HomeCoronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Official Says Some Areas Will Have to Wait for Medical Supplies; National and Global Tolls RiseBusinessCoronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Official Says Some Areas Will Have to Wait for Medical Supplies; National and Global Tolls Rise

Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Official Says Some Areas Will Have to Wait for Medical Supplies; National and Global Tolls Rise

The governors of multiple states and other leaders made urgent pleas on Sunday for masks and other protective equipment to help fight the swelling outbreak, imploring the federal government to do more to increase the products’ availability.

California officials told hospitals to restrict coronavirus testing, and a hospital in Washington State warned that it could run out of life-preserving ventilators by early next month. ​Washington State’s Department of Health told local leaders that only the highest-priority areas would have access to the government’s reserves of protective equipment, including N95 masks.

As the number of cases in the United States crossed 29,000, local elected officials across the country have called on President Trump to use his authority under the Defense Production Act to mobilize the private sector to increase the production of scarce goods.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, which reported more than 750 cases, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that states continued to compete against one another in a race to procure protective gear as it became available.

“This should have been a coordinated effort by the federal government,” said Mr. Pritzker, a Democrat. “It’s a wild — Wild West, I would say, out there.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, also a Democrat, said on ABC’s “This Week” that the state needed “clear directive and guidance from the federal government.”

“Had the federal government really started focusing when it became clear that the whole world was going to be confronting this, we would be in a stronger position right now,” she said. “And that’s an issue I’m not going to belabor because I’ve got to keep solving problems and I would like the federal government to be a partner.”

In many cases, state and local officials are trying to strike a balance between sounding the alarm about their supply shortage and withholding sharp criticism of the Trump administration’s role in addressing those shortages as they lean on the federal government to provide critical aid.

Mr. Pritzker and Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey, a Democrat, praised the work of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for having fulfilled a fraction of their supply requests.

But Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” Mr. Trump would “not lift a finger to help his hometown” and repeatedly called for the military to be mobilized.

“If the president does not act,” Mr. de Blasio said, “people will die who could have lived otherwise.”

On “State of the Union,” Peter T. Gaynor, the F.E.M.A. administrator, said that the federal government was focused on places hit hardest: New York, California and Washington. Other areas not severely affected by the outbreak would simply have to wait.

“There’s hundreds of requests — virtually every state in the union looking for the same thing, and it’s not just the demand nationally, it’s a demand globally for these items,” he said.

He added, “If you don’t need it right away, you’re going to be a little bit farther down the list.”

Mr. Trump has so far declined to to use his authority under the Defense Production Act, Mr. Gaynor said, and is instead using the threat of the act as “leverage to demonstrate that we can.”

Mr. Trump said in a tweet on Sunday that Ford, General Motors and Tesla were being approved to make ventilators and other “metal products.”

“Go for it auto execs, lets see how good you are?” Mr. Trump said.

Pressed on the number of supplies like masks that the government has distributed, Mr. Gaynor declined to say.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, said there were still not enough supplies at hospitals in her district, and argued that places where the epidemic was not as severe could ill afford to wait.

“The fact that the president has not really invoked the Defense Production Act for the purposes of emergency manufacturers is going to cost lives,” she said on “State of the Union.”

A sharp increase in confirmed coronavirus cases in New York State on Sunday indicated that the state now accounts for roughly 5 percent of coronavirus cases worldwide.

The jump stemmed from both the rapid growth of the outbreak and a significant increase in testing in the state. Health officials emphasized that testing was revealing how quickly the virus had spread.

There are now 15,168 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state, up 4,812 since Saturday, and 114 deaths, Mr. Cuomo said. About 13 percent, or 1,974 people in New York who tested positive for the virus, were hospitalized, Mr. Cuomo said.

The governor also took issue with what he called the “insensitive” and “arrogant” behavior of New York City residents who continued to gather in parks and other public spaces. Mr. Cuomo indicated that he would give the city 24 hours to come up with a plan to reduce density in these spaces, which he would need to approve.

“I don’t know what I’m saying that people don’t get,” Mr. Cuomo said, suggesting that city officials could close some streets to traffic to give residents more outdoor space.

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York warned that the city’s hospitals were straining under a deluge of cases, and he again called on President Trump to send more help.

“April is going to be worse than March,” he said. “And I fear May will be worse than April.”

Also on Sunday, Mr. Cuomo said the Federal Emergency Management Agency would build four hospitals with a total of 1,000 beds at the sprawling Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s West Side.

Mr. Cuomo also said that he supported continued testing for the virus, and that he wanted the federal government to test people for antibodies indicating they had recovered from the virus, in part to help combat health care worker shortages.

Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, has tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced in a statement on Sunday. He is the first senator and the third member of Congress to test positive.

Mr. Paul “is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events,” his office said on Twitter, and he has since self-quarantined. His Washington office began operating remotely 10 days ago, the statement said, and “hence virtually no staff has had contact” with him. The statement did not detail how long Mr. Paul had been in quarantine.

Two other members of Congress — Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, Republican of Florida and Representative Ben McAdams, Democrat of Utah — have also tested positive for the virus. Over a dozen others have since self-isolated after coming into contact with them or other individuals who had also tested positive for Covid-19. But as the Senate continues to meet in a bid to cut a deal on a massive rescue package, lawmakers have largely taken few precautions to comply with public health guidance.

Some 3,500 doctors and other health workers in Spain have tested positive for the coronavirus, accounting for roughly 12 percent of the country’s roughly 28,500 cases, the Spanish health ministry said on Sunday, as authorities moved to extend countrywide emergency measures two more weeks.

The toll on health workers came amid some reports that hospital staffs had been forced to work without face masks and other basic protective gear. The number of dead in Spain rose by about 400 overnight to reach 1,753 on Sunday.

In the coming days, the Spanish army will also be deployed in greater numbers across the country, including to help transfer patients to hospitals.

“The wave that we’re going to suffer will be very hard, very hard in the coming weeks,” Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said in a televised news conference on Sunday.

The World Health Organization’s top emergency expert said on Sunday that lockdowns could not prevent a resurgence of the virus.

“What we really need to focus on is finding those who are sick, those who have the virus, and isolate them, find their contacts and isolate them,” the expert, Mike Ryan, said in an interview on the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show.” “If we don’t put in place the strong public health measures now, when those movement restrictions and lockdowns are lifted, the danger is the disease will jump back up.”

  • Among the dead in Spain was Lorenzo Sanz, a former president of the soccer powerhouse Real Madrid, who died on Saturday, becoming the most prominent person to succumb to the virus in Spain to date. Mr. Sanz, 76, led the soccer club from 1995 to 2000. The Madrid region has been the epicenter of the Spanish coronavirus crisis, with more than 800 deaths.

  • Italy reported 3,957 new cases on Sunday and the country’s total reached 59,138. There were also 651 deaths, with the total reaching 5,476. But the increases in both numbers were lower than reported a day earlier, and officials hoped that the lockdowns and other restrictive measures were working.

  • Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece on Sunday announced “a ban on all unnecessary movement by citizens across the country.” As of 6 a.m. Monday, only those who are going to or from work, buying food, visiting a doctor or pharmacy, taking brief exercise or walking a pet will be allowed on the streets, Mr. Mitsotakis said. All citizens must carry their police identity cards or passports with them. Greece reported a total of 624 cases.

  • A quake struck on Sunday near the Croatian capital, Zagreb, complicating quarantine measures and sending residents pouring into the streets during a partial lockdown. A 15-year-old was reported to be in critical condition and others were injured, news outlets reported. It was the strongest earthquake to hit the city since 1880. Croatia has 235 cases.

  • Uzbekistan, which has reported 42 cases, said the country’s borders with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan would be closed to everyone except foreign citizens leaving the country and international cargo haulers. From Wednesday, anyone not wearing a mask in a public place will be fined.

  • In Iran, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rejected a reported offer of U.S. assistance, citing an unfounded conspiracy theory that the virus was “created by America.” The country has more than 21,000 cases. The French medical charity M.S.F., or Doctors Without Borders, said it was setting up a 50-bed emergency center to treat severe Covid-19 cases.

  • Cases in the Czech Republic rose to 1,047, Health Ministry data showed, and 15,584 people had been tested as of Saturday.

  • Belgium is heading into “the peak of the epidemic, after which the curve will go down,” the country’s health minister, Maggie de Bock, said on Twitter. There were 3,400 confirmed cases and 75 deaths as of Sunday in the nation of 10 million, which hosts the European Union institutions. Over the weekend, police vans were deployed in Brussels neighborhoods asking people to stay indoors.

  • France, one of the countries in Europe hit the hardest, raised its totals to 14,459 confirmed cases and 562 deaths, and said it had ordered more than 250 million face masks from French and foreign suppliers. In an interview on French TV on Sunday, Health Minister Olivier Véran announced the first death of a French doctor from the virus. Inmates in several prisons have protested the government’s confinement measures.

