- US reports more than 500 deaths for first time
- US confirms largest one-day case jump
- Russia reports jump in cases, deaths
- Maryland, Virginia and DC all locked down
- Thailand warns it will prosecute all “April Fools Day” coronavirus jokers
- China plans to announce “asymptomatic” carriers of the novel coronavirus
- Dr. Fauci warns he fears virus will return this fall
- Ford, GE warn 100-day window for producing 50k ventilators doesn’t start until April 20
- Orban takes unilateral power in Hungary
* * *
Yesterday, the entire Washington DC area was shut down as the governors of Maryland and Virginia joined Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, DC, in issuing “shelter in place” orders, as the region joined Greater New York, San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area, Cook County, Greater Seattle and LA County in being completely locked down.
Still, the US case total climbed at an almost unbelievable rate, as the US case total passed 164,000 Tuesday morning, as stock futures traded mildly in the red, though they were essentially flat on the session.
On Sunday, France and Italy also reported their largest single-day jump in deaths, according to their official tallies, capping off a string of ever-higher highs.
On Monday, it was America’s turn, as the US reported more than 500 deaths for the first time, according to reports published early Tuesday.
But it’s not just that: The US has recorded the biggest daily jump in new cases of any country since the novel coronavirus first made the jump from animal to human (or…whatever) in Wuhan back in December. Even as the overall percentage rate slowed, the US still added more than 20,000 cases on Monday, with its daily rate slowing to 14% from 16%, per the FT. Monday also marked the first time that the US reported more than 500 deaths from COVID-19 in a single day, according to the Washington Post.
Worldwide, 61,404 people were diagnosed with COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the global total to 786,876, while the death toll increased by 3,723 to 37,839, on track to double in less than a week.
A day after the country started expanding a lockdown first rolled out in Moscow late last week, Russia reported 500 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, its largest daily increase by far, as the total number of infections surged 27% to 2,337. While the number of deaths recorded nearly doubled overnight to 17.
On Tuesday, Thailand warned on Tuesday that it would criminally prosecute anyone who claimed to have coronavirus as an April Fool’s Day prank, while, in the US, another individual has been arrested for making a terrorist threat by coughing on them and pretending to be carrying the coronavirus.
Most of the new cases reported in the US yesterday – cases and deaths, that is – happened in New York. In a tribute to medical workers battling the virus on the front lines, the Empire State Building flashed red and white on Monday night to symbolize “America’s heartbeat,” lighting up the top of the iconic building.
— Rita J. King (@RitaJKing) March 31, 2020
Amusingly, Beijing announced on Tuesday that it would start disclosing the number of patients who are asymptomatic but found to have contracted the virus. The decision to be more ‘transparent’ with its numbers makes one wonder why China is doing this now? After all, if China were testing on the level of, say, South Korea, it’s possible that you could have seen millions of cases. Is Beijing really going to try and retake the No. 1 spot as the US comes along and starts mass reporting? Or is this merely a ploy to try and make their accounting look more legitimate at a time when even mainstream medical experts are speculating that the true extent of the US outbreak likely won’t ever be known, according to the SCMP.
A new “coronavirus bill” passed by the Hungarian Parliament on Monday granted PM Viktor Orban sweeping new powers to lead the country, the Washington Post reported. Orban now has the power to govern “unchallenged for as long as he sees fit,” a move rights groups said effectively suspends democracy in the European Union member state in the name of fighting the virus, though this isn’t the first time that the “illiberal” whiners have accused Orban of “flexing” his authoritarian tendencies.
The NHC promised to start including the “asymptomatic” figures starting on Wednesday, as Beijing clarifies that it already asks health workers to record this data, which is…interesting, to say the least.
As of as of Monday, there were 1,541 asymptomatic carriers under medical observation on mainland China, including 205 imported cases, officials told SCMP. Data previously shared with the SCMP suggests that the ratio of so-called “silent” (asymptomatic) carriers to diagnosed sick could be as high as one to three, which would be enough to put China back in the lead for most cases worldwide.
With President Trump finally seeming to accept that hundreds of thousands of lives are depending on what he decides to do with the federal coronavirus response, Dr. Fauci warned Monday night that he is already bracing for a second coronavirus outbreak in the fall, when flu season starts again.
“In fact, I would anticipate that that would actually happen because of the degree of transmissibility,” Fauci responded when a reporter asked about the potential reemergence of the virus in a few seasons.
Also, a troubling caveat: After announcing yesterday plans to build some 50k ventilators in 100 days, Ford and GE, which will be working on a product model by Airon Corp., added that the 100-day clock won’t start until April 20, and it’s likely that most of the ventilators won’t be ready until after the US surge, if one still happens.