More than 3.1 million cases of the virus have been confirmed worldwide, and more than 217,000 people have died from it, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Efforts to curb the outbreak have led to the global disruption of daily life and the economy, as schools and workplaces shutter in hopes of slowing transmission.
HuffPost reporters around the world are tracking the pandemic and the measures being taken to flatten the curve of transmission.
Read the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)
Newsom: California May Start The Next School Year Earlier — 4/29/20, 8:00 a.m. ET
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he’s considering having his state’s public schools start the next school year earlier with a number of heavy modifications.
Newsom, speaking on NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday, said the changes could entail school times being staggered and lunch being eaten at desks instead of in a cafeteria. The changes, he admitted would be “very difficult.”
“If we’re ever going to get the economy moving again we’ve got to allow parents the ability to go back to work that can’t afford childcare and we’ve got to do it in a way that keeps our kids safe and our teachers safe and ultimately our community safe,” he said.
Spain Announces Phased Return To Normality — 4/29/20, 7:15 a.m.
Spain has announced a four-stage plan for life to return to normal by the end of June, signaling a potential end to one of the toughest coronavirus lockdowns in the world. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the lifting of the restrictions that have halted public life since March 14 and nearly paralyzed the economy, will begin May 4 and vary from province to province.
HuffPost Spain reports (in Spanish) that each phase will last two weeks and will then advance to the next stage if key data points indicate that it’s safe to continue removing the lockdown.
During the initial phase, hairdressers and other businesses that operate via appointment will open, while restaurants will be able to offer takeaway services. In the next stage, envisaged to begin on May 11 for most of Spain, bars will reopen their terraces but will be limited to a third of their capacity.
Spain’s daily death toll is now at around 300, less than a third of a record high of 950 in early April. Total fatalities since the start of the outbreak sit at 23,822, while the number of cases have risen to 210,773 – the world’s second-highest after the United States.
Virus Sweeps Unabated Through Michigan Prison — 4/29/2020, 6:50 a.m. ET
A lawsuit to be filed Wednesday on behalf of 37,000 Michigan state inmates alleges that the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) has failed to protect them from the spread of coronavirus, and inmates at the Lakeland Correctional Facility accuse the MDOC of knowingly allowing them to get sick.
“We weren’t sentenced to death, but as of now everyone feels like they’re on their way,” said Lakeland inmate Patrick Wilson. About 57% of Lakeland’s 1,400 prisoners have tested positive. Read more at HuffPost.
COVID-19 ‘Significantly More Lethal’ Than Seasonal Flu, Early Antibody Test Results Suggest — 4/29/2020, 2:20 a.m. ET
The novel coronavirus is more lethal than the seasonal flu, according to preliminary COVID-19 antibody test results, The Washington Post reported.
In New York state, for instance, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Monday that, based on the latest antibody numbers, the death rate from the virus appears to be around 0.5%. Columbia University researchers have estimated that the national fatality rate is around 0.6%.
That rate “is way more than a usual flu season and I would think way more than the ’57 or 1968 [influenza] pandemic death toll, too,” epidemiologist Cecile Viboud told the Post.
Coronavirus Deaths In U.S. Exceed Toll From Vietnam War — 4/28/20, 6:53 p.m. ET
The death toll in the United States from the coronavirus pandemic has officially surpassed the nation’s death toll from the Vietnam War, with Johns Hopkins University reporting 58,365 confirmed COVID-19 deaths as of Tuesday evening.
The Vietnam Conflict Extract Data File of the Defense Casualty Analysis System Extract Files contains records of at least 58,220 U.S. military fatalities from the Vietnam War, according to the National Archives, which has had custody of the records since 2008. The Vietnam War lasted nearly two decades, and the records show that the deaths spanned about 50 years. The COVID-19 death toll comes not even three months since the first confirmed U.S. death from the virus.
While the total fatalities in the U.S. during the pandemic and during the war is almost the same now, the nation’s actual death rate from COVID-19 is much higher, at about 17.6 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, according to NPR. The death toll in 1968 — the deadliest year for the U.S. in Vietnam — was 16,899, or 8.5 troops killed for every 100,000 U.S. residents. The nation has a Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., where the name of each U.S. fatality is written on a wall. The coronavirus fatality count in the U.S. now exceeds the count on that wall.
For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.
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