A six-week-old baby died of Covid-19 and global agencies warned of food shortages as coronavirus infections around the world neared one million Wednesday.
Governments expanded lockdowns to affect about half of the planet, with funeral parties banned in the Democratic Republic of Congo, New York locking up its famed street basketball courts and hard-hit Italy extending its economically-crippling lockdown until April 13.
More than 900,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus and nearly 46,000 have died since it first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, according to an AFP tally.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number would hit one million “in the next few days.”
“I am deeply concerned about the rapid escalation and global spread of infection,” he said.
“The entire world is shut down,” said US President Donald Trump. “It’s very sad.”
Cases in the United States soared, rising to more than 213,000, and deaths neared 4,800, according to the Johns Hopkins University database.
Among the victims was a six-week-old in Connecticut who was brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week, believed to be the youngest victim yet of the virus.
“Testing confirmed last night that the new-born was Covid-19 positive,” Governor Ned Lamont wrote on Twitter. “This is absolutely heart-breaking.”
The victims of the coronavirus have been disproportionately elderly, but a number of recent cases have highlighted that the disease can befall even youngsters with seemingly strong immune systems.
The dead have included a 13-year-old in France, a 12-year-old in Belgium, and 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdullah in Britain, whose family said the “gentle and kind” boy had no underlying health issues.
The US numbers continued to outpace the rest of the globe, though Washington made clear it believes China, with a reported 82,000 cases, is deliberately masking its figures.
“How do we know” if they are accurate, Trump asked at a press conference, not denying a Bloomberg report that US intelligence has concluded China is concealing the extent of the coronavirus pandemic there.
“Their numbers seem to be a little bit on the light side,” Trump said.
Densely populated New York continued to be the US epicentre.