According to Johns Hopkins University on Sunday, there are more than 721,000 coronavirus cases and 33,900 deaths worldwide.

The U.S. now leads the world with more than 120,000 confirmed cases while the U.S. coronavirus deaths surge past 2,000.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that the U.S. could experience more than 100,000 deaths and millions of infections.

Italy

Coronavirus deaths in Italy fall for second consecutive day. Over 10,000 people have now died of the disease in Italy, followed by more than 6,528 in Spain, 3,100 in China, 2,500 in Iran and 2,300 in France.

Italy’s Civil Protection department said 756 people died Sunday, which is 133 fewer deaths than the 889 reported the day before. In total, 10,779 people have died due to COVID-19 in Italy making up a third of global deaths.

Spain

The number of people to have died after testing positive for the coronavirus in Spain has risen to 6,528 after 838 more people died. Another 6,549 cases have been reported in the country, bringing the total there to 78,797.

Spain has been in lockdown for two weeks under a national state of emergency.

Prime minister Pedro Sanchez’s Cabinet will approve on Sunday a new decree to tighten those controls and impede workers from commuting to work in all industries unrelated to health care and food production and distribution, for two weeks.

Germany

Germany has so far registered 62,095 coronavirus cases, with 541 patients succumbing to the disease.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her first address to the nation on the coronavirus pandemic, appealed to citizens’ reason and discipline to slow the spread of the virus.

China

The city at the centre of China’s coronavirus outbreak has reopened tube trains and long-distance train services in another step towards ending restrictions that confined millions of people to their homes.

Passengers in Wuhan in the central province of Hubei had to wear masks and be checked for fever after service resumed Saturday. Signs were posted telling passengers to sit with empty seats between them.

Most access to Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, was suspended on January 23. The last controls that block residents of Wuhan from leaving Hubei are due to be lifted on April 8.

China sends train with medical supplies to Germany

The first cargo train to Europe since the start of the outbreak left China for Germany on Saturday carrying medical supplies, car parts, electronic productions and optical communication fiber.

Absence of robust screening until it was ‘far too late’ revealed failures U.S. government

A March 29, 2020 dated report by the New York Times said:

“The absence of robust screening until it was ‘far too late’ revealed failures across government, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, a former CDC director. Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins, said the Trump administration had ‘incredibly limited’ views of the pathogen’s potential impact. Dr. Margaret Hamburg, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said the lapse enabled ‘exponential growth of cases.’”

The report – “The Lost Month: How a Failure to Test Blinded the U.S. to COVID-19” – by Michael D. Shear, Abby Goodnough, Sheila Kaplan, Sheri Fink, Katie Thomas and Noah Weiland said:

“Early on, the dozen federal officials charged with defending America against the coronavirus gathered day after day in the White House Situation Room, consumed by crises. They grappled with how to evacuate the U.S. consulate in Wuhan, China, ban Chinese travelers and extract Americans from the Diamond Princess and other cruise ships.

“The members of the coronavirus task force typically devoted only five or 10 minutes, often at the end of contentious meetings, to talk about testing, several participants recalled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, its leaders assured the others, had developed a diagnostic model that would be rolled out quickly as a first step.

“But as the deadly virus spread from China with ferocity across the U.S. between late January and early March, large-scale testing of people who might have been infected did not happen — because of technical flaws, regulatory hurdles, business-as-usual bureaucracies and lack of leadership at multiple levels, according to interviews with more than 50 current and former public health officials, administration officials, senior scientists and company executives.

“The result was a lost month, when the world’s richest country — armed with some of the most highly trained scientists and infectious disease specialists — squandered its best chance of containing the virus’s spread. Instead, Americans were left largely blind to the scale of a looming public health catastrophe.”

The report said:

“And Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top government scientist involved in the fight against the virus, told members of Congress that the early inability to test was ‘a failing’ of the administration’s response to a deadly, global pandemic. ‘Why,’ he asked later in a magazine interview, ‘were we not able to mobilize on a broader scale?’

“Across government, they said, three agencies responsible for detecting and combating threats like the coronavirus failed to prepare quickly enough. Even as scientists looked at China and sounded alarms, none of the agencies’ directors conveyed the urgency required to spur a no-holds-barred defense.”

CDC guidelines extended

U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he was extending the CDC guidelines for limiting social contact through April 30.

Doctors scramble in New Orleans

In the U.S., New Orleans doctors scramble as coronavirus deaths and cases soar. 151 people died of COVID-19 in Louisiana by late Sunday. The state has confirmed 3,540 cases since 9 March – among the world’s fastest-growing infection rates. Louisiana’s soaring infection rates mean some hospitals will have to start turning away patients in the next week.

U.S. will have millions of cases

The US government’s foremost infection disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, says the US will certainly have “millions of cases” of Covid-19 and more than 100,000 deaths.

As the US tops the world in reported infections from the new coronavirus, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases predicts 100,000-200,000 deaths from the outbreak in the US.

Dr Fauci was speaking to CNN’s State Of The Union as the federal government is discussing rolling back guidelines on social distancing in areas that have not been hard-hit by the outbreak.

Dr Fauci says he would only support the rollback in lesser-impacted areas if there is enhanced availability of testing in place to monitor those areas. He acknowledged, “it’s a little iffy there” right now.

Hoarding of ventilators in the U.S.

U.S. President Trump accused hospitals on Sunday of hoarding ventilators that are in scarce supply across the country as the coronavirus spreads, adding any hospitals not using the devices must release them.

Trump, whose critics have accused him of trying to deflect blame over his handling of the crisis, did not cite any evidence to back his accusation that hospitals were hoarding the devices. It was also unclear which medical facilities he was referring to. “We have some healthcare workers, some hospitals … hoarding equipment including ventilators,” Trump said at the White House following a meeting with corporate executives, including from U.S. Medical Group.

Trump downplaying virus cost American lives, says Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on CNN Sunday morning that President Trump downplaying the virus cost American lives.

“His denial at the beginning was deadly,” said Pelosi on “State of the Union.” “His delaying of getting equipment – it continues — his delaying of getting equipment to where it is needed is deadly and now I think the best thing is to prevent more loss of life rather than open things up because we just don’t know. We have to have testing, testing, testing that is what we said from the start before we can evaluate the nature of it is in some of these other regions as well. I do not know what the purpose of that is. I do not know what the scientists are saying to him. When did the president know about this and what did he know? What did he know and when did he know it? That’s for an after-action review, but as the president fiddles, people are drying, and we just have to take every precaution.”

“Are you saying his downplaying ultimately cost American lives?” asked host Jake Tapper.

“Yes, I am. I’m saying that,” replied Pelosi. “The other day when he was signing the bill, he said ‘Just think 20 days ago everything was great.’ No, everything wasn’t great, we had nearly 500 cases and 17 deaths already and in that 20 days because we weren’t prepared we now have 2,000 deaths and 100,000 cases.”

While Trump has claimed recently he always took the virus seriously, he spent the end of January, all of February and early March downplaying the threat while the federal government was slow to mobilize a response.

Temporary hospital in Central Park in New York

A temporary hospital has been set up in Central Park in Manhattan, New York. The effort is being spearheaded by the global relief agency Samaritan’s Purse. The charity was working with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Mount Sinai, with the aim of receiving patients within two days.

Amazon workers plan to walk off job in New York

The e-commerce giant’s employees who work at a New York City warehouse plan to walk off the job Monday. Those who work at the fulfillment center on Staten Island want the building be sanitized after several workers tested positive to COVID-19, says Chris Smalls, a manager assistant who is coordinating the walkout.

Smalls said employees at the warehouse, where about 5,000 people work throughout the week, were “not returning to work until they close the building down.” “They know at lunch time, when they clock out, do not return,” Smalls said.

UK government was warned its health service would struggle to cope with pandemic three years ago

The British government was warned three years ago that the NHS would struggle to cope in the event of a pandemic like coronavirus, it has been revealed.

A major cross-government test called Exercise Cygnus was carried out in October 2016 to examine how well the NHS would handle a severe outbreak.

After the damning test results were collected, ministers were reportedly warned that Britain’s health service would be quickly overwhelmed – but the government failed to act on the report’s recommendations.

