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Trump stops WHO funding, accusing it of covering up outbreak

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: A staff member cleans the floor after the last patients were discharged from Leishenshan Hospital, originally built to treat people infected with COVID-19, in Wuhan on Tuesday.
A staff member cleans the floor after the last patients were discharged from Leishenshan Hospital, originally built to treat people infected with COVID-19, in Wuhan on Tuesday.AFP - Getty Images

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world nears 2 million, with more than 125,000 confirmed deaths, President Donald Trump said he'd halt U.S. funding for the World Health Organization after the organization criticized his early response to the pandemic.

In the U.S., the recorded death toll topped 23,500, according to NBC News' tally.

Los Angeles County announced on Tuesday that it'd suffered the worst day yet of the pandemic, losing 40 more lives to the disease, bringing the death toll to 360 in that metropolis.

The toll of COVID-19 has hit no city harder than New York, and official counts in the five boroughs might even be understated. While the city's health department listed the confirmed death toll at 6,589 by 1 p.m., the "probable" number of fatalities is at least 3,778 more — which would bring the staggering total to more than 10,000, according to data obtained by NBC News.

Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments.

Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 15 coronavirus news here.

893d ago / 12:57 PM UTC

South Korea to ship 750,000 coronavirus test kits to the U.S.

South Korea will send a total of 750,000 coronavirus testing kits to the U.S., a public health official has confirmed.

Some 150,000 kits were shipped last week and another order of 600,000 will be sent Wednesday, according to Yoon Tae Ho, an official at South Korea's Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters. In a briefing Tuesday he confirmed the first shipment was sent on April 10. 

"I expect another 600,000 test kits to be exported tomorrow," Yoon said.

South Korea has so far tested more than half a million people, confirming 10,564 cases and 222 deaths. 

893d ago / 12:41 PM UTC

Italians cautious as virus lockdown is eased

Image: The outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Rome
An employee of a children's clothes store in Rome, Italy, arranges products after its reopening on Tuesday.Yara Nardi / Reuters

ROME — As Italy begins to ease some lockdown measures on Tuesday in an effort to kickstart its languishing economy, some shop owners and workers tell NBC News they’re anxious that the restrictions were being lifted too soon.

Sergio Ricci, who works at a bookstore in central Rome, said news of the government decision came suddenly and had not given him and others enough time to prepare.

"The first reaction I had when I understood we were going to reopen the store was uncertainty,” said Ricci, 46. "Economically it is a relief, but honestly I am worried because the main risk is that the managing costs of reopening will exceed the earnings.”

Read the full story here

893d ago / 12:34 PM UTC

IMF expects global growth to drop to -3 percent

In an update to its World Economic Outlook released Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund forecasts a sharp and sustained downturn because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is very likely that this year the global economy will experience its worst recession since the Great Depression,” the report concludes. 

“This crisis is like no other,” wrote Gita Gopinath, the IMF’s chief economist, citing “severe uncertainty about the duration and intensity of the shock” to the global economy.

The institution sees global growth at -3 percent in 2020, “an outcome far worse than during the 2009 financial crisis.” But, in its baseline scenario, under which mitigation efforts are successful, vaccine development proceeds speedily, and the economy begins to reopen, “a partial recovery is projected for 2021.” 

The IMF pushes for a robust policy response “to ensure that people are able to pick up once the acute phases of the pandemic pass,” involving multinational cooperation. The report acknowledges developing countries will be hard hit by the economic fallout from the virus, and the IMF says it is “actively supporting” them.

893d ago / 12:28 PM UTC
893d ago / 12:26 PM UTC
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893d ago / 12:01 PM UTC

Millions of pints of beer could be poured down the drain in the U.K.

An estimated 51 million pints of beer, cider and lager are at risk of getting thrown away in the U.K. as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, according to a British consumer organization.

Tens of millions of pints had already been delivered and were waiting in cellars to be poured when the crisis hit, but their short shelf life — only six to eight weeks for ale and three to four months for lager — means that much of that stock will go to waste, the Campaign for Real Ale said. Around 39,000 pubs have closed their doors during the crisis.

“A number of pubs, clubs, breweries and cideries are trying to stay afloat by offering delivery or takeaway services during this time. Although this isn’t a viable option for all, we’re doing our best to support those that have decided to continue serving the community during this troubled time,” said CAMRA’s Chief Executive Tom Stainer.

893d ago / 11:45 AM UTC

Austria begins lifting coronavirus restrictions as shops open

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Austria began lifting its coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday, with shops now allowed to open for the first time since its lockdown began in mid-March. However, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz urged people to continue wearing masks and working from home to keep infections at bay.

Officials will start looking this week at how sports and cultural events can reopen in the coming months, he said. The country has recorded 368 deaths from the virus.

“Our approach in the coming months will be clear: as much freedom as possible, as much restriction as necessary. Should the numbers develop in the wrong direction, we will pull the emergency brake that we have provided for the case,” said Kurz on Twitter.

893d ago / 11:33 AM UTC

JPMorgan posts 69 percent drop in first quarter profit as customers extend their credit lines

JPMorgan Chase, the world's biggest bank by revenue, posted a 69 percent drop in first quarter profit, in earnings released Tuesday.

The bank, which reported profit of $2.87 billion, is the first major U.S. bank to report earnings amid the coronavirus pandemic. Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Bank of America are among those also set to report their quarterly earnings this week.

The viral outbreak has hammered banks, as social distancing measures have kept millions of working Americans at home and led to more than 16 million filing for unemployment benefits. That has meant affected companies and individuals have all reached out to extend their credit lines.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement that the bank had "performed well in what was a very tough and unique operating environment," but said it was expecting "a fairly severe recession."

The bank added $6.8 billion to its credit reserves, more than double what analysts predicted, a sign that it is expecting customers to default on a massive number of loans, from credit cards to mortgages.

893d ago / 11:06 AM UTC

European data shows huge number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes

Deaths from coronavirus in England and Wales in nursing homes and hospices may be higher than previous figures have suggested, data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Tuesday. 

England and Wales reported 16,387 deaths in the week ending April 3, according to official data, 15 percent higher than previously recorded. Although 90 percent of coronavirus deaths occurred in hospitals, about 10 percent of people died in nursing homes and hospices, the report found.

Data collected from other European countries including Spain, France and Belgium, by the London School of Economics, also appeared to show that around half of coronavirus deaths were happening in nursing homes, sparking concern that such deaths are being left out of official death tolls.

893d ago / 10:53 AM UTC

Pandemic poses extra challenges for divorced parents

Even under the best of circumstances, co-parenting with an ex can be challenging. Now, amid an outbreak that has closed family courts, shuttered neutral meeting places where child exchanges typically happen and raised the health risks of shuttling children from one home to the other, divorced and separated parents face even bigger obstacles.

With no precedent for co-parenting during a pandemic, many families have scrambled to make temporary changes to their child custody agreements themselves, some amicably and others not.

Read the full story here

893d ago / 10:44 AM UTC
893d ago / 10:38 AM UTC

The slow road back to normality in Italy

Image: Municipal workers wearing protective gears sanitize a boat as the Italian government allows the reopening of some shops while a nationwide lockdown continues following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Venice
Municipal workers in Venice sanitize a boat on Tuesday as the Italian government allows the reopening of some shops.MANUEL SILVESTRI / Reuters
893d ago / 10:33 AM UTC

Democrats call on Trump admin to offer guidance on small business aid program

A group of two-dozen House Democrats have sent a letter to the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department asking that they provide guidance to financial institutions on which small businesses can receive loans from the latest coronavirus relief package. 

“Although we are glad that the CARES Act included much-needed financial relief for small businesses, some financial institutions have not yet begun offering PPP loans due to the lack of guidance from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury,” they wrote in the letter released Monday and sent late last week.  

This comes as Democrats and Republicans are at an impasse over passing additional funding for the program to aid small businesses. The PPP program is slated to run out of funding and Democrats are demanding that the legislation provide help to hospital, states, families who receive food stamps and small businesses owned by women, minorities, veterans and others. Republicans, however, are rejecting those demands.

893d ago / 10:20 AM UTC

France makes exception to lockdown rules for animal rescues

Prospective pet owners in France will on Thursday have the opportunity to rescue an animal from a local shelter after the government made an exception to its strict lockdown restrictions. The change came after a plea from the Society for the Protection of Animals, which warned that its shelters were at risk of becoming overrun during the lockdown.

Prospective pet owners will need to select in advance the animal they’d like to take home, according to the list of rules released by the Interior Ministry. Then, only one person from a household will be allowed to pick up the animal from the shelter.

"Fully committed to the cause of animal welfare, the government heard the call of the SPA and we immediately with heart sought to find a responsible solution," said Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner said in a statement. "It will allow compliance with health rules and save the lives of many animals."

893d ago / 10:15 AM UTC

Coronavirus deaths in China are still almost entirely from imported cases

Chinese health officials reported Tuesday 89 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, of which 86 were imported, as the country tries to stem a wave of infections coming from abroad to avoid a second outbreak.

No new deaths were registered on Monday, with the national death toll for mainland China remaining at 3,341. 

A total of 82,249 confirmed cases were reported, a total that has now been exceeded by the U.S. and five European nations as the pandemic spreads globally. 

893d ago / 10:07 AM UTC
893d ago / 10:03 AM UTC

Delivery workers say they're kept in the dark over who's sick

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Rumors about the manager with the virus started to spread around Worldport, UPS' sprawling air hub in Louisville, Kentucky, earlier this month. Employees texted one another to ask whether they'd heard about Roml Ellis, the well-liked 55-year-old who worked the night shift. They'd heard he was sick, that he'd been hospitalized and then that he'd died.

UPS employees said that despite asking management repeatedly about their sick co-worker, they were kept in the dark as the company cited medical privacy concerns. On April 6, in response to a question from reporters, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear confirmed that a UPS employee had died from COVID-19, the disease associated with the coronavirus. On Friday, after rumors began to fly between workers online, UPS announced that a second employee had died.

Read the full story here 

893d ago / 9:49 AM UTC
893d ago / 9:45 AM UTC

99-year-old British man raises more than $1 million for health service

A 99-year-old British man has helped raise more than 1 million pounds, or $1.2 million, for the National Health Service by walking lengths of his back yard to help him keep fit during the lockdown.

World War II veteran Tom Moore, who broke his hip 18-months ago, started walking after accepting a challenge from his daughter. She promised to donate money for every length he walked and then started a JustGiving page with the goal of raising 1,000 pounds ($1,254). After local media picked up the story, donations skyrocketed.

“I am amazed and floored and so grateful to the generosity of the great British public and we can’t thank them enough,” said Moore, who is set to hit his goal of walking 100 lengths on Thursday.

893d ago / 9:27 AM UTC

India extends world's largest lockdown to May 3

India on Tuesday extended until May 3 a nationwide lockdown for its 1.3 billion people as the number of coronavirus cases crossed 10,000 despite a three-week shutdown.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a televised address to the nation, said the challenge was to stop the virus from spreading to new parts of the country, but held out hope that some restrictions could be eased next week in the least-affected areas to allow essential activities.

Though the number of coronavirus infections and deaths in India are small compared to the United States, Italy and Spain, health experts fear that is because of India's low levels of testing, and actual levels of infection could be far higher.

893d ago / 8:57 AM UTC

African experts are using Ebola lessons to fight COVID-19

Image: DRCONGO-HEALTH-VIRUS
Staff members of the Congolese Ministry of Health perform a COVID-19 test at a private residence in Goma, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in March.Alexis Huguet / AFP - Getty Images

African countries previously hit by deadly Ebola outbreaks are using the lessons they learned to fight the coronavirus pandemic, experts say, because they know how to rapidly track down, screen and quarantine potential patients.

"When a certain outbreak is over, you have a capacity left behind that you can build on or adapt. It could be for COVID-19 or something else tomorrow," said Dr. Mary Stephen, a technical officer for the World Health Organization at its regional office in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

Read the full story here

893d ago / 5:54 AM UTC
894d ago / 5:27 AM UTC

How to shop for groceries, where to find masks

During the coronavirus crisis, TODAY is gathering solutions to some common problems:

How to safely shop for groceries 

Experts share tips for stocking up on food and supplies while minimizing the risk of being exposed to the coronavirus and other germs.

Where can you buy a mask?

Here are places to buy face masks while also giving back.

How do you make your own mask?

You don't need a sewing machine to make a mask to wear in public.

Do kids need masks?

The CDC says yes. Here's how to get them to wear them.

For more answers to your frequently asked questions, see this FAQ on TODAY.

894d ago / 4:55 AM UTC

Social distancing may be necessary for up to year, Florida surgeon general warns

Florida's surgeon general warned Monday that until there is a vaccine, which may be a year away, for the coronavirus illness COVID-19, social distancing and other measures to slow its spread will remain necessary.

"As long as we're going to have COVID in the environment, and this is a tough virus, we're going to have to practice these measures so that we are all protected," Dr. Scott A. Rivkees said.

That raises the prospect that the changes in daily life — like sneeze guards and other measures at grocery stores and staying 6 feet away from others — may be necessary until there is a vaccine.

Many states have imposed stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the virus. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered one April 1. He had been criticized for failing to issue a statewide order sooner.

Florida has had more than 21,000 COVID-19 cases, including almost 500 deaths, according to an NBC News count of reports. 

894d ago / 3:52 AM UTC
894d ago / 3:24 AM UTC

International soccer games may not return till 2021, FIFA VP says

Most international soccer might not be played until 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions and the need to give club competitions the chance to resume, a FIFA vice president said Monday.

Victor Montagliani, a Canadian who is president of the governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean, has been heading a FIFA working group formulating plans to deal with the implications of the world’s biggest sport being largely shut down since last month.

FIFA already has called off matches between countries that were due to be played in March and June. Montagliani, CONCACAF’s president, believes the September, October and November windows for national team matches could be scrapped.

“I personally think that might be a bit of a challenge, not so much because of just the health issues around the world and the various degrees of preparedness, but also committing to international travel as soon as we come back,” Montagliani said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I think that domestic football is a priority. September is still in the books, but I would garner to say that I’m not sure it’s there on solid ground the way things are trending right now.”

The return of fans into packed stadiums could be dependent on a vaccine for the COVID-19 disease being ready -- and that might not be until 2021.

894d ago / 12:52 AM UTC

Coronavirus cases near 2 million worldwide

The number of coronavirus cases around the world neared 2 million on Monday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The university revised its figure late Monday after previously reporting the number had topped 2 million. 

The United States has more cases than any other country, according to the university, with 682,619 confirmed infections. Spain, with roughly 170,000 cases, is second.

China, where the outbreak began, has recorded 82,000 cases, according to the tally.

Nearly 120,000 people have been killed by COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

894d ago / 5:33 PM UTC

Italy surpasses 20,000 deaths

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Italy reached a grim milestone on Monday, with the total number of coronavirus deaths topping 20,000. Only U.S. has a greater death toll, now standing at 22,673. 

Health officials said 20,465 have died from the virus so far, an increase of 566 compared to the day before. On Sunday, the single-day death toll was 431, the lowest since March 19.

Italy, the hardest-hit country in Europe, has been in lockdown since March 10 to help stop the spread of the virus.  So far, nearly 160,000 confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported.