The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the state will return more than 400 ventilators of the 500 it has received from the federal government so they can go to New York and other states hit harder by the coronavirus.

The Democratic governor said Sunday that his statewide stay-at-home order and weeks of social distancing have led to slower rates of infections and deaths in Washington.

Washington state has 7,666 confirmed cases of the virus and 322 deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally on Sunday afternoon. New York has more than 122,000 confirmed cases and more than 4,000 deaths.

Washington received 500 ventilators last month from the Strategic National Stockpile.

“I’ve said many times over the last few weeks: We are in this together,” Inslee said. “This should guide all of our actions at an individual and state level in the coming days and weeks.”

South Korea reports 47 new cases of coronavirus

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 47 new cases of the coronavirus and three more fatalities, bringing its totals to 10,284 infections and 186 deaths.

South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday said at least 769 of the infections were linked to passengers arriving from overseas, with most of the cases detected in the past three weeks in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area.

The country’s caseload has slowed from early March, when it was reporting around 500 new cases a day, but officials have raised concern over a steady rise in infections imported from overseas or occurring in hospitals, nursing homes and other live-in facilities.

During the weekend, officials extended a government guideline urging people to social distance to slow the spread of the virus by two weeks, guarding against increasing infections in the Seoul metropolitan area and broadening outbreaks in Europe and the United States.

UN Secretary-General says domestic violence reports on rise during pandemic

UNITED NATIONS — United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says there has been “a horrifying global surge in domestic violence” in recent weeks as fear of the coronavirus pandemic has grown along with its social and economic consequences.

The U.N. chief, who appealed on March 23 for an immediate cease-fire in conflicts around the world to tackle COVID-19, said in a statement Sunday night it is now time to appeal for an end to all violence, “everywhere, now.”

Guterres said that “for many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest — in their own homes.”

“And, so, I make a new appeal today for peace at home — and in homes — around the world,” he said.

The secretary-general said in some countries, which he didn’t name, “the number of women calling support services has doubled.”

At the same time, he said, health care providers and police are overwhelmed and understaffed, local support groups are paralyzed or short of funds, and some domestic violence shelters are closed while others are full.

“I urge all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19,” Guterres said.

British Prime Minister Johnson admitted to a hospital with the coronavirus

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to a hospital with the new coronavirus.

Johnson’s office says he is being admitted for tests because he still has symptoms, 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

Downing St. says the hospitalization is a “precautionary step” and he remains in charge of the government.

Johnson, 55, has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26.

Bronx Zoo tiger tests positive for the coronavirus

NEW YORK — A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus, in what is believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the U.S. or a tiger anywhere, federal officials and the zoo said Sunday.

The 4-year-old Malayan tiger, and six other tigers and lions that have also fallen ill, are believed to have been infected by a zoo employee, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. The first animal started showing symptoms March 27, and all are expected to recover, said the zoo, which has been closed to the public since March 16.

The finding raises new questions about transmission of the virus in animals. The USDA says there are no known cases of the virus in U.S. pets or livestock.

The coronavirus outbreaks around the world are driven by person-to-person transmission, experts say.

There have been reports of a small number of pets outside the United States becoming infected after close contact with contagious people, including a Hong Kong dog that tested positive for a low level of the pathogen in February and early March. Hong Kong agriculture authorities concluded that pet dogs and cats couldn’t pass the virus to human beings but could test positive if exposed by their owners.

Fauci: Very good chance coronavirus “will assume a seasonal nature”

WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci says there a very good chance the new coronavirus “will assume a seasonal nature” because it is unlikely to be under control globally.

Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He says the virus is unlikely to be completely eradicated from the planet this year. That means the U.S. could see the “beginning of a resurgence” during the next flu season.

Fauci says the prospect of a resurgence is the reason the U.S. is working so hard to get its preparedness “better than it was.” He says that includes working to develop a vaccine and conducting clinical trials on therapeutic interventions.

Fauci also says states that don’t have stay-at-home orders are not putting the rest of the country at risk as much as they are putting themselves at risk.

Fauci spoke on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

First U.S. congressman to test positive now virus free

Republican U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, who was the first congressman to test positive for coronavirus, announced on Twitter that he is now virus free.

“Today, after being deemed #COVID19 free by my doctor, I was able to reunite with my family in Miami. Though still a bit weak, I feel well, & I applied to participate in the @RedCross plasma donation to help those with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.”

3M investigates mask shipment diverted from Germany to U.S.

The company 3M said it is working with German authorities to determine whether an incorrect report of one of its mask shipments being diverted to the United States was due to fraud.

Berlin authorities had said last week that a shipment of 200,000 masks intended for Berlin police had been seized in Thailand en route from China.

In a statement Sunday, 3M said it had no record of an order for Berlin police and has offered to help governments verify the authenticity of any offers to sell protective masks, which are used to prevent the spread of coronavirus to health workers and others.

