Coronavirus leads to disruption and closures across Europe, Australia and US

In Italy deaths surged by 627 in a day to 4,032 - by far the largest daily rise since the coronavirus outbreak emerged.

Coronavirus leads to disruption and closures across Europe, Australia and US

Around the world, the coronavirus outbreak is taking its toll on countries' national health systems and impacting dramatically on the public's way of life.

  • In Italy, doctors say hospitals are on the brink of collapse as they struggle to deal with the number of patients.
  • In the US, Illinois and New York state have joined California in ordering all residents to stay in their homes.
  • In Australia, Bondi Beach in Sydney has been temporarily closed after thousands of people flocked there.

Yesterday, deaths in Italy surged by 627 in a day to 4,032 - by far the largest daily rise since the coronavirus outbreak emerged.

The reported age profile of patients in Lombardy, the region worst affected by the virus, has also decreased according to Cremona Hospital.

Dr.Lorenzo Grazioli, an anaesthetist at the hospital, says governments should not wait until the infection rate gets as bad as Lombardy.

He said: "If you can see what has happened in another country or another part of your country, (waiting to do) something is now not an option.

"Maybe at the beginning when we didn't know exactly what would happen...but now we know," he added.

Dr Grazioli believes a lockdown is the only viable option to properly tackle the disease.

In the US, a number of states are ordering shutdowns and telling residents to stay at home.

New York state, Connecticut and California have all asked people to avoid non-essential activities.

Gavin Newsom, California's state Governor said the state's 40 million residents should stay home indefinitely and venture outside only for essential jobs, errands and some exercise

The move, the most sweeping by any US state so far, came amid warnings that the coronavirus threatens to overwhelm California’s medical system.

“I can assure you home isolation is not my preferred choice. I know it’s not yours, but it’s a necessary one,” Mr Newsom said at a news conference streamed on social media.

The Governor's instructions followed a contentious press conference held by US President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump lashed out at reporters as he defended his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Trump said he was using the Defence Production Act to order American businesses to manufacture and send supplies, like testing kits, ventilators, and masks, to hospitals set to be overwhelmed by a wave of Covid-19 cases.

But he gave conflicting accounts as to when he officially invoked the rarely used order and did not specify which companies he was marshalling for the effort.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that all cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants will close across the UK from tonight.

The closed premises will be allowed to provide take away facilities, however.

“The speed of our eventual recovery depends entirely on our collective ability to get on top of the virus now and that means we have to take the next steps on scientific advice,” he told the UK's daily Covid-19 press conference.

And, following our plan, we are strengthening the measures announced on Monday. We need now to push down further on that curve of transmission between us.

“And so following agreement with all the … devolved administrations, we are collectively telling cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not to open tomorrow.

In Australia, Bondi Beach in Sydney has been temporarily closed after thousands of people flocked there.

David Elliot is the policing minister in New South Wales - and says flocking to the beach breaks rules on outdoor gatherings.

He said: "What we saw this morning here in Bondi Beach was the most irresponsible behaviour of individuals that we have seen so far."

"(Closing the beach) is not something we are doing because we are the fun police - this is about saving lives," he added.

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