Focus: GS-III Disaster Management
Why in news?
- The World Health Organisation said on 24th March 2020, that the U.S. could become the global epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said there had been a “very large acceleration” in infections in the U.S.
Current Scenario of Epicenter
- Britain joined the ranks of countries in lockdown to try to hold back the virus, and data showed business activity collapsing from Australia and Japan and Western Europe at a record pace in March, with the U.S. showing expected to be just as dire.
- But amid the gathering gloom, the Chinese province of Hubei, where the virus was first identified in December, said it would lift travel restrictions on people leaving the region as the epidemic eases there.
- Of the top 10 countries by case numbers, Italy has reported the highest fatality rate, at around 10%, which at least partly reflects its older population. The fatality rate globally is around 4.3%, though national figures can vary widely according to how much testing is done.
Situation in the U.S.
- Some U.S. state and local officials have decried a lack of coordinated federal action, saying that having localities act on their own has put them in competition for supplies.
- “America will again and soon be open for business,” Mr. Trump told a White House news conference on 23rd March.