Home » World News » Coronavirus Live Updates: Despite Pushback, Trump Suggests Testing No Longer an Issue
Coronavirus Live Updates: Despite Pushback, Trump Suggests Testing No Longer an Issue
March 30, 2020
A 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship docked in Manhattan, while new questions were raised about China’s case tally. Stocks on Wall Street rose and Macy’s said it would furlough the majority of its workers.
President Trump told governors on a conference call Monday that he “hasn’t heard about testing in weeks,” suggesting that a chronic lack of kits to test people for the coronavirus is no longer a problem. But state officials have painted a different picture on the ground.
Here’s what you need to know:
Trump tells governors he “hasn’t heard about testing in weeks.”
President Trump told governors on a conference call Monday that he “hasn’t heard about testing in weeks,” suggesting that a chronic lack of kits to test people for the coronavirus is no longer a problem.But governors painted a different picture on the ground.
Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana, a Democrat, explained that officials in his state were attempting to do “contact tracing” — tracking down people who have come into contact with those who have tested positive — but they were struggling because “we don’t have adequate tests,” according to an audio recording of the conversation obtained by The New York Times.
Mr. Trump initially said that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, could respond to the question, but then quickly offered a rejoinder. “I haven’t heard about testing in weeks,” the president said. “We’ve tested more now than any nation in the world. We’ve got these great tests and we’re coming out with a faster one this week.” Reiterating his point, Mr. Trump added: “I haven’t heard about testing being a problem.”
Many people who have symptoms of the virus are still finding it difficult to be tested, and many who have been tested are waiting more than a week to get results. The failures of the federal government to adequately develop testing supplies for the contagion have been well-documented by The Times and other news outlets, reports that have rankled Mr. Trump.
Although testing has picked up since a series of setbacks left the United States behind, governors have continued to warn in recent days that their response is still hampered by shortages, including of basic supplies like swabs. Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State told CNN Sunday that “we have a desperate need for the testing kits.” And Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia warned last week that there was a shortage of testing materials in his state.
The president has recently taken to pointing to the volume of tests that have been administered — a misleading figure since, according to health experts, the more relevant figure is how many people are being tested per capita. In that regard, the United States still lags well behind other nations like South Korea.
A White House spokesman, Hogan Gidley, described the call this way: “The governors praised President Trump’s leadership, assistance and quick action to address this national crisis, and the president told the governors he would make sure that whatever they may need, he would direct his team to provide.”
On the call, Mr. Trump mostly let a number of governors, Democrat and Republican, do the talking and frequently deferred to his advisers on their questions and suggestions. For the most part, the governors thanked the president and vice president for their assistance and only gently offered criticism about the federal response.
But Mr. Bullock, who is running for the Senate this fall against an incumbent Republican, was more blunt than some of the other state executives about Montana’s need for federal help.
After Mr. Trump’s claim that the lack of tests was no longer a problem, Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health heading the testing effort nationally, jumped in to address the availability of “point-of-care” testing and the prospect of a new test which will issue results in a matter of minutes. He said such tests will soon be available in all 50 states.
As the virus’s impact expands, Washington mulls more emergency measures.
As the toll of the coronavirus continued to mount — overwhelming hospitals and sickening health care workers, spreading through jails, playing havoc with the economy and making deadly inroads in more cities — federal lawmakers and Trump administration officials turned their attention Monday to new measures to try to contain the fallout.
In a sign of how fast the virus is upending life in the United States, officials in Washington were already beginning to chart the next phase of the government’s response on Monday — just days after enacting a $2 trillion stabilization plan, the largest economic stimulus package in modern American history. Here’s what is happening:
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, said in an interview Monday that state and local government urgently need more resources, and that it was only a matter of time before Congress would act on a fourth relief measure. “So this isn’t about how fast we can do it, it’s how fast we must do it,” she said.
Macy’s said Monday that with stores closed and sales down, it would furlough the majority of its 125,000 employees, and oil prices hit their lowest levels since 2002, as the sharp economic contraction caused demand for oil to evaporate.
