What you need to know today about the virus outbreak


Muslim men perform Friday prayer at the distance of about one meter (3 ft) to each other as a social distancing effort to prevent the spread of new coronavirus outbreak at Al Akbar mosque in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, Friday, March 20, 2020. The vast majority of people recover from the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, most people recover in about two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the illness. (AP Photo/Trisnadi)

(AP) — The death toll from the global pandemic surpassed 10,000 people worldwide and the effects of a global economy grinding to a halt because of the pandemic were beginning to show, from millions of unsold flowers rotting in piles in Kenya to the slow emptying of the world’s skies.

The U.N. chief warned of a looming global recession “perhaps of record dimensions,” and California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the state’s 40 million residents to stay at home indefinitely and venture out only for essential jobs, groceries and some exercise.

Here are some of AP’s top stories Friday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day:


—Most Americans who rent their home, many of whom have lost their jobs in the sudden economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak, will not be eligible for eviction protections, despite what President Donald Trump said this week.

U.S. stock indexes were mixed in early trading Friday, shedding some of their gains from a day earlier as Wall Street rounded out another turbulent week.

—In the Italian city of Bergamo, the coronavirus is depriving families of a bedside farewell with virus-stricken loved ones, or even a traditional funeral, and the cemetery is so overwhelmed by the number of dead that military trucks transported 65 bodies to a neighboring region for cremation this week.

Tracking Coronavirus

—Members of President Donald Trump’s economic team convene Friday on Capitol Hill to launch negotiations with Senate Republicans and Democrats racing to draft a $1 trillion-plus economic rescue package amid the coronavirus outbreak.

— Republican Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr sold as much as $1.7 million in stocks just before the market dropped in February amid fears about the virus epidemic.

A woman buys fruits at a supermarket in Bergisch Gladbach that is open in the morning only for elderly people from 65 years to minimize their risk of infection due to the coronavirus outbreak in Germany, Friday, March 20, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

— Newscasts bring word of “hot zones” and “lockdowns.” Conversations are littered with talk of “quarantines” and “isolation.” Leaders urge “social distancing.” In an instant, the pandemic has changed people’s vocabulary, just like everything else.

— Parents and authorities around the globe are struggling to keep young people from gathering to help stop the spread of the virus.

The Via Expresa highway, closed by the government to discourage citizens from circulating, is free of traffic in Lima, Peru, Thursday, March 19, 2020, the fourth day of a state of emergency decreed by the government to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)


For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.

Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under finger nails before rinsing off.

You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.


$79: The amount that one store was accused of selling one bottle of Purell hand sanitizer. That led to one of the more than 500 violations that New York City has given out to crack down on price gouging, which an AP survey finds has surged across the country because of the pandemic.


PANDEMIC POT: Companies in California and elsewhere are reporting big jumps in marijuana deliveries and sales, as consumers stock up ahead of lockdowns or simply light up in search of relief during anxious times.

The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


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