New Coronavirus Toll Stuns the World

And President Trump is under fire as Americans surge back home from Europe
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2020 3:00 PM CDT
New Coronavirus Toll Stuns the World
In this Saturday, March 14, 2020 photo provided by Elizabeth Pulvermacher travelers returning from Madrid wait in a coronavirus screening line at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.   (Elizabeth Pulvermacher via AP)

Italy shocked the world Sunday by announcing 368 new coronavirus deaths the day before—the highest one-day death toll anywhere since the outbreak began, the New York Times reports. For the record, the World Health Organization says China held the previous record: 254 fatalities on Feb. 13. Italy's overall death toll is now 1,809 and its crippling caseload over 24,700. The nation's plight is especially worrying because large-scale government measures have been unable to curb the surge, notes Axios. Italian officials have essentially put the country on lockdown, barring all sports and public gatherings, closing many retailers, and imposing internal travel restrictions. For more:

  • Airport crowds: State and local officials criticized the Trump administration Sunday, saying passengers returning from Europe were stuck for hours in airports—conditions that could allow the coronavirus to spread, the AP reports. Many Americans returned from Europe after President Trump imposed a travel ban Wednesday.
  • 'Hunker down': Anthony Fauci appeared on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday and said Americans "should be prepared that they're going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing." Asked if a 14-day nationwide shutdown was in order, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said: "I would prefer as much as we possibly could."
  • Spain and France: The day after imposing nationwide restrictions, Spain and France announced their own coronavirus numbers: Nearly 8,000 cases in Spain, with 288 deaths, and 5,400 in France, with 120 deaths, per the Times. France said it had 300 patients in critical condition, half of them younger than 60.
  • Some good news: Two science teams in Canada have isolated the coronavirus—meaning researchers who want to test vaccines, therapies, and screening methods can access "the global pathogen without ... having to undertake the complicating step of shipping [a] live virus across international borders," the Globe & Mail reports.
(See why the US health system is straining.)

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