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Americans warned not to travel, Italy death toll surpasses China's

Here are the latest updates from around the world.
Image: A woman walks through the nearly empty Times Square subway station in New York on Thursday.
A woman walks through the nearly empty Times Square subway station in New York on Thursday.Lucas Jackson / Reuters

The U.S. State Department on Thursday warned Americans to no longer travel abroad, and urged those already abroad to return, for fear they may become stranded as other countries increasingly lock down in the coronavirus pandemic.

Italy has surpassed China in total deaths connected to the coronavirus, with the country reporting 3,405 fatalities as of Thursday afternoon Eastern Time.

For the first time since the global coronavirus outbreak began, China has reported no new domestic cases of the illness.

Only eight deaths were reported for Wednesday, all of which occurred in Hubei province, which includes the city of Wuhan where the pandemic started. Globally, the number of coronavirus cases has topped 200,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Efforts to contain the spread of the virus in the U.S. and Europe have brought life in many major cities to a standstill, and governments are launching a variety of aid packages meant to alleviate the worst of the economic impact.

Markets were calmer on Thursday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing slightly up by around 200 points.

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New Yorkers believe they are at low-risk of contracting coronavirus, study shows

At least 60 percent of New Yorkers believe they are at no risk or low risk of contracting coronavirus, according to a study by the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.

The survey results, published Thursday, found that despite feeling that they are at no great threat of catching the virus, more than 68 percent support measures taken to stop the spread. Researchers at the city university plan to conduct more studies on the pandemic as time goes on. 

Students wait on premises to receive school laptops for home study at the Lower East Side Preparatory School on March 19, 2020 in New York, as coronavirus restrictions shuttered classrooms throughout the city.John Minchillo / AP

“We conducted this survey and will update it regularly over the course of this public health crisis as part of our unique mission within the City’s largest public university,” CUNY SPH Dean Ayman El Mohandes said.

New York now leads the country in confirmed coronavirus patients with more than 4,000 people tested positive in the state.

Photo: Preparing for Sunday services in Sweden

Paul Fried, a minister at Katarina church in Stockholm, pre-records on Thursday a service on that will be broadcast on Facebook, YouTube and the church's website on Sunday after the Swedish government banned gatherings of more than 500 people to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP - Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg to interview Dr. Anthony Fauci on Facebook

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. health official who has been lauded for his straightforward communication on the coronavirus outbreak, will make a public appearance Thursday, after all.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will speak live on Facebook with CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the tech executive wrote on his Facebook wall.

Facebook said the discussion would happen at 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET).

"He'll discuss the measures we can all take to fight the spread of the coronavirus and what the government is doing to respond to the pandemic. We'll have time for some questions from the community, so if there's a question you think I should ask, reply here in the comments," Zuckerberg wrote.

The phrase "Where is Dr. Fauci?" was trending on Twitter in the afternoon after he did not appear at a White House news conference. 

Cannes Film Festival cancels May dates due to coronavirus

The Cannes Film Festival, set to be held in May, has been postponed amid the rampant spread of the coronavirus. 

"Several options are considered in order to preserve its running, the main one being a simple postponement, in Cannes, until the end of June-beginning of July, 2020," organizers said on Thursday in a press release. 

The team will be working with the French government and Cannes city hall to find alternative solutions to host the internationally acclaimed festival. 

"In the meantime, the Festival de Cannes lends its vocal support to all of those who firmly call on everyone to respect the general lockdown, and ask to show solidarity in these difficult times for the entire world." 

Carnival Cruises offers ships as hospitals for non-coronavirus patients

Carnival Cruises said Thursday that it was offering its ships to serve as temporary hospitals for non-coronavirus patients in an effort to free up hospital beds. 

"These temporary cruise ship hospital rooms can be quickly converted to install and connect remote patient monitoring devices over the ship's high-speed network – providing cardiac, respiratory, oxygen saturation and video monitoring capabilities," the company said.

President Donald Trump announced earlier Thursday that he had spoken with Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and that Arison offered his ships as "floating hospitals." 

The ships have seven intensive care units with ventilators and all of its rooms allow for self-isolation if necessary, the company added. 

'Lost' actor Daniel Dae Kim says he tested positive

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Numbers continue to spike in New York City

More than 3,600 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in New York City, marking another significant spike in tracking the deadly disease, authorities said Thursday. 

There have been 3,615 positive tests to go along with 22 deaths during the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

There had been 1,871 reported cases in America's largest city, officials had said Wednesday. There had been 10 reported dead on Tuesday.

 

Connecticut delays primary to June

San Francisco says bicycle repair shops are essential during shutdown

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said Thursday that bicycle repair shops may remain open during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown as the city continues to refine what it means to be "essential." 

Outdoor exercise is allowed in San Francisco under Breed's public health order shutting down non-essential activities, but bike shops had generally closed their doors when the order took effect Tuesday. 

Testing for coronavirus, and number of positive tests, spike at VA

As of Thursday, the Veterans Health Administration has administered more than 848 tests nationwide, and recorded 83 total positive test results and one death in the Portland, Oregon, VA system.

That is a more than 150 percent increase in the number of reported tests from the total released by the VA Wednesday, and a nearly 100 percent increase in the number of positive test results.

The death number has not changed since March 14, when that first death occurred.