By The Associated Press
Latest news on the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 207,000 people and killed more than 8,200 people. COVID-19 disease causes mild or moderate symptoms in most people, but severe symptoms are more likely in the elderly or those with health conditions. So far, more than 82,000 people have recovered, mostly in China.
China has sent medical supplies to France to help health workers who care for patients infected with coronavirus and who need masks and other protective equipment.
The Chinese Embassy in France tweeted on Wednesday that a batch of supplies had arrived. Supplies include face masks, medical gloves and protective coveralls. United, we will win, concludes the tweet.
China has sent supplies to Italy, the hardest hit of the European countries, and to Spain. France has taken early steps to help China, sending 17 tonnes of similar supplies in mid-February to Wuhan, where COVID-19 was first detected. What French officials have called a consignment of solidarity has recently aroused some criticism in France, where masks are hardly available for the general population.
French authorities have ordered the internment of citizens this week in order to control the virus. On Tuesday, France recorded 7,730 positive cases and 175 deaths.
The Prime Minister of Hungary announced a series of measures to protect jobs and mitigate the effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the country's economy.
Viktor Orban said on Wednesday that employers' payroll taxes will be cut until June 30 in sectors already hard hit by the crisis, including tourism, hotels, entertainment, sports and taxi services. . Payroll taxes for employees in these sectors will also be greatly reduced.
Orban also announced that all existing personal and business loans will be exempt from the payment of principal and interest until the end of the year, while interest rates on new loans consumption will be capped.
Labor laws will be relaxed to make it easier for employers and employees to reach agreements, said Orban.
Hungary has 58 confirmed cases of people infected with the new virus, with a single death to date linked to COVID-19, a 75-year-old man who was being treated for pneumonia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a 100 billion Turkish lira ($ 15.4 billion) relief program to help ease the blow of the new coronavirus epidemic.
The Economic Stability Shield package announced on Wednesday includes postponing debt payments, helping businesses by deferring tax and social security payments and raising the lowest pensions .
Erdogan also urged citizens to comply with government directives and stay at home, saying: "We can limit the period of home isolation to three weeks if everyone complies with the measures sensitively".
Turkey has reported one death from COVID-19 and 98 confirmed infections.
The country has suspended flights from 20 countries, closed schools and universities, and closed bars, nightclubs, cafes, cinemas and gymnasiums, among other measures to contain the spread of the virus.
Unless there is a miracle, Italy will outnumber China in coronavirus deaths in one more day.
On Wednesday, Italy recorded a new record in the number of reported infections and deaths, adding more than 4,200 new cases for a total of 35,713 infections. Another 475 people died, bringing the death toll to 2,978.
China, where the COVID-19 pandemic first appeared at the end of last year, left 3,241 people dead, most in the hard-hit central Hubei province.
Italy has an older population than China, but has only 60 million people for 1.4 billion people in China. Medical experts say the new virus kills people over the age of 65 at a much higher rate than other age groups.
President Donald Trump has said that hell temporarily bans non-essential travel across the U.S.-Mexico border due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Trump said at a White House briefing on Wednesday that hell was soon to invoke a provision of federal law to bar asylum seekers and border residents from entering. Trump says he only wants to allow travel deemed essential, such as movements related to the medical industry, the military or certain industries.
He says some people go back and forth across the US-Mexico border for hobbies, such as eating out, and he wants to end this type of trip on a temporary basis.
A 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship will be deployed to New York to ease the pressure on hospitals caring for people with COVID-19.
The ship would accept non-coronavirus patients. The news came on Wednesday as hospitals in the New York area cleaned beds, set up new spaces to screen patients and urged people with mild symptoms to seek medical care by phone or video chat instead to flood the emergency rooms.
These measures come in anticipation of a huge spike in coronavirus patients. Governor Andrew Cuomo has warned that demand for hospital beds may soon exceed the capacity of tens of thousands as the outbreak breaks out. Virus cases in the state exceeded 2,300 on Wednesday, with at least 20 deaths.
Florida now has 314 people who tested positive for COVID-19 and six deaths.
Its theme parks, bars, nightclubs and numerous beaches are closed. An exception on Wednesday was Clearwater Beach, near Tampa, which was open and packed under clear, sunny skies.
Most of the groups there seemed to be sitting at least six feet (2 meters) from the other groups of people, but Sarah Kelley, section manager of a grocery store in St. Louis, agreed that the beach visit with her two teenage sons may not have been the best idea.
It’s a great purulent petri dish, "she said.
According to a new federal report, deaths from coronavirus in the United States have been reported in other countries, with around 4 in 5 deaths occurring in people 65 and older and no deaths in children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the results on Wednesday in a survey of more than 4,200 American cases reported from February 12 to March 16. Officials had limited information, with data on the age of around 2,500 of them.
Based on the information available, the researchers found that about one-third of the reported cases involved people 65 and older, but Americans in retirement age made up the bulk of people suffering from a serious illness.
More than half of the coronavirus patients admitted to the intensive care units of the hospital were 65 and older, reported the CDC. No one 19 or younger has been admitted to an intensive care unit, the CDC said.
Iceland aims to test a larger proportion of its population for the new coronavirus than any other country to find out how COVID-19 spreads.
The North Atlantic nation, 360,000 residents, has 250 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with three hospitalizations and no deaths.
The biopharmaceutical company deCODE Genetics, based in Reykjavik, has set up a test facility capable of collecting 1,000 samples per day and hopes to test 14,000 people, or around 4% of the Icelandic population.
The company said that of 3,700 people tested to date, 0.8% had the virus despite the fact that they had little or no symptoms of illness.
Iceland quarantined 2,500 people due to possible exposure to the virus. They were tested and about 10% were found to be infected.
Stefnsson said the difference in infection rates between the general population and those in quarantine shows the effectiveness of government efforts.
Vice President Mike Pence called on hospitals to delay all elective procedures across the country to help ensure that medical capacity is focused on fighting the spread of the coronavirus.
Hospital systems in hard-hit areas, including New York and Washington State, have already started to postpone elective surgeries as they anticipate the need for more hospital beds for people diagnosed with the virus.
New York mayor Bill de Blasio has said he will sign an executive order to postpone all elective surgeries in New York hospitals so doctors and nurses can focus on treating patients with virus.
Pence said that the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Seema Verma would soon issue federal guidelines on elective procedures.
President Donald Trump has said that hell is invoking the Defense Production Act to mobilize the private sector in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump also said that the Department of Housing and Urban Development provides immediate relief to tenants and landlords by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April.
More than two dozen Senate Democrats have urged Trump to invoke the Korean War law to increase production of the masks, respirators and respirators required. The use of the law will also help increase the capacity of hospitals to fight coronavirus.
Trump announced on Wednesday at a White House briefing that he will sign the papers to invoke the deed later in the day. The United States has registered 116 virus-related deaths and more than 7,300 infections.
In an unprecedented peacetime movement, the French army began to evacuate critical coronavirus patients from eastern France, the region of the country most affected by the pandemic.
French Defense Minister Florence Parly said six patients were transferred to an Airbus military plane on Wednesday to ease the pressure on local hospitals in Mulhouse and Colmar. They were transferred to military hospitals in the south of France. The transfer should be the first of many.
In a speech on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the upcoming construction of a makeshift military hospital in eastern France. It will house around thirty intensive care beds.
France is the third most affected country in Europe in terms of deaths from COVID-19. Health officials are reporting at least 7,730 confirmed cases, of which 175 have died.
The State of Alabama has postponed its first runoff scheduled for March 31 in the Senate race between Jeff Sessions and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville .
Saying that people are lining up to vote is too risky at the moment, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said the second round was postponed until July 14. The winner will face US Senator Doug Jones in November.
Five other states also postponed their primaries due to the coronavirus pandemic: Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and Ohio.
___ The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, said his government was delaying tax payments until August, providing a wage subsidy to small businesses and suspending the payment of student loans during a pandemic.
Trudeau says the government is working to ensure that Canadians have the money they need to support their families, buy groceries and pay the rent. Up to C $ 82 billion ($ 56.4 billion) is spent. Silver represents about 3% of Canada's gross domestic product.
Trudeau says he will give small business employers a temporary wage subsidy equivalent to 10% of the wages paid to employees, for three months. He says this will encourage employers to keep staff on the payroll.
Trudeau made the announcement outside his residence where he self-isolated after his wife tested positive for the virus. He says that she is fine but that she is experiencing flu-like symptoms and headaches. The Prime Minister says that he and his three children have no symptoms.
The transatlantic liner Costa Luminosa, which has several COVID-19 boxes among its passengers, is heading for the French Mediterranean port of Marseille.
More than 200 Americans are among the more than 1,400 people on a cruise who, according to French authorities, will arrive in the waters of the port of Marseille on Thursday. It is not known whether the French authorities will allow the ship to enter. It is unlikely that they will let passengers disembark, given the current strict anti-virus movement rules imposed in the country.
The ship was cleared for a stopover in Tenerife, Spain on Sunday and to unload three people who were to be evacuated and hospitalized along with their spouses. The other passengers were prevented from disembarking in the Spanish Canary Islands.
Officials said on March 13 that the first case of Puerto Rico virus was a 68-year-old Italian woman who arrived on the Costa Luminosa with symptoms. She was taken to the San Juan Hospital and was confirmed to be infected. The government of Puetro Rico has since banned cruise ship docking.
Turkey is sealing its land and rail border crossings with Greece and Bulgaria as part of its efforts to contain the new epidemic of coronavirus.
State agency Anadolu announced on Wednesday that Turkey's six border gates with Greece and Bulgaria will be closed at midnight. Ferry crossings between Turkey and Greece have also been suspended
Thousands of migrants have massed at the Turkish border post of Pazarkule with Greece in the past few weeks, after Ankara announced that it would no longer prevent migrants from traveling to European countries . The move was intended to force EU countries to share the burden of caring for more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
The International Labor Organization of the United Nations estimates that the fallout from the new coronavirus epidemic could lead to nearly 25 million job losses and drain up to $ 3.4 trillion in employment income. By the end of this year.
The Geneva-based agency said an internationally coordinated political response could help mitigate these losses through worker protection, fiscal stimulus, and support for employment and wages ,
The ILO has presented a number of scenarios on the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, estimating an increase in global unemployment between 5.3 million and 24.7 million people. This is in addition to the estimated 188 million that the agency had predicted at the end of last year in its annual forecasts.
The agency noted that the global financial crisis had increased global unemployment by 22 million people.
The job cuts are also causing significant loss of income for workers, said the ILO when presenting its preliminary assessment.
Greek authorities have imposed movement restrictions on migrants and refugees in camps on islands off the Turkish coast as part of public security measures for the coronavirus pandemic.
Beginning on Wednesday, migrants from the Lesbos camps and four other islands will only be allowed to visit the islands' cities in small groups and for limited periods, the ministry said. The ministry said it is also speeding up plans to build detention centers on the islands or convert existing sites for detention.
Although no infection has been confirmed in the camps, the severe conditions of overcrowding and current arrivals are of major concern to the Greek authorities.
UNESCO says that about half of the world's student population is out of school due to the global virus pandemic.
The latest school closings cover 102 countries with smaller localized closings in others for a total of 850 million students, from kindergartens to universities. A week ago, school closings only covered 15 countries, the UN agency said.
UNESCO said on Wednesday that education systems use both high and low tech solutions to fill gaps, including video lessons and radio broadcasts.
In Detroit, buses were operating again on Wednesday, one day after drivers failed to show up for work and the service was canceled due to concerns about the coronavirus.
Trips are now free and passengers will enter and exit through a rear side door, steps that avoid contact with drivers. On average, 85,000 people take the bus every day.
I feel good now, said pilot Wayne Clayton, who is wearing a mask. It is certainly important work. We have to make people work.
A Christian evangelical group led by the son of the late televangelist Billy Graham sent a field hospital in northern Italy to care for patients with coronavirus, joining China to offer assistance to submerged health system of Italy.
The Defense Ministry said a DC8 belonging to Samaritans Purse had landed at Verona airport on Tuesday. The group claims to have sent a 68-bed field hospital, including eight intensive care beds, 20 tonnes of medical supplies and 32 specialists. The hospital is to be set up for three months in the hard-hit province of Cremona, in northern Lombardy.
Samaritans Purse is led by Pastor Franklin Graham, one of President Donald Trumps' evangelical allies. Critics have accused the Samaritan church of proselytizing with its help, but the group says its help is provided regardless of religious affiliation.
Humanitarian groups say Italy is experiencing a serious shortage of medical equipment needed to properly fight the coronavirus.
The Governor of Puerto Ricos has asked the Federal Aviation Administration to temporarily suspend all commercial passenger flights to and from the United States for two weeks to help reduce cases of coronavirus. The FAA did not respond.
Governor Wanda Vzquez also announced on Wednesday that doctors no longer needed permission from the Islands Department of Health to request that a person be tested for COVID-19.
The governor announced a two-week curfew on Sunday that closed almost all businesses except gas stations and those in the health, finance and food sectors.
The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the science education department of the Howard Hughes Medical Institutes. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
Follow the AP coverage of the virus epidemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, disseminated, rewritten or redistributed without authorization.
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