March 19: China reports no new local infections
China reported no new local infections, a signal that China’s epidemic could be winding down. However, although no new local infections were recorded, there were 34 new infections confirmed among patients who had traveled to China from elsewhere. On the same day, Italy overtook China as the country with the most deaths worldwide.
March 20: Deaths exceed 10,000 globally
Confirmed deaths from COVID-19 exceeded 10,000 worldwide. Cases began to rise exponentially, for example, from 2,958 to 13,957 overnight in Germany. China had a second day with no new domestic cases reported.
March 23: United Kingdom locks down
While the United Kingdom had initially considered a “herd immunity” approach to COVID-19, the country eventually decided to follow the lead of the rest of Europe and close all non-essential stores, ban meetings of more than two people, and require people to stay at home except to buy food or medicine.
March 24: India, a country of 1.3 billion people, shuts down
March 24: Tokyo Summer Olympics postponed
It was announced that the Tokyo Summer Olympics would be postponed for one year in response to COVID-19. This was the first time Olympic games have been canceled since World War II. Only three games have been canceled since the beginning of the Olympics, all due to wars.
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March 25: U.S. government announces $2 trillion aid plan
After negotiations, the White House and Congress came to an agreement on a $2 trillion aid plan to help businesses, workers, and the health care system. The plan passed the Senate in a unanimous 96-0 vote.
March 26: Record unemployment filings in U.S.
It was reported that a record 3.3 million people in the United States filed for unemployment the previous week. This was a rise of more than 3 million from the previous week, which saw unemployment claims by just 281,000 people. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said unemployment could reach 20% due to COVID-19.
March 26: Global COVID-19 cases surpass 500,000
Over 500,000 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed around the world. In Europe, the number of cases exceeded 250,000, more than half of which were in Italy and Spain. Italy’s death toll reached 8,215.
March 27: U.S. surpasses Italy for most cases worldwide
March 27: Nearly half of all Americans under lockdown
In response to the country’s rapidly growing numbers, the local governments of the United States put roughly half the population under some kind of lockdown. Twenty-three states issued stay-at-home orders and 10 other states and territories ordered nonessential businesses to close.
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