The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a stark warning about the speed of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
In response to the escalating crisis, the UK introduced its most draconian measures yet on Monday to try and curb the soaring infection rate.
Boris Johnson ordered people to only leave the house to buy groceries, exercise, for medical reasons or for necessary work.
Hours before, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus shared three powerful statistics as he warned that “the pandemic is accelerating”.
He explained that in the first 67 days of the outbreak, there were a total of 100,000 cases. This number then doubled over the next 11 days and tripled in the four days after that.
• At 67 days since outbreak began - 100,000 cases in total
• 11 days later - 200,000 cases in total
• Four days after that - 300,000 cases in total
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Announcing the latest plans to combat the spread, Tedros said he would be asking the G20 to ramp up production of personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and nurses.
“We need unity among the G20 countries who have more than 80% of the global GDP,” he said.
“If we don’t prioritise protecting health workers, many people will die because the health worker who could have saved their lives is sick.”
The G20 agreed on Monday to develop an "action plan" to respond to the pandemic that the International Monetary Fund now expects to trigger a global recession.
Finance officials from the 20 nations met by video conference for nearly two hours, seeking to stave off growing criticism that the world's "fire station" has been slow to respond to the worsening crisis.
G20 leaders are due to meet for an extraordinary summit in coming days as the virus continues its rapid spread, with 392,331 people infected across the world and more than 17,100 dead.
As of Monday, the UK death toll hit 335 and British citizens travelling abroad were told to return home “while you still can”.
Boris Johnson ordered the immediate closure of all shops selling non-essentials items as part of his new measures.
He ordered people to only leave the house to shop for basic necessities “as infrequently as possible” and to perform one form of exercise a day.
Or they could seek medical help, provide care to a vulnerable person or travel to work if “absolutely necessary”, he said in a televised address from within Downing Street.
The measures which were effective immediately from Monday night will be reviewed in 21 days and relaxed if the government thinks it is possible and safe to do so.