18-23 minutes - Source: NYT
The spread of the virus poses challenges around the world.From the snowy peaks of the Alps to the sun-drenched shores of Sicily, Italians woke up on Tuesday to the stark new reality of a nationwide lockdown.
The sweeping order to impose severe travel limits across the whole country, announced on Monday by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in a prime-time news conference, was the latest escalation in Italy’s fight to slow the spread of the
In the United States, Wall Street suffered its worst day in more than a decade on Monday, adding to losses in recent weeks that have evaporated some $5 trillion in stock market wealth. But European markets on Tuesday morning showed signs of stabilizing, and Wall Street futures were also pointing to a rebound.
President Trump is expected to unveil measures today intended to provide a stimulus to the economy, among them possibly a cut in payroll taxes to provide some form of relief to people who live paycheck to paycheck and for whom taking time off work because of illness — or to monitor possible exposure to the virus — could mean financial ruin.
Investors’ perceptions that the Trump administration was bungling efforts to combat the virus have fed fears that the American economy will tilt into recession, added to the deepening sense of anxiety worldwide.
More than 114,000 cases of infection have been reported globally, and more than 4,000 people have died. But the numbers tell only a slice of the story.
The speed with which the virus is spreading has left public health officials rushing to catch up.
New York State announced its first cases only a week ago. Now, with more than 140 confirmed cases, thousands find themselves under “self-isolation orders” — often with little guidance as to what that means.
Hospitals across the United States have already reported shortages of a crucial type of respirator mask.
Nationally, there were over 700 confirmed cases, but officials cautioned that the number was likely to be higher, as delays in testing have slowed efforts to get a more complete picture.
In the scramble to take precautionary measures, cases of infection left offices empty — including NATO headquarters in Brussels and communal work spaces in Silicon Valley, Calif. —
But the global count of at least 114,000 cases also includes more than 64,000 people who have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
In China, where the virus was first detected late last year, the number of new infections continued to dwindle.
President Xi Jinping sought to demonstrate how the country was recovering by visiting the hardest hit city, Wuhan.
But the real test will come when the travel restrictions are lifted in the region. Only then will it be clear whether China has managed to get control over the spread of the virus or simply earned a temporary reprieve.
From a port in California to Columbia University in New York City, a sense of crisis grows in the U.S.
The outbreak on the ship was just one of many fronts in the battle to slow the spread of
Monday was the seventh consecutive day with more diagnoses than the previous day.
The national total of infections surpassed 700, contributing to the cancellation of mass gatherings like the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston, the closing of school classrooms and self-quarantines by members of Congress and the commander of American forces in Europe.
“I don’t think you want to have folks shutting down cities like in northern Italy — we are not at that level,” Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the leading American expert on infectious diseases, said in an interview. “Social distancing like in Seattle is the way to go.”
On Tuesday, schools in Fulton County, which serve the Atlanta suburbs, will be closed because an employee tested positive. Elsewhere, Ohio State University; Amherst College; the University of California, Berkeley; and New York University have announced plans to suspend in-person classes and move to an online format, joining a growing list of colleges and universities that have taken similar steps.
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, visits Wuhan for the first time.
Wearing a blue mask, Mr. Xi stopped short of declaring victory, but his visit to Wuhan was clearly intended to send a powerful signal that the government believes the worst of the national emergency could soon be over in China — just as others countries are being struck by their own outbreaks.
As if to echo the message, some cities, even in
Mr. Xi flew into Wuhan in the morning and raced through several sites in the deeply traumatized city of 11 million people who have remained largely under lockdown for nearly seven weeks. The city and surrounding province of Hubei have accounted for all but 112 of the 3,136 deaths in mainland China.
“Hubei and Wuhan have been the very most decisive battleground in this struggle to contain the epidemic,” Mr. Xi said, according to an account of his remarks from Xinhua, the official news agency. “Through arduous efforts, there’s been a promising turn in epidemic containment in Hubei and Wuhan, and we’ve achieved important interim results. But the tasks of containment remain arduous and heavy.”
Mr. Xi stopped at a community center, where he met with party volunteers on the sidewalk, and a hospital specially built in a matter of days in February to treat thousands of the epidemic’s victims, an achievement the government has repeatedly touted as evidence of its ability to marshal resources in a crisis.
Life locked down in Italy: the morning after.
Late Monday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte ordered the most severe nationwide limits on travel in Europe, adopting the playbook used by China to contain the virus.
Such draconian measures will undoubtedly prove complicated in a society that prizes individual freedom. But with more than 9,000 cases of infection and nearly 50 deaths, drastic action was needed, Mr.
Travel was allowed
The Italian national health system geared for an upsurge in critical cases, and the national procurement agency moved to buy equipment for thousands of new intensive-care beds.
Laura Castelli, deputy economy minister, told a radio program that payments on mortgages “for individuals and households” would be suspended throughout Italy. The measure is likely to be part of a fiscal package to bolster the economy that the government is expected to discuss further on Wednesday.
Investors nervously return to the market after
Wall Street rout.
European stocks opened higher, led by a rise of more than 2 percent in London. Asian markets
The gains did not make up for the global plunge in
Markets still showed signs of nervousness on Tuesday. Yields on U.S.
As the virus hits Europe, a variety of strategies are tried to slow the spread.
France, Germany and Spain continued to see the biggest surge in new infections, with each country confirming more than 1,200 cases. But the measures taken by the bloc’s member states to contain the virus varied from country to country.
The Czech Republic announced that all schools aside from universities would close, starting on Wednesday.
The Spanish government stepped up its efforts to contain further contagion by closing all education centers in the Madrid region, from nursery schools to universities.
The measure means that more than 1.25 million pupils and students will have to stay at home.
The school closings, which have also affected Vitoria, the capital of the Basque region, another epicenter of
“Families who need support or specific help will get it,” Ms. Montero said, without specifying how.
In Poland, schools in Poznan, a city in the west of the country, were ordered closed after a case of infection was discovered. Swimming pools and other public places were also to be shut for two weeks, starting on Wednesday,
Across the Continent, countries stepped up travel regulations and guidelines.
Austria on Tuesday barred travelers from Italy without a health certificate, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.
Serbia has temporarily barred travelers from the worst-affected places, including Italy, while Croatian officials said that entering the country from highly infected areas would be put into a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Basic steps to reduce your risk and protect others.
President Trump’s view on vaccines shifts.
Federal health officials have repeatedly pointed out that his timetable is off — it will take at least a year — but Mr. Trump’s single-minded focus on warp-speed production of a new vaccine represents a striking philosophical shift.
For years, he was an extreme vaccine skeptic who not only blamed childhood immunizations for autism — a position that scientists have forcefully repudiated — but once boasted he had never had a flu shot.
At least a decade before Mr. Trump was elected president, with responsibilities that would include nominating experts to lead the nation’s health centers, the hotelier and commercial developer was holding forth with great confidence about medical topics. When an interviewer would note that physicians disagreed with the dim view he took of vaccines, Mr. Trump remained ever ebullient, impervious and dismissive of scientific authority.
Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House that he would meet with Senate leaders and House Republicans on Tuesday to discuss a “very substantial” payroll tax cut and legislation intended to protect hourly wage earners who may have to miss work because of the virus. He also said he would ensure that the Small Business Administration extended more loans.
“This was something that we were thrown into, and we’re going to handle it, and we