The latest on the effects of the new coronavirus outbreak around the U.S. and the world:

WASHINGTON — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday extended orders to keep non-essential businesses closed and most of the state’s more than 7 million residents home through May 4, saying that social distancing measures must remain in effect an additional month to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

In recent days, Inslee had been signaling that his initial stay-at-home orders from March 23 — which were set to expire next week — would be extended. The new proclamation extends the original order from two weeks to six. Under previous actions taken by Inslee in response to the coronavirus outbreak, all bars, dine-in restaurants, entertainment and recreation facilities have been closed even longer, since March 17.

He said the state’s efforts to date have been robust “but we have an obligation to ourselves and to our loved ones to recognize this is a hard road ahead of us.”

U.N. General Assembly recognizes “unprecedented effects” of coronavirus pandemic

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. General Assembly has unanimously approved a resolution recognizing “the unprecedented effects” of the coronavirus pandemic and calling for “intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat” COVID-19.

The 193-member world body did not approve a rival resolution sponsored by Russia calling for U.N. solidarity in the face of the challenges posed by COVID-19 and urging countries not to apply unilateral sanctions without U.N. Security Council approval in order to tackle the virus.

Under new voting rules instituted because the General Assembly isn’t holding meetings, if a single country objects a resolution is defeated.

Diplomats said the European Union, United Kingdom, United States and Ukraine objected to the Russian draft, and the General Assembly was extending the deadline for objections until 6 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. It wasn’t clear if Russia would make changes to try to win approval.

General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande sent a letter to all U.N. member nations Thursday night informing them that there were no objections to the resolution entitled “Global Solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease” sponsored by Ghana, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. He said the resolution was approved and is in effect.

The resolution also recognizes COVID-19’s “severe disruption to societies and economies, as well as to global travel and commerce, and the devastating impact on the livelihood of people,” and that “the poorest and most vulnerable are the hardest hit.”

Patriots team plane returns from China with most of order of 1 million masks

BOSTON — The New England Patriots’ private team plane returned to Boston from China carrying most of an order of 1 million masks critical to health care providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus.

“This shipment comes at a critical time as we prepare for an anticipated surge in the coming weeks ahead,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said. “What we were able to accomplish with this particular mission will go a long way forward in this fight.”

Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the U.S. Baker said Thursday an earlier order for 3 million masks had been confiscated at the Port of New York and this time he wanted a direct humanitarian delivery to the state.

In an interview with radio Thursday, Kraft Sports and Entertainment chief operating officer Jim Nolan said the Chinese government didn’t sign off on the trip until March 27. He said the hurdles included legal logistics that were only cleared thanks to cooperation involving multiple state, U.S. and international entities. Nolan said the Patriots received permission to land in China and got a waiver of a 14-day quarantine because the pilots didn’t get off the plane.

Baker said some masks will go to New York and Rhode island. The story was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

President Trump considers intervening to stop release of some prisoners

WASHINGTON — President Trump is considering intervening to stop the release of some prisoners amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Correctional facilities in states such as California, Michigan and Pennsylvania have begun releasing certain inmates as the prisons face a shortage of medical supplies.

Trump said Thursday that “we don’t like it.”

The president added that “we’re looking to see if I have the right to stop it in some cases.”

He did not elaborate what measures, or under what legal authority, he would take to stop or reverse the releases.

U.S. task force coordinator says Americans not abiding by guidelines

WASHINGTON — White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx says incoming infection data suggests not enough Americans are abiding by guidelines in the national “call to action” to stem the spread of the virus.

Administration officials say the United States’ infection and death rate from the virus is akin to what hard-hit Italy is facing. Italy has a population of about 60 million and has recorded nearly 14,000 deaths and 115,000 infections. The United States, with a population of about 327 million, has recorded more than 5,800 deaths and more than 240,000 infections.

Birx noted that Spain, Italy, France, and Germany have begun “to bend their curves.” But she says Americans will need to do a better job abiding by social distancing guidelines issued by the White House so the U.S. can do the same.

The White House issued its social distancing guidelines on March 16. Americans were advised to work from home when possible, cancel onsite learning and frequently wash hands.

White House looks to crack down on black market supplies

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s administration is looking to crack down on a growing black market of medical supplies.

The national Defense Production Act policy coordinator, Peter Navarro, says there is a “black market springing up” to drive up prices of protective gear.

He said the federal government would step in to stop the practice.

But Trump added that states would remain the primary purchaser of medical supplies and that the federal government would remain in a backup role.

Toronto to fine those who violate distancing guidelines

TORONTO — The mayor of Canada’s most populous city says anyone caught walking within 6 feet of another person in a Toronto public park or square may be subject to a fine of up to $5,000 Canadian (U.S. $3,536).

