The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.
TOP OF THE HOUR:
– Blue Angels and Thunderbirds will do flyovers to honor health care workers.
– Italian governors contend nationâ€™s partial easing of lockdown rules is too tame.
– Washington D.C. announces 51 new positive COVID-19 infections.
WASHINGTON – The Navy Blue Angels and the Air Force Thunderbirds will conduct a series of flyovers of cities starting Tuesday in honor of the nationâ€™s health care workers and first responders.
The Pentagon is calling it a show of national solidarity in the face of the pandemic.
The two flight demonstration teams will fly over areas of the country hardest hit by COVID-19, as both joint and individual team flights until mid-May.
The first flights will be Tuesday over New York City, Philadelphia, and the New Jersey cities of Newark and Trenton.
The Air Force and Navy are working with local governments to help ensure spectators follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing guidelines. The Blue Angels are based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, and the Thunderbirds are based at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.
Both teams this year have canceled many performances in response to Department of Defense direction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.
ROME – Some Italian governors are contending the nationâ€™s partial easing of lockdown rules against COVID-19 is too tame.
Gov. Luca Zaia of Veneto, a region in northeast Italy, signed an ordinance on Monday that allows residents to travel within Veneto to reach second homes or docks where boats they own are moored to do maintenance.
Under the latest lockdown rules announced by Premier Giuseppe Conte on Sunday night, Italians starting May 4 can leave their town to visit relatives within their region but cannot travel to second homes.
The national decree allows Italians to exercise outdoors, including with a bicycle, anywhere within their towns starting May 4. Currently such exercise must be done near oneâ€™s residence.
Zaia announced heâ€™s allowing Veneto residents to start doing that immediately.
The national decree allows retail stores to open on May 18, while barber shops, hair salons, restaurants and cafes, can open their doors on June 1.
Conte has insisted restrictions be loosened gradually to lower the risk of a second outbreak.
Attilio Fontana, governor of neighboring Lombardy, where Italyâ€™s outbreak is the worst, also expressed dissatisfaction with the timetable. Both governors are from the opposition League party.
But even governors from parties in Conteâ€™s center-left coalition were critical.
Emilia-Romagna Gov. Stefano Bonaccini said, â€œWeâ€™re disappointed about schools and how families must organize themselves.â€ Schools wonâ€™t reopen till September.
WASHINGTON – Washington D.C. health officials have announced 51 new positive COVID-19 infections have been identified.
Monday’s new number brings the total of confirmed cases to 3,892, with seven new deaths for a total of 185.
Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a state of emergency on March 11 and issued a stay-home order on March 30 for Washingtonâ€™s approximately 700,000 residents.
Bowser has also announced plans to turn Washington D.C.â€™s convention center into a 1,500-bed field hospital.
BUCHAREST, Romania – Romaniaâ€™s president says the countryâ€™s kindergartens, schools and universities will remain closed until the end of the school year. Distance learning will continue until the mid-June summer break.
President Klaus Iohannis said Monday that only students in the 8th and 12th grades will return to the classrooms in early June to take national exams amid strict distancing rules. That will include a maximum of 10 students per classroom.
Romaniaâ€™s state of emergency because of the new coronavirus pandemic is currently scheduled to be in place until May 15.
Romania has reported 11,339 coronavirus cases and 631 deaths.
ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey has detained 402 people in the past 42 days for allegedly sharing â€œfalse and provocativeâ€ social media postings concerning the coronavirus outbreak.
An Interior Ministry statement says officials have inspected over 6,000 social media accounts and that the 402 suspects were among a total of 855 account-holders sought by authorities for sharing posts deemed to be â€œprovocative.â€
A ministry official said the social media users were detained for allegedly attempting to â€œcause panicâ€ over the coronavirus pandemic with posts that among other things accuse the government of not taking sufficient measures to curb the outbreak or of lying about the death or infection tolls.
Turkey has reported a total of 2,805 deaths and 110,130 confirmed infections. It ranks seventh in the world for the number of confirmed infections.
MADRID — Spainâ€™s interior minister says an â€œoverwhelming majorityâ€ of parents are complying with social distancing rules when taking their children outside for the first time in weeks.
But Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska noted occasional non-compliance since Sundayâ€™s first day of the new measures. That included both parents going out with a child instead of just one parent, groups of children playing together and groups of parents chatting together.
The government plans to ease stay-at-home restrictions for more people, including the elderly, on May 2.
Prime Minister Pedro SÃ¡nchez is scheduled to announce Tuesday details of how an easing of the lockdown will proceed in coming weeks. Spain has recorded more than 23,5000 deaths from COVID-19.
Health Minister Salvador Illa said Monday restrictions will be eased gradually and at different speeds across the country.
He said that the government is advising companies eager to reopen that they should still allow staff to work from home whenever possible, introduce flexible shift work and keep workplaces clean.
COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Norwegian children returned to school Monday while the countryâ€™s health and culture ministers went for haircuts as salons reopened.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg watched students from the first to the fourth grade return to classes at the Ellingsrudaasen school in Oslo.
Culture Minister Abid Raja told Norwegian news agency that the face recognition on his cell phone â€œalmost didnâ€™t recognize meâ€ until his wife brought out the razor.
Bent Hoeie, his colleague from the health ministry said it was good to be back in the barber chair.
Tattoo parlors and beauty salons through Norway also reopened Monday.
ZAGREB, Croatia – Public transport has resumed in the Croatian capital of Zagreb as authorities launched a phased easing of measures against the new coronavirus.
Loosening of some rules designed to curb the outbreak is accompanied by strict respect of social distancing measures and the use of protective gear and disinfectants.
In previous weeks, public transport lines were restricted.
Zagrebâ€™s tram lines still have not resumed while buses wonâ€™t enter the old center that was damaged in an earthquake last month.
People using buses in Zagreb were entering only at the front door and sitting away from each other inside. They were wearing face masks and applying hand sanitizers.
Citizens expressed hope that the situation will not worsen with the easing of lockdown measures if everyone sticks to the recommendations set out by the authorities.
Croatia also on Monday allowed some business and shops to resume work and restored some boat lines toward the islands along the Adriatic Sea coast.
Croatia has reported 2,030 infections and 55 deaths.
GREEN BAY, Wis. – A beef production plant in Green Bay has become the latest to shut down due to coronavirus infections among employees.
JBS USA announced Sunday that the JBS Packerland plant would be closed temporarily. The Green Bay Press Gazette reported that at least 189 COVID-19 infections had been linked to JBS Packerland as of Friday.
The state Department of Health Services says the number of confirmed new coronavirus cases in Brown County overall grew to 776 on Sunday.
The JBS Packerland plant employs more than 1,200 people and feeds nearly 3.2 million people per day. The company said employees will be paid during the closure.
JBS earlier closed plants in Souderton, Pennsylvania; Greeley, Colorado; and Worthington, Minnesota. The first two plants have since reopened.
JBS and other meat processors say theyâ€™ve taken a variety of steps to reduce the chances of workers spreading the virus to each other, including adding plexiglass barriers between workers, stressing social distancing and providing personal protective gear.
LONDON – The British government is giving members of the public the chance to question ministers and scientists about the new coronavirus pandemic at daily televised news conferences.
The conferences feature a government minister alongside senior scientists inside 10 Downing St. Journalists ask questions by video link and the sessions have become a familiar feature of life during the outbreak.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson often led the press conferences before he contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalized earlier this month. He returned to work Monday after three weeks away.
People can submit questions on a government website starting Monday. One question from the public will be asked each day, with the selection made by polling agency YouGov.
The government says officials taking part in the news conference wonâ€™t be told the questions in advance.
BERLIN – Germanyâ€™s Foreign Ministry says the country is making 300 million euros ($325 million) available worldwide for humanitarian aid related to the new coronavirus.
It is in response to a call for assistance from the United Nations and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent.
Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said Monday that people in war zones, refugee camps and in countries with overwhelmed health care systems are at particular risk during the pandemic.
Maas says â€œour solidarity is needed to help alleviate suffering,â€ adding that â€œonly together will we permanently defeat the pandemic; otherwise there will always be new waves of infection.â€
The funds will be targeted to a variety of organizations including the World Health Organization, International Organization for Migration, Red Cross and Red Crescent, World Food Program, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Itâ€™s expected to be put to use to help with health-care projects, as well as water and sanitation measures.
NEW DELHI, India – Indiaâ€™s main medical research organization has cancelled orders to procure rapid antibody test kits from two Chinese companies after quality issues and controversies over its price.
The order was canceled Monday after a New Delhi court revealed that the Indian government was paying more than twice what it cost to import them.
States in India had wanted rapid testing kits because they wanted to test and identify the actual spread of the virus within communities. Experts point out that while the lockdown has slowed the rate of transmission, effectively scaling up testing remains key for India to get ahead of the virus.
India had imported almost one million kits from China to ramp up testing.
Indiaâ€™s health ministry says the recovery rate of COVID-19 patients in the country stands at 22% after reporting more than 27,000 cases of the new coronavirus, including 872 deaths.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the month-long ongoing lockdown has yielded positive results and that the country has saved â€œthousands of lives.â€
Critics of the government and doctors say India needs to ramp us its testing abilities to fully tackle the coronavirus.
LISBON, Portugal — Portugalâ€™s prime minister says authorities are aiming to relax some of the measures devised to stem the spread of the coronavirus next month.
Prime Minister Antonio Costa says new rules on self-isolation and going back to work or school will be introduced every two weeks, as their impact is assessed.
The plan is due to be announced on Thursday.
Costa warned the changes donâ€™t mean a return to normal and that will only happen once there is a vaccine.
Portugal was quick to enact a lockdown and has reported 903 deaths from COVID-19, far fewer than neighboring Spainâ€™s more than 23,500.
LONDON – British lawmakers are urging the government to take urgent action to tackle domestic violence after a report found that calls to the national domestic abuse helpline surged 49% during the coronavirus lockdown.
The Home Affairs Committee also cited research that estimated at least 16 domestic abuse killings of women and children took place between Mar. 23 when lockdown measures were announced and April 12. It is double that of an average 21 day period in the last decade.
Yvette Cooper is chair of the committee and said Monday urgent action is needed to protect victims.
The committee called for new emergency funding for social services to protect vulnerable women and children, and measures to ensure victims can access urgent help during lockdown.
BRUSSELS – Italy has become the first European Union country to apply for financial aid from a 800-million euros fund set up by the 27-country bloc to tackle the crisis triggered by the new coronavirus pandemics.
Italy has been the hardest-hit EU country by the deadly virus so far with some 26,000 fatalities.
The fund initially was designed to help countries hit by natural disasters. Now it can be used in health emergencies like the COVID-19 crisis after the European Council and the EU Parliament approved a proposal from the blocâ€™s executive arm.
The European Commission said Monday that member states can request aid until June 24. Applications will then be assessed by the Commission, which will submit a proposal for financial aid to the Council and the Parliament.
The Commission will deal with all applications in one single package, not on a first come first served basis.
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