What you need to know today about the virus outbreak
By The Associated Press
The mounting death toll from the virus outbreak in the United States has it poised to overtake China’s tally of 3,300 deaths, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying up to 1 million more health care workers are needed in the city.
“Please come help us,” he urged.
There are more than 800,000 global infections and more than 37,000 deaths worldwide.
President Donald Trump backed away from his hopes for an Easter rebirth for the nation’s economy after doctors presented him with grim projections on the coronavirus pandemic.
In ex-communist Eastern Europe and elsewhere, rulers are assuming more power while they introduce harsh measures they say are necessary to halt the coronavirus spread.
In some cells in Iran, Syria and other countries in the Middle East, prisoners are crammed in by the dozens, with little access to hygiene or medical care. So if one person gets infected, the coronavirus could run rampant.
Among the vulnerable prison populations are tens of thousands of political detainees, jailed for advocating for democracy, holding protests or simply criticizing autocratic leaders
Here are some of AP’s top stories Tuesday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
— Officials are relying on statistical models to predict the impact of the outbreak and try to protect as many people as possible. The public could get its first close look at the Trump administration’s own projections today.
— The pandemic has exposed a surprising paradox in Europe: Some of the world’s best health systems are ill-equipped to handle COVID-19 cases. Outbreak experts say Europe’s hospital-centric systems, lack of epidemic experience and early complacency are partly to blame for the pandemic’s catastrophic tear across the continent.
— Federal judges in Texas, Alabama and Ohio have temporarily blocked efforts to ban abortions during the pandemic, handing Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers a victory as clinics across the U.S. filed lawsuits to stop states from trying to shutter them during the outbreak.
— The Los Angeles County Sheriff has retracted an order to close gun stores to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The sheriff said he’s heeding a federal Department of Homeland Security advisory issued on Saturday that listed gun and ammunition dealers as “essential critical infrastructure workers.”
— Churches and evangelical temples in Brazil have landed on the front lines of a battle between state governors, who have introduced quarantine measures designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, and President Jair Bolsonaro, who is actively undermining them.
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.
Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.
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. Here’s how.
TRACKING THE VIRUS: 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.
— 479: The countdown clock is ticking again for the Tokyo Olympics. The digital model outside Tokyo Station was switched on almost immediately after organizers announced the new dates. They will now be held from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021. The clock reads 479 days to go. That seems a long way away but also small and insignificant compared with the worldwide fallout from the coronavirus.
IN OTHER NEWS:
— “An angel:” A South Korean shoe cobbler plans to donate parts of his property to help support people facing economic difficulties now.
— With trips to beloved salons and barbershops on hold because of the coronavirus, some are cutting new bangs, turning to over-the-counter color or picking up electric clippers and scissors to work on the heads of loved ones, while others are letting nature take its course.
— There are changes in many ways people live outside the four walls of home, from social gathering to everyday social interactions. But even in pre-virus times, there were people for whom those things were more pressure than pleasure: introverts, those who largely get their energy from inside themselves and selected interactions with people, as opposed to extroverts. The quarantines and distancing have upended that.
Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak