More than three billion people around the world were living under lockdown on Friday as governments stepped up their efforts against the coronavirus pandemic which has left more than 24,000 people dead.
In Spain, the number of fatalities surpassed those of China, where the novel coronavirus first emerged three months ago, making it the hardest-hit nation after Italy.
A total of more than 24,000 deaths have now been reported in 199 countries and territories, according to an AFP tally.
Stock markets rebounded after the US Congress moved closer to passing a $2.2 trillion relief package to prop up a teetering US economy.
In Washington, President Donald Trump said New York, the epicenter of the US outbreak with over 30,000 cases, likely has a few “tough weeks” ahead but he would decide soon whether unaffected parts of the country can get back to work.
“We want to get our country going again,” Trump said. “I’m not going to do anything rash or hastily.
“By Easter we’ll have a recommendation and maybe before Easter,” said Trump, who had been touting a strong US economy as he faces an election in November.
UN chief Guterres said the world needs to ban together to stem the pandemic.
“COVID-19 is threatening the whole of humanity — and the whole of humanity must fight back,” Guterres said, launching an appeal for $2 billion to help the world’s poor.