Mr. Trump suggested, without citing evidence, that he and his advisers expected the number of people who test positive to peak around Easter. (On Sunday he retreated from his earlier hope to get the country back to normal by Easter and extended federal guidelines urging social distancing through April 30, citing figures from his advisers that showed that 200,000 people could die from the virus even with aggressive action.)
A 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship, the Comfort, docked in Manhattan Monday morning to free up beds in the city’s overwhelmed hospitals so they can treat more coronavirus patients, and doctors and nurses warned that increasing numbers of their colleagues were getting sick.
Infections are mounting in jails and prisons, where social distancing is impossible and sanitizer is widely banned, prompting authorities across the country to move to release thousands of inmates.
Representative Nydia M. Velasquez, Democrat of New York, announced that she had received a diagnosis of “presumed coronavirus infection” after becoming ill early Sunday morning. Ms. Velasquez, 67, was at the Capitol on Friday, when the House cleared the $2 trillion stimulus law, and later attended a ceremony with senior lawmakers to mark its enrollment. She said her symptoms were mild and the attending physician of the Capitol advised her not to be tested or to see a doctor at the moment. At least six members of Congress have tested positive for the disease.
The Marine Corps stopped sending new recruits to its boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., for the foreseeable future after a coronavirus outbreak there infected more than 20 recruits.
Roughly three out of four Americans are under orders to stay home, or will be soon.
While many states have issued stay-at-home directives to try to slow the virus’s spread — with Maryland and Virginia becoming the latest to do so on Monday — in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, had resisted the step, favoring local action over statewide mandates.
But on Monday Governor DeSantis said that he would sign an order codifying a patchwork of local rules urging residents in the densely-populated southeast corner of the state — includingMiami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties — to stay home.
Local Florida governments have taken wildly different approaches to restricting interactions. While the city of Jacksonville shut down its beaches, St. Johns County to the south did not. A striking photo taken over the weekend showed bare beaches on one side of the county line and crowded sand on the other. (St. Johns County later closed its shoreline.)
Sheriff Chad Chronister of Hillsborough County, Fla., said on Monday that he had obtained an arrest warrant for the Rev. Rodney Howard-Browne, the Pentecostal pastor of The River at Tampa Bay Church, after the megachurch held two large services on Sunday in violation of local orders mandating people to observe social distancing and stay at home.
The pastor defied direct entreaties made by law enforcement before Sunday and exhibited “reckless disregard for human life,” Sheriff Chronister said. The sheriff’s office was in talks for Mr. Howard-Browne to turn himself in, the sheriff added.
Roughly three out of four Americans are or will soon be under instructions to stay indoors, as states and localities try to curb the spread of the coronavirus before their hospitals are overwhelmed.
Virginia and Maryland both issued new statewide orders on Monday.
“We are no longer asking or suggesting that Marylanders stay home — we are directing them to do so,” Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, a Republican, said.
And in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, ordered all residents to stay home, closing the state’s beaches and campgrounds and insisting that people only go out for food, supplies, work or medical care.
“I want everyone to hear me: Stay home,” Mr. Northam, a Democrat, said.
Among other things, the order will force all colleges and universities in the state to close in-person teaching. That will ensure that Liberty University, a Christian college run by Jerry Falwell Jr., must close despite a decision by Mr. Falwell to reopen the school for in-person instruction last week, which was followed by several students reporting virus-like symptoms.
See Which States and Cities Have Told Residents to Stay at Home
In an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus, more than half the states and the Navajo Nation have given directives, affecting about three in four U.S. residents.
As the virus spreads behind bars, there are rising calls to free inmates.
The virus is spreading quickly in America’s jails and prisons, where social distancing is impossible and sanitizer is widely banned, prompting authorities across the country to release thousands of inmates to try to slow the infection and save lives.
By Sunday, the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City had at least 139 confirmed cases of the virus. A week ago, the Cook County jail in Chicago had two diagnoses; by Sunday, 101 inmates and a dozen sheriff’s deputies had tested positive. And at least 38 inmates and employees in the federal prison system have the virus, with one prisoner dead in Louisiana.
“It’s very concerning as a parent,” said William Brewer Jr., whose son is serving time for robbery in Virginia. “He’s in there sleeping in an open bay with 60 other people. There’s no way they can isolate and get six feet between each other.”
Defense lawyers, elected officials, health experts and even some prosecutors have warned that efforts to release inmates and stop the spread are moving too slowly in the face of a contagion that has so far infected more than 142,000 people in the United States, with more than 2,300 deaths.
“By keeping more people in the jails, you are increasing the overall number of people who contract the virus,” and the demand for hospital beds, ventilators and other lifesaving resources, said David E. Patton, head of the federal public defender’s office in New York City, which represents nearly half of the 2,500 inmates in the city’s two federal jails. “They are playing roulette with people’s lives.”
The dangers are evident at Rikers Island in New York.
One inmate there used an alcohol pad that a barber had given him after a haircut to sanitize a frequently used jailhouse phone. Another used a sock to hold a phone. A third said he and others have used diluted shampoo to disinfect cell bars and table tops.
“You’re on top of one another no matter what you do,” said one man who was recently released from Rikers Island. “There’s no ventilation. If anything is floating, everybody gets it.”
Rikers Island has provided a case study in the difficulty of balancing public safety and public health concerns. On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said about 650 people had been released. Still, the rate of infection in the city’s jails has continued to climb, and by Monday, 167 inmates, 114 correction staff and 23 health workers had tested positive. Two correction staff members have died and a handful of inmates have been hospitalized.
China says it’s halting the virus’s spread. Is that true?
China says it has all but halted the spread of the new coronavirus, with fewer infections than the United States, Italy or Spain, and a far lower death rate than some European countries.
But are those claims true?
Increasingly serious questions have been raised about whether China is concealing the extent of the epidemic — both nationally and specifically in the restive Xinjiang province — and the death toll, particularly in Wuhan, the city where it began.
The answers will have profound repercussions as the country begins to lift lockdowns and restart its economy, risking a flare-up. China has held itself up as a model for others to follow, but if that model is not what it seems, the implications are global. Lives are at stake, as well as the battered credibility of the Communist Party government, dented again in recent days by claims that China had supplied faulty equipment to other countries.
China’s official count of more than 82,000 confirmed coronavirus cases excludes people who test positive but show no symptoms. They are added only if they get sick.
Caixin, an influential Chinese newsmagazine, on Sunday urged the government to disclose those numbers. The magazine’s commentary came after confirmation of a case in Henan Province, apparently spread by a person who was asymptomatic and not counted in the official tally.
The government acknowledges few cases in Xinjiang, where hundreds of thousands of people, primarily Uighur Muslims, are held in indoctrination camps. People in the region question the figures, but the government enforces a near-blackout on news from Xinjiang.
Since January, doubts have been aired about the number of dead reported, particularly in Wuhan, where more than 2,500 of the official national count of about 3,300 deaths took place. Caixin reported recently that many thousands of urns were sent to funeral homes in Wuhan, suggesting a much higher toll.
Early in the epidemic, when hospitals were inundated, many people in Wuhan grew sick and either recovered or died without ever being tested.
Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak
The virus has infected more than 759,800 people in at least 171 countries.
Agony in Spain and Italy as deaths climb and lockdowns are extended.
Struggling to give its beleaguered medical workers a fighting chance to combat a virus that has torn through their own ranks in recent weeks, Spanish officials said on Monday that they would impose even more rigorous restrictions on residents’ movements, calling for a national period of “hibernation.”
The officials compared the tighter restrictions to those imposed in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected last year. The measures there were perhaps the most draconian attempted anywhere in the world so far.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain said at the weekend that the tighter lockdown was needed to avoid the collapse of saturated hospitals in Madrid and a few other regions of the country.
“The most important thing is to slow down the number of people in hospitals, in the intensive care units,” he said. “I’m thinking especially of Madrid, where they are under a lot of pressure.”
The new restrictions — allowing only “essential workers” to leave their homes — will last until at least April 9 and come on top of the lockdown that was imposed on March 14.
Spain reported more than 812 new deaths on Monday, bringing the country’s death toll to nearly 7,400.
While Spanish hospitals were on the edge of collapse, Italian officials hoped that the burden on medical facilities might be starting to ease.
