Almost a billion people around the world were locked in their homes on Sunday when the number of coronavirus deaths exceeded 13,000 and factories in Italy's worst affected were closed after another one-day death.
The raging pandemic has resulted in closures and disruption to life, travel and business in 35 countries around the world as governments strive to close borders and take hundreds of billions of immediate action to avoid widespread virus-induced economic collapse .
More than 300,000 infections have been confirmed worldwide, with the situation getting worse in Italy, where the death toll has risen to more than 4,800 – more than a third of the total worldwide.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Saturday nightly the closure of all non-essential factories.
The Mediterranean nation, with a population of 60 million, is now the epicenter of the disease, which first appeared in central China at the end of last year before marching to the rest of the world.
Italy has now reported more deaths than mainland China and third-placed Iran combined. The mortality rate from confirmed COVID-19 infections is 8.6 percent – significantly higher than in most other countries.
Across the Atlantic, more than a third of Americans got used to life in various stages of closures, including in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles – the three largest US cities. Other parts of the United States are also expected to tighten the restrictions.
"This is a time of common national sacrifice, but also a time to appreciate our loved ones," said US President Donald Trump. "We will have a great victory."
As world leaders have vowed to fight the pandemic, the number of deaths and infections has continued to increase, especially in Europe – the main global hotspot.
Spain reported a 32 percent increase in deaths on Saturday, and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez warned in a television speech that the nation had to prepare for "very difficult days".
The death toll in France rose to 562 when police officials said helicopters and drones were being used to reinforce government attempts to keep people in their homes.
The unprecedented measures to combat the proliferation of COVID-19 have destroyed the international sports calendar and the pressure on the Olympic organizers to postpone the Tokyo 2020 games is increasing.
"Months, not weeks"
The pandemic has brought global equity markets to their knees, and the United States – the world's largest economy – is preparing a huge emergency stimulus package that could exceed $ 1 trillion.
Millions have been ordered to stay at home in the United States.
New Jersey followed several states on Saturday, asking 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).
And in neighboring New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo warned that the disruption is likely to last months, not weeks.
"I don't think in a city of this size it is possible for people to wait longer than three weeks before losing them," Yona Corn, a 35-year-old singer, told AFP.
"I think there will be a big mental health crisis. I'm worried about what will happen to people."
Congressmen hope to agree on a $ 1 trillion emergency relief package as fears of the economic impact of the crisis increase.
The U.S. 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.
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife tested negative for the corona virus, and his spokesman tweeted on Saturday. The couple had taken the test after one of Pence's employees contracted the disease.
The drastic detention measures follow the example of China, where the blocking of the Hubei province has obviously paid off. The virus was first discovered in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei.
China reported its first local infection in four days on Sunday. While the number of cases on the mainland has decreased dramatically since the beginning of the crisis, there are fears that cases will be "imported" from other hotspots like Europe.
France, Italy, Spain and other European countries have ordered people to stay at home, and in some cases have threatened to pay fines, while Australia told citizens on Sunday to cancel domestic travel plans.
Britain has advised pubs, restaurants and theaters to close and warned citizens to stop buying panic.
And India was blocked on Sunday with a one-day nationwide "self-imposed curfew".
While the elderly and people with existing illnesses are most affected by the virus, the WHO has warned that young people are also at risk.
Accurate COVID-19 numbers are difficult to achieve as many of the victims have other diseases and infection rates are uncertain in many countries due to a lack of testing.
The corona virus has also infected over 1,000 people in Africa, where health systems are limited and social detachment measures, such as those used in North America and Europe, are difficult in crowded cities.
The Middle East also remains on high alert, where Iran – which suffered a serious outbreak – reported 123 new deaths on Saturday. But the Islamic Republic has refused to impose severe restrictions along with the rest of the world.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)