Mayor John Tory says the public has been warned many times and the willful disobedience needs to stop.

Tory says parks and public spaces are where the problems are now. He says people who don’t live with each other need to separate themselves.

The mayor says he doesn’t want Toronto to become New York, which has been the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

White House expected to urge Americans to wear masks in public

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is formalizing new guidance to recommend that many, if not almost all, Americans wear face coverings when leaving home, in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

The recommendations were still being finalized Thursday. They would apply at least to those who live in areas hard-hit by community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19.

A person familiar with the White House coronavirus task force’s discussion said officials would suggest that non-medical masks, T-shirts or bandannas be used to cover the nose and mouth when outside the home — for instance, at the grocery store or pharmacy. Medical-grade masks, particularly short-in-supply N95 masks, would be reserved for those dealing directly with the sick.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the proposed guidance before its public release.

Read the full story here.

Italy, Spain see ‘first positive signs’ in coronavirus crisis

The Italian and Spanish ambassadors to the United States reported signs of improvement Thursday in the coronavirus situation in their countries, where numbers of confirmed infections, hospitalizations and deaths remain high but are beginning to stabilize.

“These are just the first positive signs, and they have to be taken cautiously,” Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio said. “But they show that measures taken both nationally and at the local level have started to pay off.”

Spain and Italy account for the majority of more than 30,000 deaths in Europe, with more than 10,000 in Spain and 13,000 in Italy, although figures in Britain and France are climbing. All have imposed national stay-at-home orders and closures.

Both Varricchio and Spanish Ambassador Santiago Cabanas stressed the need for international solidarity and cooperation. But they cited the risk of growing authoritarianism, such as measures imposed in Hungary, where Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing party, with a legislative majority, has closed Parliament, indefinitely postponed elections and given him sweeping new powers.

Read the full story on the pandemic in Europe here.

Navy dismisses warship captain who spoke out about coronavirus response

The Navy removed the captain of an aircraft carrier crippled by the coronavirus from his job on Thursday, two days after the officer’s unusually blunt letter warned that if the service did not remove sailors from the vessel more quickly, it would fail them.

Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, the commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, was relieved of command at the direction of acting Navy secretary Thomas B. Modly. The Navy removed him after becoming increasingly convinced that he was involved in leaking the letter to the media to force the service to address his concerns, Navy officials said.

The decision comes one day after Modly said that there was nothing wrong with Crozier writing the letter, but that leaking it to the media “would be something that would violate the principles of good order and discipline.”

“How it got out into the media I don’t know,” Modly said. “I don’t think anyone would ever know.”

Trudeau to probe whether supplies for Canada were diverted to U.S.

TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s very concerned about reports that medical supplies destined for Canada have been diverted to the U.S.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that he’s very concerned about reports that medical supplies destined for Canada have been diverted to the U.S. Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via Associated Press

Trudeau has asked his public safety minister and transport minister to look into the reports. He says they need to make sure the personal protective equipment that was ordered in Canada makes it to Canada.

The prime minister says he’s working with the U.S. and is following up on this specific issue. He says he knows the needs are great in the U.S. but says it’s the same in Canada.

He also says the government has ordered hundreds of thousands of face shields from Bauer, the company that normally makes hockey equipment.

Milan mayor predicts a ‘stop-and-go’ lifting of lockdown

MILAN — The mayor of Europe’s first major metropolis to close for the coronavirus is expecting a ‘’stop-and-go’’ relaunch once the lockdown on movements begins to lift.

Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala says until there is a vaccine against the virus, any reopening of the city of 1.3 million residents is likely to be tentative.

‘’It is possible that we reopen, and then we have to close again. Until we have a vaccine, it will be an anomalous situation.,’’ he said.

Restrictions were first launched in Italy’s fashion and finance capital on Feb. 23, when the region of Lombardy shut schools, cinemas, museums, theaters and bars after 6 p.m. The measures have grown ever tighter, with residents of Lombardy barred from leaving their homes except for necessities like going to the grocery store or pharmacy.

Italy’s premier has announced that national containment measures will be in place at least until April 13 and that any easing would happen in phases.

Sala said the new coronavirus will provoke a major rethink in how to handle events that characterize the city, from four Milan Fashion Weeks a year, to the annual design week to cultural events.

Milan Fashion Week menswear previews usually held in June will not take place this year and that ‘’fashion sector officials are asking what they can do in September,’’ when womenswear previews are scheduled.

Democrats will delay presidential nominating convention until August

Democrats will delay their presidential nominating convention until the week of Aug. 17 to increase the likelihood that the party can still hold an in-person gathering in Milwaukee amid the coronavirus pandemic, Democrats announced Thursday.