Luca Richeldi, a clinical pneumologist at the Gemelli hospital in Rome and a member of the government’s scientific advisory committee, said that the number of deaths had dropped every day over the weekend and that the number of new patients needing critical care had also gone down to 50, from 124.
“With our behavior, we save lives,” he said.
The April 3 deadline of the national lockdown would certainly be extended, Italian government officials said.
‘We Take the Dead From Morning Till Night’
No country has been hit harder by the coronavirus than Italy, and no province has suffered as many losses as Bergamo. Photos and voices from there evoke a portrait of despair.
The health minister, Roberto Speranza, said that the government measures “will certainly be prolonged, and we will require a sacrifice that I don’t think will be too short.”
In a televised interview Sunday night, he said that the crisis was far from over and that decisions would be made with the input of the government’s scientific advisory board, which was meeting on Monday.
“There are some encouraging signals,” especially from the worst hit areas, Mr. Speranza said. “But it is not enough.” Opening up too soon, he added, could “burn everything we’ve obtained until now.”
In Britain, Dr. Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, said it could be six months or more before a return to normal, with lockdowns being reassessed every three weeks. She said that if the strategy was successful, the country could effectively limit the peak of cases in the short term, but that measures would have to continue.
“We must not then revert to our regular way of living, that would be quite dangerous,” she said during a Sunday evening news conference.
“Doctors are getting sick everywhere.” Health workers confront fear as colleagues fall ill.
‘They Are the Soldiers,’ Cuomo Says of Health Care Workers
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo delivered a news briefing on the coronavirus after a military hospital ship, the U.S.N.S. Comfort, arrived in New York.
It is a mandate: Stay at home. If you’re a nonessential worker, stay at home. If you leave the house, you’re exposing yourself to danger. If you leave the house, you’re exposing others to danger. You can get infected, go home and infect whoever is at home, so stay at home. I know the isolation can be boring and oppressive — it is better than the alternative. Life has options, right? Stay at home. That is the best option. If you are out, no proximity, six feet distancing. You don’t want proximity to other people, and you want to stay away from places that are dense. Still, in New York City, you have too many places with too much density. I mean, I don’t know how many different ways to make the same point. New York City parks, we made the point, there’s too much density. You want to go to the park, go to the park, but not in a dense area. The soldiers in this fight are our health care professionals. It’s the doctors. It’s the nurses. It’s the people who are working in the hospitals. It’s the aides. They are the soldiers who are fighting this battle for us. You know the expression save our troops, troops quote unquote? In this battle, the troops are health care professionals.
In emergency rooms and intensive care units throughout New York City, typically dispassionate medical professionals are feeling panicked as increasing numbers of their colleagues get sick.
“I feel like we’re all just being sent to slaughter,” said Thomas Riley, a nurse at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, who has contracted the virus, along with his husband.
Medical workers are still showing up day after day to face overflowing emergency rooms, earning them praise as heroes. Thousands of volunteers have signed up to join their colleagues. Two nurses in city hospitals have died.
On Monday, New York’s governor said that 1,218 people had died, and that 9,517 people in the state were hospitalized with the virus.
But doctors and nurses said they can look overseas for a dark glimpse of the risk they are facing — especially when protective gear has been in short supply.
In China, more than 3,000 doctors were infected, nearly half of them in Wuhan, where the pandemic began, according to Chinese government statistics. Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who first tried to raise the alarm about Covid-19, eventually died of it.
In Italy, the number of infected heath care workers is now twice the Chinese total, and the National Federation of Orders of Surgeons and Dentists has compiled a list of 50 who have died. Nearly 14 percent of Spain’s confirmed coronavirus cases are medical professionals.
William P. Jaquis, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said the situation across the country was too fluid to begin tracking such data, but he said he expected the danger to intensify.
“Doctors are getting sick everywhere,” he said.
On Sunday night, Mr. Trump appeared to suggest that New York hospitals were hoarding — or doing something else improper — with protective gear like their surgical masks, saying that he did not believe they really needed the increases in supplies they claim are necessary to protect doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients.
“Something’s going on. And you ought to look into it as reporters. Where are the masks going — are they going out the back door?” Mr. Trump said. “Somebody should probably look into that because I just don’t see from a practical standpoint how that’s possible to go from that to that, and we have that happening in numerous places.”
