The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus has hit 100,000, according to the running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The sad milestone comes as Christians around the globe mark a Good Friday unlike any other — in front of computer screens instead of in church pews. Meanwhile, some countries are tiptoeing toward reopening segments of their battered economies.
Public health officials are warning people against violating the social distancing rules over Easter and allowing the virus to flare up again. Authorities are using roadblocks and other means to discourage travel.
In Italy, officials employed helicopters, drones and stepped-up police checks to make sure residents didn’t slip out of their homes. On Thursday alone, police stopped some 300,000 people around Italy to check whether they had permission to travel. About 10,000 were issued summonses.
Some churches held services online, while others arranged prayers at drive-in theaters. Fire-scarred Notre Dame Cathedral came back to life briefly in Paris, days before the first anniversary of the April 15 inferno that ravaged it. Services were broadcast from the closed-to-the-public cathedral.
In the US, deaths climbed past 16,700, with close to half in New York state. Still, there were signs of hope.
New York state reported 777 new deaths, down slightly from the day before, for an overall toll of more than 7,800.