What You Need To Know Today About the Coronavirus Outbreak

AP News  |

Today, America’s coastlines are streaked with deeper shades of red — California and NewYork in particular. That’s where most of the cases of the coroavirus are. Farther inland, the image grows paler, showing the regions that so far have escaped the worst of the pandemic that has dramatically changed the lives of more than a billion people.

Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.

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India had another record daily jump in coronavirus cases, while Russia reported a steady increase in its caseload even as it moved to swiftly ease restrictions in sync with the Kremlin’s ambitious political plans.

The developments come as the United States crossed a somber landmark of 100,000 coronavirus fatalities, meaning more Americans have died from the virus than were killed in the Vietnam and Korean wars combined.

South Korea reported its biggest jump in coronavirus cases in more than 50 days, a setback that could erase some of the hard-won gains that have made it a model for the rest of the world.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:

— Roughly 2.1 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, a sign that companies are still slashing jobs in the face of a deep recession even as more businesses reopen and rehire some laid-off employees. About 41 million people have applied for aid since the virus outbreak intensified in March.

The president has been claiming extraordinarily sweeping powers during the coronavirus crisis that constitutional and legal scholars say Trump simply doesn’t have. He has threatened to shut down Twitter for flagging false content. He has claimed he can “override” governors who dare to keep churches closed to congregants. And he has asserted the “absolute authority” to force states to reopen.

— Global markets were mostly higher on Thursday as investors pinned their hopes on an economic rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. Shares rose in Paris, London and Tokyo but dropped in Hong Kong, where tensions are flaring about Beijing’s effort to exert more control over the former British colony.

— Spain’s more than 19,000 nursing home deaths are the most across Europe. It’s led to soul-searching over its elder-care system, particularly public nursing homes operated by private firms that seek to turn profits quickly by cutting staff, expenses and, some say, care to the bone.

— The National Museum in Prague has put face masks on display. The Czech government made wearing masks in public mandatory in mid-March. Some of the masks featured in the museum exhibition were made by leading fashion designers, while others are the handiwork of creative home crafters.

— Manhunts have begun after hundreds of people fled quarantine centers in Zimbabwe and Malawi while authorities worry they will spread COVID-19 in countries whose health systems can be rapidly overwhelmed.

— As the coronavirus spreads into indigenous lands in Brazil, a leader of the Kayapo indigenous group tells The Associated Press he wants President Jair Bolsonaro to stop loggers, miners and fishermen from illegally entering the territory, incursions he believes have spread of the virus.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

You should wash your phone, too.

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ONE NUMBER:

— 14 million: The U.N. World Food Program is warning that at least 14 million people could go hungry in Latin America as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. The new projections represent a startling increase, more than four times the 3.4 million who experienced severe food insecurity in 2019.

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Source: AP News

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