Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown

Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
Medical staff members arrive for a duty shift at Dongsan Medical Center in Daegu, South Korea, Monday, March 30, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Park Dong-ju/Yonhap via AP)

In an abrupt turnaround, President Donald Trump extended lockdown measures across the United States as deaths in New York from the new coronavirus passed 1,000. Spain on Monday became the third country to surpass China in infections after the United States and Italy.

With a population of only 47 million to China's 1.4 billion, Spain's tally of infections reached 85,195, an 8% rise from the previous day. Spain also reported 812 new deaths, raising its overall virus death toll to 7,300.

The health systems in Italy and Spain have been crumbling under the weight of caring for so many desperately ill patients at once. The two nations have more than half the world's 34,600 deaths from the virus that has upended the lives of billions of people and devastated world economies.

At least six of Spain's 17 regions were at their limit of ICU beds and three more were close to it, authorities said, while crews of workers are frantically building more field hospitals. In hard-hit Madrid, flags were hoisted at half staff for an official mourning period.

Even as the rate of new infections slows in Spain, Dr. Maria José Sierra said there's no end to the restrictions in sight yet.

"Reducing the pressure on the ICUs will be important for considering de-escalation measures," said Sierra, who took over Monday as the health emergency center's spokesperson after its director, Fernando Simón, tested positive.

Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
Toilets are coved up to prevent use and encourage social distancing to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus at Clacket Lane services on the M25 orbital motorway around London, Monday, March 30, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

In a situation unimaginable only a month ago, Italian officials were cheered when they reported only 756 deaths in one day.

''We are saving lives by staying at home, by maintaining social distance, by traveling less and by closing schools," Dr. Luca Richeldi, a lung specialist, told reporters.

In a stark reversal of his previous stance, Trump extended federal guidelines recommending that Americans stay home for another 30 days until the end of April to slow the spread of the virus. The turnabout came after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said up to 200,000 Americans could die and millions become infected if lockdowns and social distancing did not continue.

"We want to make sure that we don't prematurely think we're doing so great," Fauci said.

Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
This Friday, March 27, 2020, photo shows the cruise ship Artania docked at Fremantle harbour in Fremantle, Australia. More than 800 cruise ship passengers and crew are heading home to Germany on chartered flights while 41 others infected with the coronavirus have been admitted to an Australian hospital after an argument over where they should be treated among local medical personnel. (Richard Wainwright/AAP Image via AP)

The U.S. now has more than 143,000 infections and 2,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, while around the world 732,000 people are infected. The true number of cases is thought to be considerably higher because of testing shortages and mild illnesses that have gone unreported.

Moscow went on its own lockdown Monday as all of Russia braced for sweeping nationwide restrictions. The Russian capital of 13 million accounts for more than 1,000 of the country's 1,836 cases.

"The extremely negative turn of events we are seeing in the largest European and U.S. cities causes extreme concern about the life and health of our citizens," Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said.

An electronic monitoring system will be used to control residents' compliance with the lockdown, he said.

In Italy, which has by far the most deaths from the virus worldwide, officials expressed cautious optimism that the drastic measures they have taken to keep people apart are having an impact.

Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
A view of an empty Red square, with the St. Basil's Cathedral, center, and Kremlin's Spasskaya Tower, right, in Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 30, 2020. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin ordered all city residents except for those working in essential sectors to stay home starting Monday. Residents are allowed to buy food and medicines at nearby stores and pharmacies and walk their dogs in close vicinity. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

Italy has reported 97,689 infections and 10,779 deaths, but said the number of positive cases in the last day increased just 5.4%, and the number of deaths have dropped about 10% a day since Friday.

Experts say the critical situations seen in hospitals in Italy and Spain will be soon heading toward the United States.

Coronavirus patient Andrea Napoli, 33, told The Associated Press he didn't remotely expect that he would be hospitalized, struggling for his life, since he was young and fit. But what he saw at a Rome hospital shocked him.

While he was being treated, three patients died in his ward. He saw doctors stressed and exhausted from the long hours, out of breath from pushing equipment around, dressed in protective masks, suits and gloves.

''What I saw was a lot, a lot of pain. It was very hard,'' Napoli said. ''I heard screams from the other rooms, constant coughing from the other rooms.''

Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
A a message demanding the people to go home is sprayed on the ground of Alexanderplatz square in Berlin, Germany, Monday, March 30, 2020. In order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, the German government has considerably restricted public life and asked the citizens to stay at home. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms like pneumonia and can be fatal. More than 155,000 people have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins.

China's National Health Commission on Monday reported 31 new COVID-19 cases, among them just one domestic infection. At the peak of China's restrictions, some 700 million people were ordered to stay home, but those rules are easing.

New York state remained the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, with the vast majority of the deaths in New York City. But infections were spiking not only in cities but in Midwestern towns and Rocky Mountain ski havens. West Virginia reported its first death, leaving only two states—Hawaii and Wyoming—with none linked to COVID-19.

Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
South Korean President Moon Jae-in wearing a mask salutes to a national flag at an emergency meeting on economic response to the coronavirus outbreak at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, March 30, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.(Park Young-tai/Newsis via AP)

The virus is moving fast through nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other places for vulnerable people, spreading "like fire through dry grass," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Britain's National Health Service said EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic were writing to cabin crew who have been laid off—especially those with first aid training—to ask if they would work in makeshift hospitals under the supervision of doctors and nurses.

Britain's political elite have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with the country's , health minister, chief English medical director and Brexit negotiator all testing positive and in isolation, as well as the heir to the throne, Prince Charles.

Cases across Africa rose close to 5,000 in 46 countries. Zimbabwe began a three-week lockdown Monday and more cities across the continent were shut down.

  • Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
    A woman wearing a protective face mask sits outside a retail and wholesale clothing mall which remain closed following the new coronavirus outbreak in Beijing, Monday, March 30, 2020. Asian shares started the week with fresh losses as countries reported surging numbers of infections from the coronavirus that has prompted shutdowns of travel and business in many parts of the world. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
  • Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
    A store worker in protective suit waits for customers at a re-opened retail street in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province on Monday, March 30, 2020. Shopkeepers in the city at the center of China's virus outbreak were reopening Monday but customers were scarce after authorities lifted more of the anti-virus controls that kept tens of millions of people at home for two months. (AP Photo/Olivia Zhang)
  • Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
    A man wearing a protective face mask touches the investment icon bull statue on display outside a retail and wholesale clothing mall which remain closed following the new coronavirus outbreak in Beijing, Monday, March 30, 2020. Asian shares started the week with fresh losses as countries reported surging numbers of infections from the coronavirus that has prompted shutdowns of travel and business in many parts of the world. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
  • Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
    Police use riot shields to practice social distancing to help curb the spread of the coronavirus at the Tha Phra police station on Monday, March 30, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
  • Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
    In this photo taken Thursday, March 26, 2020, Vincent Jactel, a member of the Civil Protection service, checks the pulse of a 27-year-old pregnant woman suspected of being infected with the Covid-19 virus in a social housing building in Paris. They don't have to put themselves in harm's way, but the volunteers of France's well-known Civil Protection service choose the front line in the fight against the coronavirus. They are often the first to knock on the doors of people calling for help, and who may have the infection or whose confirmed case has taken a downturn. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
  • Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
    In this photo taken Thursday, March 26, 2020, members of the Civil Protection service, Vincent Jactel, left, and Aurore Lejeune, right, escort a 27-year-old pregnant woman suspected of being infected with the Covid-19 virus in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
  • Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
    In this photo taken Thursday, March 26, 2020, members of the Civil Protection service, Vincent Jactel, left, and Aurore Lejeune, right, escort a 27-year-old pregnant woman suspected of being infected with the Covid-19 virus in Paris. They don't have to put themselves in harm's way, but the volunteers of France's well-known Civil Protection service choose the front line in the fight against the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
  • Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
    In this photo taken Saturday March 28, 2020, members of the Civil Protection service, Cyril Lamriben, right, and Noemie Biamba, left, escort to an ambulance a woman possibly infected with the Covid-19 virus in Paris. They don't have to put themselves in harm's way, but the volunteers of France's well-known Civil Protection service choose the front line in the fight against the coronavirus. They are often the first to knock on the doors of people calling for help, and who may have the infection or whose confirmed case has taken a downturn. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
  • Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
    In this photo taken Thursday, March 26, 2020, members of the Civil Protection service, Vincent Jactel, left, and Aurore Lejeune, right, take care of a 27-year-old pregnant woman suspected of being infected with the Covid-19 virus in an ambulance in Paris. They don't have to put themselves in harm's way, but the volunteers of France's well-known Civil Protection service choose the front line in the fight against the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
  • Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
    In this photo taken Thursday, March 26, 2020 Aurore Lejeune, a member of the Civil Protection service, checks a thermometer as she talks to a doctor on a talkie-wakie in Paris. Lejeune is in her 14th year volunteering for Civil Protection, but she says she hasn't encountered such high-risk situations in the past. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
  • Spain passes China in infections; Trump extends US lockdown
    In this photo taken on Thursday, March 26, 2020 members of the Civil Protection service, Vincent Jactel, left, and Aurore Lejeune, right, enter a flat to evacuate a man suspected of having the coronavirus infection in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

The pandemic is also taking its toll economically around the world.

A lockdown in India covering the country's 1.3 billion people has put day laborers out of work and left families struggling to eat. With no jobs, those living in the country's crowded cities are walking back to their native villages.

In Europe, budget airline EasyJet grounded its entire fleet of aircraft—parking all 344 planes—amid a collapse in demand due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. announced that its auto plants in Europe will halt production at least until April 20. Toyota has facilities in France, Great Britain, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Turkey and Portugal. All its plants in China resumed normal production Monday.

Asian markets started the week with fresh losses. Japan's benchmark fell nearly 3% and other regional markets were mostly lower. Shares in Australia, however, surged 7% after the government promised 130 billion Australian dollars ($80 billion) to pay up to 6 million workers the minimum wage for the next six months.

"We want to keep the engine of our economy running through this crisis," said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

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