More than 1 million people in the United States have been infected by the coronavirus as of Tuesday, a mark that comes as some states begin to ease lockdowns.
The U.S. has recorded more than 56,000 deaths due to COVID-19, according to NBC News' tally. Worldwide, over 3 million people have been sickened and more than 212,000 have died.
Some parts of the U.S. have shown indications of a leveling off of new cases and deaths. That has, in turn, sparked greater calls — particularly from supporters of the Trump administration — to push for governors to begin reopening stores and public spaces.
But health professionals warn that coronavirus cases could easily spike again if proper social distancing is not maintained.
President Donald Trump said Monday that the effort to expand testing is being done with the private sector to "help local governments get this horrible plague over with and over with fast."
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide, confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally.
- Stay-at-home orders across the country: What each state is doing — or not — amid widespread coronavirus lockdowns.
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McConnell: 'Better idea' that White House focus briefings on health care experts
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Monday suggested that the White House change its daily coronavirus press briefings so that people hear more from health experts and less from the president.
"Certainly what the American people are most interested in is advice from health professionals about how to conduct their daily lives safely," McConnell said in an interview on Fox News Radio when asked whether President Donald Trump should shorten the briefings or not show up at all.
He added, "And to the extent that the White House decides to recraft those briefings to reflect that goal, probably a better idea."
Trump has faced fierce backlash since he suggested last week that people should possibly inject themselves with disinfectant in order to treat the coronavirus and clean the lungs.
Britain is on track to become one of Europe's worst-hit countries
Britain is on track to become one of Europe's worst-hit countries in the coronavirus pandemic, according to data on Tuesday that showed deaths from COVID-19 had already topped 20,000 by April 17, including a fast-rising toll in care homes.
The Office for National Statistics said the death toll involving COVID-19 in England and Wales was 52 percent higher than the daily figures for deaths in hospitals released by the government as of April 17, according to official data that include deaths in the community.
That takes the United Kingdom's total death toll as of April 17 beyond that reported by France — which also includes deaths in care homes — and Spain, according to Reuters calculations, though lower than Italy's total toll.
Pandemic 'far from over,' World Health Organization head says
The head of the World Health Organization warned that the coronavirus pandemic was "far from over," expressing concern about growing outbreaks in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries.
"We have a long road ahead of us and a lot of work to do,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference in Geneva on Monday, adding that cases and deaths are under-reported in many countries in these regions because of low testing capacity.
The virus, which originated in China late last year, has so far claimed the lives of more than 211,000 people worldwide, infecting more than three million people, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.
'So stoked': New Zealanders get their caffeine fix as lockdown eases
Spain expected to roll out wider plan to lift restrictions
The Spanish government is expected to roll out a wider plan to lift coronavirus restrictions and gradually restart the country’s stuttering economy on Tuesday. Having suffered one of the world’s deadliest coronavirus outbreaks, Spain shut down public life on March 14 to curb its spread, but recently began to ease restrictions as it reined in the infection rate.
In the most significant relaxation of the lockdown yet, children under 14 were granted one hour of daily supervised outdoor activity on Sunday if they adhered to social-distancing guidelines and stayed within 0.6 miles from their homes.
More than 23,500 people have died from COVID-19 in Spain, with nearly 210,000 confirmed cases.
Berlin Zoo welcomes visitors as Germany slowly reopens
Hong Kong's civil servants will gradually return to work starting May 4
The Hong Kong government announced Tuesday that with coronavirus case numbers dropping in the city, it plans to resume public services in phases starting May 4.
The semi-autonomous city has reported no new cases for three consecutive days and said the epidemiological situation had stabilized.
Officials emphasized that public services, including the reopening of outdoor facilities such as tennis courts and jogging tracks in sports grounds, will be resumed while still maintaining “a high degree of vigilance” and following all necessary precautionary measures. Hong Kong has so far recorded 1037 confirmed cases and four deaths.
Judge sides with tribes, limits distribution of virus relief
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A judge has ruled in favor of tribal nations in their bid to keep Alaska Native corporations from getting a share of $8 billion in coronavirus relief funding — at least for now.
In a decision issued late Monday, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington, D.C., said the U.S. Treasury Department could begin disbursing funding to 574 federally recognized tribes to respond to the coronavirus but not to the corporations.
The ruling comes in a case brought by at least 15 tribes against the Treasury Department. The tribes allege that Congress intended the funding to go only to tribal governments and that the corporations don’t fit within the definition of “Indian Tribe” in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
Mehta said the tribes easily showed they would suffer irreparable harm unless he limited the funding temporarily to tribal governments while he awaited more argument on the question of eligibility of Alaska Native corporations.
The Treasury Department and the U.S. Justice Department representing the Treasury did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday.
Tokyo Olympics unrealistic without vaccine, Japan medical expert says
TOKYO — The head of Japan’s medical association thinks it will be difficult to hold the Olympics without an effective coronavirus vaccine.
“I hope vaccines and drugs will be developed as soon as possible,” Japan Medical Association President Yoshitake Yokokura said Tuesday.
Japan and the International Olympic Committee agreed to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games until July next year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Japan is under a monthlong state of emergency amid a rapid increase of infections throughout the country, where hospitals are overburdened.
Yokokura did not say whether he opposes the Olympics without a vaccine.
“The key is a situation with the infections at that point. If the infections are under control only in Japan, it will still be difficult to hold the games unless the pandemic is over in the rest of the world,” he said.
Experts have said it could take 12-18 months or longer to develop a vaccine that is safe and effective for clinical use.
Japan has 13,576 reported virus cases, plus 712 others from a cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo earlier this year, with 389 deaths, the health ministry said Tuesday.