According to The Sunday Telegraph, Exercise Cygnus showed the NHS lacked adequate “surge capacity” and would require thousands more critical care beds.

UK: 50% survival rate

Coronavirus patients in UK intensive care have 50% survival rate. The mortality rate for patients put in intensive care after being infected with Covid-19 is running at close to 50%, a report has revealed.

Data from the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) showed that of 165 patients treated in critical care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland since the end of February, 79 died, while 86 survived and were discharged.

The figures were taken from an audit of 775 people who have been or are in critical care with the disease, across 285 intensive care units. The remaining 610 patients continue to receive intensive care.

UK lockdown could continue up to June

The nationwide coronavirus lockdown in the UK could last until June, according to one of the government’s leading scientific advisors.

Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, told The Sunday Times that the entire population could need to stay at home for nearly three months. “We’re going to have to keep these measures in place, in my view, for a significant period of time – probably until the end of May, maybe even early June. May is optimistic,” he said.

India: Modi apologizes for the lockdown

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologised to the public on Sunday for imposing a three-week national lockdown.

“I apologize for taking these harsh steps that have caused difficulties in your lives, especially the poor people,”

Modi said in his monthly address, broadcast by state radio. “I know some of you will be angry with me. But these tough measures were needed to win this battle.”

The unprecedented lockdown order, which came into effect on Wednesday to keep India’s 1.3 billion people at home for all but essential trips, is meant to prevent the spread of the virus from surging and overwhelming India’s already strained healthcare system.

The lockdown has caused tens of thousands of people, mostly young male day labourers but also families, to flee their New Delhi homes, and has effectively put millions of Indians who live off daily earnings out of work.

India: 867 cases

India health officials have confirmed 867 cases of coronavirus, including 25 deaths.

Experts have said local spreading is inevitable in a country where tens of millions of people live in dense urban areas in cramped conditions with irregular access to clean water.

It’s only a matter of time before virus sweeps India, say doctors

A Bloomberg report – “Doctors Say It’s Only a Matter of Time Before Virus Sweeps India” – by Ari Altstedter, Ragini Saxena, Bibhudatta Pradhan and Dhwani Pandya said on March 30, 2020:

“It’s the phone calls at all hours of the night he remembers. As swine flu ravaged northern India in 2015, a radiologist working at a hospital in a Delhi suburb said people would call begging for a bed.

“That outbreak ultimately infected more than 31,000 people and killed nearly 2,000, as many died waiting for treatment. With the far more infectious novel coronavirus now sweeping the globe — and threatening to take hold in India — the doctor, who asked not to be identified criticizing the country’s preparedness to tackle the pandemic, thinks this time will be much worse.

“Cases of Covid-19 in the world’s second-most populous country have ticked rapidly higher the past week, raising alarm over the ability of India, with its fragile health-care system and battered economy, to handle a virus crisis of the magnitude of China or Italy’s. While India has seen 27 deaths and just over 1,000 cases, experts fear the real tally could be much higher and say the disease is already spreading in the community. Authorities say there’s no evidence for this and have not significantly ramped up testing.

“In the country’s already stretched hospitals, though, concern is rising.

“Bloomberg News spoke to more than a dozen front-line physicians across India, and while none reported the sort of spike in patients with respiratory ailments that would suggest Covid-19 is already running rampant, all agreed it’s just a matter of time — and that India isn’t ready.

“With its densely packed cities and under-funded medical system, India has little margin for error when it comes to the coronavirus.”

The report said:

“It’s a reality not lost on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which ordered the population of 1.3 billion people not to leave their homes for three weeks on March 24, initiating the world’s largest quarantine even as cases numbered only in the hundreds. But there’s concern it still might not be enough, and such a large-scale lockdown will be difficult to implement, particularly in a place where the poor live in close quarters and the social distancing measures being advocated in the west are almost impossible.

“Along with the lockdown, India has also acted to curb inbound travelers from overseas. Should these measures fail to halt the virus’ spread, though, epidemiologists say the numbers could be staggering. A University of Michigan-run study predicts the country could have 915,000 coronavirus infections by mid-May, more than the case load for the whole world right now.

“‘This is just an interval period,’ said Anup Warrier, an infectious diseases specialist in the southern city of Cochin. Warrier was alarmed when 14 patients turned up at the private hospital where he works this week with symptoms similar to acute cases of Covid-19. They all tested negative.

“‘I do not think this lucky streak is going to last much further,’ he said.

“India acted relatively early to seal off entry points into the country, with international travelers the main vector for the virus’ global spread. That may have stemmed an influx of cases, but the small infection tally – which puts it below places like Finland and Chile – could be because India is not looking hard enough for new cases, with one of the lowest testing rates in the world.

“The country had tested just 35,000 people for coronavirus as of Sunday, according to data from the Indian Council of Medical Research, a minuscule portion given its population size. That’s despite 113 local government laboratories and as many as 47 private labs now authorized to process tests.

“The U.S., which has also been criticized for being late to ramp up testing, had undertaken 552,000 tests as of March 26, while South Korea, which has contained its outbreak without a mass quarantine, has tested more than 320,000 people.

“In viral hot spots like China’s Hubei province, Italy, Spain and now New York, a rapid surge of infections brought a wave of patients to hospitals that exceeded their capacity for critical care. Doctors have been forced to effectively choose who lived and who died through the deployment of scarce resources like ventilators.

“In India, that tipping point – if it comes – will arrive sooner.

“The country spent just 3.7% of gross domestic product on health care in 2016, putting it in the bottom 25 of nations globally, according to the most recent World Bank data. On numbers of doctors, nurses and hospital beds, India ranked similarly near the bottom. While there is a growing private hospital sector, nearly 65% of the population has no health insurance, putting significant pressure on the overcrowded, understaffed and sometimes rundown public hospitals.

“‘If you see the pattern of coronavirus infection in all the countries affected so far, this is the time we expect numbers to climb,’ said a doctor caring for Covid-19 patients in the business hub of Mumbai, who asked not to be named because of growing stigma around the disease. ‘I can’t see why India will be any different.’

“Only one public hospital in Mumbai was initially authorized to test and treat Covid-19 patients. A doctor working there, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak publicly, reported working 24-hour shifts screening cases. People are waiting up to seven hours to get tested, and quarantine areas are overcrowded, he said. Pictures of the hospital shared on Twitter showed a washbasin filled with what looked like vomit, rusted cot frames and a stray cat sitting between beds.

“Mumbai, home to more than 18 million people, appears to be bracing for more cases. There are now three government hospitals allowed to test and treat coronavirus patients, and three quarantine facilities are being prepared.

“India’s national government claims there’s still no evidence of “community spread” of Covid-19, when infections are found that can’t be traced back to a case brought in from abroad. Mass testing would be an unnecessary strain on resources, they say, with each test costing 4,500 rupees ($60). Officials also say a ramp up in testing risks sparking a panic.

“Doctors, meanwhile, are starting to see potentially worrying signs. Mehul Thakkar, a respiratory specialist who splits his time between a private hospital and his own practice in the suburbs of Mumbai, said he and colleagues are seeing an influx of cold and flu cases.

“‘These might be mild Covid-19 cases, but we don’t know yet,’ he said.

“India could face an epidemic worse than Iran or Italy’s, according to T. Jacob John, former head of the Indian Council for Medical Research’s Centre for Advanced Research in Virology, with the virus spreading to as much as 10% of the population — some 130 million people. John worries the lockdown came too late. ‘It is bold and unprecedented — it is also risky,’ said Paul Ananth Tambyah, president of the Asia Pacific Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infection. ‘If the lockdown works and the virus does not get established in India, there is a chance that the virus can be contained globally.’

Pakistan

Pakistan has said the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 is increasing, raising the country’s total number of confirmed patients to 1,495.

Health authorities also report another death of a man in the country’s commercial hub, Karachi, increasing the death toll to 12.

A breakout shows the largest Punjab province has 557 patients, and southern Sindh province has 469.

Southwestern Baluchistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, has 133, and Khyber Pakhtukhwa, which borders Afghanistan, has 188. The Gilgit Baltistan region has 107 patients, while the federal capital, Islamabad, has 39. Pakistan controlled Kashmir has two confirmed cases.

