Trump’s diagnosis a reminder US cases on rise
FILE – In this Oct. 1, 2020, file photo, a man wearing a face mask walks past a mural in South Central Los Angeles. President Donald Trump’s startling COVID-19 diagnosis serves as a cruel reminder of the pervasive spread of the coronavirus in the United States and shows how tenuous of a grip the nation has on the crisis, health experts said. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
SEATTLE — The news of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis serves as a reminder of the pervasive spread of the coronavirus in the United States.
U.S. infections have been rising for several weeks, a worrying sign with colder weather approaching. The response to the crisis rests largely with governors, which has meant a patchwork of approaches. Only a handful of countries rank higher in COVID-19 deaths per capita.
The Midwest is the new hotspot. Wisconsin reported a record daily death toll Wednesday, and hospitals in multiple cities said they were running out of space. A 530-bed field hospital that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built on the state fairgrounds in West Allis in April can be used if the situation worsens.
Iowa reported more than 1,000 new cases for the third consecutive day on Friday.
The U.S. leads the world with 7.3 million cases and more than 209,000 dead.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— President Trump’s doctors say he’s doing well in hospital in ‘good spirits’
— Trump’s diagnosis shows US vulnerability to the coronavirus
— India’s COVID-19 fatalities top 100,000, only trail US, Brazil
— Madrid starts first day under a partial lockdown with police controlling travel in and out of the Spanish capital, which has become a coronavirus hotspot.
— The Nobel Prizes show how slow, basic science pays off, even though everyone wants quick fixes to global problems. The Nobels, with new winners announced next week, often concentrate on unheralded and methodical basic science.
— The NFL postponed Sunday’s game between New England and the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs after positive coronavirus tests on both teams.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota health officials announced 11 new deaths in the last day, increasing the total to 248 since the start of the pandemic.
There were about 617 cases per 100,000 people in South Dakota over the past two weeks, which ranks second in the country for cases per capita, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
Officials say there have been 464 new cases since Friday’s report and nearly 24,000 have tested positive statewide. There were 1,758 tests processed in the last day.
BEIRUT — Lebanon has registered a new record 1,321 daily cases of coronavirus amid a sharp increase around the country.
The Health Ministry reported 12 deaths, a day before authorities were to impose an eight-day lockdown in 111 towns and villages around Lebanon.
The new cases raise the total to 43,480 since the first was reported in small tiny of 5 million people in late February. The death toll has risen to 398.
The numbers rose following a massive blast in Beirut on Aug. 4 that resulted in many deaths and injuries. The blast led to people searching through the rubble and crowding at hospitals.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s doctors say the president is doing well, is fever-free and isn’t having difficulty breathing after contracting the coronavirus.
Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s physician, says while he had fatigue, nasal congestion and coughing, his symptoms are resolving and improving. He says Trump had not been on oxygen Saturday or when he was with their medical team Friday.
Conley adds Trump said he felt he could walk out of a military hospital. Conley says the typical range of monitoring is seven to 10 days.
Trump was transferred to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday afternoon in what doctors say was a precaution after he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.
BOSTON — The NFL has postponed Sunday’s game between New England and the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs after positive coronavirus tests on both teams.
ESPN reported on Saturday that Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was among those contracting the disease. The NFL says the game will be played Monday or Tuesday.
The league says the move followed “positive COVID-19 tests on both teams.” The Patriots confirmed a player has tested positive but didn’t reveal his name.
This week, the matchup between Pittsburgh and Tennessee was postponed because of an outbreak on the Titans.
MILAN — New coronavirus cases in Italy maintained a trajectory above 2,500 on Saturday, with about 119,000 people tested.
Twenty-seven people died in the last 24 hours, according to the ministry of health, bringing known deaths to 35,968. There have been 322,751 total infections.
Nearly 300 people are in intensive care and 3,205 hospital beds in COVID-19 wards are occupied. Those number have been increasing with a surge in new cases in recent weeks, following dips to only 100 new cases a day in July.
SKOPJE, North Macedonia — North Macedonia has recorded 243 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily number since the pandemic began. There were also four new deaths.
Total number of confirmed cases exceed 18,600 with 753 deaths in the country of 2.1 million.
Facing a recent spike in cases, health authorities are considering imposing new restrictions, including banning public gatherings and limiting working hours for bars.
Schools in North Macedonia were opened on Thursday, but only for students in kindergarten and the first three grades. All other students attended classes online.
ATHENS, Greece — Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis says authorities would use local lockdowns to keep a recent surge in coronavirus cases under control.
Health authorities announced another 267 coronavirus cases Saturday and seven deaths.
The total number of confirmed cases is 19,613, about 80 percent recorded in the past two months. A daily record of 460 new cases were reported Friday, attributed to people not wearing masks and failing to keep social distancing.
In Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest, people participated in a 2-kilometer (1.25 mile) fast walk to debunk speculation that wearing face masks causes shortness of breath. Participants measured oxygen and carbon dioxide levels after the walk, finding all within the normal range.
