With the world at large bracing for the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries across the globe are locking down in order to prevent the spread of the virus. As China prepares to loosen its national restrictions, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a total ban on civilians leaving their homes, per CNN.
India, with a population of 1.3 billion people, will effectively be on total lockdown after Modi’s decree. The order came only a day after authorities in the country grounded all domestic flights.
“Every district, every lane, every village will be under lockdown…if you can’t handle these 21 days, this country will go back 21 years…The only option is social distancing, to remain away from each other… There is no way to escape the coronavirus besides this,” Modi said.
Meanwhile, in the United States, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has released a statement as to the current state of what has become the American epicenter of the outbreak.
“The apex is higher than we thought and the apex is sooner than we thought. And that is a dangerous combination of facts,” Cuomo said.
Estimates place the total number of hospital beds required to treat the infirm at upwards of 140,000, which has increased from 110,000 according to the previous estimates.
As local governments and American citizens struggle to flatten the curve, President Donald Trump’s administration has stated several times that they have no intention of locking down the country. In fact, Trump has gone on record with his thoughts are to the current national crisis, per The New York Times.
“I can tell you that at no point has the White House Coronavirus Task Force discussed a nationwide lockdown.”
While states like California, Illinois, Washington and Maryland have already issued stay-at-home or shutdown orders, the Trump administration has set its sights on opening the country back up and getting its citizens back to work as soon as possible.
Vice President Mike Pence has also remarked on the current situation and what the administration hopes to accomplish in the coming weeks.
“We will focus on our most vulnerable, but putting America back to work will also be a priority, in weeks not months,” Pence said.
Trump hopes to open the country up as soon as Easter Sunday, April 12, per CNBC. This statement coming in direct opposition to the length of time which health experts have stated is necessary to flatten the curve.
As the world scrambles to collect itself and prepare for the worst, Congress has spent much of its time developing a plan to deal with the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 outbreak, but as far as meeting the healthcare needs of the millions of Americans that will be, or already have been, affected by the virus, many of the answers are still unknown.