Bill Gates: “There really is no middle ground; It’s very tough to say, ‘Keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies in the corner.’ It’s very irresponsible to suggest to people they can have the best of both worlds."

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has outlined how he would limit the economic damage and stem the lives lost from the coronavirus pandemic as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi locks down the country’s entire 1.3 billion people for 21 days.

Bill Gates, who has donated US$50 million to coronavirus COVID-19 therapies through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said if the US enacted a strict lockdown for six to 10 weeks there could be positive results within 20 days.

Gates, during a virtual TED interview, argued that the US missed the critical period to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 testing campaign last month, which would have been an alternative to a long period of lockdown for the entire population.

“There really is no middle ground; It’s very tough to say, ‘Keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies in the corner.’ It’s very irresponsible to suggest to people they can have the best of both worlds,” said Gates.

He said that the US needs to maintain isolation at this moment to avoid devastating outcomes like those of Wuhan, China, and northern Italy.

More than 17,100 people have died from COVID-19 worldwide, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 108,000 of the 414,277 people diagnosed with the disease have recovered.

US President Donald Trump said he hoped to have the country “opened up and just raring to go by Easter”, which is 12 April.

“We’ll only do it if it’s good. We’ll do large sections of the country,” Trump said, adding he would listen closely to recommendations from Dr Anthony Fauci and Dr Deborah Birx, two top medical experts on the White House coronavirus taskforce.

However in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said a total lockdown will happen in the country for 21 days to try and stop the coronavirus.

Narendra Modi, coronavirus

“At 12 midnight… listen carefully, at 12 midnight, all of … India will be under total lockdown. This is being done keeping in mind the experiences of other nations,” Modi said.

“If you won’t follow this lockdown for 21 days then your family may face setback of 21 years, some families will be devastated forever.

There have been 519 confirmed cases of coronavirus COVID-19 across India and 10 reported deaths, with the figures rising sharply.

Modi said that the lockdown will etch a Lakshman Rekha outside everyone’s house, which must not be crossed.

“Forget about leaving your house for the next 21 days, stay where you are,” Modi said.

“To save India, to save its every citizen, you, your family … every street, every neighbourhood is being put under lockdown.”

He added the only solution to control the spread of novel coronavirus is social distancing.

“If you want to tame the spread of the virus, the only way to do it is to break the cycle of transmission by practicing social distancing,” Modi said, addressing the nation for the second time on the coronavirus pandemic.

“Social distancing is not just for the sick, but for each and every person, including you and your family.

“Coronavirus took 67 days to reach the first one lakh people and only 11 days to reach the next one lakh. What’s more frightening is that his disease took just four days to reach from two lakh to three lakh,” Modi added.

On 24 March 2020, the following countries had confirmed cases of coronavirus:

Afghanistan – 42 cases, 1 death
Albania – 104 cases, 4 deaths
Algeria – 230 cases, 17 deaths
Andorra – 133 cases, 1 death
Angola – 3 cases
Antigua and Barbuda – 3 cases
Argentina – 301 cases, 4 deaths
Armenia – 235 cases
Australia – 2,044 cases, 8 deaths
Austria – 4,791 cases, 25 deaths
Azerbaijan – 72 cases, 1 death
Bahamas – 4 cases
Bahrain – 377 cases, 2 deaths
Bangladesh – 33 cases, 3 deaths
Barbados – 17 cases
Belarus – 81 cases
Belgium – 4,269 cases, 122 deaths
Belize – 1 case
Benin – 6 cases
Bhutan – 2 cases
Bolivia – 28 cases
Bosnia and Herzegovina – 150 cases, 1 death
Brazil – 1,960 cases, 34 deaths
Brunei – 91 cases
Bulgaria – 202 cases, 3 deaths
Burkina Faso – 99 cases, 4 deaths
Cambodia – 91 cases
Cameroon – 66 cases
Canada – 2,088 cases, 25 deaths
Cape Verde – 3 cases
Central African Republic – 3 cases
Chad – 2 cases
Chile – 746 cases, 2 deaths
China – 81,588 cases, 3,281 deaths (The region of Macau had confirmed 19 cases, with Hong Kong reporting 273 confirmed cases, including four deaths, according to China’s National Health Commission)

COVID-19

Colombia – 306 cases, 3 deaths
Congo Republic – 36 cases, 2 deaths
Costa Rica – 158 cases, 2 deaths
Croatia – 361 cases, 1 death
Cuba – 40 cases, 1 death
Cyprus – 116 cases, 1 death
Czech Republic – 1,289 cases, 2 deaths
Democratic Republic of Congo – 30 cases, 1 death
Denmark – 1,703 cases, 32 deaths
The count includes 92 cases in Faroe Islands and 2 cases in Greenland.
Djibouti – 3 cases
Dominican Republic – 245 cases, 3 deaths
East Timor – 1 case
Ecuador – 981 cases, 18 deaths
Egypt – 366 cases, 19 deaths
El Salvador – 5 cases
Equatorial Guinea – 9 cases
Eritrea – 1 case
Estonia – 352 cases
Eswatini – 4 cases
Ethiopia – 12 cases
Fiji – 4 cases
Finland – 700 cases, 1 death
France – 20,149 cases, 862 deaths (The French territory of Martinique recorded 37 cases and a death from the coronavirus. Reunion – 45 confirmed cases, French Polynesia – 15, New Caledonia – 4, Saint Barthelemy – 3 and Mayotte – 11. The French part of the island of Saint Martin confirmed 4 cases while Guadalupe has 56 cases)
French Guiana – 18 cases
Gabon – 6 cases, 1 death
Gambia – 2 cases, 1 death
Georgia – 66 cases
Germany – 30,150 cases, 130 deaths
Ghana – 27 cases, 2 deaths
Greece – 695 cases, 17 deaths
Grenada – 1 case
Guatemala – 20 cases, 1 death
Guinea – 4 cases, 1 death
Guyana- 20 cases, 1 death