On Monday Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said that he did not know what the president was talking about.
“I don’t know what he’s trying to say,” Mr. Cuomo said. “If he wants to make an accusation, then let him make an accusation but I don’t know what he’s trying to say by inference.”
Mr. Cuomo also stressed that he remained focused on preparing for the virus to hit at full strength in New York, saying that the worst was yet to come.
“If you wait to prepare for a storm to hit, it is too late,” he said. “You have to prepare before the storm hits. And in this case the storm is when you hit that high point, when you hit that apex. How do you know when you’re going to get there? You don’t.”
The virus sweeps into Detroit, a city that has seen its share of hardship.
It has seen its population plummet, houses fall to ruin, and the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation. Now another crisis has descended on Detroit: the coronavirus.
In less than two weeks, 35 people with the illness have died in Detroit. The police chief has tested positive, and more than 500 police officers are in quarantine.
The virus could place a unique burden on Detroit, a city of 670,000 people where three out of 10 residents live in poverty, a large number have asthma and other chronic diseases, and hospitals are already overwhelmed.
“Everybody is starting to understand that this virus is looking for more hosts,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in an interview on Sunday. “Even if you’re young and healthy.”
By Sunday evening, with more than 5,400 cases, Michigan was fourth in known cases among the states, behind New York, New Jersey and California. Across the state, at least 132 residents have died, placing Michigan fifth across the nation in deaths from the virus.
No one is sure why the Detroit region is seeing a flood of cases in the weeks since officials announced the state’s first known case on March 10. Mr. Duggan said he suspected that the region’s international airport, with a significant number of flights from overseas, may have contributed to the spread.
Howard Markel, a professor of the history of medicine at the University of Michigan, said the city was “underequipped” to deal with the outbreak.
“It’s a perfect storm of poverty and very rudimentary public health conditions,” he said.
Healthcare stocks help lead Wall Street higher.
Stocks on Wall Street rose on Monday as investors bid up shares of health care companies as they reported progress on products that could help with the outbreak.
The S&P 500 climbed more than 3 percent, adding to a strong showing last week. The S&P 500 had risen 10 percent last week after a three day run that was its best since 1933, amid relief over Washington’s $2 trillion spending plan.
Gainers on Monday included Johnson & Johnson, which said it had identified a lead candidate for a vaccine for the virus and planned to ramp up both production and clinical testing. Also, Abbott Laboratories rose on reports that it had said a new test that could detect the virus in five minutes had been cleared for use by the Food and Drug Administration.
But there were lingering signs of caution in the financial markets. In the oil market, brent crude, the international benchmark, fell more than 6 percent to roughly $26 a barrel on Monday. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, was down more than 5 percent with prices hovering around $20.25 in early afternoon trading. Earlier this morning the price had briefly dropped below $20 a barrel, a level not seen in almost 20 years.
Oil has also been hammered by a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the largest oil producers, but analysts say that it is far outweighed by the collapse in demand caused by the pandemic.
House Democrats say Trump has stoked anti-Asian sentiment with references to the “Chinese virus.”
Senior House Democrats on Monday accused Mr. Trump of fueling a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans by using the phrase “Chinese virus” to talk about the coronavirus pandemic.
“Word matter, particularly when they come from when they come from the president of the United States,” Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the chairman of the Democratic Caucus, told reporters on a video conference call with leaders of three groups representing minority lawmakers.
Asian-American people across the country have reported a sharp uptick in hate crimes spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, which began in Wuhan, China, in early January.
Some have reported being cursed at in public or physically attacked. Asian-American leaders have vowed to protect their community even as they personally acknowledged feeling angry, fearful and unsettled.
Mr. Trump has doubled down on his use of the term, even as his health secretary, Alex Azar, has committed not to use it.
Mr. Jeffries was joined at the news conference by the leaders of the House Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus, who said they are introducing a resolution calling on all officials to “condemn and denounce any and all anti-Asian sentiment in any form,” including the use of the term “Chinese virus.”
