Coronavirus Live Updates: Olympics Postponed; New York City Braces for a Deluge of Patients


The Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be postponed a year until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan asked Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, for the postponement and he agreed “100 percent,” Mr. Abe told reporters.

The decision on Tuesday came after months of internal discussion and mounting pressure from nations and athletes across the world who had urged that the Games, the world’s largest sporting event, be postponed. Government lockdowns to control the pandemic had shut down qualifying tournaments, closed training facilities and kept athletes sequestered at home.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York is requiring hospitals to increase capacity by at least 50 percent. New York State saw a one-day increase of nearly 5,000 cases, putting the total at 21,689 as of Monday night.

With the epidemic in New York exploding, other states rushed to protect themselves.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said he was planning to sign an executive order requiring anyone flying to the state from New York or New Jersey to enter quarantine for 14 days.

Many cases in places like Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach have been tied to New York, and a recent uptick in travel from the region suggested New Yorkers were flying to Florida to flee shelter-in-place orders.

“Hopefully that will be a deterrent for people if you’re just trying to escape here,” Mr. DeSantis said. The quarantine will not apply to people arriving by car.

Senate Democrats and Trump administration officials were optimistic about reaching agreement on Tuesday on a nearly $2 trillion economic package, after striking a tentative deal late Monday to ensure significant oversight of $500 billion government bailout for distressed companies, one of the major sticking points that has held up a compromise for days.

Just before midnight Monday, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, said “a few little differences” remained, but that they would not hold up a final agreement.”

“Secretary Mnuchin called the president — we told him we are very, very close to an agreement, and he seemed very happy with that,” Mr. Schumer told reporters, referring to the treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin.

Mr. Mnuchin, who spent Monday on Capitol Hill meeting with senators, said late Monday that a “lot of progress” had been made and that both sides would review draft text and other documents overnight.

Global markets rose on Tuesday in anticipation of an agreement to boost America’s economy, and futures markets suggested Wall Street stocks would open stronger as well.

Mr. Schumer said the measure could come together and be ready for a vote as early as Tuesday night, and leaders have discussed trying to quickly clear it in the House without a recorded vote.

The House is in recess, with some of its members sick or in quarantine and concerned about flying back to Washington. Leaders were considering approving the mammoth proposal by unanimous consent, a tactic reserved mostly for minor, uncontroversial measures.

The Spanish army has found elderly people abandoned in several nursing homes, raising alarm for those most vulnerable and in need of care with much of life in the country shut down.

The government will be “forceful” in its response to those who abandon older people, Margarita Robles, Spain’s defense minister, said Monday in an interview with Telecinco, a Spanish television channel. Officials did not say how many had died or whether residents had succumbed to coronavirus-related illness or a lack of care.

Ms. Robles said that emergency military units dispatched to disinfect nursing homes had found there some residents “absolutely abandoned, if not dead in their beds.”

The defense ministry said that dead bodies had been found in multiple nursing homes that had discharged large number of employees in the wake of the outbreaks, but did not provide further details, El País, a daily broadsheet, reported.

Workers at nursing homes have been calling for protective equipment as residents and fellow employees became infected with the coronavirus, leaving them short-handed and at personal risk in their workplaces. Representatives of the industry have called on the government to support them, rather than criticize them.

José Manuel Ramírez, the president of a Spanish association of directors of social services, said that it was “shameful” for the Spanish defense minister to vilify nursing home employees, and that the government should instead take a close look at its own failure to protect these “heroes,” who have often been forced to leave their work after themselves contracting the coronavirus.

Even as local infections across China appeared to approach zero, the Wuhan government on Tuesday said a hospital doctor had tested positive, adding to evidence that Hubei Province, of which Wuhan is the capital, has not beaten the virus.

In Wuhan, the authorities continue to turn up cases of people with the virus but without symptoms, fueling growing fears among the Chinese public that the government has failed to disclose or discover a much larger number of infections than the 81,171 cases that have been reported.

In China, officials only count patients with both symptoms and a positive test in the official tally of confirmed cases. The World Health Organization says that all people who test positive are confirmed to be infected, even if they show no symptoms.

China’s approach to counting raises questions about how many people with the virus are circulating freely. There is evidence that asymptomatic people can infect others.

The number of “silent carriers” — people who are infected but show delayed or no symptoms — could be as high as a third of those who test positive, the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper, reported on Sunday, citing classified Chinese government data.

After social media accounts circulated over the weekend that China was suppressing the numbers by failing to acknowledge these “silent carriers,” authorities in Wuhan said a patient in the city had tested positive despite not having symptoms.

The Wuhan health commission also stated that infected patients with no symptoms still need to be isolated for 14 days and that “a small number may progress to confirmed cases.”

While the number of detected cases of coronavirus in Africa remain relatively low, nations across the continent are ramping up efforts to keep the virus from establishing a foothold.

South Africa will begin a three-week lockdown on Thursday, Egypt will impose a night curfew for two weeks starting Wednesday and other governments announced a slew of curfews and restrictions.

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has been granted sweeping emergency powers to combat coronavirus, triggering fears in a nation that spent the 1970s and ’80s under brutal martial law.

Four members of the American-led NATO military coalition in Afghanistan tested positive for coronavirus, the coalition said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We have taken the necessary precaution to identify and quarantine any personnel these four service members may have been in contact with,” the military coalition said in a statement, without identifying the nationalities.

The NATO coalition also said 38 other service members remained in isolation because they had shown “flulike symptoms” and that 1,500 service members and civilians working for the mission were living in “screening facilities out of an abundance of caution.” Officials are also concerned that tens of thousands of Afghan forces are extremely vulnerable to the spread of the virus amid a raging war with the Taliban.

Although the number of positive cases in Afghanistan still remains in double digits, something attributed to extremely limited testing so far, Afghanistan remains highly vulnerable to the virus because of a porous border with Iran and a weak government that can’t implement preventive measures. On Tuesday, the country’s health minister, based on World Health Organization estimates, said as much as 80 percent of Afghanistan’s population could end up being infected by the virus.

Reporting and research were contributed by Motoko Rich, Manny Fernandez, Alan Yuhas, Mujib Mashal, Fahim Abed, Declan Walsh, Hannah Beech, Abdi Latif Dahir, Jason Gutierrez, Raphael Minder, Megan Specia, Marc Santora, Iliana Magra, Melissa Eddy, Jason Gutierrez, Hannah Beech, Tiffany May, Sui-Lee Wee, Nick Fandos, Sabrina Tavernise, Thomas Fuller, Tim Arango, Jo Becker, John Eligon and Michael Powell.



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