the lessons learned in Korea and elsewhere, and adapt them to the local context.”
While the battle against COVID-19 is far from over, there is now evidence that the virus can be slowed down in the near future.
“We understand the effort required to suppress transmission in these situations. But it can be done,”Ghebreyesus said.