By Wausau Pilot and Review and the Associated Press
As shelves emptied at grocery stores nationwide, President Donald Trump advised Americans Sunday that “there’s no need to hoard” food and other items.
Meanwhile, more states and cities announced restrictions to contain the COVID-19 virus. And the government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Sunday he would like to see a 14-day national shutdown that would require Americans to hunker down even more to help slow disease spread.
The death toll in the United States has exceeded 50, while infections neared 3,000 across 49 states and the District of Columbia. Those numbers are modest compared to some other countries, but the virus can take up to two weeks to show symptoms.
Wisconsin has reported no deaths, but 33 positive test results were recorded statewide as of Sunday including one in Wood County.
Public worship was curtailed in many places as pastors gave sermons to empty pews or moved to online services. Muslim authorities announced that the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City would be closed indefinitely, and the Vatican said next month’s Holy Week services would not be open to the public.
Americans returning from abroad faced chaos at airports as overwhelmed border agents tried to screen passengers for illness.
In Spain, long lines for food and police patrols marked the first day of a nationwide quarantine. In the Philippines, soldiers and police sealed off the densely populated capital of Manila from most domestic travelers. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced plans to limit movement nationwide, and Lebanon’s government ordered a lockdown in the country, closing down Beirut’s famed seaside corniche.
Ireland ordered all pubs and bars to close for two weeks — including on Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day — and urged people not even to hold house parties. Two pub industry groups had warned of the “real difficulty” in keeping people apart in the country’s famous watering holes.
With new infections dwindling in Asia, Europe has become the main front line of the fight against COVID-19. The virus has infected 162,000 people and killed over 6,000, but nearly 75,000 people have already recovered.<
“People should go out “only alone or with the people who live in their apartment,” said Austria’s Kurz, whose country has 800 infections.
That was echoed by one of America’s top infectious disease experts.
“I think Americans should be prepared that they are going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing,” Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health told NBC’s ”Meet the Press.’’
Among developments Sunday: