Global cases surpass 1 million, 6.6 million unemployment claims filed

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
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A pedestrian wears a face mask as he walks past a mural of a fish while strolling on the boardwalk at Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York on April 2, 2020.Kathy Willens / AP

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The White House is expected to recommend that Americans wear a face covering when they go out.

On Thursday, the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. topped 5,000 on Thursday, according to NBC News' tally, and nearly 240,000 cases have been confirmed across the country. Globally, more than 1,000,000 people have tested positive and more than 50,000 have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In the United States, government relief payments will begin the week of April 13 — although people who don’t have direct deposit on file with the Internal Revenue Service may have to wait months for checks to arrive, according to a memo obtained by NBC News.

The economic fallout from the pandemic accelerated with a record 6.6 million jobless claims filed last week.

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Out of the hospital, Rep. Ben McAdams says COVID-19 'hit me really, really hard'

Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, said Thursday that he's feeling much better now that he's out of the hospital where he stayed for more than a week with COVID-19. 

"I found myself in the hospital for eight days, and I just had trouble breathing couldn't keep my oxygen levels up, and it hit me really really hard and so it's good to be back on my feet right now. I'm virus free," McAdams said in an interview on the "TODAY" show.

He said that he knew it was time to call the doctor and go to the hospital because he said he couldn't get out of bed and walk across the room without being out of breath. 

"I just never could breathe on my own without that supplemental oxygen or keep my levels up," he said. 

The 45-year-old, who said he has no underlying conditions, implored people to take the disease seriously because he said, "You don't know how it's going to get you, how it's going to affect you."

Vacation towns have a message for seasonal residents: Stay away

Seasonal homes in Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard.Kayana Szymczak / for NBC News

Martha's Vineyard, an island retreat off Massachusetts for the Northeast's elite, is a health care desert.

The Vineyard has one hospital with 25 beds and seven ventilators. Local officials estimate the current population at 25,000, meaning the island has about 1 bed per 1,000 residents, far fewer than the state average of 2.4 per 1,000.

Because the Vineyard is isolated from the mainland, its limited medical infrastructure could quickly crumble if a coronavirus outbreak were to sweep across the island. The vacation community is one of many across the country flooded by seasonal residents hoping to escape urban centers amid the pandemic.

Read the full story here. 

Coronavirus cases in Iran top 50,000

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Iran passed 50,000 on Thursday, after 2,875 cases were reported in the past 24 hours.

There were also 124 new deaths recorded in the worst-hit country in the Middle East, bringing the total death toll to 3,160.

This comes after Iran's judiciary spokesman said last Sunday that nearly 100,000 prisoners will be temporarily released to ease the pressure on the healthcare system.

U.S. purchased medical supplies from Russia, State Department says

A Russian military transport plane carrying medical equipment, masks and supplies lands at JFK International Airport on Wednesday. Stefan Jeremiah / Reuters

The U.S. State Department said that it purchased the medical supplies that Russia sent to the U.S. on Wednesday, including ventilators and personal protection equipment. The Kremlin had branded the supplies as humanitarian aid to help the U.S. fight the coronavirus pandemic. 

A plane carrying the supplies landed in New York on Wednesday prompting criticism from political observers who decried the move as a propaganda ploy by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

“Trump gratefully accepted this humanitarian aid,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited as saying by the Interfax news agency on Tuesday, the day after Trump and the Russian president held a phone call to discuss the coronavirus crisis. 

Biden says he thinks convention will have to be postponed until August

Joe Biden said Wednesday that he thinks the Democratic National Convention, which is scheduled for mid-July, will have to be postponed until at least August. 

"I doubt whether the Democratic convention is going to be able to be held in mid-July, early July. I think it's going to have to move into August," the presidential contender said in a virtual interview with NBC's "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon.

Biden, however, suggested that even with a delay into August, the situation could still change. "We just have to be prepared for the alternative, and the alternative we don't know what it's going to be unless we have a better sense of whether this curve moving down or up," he said.

The former vice president made the comment in response to a question about how the coronavirus outbreak will affect the elections and whether it would lead to people sending in mail-in ballots. Biden first suggested the convention might have to be moved in an interview Tuesday night on MSNBC when he said "it's hard to envision" it going on as planned. 

The Republican National Convention is also scheduled for August.

Spain's death toll tops 10,000 after record daily rise

Spain's coronavirus death toll climbed past 10,000, the country's Health Ministry said on Thursday, making it the second country in the world to reach the grim milestone. Only Italy has more deaths at 13,155. 

Spanish health officials said they registered 950 new deaths on Wednesday, the highest daily increase so far. 

A total of 110,238 total cases have been reported, up by 8,102.

Man jailed for COVID-19-related assault on police officer in London

A man who coughed on a police officer and claimed to have the coronavirus has been sent to jail for six months, London’s Metropolitan Police said Thursday. It is believed to be the first such sentence in the U.K.'s capital. 

The man, 55, is alleged to have attempted to cough up phlegm and spit in the officer’s face, telling the officer he had the virus.

The department’s chief superintendent said he hoped the sentence would convey a strong message that assaults of that nature will not be tolerated as the nation is tries to stem the spread of the virus. 

Rows of freshly dug graves mark cemetery in São Paulo, Brazil

Cemetery workers in protective clothing complete a burial at the Vila Formosa cemetery, Latin America's largest, in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Wednesday. There has been a 30 percent increase in the number of burials since the coronavirus started to spread, according to the cemetery's administration.Andre Penner / AP

Adam Schlesinger, Fountains of Wayne musician, dies of virus at 52

Musician Adam Schlesinger in March 2009 in Austin, Texas.Jay West / WireImage file

Adam Schlesinger, a musician and songwriter highly regarded for his work as a member of Fountains of Wayne and an Emmy-winning songwriter for TV’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” has died as a result of coronavirus complications on Wednesday. He was 52.

Schlesinger had previously been reported Tuesday morning as “very sick and heavily sedated” by his attorney of 25 years, Josh Grier. Schlesinger has been in an upstate New York hospital for more than a week at that time, Grier said.

Schlesinger has been nominated for Oscars, Tonys, Grammys and Emmys and won the latter two awards. At the 2018 Emmys, he was up for two trophies for his “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” work and picked up one, winning in the outstanding original music and lyrics category for the song “Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal” (shared with the show’s star, Rachel Bloom, and Jack Dolgen).

Read the full story here.

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