What you need to know today about the virus outbreak
President Donald Trump is pressing to restart the U.S. economy, which has been ravaged by the pandemic in a short few weeks.
He has given U.S. governors a road map for recovering from the acute economic pain, laying out a phased approach to restoring normal activity. “We’re starting our life again,” Trump said.
Meanwhile, China acknowledged that the coronavirus death toll for epicenter of Wuhan was 50% higher than previously reported — a major revision that highlights just how seriously current numbers on infections and deaths around the globe may be understating the true toll of the pandemic.
Here are some of AP’s top stories Friday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
— There is a sizeable group of Trump supporters in several U.S. states who are far from happy about how the outbreak – and efforts to save lives – are being handled. They have united behind a deep suspicion of efforts to shut down daily life. As their frustration grows, they’ve started to openly defy the social distancing rules to put pressure on governors to ease them.
— There’s no doubt the pandemic stands poised to reshape the political map this November. It has eviscerated the Trump campaign’s hope to run for reelection on the back of a strong economy and could tilt a series of states Trump won in 2016 toward the Democrats.
— Optimistic talk about getting people back to work seems a far cry from the human tide of misery in New York and its suburbs. There, hundreds are still dying and thousands of people newly infected are still streaming into hospitals every day.
— As others look for easing, India has launched one of the most draconian social experiments in human history, locking down its entire population, including hundreds of millions of people who struggle to survive on a few dollars a day. They are maids, watchmen and street peddlers. ″I am so afraid″ says one woman.
— With no approved drugs for the coronavirus, some people are turning to alternative medicines, often at their governments’ urging. This is most evident in India and China, where there’s a deep tradition of using and touting such treatments.
— As some wealthier Western nations begin easing coronavirus restrictions, many developing countries, particularly in the Middle East and Africa, want to do it too, but they cannot afford the luxury of any missteps.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.
One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.
You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.
TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.
— 6.8: China’s economy shrank by 6.8% from a year earlier in the quarter ending in March after factories, offices and shopping malls were closed to contain the outbreak, official data showed Friday.
IN OTHER NEWS:
— BICYCLE DELIVERY: There are no fans cheering him along, but Italian professional cyclist Davide Martinelli has achieved a moral victory by using his bike to help deliver medicine to elderly residents and others in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
— MAIL SAFETY: Is it safe to open your mail during the pandemic?
Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak