The restrictions vary from country to country, and in the United States, vary from state to state

By Rachel DeSantis
April 03, 2020 12:03 PM
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An unusually empty Times Square on March 16
| Credit: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Approximately 4 billion people worldwide — or half the world’s population — are under lockdown orders to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to The New York Times.

The lockdown restrictions and guidelines vary from country to country, but come as the number of coronavirus cases exceeds 1 million across 172 different countries, the Times reported. At least 53,259 people have died since the virus first emerged in late December.

The U.S. government has yet to urge all states to impose their own lockdowns, though President Donald Trump has released social distancing guidelines to follow through the end of April, which include staying home when possible and avoiding gatherings of 10 people or more.

Specific states, however, have issued various stay-at-home orders; governors in states like California, Maryland, North Carolina and New Jersey have said all residents must remain indoors with several exceptions, including grocery shopping and essential jobs.

In late March, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued one of the world’s strictest orders when he announced that all 1.3 billion citizens were on a total lockdown and would not be able to leave their homes for 21 days, the Times reported.

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The call came around the same time China lifted a two-month lockdown of the Hubei province, the Associated Press reported. The city of Wuhan, which has a population of more than 11 million people and is where the virus originated, will stay locked down until April 8.

Over in Europe, countries like France, Italy and the United Kingdom are also under lockdown orders.

The French government ordered citizens to stay inside their homes except for essential travel on March 17 through at least April 15, though Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that the order’s end will likely be more gradual as opposed to lifting it all at once, Reuters reported.

The hard-hit Italy’s lockdown was extended to April 13, according to NPR, while in the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson said police will break up gatherings and fine people who do not obey the stay-at-home order, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, New Zealand has made efforts to stay one step ahead of the virus with a lockdown of its own that closed all offices, schools and non-essential services, according to Reuters.

The White House on Tuesday said that in the United States, a best-case scenario would see between 100,000 and 240,000 coronavirus deaths, with the peak hitting on April 15.

As of Friday afternoon, there have been at least 244,228 cases and 6,257 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the United States, according to the Times.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.