France was sentenced to freeze on Monday when Europe closed its borders in the recent drastic attempt to fight the coronavirus pandemic. President Donald Trump said the United States is preparing for a month-long fight.
Hours earlier, the leaders of G7 industrial power plants had pledged to join forces to stop the economic free fall after the virus broke out, calling it a "human tragedy".
In a bleak 20-minute speech in which he described the crisis as "war", President Emmanuel Macron ordered the French to stay at home for 15 days from Tuesday noon and to ban all non-essential travel or social contacts and to warn of violations . "
Macron said the European Union's external borders would be closed for 30 days from Tuesday, as the number of deaths worldwide had exceeded 7,000. More than 175,530 cases were registered in 145 countries.
As the virus spread rapidly in Europe, France, along with Italy and Spain, imposed restrictions that were rare outside of the war. Dozens of countries have closed borders, ordered curfews and banned most public events.
Spain and Russia cordoned off their borders on Monday, while Germany severely restricted crossings.
On the other side of the Atlantic, where similar extreme measures are proliferating, Trump urged Americans to limit gatherings to groups of fewer than 10 people – since New York and the capital Washington were largely deserted.
The US leader, who has been trying to convince himself that he is fully addressing the crisis, has urged Americans to prepare for a month-long fight against the pandemic.
"If we do a really good job … people will talk about July and August," he told reporters at a daily meeting of the White House Task Force about the pandemic, saying he could ask the military to help build makeshift hospitals help combat increasing numbers of sick people.
He also admitted that the United States may "possibly" go into recession because of the virus.
Leaders from the world's richest countries held an emergency video conference to coordinate their response as COVID-19 raced across borders, paralyzing the economy and threatening mass casualties.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is a human tragedy and a global health crisis that also poses great risks to the global economy," said a joint statement by the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.
"We decide to coordinate measures and do everything we can with all political instruments to achieve strong growth in the G7 economies and protect ourselves from downside risks."
"Test, test, test"
The head of the World Health Organization demanded that every suspected coronavirus case be tested, which would skyrocket the known record of the sick sky.
"You can't fight a fire with your eyes closed," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists. "Test, test, test. Test every suspicious case."
Tedros said more cases and deaths have now been reported in the rest of the world than in China, where COVID-19 first appeared in December before crisscrossing the globe.
Italy – the most affected nation in Europe – announced a further increase in deaths and claimed more than 2,000 victims overall.
Britain escalated its response and called for an end to all "non-essential" contacts and travel, while Switzerland declared a state of emergency.
Germany banned meetings in churches, mosques and synagogues and said playgrounds and non-essential businesses would be closed.
In India, the Taj Mahal was closed to visitors. The second largest country in the world has already closed most schools and entertainment venues.
Iran, the country with the highest number of infections and deaths in the Middle East, closed four major Shiite pilgrimage sites.
And Canada also closed its borders for foreigners, except for Americans.
Governments are trying to contain the economic impact and fear that this will catapult the world into recession.
The EU will also hold a summit on Tuesday to discuss the 27-nation bloc's next response to the virus.
In the United States, the Federal Reserve tried again to prop up the economy and announced another $ 500 billion in cash injections after cutting its key rate to virtually zero.
The Bank of Japan also announced immediate measures for the world's third largest economy on Monday.
But stock markets and oil prices went into free fall again as the various moves by central banks did not strengthen confidence.
Wall Street stocks fell more than 10 percent after a brief interruption triggered by heavy losses after plunging into European markets.
China provided further evidence of the serious economic impact of COVID-19 and announced that factory production had declined for the first time in nearly 30 years.
And European automakers like Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot started to close their factories.
The major airlines in the world temporarily suspended almost all flights on Monday and triggered requests to ensure the airlines' survival.
All over the world, people are struggling with disorders in almost all areas of daily life.
There was a pandemonium at airports when travelers tried to come home to countries that were increasingly pushing their borders to prevent the virus from spreading.
There is growing opposition to the planned holding of the Olympic Games this summer, and there are also doubts about the European football championships, which are to take place in 12 countries this summer.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)