Trump ponders return to normal life by Easter as death toll climbs

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Image: New York City Hospital Adds New Protocols And Triage To Address Coronavirus
Doctors test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for coronavirus (COVID-19) in set-up tents to triage possible COVID-19 patients outside before they enter the main Emergency department area at St. Barnabas hospital in the Bronx on March 24, 2020 in New York.Misha Friedman / Getty Images

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The number of coronavirus cases continued to accelerate in the United States on Tuesday, and early Wednesday Senate leaders announced they had reached a deal on a massive $2 trillion spending bill aimed at alleviating the economic impact of the outbreak.

The White House coronavirus coordinator asked people who have recently been in New York, where the death toll continues to climb, to quarantine themselves for 14 days, because they may have been exposed before leaving.

President Donald Trump is pushing for the country to get back to business by April 12, Easter Sunday, when he said he would like to see churches full of people.

And after growing international pressure, Japan and the International Olympic Committee agreed to postpone the 2020 Tokyo games until next year but said they would happen no later than summer 2021.

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Harvard president and his wife test positive for coronavirus

Harvard President Larry Bacow and his wife Adele tested positive for the coronavirus, he announced in a statement on Tuesday.

Bacow said they have been completely limiting their contact with others since March 14. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced on Monday a stay-at-home advisory for the state's 7 million residents. 

UK reports highest daily deaths, surging over 25% in total number

The number of coronavirus deaths in the UK has risen by 87 in the past 24 hours, according to the country's Department of Health.

There are now 422 patients who have died from coronavirus and 8,077 confirmed cases.

On Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a 3-week national lockdown in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Introducing our new project: Coronavirus Confessions

Dow surges by 1,700 points as hopes rise that economic stimulus bill will pass

Wall Street soared on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average surging by 1,700 points as lawmakers appeared to be closing in on the $2 trillion stimulus package.

The measure would reportedly include $350 billion for small businesses and $240 billion in relief for health care, including $75 billion that would be allocated to hospitals directly; $11 billion for the development of vaccines, treatments and other preparedness needs; and $4.5 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unemployment insurance benefits included in the bill would give recipients 100 percent of their salary. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 1,773 points by midday, or more than 9 percent. The S&P 500 was up almost by around 8.25 percent, with the Nasdaq up by almost 7 percent. Traders have pinned their hopes on the government's fiscal stimulus plan after emergency crisis action from the Federal Reserve failed to soothe markets.

Lady Gaga delays sixth studio album, citing coronavirus

Lady Gaga announced Tuesday that she would delay the release of her sixth studio album "Chromatica." In a post on Twitter and Instagram, the Oscar- and Grammy-winning singer wrote that she didn't feel right releasing an album "with all that is going on during this global pandemic."

"It is important to me that the attention is on getting essential medical equipment to healthcare professionals, making sure kids who depend on public schools for meals get the assistance they need, and that we help those who will be financially impacted by this pandemic," Gaga wrote.

The singer had already postponed a dozen dates of her Las Vegas residency "Enigma," and revealed in the post that she had planned a surprise set for Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which was also postponed. 

Gaga assured her fans, despite the delay, that the album is still coming: "I hope you can see that when the album does come out, I want us to be able to dance together, sweat together, hug and kiss each other, and make it the most bombastic celebration of all time. And until that time comes, LET'S ALL STAY HOME!"

Steep fines face those who defy coronavirus lockdowns, curfews around the world

As millions of people are locked down in their homes around the world, governments are hoping steep fines will also help to stop those who are breaking quarantine rules.

In Saudi Arabia, where a nationwide curfew has been enacted for three weeks starting Monday, violators will be fined 10,000 Saudi riyal ($2,777), which will be doubled for a second violation, the country's interior ministry said.  A third violation will earn the offender a jail sentence of up to 20 days.

Italy, which is experiencing the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe with 6,077 deaths so far, is considering raising the fines for violation of the nationwide lockdown to 3,000 euros ($3,246), the country's Corriere della Sera newspaper reported. The current fine stands at 206 euros ($222). 

Meanwhile, in Israel, which is on partial lockdown, police are fining those breaking the quarantine 5,000 shekels ($1,365). Israel has had 1,656 confirmed coronavirus cases and one death so far. 

And in France, where 860 people died of the virus, sanctions for not respecting restricted movement started at just 38 euros ($41) when they began last week, but French Prime Minister Philippe Edouard said Monday night the fines will go up to as high as 1,500 euros ($1,618) for repeat offenders. 

New York governor highlights 'dramatic increase' in infection rate

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday his state has seen a "dramatic increase" in the rate of coronavirus infections, saying the "troubling and astronomical numbers" of people getting infected are higher than initially projected.

"The apex is higher than we thought and the apex is sooner than we thought," Cuomo said, adding that cases could peak in as soon as 14 to 20 days. "It is clear that we must dramatically increase the hospital capacity."

India's prime minister orders nationwide lockdown

An almost empty road in Ahmedabad, India, on Tuesday.Amit Dave / Reuters

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered a lockdown of the country starting at midnight local time.

The lockdown across the country of some 1.3 billion people will last for 21 days, according to The Associated Press.

Photo: The staggering toll in northern Italy

Coffins of people who have died from the coronavirus are lined up at a church Monday in Alessandria, Italy. The country is facing the world's deadliest outbreak of COVID-19.Falvio Lo Scalzo / Reuters