The count shows there is an increase of 87 cases, with seven of the patients stated to be in critical condition.

Brazil court orders government to stop advising against virus isolation

A federal court in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday banned the government from disseminating propaganda against confinement measures aimed at controlling the coronavirus pandemic.

On Thursday night, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro shared a video on Facebook showing a caravan of vehicles celebrating the reopening of businesses and schools in the southern state of Santa Catarina.

Brazil’s president claims: It’s momentary

Brazilian president Bolsonaro has staked out the most deliberately dismissive position of any major world leader, calling the coronavirus pandemic a momentary, minor problem and saying strong measures to contain it are unnecessary.

Bolsonaro called it “a little flu” and said state governors’ aggressive measures to halt the disease were crimes. Bolsonaro said he feels Brazilians’ natural immunity will protect the nation.

“The Brazilian needs to be studied. He does not catch anything. You see a guy jumping into sewage, diving in, right? Nothing happens to him. I think a lot of people were already infected in Brazil, weeks or months ago, and they already have the antibodies that help it not proliferate,” Bolsonaro said. “I’m hopeful that’s really a reality.”

Moscow

The mayor of Moscow ordered all residents of the Russian capital to self-isolate.

Vietnam’s PM asks major cities to prepare for lockdown

Vietnam’s prime minister on Monday asked major cities to prepare for possible lockdowns to stop the spread of coronavirus as the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country reached nearly 200. “Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have to review and update plans to battle the virus, and have to stand ready for city lockdown scenarios,” Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in a statement. “Vietnam has entered the pandemic’s peak period, major cities have to speed up and take advantage of each hour and minute to carry out defined measures,” Phuc said.

Tokyo’s coronavirus infections spike after Olympics delayed

Before the 2020 Olympics were postponed, Japan’s coronavirus infection rate appeared to have been contained. Now that the games have been pushed to next year, Tokyo’s cases are spiking and the city’s governor is requesting that people stay home, even hinting at a possible lockdown. The sudden rise in the number of virus cases in Tokyo and the government’s strong actions immediately after the Olympic postponement have raised questions in parliament and among citizens about whether Japan understated the extent of the outbreak and delayed enforcement of social distancing measures while clinging to hopes that the games would start on July 24 as scheduled.

Nigerian president locks down country’s capital

The Nigerian President said: Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

Portugal

The Portuguese health minister has said a 14-year-old boy with Covid-19 has died. Authorities said the boy had prior health conditions.

Portugal reported on Sunday it has 119 total deaths from the virus and 38,042 infections.

North Macedonia

North Macedonia has reported two more deaths to raise the death toll to six. They are both men in their 30s.

More than 9,000 people in the country of 2.1 million are in quarantine or in self-isolation. The country is under curfew.

Serbia

Pet owners in Serbia are furious over the populist government’s decision to ban even a brief walk for people with dogs during an evening curfew to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Angry dog owners have flooded social networks, warning that the ban could harm their dogs’ health and cause frustration and anxiety for both the animals and their owners.

Veterinarian Nenad Milojkovic said protecting animal rights is a test for a society during hard times such as an epidemic. He said skipping the evening walk could worsen the condition for the dogs with urinary problems and “aggravate basic hygienic conditions in people’s homes.”

Serbia’s government made the decision on Saturday, revoking a previously introduced 20-minute permission for dog owners to walk their pets.

Serbia has imposed some of the harshest measures in Europe against the spread of the new coronavirus, including a total ban on movement for people over 65 years and a curfew from 5pm until 5am.

Norway

Norwegian health authorities say they are set to start performing random coronavirus tests, following the experiment Iceland has done.

Citing officials at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norwegian public broadcaster NRK said on Sunday such random testing among all citizens will provide answers to two key questions: how many of those who appear to be infected actually have the coronavirus and how wide the spread of the virus is.

NRK said Iceland, with its 12,000 random tests among its population of 340,000, has the largest number of tests per capita in the world. Norway, a nation of 5.4 million, has so far reported 4,054 coronavirus cases with 25 deaths.

Syria

Syria has reported the first coronavirus death in the war-torn country, which has five confirmed infections.