Haiti – 6 cases
Honduras – 30 cases
Hungary – 187 cases, 8 deaths
Iceland – 588 cases, 1 death
India – 511 cases, 10 deaths
Indonesia – 686 cases, 55 deaths
Iran – 24,811 cases, 1,934 deaths
Iraq – 266 cases, 23 deaths
Ireland – 1,125 cases, 6 deaths
Israel – 1,656 cases, 1 death
Italy – 69,176 cases, 6,820 deaths
Ivory Coast – 25 cases
Jamaica – 19 cases, 1 death
Japan – 1,140 cases, 42 deaths
Jordan – 127 cases
Kazakhstan – 68 cases
Kenya – 16 cases
Kosovo – 61 cases, 1 death
Kuwait – 189 cases
Kyrgyzstan – 42 cases
Latvia – 180 cases
Lebanon – 267 cases, 4 deaths
Liberia – 3 cases
Liechtenstein – 51 cases
Lithuania – 179 cases, 1 death
Laos – 2 cases
Luxembourg – 875 cases, 8 deaths
Madagascar – 17 cases
Malaysia – 1,624 cases, 15 deaths
Maldives – 13 cases
Malta – 107 cases
Mauritania – 2 cases
Mauritius – 36 cases, 2 deaths
Mexico – 367 cases, 4 deaths

oldova – 109 cases, 1 death

Monaco – 23 cases
Mongolia – 10 cases
Montenegro – 29 cases, 1 death
Morocco – 143 cases, 4 deaths
Myanmar – 2 cases
Mozambique – 1 death
Namibia – 4 cases
Nepal – 2 cases
Netherlands – 4,767 cases, 214 deaths (Additionally, 5 coronavirus cases were registered in the Dutch overseas territory of Aruba, 1 more in Sint Maarten, while Curacao has 3 cases and one death)

New Zealand – 155 cases
Nicaragua – 2 cases
Niger – 3 cases
Nigeria – 40 cases, 1 death
North Macedonia – 136 cases, 2 deaths
Norway – 2,647 cases, 11 deaths
Oman – 84 cases
Pakistan – 908 cases, 7 deaths
Palestine – 59 cases, including 2 in Gaza
Panama – 345 cases, 6 deaths
Papua New Guinea – 1 case
Paraguay – 27 cases, 2 deaths
Peru – 395 cases, 5 deaths
Philippines – 552 cases, 35 deaths
Poland – 749 cases, 8 deaths
Portugal – 2,060 cases, 23 deaths
Qatar – 501 cases
Romania – 576 cases, 7 deaths

coronavirus, vaccine

Russia – 438 cases, 1 death
Rwanda – 36 cases
Saint Lucia – 3 cases
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – 1 case
San Marino – 187 cases, 20 deaths
Saudi Arabia – 562 cases, 1 dead
Senegal – 79 cases
Serbia – 249 cases, 3 deaths
Seychelles – 7 cases
Singapore – 509 cases, 2 deaths
Slovakia – 186 cases
Slovenia – 442 cases, 3 deaths
Somalia – 1 case
South Africa – 402 cases
South Korea – 9,037 cases, 120 deaths
Spain – 39,673 cases, 2,696 deaths
Sri Lanka – 97 cases
Sudan – 2 cases, 1 death
Suriname – 6 cases
Sweden – 2,059 cases, 33 deaths
Switzerland – 9,117 cases, 122 deaths
Syria – 1 case
Taiwan – 215 cases, 2 deaths
Tanzania – 12 cases
Thailand – 827 cases, 4 deaths
Timor-Leste – 1 case
Togo – 18 cases
Trinidad and Tobago – 52 cases
Tunisia – 89 cases, 3 deaths
Turkey – 1,529 cases, 44 deaths
Uganda – 9 cases
Ukraine – 84 cases, 3 deaths
United Arab Emirates – 198 cases, 2 deaths
UK – 8,077 cases, 422 deaths (In addition, the British overseas territory of Gibraltar has registered 10 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, Bermuda – 2, Montserrat – 1, Isle of Man – 1, Channel Islands – 32. Guernsey has one case while Jersey has 12. The Cayman Islands recorded 3 infections and 1 death)
US – 46,450 cases, 593 deaths (The count includes 21 cases in the US territory of Puerto Rico, 6 in Virgin Islands and 15 in Guam)
Uruguay – 162 cases
Uzbekistan – 49 cases

atican City – 1 case

Venezuela – 84 cases
Vietnam – 134 cases
Zambia – 3 cases
Zimbabwe – 3 cases, 1 death