U.S. hospitals facing ‘severe shortages’ as death toll soars

The surgeon general warns of ‘hardest, saddest week’ ahead as coronavirus deaths soar

As the official U.S. death toll approached 10,000, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams warned that this will be “the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives.” President Trump, however, struck a more optimistic tone about the novel coronavirus pandemic, saying Sunday that “we’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Here are some significant developments:

U.S. hospitals are facing “severe” and widespread shortages of personal protective equipment, ventilators, testing supplies and staff, according to a newly released watchdog report from the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

With the outbreak accelerating in Japan’s largest cities, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he will declare a state of emergency in seven prefectures this week. People will be asked to stay indoors, but no legal penalties will be imposed for noncompliance. “Even though we will declare a state of emergency, we will not lock cities down as has been done overseas,” Abe said.

Spain has been ravaged by the virus, but the rate of new infections is slowing. And while officials said Monday that 637 people had died in the previous 24 hours, it was Spain’s lowest number of deaths in two weeks. “These figures confirm the downward trend and stabilization,” Health Minister Santiago Illa said.

U.S. and global stock markets soared Monday as investors took in overseas progress against the coronavirus. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped more than 900 points, or 4 percent, at the opening bell Monday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 and Nasdaq composite also moved steeply higher.

India is converting passenger train cars into isolation facilities with the capacity to hold 80,000 people as coronavirus infections increase in the world’s second-most populous country. India is in the midst of a three-week shutdown of its most-used mode of transportation, and the cars can be routed to wherever the need is severe.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stayed overnight in the hospital as a “precautionary” measure after his coronavirus symptoms persisted for 10 days.

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