Coronavirus Live Updates: Olympics Postponed; New York City Braces for a Deluge of Patients


The Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be postponed a year until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan asked Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, for the postponement and he agreed “100 percent,” Mr. Abe told reporters.

The decision on Tuesday came after months of internal discussion and mounting pressure from nations and athletes across the world who had urged that the Games, the world’s largest sporting event, be postponed. Government lockdowns to control the pandemic had shut down qualifying tournaments, closed training facilities and kept athletes sequestered at home.

Stocks rallied on Tuesday, rebounding from days of selling as investors appeared encouraged by moves in Washington to stabilize America’s stricken economy.

“We can say that today is the first positive day,” said Giulio Gallera, Lombardy’s leading health official. “It’s not the moment to sing victory, but we finally see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Senate Democrats and Trump administration officials were optimistic about reaching agreement on Tuesday on a nearly $2 trillion economic package, after striking a tentative deal late Monday to ensure significant oversight of $500 billion government bailout for distressed companies, one of the major sticking points that has held up a compromise for days.

Just before midnight Monday, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said “a few little differences” remained, but that they would not hold up a final agreement.”

The Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, spent Monday on Capitol Hill meeting with senators, and said late Monday that a “lot of progress” had been made and that both sides would review draft text documents overnight.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday morning said there was “real optimism that we could get something done in the next few hours,” after Democrats won crucial concessions from the Trump administration.

In an interview on CNBC, she said the emerging deal would include strict oversight over the bailout fund, including installing an inspector general to monitor it, as well as what Ms. Pelosi described as a congressional panel “appointed by us to provide constraint.”

Democrats had balked at a version drafted by Republicans that she said would have given the Treasury secretary too much latitude in deciding which companies could receive the funds, and allowed him to delay revealing the recipients until six months after the loans were disbursed.

The House is in recess, with some of its members sick or in quarantine and concerned about flying back to Washington. Leaders were considering approving the mammoth proposal by unanimous consent, a tactic reserved mostly for minor, uncontroversial measures.

Even as the authorities announced the easing of restrictions, new questions were emerging about whether the threat had fully passed.

Hours before the loosening was announced, officials in Wuhan, after several days of reporting zero new local infections, said a doctor there had tested positive for the virus.

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has been granted sweeping emergency powers to combat coronavirus, triggering fears in a nation that spent the 1970s and ’80s under brutal martial law.

Mr. Duterte, who has drawn international rebuke for his bloody and ruthless war on drugs, said he needed the powers granted to him in the legislation to address the crisis and unlock some $5.4 billion.

An earlier version of the bill would have allowed Mr. Duterte’s government to take over privately owned businesses. While the version that passed Tuesday was scaled back, some legislators have worried that Mr. Duterte will abuse the public funds.

“This limitless grant of emergency powers is tantamount to autocracy,” Concerned Lawyers for Civil Liberties, an association of rights lawyers, said in a statement. The group, which includes some of the Philippines’ top legal minds, pointed out that in the past Mr. Duterte had likened the constitution to a “scrap of toilet paper.”

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha of Thailand declared a state of emergency, effective on Thursday, to combat the coronavirus, raising similar concerns about a potential abuse of power. Mr. Prayuth, a retired general who led an army coup in 2014, gave himself the authority to impose curfews, censor the media and prevent people from leaving their homes.

Mr. Prayuth, who announced the state of emergency while wearing a loose facial mask made of Thai silk, said that people should be careful when using social media, lest they spread rumors. So far the virus has killed four people and infected more than 820 people in the country.

Four members of the American-led NATO military coalition in Afghanistan tested positive for coronavirus, the coalition said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We have taken the necessary precaution to identify and quarantine any personnel these four service members may have been in contact with,” the military coalition said in a statement, without identifying the nationalities.

The NATO coalition also said 38 other service members remained in isolation because they had shown “flulike symptoms” and that 1,500 service members and civilians working for the mission were living in “screening facilities out of an abundance of caution.” Officials are also concerned that tens of thousands of Afghan forces are extremely vulnerable to the spread of the virus amid a raging war with the Taliban.

Although the number of positive cases in Afghanistan still remains in double digits, something attributed to extremely limited testing so far, Afghanistan remains highly vulnerable to the virus because of a porous border with Iran and a weak government that can’t implement preventive measures. On Tuesday, the country’s health minister, based on World Health Organization estimates, said as much as 80 percent of Afghanistan’s population could end up being infected by the virus.

Reporting and research were contributed by Motoko Rich, Manny Fernandez, Alan Yuhas, Mujib Mashal, Fahim Abed, Declan Walsh, Hannah Beech, Abdi Latif Dahir, Jason Gutierrez, Raphael Minder, Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Megan Specia, Marc Santora, Iliana Magra, Melissa Eddy, Jason Gutierrez, Hannah Beech, Tiffany May, Sui-Lee Wee, Nick Fandos, Sabrina Tavernise, Thomas Fuller, Tim Arango, Jo Becker, John Eligon and Michael Powell.



Sahred From Source link Health

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *