Millions of people were allowed to return to work in Italy on Monday as Europe’s longest lockdown started to ease, while countries from Iceland to India took a patchwork of steps to loosen coronavirus restrictions. Businesses including hairdressers in Greece and restaurants in Lebanon were opening their doors under new conditions.
With pressure growing in many countries for more measures to restart the economy, politicians also were trying to boost funding for research into a vaccine for COVID-19.
Here are some of AP’s top stories Monday 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:
— U.S. officials believe China covered up the extent of the coronavirus outbreak to stock up on medical supplies needed to respond to it. Chinese leaders “intentionally concealed the severity” of the pandemic from the world in early January, according to a four-page Department of Homeland Security intelligence report obtained by The Associated Press.
— U.S. regulators said some sellers of coronavirus blood tests have made false claims about their accuracy. The Food and Drug Administration pulled back a decision that allowed scores of tests to hit the market without first providing proof that they worked.
— Being homeless in New York City is tougher and scarier now amid the coronavirus pandemic. The city has identified more than 650 cases and more than 50 COVID-19 deaths among the 17,000 single adults in its shelter system.
— Dubai, a sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates, has bet billions of dollars on Expo 2020, a world’s fair, to rejuvenate its troubled economy. Now it’s been postponed until Oct. 1, 2021. The announcement by the Bureau International des Expositions came hours after police in Kuwait dispersed what they described as a riot by stranded Egyptians unable to return home amid the pandemic.
— World leaders began pledging billions of euros for research into a vaccine against the new coronavirus but warned that it is just the start of an effort that must be sustained over time to beat the disease. The leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Norway and top European Union officials said the money raised will be channeled mostly through recognized global health organizations.
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. Here’s how.
TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.
— 1,356: The number of people who have died in Russia as a steady rise in new infections raises pressure on the nation’s health care system, according to the government task force dealing with the outbreak.
IN OTHER NEWS:
— PANDEMIC SONGS: Musicians have been inspired to write and record songs that reflect the mood of a world dramatically altered by the new coronavirus.
— PARAMEDIC HONORED: Fire trucks and other emergency vehicles drove in procession from the Denver airport to honor a retired Colorado paramedic who died after volunteering to help combat the pandemic in New York City.