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Team USA pushes for Olympics delay as millions more ordered to stay at home

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York
A member of Joint Task Force 2, composed of soldiers and airmen from the New York Army and Air National Guard, wears a face mask while carrying paper towels as he arrives to sanitize and disinfect the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue in New Rochelle, New York, on March 23, 2020.Andrew Kelly / Reuters

The United Kingdom went into lockdown Monday as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried to stem the spread of coronavirus, which has infected more than 5,000 people and killed hundreds in his country.

More American states did the same, too. Officials in Louisiana, New Mexico, Washington and West Virginia issued stay-at-home orders. “Right now, every time you leave your house, you are putting yourself, your family and your community at risk,” New Mexico Gov. Lujan Grisham said.

Team USA's Olympic and Paralympic Committee called for the International Olympic Committee Summer Games in Tokyo.

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986d ago / 1:27 AM UTC

COVID-19 timeline: From patient zero to NYC as epicenter

986d ago / 1:24 AM UTC

West Virginia issues stay-at-home order

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Monday issued a statewide stay-at-home order aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, telling residents the disease is “really serious stuff.”

The order, which goes into effect Tuesday morning, urges West Virginians to stay at home for anything beyond essential travel. It also closes casinos, restaurants, parks and other places or limits the number of people who can visit them.

The state has seen the fewest number of positive cases in the country, but Justice said that a recent diagnosis was confirmed at a nursing home — a signal that "community spread" had begun.

West Virginia joined New Mexico, Washington state and Louisiana, which issued similar orders Monday. California, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey and New York already had stay-at-home policies in effect.

986d ago / 12:55 AM UTC

Some companies boost hiring to keep supply chain running

986d ago / 12:49 AM UTC

Washington residents ordered to ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’

Washington has joined other states in issuing a "stay home" order that urges residents to shelter in place. 

Gov. Jay Inslee announced the order Monday, telling residents they must stay home unless they are "pursuing an essential activity." The governor also asked that people resist the urge to hoard goods during their grocery shopping, which is deemed essential under the order. 

"If each of us maintains our normal shopping habits, we will avoid the problem of empty shelves," Inslee said.

Nearly 2,000 cases have been confirmed in Washington state, where 95 deaths have been blamed on the coronavirus. 

986d ago / 12:30 AM UTC

Team USA urges IOC to postpone Olympics

Team USA's Olympic and Paralympic Committee released a statement urging the International Olympic Committee to postpone the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo.

Team USA surveyed more than 1,700 athletes, just under half of the country's Olympic and Paralympic competitors, about continuing with the games as planned. Nearly 70 percent of the athletes said their training has been severely impacted by public health restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic, and about 68 percent said they don't believe the games could be fairly competed if they continue as scheduled. 

"To that end, it’s more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising, and we encourage the IOC to take all needed steps to ensure the Games can be conducted under safe and fair conditions for all competitors," the USOPC statement said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged Monday that the Tokyo Games could be delayed due to the coronavirus as countries began threatening to keep their athletes from traveling to Japan.

986d ago / 12:01 AM UTC

Trump jokingly walks away as doctor says she had fever over weekend

The Trump administration's coronavirus task force had a moment of levity on Monday when President Donald Trump playful walked away from panel member Dr. Deborah Birx after she revealed she had a fever over the weekend and was tested for the virus.

She was negative.

Read the full story here.

986d ago / 10:45 PM UTC

Trump postpones REAL ID deadline over coronavirus

The October 2020 deadline for compliance with the federal REAL ID program is postponed indefinitely, President Trump announced Monday.

The REAL ID Act was passed after the 9/11 attacks and sought to make all state-issued identification cards more secure with uniform national standards.

Just before the coronavirus epidemic began to sweep the United States, NBC News reported that airports warned of “chaos” if Trump did not postpone the October 2020 deadline because so few Americans had obtained the new type of identification, which usually are marked with a star on the front of the card.

Trump on Monday said the new deadline would be announced “in a very short moment.”

