A record-high number of people applied for unemployment benefits last week as layoffs engulfed the United States in the face of a near-total economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus. The surge in weekly applications for benefits far exceeded the previous record set in 1982.
That comes as U.S. deaths from the pandemic have now topped 1,000, in another grim milestone for a global outbreak that is taking lives and wreaking havoc on economies and established routines of life. Worldwide, the death toll climbed past 22,000, according to a running count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Meanwhile, Spanish and Italian medical workers are at breaking point as the coronavirus wages a bitter war of attrition against health care workers around the world.
Here are some of AP’s top stories Thursday 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:
– House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress will give final approval Friday to the $2.2 trillion economic rescue bill, a vote that would cap Congressâ€™ tumultuous effort to rush the relief to a nation battered by the coronavirus.
– China is temporarily barring most foreigners from entering the country as it seeks to curb the number of imported coronavirus cases.
– President Donald Trump’s desire to reopen the coronavirus-battered economy in a matter of weeks has thrust the administration into the delicate position of weighing the revival of commerce versus the value of American life.
– A growing number of Americans say state and federal governments are starting to trample civil rights in the name of public health during the outbreak.
– In France, the fight against COVID-19 is being waged one baguette at a time. The iconic loaf and the daily ritual of buying it have become loaded with moral, civic and public health considerations that could never have been imagined a few months ago.
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. Hereâ€™s how.
Misinformation overload: How to separate fact from fiction and rumor from deliberate efforts to mislead.
$2.7 billion: Estimated cost of postponing the Tokyo Olympics, the Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei estimated. The Tokyo Olympics need new dates for the opening and closing ceremonies in 2021. Nothing much can get done until those dates are determined by the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government and Tokyo organizers.
Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak