Philippine police man a checkpoint on the border between Quezon city and Manila districts on March 18, 2020, as the government imposed measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered about half the country's population to stay home for the next month in a drastic bid on March 16 to curb the rising number of new coronavirus cases. If fully enforced, the sweeping order would mean most of the 55 million people on the main island of Luzon, which includes the capital Manila, would be housebound.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
Virus keeps 500 million people home around the world
(Agence France-Presse) - March 19, 2020 - 7:52am

PARIS, France — Some 500 million people have been subject to lockdown measures around the world because of the coronavirus outbreak that started in China and has quickly ballooned globally, according to an AFP count.

From China to the Czech Republic to Venezuela, governments have told their citizens to stay indoors to try and slow the spread of the pandemic.

Here are the populations affected. 

Obligatory confinement

The central Chinese province of Hubei and its capital Wuhan where the COVID-19 virus broke out late last year, have been cut off from the world since late January.

Quarantine is still in force there, but restrictions on movement were eased on March 14 for the province's more than 50 million inhabitants.

At least eight other countries have followed the Chinese province in enforcing confinement: Italy since March 10, Spain from March 14, Lebanon on March 15, the Czech Republic on March 16, France, Israel and Venezuela on March 17 and Belgium on March 18.

That means 240 million people in these eight countries are obliged to stay at home.

In most of these places it is possible to leave the house to buy basic necessities, access health care or go to work if staying at home is not an option. 

Some countries have taken more targeted measures, including Bulgaria which has put the ski resort town of Bansko under quarantine. 

Egypt has confined all employees in the Red Sea tourist area.

Inhabitants of the Colombian capital Bogota are to go through a trial isolation exercise from March 20 to 23, which may pave the way for a full quarantine.

Confinement recommended

At least four countries — Austria, Britain, Germany and Iran — have urged people to limit as much as possible their movements and contacts, without going as far as enforcing confinement. 

These four countries are home to around 240 million people.

These appeals from the authorities have however had limited effect.

In Germany, where several "Corona-parties" have been organised in parks, Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday called on the population to rise to the task of fighting the virus.

In Iran the authorities have complained that despite warnings, bazaars are brimming as the Iranian New Year approaches on Friday.

Curfews

At least six countries or territories have imposed curfews banning movements in the evening and overnight: Tunisia, Bolivia, Serbia, the US states of New Jersey and Puerto Rico, and the Philippines' capital Manila.

These territories hold more than 50 million inhabitants.

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: April 4, 2020 - 4:09pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

April 4, 2020 - 4:09pm

The Department of Health reports 76 more local cases of the coronavirus disease 2019, bringing the official tally to 3,094 from the previous count of 3,018.

April 3, 2020 - 12:58pm

The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. assures the public that they will shoulder the full cost of treatment for all COVID-19 patients until April 14, 2020.

"The reason for this accommodation window is due to the novelty and the wide range of severity of the disease in the country for which no existing case rate or package based on accepted protocols has yet been established," it says in a statement.

Philhealth says they will issue a new set of guidelines after the final protocol is established.

April 3, 2020 - 10:22am

The UN General Assembly has approved a resolution calling for "international cooperation" and "multilateralism" in the fight against COVID-19, in the first text to come out of the international body since the pandemic's outbreak.

The resolution, which was approved by consensus, also stresses "the need for full respect for human rights" and that "there is no place for any form of discrimination, racism and xenophobia in the response to the pandemic." — AFP

April 3, 2020 - 8:04am

The cruise ship Zaandam, which has dozens of ill passengers on board and was not allowed to dock in several South American countries, arrivsd Thursday in port in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The liner was finally cleared for docking after long negotiations between Holland America Line, local and state officials, and the US Coast Guard, to ensure the safe disembarkation of the healthy — and the sick. — AFP

April 2, 2020 - 5:02pm

The Department of Health confirms 11 COVID-19 patients have died in the Philippines, raising the total number of fatalities to 107.

The Philippines also recorded 322 new coronavirus cases, bringing the national total to 2,633.

As of Thursday afternoon, one additional patient recovered from the deadly virus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 51.

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