986d ago / 10:41 PM UTC

New York first state to test treatment with blood from recovered patients

Image: Army Spc. Reagan Long and Pfc. Naomi Velez register people at a coronavirus mobile testing center in New Rochelle, N.Y., on March 14, 2020.
Army Spc. Reagan Long and Pfc. Naomi Velez register people at a coronavirus mobile testing center in New Rochelle, N.Y., on March 14.U.S. Army National Guard / via Reuters file

Hoping to stem the toll of the state’s surging coronavirus outbreak, New York health officials plan to begin collecting plasma from people who have recovered and injecting the antibody-rich fluid into patients still fighting the virus.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the plans during a news briefing Monday. The treatment, known as convalescent plasma, dates back centuries and was used during the flu epidemic of 1918 — in an era before modern vaccines and antiviral drugs.

Some experts say the treatment, although somewhat primitive, might be the best hope for combating the new coronavirus until more sophisticated therapies can be developed, which could take several months.

Read the full story here.

986d ago / 9:56 PM UTC

Trump, slammed for calling coronavirus 'Chinese virus,' says it's important to 'protect' Asian Americans

President Donald Trump, accused of fueling racism by labeling the coronavirus the "Chinese virus," tweeted Monday that the country must "protect our Asian American community."

"They are amazing people, and the spreading of the Virus is NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form. They are working closely with us to get rid of it. WE WILL PREVAIL TOGETHER!" the president tweeted.

NBC News has previously reported that Asians across the globe have reported experiencing xenophobia as a result of coronavirus fears, with several incidents involving physical harassment. Republican lawmakers and Trump have referred to the coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus” or “Chinese virus,” which experts say could be fueling real-life acts of discrimination. 

The president defended his use of the term, saying last week he did not believe it was "racist at all" to call coronavirus the "Chinese virus."

986d ago / 9:26 PM UTC

Man dies after ingesting chloroquine in attempt to prevent coronavirus

An Arizona man died after ingesting chloroquine phosphate in an attempt to protect himself from becoming infected with the coronavirus. The man's wife also ingested the drug, and is currently under critical care.

The drug chloroquine is used to treat malaria, and some early research suggests it may be useful in treating COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

There are no drugs approved to prevent or treat the coronavirus.

Read the full story here.

986d ago / 9:21 PM UTC

Local officials call for 'substantial' election stimulus funding

More than 30 election officials are calling for Congress to include "substantial" increases to a proposed $140 million in election funding in the coronavirus stimulus bill.

In an open letter published by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, state and municipal officials charged with administering elections said the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic are stark — and have already forced the postponement and rescheduling of primary and local elections.

"Our colleagues have been forced to make last-minute changes to polling places, and conduct elections without sufficient staff or poll worker support, as we work to balance public safety and the sacred right to vote," the officials wrote. "$140 million is a start but it is simply not enough."

A report by the Brennan Center found that a thorough election funding package could cost up to $2 billion and would appropriate funds to ensure that all Americans could vote by mail or in person at a COVID-19-safe election facility, as well as fund online registration and voter registration efforts to let people know about coronavirus-related changes. 

986d ago / 8:45 PM UTC

FDNY boss: Our supply of personal protective equipment 'dangerously low'

New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro told NBC News that supplies of personal protective equipment are “dangerously low” and the department has weeks—not months—worth of the gear its members don every time they respond to a call for a person with flu-like symptoms.  

Nigro said that 46 FDNY members, which include EMS workers, have tested positive for COVID-19 and two are currently hospitalized. A FDNY spokesperson said none of the cases were acquired through interaction with a patient.

"All that we can hope for is that the pleas from the governor and the mayor have been heard in Washington and that a supply stream will open and that we will get the equipment that our members need to operate safely," Nigro said.

986d ago / 8:45 PM UTC

Progressive tax group targets GOP senators over corporate stock buybacks

A progressive group is launching a $1.2-million ad campaign targeting Republican senators in four battleground states for their votes supporting the 2017 tax bill that included billions in tax relief to large corporations now poised to receive billions more in bailout money from proposed coronavirus legislation.

The group, Tax March— whose goal is to push for the closing of tax loopholes for large corporations — will run radio, television and digital ads in Georgia, Maine, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, starting later this week. 

President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax bill, which Republicans said would help raise wages and spur hiring, actually ended up funding record stock buybacks by corporations. Progressive groups, as well as several Democrats in Congress, say they oppose the current coronavirus stimulus package because the language allows for corporations to keep bailout money while still firing workers — and because there are very weak stock buyback restrictions in the current proposal.

Read more on the story here.

986d ago / 8:43 PM UTC
986d ago / 8:35 PM UTC

U.K. imposes 3-week national lockdown, enforced by police

The British government on Monday unveiled strict new measures aimed at limiting people's movements amid fears that the British health service may be overwhelmed by coronavirus unless the epidemic's spread is slowed.

In a televised address to the nation, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted to "give the British people a very simple instruction: You must stay at home."

Johnson had resisted forcing his population to adopt the types of lockdown measures seen in the United States and across Europe, although he had announced that schools, pubs, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs and gyms were to close down. 

Read the full story here. 

986d ago / 8:18 PM UTC

Stocks sink again, after emergency fiscal stimulus package fails for second time

Stocks sank again on Monday, after an emergency fiscal stimulus package was twice rejected by the Senate and even a new round of cash injection from the Federal Reserve failed to raise trader optimism.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a decline of almost 600 points, tracking its way toward the worst month for the blue-chip index since 1931. 

"These large market declines can reverse themselves over time. This is the history of the U.S.," Larry Kudlow, head of the National Economic Council, told CNBC earlier on Monday. "There's no reason why we can't get through this period."

The S&P 500 closed down by around 3 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq held up best, with a decline of just 0.2 percent.

Read the full story here.

986d ago / 7:48 PM UTC
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986d ago / 7:34 PM UTC

Union for New York City's UPS workers pleads for cleaning supplies

The union representing more than 7,300 UPS workers in the New York City area is sounding the alarm about protections for UPS workers. The leaders of Teamsters Local 804 — which serves much of New York City, Westchester and Long Island — are warning against a decrease in delivery capacity if too many workers fall ill and asked the public to help by contacting their local and state elected officials and requesting resources be allocated to help clean and sanitize UPS facilities and trucks.

"There is just no way our current staffing can accommodate the urgent need for increased cleaning and sanitizing of the facilities and the trucks that deliver so much of what New Yorkers need to their homes," the leaders said in a news release Monday.

While warehouse workers and drivers are taking "every precaution possible," without additional resources, "there is little chance the virus can be contained," they said, cautioning that as more Teamsters get infected and are unable to work, delivery capacity will fall.

986d ago / 7:23 PM UTC

Instacart to add 300,000 gig workers in coronavirus-driven hiring

Instacart said on Monday it plans to hire 300,000 gig workers over the next three months, more than doubling its current base, as demand surges for grocery delivery services due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing people to shop from home.

The hiring is huge compared to those announced by major retailers. Amazon said last week it would hire 100,000 warehouse and delivery workers in the United States to deal with a surge in online orders. Walmart said it would hire more than 150,000 hourly workers through the end of May in its stores and fulfillment centers.

Instacart said order volumes had risen over 150 percent in the last few weeks.

986d ago / 7:16 PM UTC

IOC member says Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed — but IOC remains quiet

International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told USA Today on Monday that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed to 2021 in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

But that decision does not appear to be final. The IOC said in a statement that "it is the right of every IOC Member to interpret the decision of the IOC [Executive Board] which was announced yesterday.” The IOC announced Sunday that it would be increasing its “scenario-planning” for the 2020 Games. These plans could include modifying the Olympics but keeping the July 24 start date or changing the start date.

The organization did not comment further on the report of postponement. But in a letter to athletes on Sunday, IOC President Thomas Bach said “cancellation would not solve any problem and would help nobody.”

986d ago / 6:49 PM UTC
986d ago / 6:47 PM UTC

South Africa to go into nationwide lockdown

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa, Africa's most industrialized economy and a nation of 57 million people, will go into a nationwide lockdown for 21 days starting Thursday to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the measures Monday in response to the increase of COVID-19 cases. South Africa will be the third country in Africa to close down all but essential economic activity, after Rwanda and Tunisia.

South Africa's coronavirus cases jumped to 402 Monday, the most in Africa and up 47 percent from the day before.

986d ago / 6:44 PM UTC

Rhode Island postponing presidential primary until June 2

Rhode Island on Monday became the latest state to postpone its presidential primary election.

Gov. Gina Raimondo announced the state will shift its planned April 28 primary to June 2.

986d ago / 6:42 PM UTC

Photo: NYC convention center becomes field hospital

Army National Guard
Army National Guard line up at the Jacob Javits Center as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces plans to convert the the center on Manhattan's West Side into a field hospital on Monday. The Big Apple has the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and Bill de Blasio said the city's hospitals were at breaking point.Bryan R. Smith / AFP via Getty Images
986d ago / 6:39 PM UTC

NBC Washington: Virginia schools closing for the rest of the year

Read the full story at NBCWashington.com.

986d ago / 6:23 PM UTC

Rand Paul says amid criticism that more Americans should be able to get tested for coronavirus

Sen. Rand Paul insisted Monday that more Americans should be able to get tested for the novel coronavirus even if they are asymptomatic after he faced criticism for being tested for COVID-19 despite not having symptoms and for continuing on with his daily life while awaiting the results.

In a lengthy statement, Paul, R-Ky., said that he was tested because he and his wife traveled extensively in the weeks prior to the widespread societal shutdown and that he was at higher risk for complications because he had part of his lung removed after he was attacked by his Kentucky neighbor in 2017.

"For those who want to criticize me for lack of quarantine, realize that if the rules on testing had been followed to a T, I would never have been tested and would still be walking around the halls of the Capitol," he added.

Read the full story here.

986d ago / 6:09 PM UTC

Thousands of Americans remain stuck in foreign countries

Approximately 13,500 Americans abroad have contacted the State Department for help in getting back to the United States since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, a senior State Department Official told reporters Monday.

A repatriation task force is “working around the clock" to help Americans get home, said the official, who was only authorized to speak on condition of anonymity. 

Since the effort began, the State Department has repatriated 5,000 Americans from 17 countries and will bring home “thousands more in the coming days and weeks,” the official said.

986d ago / 6:01 PM UTC

Afternoon roundup of coronavirus coverage

How ProMED crowdsourced the arrival of Covid-19 and SARS [Wired]

My biggest coronavirus fear is my kid's mental health [Vice]

The weekend when box office hit zero for the first time [The Hollywood Reporter]

 

986d ago / 5:52 PM UTC

Stay-at-home Americans are reading about gardening and canning

Consumers are abandoning travel, fitness and self-improvement books in favor of reading about gardening and education, according to the latest data from data analytics firm NPD BookScan. 

With millions of Americans hunkering down to limit the spread of coronavirus, container gardening book sales are up by 30 percent week-on-week, while books on canning and preserving rose by 29 percent for the week ending March 14, according to NPD.

Other categories on the rise include educational books for children, reference and language titles, which collectively rose by 38 percent week-on-week. 

However, overall book sales fell 10 percent week on week, with sales affected by the lack of open stores. Year-to-date, book sales are still up 0.7 percent, or 123 million units. 

986d ago / 5:44 PM UTC

Half the economy will receive assistance, says Larry Kudlow

The government's economic stimulus package will "cover the whole broad-based economy," including "small and medium business," and not be "limited to a few corporations," National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow pledged on Monday.

Half the economy will receive assistance, he told CNBC, noting that "the Treasury and the U.S. government are guaranteeing" the financial aid, with the Federal Reserve also backstopping credit for businesses and individuals.

"We are doing the best we can, mobilizing America's resources. We are capable of dealing with problems and coming out the other side," Kudlow said.

"There's no reason why we can't get through this period. These large market declines can reverse themselves over time. This is the history of the U.S.," he said.

986d ago / 5:25 PM UTC

NASA halts work on James Webb Space Telescope

NASA is suspending work on its next-generation James Webb Space Telescope as part of an agency-wide effort to prioritize essential operations while maintaining the safety of workers across all centers.

Testing and integration work on the Webb telescope in California has been put on hold to ensure the safety of the workforce, NASA officials said in a statement released Friday.

Preparations for the agency’s 2020 Mars rover mission have been deemed a priority and will continue, though many employees and contractors will be conducting their work remotely, according to NASA.

All work associated with the International Space Station will continue, including flight control operations at the agency’s Mission Control Center in Houston. Astronaut training will also continue, in addition to work on NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

986d ago / 5:23 PM UTC

Andrew Yang draws a line

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang on Monday sought to draw a line between legitimate criticism of China's reaction to the initial coronavirus outbreak and the ongoing racism and xenophobia that has spiked in the U.S. and around the world.

Trump's continued use of the term "Chinese" in relation to the virus has alarmed many in the Asian American community who worry that such rhetoric is fueling racism.

986d ago / 5:17 PM UTC
986d ago / 5:08 PM UTC

Boeing to shut down production in Washington state for two weeks

Boeing will temporarily halt production at its Washington state plants, following a state of emergency approved on Sunday.

For two weeks beginning on Wednesday, Boeing will suspend operations at sites across the Puget Sound area while it deep cleans its factories. 

"These actions are being taken to ensure the well-being of employees, their families and the local community, and will include an orderly shutdown consistent with the requirements of its customers," the company said in a statement.

The company will reduce production starting Monday, while operations in support of airline, government, and maintenance and repair customers will continue, according to the statement.

986d ago / 4:54 PM UTC
986d ago / 4:52 PM UTC

Rush hour traffic in Los Angeles is down by as much as 87 percent

Cities are seeing dramatic declines in traffic, as more and more states implement lockdowns. Rush hour traffic in Los Angeles is down by as much as 87 percent.

In the New York City region, Monday morning traffic fell by 52 percent, after tumbling as much as 86 percent last Friday, according to location tracking company TomTom.

Even cities not yet hit hard by the pandemic are seeing larger declines. Baton Rouge traffic is down by as much as 32 percent, and Nashville by 44 percent.

For those still on the road, less traffic has allowed a big increase in speeds, especially during rush hour, according to Inrix, another tracking service.

986d ago / 4:35 PM UTC
986d ago / 4:23 PM UTC

Total number of confirmed deaths in England reaches 303

An additional 46 people who tested positive for the coronavirus have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in England to 303.

986d ago / 4:09 PM UTC

World Health Organization says 300K+ cases reported

986d ago / 4:02 PM UTC

'Sesame Street' tries to lift spirits

986d ago / 3:54 PM UTC

German leader Angela Merkel tests negative

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has tested negative for the coronavirus, a spokeswoman for the government press office confirmed.

Merkel will continue to work from home quarantine in order to protect others as she awaits further tests in the next few days, the spokeswoman added.

986d ago / 3:53 PM UTC

3 therapy trials to begin in New York this week

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state will begin three studies of potential treatments for the coronavirus this week.

One of those experimental therapies will involve taking antibodies from the plasma of patients who had been sick with COVID-19, and injecting them into patients who are currently ill.

Researchers will also study the safety and effectiveness of combining two drugs already approved for other conditions: hydroxychloroquine, often used to treat lupus and some forms of arthritis, and the antibiotic azithromycin, more commonly called a Z-Pak.

Cuomo also announced the state is working on blood test to determine whether a person has already had the virus and recovered. 

"We believe thousands and thousands of people have had the virus and self-resolved. If you knew that, you would know who is now immune to the virus and who you can send back to work," the governor said during a briefing Monday.

986d ago / 3:34 PM UTC

Biden warns against 'blank checks' for corporations in coronavirus stimulus

Joe Biden, in the first live appearance he's made in days, told supporters Monday that while President Donald Trump is not to blame for coronavirus, he “does bear responsibility for our response.”

In a virtual event livestreamed on his campaign website, Biden, who in recent days had held only telephone calls with reporters, called on the federal government to coordinate the acquisition and dissemination of critical medical supplies to states "so we don't have governors competing against one another" for the equipment. That call echoed one made by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

Biden also praised several Republican governors for how they were handling their states' response to the pandemic — including Ohio's Mike DeWine, Massachusetts' Charlie Baker and Maryland's Larry Hogan — before calling on Congress to make sure the aid packages for large corporations include "an enforceable commitment that they will keep workers on the payroll."

"No blank checks," Biden said.

986d ago / 3:26 PM UTC

Coronavirus cases reach more than 20,000 in New York

The number of coronavirus cases in New York state has grown to more than 20,000, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

There were 20,875 cases statewide as of Monday morning, with 12,305 in New York City, Cuomo said during a news conference. The governor said New York was testing more people than anywhere in the U.S., having tested some 78,000 people in all, with 16,000 new tests overnight.

986d ago / 3:06 PM UTC
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986d ago / 3:05 PM UTC

Michigan governor signs 'stay home, stay safe' order

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed a "stay home, stay safe" executive order to tame the spread of coronavirus.

The order provides exemptions for certain workers, as well as outdoor exercise and visits to the grocery store or hospital. It will bar businesses from requiring employees to leave their homes unless they are necessary to sustain or protect life, or to conduct minimum basic operations.

"The most effective way we can slow down the virus is to stay home. I know this will be hard, but it will be temporary. If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives," Whitmer said in a statement.

986d ago / 3:00 PM UTC

Italian mayor says coronavirus death toll probably several times higher than official reports

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The mayor of Bergamo, a city in northern Italy devastated by coronavirus, said on Monday that the actual death toll from the pandemic is likely several times higher than official count. 

Giorgio Gori told NBC News on Monday that the total deaths in Bergamo are three to four times higher than during an average year, signaling that the virus is killing many more people than medical authorities have reported.

"We [have] evidence now in our territories that many people are unfortunately dying in their homes or in the residence for [seniors]," Gori said via Skype. "They are not officially tested because the test is only for people that go to the hospital with serious symptoms."

Bergamo is in Lombardy, Italy's most affected region with 27,206 cases and 3,456 deaths reported since the outbreak began. 

986d ago / 2:52 PM UTC

88-year-old Holocaust survivor is Israel’s first coronavirus death

An 88-year-old Holocaust survivor who hid from the Nazis in a basement in Hungary as a boy and later served as an Israeli diplomat is the first person in Israel to die from the coronavirus.

Arie Even died on March 20 in Jerusalem after the assisted living home where he was living saw several cases of the coronavirus, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Read the full story at TODAY.com.

986d ago / 2:50 PM UTC

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issues stay-at-home guidance

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday issued a stay-at-home advisory and ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses. 

Residents above the age of 70 are encouraged to limit interactions with others, Baker said. 

"Effective March 24 at noon, all non-essential businesses shall close their physical workplaces and facilities to all workers, customers and the public," Baker said at a morning news conference.

The advisory and order will be in effect through at least April 7.

Grocery stores, pharmacies and other businesses that provide essential goods and services will continue to operate.

986d ago / 2:43 PM UTC

Italian medical worker shares selfie after a 13-hour shift

"I don't love selfies," Nicola Sgarbi wrote on his now viral March 14 Facebook post. "Yesterday, though, I took this photo. After 13 hours in ICU after taking off all my protective devices, I took a selfie."

The Italian medical worker's picture has helped drive home just how much the coronavirus outbreak has strained Italy's health care system.

image: Nicola Sgarbi, an Italian medical worker, posted a selfie after working 13 hours in an ICU treating coronavirus patients.
Nicola Sgarbi, an Italian medical worker, posted a selfie after working 13 hours in an ICU treating coronavirus patients.Nicola Sgarbi

In the photo, Sgarbi is seen with deep indents on his face from wearing medical gear for an extended period of time.

He said he doesn't "feel like a hero" and described himself as a "normal person" who is proud to be on the front lines of the fight. "That's why I don't care about the many hours," Sgarbi said. "This will all pass."

Italy has 53,578 cases of coronavirus and 4,285 deaths as of Sunday, according to an NBC News tally.

"It will also pass thanks to you and your hard work and sacrifices. It will pass if we are united in one immense joint effort," Sgarbi wrote. "Don't give up. Never."