State news agency SANA said a woman died on reaching an emergency room and tested positive for the virus, without saying where it happened.

Syria has closed schools, restaurants and nightclubs, and imposed a nighttime curfew last week aimed at preventing the virus’s spread.

Its health care system has been battered by nearly a decade of civil war, leaving the country particularly vulnerable.

Canada

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said he will continue to self-isolate at home even though his wife has recovered from coronavirus.

Australia

Australia has announced that public gatherings will be limited to two people, down from 10, and has enacted a six-month moratorium on evictions for those who cannot pay their rent.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the new measures on Sunday night after earlier in the day flagging a 1.1 billion Australian dollar (£546 million) welfare package.

Australia had 3,966 confirmed cases of the virus as of Sunday, including 16 deaths.

Sweden

The Swedish authorities have advised the public to practice social distancing and to work from home, if possible, and urged those over age 70 to self-isolate as a precaution.

Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, warning of “many tough weeks and months ahead,” announced Friday that as of Sunday, gatherings would be limited to 50 people instead of 500. The government said weddings, funerals and Easter celebrations would be affected.

New Zealand

New Zealand has reported its first death from Covid-19. Health authorities said Sunday the victim was a woman in her 70s.

She was admitted to a West Coast hospital last week with what they initially thought was flu, and hospital staff did not wear full protective equipment.

As a result, 21 members of staff have been put in self-isolation for two weeks.

The country has reported 514 cases of Covid-19. Last Wednesday, New Zealanders began a strict four-week lockdown.

Experts now say people should wear masks

The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention insist that healthy people do not need masks. But as the coronavirus pandemic spreads, some experts are suggesting the opposite. A report in The New York Times said:

“The recent surge in infections in the United States, which has put the country at the center of the epidemic, with more confirmed cases than China, Italy or any other country, means that more Americans are now at risk of getting sick. And healthy individuals, especially those with essential jobs who cannot avoid public transportation or close interaction with others, may need to start wearing masks more regularly. ‘The swift increase in cases to these levels in the U.S. highlights to an even greater degree the importance of implementing and adhering to public health measures,’ said Dr. Robert Atmar, an infectious disease specialist at Baylor College of Medicine. While wearing a mask may not necessarily prevent healthy people from getting sick, and it certainly doesn’t replace important measures such as hand-washing or social distancing, it may be better than nothing, Atmar said.”

Vatican City

Pope Francis is backing the UN chief’s call for a ceasefire in all conflicts raging across the globe to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. He also said his thoughts are with those constrained to live in groups, citing in particular rest homes for the elderly, military barracks and jails.

During his traditional Sunday blessing, the Pope called for “the creation of humanitarian aid corridors, the opening of diplomacy and attention to those who are in situations of great vulnerability”.

He cited UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres’s appeal this past week for a global truce “to focus together on the true fight of our lives” against the coronavirus.

Francis, as he has throughout most of the coronavirus emergency due to bans on public gatherings, addressed the faithful from his private library in the Apostolic Palace, and not from a window overlooking St Peter’s Square as is tradition.

Minister of one of Germany’s wealthiest states commits suicide ‘over coronavirus worries’

The finance minister in the German state of Hesse, Thomas Schaefer, has taken his own life. His colleagues said he was pushed over the edge by the inability to cope with the harsh economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Schaefer’s body was discovered near the speed railway track line in the town of Hochheim am Main on Saturday. The prosecutors said that the cause of his death was most likely suicide.

Hesse is one of the wealthiest states in Germany and home to Frankfurt am Main, which is regarded as the financial capital of Europe’s largest economy. The city hosts the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the European Central Bank (ECB) as well as the HQs of Deutsche Bank and other major German companies.

Schaefer was credited for having contributed to the region’s well-being while serving as its finance minister for the last decade. The 54-year-old’s professional qualities were praised by many, with the man expected to eventually replace Bouffier as the state’s PM.

The coronavirus, however, dealt a massive blow to the system he was so thoroughly tending all those years, sending stocks into a freefall and locking the workforce at home with quarantine.

Schaefer leaves behind a wife and two children. He was working day and night in order to minimize the impact of the pandemic on businesses and employees, but the task turned out to be unsurmountable.


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