A patient is shown wearing a mask with breathing tubes connected while a medical professional stands adjacent.

A medical worker wearing a protective mask and suit speaks with a patient suffering from coronavirus disease in an intensive care unit at the Oglio Po hospital in Cremona, Italy, March 19, 2020.

Credit:

Flavio Lo Scalzo/Reuters

Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

The UK woke up to much stricter lockdown measures to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee, after much deliberation, has agreed to delay the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by one year. 

Cases in Italy continue to climb, with nearly 64,000 confirmed cases and more than 6,000 deaths. The WHO warns the US could be the next hotspot, even as US President Donald Trump considers reopening the economy. One in five people worldwide are currently on lockdown. 

From The World: 'We are seeing many doctors falling ill' with coronavirus, Italian doctor says

In the US, economic pressures mount

After all-day talks following shouting in the US Senate on Monday, it appears the US Congress is close to approving a massive economic stimulus in response to the coronavrius pandemic. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is questioning whether the limits on movement have gone too far, saying Monday, “America will, again, and soon, be open for business. Very soon."

But health officials warn loosening stay-at-home measures could risk a viral surge. The US now has more than 46,000 confirmed cases. And many economists say that "abruptly reopening the economy could backfire, overwhelming an already stressed health care system, sowing uncertainty among consumers, and ultimately dealing deeper, longer-lasting damage to growth," the New York Times reports

From The World: Trump's China tariffs hampered US coronavirus preparedness, expert says

And: Texas official: Older people would rather die than let COVID-19 harm US economy

No or low cases of coronavirus in North Korea and Russia. Why?

North Korea still claims to have no reported cases of the novel coronavirus. Sharing a long border with China where the virus first broke out, and being in close proximity with South Korea, one of the world’s epicenters, the hermit kingdom remains obstinate. But what could the reality on the ground be like for an unfree country with a crumbling health system? The World hears from one North Korean defector

Russia is reporting less than 500 confirmed COVID-19 cases in a population of about 144 million — though it has seen a marked rise in pneumonia. Dr. Anastasia Vasilyeva suspects many of those pneumonia cases are indeed coronavirus, but the lack of testing and insufficient equipment make it difficult medical staff to prepare for the virus. But one thing she says could be keeping the virus from quickly spreading in rural areas? Poor roads and no money to travel.  

And: Is Russia prepared for coronavirus?

International Criminal Court says Pompeo threatened staff

Diplomats and international officials are expressing outrage after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened members of the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s staff members by name. It’s the latest development in a long dispute between the US and the ICC over an investigation of war crimes in Afghanistan that may implicate American members of the military and the CIA.

The Big Fix: What can COVID-19 teach us about the global climate crisis?

Both the coronavirus pandemic and climate change call into question fundamental aspects of our society: How can we reconfigure the economy? How do we make high-stakes decisions about complex problems with high levels of uncertainty?

The levels of global and local coordination needed to avert COVID-19 devastation are familiar to those who have stood at the frontlines of climate change for decades. The current upheaval and rapid response have inspired ideas for similar mobilization for the climate.

Morning meme

No track? No problem. Latvian ultramarathon competitor Diāna Džaviza managed to run 23 miles in six hours — in her Vienna, Austria, apartment. The charity race Džaviza was scheduled for was canceled, but that didn't stop her from tracking her nearly 2,000-lap run at home (🇱🇻#paliecmājās).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

6 hours around my apartment. For a good cause- donating for child hospital ( children who are very sick/chronically sick or going to die) in Austria. Sterntalerhof.at The loop was around 22 m, I did 1867 rounds, so calculated around 37km. The run is also on #strava but I don’t take gps data as correct because the run was inside!!! 👉 no i did not get dizzy 👉 it was not about being fast 👉It was about finishing 👉I had more fun than ever 👉I took only 1 pipi break 🙈 👉I saw my daughter being a great supporter 👉I learned to be patient (Answering all the questions my lil one asked me was sometimes difficult) 👉 I learned that I love running no matter where 👉Running is Great but there are bigger problems in the world than not being able to run few weeks 👉yes i had my prerace usual breakfast 👻 👉yes i could do this again Thank you all for your support today ❤️❤️❤️🙏🙏🙏 Thank you @rainerpredl who organized this all and is still making loops around his kitchen table (6,35 m loops 😳😳😳) Let’s stay #united because we are #strongertogether #stayathome #bettertogether #strongertogether #runningathome #runningforagoodcause #wearetheworld #crazyrunner #begreatfull #neverstop #stayhealthy #bleibgesund #bleibzuhause #passaufdichauf #sterntalerhof #zusammemstark #medividcryo #onrunning #traildogrunning #latvianrunner #ultrarunner #smileeveryday #runningmotivation

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In case you missed it

Listen: Doctors in Italy struggle to keep up with COVID-19

Italy now has reported the most deaths from COVID-19, and doctors are scrambling to keep up with the demand for hospital beds and ventilators. More than 300 million students in China are stuck at home and getting their schooling through online classes. We report what massive experiment in online learning has been like for kids, parents and teachers across the country. For many athletes around the world, the Olympics are a time to shine. The coronavirus has disrupted many athletes' training for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and it's brought up concerns about health and safety.

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