  • In Pakistan, where Prime Minister Imran Khan has resisted implementing a total lockdown, provincial governments are calling for one that comes with strict measures for those who violate it. Several provinces have sought help from the military, which is setting up temporary medical facilities and deploying doctors to help provide civilian medical services.

  • India observed its first so-called people’s curfew on Sunday, with millions staying indoors and emerging only for a few minutes at 5 p.m. to ring bells and bang on steel plates. The country has reported around 350 cases, relatively low for its population of 1.3 billion. The authorities also shut down metro lines and interstate passenger trains on Sunday.

  • Afghanistan on Sunday confirmed its first coronavirus death — a 40-year-old man in northern Balkh Province — as the total number of confirmed cases in the country rose to 34. Testing remains extremely low. With as many as 15,000 people arriving daily from Iran, one of the worst-hit countries, Afghanistan remains extremely vulnerable.

  • At the Vatican, Pope Francis on Sunday called for a moment of collective prayer: He asked all Christians to recite the Lord’s Prayer together at noon on March 25. “Let’s remain united,” the pope said, “and be close to those who are alone and in greatest need.” He blessed an empty St. Peter’s Square.

The residents of California, New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Connecticut — some 82 million people, roughly a quarter of the country’s population — are being told to stay indoors as much as possible, while nonessential businesses are required to keep all workers at home.

Examples of essential businesses include grocery and convenience stores, restaurants offering takeout or delivery, pharmacies, banks, laudromats, child care providers, veterinary services, auto repair shops, and manufacturers.

Healthy people generally can leave their homes for groceries and medicines, and to exercise and take walks, as long as they keep six feet away from others.

States are also adopting special rules to protect older residents and those with compromised immune systems. In New York, for example, those who are over 70 and those with underlying medical conditions can go outside, but only for solitary exercises like hiking and running. They must also wear masks if they are in the company of others.

It is unclear how the orders can be enforced, but the idea is simple: People should generally stay home unless they have an urgent need to go outside or for certain allowable purposes.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday that bipartisan negotiations over an economic relief package were nearing completion and that he expected a vote on stimulus legislation on Monday morning.

It is set to be the third piece of stimulus legislation passed by Congress in recent weeks.

The package, which is expected to approach $2 trillion dollars, is designed to help small businesses keep their workers employed and offer direct payments to many Americans as more and more of the U.S. economy comes to a halt because of the coronavirus.

“We’ve ordered a major part of the economy to shut down, and the president wants to protect them,” Mr. Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Mr. Mnuchin said the latest relief package would include loans for small businesses, enhanced unemployment insurance benefits, and a direct deposit to most Americans. The current plan includes one such payment, and Mr. Mnuchin said another would be considered if the crisis persists.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said he hoped to finalize the bill’s text as early as possible on Sunday to ensure that senators could review it before a procedural vote at 3 p.m. “Republicans and Democrats have worked together to produce a compromise that should be able to pass the Senate with an overwhelming bipartisan majority,” he said on Saturday.

A spokesman for Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the minority leader, said on Saturday night that an agreement on the draft legislation had not yet been reached, but that Democrats looked forward to “negotiating a bipartisan compromise.”

The Federal Reserve, Mr. Mnuchin said, is prepared to wield its emergency lending powers more broadly to assist large corporations, a move aimed at injecting trillions of dollars in liquidity into the economy.

He said that the hospital industry would probably receive about $110 billion in federal funds to help medical centers manage the influx of patients.

The government hopes the stabilization efforts can buttress the economy for the next 90 to 120 days so that businesses can quickly reopen and the economy can experience a sharp rebound once the virus is contained, Mr. Mnuchin said.

Airlines, which are struggling to save their companies and the jobs they provide, have meanwhile offered congressional leaders an unusual deal.

If Congress approves at least $29 billion in grants for the industry, the executives said they would commit to no furloughs or layoffs through August. If an equal amount in loans is passed, they would commit to limiting executive compensation and freezing stock buybacks and dividends for the life of the loan.

Communities living in warmer places appear to have a comparative advantage to slow the transmission of the coronavirus, according to an early analysis by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The researchers found that most cases occurred in regions with low temperatures, between 37.4 and 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit (or 3 and 17 degrees Celsius).

“Wherever the temperatures were colder, the number of the cases started increasing quickly,” said Qasim Bukhari, a computational scientist at M.I.T. who is a co-author of the study. “You see this in Europe, even though the health care there is among the world’s best.”

The temperature dependency is also clear within the United States, Dr. Bukhari said. Arizona, Florida and Texas have seen slower outbreak growth compared with Washington, New York and Colorado. Coronavirus cases in California have grown at a rate that falls somewhere in between.

Dr. Bukhari acknowledged that factors like travel restrictions, social distancing measures, variations in the availability of tests and hospital burdens might have affected the number of cases in different locations.

The combination of heat and high humidity that appears to reduce transmission comes mainly in July and August for much of the Northern Hemisphere, Dr. Bukhari cautioned.

“This suggests that even if the spread of the coronavirus decreases at higher humidity, its effect would be limited for regions above 40 degrees North, which includes most of the Europe and North America,” he said.

And because so much is unknown, no one can predict whether the virus will return with ferocity in the fall.

President Trump sent a letter to North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, expressing willingness to help the North battle the coronavirus, according to North Korea, which responded by expressing gratitude.

“I would like to extend sincere gratitude to the U.S. president for sending his invariable faith to the Chairman,” Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader’s sister and policy aide, said in a statement carried by the North’s state-run Korean​ Central​ News Agency. Ms. Kim lauded Mr. Trump’s decision to write the letter as “a good judgment and proper action.”

In the letter, Mr. Trump “wished the family of the Chairman and our people well-being,” Ms. Kim said, referring to her brother by one of his official titles. She said Mr. Trump had also expressed a desire to move relations between the two countries forward.

The White House confirmed that Mr. Trump had sent Mr. Kim a letter but did not comment on its specifics.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim have repeatedly touted their unusual relationship. But relations between Pyongyang and Washington ​have cooled since the leaders’ second summit meeting, held in Vietnam in February of last year, collapsed over differences regarding how quickly North Korea should dismantle its nuclear weapons program and when Washington should ease sanctions.

The move came as the White House has signaled that American companies are increasing efforts to restock hospitals with crucial supplies during the pandemic, but it has stopped short of more assertive steps that some state and local leaders have been demanding.

Vice President Mike Pence said at a news conference at the White House on Saturday that the federal government had ordered hundreds of millions of N-95 masks for health care facilities, but he did not say when they would be delivered.

The White House’s moves appeared unlikely to satisfy calls for more aggressive action as the nation grappled with a reorientation of American life. More than 21,000 cases have been confirmed in the United States, a number expected to soar in the coming weeks.

Gov. David Ige of Hawaii has ordered a mandatory 14-day quarantine for everyone arriving in Hawaii, including tourists and returning residents.

Starting on Thursday, returning residents are to quarantine in their homes, and visitors are to stay in their hotel rooms or rented lodgings. They are to leave only to seek medical care.

“The threat of Covid-19 is extremely serious, and it requires extreme actions,” Mr. Ige said in a news conference on Saturday.

Mr. Ige said in a Facebook post that failure to follow the order would be punishable by a fine of up to $5,000, up to a year’s imprisonment or both. The Hawaii Department of Health on Saturday reported 48 cases of coronavirus in the state, an increase of 11 from the day before.

The governor said the delay in putting the order in place was to give tourists time to cancel or postpone their trips, which he said he hoped they would do.

“We know that our economy will suffer from this action,” he said, adding that the move was necessary so that the state’s health care system is not overwhelmed.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain had stern advice for the nation as it celebrated Mother’s Day: Don’t visit your mother.

“If your mother is elderly or vulnerable, then I am afraid all the statistics show that she is much more likely to die from the coronavirus,” Mr. Johnson wrote in an opinion article published by The Times of London. “We cannot disguise or sugarcoat the threat.”

The message came as local news outlets reported that the National Health Service planned to send personally addressed letters to 1.5 million people judged most likely to die from the disease, saying they should isolate themselves for the next 12 weeks.

People with any of more than a dozen serious conditions — including cancer and respiratory diseases — and transplant patients will receive the letter from their general practitioners in the next 24 hours. Of those affected, 40 percent are over the 75, The Sunday Times reported. All people over 70 in the country had already been advised to observe stringent social distancing.

The move came after the N.H.S. said it had struck a deal with independent hospitals on Saturday for about 20,000 extra staff members; 8,000 more hospital beds across England, of which at least 2,000 will be in London; about 1,200 extra ventilators; and more than 10,000 nurses and 700 doctors joining the system to help tackle the pandemic.

It is the first time such a deal has been agreed to, the N.H.S. said.

“We’re dealing with an unprecedented global health threat and are taking immediate and exceptional action to gear up,” Simon Stevens, the services’s chief executive, said in a statement.

The measures came after the government had for days refused more stringent measures. But Mr. Johnson then announced the shutdown of pubs, cafes, restaurants, clubs, gyms and theaters from Friday night. As of Sunday, the country had more than 5,000 cases and 233 deaths.