68 virus-related deaths in one day in Louisiana

Louisiana health officials reported 68 coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, marking the state’s biggest jump in reported deaths since the outbreak began.

The Louisiana Department of Health reported the figures on its website Sunday. The number of infections reported to the state also increased by more than 500 cases from 12,496 to 13,010.

Before Sunday, the largest number of deaths reported in a single day was 60. The numbers represent when the tests were reported to the state, not necessarily when the infections or deaths occurred.

Louisiana and the New Orleans area have been an epicenter for the virus, and Gov. John Bel Edwards has repeatedly warned of looming shortages for ventilators and intensive care units.

ACLU argues Puerto Rico curfew unconstitutional

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The ACLU says it is seeking an injunction to block part of Puerto Rico’s strict curfew against the new coronavirus and argues that some of its restrictions are unconstitutional.

The curfew imposed March 15 has shuttered non-essential businesses in the U.S. territory and ordered people to stay home from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. and remain there even outside those hours unless they have to buy food or medicine, go to the bank or have an emergency or health-related situation.

Violators face a $5,000 fine or a six-month jail term, and police have cited hundreds of people. A spokesman for the U.S. territory’s Justice Department said Sunday there was no immediate comment.

It is the first time the ACLU has decided to file a lawsuit in a U.S. jurisdiction related to a coronavirus curfew.

Americans brace for ‘hardest, saddest’ week of their lives

NEW YORK — Americans braced for what the nation’s top doctor warned Sunday would be “the hardest and saddest week” of their lives while Britain assumed the unwelcome mantle of deadliest coronavirus hotspot in Europe after a record 24-hour jump in deaths that surpassed even hard-hit Italy.

“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment,’’ U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told “Fox News Sunday.”

New York City, the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, saw a glimmer of hope, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying that daily deaths had dropped slightly, along with intensive care admissions and the number of patients who needed breathing tubes inserted.

Still, he warned that it was “too early to tell” the significance of those numbers.

Read the rest of the story here.

Palm Sunday services in some Kentucky churches in defiance of governor’s warning

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Some Kentucky churches held Palm Sunday services in defiance of Gov. Andy Beshear’s warning against in-person worship.

Dozens of people were at Maryville Baptist Church in Louisville on Sunday, news outlets reported. A video showed a pianist playing and choir members singing during the late morning service.

Louisville’s Our Savior Lutheran Church streamed its in-person service live on YouTube. The church had required online registration beforehand and restricted seating to every other pew. The video stream did not show the audience.

Beshear warned during his daily briefing on Saturday that mass gatherings “are spreading the coronavirus.

“We care about each other in this state, and our faith guides us and gives us the wisdom to do the right thing to protect each other.”

Some states, including Florida, have made exemptions to allow religious gatherings to proceed during the coronavirus. Kentucky does not have that exemption.

Trudeau thinks Canada can get masks from U.S.

TORONTO — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s confident Canada will still be able to import N95 protective masks from the U.S. despite an export ban. He plans to speak to U.S. President Trump in the coming days.

Trump has said he will block exports of the masks from the United States to ensure they are available in the U.S. for use during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trudeau notes Canada supplies the U.S. with many supplies including pulp for surgical-grade N95 masks, test kits and gloves. Canadian nurses also work in the U.S.

Trudeau says it would be harmful to both nations if the flow of those goods and services stopped.

Manufacturing giant 3M say there are significant humanitarian implications in not sending N95 masks to health care workers in Canada and Latin America, where 3M is a critical supplier of respirators.

Trump has said the U.S. wants the masks and he doesn’t want others getting them. But has also said 3M can sell to other countries but the company needs to take care of the U.S.

Newfoundland premier says he’s infuriated by import ban

TORONTO — The premier of the Canadian province that sheltered thousands of stranded American airline passengers after the 9/11 attacks says he’s infuriated that U.S. President Trump banned the export of N95 protective masks to Canada.

Newfoundland Premier Dwight Ball says one of the great lessons in humanity is that in times of crisis you don’t stop being human. He noted that in 2001 his province stepped up in the biggest way possible without being asked.

Ball says he can’t believe Trump would even think about banning key medical supplies to Canada. He says this is a time to work together no matter the passport. More than 6,600 passengers descended on Gander, Newfoundland, a town of 10,000 without warning. Canadians took care of them. The premier says Newfoundland and Labrador will never give up on humanity and would do it again.

Biden says national convention may be online

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joe Biden says the Democratic National Convention that has already been delayed until August may need to be held virtually.

Biden said on ABC’s “This Week” it may not be possible to put tens of thousands of people in one place.

Biden has a commanding lead in delegates and needs to clinch his party’s presidential nomination as the coronavirus’ spread continues to reshape the race for the White House.

