VIDEO: Trump and Federal Coronavirus Task Force update nation on latest efforts to fight the pandemic – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

By daniellenierenberg

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 307,200 people and killed more than 13,000. The COVID-19 illness causes mild or moderate symptoms in most people, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or those with existing health problems. More than 92,000 people have recovered so far, mostly in China.

NEW YORK >> New York City hospitals are just 10 days from running out of really basic supplies, Mayor Bill de Blasio said late Sunday.

If we dont get the equipment, were literally going to lose lives, de Blasio told CNN.

De Blasio has called upon the federal government to boost the citys quickly dwindling supply of protective equipment. The city also faces a potentially deadly dearth of ventilators to treat those infected by the coronavirus.

Health care workers also warned of the worsening shortages, saying they were being asked to reuse and ration disposable masks and gloves.

New York City hospitals scrambled Sunday to accommodate a new swell of patients, dedicating new COVID-19 wings in their facilities. It remained extremely busy at Northwell hospitals, a spokesman said, adding their intensive care units were filling up.

A number of hospitals have reported that they are becoming overwhelmed, said Jonah Allon, a spokeswoman for Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

TORONTO >> Canada says it wont attend the Olympics this summer, calling for a postponement for a year.

The Canadian Olympic Committee sent out a statement Sunday night saying its refusing to send a team to Tokyo unless the Games, which are scheduled to start on July 24, are pushed back by 12 months.

The COCs statement comes amid criticism of the International Olympic Committees response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SEOUL >> South Korean low-cost airline Eastar Jet says it will shut down all flights, becoming the first South Korean carrier to do so amid a sharp decline in travel over the global coronavirus crisis.

The company on Monday said it will temporarily suspend its domestic flights from Tuesday to April 25 because of decreased demand.

Eastar, which had flown to various places in Asia and Russias Vladivostok, halted its last international routes earlier this month when Japan began enforcing 14-day quarantines on passengers arriving from South Korea.

South Korean carriers have been cutting back or suspending flights amid the global spread of COVID-19. Other budget carriers such as Air Seoul, Air Busan and TWay Air are currently operating only domestic flights after suspending their international services.

BEIJING >> Chinas National Health Commission on Monday reported 39 new cases of COVID-19, all of which it says are imported infections in recent arrivals from overseas.

For more than a week, the majority of mainland Chinas reported cases have been found in people coming from other countries, while community transmission inside the country has dwindled, according to the National Health Commission.

Seeking to prevent a resurgence of the virus, which first emerged late last year in central China, the government is imposing a strict quarantine on individuals entering the country.

Beginning Monday, all flights into Beijing will be diverted to one of 12 airports in other cities. Passengers must pass a health inspection in one of those cities before flying onward to the Chinese capital. They must then quarantine themselves in a hotel for 14 days at their own expense.

TOKYO >> Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that a postponement of the Olympics is unavoidable if it cannot be held in a complete way due to the coronavirus impact.

He was commenting on the International Olympic Committee plan to examine the situation over the next few weeks and make a decision, which could include a postponement option.

Abe, speaking at a parliamentary session, ruled out a possibility of a cancellation.

Whether Japan can hold the Tokyo Games as planned on July 24 has been a major international concern as the COVID-19 pandemic has spread globally, especially hitting hard Europe and the U.S.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand >> New Zealand will go into a full lockdown for about four weeks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday.

She said the lockdown will begin in 48 hours time. People must stay at home and all non-essential businesses and activities cease.

The decision came as health officials announced another 36 confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 102. Most of those cases have been traced to people returning from overseas but crucially two of the cases could not be traced and officials believe are evidence of a local outbreak.

Ardern said there would be an unprecedented level of economic and social disruption as a result of the lockdown.

I do not underestimate what Im asking New Zealanders to do, she said. It is huge, and I know it will feel daunting. But she said it was important to act early to save tens of thousands of lives.

There have been no deaths due to the coronavirus in New Zealand, which has a population of 5 million.

WASHINGTON >> The Senate has refused to advance the coronavirus rescue package in a procedural vote with Democrats rejecting a draft from Republicans and pushing for more aid for workers.

Negotiations are expected to continue into the evening Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has urged senators to signal to the public that were ready to get this job done. He wants passage by Monday.

But Democrats have resisted, arguing the nearly $1.4 trillion measure needs to bolster aid and put limits on how businesses can use the emergency dollars.

More voting is possible.

NEW YORK >> Futures for U.S. stocks fell sharply at the start of trading Sunday as investors watch to see if Congress can agree on a huge rescue package to try to stem the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

Futures for the S&P 500 fell by 5%, triggering a halt in futures trading.

Wall Street is coming off its worst week since 2008. The S&P 500 fell 15% as large swaths of the U.S. economy shut down and investors waited for Washington to deliver financial support for American workers and battered industries such as airlines and hotels. Democrats have argued the package was tilted toward corporations rather than workers and health care providers, so negotiations are ongoing.

Oil prices also tumbled as the broad global economic slowdown threatens demand for energy. The price of U.S. oil fell 6% to $21.26 a barrel, while the international benchmark dropped 7% to $25.10

WASHINGTON >> President Donald Trump says hes ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ship mobile hospital centers to the hard-hit states of Washington, California and New York amid the coronavirus pandemic. For New York, that would mean another 1,000 hospital beds.

Trump is also revealing for the first time the number of respirators and other personal protective equipment sent to the hard-hit states by the federal government. It comes as state and local leaders have appealed on the federal government to provide far more, and as Trump has held off on using his fully authorities under the Defense Production Act to marshal the private sectors capabilities.

Trump says its up to states to try to get the materials first. He says: Were sort of a backup for states.

Trump says hes also giving governors in those three states in calling up their national guard, keeping it under local control but providing federal funding.

The U.S. Ambassador to the west African nation of Burkina Faso has become the most senior American diplomat known to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Ambassador Andrew Young announced his status on his Twitter account on Sunday, saying he had received a positive test for COVID-19, which was later confirmed by the State Department in Washington. Young said the embassy had taken steps to quarantine affected community members.

Officials and diplomats in Burkina Faso has been hard hit by the virus with several government ministers testing positive, including the minister of mining, the minister of interior and education. The Italian ambassador has also contracted the virus.

Several other U.S. diplomats and State Department employees have also tested positive for the virus, including at least one who works at an annex to the agencys main headquarters in Washington and at least one in Kingston, Jamaica and Geneva, Switzerland. Numerous others in other locations have gone into self-isolation after being exposed to people who have tested positive.

CAIRO >> Egypts President Abdel-Fattah el Sissi appealed to his people to help stem the spread of the coronavirus through staying at home and practicing social distancing, as the confirmed cases of the virus reached 327 and 15 deaths.

He warned that that numbers of the infected could be in thousands within days, if people did not take the virus seriously.

Help us, Egyptians! he appealed to his people. We want more commitment and discipline for the next two weeks in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus in Egypt.

He urged Egypts more than 100 million people to take the spread of virus very seriously.

He said his government have taken simple measures including the closure of schools and universities, a nightly curfew on shops, restaurants and other businesses in efforts to minimize interaction between people. He also thanked doctors and health workers as heroes who are fighting a battle like a war.

Egypts health ministry added 33 more confirmed cases of the coronavirus and four new deaths, bringing the total number to 327 and 14 deaths. It said over 50 were discharged from the quarantine after their recovery. The military earlier Sunday reported the death of a major general while taking part in sterilization efforts.

CAIRO >> Egypts military said a senior officer died Sunday following his infection from the coronavirus.

The military said in a statement that Major General Khaled Shaltout was infected while participating in sterilization which the military has been carrying out across the country.

The military said it has sterilized and disinfected public institutions and several squares in the capital, Cairo and other cities, to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Military spokesman Tamer el-Refai Saturday posted footage on social media showing military personal in protective gear and equipment while disinfecting the Tahrir square, the epicenter of the 2011 uprising, and the metro station there.

Shaltout was the highest official infected by the virus to date in Egypt, which has around 300 cases and 10 deaths.

BATON ROUGE, La. >> Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued a statewide stay at home directive, ordering all 4.6 million people in Louisiana to stay at home starting at 5 p.m. on Monday unless theyre performing an essential task like getting food or medicine.

Workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, doctors offices and other critical infrastructure are exempt from the governors directive.

The bottom line is we are in a race against time when it comes to this coronavirus and its rapid spread in Louisiana, Edwards said Sunday.

New York, California, Illinois and some cities have issued similar shelter in place or stay at home orders in the last few days. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell had issued a similar order for that city two days ago.

As of Sunday, coronavirus infections in Louisiana have climbed to more than 830. Twenty people in the state have died of COVID-19, state health officials said.

BOUNTIFUL, Utah >> Utah has reported its first death related to COVID-19 a man over the age of 60 who had underlying health problems.

State health and hospital officials said Sunday that the unidentified man from Davis County had been at Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful for two days before his death.

The man tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday.

Health officials are working to identify and contact anyone who may have been in close contact with him. His family notified the hospital of the possibility of him having COVID-19 before his arrival.

The hospitals CEO says workers met him in the parking lot in full protective gear, limiting possible exposure.

ISTANBUL >> Nine more people have died in Turkey from the coronavirus, bringing the countrys death toll to 30.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter that 289 people tested positive for COVID-19 Sunday. The total number of confirmed cases in the country is now at least 1,236.

PARIS >> Frances Parliament has adopted a bill allowing the government to declare a state of health emergency meant to better fight the coronavirus epidemic in the country.

The measure voted Sunday allows the government to issue decrees that curtail temporarily freedoms, including restrictions on movements, trade, entrepreneurship and gatherings. It also enables the government to requisition necessary goods and services to fight against a health disaster.

The state of heath emergency is yet to be formally declared by President Emmanuel Macrons government during a Cabinet meeting.

The measure was needed to provide legal basis to ensure the continuity of current emergency measures in the country and the democratic functioning of the state.

The bill also includes the postponing of nationwide municipal elections initially due to take place on Sunday and a package of economic measures to support workers and businesses hardly hit by the crisis.

French health authorities have reported 16,018 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 674 people who have died.

WASHINGTON >> Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is the first U.S. senator to test positive for COVID-19, the infection caused by the coronavirus.

Thats according to a tweet from the senator, who is a top ally of President Donald Trump.

The senator is feeling fine, the tweet said. He is asymptomatic, and in quarantine.

He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person, the tweet said.

This comes shortly after the nations capital announced its second death to coronavirus.

BERLIN >> German Chancellor Angela Merkel has gone into quarantine after being informed that a doctor who administered a vaccine to her has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Merkels spokesman said the German chancellor was informed about the doctors test shortly after holding a news conference Sunday announcing new measures to curb the spread of the virus.

Her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Merkel had received a precautionary vaccine Friday against pneumococcal infection.

Seibert said in a statement that Merkel would undergo regular tests in the coming days and continue with her work from home for the time being.

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VIDEO: Trump and Federal Coronavirus Task Force update nation on latest efforts to fight the pandemic - Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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