Almost a billion people were locked in their homes worldwide on Saturday when the number of coronavirus deaths worldwide exceeded 12,000 and the U.S. has already taken steps to stay at home in much of Europe.
More than a third of Americans have gotten used to life in various phases of virtual blocking – including the three largest cities in the United States, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago – and more states were expected to tighten the restrictions.
New Jersey was the youngest U.S. state to limit the movement as the rapidly expanding pandemic upsets life, closes businesses, closes schools, and forces millions to work from home.
"This is a time of common national sacrifice, but also a time to appreciate our loved ones," said President Donald Trump at a press conference. "We will have a great victory."
The number of virus deaths exceeded 12,000 worldwide, as the hardest hit Italy had 793 one-day record deaths – the total number of over 4,800 shot – and Spain had a 32 percent increase in deaths.
Almost a billion people are imprisoned in their homes in 35 countries around the world, including 600 million imprisoned by mandatory state blocking orders, according to an AFP balance sheet.
In France, police officials said helicopters and drones would be used to reinforce government attempts to keep people in their homes.
"The helicopters give us a greater view and a panoramic view of the situation in real time to control the patrols on site," said a national police source.
The measures came as the pressure on the Olympic organizers to postpone the Tokyo 2020 games – and when the US Congress prepared an economic emergency package that could exceed $ 1 trillion.
"Months, not weeks"
New Jersey followed several other states, including California, New York and Illinois, and urged residents to stay inside.
Governor Phil Murphy ordered all nonessential companies to close their physical shops after 9:00 p.m. (Sunday, 1:00 a.m. GMT).
In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo warned on Saturday that the disruption is expected to last for months.
"I don't think it will be a matter of weeks," he said.
China did not report any new local infections for a third consecutive day on Saturday, and the WHO said downtown Wuhan, where the virus first appeared late last year, offers a glimmer of "hope for the rest of the world."
However, there are growing concerns about a new wave of "imported" infections in the region. Hong Kong reported 48 suspected cases on Friday – the largest daily jump since the crisis began.
Italy, a nation of 60 million, is now responsible for 36 percent of coronavirus deaths worldwide, and the confirmed mortality rate of 8.6 percent is significantly higher than in most other countries.
France, Italy, Spain and other European countries have ordered people to stay at home and in some cases have threatened to pay fines, while Bavaria was the first region in Germany to order a block.
Britain also announced stricter restrictions and asked pubs, restaurants and theaters to close.
While the elderly and people with pre-existing diseases are most affected by the virus, the World Health Organization has warned that young people are also at risk.
Australia's famous Bondi Beach and Rio de Janeiro's beaches have been closed.
A restriction on non-essential travel across the U.S. borders to Canada and Mexico should enter into force on Saturday.
And US lawmakers expressed hopes of reaching a $ 1 trillion emergency relief package, fearing that the pandemic could have widespread economic consequences.
In the meantime, US Vice President Mike Pence said he and his wife would be tested for the corona virus after one of his office employees contracted the disease.
The American Food and Drug Administration also approved the first coronavirus test, which can be performed entirely at the site of a patient's treatment – and delivers results in 45 minutes.
In sports, the USA's athletics, as the youngest influential sports organization, called for the summer Olympics to be canceled.
"The right and responsible thing is to prioritize everyone's health and safety," said Chief Max Siegel in a letter to the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC).
The stringent detention measures follow the template laid down by China because a ban imposed in Hubei province, whose capital is Wuhan, has apparently paid off.
Europe is now responsible for more than half of the deaths related to COVID-19 worldwide.
However, accurate numbers are difficult to find because many of the dying suffer from other diseases and infection rates are uncertain in many countries due to a lack of testing.
The shadow of the virus is also increasing in Africa and the Middle East.
In Africa there are more than 1,000 cases in which health systems are fragile and social distance is not possible in many crowded cities.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Finland, Lithuania and Mauritius reported their first virus death on Saturday.
In Iran, which reported 123 new deaths on Saturday, both senior leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani promised the country would overcome the outbreak – but refused to join the rest of the world to impose severe restrictions.
The country has more than 1,500 deaths and around 20,000 infections.
In Latin America, Bolivia ordered citizens to stay at home on Sunday, and Colombia said that mandatory isolation would begin on Tuesday.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)