Up to 200K US deaths foreseen as more cities stricken
NEW YORK (AP) — The coronavirus outbreak could kill 100,000 to 200,000 Americans, the U.S. government's top infectious-disease expert warned on Sunday as smoldering hot spots in nursing homes and a growing list of stricken cities heightened the sense of dread across the country. Faced with that grim projection the possibility and that even more could die in the U.S. without measures to keep people away from each other, President Donald Trump extended federal guidelines recommending people stay home for another 30 days until the end of April to prevent spread of the virus. Trump's extension of the original 15-day guidelines was a stark reversal just days after he suggested restarting the economy in about two weeks and came after Dr.
North Korea test fires missiles amid worries about outbreak
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Sunday fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea, South Korea and Japan said, continuing a streak of weapons launches that suggests leader Kim Jong Un is trying to strengthen domestic support amid worries about a possible coronavirus outbreak in the country. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the projectiles flying from the North Korean eastern coastal city of Wonsan into the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan on Sunday morning. The projectiles flew about 230 kilometers (143 miles) at a maximum altitude of 30 kilometers (19 miles), the statement said.
Modi apologizes to Indians for 21-day lockdown hardships
NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologized to the public on Sunday for imposing a three-week national lockdown, calling it harsh but “needed to win” the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. “I apologize for taking these harsh steps that have caused difficulties in your lives, especially the poor people,” Modi said in his monthly address, broadcast by state radio. “I know some of you will be angry with me. But these tough measures were needed to win this battle.” The unprecedented lockdown order, which came into effect on Wednesday to keep India's 1.3 billion people at home for all but essential trips to places like markets or pharmacies, is meant to prevent the spread of the virus from surging and overwhelming India's already strained health care system.
Plane catches fire at Manila airport, killing all 8 aboard
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A plane carrying eight people, including an American and a Canadian, burst into flames Sunday while attempting to take off from Manila’s airport on a flight bound for Japan, killing all those on board, officials said. The Westwind 24 plane, which was carrying six Filipino crew members and the American and Canadian passengers, was bound for Tokyo on a medical mission when it caught fire near the end of the main runway, Manila airport general manager Ed Monreal said. Firetrucks and rescue personnel rushed and doused the twin-engine aircraft with foam to try to extinguish the flames, he said.
The Latest: West Virginia reports state’s first virus death
Coronavirus rumors alleged to have set off Thai prison riot
BANGKOK (AP) — Officials in Thailand say a riot at a prison in a northeastern province was set off when inmates plotting to escape spread false rumors that several prisoners were infected with the coronavirus. Fires were set in parts of Buriram Prison during a riot on Sunday in which about 100 prisoners took part, and gunshots were fired in the operation to quash the violence. The facility houses about 2,100 inmates. Corrections Department Director-General Narat Sawettanan said no one was killed in the uproar but several people were injured. Thai media reported five people hurt. Seven inmates who had escaped were recaptured, said Narat.
Rumors hampering fight against coronavirus in South Asia
NEW DELHI (AP) — The message started with an outlandish claim: The coronavirus was retreating in India because of “cosmic-level sound waves” created by a collective cheer citizens had been asked to join. Messages were pinging from phone to phone across this country of 1.3 billion saying the applause Prime Minister Narendra Modi had organized for health workers had been detected by a “bio-satellite” that confirmed the weakening of the virus. Soon, Siddhart Sehgal’s family group chat on WhatsApp was buzzing with messages hailing Modi as India's savior. It of course wasn't true. As India and other South Asian nations work to stop the spread of the virus, they face another battle: reams of misinformation.
Quake shakes eastern Indonesia amid virus outbreak
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A strong inland and shallow earthquake hit parts of Indonesia's Sulawesi island late Saturday night, sending people fleeing despite appeals by officials to keep distance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 5.8 quake was centered 64 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Central Sulawesi province's Pendolo town, at a depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). Indonesia's national disaster agency spokesman Agus Wibowo said the earthquake didn't have any potential to cause a tsunami. Still, many people in the provincial capital of Palu ran to higher ground, haunted by the memory of a devastating 7.5 magnitude earthquake in the city two years ago that set off a tsunami as well as a phenomenon called liquefaction in which wet soil is collapsed by the shaking.
Australia prepares to fly cruise passengers to Germany
SYDNEY (AP) — Australian authorities pressed ahead Saturday with plans to fly 800 cruise ship passengers to Germany this weekend after a downward revision in the number of people on board who needed to be tested for the coronavirus. Plans had been put in place to fly the European passengers to Germany from the Western Australia state capital, Perth, near where their ship, the Artania, is docked at the port of Fremantle. The plans were thrown into doubt by an apparent spike in the number of people on the ship who were suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus — from nine confirmed cases on Friday to more than 70 possible ones early Saturday.
From Dhaka to Gaza: How do you socially distance in a crowd?
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Josna Begum lives with her son in a house with four other families in a slum in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, the world’s most densely populated city. “Distancing is impossible for us,” she said. The 35-year-old, who occupies a single room with her 12-year-old son and earns $100 a month as a domestic worker, shares the single kitchen in the house with 22 other residents. The Bangladeshi government this week ordered a nationwide shutdown to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus in a country considered at high risk because hundreds of thousands of overseas workers have returned home from Italy and other virus hot spots.