Tightened barriers around the world have resulted in almost half of humanity having to stay at home to stem the spiraling coronavirus pandemic as Spain's deadliest day was on Tuesday and the United States was prepared to take full advantage of the disease.
The corona virus killed more than 38,000 people worldwide in a health crisis that quickly reorganized political power, hammered the global economy and changed the daily lives of around 3.6 billion people.
Spain, the second deadliest in the world after Italy, reported another national record of 849 deaths in one day, dampening hopes of having passed the peak of the crisis that has weakened the country for weeks.
In ailing Italy, flags fluttered at half-mast during a minute's silence to honor the more than 11,500 people who died from the virus and the medical personnel who are still working in nightmarish conditions.
Although there are hopeful signs that the spread of infections is slowing in both countries, hundreds are still dying every day, causing the authorities to prolong nationwide shutdowns despite their overwhelming economic impact.
A 12-year-old girl infected with COVID-19 died in Belgium, a rare case in which a young person succumbed to the disease.
In other countries, Poland tightened restrictions on movement, while Russia expanded the blockade of its territory as infections increased, including that of a doctor who runs Moscow's main coronavirus hospital.
Although the doctor recently met with President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin assured that the Russian leader's health was in order.
While the rest of the world is closing, the zero-Chinese city of Wuhan has awakened in the past few days and has given the bereaved for the first time in months to bury their dead.
"We need help now"
According to a new study by Imperial College London, strict containment measures could have saved up to 59,000 lives in 11 European countries.
Even so, health care facilities are in full swing and desperate medical personnel are forced to make grim decisions about how to distribute limited protective equipment and life-saving breathing apparatus.
The United States was preparing for its darkest days after known infections exceeded 164,000 – the highest number in the world.
In scenes that were previously unimaginable in peacetime, a field hospital was to be opened in New York's Central Park after a medical ship with 1,000 beds was docked outside the city.
Like France, the United States is approaching the number of 3,305 deaths in China, where the virus appeared at the end of last year but has since come under control.
While companies and schools around the world have switched to teleworking and video platform teaching, large sections of the global workforce cannot do their jobs online because of a deeply uncertain future due to the fact that they can no longer be paid.
Food banks in New York have seen an increase in new arrivals who have lost their wages.
"It is my first time," said Lina Alba, who had lost her job as a hotel worker two weeks ago, from a food distribution center in the city.
"We need help now. This is crazy. So we don't know what will happen in a few weeks," added the 40-year-old single mother of five.
Three quarters of Americans are now banned in some way after Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC were the last to join the appeal.
President Donald Trump wanted to reassure the Americans that the authorities are pushing ahead with the distribution of devices such as ventilators and personal protective equipment.
But he also warned that "challenging times are ahead for the next 30 days" and recognized a possible nationwide order to stay at home.
"We'll get to the point," Trump said, again comparing the corona virus effort to a "war."
"Virus breeds departments"
The astonishing economic and political upheavals triggered by the virus test alliances as leaders try to unite for a common cause.
In the European Union, battle lines were drawn over a dispute over the terms of a rescue plan to fund what is expected to be a serious economic impact.
The worst hit Italy and Spain lead a group that is pushing for a common debt instrument – so-called "corona bonds".
However, talk of joint debt is a red line for Germany and other northern countries, which have long spoken out against such a measure and are threatening to split the bloc in the middle of a health catastrophe.
Politically speaking, top Brussels official, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, warned governments against using immediate measures as a pretext for taking power.
Their call followed concerns over a new law that gave Hungarian nationalist leader Viktor Orban full authority to rule by decree until his government decides that the emergency has ended.
While there is widespread agreement that exceptional measures to combat the pandemic are needed, activists around the world have expressed concerns that autocrats will go too far – and will continue to apply stringent controls after the crisis has ended.
Meanwhile, finance ministers and central bankers from the world's 20 major economies should hold a second round of virtual talks on Tuesday to develop a plan to deal with the crisis.
Last week, the G20 leaders pledged to deliver $ 5 trillion to the global economy in hopes of coping with a deep recession.
"Nothing to eat"
The economic pain of barriers is particularly acute in impoverished cities in Africa and Asia.
According to a new report from the World Bank, the pandemic threatens to plunge up to 11 million East Asians into poverty.
In Africa's largest city, Lagos, shops were closed, markets were closed and streets were abandoned when the megacity began its first full day of Tuesday's two-week shutdown.
In the city's slums, where many depend on daily wages to survive, containment will be particularly difficult.
"To reduce the number of people with coronavirus, we know they need to stop moving," said 60-year-old engineer Ogun Nubi Victor.
"But there is no money for citizens, people only sit at home and have nothing to eat."
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)