What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

Beaten down by the coronavirus outbreak, the world economy in 2020 will suffer its worst year since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the International Monetary Fund says.

The IMF expects the global economy to shrink 3% this year before rebounding in 2021 with 5.8% growth. It acknowledges that prospects for a rebound next year are clouded by uncertainty.

Governments battling the virus are pinning their hopes on tests, technology and a coordinated approach to ease the tight social-distancing restrictions that have slowed the pandemic but strangled the global economy.

Here are some of AP’s top stories Tuesday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:

— President Donald Trump is anxious to put the pandemic and its crippling economic crisis behind him ahead of the election in November, discussing with aides when social distancing can be rolled back. A team, expected to be formally announced as early as Tuesday, has begun meeting behind closed doors in the West Wing to tackle another matter paramount to the president: how to begin reopening the American economy. Meanwhile, governors insist they will not be pressured and will put safety in their states first.

— The coronavirus is spreading in jails and detention centers, with more than 70 detainees in 12 states infected and hundreds of others under quarantine. Migrants say they need more masks, cleaning supplies and space for social distancing. The government says it’s reducing the number of detainees to slow the spread of the virus. Nomaan Merchant reports from Houston.

— For years, financial inequality has widened in the United States and elsewhere as wealth and income have become increasingly concentrated among the most affluent while millions struggle to get by. Now, the coronavirus outbreak has laid bare the human cost of that inequality, making it more visible and potentially worse.

— Across the U.S., far-right politicians say state governments are using the pandemic to trample on civil liberties. They are against efforts to close churches and gun stores and to halt large public gatherings.

— Facing the same invisible enemy in the coronavirus pandemic, Iran and the United States remain locked in retaliatory pressure campaigns that now view the outbreak as just the latest battleground.

— Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended the world’s largest lockdown, hoping to head off the peak as officials race to make up for lost time. Experts say India squandered the month it had while neighboring China battled the coronavirus and wasted its own experience battling infectious diseases.

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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.

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ONE NUMBER:

— 25: The International Monetary Fund approved $500 million to cancel six months of debt payments for 25 of the world’s most impoverished countries so they can help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

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IN OTHER NEWS:

— JACKALS EMERGE: With Tel Aviv in lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis, the sprawling park is all but empty. This has cleared the way for packs of jackals to take over a park in the heart of the city.

— LIFE WITHOUT MOVIE THEATERS: For more than a century, movie theaters have been a refuge, a communal escape, a place transporting people away from everything else. What now as they close amid the pandemic?

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

Categories: National & International News