A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 298,000 people worldwide.
More than 4.3 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.
Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 1.39 million diagnosed cases and at least 84,144 deaths.
Today’s biggest developments:
Here’s how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.
10:45 a.m.: NYC has 100 kids with COVID-associated illness
Mayor Bill de Blasio said it’s “deeply troubling” that New York City is now reporting 100 cases of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19, an inflammatory syndrome which has features that overlap with Kawasaki disease.
Of those 100 young people, 55 tested positive for the coronavirus or antibodies. One New York City child has died, the mayor said.
There will be weekly webinars with up to 700 pediatric providers to discuss ways to combat the disease, the mayor said.
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10:35 a.m.: NYC expands testing criteria
New York City is expanding its criteria for who can get tested for the coronavirus, de Blasio said at his Thursday briefing.
New Yorkers can get tested if they: have symptoms — regardless of age, chronic conditions or occupation; came in close contact with someone who was confirmed to be positive, regardless of symptoms; work in a congregate residential setting like a nursing home or shelter, regardless of symptoms.
There are 23 walk-in testing sites in the city and five more are opening, the mayor said.
De Blasio called it a “very good day” as he reported all three daily tracking progress indicators moving in the right direction.
On Tuesday, 59 people were admitted to city hospitals with suspected COVID-19 symptoms — down from 78 admissions on Monday.
On Tuesday, 517 patients were in intensive care units with symptoms — down from 561 patients on Monday.
And 11% of people tested citywide Tuesday were positive — down from 13% on Monday.
“Perfect day, New York City!” the mayor said. “Let’s now put together a bunch of them.”
As New Yorkers wait to return to their local restaurants, de Blasio said the possibility of restaurants and bars opening in the city’s streets is “being very thoroughly discussed” and “something we might be able to reach.”
“I’ve been talking to restaurant owners … they’re making a great case that this could be a difference maker,” the mayor said, adding, “we’re not there yet.”
“How do you hit that sweet spot where you have the right social distancing and protections, the right capacity … and the right atmosphere,” the mayor said. “We have to be smart about it.”
The mayor added that this possibly could only come after New York City meets the city’s indicators for 10-14 days and meets the state’s indicators — which is possible to achieve in the first half of June.
9:28 a.m.: Typhoon takes aim at Philippines during coronavirus lockdown
A powerful typhoon barreled toward the Philippines on Thursday as local authorities work to evacuate tens of thousands of people from their homes while trying to avoid the coronavirus-related risks of overcrowding emergency shelters.
Typhoon Vongfong was packing maximum sustained winds of 96 mph and gusts of up to 158 mph, according to the latest data from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. The storm, the first typhoon to hit the archipelagic country this year, is expected to make landfall on eastern islands later Thursday.
The Philippines remains under a lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The country has reported nearly 12,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 with at least 790 deaths, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Harry Roque, spokesperson for the president of the Philippines, said local officials must ensure that social distancing is observed by families as they seek temporary shelter in evacuation centers. He said the government’s disaster preparedness protocols would be in full force amid the country’s continued fight against COVID-19.
“We have enough relief foods, our evacuation centers are ready and social distancing will be observed on a per-family basis,” Roque said during a virtual press conference Thursday.
8:56 a.m.: France warns pharmaceutical giant against reserving 1st doses of vaccine for US
The French government warned Thursday that it would be “unacceptable” for Sanofi, a Paris-based multinational pharmaceutical company, to reserve the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for the United States.
Speaking to Sud Radio, France’s Deputy Finance Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said she contacted the firm on Wednesday after its CEO told Bloomberg News he would likely supply a vaccine to the U.S. government first because “it’s invested in taking the risk.”
“For us, it would be unacceptable for there to be privileged access to such and such a country for financial reasons,” Pannier-Runacher told Sud Radio on Thursday.
Pannier-Runacher said she spoke to the head of Sanofi’s French division who confirmed that its vaccine, when ready, would be available in every country, including France.
“Not least because [Sanofi] has production capacity in France,” the deputy minister said.
Last month, Sanofi signed a letter of intent with England-based multinational pharmaceutical firm GSK to jointly develop a vaccine for COVID-19. The companies stated in the letter that they plan to initiate the first phase of clinical trials in the second half of 2020 and, if successful, aim to complete the development required for availability by the second half of 2021.
8:09 a.m.: American pilot dies in plane crash while trying to deliver tests to Indonesia
An American pilot died when her plane crashed while she was on her way to deliver COVID-19 test kits to a remote village in Indonesia earlier this week, officials said.
Joyce Lin departed from the airport in Sentani in Indonesia’s Papua province on Tuesday morning, flying alone in a Kodiak aircraft. Lin, a missionary with Mission Aviation Fellowship, was attempting to bring much-needed supplies to the village of Mamit in the Papua highlands that included COVID-19 test kits for the local clinic.
But she reported an emergency within minutes of takeoff and the aircraft plunged into Lake Sentani. An Indonesian search and rescue team later confirmed Lin did not survive as they recovered her body from the lake, according to a statement from Mission Aviation Fellowship. The Idaho-based Christian organization said its staff in Indonesia are working with local authorities to investigate the incident.
Lin, who was raised in Colorado and Maryland, had worked in Indonesia for Mission Aviation Fellowship for two years, serving as both a pilot and an information technology specialist. Prior to joining the organization, she worked for over a decade as a computer specialist after receiving Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to her biography on the Mission Aviation Fellowship’s website.
She is survived by her parents and two sisters.
More than 16,000 people in Indonesia have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and at least 1,043 have died, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
7:24 a.m.: Japan lifts state of emergency in 39 prefectures
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday that he had decided to lift the state of emergency in 39 of the country’s 47 prefectures.
The decree remains in place for urban regions, including the capital, Tokyo, and the large port city of Osaka. Abe said his government will consider lifting the state of emergency for the remaining prefectures next week.
The prime minister declared a monthlong state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures on April 7 as Japan reported a surge in COVID-19 cases. Abe later expanded the declaration to cover the entire country and last until May 31. Under the order, prefectural governors asked residents to stay home and for some businesses to temporarily close, but public cooperation was voluntary. There were no penalties for failure to comply.
Abe credited the recent decline in the rate of new infections to the efforts of residents staying at home and practicing social distancing. However, he warned that the state of emergency may have to be reimposed if infections increase.
More than 16,000 people in Japan have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and at least 678 have died, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
What to know about coronavirus:
6:16 a.m.: Italy approves $60 billion stimulus package
Italy’s government has approved a $60 stimulus package to help businesses and families reeling from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Your cry of alarm didn’t escape us,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a national address Wednesday night following a cabinet meeting.
Under the package, hotel owners won’t have to make the next payment of real estate taxes, while parents would receive money to pay for babysitting or summer recreation centers since schools won’t reopen in Italy until September.
Once the worst-hit country in Europe, Italy was the first nation in the world to impose a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 222,000 people in Italy have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and at least 31,106 have died, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Last week, Italy began to slowly lift the strict lockdown by easing some restrictions. The country’s economy is forecast to contract by at least 8% this year as a result of the epidemic.
5:44 a.m.: Russia reports just under 10,000 new cases
Russia reported 9,974 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the first time in 12 days that the country’s daily tally was under 10,000.
The new cases confirmed over the past 24 hours bring Russia’s total to 252,245, according to the country’s coronavirus response headquarters.
Russia has the second-largest national tally of COVID-19 cases in the world, behind the United States. The country reported a record 11,656 new infections on Monday.
Russia also has one of the world’s fastest rates of new infections in the coronavirus pandemic, second only to the U.S. However, the country’s death toll from the disease remains relatively low with just 93 new fatalities reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide total to 2,305, according to the coronavirus response headquarters.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared an end to a partial economic shutdown across the country due to the outbreak, but he said that many restrictions will remain in place. For instance, wearing face masks and gloves is mandatory for people using public transportation in Moscow.
4:56 a.m.: China to ramp up testing amid fears of a resurgence
China reported three new locally-transmitted infections of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, raising concerns of a rebound of the epidemic in the country’s mainland territories.
The three new cases of COVID-19 were reported across two northeastern provinces on the Chinese mainland that have seen an increase in domestic infections in recent days, although the country’s daily tally has plummeted from the height of the outbreak in February.
Song Shuli, a spokesperson for China’s National Health Commission, said at a press conference Thursday that the country will ramp up COVID-19 testing and screening nationwide to prevent a resurgence in cases.
The announcement comes just days after health authorities in Wuhan, the Chinese city that was ground zero of the coronavirus pandemic, declared they would test the city’s entire population of 11 million people after detecting a cluster of new locally-transmitted infections there for the first time in over a month.
Overall, the Chinese mainland has reported 82,929 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 4,633 deaths so far. There are still 101 people in hospitals being treated for the disease, while another 712 people with asymptomatic cases remain isolated under medical observation, according to the National Health Commission.
3:45 a.m.: California police arrest woman for selling non-approved test kits
A woman was recently arrested in Southern California for allegedly selling non-approved COVID-19 test kits, police said.
The Los Angeles Police Department took 39-year-old Ying Lien Wang into custody Tuesday afternoon after serving a search warrant at her home in Santa Monica, west of downtown Los Angeles. Authorities recovered 61 COVID-19 at-home test kits that had not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Prior to her arrest, investigators went undercover and bought test kits from the woman on three occasions. She was allegedly selling the kits for $50 on Craigslist, according to police.
“None of the Covid-19 test kits recovered had been tested to meet United States safety standards and could pose a risk to anyone using them,” the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement late Wednesday. “Residents are reminded that Los Angeles is offering free coronavirus testing to all residents.”
ABC News’ Ibtissem Guenfoud, Aaron Katersky, Alina Lobzina, Phoebe Natanson, Alex Stone and Anthony Trotter contributed to this report.