Biden says he plans to wear a mask in public. That conforms with federal guidelines that Americans use face coverings in public places. But it contradicts President Donald Trump, who says he’s choosing not do that.

“He may not like how he looks in a mask, but the truth of the matter is that follow the science,” Biden said. “That’s what they’re telling us.”

Former Libyan PM dies from coronavirus

CAIRO — Former Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril died in the Egyptian capital of Cairo from COVID-19. The announcement was made on his official Facebook on Sunday. He was 67.

Jibril tested positive for the new coronavirus late in March.

Egypt’s state-run media also reported his death. Jibril was a senior Gadhafi economic adviser and protege to Seif al-Islam, son and presumed heir to Libya’s longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi.

He broke with Gadhafi’s regime in the early days of the 2011 NATO-backed rebellion that toppled and later killed Gadhafi. He quickly managed to reinvent himself as a rebel leader through his international ties, which included fluent English from his advanced degrees at the University of Pittsburgh. He also had backing from his powerful Warfalla tribe.

Jibril had established a secular-leaning allegiance, the National Forces Alliance, in 2012 in efforts to hold off Islamist rivals after the overthrow and killing of Gadhafi in 2011.

Pakistan quarantines airline crew

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s state-owned airline has quarantined the crew of a Pakistan International Airlines flight upon its return to the southern Arabian Port city of Karachi from London. The crew is being tested for the new coronavirus.

The flight returned empty to Karachi after returning Britons stranded in Pakistan. All flights from Karachi have been temporarily suspended until the test results are returned and the crew is cleared.

Pakistan has 2,899 confirmed cases of COVID 19 and 45 deaths. Another 170 patients have recovered.

Spanish PM proposes “new Marshall Plan”

MADRID — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has published an editorial in several European newspapers to press for his proposed “new Marshall Plan” for Europe to act together in sharing the burden of the coronavirus crisis.

Sánchez wrote Sunday that European Union members must do all they can to help their hardest hit partners recover from the financial and economic impacts of the pandemic. If not, he said “we will fail as a union.”

The Spanish Socialist leader said that he approves of the measures already taken, which include an EU jobs plan and the European Central Bank mobilizing lines of credit. But he says that’s not enough.

Spain, Italy and France have had over 34,000 combined deaths from the virus and other countries want the EU to issue joint European debt to spread the costs. Germany and the Netherlands have rejected that.

“Europe must build a wartime economy and promote European resistance, reconstruction and recovery,” Sánchez wrote. He said the world is at a critical juncture at which “even the most fervently pro-European countries and governments” need proof of commitment.

He wrote: “We need unwavering solidarity.”

In a separate editorial in Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also threw her weight behind the idea of a “Marshall Plan for Europe.” She wrote the crisis was an opportunity to renew the feeling of community among European nations.

The former German defense minister wrote that today’s leaders had a responsiblity to make “smart and sustainable” investments now to ensure the stability for the future.

Putin to continue working remotely

MOSCOW — The spokesman for Vladimir Putin says the Russian president will continue working remotely for at least another week amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dmitry Peskov said on state television Putin and people who work with him are being tested regularly.

Russia’s coronavirus task force says the number of infections in the country was 5,389, which is up almost 700 than the previous day. There have been 45 deaths recorded.

Rome discharges more patients than it admits

ROME — Rome’s main hospital for treating COVID-19 infections says more patients were discharged than admitted for the first time since Italy’s outbreak began.

Spallanzani Hospital’s daily bulletin on coronavirus cases was another positive sign that Italy’s rigid lockdown measures have apparently slowed the contagion. The lockdown has been four weeks now.

Health authorities in Lombardy said last week overwhelmed hospitals were starting to feel some relief. The northern region has more than half of Italy’s 15,000 deaths.

Spallanzani had treated the first known COVID-19 cases in Italy, which was a vacationing Chinese couple who fell sick in late January. They were discharged last month.

China sends France 4 million masks

PARIS — An Airbus plane has traveled from China to France and returned with a cargo of 4 million face masks.

The European multinational said in a statement that the flight landing in France on Sunday morning was its third such mission between China and France.

Airbus says it is continuing “to purchase and supply millions of face masks from China.”

It added the large majority of the masks will be donated to governments of the Airbus home countries, which are predominately France, Germany, Spain and the U.K.

Sri Lanka puts on concerts for quarantined

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka’s military troops and police personnel are performing musical programs to boost the mental health of citizens under lockdown during coronavirus pandemic.

The programs cater to people living in apartments who can’t leave due to the curfew. Music bands go to each of the apartments and perform on a makeshift stage.

Sri Lanka has been under a countrywide curfew since March 20. Police are strictly imposing the curfew. There have been 13,716 people arrested for violating curfew and 3,423 vehicles seized.

