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Wed 25 Mar 2020 08:32 AM

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Coronavirus: One-third of world's population told to observe lockdowns

More than 2.6 billion worldwide in 42 countries or territories have imposed a mandatory lockdown

Coronavirus: One-third of world's population told to observe lockdowns

Some countries have put their main cities under quarantine, with bans on entering and leaving.

More than 2.6 billion people worldwide will be in lockdown once India introduces its measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic at 22:30 UAE time on Tuesday, according to an AFP tally.

The figure represents more than one-third of a global population the United Nations estimates at 7.8 billion in 2020.

At least 42 countries or territories have imposed a mandatory lockdown, including Britain, France, Italy and Spain as well as Colombia, the US state of California, Nepal, Iraq and Madagascar.

India and New Zealand are the last countries to join this list, with South Africa in the club on Thursday.

In most of these territories, people may still leave home for work, to buy food and other essentials and see doctors.

At least five countries or territories -- comprising 226 million people -- have urged their populations to stay at home and limit their movements and contacts to a minimum without enforcing them with threats of punishment.

These countries include Iran, Germany and Canada.

At least 15 countries and territories - covering more than 189 million people -- have imposed evening curfews.

These include Saudi Arabia, Ivory Coast, Chile, the Philippine capital Manila and Serbia. In Egypt, a curfew takes effect on Wednesday.

Some countries have put their main cities under quarantine, with bans on entering and leaving.

This is the case for Bulgaria's largest cities, Almaty and Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan and Baku in Azerbaijan -- together accounting for more than 10 million people.

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