Britain Virus Outbreak

British PM: Things Will Get Worse Before They Get Better

By VOA News

“We know things will get worse before they get better,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says in a letter being sent to British households about battling COVID-19. 

Johnson, who is in isolation because he has the new coronavirus, also urges people to observe the lockdown and stay home, in an effort to prevent overwhelming the National Health Service and to “save lives.”   

Michael Gove, a British senior minister, told the BBC Sunday that people should prepare for a lockdown of “a significant period.”  

Britain has 17,315 cases of the virus and 1,019 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.  

Homeless and impoverished Indians receive food at a government shelter in New Delhi, India, Thursday, March 26, 2020. Some of…
Homeless and impoverished Indians receive food at a government shelter in New Delhi, India, March 26, 2020.

In his monthly radio address Sunday, India’s prime minister asked for the country’s forgiveness for the 21-day lockdown he enforced last week on the entire South Asian nation in the battle against COVID-19. 

“I seek your forgiveness,” Narenda Modi said.  “I am sure you will forgive me that you had to undergo so much trouble . . .but these are special circumstances . . . this is a battle for life and death.”  

Thousands of people fled their homes after Modi ordered a 21-day lockdown that began Wednesday. Most of them are day laborers who, along with millions of others in India, lost their jobs because of restrictions on activity. 

In his 30-minute radio address, Modi urged Indians “to maintain social distance, not emotional and human distance.”   India has 987 confirmed COVID cases and 25 deaths.  

The tolls from the coronavirus continue to creep up as the virus makes its way around the world.  

There were 665,616 confirmed cases worldwide early Sunday. 

The United States, the current epicenter of the virus, has 124,686 cases.   Italy, Europe’s most afflicted country, had 92,472. 

Global impact

The global coronavirus pandemic death toll was nearly 31,000 Sunday, with the U.S. and France each posting more than 2,000 deaths in a single day, according to Johns Hopkins University statistics. 

Don Marcello Crotti, left, blesses the coffins with Don Mario Carminati in the San Giuseppe church in Seriate, Italy, Saturday,…
Don Marcello Crotti, left, blesses the coffins with Don Mario Carminati in the San Giuseppe church in Seriate, Italy, March 28, 2020.

Italy, which has seen more than 10,000 deaths, accounts for a third of the global total. 

In Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak began late last year, the city slowly began to reopen Saturday after months of near-total isolation. Thousands of people began arriving in the city in Hubei province.  

New York

New York, with more than 52,000 confirmed cases of the virus and more than 700 deaths, is the largest hot spot of COVID-19 activity in the U.S. 

To help ease the burden on New York City’s health care system, which is being overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Navy is sending a hospital ship to New York Harbor to help care for non-coronavirus patients.  

President Donald Trump traveled to Norfolk, Virginia, Saturday for the sendoff of the USNS Comfort. The ship, with 1,200 service members aboard, is to arrive in New York Monday. It will provide up to 1,000 beds to care for patients. President Trump on Hand as Navy Hospital Ship Leaves for NYC

Trump said he had been considering a quarantine of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, all being hard-hit by COVID-19. But he backed away from such a move, instead urging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to consider a «strong travel advisory» for the tri-state area. 

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted the CDC was urging residents of the three states to limit nonessential travel for 14 days to try to stem the outbreak. 

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced the donation Saturday of 250,000 surplus protective masks to medical professionals in New York “who have been working courageously, selflessly, and tirelessly in response to the spread of COVID-19 across the boroughs, in the hope that they play some small role in saving lives.”