As the number of deaths neared 90,000 in the U.S., the House passed a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that would include another round of stimulus payments of up to $1,200 per person. President Donald Trump has suggested he won't support the bill.
Similar to the first major coronavirus aid package signed into law in late March, the 1,815-page HEROES Act passed by a vote of 208-199 and now heads to the Senate. One Republican backed the bill, while 14 Democrats voted against it.
It came as the global coronavirus death toll passed 300,000, with more than 4.4 million confirmed cases around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. remains the world's worst-hit country, with more than 86,600 deaths.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health alert to physicians on a rare but potentially deadly condition linked to COVID-19 in children that has now been reported in at least 19 states and Washington, D.C.
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide; confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally
- Reopening America: See what states across the U.S. have already reopened.
- The coronavirus has destroyed the job market in every state. See the per-state jobless numbers and how they’ve changed.
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'Today there are two zeros' as Thailand reports no news cases or deaths
Thailand on Saturday reported no new virus cases or deaths, as the country begins to reopen businesses and ease restrictions.
"Today there are two zeros... thank you all Thais who have given their cooperation," Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the government's Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration, said.
This is the second day since Mar. 9 that the country has reported no new daily cases. The country on Sunday will allow malls and department stores to re-open. It will also shorten a nighttime curfew by one hour to 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. local time from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Thailand has so far reported a total of 3,025 cases of the virus and 56 fatalities.
India cases surpass the number in China
India’s confirmed cases have surpassed China’s on Saturday, as India's Health Ministry reported a spike to 85,940 total infections and 2,752 deaths. In the last 24 hours, India also confirmed 3,970 new cases and 103 fatalities.
China has reported a total of 82,941 confirmed cases and 4,633 deaths since the virus was first detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is due to announce this weekend a decision whether to extend the country's 54-day-old lockdown of its 1.3 billion people.
Early this month, it started gradually easing the restrictions to resume economic activity by allowing neighborhood shops to reopen and manufacturing and farming to resume.
Australia reopens restaurants, bars, with a warning to be cautious
BRISBANE, Australia — Australians headed out to eat for the first time in weeks Saturday, but the reopening of restaurants, pubs and cafes came with a warning: don’t overdo it.
Public heath experts are urging caution as governments ease restrictions on eateries, shops and parks in many countries and roll out measures to restart dormant factories. The coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 300,000 people, has slowed in many places but could pick up again if precautions aren’t taken or officials move too quickly to get people back to work.
“The message is, yes, appreciate all the efforts, appreciate the opportunity to release some of those measures, but let’s not have a party, let’s not go to town,” said Tony Bartone, president of the Australian Medical Association.
Most restaurants are limited to 10 customers at a time, and Bartone said people must maintain social distance, follow coughing etiquette, wash their hands regularly and stay away from others if they are ill.
Tourists enter reopened Grand Canyon despite virus concerns
GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. — Tourists appeared ready to roam Grand Canyon National Park again after it partially reopened Friday, despite objections from Navajo officials and others that it could hurt efforts to control the coronavirus.
By 7:30 a.m., more than two dozen people were enjoying viewpoints along the South Rim.
The Grand Canyon had been closed since April 1, one of the last big national parks to shut down completely to visitors. At the time, health officials in Coconino County said keeping the park open put employees, residents and tourists at risk.
Park officials said the South Rim entrance will only open from 6-10 a.m. through Monday. Commercial services within the park remain closed. Those include hiking trails, visitors centers, hotels and restaurants — the places people tend to congregate. There are no overnight accommodations available. Some restrooms along with portable ones were available.
Meanwhile, the residential area where more than 2,000 people live year-round was cordoned off with cones and barrels to keep visitors away from the housing areas. About 20 miles (32 kilometers) of roadway were accessible to tourists that allow them to walk along the rim of the canyon and stand at a number of viewpoints.
Pelosi 'thrilled' over passage of $3 trillion aid package
It’s a work from home Congress as House approves proxy vote
WASHINGTON — It all started with the grandchildren.
As House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer saw it, if he could Face Time with the grandkids, why not have Congress legislate by video chat and avoid the health risks of convening at the Capitol during the coronavirus pandemic?
And so the silver-haired, 80-year-old congressman from Maryland helped steer the House into one of the more substantial rules changes of its 230-year history.
“This is no revolutionary, radical change,” Hoyer said. “This is exactly what the Founders wanted to happen.”
The House approved the new rules Friday, during what could likely be the chamber’s last fully in-person votes for the foreseeable future.
From now on, lawmakers will be allowed to cast House floor votes by proxy — without being “present” as the Constitution requires. The next step will allow them to skip the middle-man and simply vote remotely once leaders approve the technology.
Washington governor backs off requirement for restaurant logs
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday sought to clarify a rule that would require restaurants to keep daily logs of all customers once they reopen, saying it's now voluntary.
"We are asking visitors to voluntarily provide contact information in case of COVID-19 exposure," Inslee said in a statement, adding that the information would be shared with health officials if a visitor is exposed to the virus. If unused, the log would be destroyed in 30 days.
"This will not be required of anyone," Inslee said.
On Monday, Inslee issued guidance that said restaurants allowed to reopen with table service were required to "create a daily log of all customers" in case contact tracing was needed later.
The data collection requirement caused an uproar, and several restaurant owners were skeptical of the rule, The Seattle Times reported.
Businesses are still required to keep a log of those who voluntarily give their information.