The government is also working to repatriate hundreds of Britons who have been stranded in Peru since that country announced a lockdown last week. Britain’s Foreign Office said in an email on Sunday that a flight would leave Peru for Britain early this week and that it was working to arrange further flights in the coming days.

To fight the spread of the coronavirus, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany on Sunday announced groups of more than two people, except for families, would be banned, as officials prepared to make 150 billion euros, more than $160 billion, available to help the country weather the fallout.

The new social distancing rule appeared to be among the strictest placed by any country on movement outside the home, as number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany had risen to more than 23,900 by Sunday, with more than 90 deaths.

Ms. Merkel’s announcement, after a telephone conference with the governors of Germany’s 16 states, fell in line with restrictions put in place by the state of Bavaria, which on Friday restricted all movement outside the home, except for trips for shopping, work, doctor’s visits and exercise.

Germany also planned to take on new debt for the first time since adopting a law requiring a balanced budget after the 2008 financial crisis. It will enact an exception to the law to allow the government borrow tens of billions of euros to help companies survive the looming recession and secure millions of jobs.

The measure is expected to be passed by Ms. Merkel’s government on Monday and voted on in Parliament later in the week.

Ms. Merkel, meanwhile, demonstrated what responsible shopping looks like in times of the coronavirus, when she was spotted at her local supermarket in Berlin this weekend. Keeping her distance from other shoppers, a smiling Ms. Merkel dropped cherries, soap, several bottles of wine and toilet paper — one pack — into her shopping cart, photos on social media showed.

Officials on Sunday reported the first two coronavirus cases in the densely populated Gaza Strip, where aid workers say the virus’s spread could quickly lead to a public health disaster.

Two Palestinian men who had been in Pakistan and then entered Gaza via Egypt have tested positive for the virus, said Yousef Abu Al-Reesh, the deputy health minister in Gaza. The men, ages 62 and 79, are being treated in a field hospital in Rafah.

Health officials said they had quarantined a number of people who interacted with the men.

International aid groups have been bracing for the arrival of the coronavirus in Gaza, an impoverished coastal enclave where medical facilities have eroded under a 13-year blockade maintained by Israel and Egypt.

The United Nations has been leading an effort to obtain testing kits and protective gear for medical workers for Gaza, and a team was headed there on Sunday to assess whether its quarantine and intensive care facilities were up to the task, said Jamie McGoldrick, the U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator for Palestine.

He said that about 1,000 people had returned to Gaza from abroad during the coronavirus pandemic; 2,000 more are still expected and will need to be screened and quarantined as they arrive.

Officials of Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, said this weekend that they would close all restaurants, wedding halls and weekly markets.

Just days ago, funerals in Gaza were still drawing large crowds, Mr. McGoldrick said. “Hopefully, this will ring an alarm bell and people will become much more worried and disciplined in how they move around,” he said.

Italy has imposed a lockdown, deployed the army and risked its economy to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Yet its toll is growing more staggering by the day: By Sunday the country had more than 53,500 cases and over 4,800 deaths, surpassing China as the country with the highest death toll.

Italy’s struggle is increasingly being seen as a tragic warning for other countries to heed, in part because it is paying the price of early mixed messages by scientists and politicians. The people who have died in staggering numbers recently were mostly infected during the confusion of a week or two ago.

The government has sent in the army to enforce the lockdown in Lombardy, the northern region at the center of the outbreak, where bodies have piled up in churches. On Friday night, the authorities tightened the nationwide lockdown, closing parks, banning outdoor activities including walking or jogging far from home.

On Saturday night, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced another drastic step in response to what he called the country’s most difficult crisis since World War II: Italy will close its factories and all production that is not absolutely essential, an enormous economic sacrifice intended to contain the virus and protect lives.

“The state is here,” he said in an effort to reassure the public.

If Italy’s experience shows anything, it is that measures to isolate affected areas and limit the movement of the broader population need to be taken early, put in place with absolute clarity and then strictly enforced.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

payday smile logo

PaydaySmile.com is a financial technology company specializing in payday loans and financial solutions. With a keen focus on catering to payday lending needs, the company provides tailored loan options and tools to assist individuals seeking short-term financial assistance. It’s important to note that while we offer financial tools and resources, we are not a direct lender.

Advertiser Disclosure: This website is an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This website does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace. This website may use other proprietary factors to impact card offer listings on the website such as consumer selection or the likelihood of the applicant’s credit approval.

© 2024 PaydaySmile.com . All Rights Reserved.