Curfew will be lifted for eight hours in 19 districts on Monday to allow people to buy food and other essentials. The curfew in six other districts which have been identified as high-risk areas will continue indefinitely.

Five people have died due to the virus in Sri Lanka and the total number of confirmed cases are at 166.

South Sudan records first case

JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN — Officials in South Sudan say the country has recorded its first case of COVID-19. It makes it the 51st of Africa’s 54 countries to have the disease.

First Vice President Riek Machar and the U.N. mission in South Sudan confirmed the positive case of a U.N. worker who arrived in the country from the Netherlands on Feb. 28.

Officials say the patient is a 29-year-old woman who is in quarantine and recovering.

South Sudan has 11 million people but Machar says the country currently has four ventilators. South Sudan has already imposed a night curfew and closed its borders to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Private Czech pilots volunteer to fly medical equipment

PRAGUE — More than 300 pilots in the Czech Republic have joined forces in a group of volunteers who use their private planes to distribute medical equipment all across the country.

The “Pilots to the People” project is meant to help the state authorities fighting the epidemic of the coronavirus “to deliver supplies to any place in the country as soon as possible.”

The service is offered free of charge and the pilots pay for the gas. There’s a network of some 200 airports in the country they can use, making it possible to efficiently serve the entire country.

The group says their goal is to transport the material to any hospital, clinic or any other place where it’s needed in within two hours.

Dan Stastny, one of the founders of the project told The Associated Press on Sunday. that besides the speed, they “can land at any sort of airstrip for ultralight planes which is a great advantage.”

The volunteers mostly include amateurs, sport and small planes pilots.

Separatist group suspends guerrilla activity

BANGKOK — A Muslim separatist group in Thailand has announced it is suspending guerrilla activity to facilitate humanitarian access during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Barisan Revolusi Nasional says in a statement posted Sunday on its Facebook page that it was acting “in order to create a safer and more suitable environment … for health care agencies and other organizations tasked with preventing and containing the outbreak of Coronavirus.”

It says its suspension will remain in effect as long as the group is not attacked by government forces.

The group, generally known as the BRN, has been leading a loose alliance fighting for autonomy for Thailand’s three southernmost provinces, the only ones with Muslim majorities in the predominantly Buddhist nation. About 7,000 people have been killed since the conflict flared up in 2004.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday that warring parties in 11 countries had responded positively to his appeal for a global cease-fire to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Migrant facility in Greece on lockdown

ATHENS, Greece — Greece has put a migrant facility outside Athens on lockdown for 14 days after a 53-year-old Afghan developed coronavirus symptoms Saturday afternoon.

Authorities say the man has been taken to an Athens hospital and is under “full medical evaluation.” They have not specified the seriousness of his condition.

The lockdown began Sunday morning. The facility is called an “open” one in official parlance, meaning the migrants there could leave and enter as they wished.

There are about 2,500 migrants living there, not all of whom are registered, according to Mihalis Hassiotis, a municipal councillor of Oropos, a town north of Athens where the facility is located.

The migrants stay in containers in crowded conditions. Hassiotis says the facility was designed initially for 500 and expanded over the years.

Infection rate slowing in Spain

MADRID — The rate of the coronavirus outbreak continues to slow in Spain, the country with the second most infections behind the United States.

Spain recorded 6,023 confirmed new infections on Sunday, taking the national tally to 130,759. That is down from an increase of 7,026 infections in the previous 24-hour period, confirming the downward tendency of the past week.

Confirmed new deaths also dropped to 674 fatalities, taking the national tally to 12,418. That is the first time new deaths have fallen below 800 new fatalities in the past week.

As its outbreak loses steam, Spain’s government has started to cautiously consider when it can start to reactivate an economy that has been shut down and put hundreds of thousands out of work.

“We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told the nation Saturday.

But to get there, Sánchez announced that he would ask the Parliament to extend the state of emergency by two more weeks, taking the lockdown on mobility until April 26. He added that a team of experts is also studying how to plan for a gradual loosening of restrictions to reactive the country’s dormant economy and social life.

Dutch send supplies to Caribbean

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A Dutch military transport plane carrying a mobile field hospital made up of six intensive care beds is on its way to the Caribbean nation of Sint Maarten to help fight the coronavirus.

The Dutch government says the C-17 plane that left a military airbase in Eindhoven early Sunday morning was also carrying equipment to set up a further six IC beds in the semi-autonomous nation’s hospital, along with protective gear and medicines.

Dutch State Secretary for Health Paul Blokhuis says the country is closely cooperating with Sint Maarten and other Caribbean islands that make up part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands “to rein in the spread of corona as much as possible and at the same time provide the best care possible for corona patients.”

According to figures released April 2 by the government of Sint Maarten, 23 people have tested positive and two people have died in the outbreak. The half-island nation has a population of some 41,000.

 


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