The Latest: India reports biggest single-day spike in cases
NEW DELHI — India surpassed Italy as the sixth worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic after another biggest single-day spike in confirmed infections.
The Health Ministry reported 9,887 new cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 236,657.
Most of the new cases are in rural areas following the return of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who left cities and towns after the lockdown in late March.
The lockdown is now largely being enforced in high-risk areas while authorities have partially restored train services and domestic flights and allowed shops and manufacturing to reopen. Shopping malls and religious places are due to open on Monday with restrictions to avoid large gatherings.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— U.S. unemployment makes a surprise 13.3% drop amid the pandemic.
— The U.K. became the second country after the United States with more than 40,000 virus deaths.
— WHO widens recommendations for use of masks.
— Saturday’s D-Day anniversary will be one of the loneliest remembrances ever for the June 6, 1944 landings in Normandy. The coronavirus pandemic is keeping almost everyone away — from world leaders to frail veterans who might not get another chance for a final farewell to their comrades.
— Europe could have its free travel zone up and running again by the end of this month, but travelers from further afield will not be allowed in before July, a European Union commissioner said Friday after talks among the bloc’s interior ministers. The news should come as a relief to millions of Europeans still trying to work out their summer vacation plans — which begin for many in July once the school year is over.
— Japan has kept its deaths from the new coronavirus low despite a series of missteps that beg the question of whether it can prevent future waves of infections. Authorities have conducted only a fraction of the tests needed to find and isolate patients.
Go to https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates throughout the day.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING TODAY:
BEIJING — China is ordering its highest level of protection for the armadillo-like pangolin as part of its crackdown on the wildlife trade following the global coronavirus pandemic.
While the virus is believed to have originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, most scientists say it was most likely transmitted from bats to humans via an intermediary animal such as the pangolin.
The order Friday from the National Forestry and Grassland Administration does not explicitly mention the virus outbreak as a reason for the measure, but the timing appears to indicate that was a consideration.
Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy by some Chinese and its scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Other animals protected at China’s top level include giant pandas, Tibetan antelopes and red-crowned cranes.
BEIJING — China’s capital is lowering its emergency response level to the second-lowest starting Saturday for the coronavirus pandemic.
That will lift most restrictions on people traveling from Wuhan and the surrounding province of Hubei, where the virus first appeared late last year. They will no longer face 14-day mandatory quarantines and other forms of monitoring, and those currently in such situations will be allowed to return to their normal lives.
Beijing residential compounds will not be required to conduct temperature checks and masks no longer must be worn for outdoor activities. Kindergartens will reopen and other grades still suspended will restart classes.
Beijing has reported no new cases of local transmission in at least 50 days and as many as 90 days in some districts.
SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico Supreme Court is temporarily suspending consumer debt collection such as garnishing wages and seizing assets in response to the coronavirus pandemic and its related economic downturn.
The court on Friday ordered the temporary suspension in a new effort to alleviate economic hardship amid a surge in unemployment and uncertainties.
The decision comes as a virus outbreak continues to race through privately run prison facilities for state and federal inmates in Otero County. There have been 583 positive tests among inmates there.
Follow AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak