As the novel coronavirus continued to spread globally, the number of confirmed cases in the United States doubled: A figure that surpassed 5,700 on Tuesday climbed above 11,500 on Thursday. The dramatic increase stems in part from more testing, but also indicates just how much the virus has spread. Officials say the number will continue to rise sharply as more test results become available.
Here are some other significant developments:
- Senate Republicans introduced a $1 trillion fiscal package — the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act — which includes sending direct cash payments to many Americans.
- The State Department warned Americans not to travel internationally and advised all Americans who are abroad to return to the United States or make preparations to shelter in place.
- Italy on Thursday hit a grim milestone, surpassing China for the largest number of coronavirus-related deaths, at 3,405. Morgues in Italy are running out of capacity.
- To address medical supply shortages, new legislation provides manufacturers of N95 face masks protection against lawsuits when selling certain masks to healthcare workers. That will free producers including 3M and Honeywell to sell tens of millions more masks per month to hospitals, according to Vice President Pence, who said "they are available now.”
- CDC data now shows that younger adults are a large percentage of coronavirus hospitalizations in the United States.
- India barred incoming commercial flights for a week, and Australia and New Zealand closed their borders to everyone except citizens and residents. The United Arab Emirates went further, stopping expatriate residents from returning to the country. Meanwhile, Italy is extending lockdown measures.
- President Trump cancelled the in-person G-7 summit scheduled for June at Camp David, due to the coronavirus pandemic, deciding instead to hold the annual meeting by videoconference.