According to Johns Hopkins University, the global coronavirus death toll has now exceeded 10,000.
There are 10,033 deaths from Covid-19 worldwide as of March 19.
Johns Hopkins University – which has been compiling its data soon after the outbreak began late last year – says the number of confirmed cases is fast approaching 250,000.
For the second day in a row, China has reported no new domestic cases.
Meanwhile, Italy has overtaken China’s death toll with 3,405 victims.
Argentina has imposed a nationwide lockdown, the first Latin American country to do so.
California is, nonetheless, one of the main centers of the coronavirus in the US, and the state’s Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an order covering virtually the entire population of 40 million people.
Speaking from the state’s emergency operations centre in Sacramento – a place that is normally used to coordinate the response to wildfires or earthquakes – Governor Newsom called on people here to only leave their homes if it was absolutely necessary, to get food, collect medicines, or care for a friend or relative.
Citing a model that state planners here have been using, the governor predicted that more than half of California’s population will contract the virus over the course of the next eight weeks – a staggering total of around 25 million people.
Governor Newsom said that cases of the virus were doubling every four hours in some areas, and – based on projections – nearly 20,000 more hospital beds would be needed to deal with the effects of the outbreak than the state could currently provide.
He is asking Congress for a billion dollars in federal funding to support California’s response to the crisis, and calling for a navy hospital ship to be deployed to the Port of Los Angeles to help deal with the anticipated surge in patients.