April 7th: What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

In New York and some European hot spots, authorities were hoping that plateaus in deaths and new hospitalizations meant that the coronavirus pandemic was turning a corner.

Deaths in the U.S. reached about 11,000, with about 370,000 confirmed infections.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remained in intensive care Tuesday with the new coronavirus, while Japan’s leader declared a monthlong state of emergency for Tokyo and six other regions to keep the virus from ravaging the world’s oldest population.

Here are some of AP’s top stories Tuesday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:

— The latest statistical models show a glimmer of hope, forecasting fewer deaths in the U.S. before August. The only problem with this bit of relatively good news? It’s almost certainly wrong. All models are wrong. Some are just less wrong than others — and those are the ones that public health officials rely on.

— President Donald Trump and his administration are promoting an anti-malaria drug not officially approved for fighting the new coronavirus, even though scientists say more testing is needed before it’s proven safe and effective against COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know about the old malaria drug hydroxychloroquine.

— Trolls have found a new target: video conferencing platforms, like Zoom, that amid the pandemic are crucial for businesses, schools, churches and others to stay connected. Bad actors are disrupting virtual meetings with racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic messages.

— In a housing complex in the Moroccan city of Sale, more than 900 people live in crowded rooms without running water or an income to support them. While the North African country entered total lockdown in mid-March, self-isolation and social distancing are a luxury that families in this complex cannot afford.

— Ancient burial rituals common across the largely Muslim Middle East are being disrupted by the outbreak. These include bodies solemnly washed by relatives, wrapped in shrouds and buried as quickly as possible, with large crowds of mourners in attendance.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.

TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.

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ONE NUMBER:

— 659,000: The coronavirus wiped out 659,000 service jobs in the U.S. in March. The pandemic is almost sure to leave a mark on the way people work, shop and socialize, perhaps permanently shifting the way many service industries operate.

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IN OTHER NEWS:

— YOUNG PILOT: A 16-year-old pilot has turned his flying lessons into missions of mercy, bringing desperately needed supplies to rural hospitals in need.

— CELEBRITIES UNVARNISHED: They may be revealing a new side to their lives during the lockdown, but there also has been backlash to the wealth inequity regular Americans see online.

— OLYMPIC TRAINING GOES ON: Despite the Tokyo Olympics being postponed a year because of the pandemic, medal-winning equestrian Phillip Dutton continues to prepare at his farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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