New emergency measures for the coronavirus
According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, over 335 thousand have now been infected with the coronavirus. So far more than 14.6 thousand people died, and more than 95 thousand have recovered.
The executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program Michael Ryan said it would be at least a year before the new coronavirus vaccine was available.
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 20, 2020
As China recovers, Italy, Spain, France, Iran, Germany, Germany and the United States have the highest numbers of people infected.
So-called “dictatorial regimes”, including China, Cuba, Russia, have begun to take measures to help other countries – primarily the Italians who have been hit the hardest. China is sending masks to the West in mass, while Cuba and Russia have sent doctors and leading experts with experience in eliminating outbreaks of epidemics to Italy.
Cancellation of a number of large events were announced, including several sports competitions, Eurovision and possibly the Olympic Games.
The changing rhetoric of world leaders
During the epidemiological crisis, many world leaders were forced to adopt stricter measures and change their rhetoric: the ideology of “open borders” is likely to meet far more opposition.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who herself was put at risk of infection, compared the situation to a war.
“The situation is serious. Take it seriously. Since German unification, no, since the Second World War, there has been no challenge to our nation that has demanded such a degree of common and united action,”
The penalty for a breach of quarantine has been increased – in Lombardy, for example, the penalty is € 5,000 euros for unjustified street access while the maximum penalty in Bavaria is €25,000 euros.
On Monday, French President Emmanuelle Macron introduced a strict quarantine, the violation of which is punishable by €135. If caught in the city without a sufficient reason three times in 30 days, the fine becomes €3,700.
In his speech at the Elysian Palace, Macron took on a more popular orientation, threatening to close the border with Great Britain if it does not take adequate measures to protect citizens.
After this statement, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the closure of pubs, restaurants, sports clubs, cinemas and theaters. Until that point Britain had adhered to a policy of “herd immunity”, wantonly allowing the virus to spread.
Meanwhile, in the United States, President Donald Trump finally declared a state of emergency.
He discussed the Coronavirus with Chinese President Xi Jinping and said he was upset with China, arguing that Beijing should have mentioned the threat earlier.
Trump authorized the use of the National Guard to help fight the pandemic in the states of New York, California and Washington, where a large number of people have been infected.
Trump also noted that the affected states will be exempted from the obligation to pay 25% of the amount that will be used to deploy the National Guard. Trump has predicted “a great victory” in America.
Oil prices collapse
World oil prices fell by 7-8% during trading.
They first collapsed as trading began on Monday, March 23. According to data from the Intercontinental Exchange, the value of May futures of Brent oil fell by 7.1% to $25.18.
Oil prices have almost halved since the beginning of March due to coronavirus, the cancellation of the OPEC+ deal and increased production in Saudi Arabia. On March 18, the cost of Brent oil fell to its lowest level since May 2003, $24.96.