What You Need to Know Today About the Virus Outbreak

Mar 22, 2020
7:22 PM

Medics and paramedics from Cuba pose upon arrival at the Malpensa airport of Milan, Italy, Sunday, March 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

The death toll from the global coronavirus pandemic has surpassed 14,400 people worldwide, and it has sickened more than 331,000. Leaders in the U.S. are hammering out a rescue package that could be worth $1.4 trillion or more, while the death toll in Italy soars again.

Here are some of AP’s top stories Sunday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day.


  • Italy’s coronavirus infections continue to soar, with 59,000 cases and 5,476 deaths.
  • Congress and the White House still trying to craft a mammoth rescue package that could be worth $1.4 trillion or more.
  • Rand Paul of Kentucky becomes first member of U.S. Senate to announce that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • U.S. economy suffers severe whiplash as business spirals downward due to coronavirus pandemic.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel goes into quarantine after a physician who treated her tests positive for the coronavirus.
  • Plácido Domingo announces that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • Africa gets emergency help to battle the virus from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.
  • Iran, with an officially reported 21,600 cases of the new coronavirus, snubs U.S. offer of help. Experts believe Tehran may be underreporting the number of cases.
  • Indian prime minister asks his nation of 1.3 billion people to stay home, but many venture out anyway.
  • Drive-thru sites are being opened around the United States to test people for the new coronavirus, but the system has been riddled by delays, shortages and other problems.
  • Parents find themselves in the role of classroom teacher as millions of children are forced to stay home.
  • Dubai cancels the Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest purse in horse racing, until 2021.
  • The Palestinian Health Ministry announces its first cases in the Gaza Strip: two residents who returned recently from Pakistan tested positive.
  • President Donald Trump says he’s ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ship mobile hospital centers to the hard-hit states of Washington, California and New York.


For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. 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.


ITALY DEATH TOLL AT 5,476. The number is higher than the death toll in China, where the virus first emerged late last year.


SENIOR HAPPY HOUR CANCELED: Scores of activities are canceled at The Villages, a Florida retirement conclave of 80,000. But …

WHAT LOCKDOWN? Officials around the world are frustrated by people flouting lockdown orders and advice. “Some consider they’re little heroes,” France’s interior minister said. “Well, no. You’re an imbecile, and especially a threat to yourself.”


The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at APNews.com/VirusOutbreak and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.