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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Wave of 'vaccine nationalism' hinders global efforts to halt virus
The coronavirus crosses borders without regard for national boundaries or identities. But the response to it, and the hunt for a vaccine, has been caught up in a tide of nationalism that was already sweeping the world before the virus hit, and which may end up delaying distribution of a vaccine to billions of people.
A competitive vision outlined in the United States and other vaccine-producing powerhouses such as China and India threatens to undermine the efforts of dozens of countries, which are raising billions of dollars in an attempt to find an effective immunizing shot that they say should be available equally around the world.
Some experts and former officials fear that leaders such as President Donald Trump may be pursuing the doctrine of "vaccine nationalism." This is the idea that any government whose scientists win this vaccine "race" — as it's often described — might try to hoard the shots for domestic use.
'I gave this to my dad': COVID-19 survivors grapple with guilt of infecting family
Paul Stewart thought he’d caught a bad cold.
In the third week of March, he came down with a sore throat, mild fever, cough, chills and body aches. The coronavirus was just starting to spread across Illinois, shuttering schools and workplaces, including the clinic in DuPage County where he worked as a rehabilitation technician. It didn’t occur to him that he might have the virus, even after a co-worker tested positive. Paul’s symptoms came and went, and on some days he felt well enough to go on a five-mile run.
Then his father started coughing.
Paul, 55 and twice divorced, lived with his parents in the house where he grew up. He assumed his father, Robert, 86, a tough former professional baseball player, Army veteran and cancer survivor, had picked up his cold. But the bug seemed to take over Robert’s body, wrecking his appetite and pummeling his lungs.
How comic strips have changed during the pandemic
Midwest manufacturing workers sound alarm over COVID-19 outbreaks
COVID-19 outbreaks at meat and poultry facilities have hobbled the nation’s meat supply chain, leading President Donald Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act to keep them open.
But outbreaks at manufacturing facilities that make everything from wind turbine parts to soap have also sickened scores of workers while garnering far less attention.
Some of those employees are sounding the alarm on what they say were poor safety practices that led to widespread infection among their co-workers.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has more than 1,300 open safety complaints related to COVID-19 at manufacturing facilities, according to NBC News analysis of data that runs through May 4. Those make up about 20 percent of the 6,672 open complaints related to the coronavirus. OSHA also closed 466 complaints from manufacturing facilities through April 22.
Experts said OSHA has taken a lax approach to enforcing safety laws during the pandemic, putting workers at risk.
Caught in India's lockdown, 23 migrants die in truck crash going home
A truck crammed with migrant laborers trying to reach their distant homes amid a nationwide lockdown crashed in northern India on Saturday, killing at least 23 and injuring 35.
The accident occurred before daybreak, when the truck collided with another truck that was parked by a roadside eatery in the Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh state, a top district official said.
India locked down its 1.3 billion citizens almost seven weeks ago in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, sparking a crisis for the hundreds of millions of Indians that rely on daily wages to survive.
With no work — and little public transport — many urban migrants attempting to return to their home villages have set out on grueling journeys on foot, or hitching rides in the back of trucks.
Italy to ease travel restrictions
Italians will be allowed to move freely in the region where they live as pandemic restrictions are eased, the country's government said in a news release on Saturday. International travel will also begin next month, it added.
The inter-regional and foreign travel ban remains in place until after Italy’s June 2 Republic Day holiday in order to prevent any mass travel over the long-holiday weekend.
Italy imposed a nationwide lockdown in early March after it became the first country outside Asia with a major outbreak of virus. More than 31,000 people have died, leaving Italy with the third highest global death toll after the U.S. and the U.K.
The government has recently gradually reopened the country as the rates of infections and deaths have fallen. Social distancing rules are being implemented in the sectors of the economy that have reopened, including factories and some businesses. Schools remain closed and crowds are not permitted, although people will be allowed to attend Mass in churches with some restrictions starting next week, according to the Associated Press.
Impoverished Burundi, battered by violence and coronavirus, gears up for elections
Burundi will have its first competitive presidential election since the civil war erupted in 1993, but simmering political violence and fears that campaign rallies could accelerate the spread of the coronavirus have already marred the campaign.
President Pierre Nkurunziza is stepping down, although he intends to remain a prominent force in the impoverished East African nation. The ruling party is to hold its last rally on Saturday and the election will be held Wednesday.
Burundi said most election observers would have to undergo a 14-day quarantine. While the government is working to show the election as legitimate process, journalists in the country face the constant threat of arrest or attack; many have fled. Some civil society organizations have been closed.
Earlier this week, the government expelled the country representative for the World Health Organization despite mounting fears that Burundi's election rallies could help spread of the new coronavirus. The nation of 11 million has reported 27 cases so far but has only carried out about 520 tests in total.
Nightclub hotspot shows how hard it is to contain virus, South Korean authorities say
South Korean health authorities said on Saturday that a new virus hotspot linked to a nightclub district in the country’s capital Seoul, shows how difficult it is to contain the virus. At least 150 new cases have been linked to the city's densely populated Itaewon district after recent easing of lockdowns.
However, South Korea — which has been noted for its strong virus testing and tracing campaigns — are expressing cautious hope that new infections are beginning to wane.
Health Ministry official Son Young-rae on Saturday said that 46,000 people have so far been tested following a slew of infections linked to the nightclub district. “It’s notable there were no new transmissions in churches, call centers and gyms where virus carriers went to,” Son said according to the Associated Press.
The country reported 19 new cases of the virus on Saturday, according to South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control, bringing its total to 11,037.
London mayor urges Londoners to stay at home despite restrictions easing
The Mayor of London urged people in the capital city to stay home this weekend, despite a relaxation of lockdown measures across the United Kingdom.
“I want to be clear with Londoners: lockdown has not been lifted,” Sadiq Khan said in a tweet on Saturday.“COVID-19 is still an extremely dangerous threat.”
It comes after some confusion surrounding British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement of a tentative road map for loosening restrictions earlier this week.
The U.K. has so far reported more than 238,000 cases and more than 34,000 deaths, the highest death toll in Europe, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
'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.