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The number of COVID-19 infections worldwide topped 400,000 on Tuesday and more than 18,200 people have died as a result, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
COVID-19 rapidly spread across the globe after it was first discovered in Wuhan, China and world leaders and health officials continue to grapple with how best to contain the spread of infection.
Aside from China—which has 81,591 confirmed cases of the virus—Italy continues to battle with a staggering 69,176 cases and the highest death toll in the world with 6,820 people dead.
In the United States, with a recorded 50,493 cases of coronavirus, state officials in at least 16 states have issued sweeping stay at home orders, mandating non-essential workers to work from home and shutting down businesses, dine-in restaurants, schools, and other places to prevent large groups of people from congregating.
Despite the growing number of cases in the U.S., President Trump said he hopes to reopen most businesses and resume normalcy by April 11, in time for the Easter holidays, even as health officials warn the number of cases could continue to grow as more testing becomes available and the country may need to batten down for months before efforts to "flatten the curve" are deemed successful.
In New York-- the epicenter of the virus for the U.S.-- Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y. warned that the number of confirmed cases in his state “is doubling about every three days,” with 25,665 cases of COVID-19 to date. The number of cases in the heavily populated city is 10 times that of California and Washington, both of which are facing massive numbers of infections.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India told citizens not to panic Tuesday even as he declared a 21-day countrywide lockdown to fight the pandemic.
In Tokyo, the 2020 Summer Olympics have been postponed.