“There is a tremendous stigma attached to this term,” said Representative Judy Chu, Democrat of California and chair of the Asian Pacific American Caucus. Mr. Trump she said, “is deliberately using this term because he wants to couch himself as the war president and he needs a foreign power to be his enemy, and that is China.”
Despite scant evidence, the F.D.A. granted approval to use two malaria drugs to treat patients with the virus.
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency approval this weekend permitting the use of two long-used malaria drugs to treat patients who are hospitalized with coronavirus, despite scant evidence that the drugs would be effective against the virus.
The decision allows companies to donate supplies of two related drugs — hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine — to the Strategic National Stockpile. The drugs will then be distributed to hospitals for use in patients who have coronavirus. The generic drug maker Sandoz, a division of Novartis, donated 30 million pills of hydroxychloroquine and Bayer donated one million doses of chloroquine. Other companies are ramping up their production of the drugs and may donate more supplies, the federal government said.
Mr. Trump has frequently touted the use of the drugs, describing them as a potential “game changer” in the pandemic, although there is only anecdotal evidence that they are effective. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other experts, have been far more cautious in saying that evidence is still needed to know if they work.
However, since there are no treatments for the virus, many hospitals are already using the drugs on severely ill patients. The drugs have been on the market for decades and one, hydroxychloroquine, is also used for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
The decision by the F.D.A., issued on Saturday but announced by the Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday, will allow hospitals to use the drugs on patients when enrolling them in clinical trials is not possible. Doctors must report on how they were used, including documenting any harmful side effects. Patients and doctors will also receive a fact sheet explaining that the drug’s efficacy in treating coronavirus is not known.
By restricting hospital use of the drugs to those taken from the national stockpile, the move also eases pressure on the rest of the supply chain. Both drugs have recently gone into shortage, making it difficult for patients who rely on them for other conditions to get access.
Street vendors, delivery men and other workers in Latin America’s informal economy will be hit hard.
Latin America’s economies were fragile even before the outbreak. As government efforts to confront the pandemic paralyze economic activity, the outlook is far worse.
And no sector is as vulnerable as the workers who toil in the region’s vast informal economy.
Workers such as the street vendors in Asunción, Paraguay, the delivery men crisscrossing Lima, Peru, and the trash recyclers in Tegucigalpa, Honduras toil mostly beyond government oversight, without labor protections or formal contracts.
They are a majority in Latin America, and most live hand-to-mouth, with meager or no savings and a limited social safety net. Many have jobs that put them in contact with strangers and they retire at day’s end to overcrowded homes. The precarious state of public health care in many countries in the region has also left these workers even more vulnerable to the outbreak.
“They are going to be very badly hurt,” said Santiago Levy, a Mexican economist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
Even after the Mexican government told people to stay home, Leonardo Meneses Prado continued to tend his hamburger cart at his usual sidewalk spot in Mexico City.
“I can’t stop,” he said late last week, an edge of desperation in his voice. “If I don’t sell, I don’t eat. It’s as simple as that.”
The virus continues to affect the world’s top leaders.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who had gone into quarantine after possibly being exposed to the virus through an aide, has tested negative, his office said Monday evening.
The aide, Rivka Paluch, an adviser to the 70-year-old Mr. Netanyahu on ultra-Orthodox affairs and on parliamentary issues, tested positive after her husband was hospitalized with the virus.
Even though Mr. Netanyahu tested negative, he will remain in quarantine pending instructions from the Ministry of Health, according to his office.
In Britain, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne who was quarantined in Scotland over the last seven days after testing positive, took himself out of isolation, Buckingham Palace announced on Monday.
The prince, who began suffering mild symptoms the weekend of March 21, “is in good health,” an official at the palace said. “He is now operating under the current standard medical restrictions that apply nationwide.”
The palace said that Charles, 71, would be able to hold meetings and to exercise and that his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, would remain in isolation until the end of the week. She did not test positive for the virus, the palace said last week, but she is being monitored.
Britain’s guidance indicates that those who test positive for the virus should stay at home for seven days after symptoms begin, but the World Health Organization recommends that confirmed patients remain isolated for two weeks after symptoms resolve.
Also on Monday, the top adviser to the British prime minister, Dominic Cummings, reported that he had symptoms of the virus and had isolated himself, according to the government.
Mr. Cummings was seen on Friday running out of 10 Downing Street, the prime minister’s official residence, with a backpack, shortly after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he had the coronavirus.
The virus threatens to wipe out half of all jobs in Africa.
Nearly half of all jobs in Africa could be lost because of the coronavirus, according to the United Nations.
In a report released on Monday, the world body warned that the crisis would disproportionately affect developing countries in Africa and elsewhere, taking a toll on education, human rights, basic food security and nutrition.
“This pandemic is a health crisis. But not just a health crisis. For vast swathes of the globe, the pandemic will leave deep, deep scars,” Achim Steiner, the administrator of the United Nations Development Program, which produced the report, said in a statement. “Without support from the international community, we risk a massive reversal of gains made over the last two decades, and an entire generation lost, if not in lives, then in rights, opportunities and dignity.”
Among the developing nations named in the report were Bosnia, China, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Nigeria, Paraguay, Panama, Serbia, Ukraine and Vietnam. Overpopulation, poor waste management, pollution and traffic were all identified as factors that threatened a developing nation’s chances of recovering from a coronavirus outbreak.
Leaders across the world have tried to balance economic concerns with the need to act swiftly to stop the spread of the virus. Iran has reported among the world’s highest numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths, but President Hassan Rouhani has been severely criticized for not acting forcefully enough to fight the epidemic. And while the illness has been slow to take hold across Africa, the number of confirmed cases and deaths there have risen gradually, raising fears about the continent’s readiness to respond.
The coronavirus lockdown in India has left vast numbers of migrant laborers stranded and hungry, and more than a dozen migrant laborers have died since the measure was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to hospital officials.
After an outbreak, the Marine Corps stops sending new recruits to its boot camp at Parris Island, S.C.
The Marine Corps has stopped sending new recruits to its boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., for the foreseeable future after a coronavirus outbreak there infected more than 20 recruits.
The incident at Parris Island, one of the Corps’ two training depots, is serious for the Marine Corps. As the smallest branch in the military, with around 185,000 people, and a high turnover rate (roughly 36,000 Marines leave each year), stopping the supply of new recruits, even temporarily, will have long-lasting effects, Marine officials have said in the past.
The spike in cases, said Capt. Bryan McDonnell, a spokesman for Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, is believed to have started with two recruits who were brought on for training and quickly infected others. Until Monday, new recruits were screened upon their arrival, so, Captain McDonnell said, it is believed the two were asymptomatic. They have since been quarantined.
Basic training has continued in the other military branches, with an increased emphasis on screening and testing before training begins. But shared living spaces, communal showers and close contact in recruit barracks nearly ensures that any outbreak of the virus will mushroom in days.
In a statement Monday, the Marine Corps said that the move to stop sending recruits to Parris Island was “out of an abundance of caution” and that “recruit training for individuals already at the Depot will continue as planned, with continued emphasis on personal and environmental cleanliness and social distancing.”
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are rescheduled for July 2021.
The Summer Olympics in Tokyo, pushed back a year because of the coronavirus pandemicafter Olympic officials and Japanese organizers bowed to widespread pressure, will now open on July 23, 2021, organizers said on Monday, and run through Aug. 8.
Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee president, told international federations on a conference call that the date had been picked to give organizers the maximum time possible to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus.
Reporting was contributed by Michael Cooper, Richard Pérez-Peña, Karen Zraick, Mihir Zaveri, Sarah Mervosh, Patricia Mazzei, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Eileen Sullivan, Elisabetta Povoledo, Raphael Minder, Melissa Eddy, Mary M. Chapman, Julie Bosman, John Eligon,Elian Peltier, Isabel Kershner, Ali Watkins, Stephen Castle, Marc Santora, Mark Landler, David M. Halbfinger, Michael D. Shear, Thomas Fuller, Megan Specia, Austin Ramzy, Neil Vigdor, Kate Taylor, Vivian Yee, Mike Baker, Rick Rojas, Sapna Maheshwari, Vanessa Swales,Michael Levenson, Aimee Ortiz, Suhasini Raj, Stanley Reed and Kai Schultz.