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana schools are slowly making a dent in more than $200 million of federal aid meant to help local districts manage financial hardships spurred by the coronavirus.
Since May, nearly $22 million of Indiana’s share of federal CARES Act aid has been issued to school districts around the state, according to the Indiana Department of Education. State officials say millions more are expected to be given out in the coming months.
The financial help is intended to buy remote learning technology, equipment for sanitizing school buildings, protective equipment, staff training and emotional support for students.
State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick cautions the federal aid isn’t as much as it seems, adding that no one is going to “get rich” with the extra money.
ASSISI, Italy — Pope Francis has traveled to the homeland of his nature-loving namesake to sign an encyclical laying out his vision of a post-coronavirus world built on solidarity and care for the environment.
In his first outing from Rome since the coronavirus lockdown in February, Francis celebrated Mass on Saturday in the crypt of the Basilica of St. Francis in the Umbrian hilltop town of Assisi. He was to pray at the tomb of the saint and sign his encyclical, which is to be released to the public on Sunday.
The document, entitled “Fratelli tutti,” or “Brothers all,” is in many ways expected to be a synthesis of the main priorities of Francis’ pontificate, which have focused on the need for greater solidarity with the poor, dialogue with others and care for God’s creation.
For Francis, the coronavirus pandemic has only confirmed his belief of the interconnectedness of the health of the planet and its people.
Like the rest of Italy, the Vatican under Francis locked down during the worst of the pandemic, forcing Francis to cancel audiences and travel. His trip to Assisi was his first outing from Rome since he travelled to Bari on Feb. 23 just before the lockdown.
CHICAGO — Chicago officials are encouraging music venues, theaters and other performing arts venues to apply for financial help while they’re closed because of the coronavirus.
Applications for the new relief program overseen by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events open on Monday. Up to 120 recipients can receive $10,000 grants backed by the Walder Foundation, the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund and Accion.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot says, “to keep this rich, diverse part of our city’s culture alive, it is critical that we continue to provide space and support for our artists, cultural workers and performing arts companies.”
Venues must be in Chicago and produce performing arts programs, including theatre, dance, performance art or live music.
NEW DELHI — India has reached 100,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths, trailing only the United States and Brazil.
The Health Ministry says the 79,476 new infections raised the overall confirmed caseload to more than 6.4 million. The country’s toll is nearly 10% of the global deaths.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist government have been criticized for the handling of the virus and the contracting economy that’s left millions jobless.
Overall numbers show India’s urban districts have accounted for nearly 80% of the death toll, but health experts warn of a “slow burn” surge in the country’s vast hinterlands.
“India has an inadequate health system, which is lopsided and unjustly distributed,” said Dr. T. Jacob John, a retired virologist.
Public health experts say a disorderly lockdown, which led millions of migrant workers to flee from cities to villages, further complicated the fight against the virus.
Still, India is preparing to reopen cinemas and entertainment parks with limited capacity beginning Oct. 15. Health experts warn the move has the potential for the virus to spread during the upcoming religious festival and winter season.
SANTA FE, N.M. — A federal judge has rejected an initial request to ease pandemic-related occupancy limits for in-person instruction at private schools in New Mexico, in a setback for a complaint supported by the U.S. Justice Department.
In a Friday order, U.S. District Court Judge William Johnson rebuffed the complaint from the father of a seventh-grade prep school student in Albuquerque who claimed restrictions aimed at social distancing are more severe at private schools than public ones.
Johnson noted some private schools have managed to reboot in-person teaching despite a 25% room occupancy limit, and 7-12 grade public school students are still cut off from in-person learning.
Private schools in New Mexico enroll about 22,000 students or nearly 7% of school-aged children.
KATHMANDU, Nepal — Three close aides of Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli have tested positive for coronavirus.
Oli’s political adviser Bishnu Rimal, press adviser Surya Thapa and foreign affairs adviser Rajan Bhattarai announced on social media their test results on Saturday. These three were close officials who worked with Oli while he works mostly out of his official residence in Kathmandu. They are also the highest-level officials to be tested positive to the virus in Nepal. It was not clear if the prime minister had taken any recent tests.
Nepal has 84,570 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 528 deaths.
ISTANBUL — The World Health Organization’s office in Turkey has reiterated its call for reporting coronavirus data in line with WHO guidance to “harmonize data collection and response measures.”
The statement comes days after Turkey’s health minister revealed the daily coronavirus figures published by the ministry reflected only patients with symptoms, excluding asymptomatic positive cases.
The WHO defines confirmed cases as: “A person with laboratory confirmation of COVID-19 infection, irrespective of clinical signs and symptoms.”
The WHO statement commended Turkey on its increased testing capacity and contact tracing. It said, “Turkey has been isolating all COVID-19 positive cases, regardless of their symptoms.” It added the agency has been consulting with members, including Turkey, to improve reporting and data collection.
Critics question the veracity of case and death toll numbers Turkey has reported during the pandemic.