The decision to reschedule from July puts the Democratic gathering one week before the Republican convention in Charlotte starting Aug. 24, which both President Trump and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel have pledged recently will go forward.

Trump said last week that there was “no way” his convention would be canceled, and McDaniel said that planning for a “full seated” convention was moving “full steam ahead.” But Democrats have taken a far more cautious approach, in part because their convention was originally scheduled six weeks earlier in the summer to accommodate the Summer Olympics, which have since been canceled.

“In our current climate of uncertainty, we believe the smartest approach is to take additional time to monitor how this situation unfolds so we can best position our party for a safe and successful convention,” Joe Solmonese, CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee, said in a statement Thursday. “During this critical time, when the scope and scale of the pandemic and its impact remain unknown, we will continue to monitor the situation and follow the advice of health care professionals and emergency responders.”

Former vice president Joe Biden, who is leading in delegates to the nomination, made clear this week that he welcomed a delay.

“I think it’s going to have to move into August,” Biden said Wednesday on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Democrats had worried that their event would be canceled but that the Republican one would still be able to go forward, delivering Trump a clear advantage in the televised spectacle that marks the start of the general election.

Read more about the delay in the Democratic presidential nominating convention here.

Fauci unsure why some get sicker than others

WASHINGTON — The top U.S. infectious disease official says medical experts are no closer to figuring out why some seemingly healthy people infected by the new coronavirus develop only mild or no symptoms but others become very sick.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said on NBC’s “Today” show he’s been “puzzled from the beginning” of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He said it’s “very strange” how the virus can be “completely devastating” and lead to “viral pneumonia and respiratory failure” in one person and be “absolutely nothing” in another person.

Fauci says he’s been working in infectious diseases for almost 50 years but doesn’t “fully understand exactly what the mechanism of that is.”

He says finding the answer is going to require natural history studies, which follow people over time while collecting their health information.

Australia temporarily makes child care free, imposes fines for price gouging

Child care in Australia will become completely free for all families, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday, a temporary move meant to allow parents to continue working during the coronavirus outbreak.

The country’s government will spend an estimated $1.6 billion to bail out the struggling sector, ABC reported, as huge drops in attendance have forced hundreds of child-care centers have been forced to close.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in 2019 Associated Press

The announcement follows several other dramatic policy shifts in recent days as the virus spreads through Australia and rattles its economy.

Earlier this week, the country’s Health Ministry said it would impose massive fines on anyone who tries to illegally export masks and gowns or sell this protective equipment within Australia at jacked-up prices. The country will also halt evictions for 6 months.

While Morrison had initially said free child care would be offered to allow workers in essential industries to continue, Education Minister Dan Tehan later clarified all that parents, including unemployed ones, would qualify for the radical move.

“We want as many people being able to work as we possibly can, and we want them to be able to access child care as they need,” Tehan told ABC.

Cash-strapped parents who have been unable to afford fees have pulled their kids out of after-school and day care programs, along with those worried about health risks. It’s unclear if and how child-care workers will be provided with protective equipment.

Child care fees in Australia are already heavily subsidized, but parents will now have the full cost covered as part of the one-month plan, ABC reported, so the government will effectively be paying for about half the operating costs for all child care centers.

U.S. economists expect another record number of unemployment claims
New U.S. unemployment figures are set to be released Thursday morning, and economists project the numbers will be staggering — potentially as high as 5.5 million.

A record 3.3 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, as businesses shuttered and Americans were told to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus. That number easily surpassed the 665,000 jobless claims filed during the worst week of the Great Recession.

Most economists predict between 4 million and 5 million new claims this week, according to CNBC. Morgan Stanley forecast 4.5 million, while Barclays estimated 5 million, and Bank of America put the figure at 5.5 million.

‘Obviously there’s a lot of pressure,’ Fauci says of his work

Fauci was asked during an appearance on “CBS This Morning” about reports that his security has been stepped up and about how he is handling the intense scrutiny of his work.

“You know, it’s my job,” Fauci said. “This is the life I’ve chosen, and I’m doing it. I mean, obviously there’s a lot of pressure. I’d be foolish to deny that, but that’s what I do. I’ve been through crises like this before, dating back, you know, 37 years, from the very beginning of the HIV epidemic. It’s a job to do, and we’ve just got to do it.”

Co-host Gayle King noted that Fauci’s image is now appearing on doughnuts, socks and mugs and that there’s a petition to make him People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive.”

“It’s really kind of crazy,” Fauci said. “We try not to pay attention to that and just focus on the responsibility and the job that we have. That’s the most important thing, not that other stuff.”

New record of 950 virus deaths in Spain in 1 day

MADRID — Spain has seen Thursday a new record in virus-related fatalities, with 950 deaths in 24 hours that came as the country is seeing the growth of contagion waning, health ministry data showed.

The total number of deaths were 10,003 on Thursday.


An empty Plaza Mayor square as the lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus in downtown Madrid on Wednesday.

New coronavirus infections rose by nearly 8% overnight to 110,238, placing Spain neck to neck with Italy, the country that saw the worst outbreak in Europe.

Health authorities have been saying that the pace of contagion has dropped from a daily average of 20% until March 25 to less than 12% after that date, more than 10 days after Spaniards were ordered to stay at home. The government has acknowledged that the real number of infection could be much higher because Spain only has the capacity of doing between 15,000 to 20,000 tests per day.

Serbian police detain journalist who wrote about response to virus

BELGRADE, Serbia — Police in Serbia have briefly detained a journalist who wrote about a lack of protective equipment and “chaotic” conditions at a large hospital complex amid the spread of the coronavirus.

Ana Lalic, who writes for portal, was taken to a police station late Wednesday, her apartment in the city of Novi Sad was searched and her laptop and two mobile phones were impounded, her lawyer says. The independent online portal later said she was released on Thursday after protests by independent journalist unions.

The detention came after the clinical center in northern Serbia said Lalic’s article “disturbed the public and hurt the image of the health organization.”

Serbia’s government has adopted a regulation that allows only state emergency committee officials to speak about measures taken by authorities in the fight against the COVID-19 spread. Government officials say the order is intended to fight against the spread of fake news amid the pandemic.

Rights journalist groups say the regulation introduces censorship, jeopardizes investigative journalism and freedom of the press.

Following the protests, Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said Thursday the government will abolish the decree, although she thinks “the regulation protects everyone, the citizens, medical workers and families from fake news and unverified information.”

Japan’s prime minister’s pledge to deliver old-fashioned masks not an April Fools joke

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to deliver just two old-fashioned gauze masks per household as a latest coronavirus measure has backfired and many people even thought it was a April Fool’s Day joke.

“Today I’m wearing one too, and this cloth mask is not disposable,” he said as he unveiled the plan at a government task force meeting Wednesday, saying gauze masks are washable and reusable. The masks will be delivered in a mail to each of the country’s 50 million households, starting from areas with escalating infections, including Tokyo, Osaka and other major cities.

Abe repeated Thursday that Japan is barely holding on and the coronavirus infections are on the brink of turning explosive. His government has enacted a special law and convened a task force to pave the way for Abe’s possible state of emergency declaration.

In a country where surgical masks are staple household items as protection for pollen allergy, common cold or any facial issue, masks have been out of stock for weeks now, and stocks were low even at medical institutions.

Still, the plan quickly proved unpopular and people mocked on Twitter and other social media by calling it “Abenomask,” or “Abe’s mask,” a play on his economic and financial policy of “Abenomics.”

Study doubles Italian province’s virus deaths

SOAVE, Italy — A new study quantifying the hidden toll from coronavirus in the province of Bergamo, at the epicenter of Italy’s epidemic, has found that the number of deaths linked to the virus is double the official tally.


A worker delivers a medical oxygen tank to coronavirus patients who are being treated at home, in Bergamo, one of the areas worst affected by the virus, in Northern Italy. Claudio Furlan/LaPresse via Associated Press

The study by the daily L’Eco di Bergamo with the InTwig data analysis agency puts the number of virus deaths last month at 4,500, compared with the official toll of 2,060, in the province of 1.1 million people.

Mayors have warned that the official numbers fail to take into account the many people dying at home or in rest homes who have never been tested for the virus. Under current policies, only those who arrive at hospitals manifesting strong symptoms are tested.

Lombardy accounts for 40% of Italy’s cases and more than half of its deaths, with Bergamo the hardest-hit province in the heavily populated industrial northern region.

Italy, which as recorded the most deaths of any nation, has extended a strict nationwide lockdown, including a shutdown of at least 60% of heavy industry, until April 13. But authorities caution that any return to normal movement will be a slow process.

Belgium death toll surpasses 1,000

BRUSSELS — More than a thousand people have now died from the new coronavirus in Belgium.

Emmanuel Andre, a scientist and a spokesman at the COVID-19 crisis center, said on Thursday that 93 percent of the 1,011 people who died after getting infected by the virus were older than 65.

A total for 15,348 persons have tested positive for the deadly virus in Belgium, a country of around 11.5 million people.

The occupancy rate of intensive care beds stood at 52 percent, meaning that 1,145 beds remained available as 5,376 patients were hospitalized Thursday.

Taiwan to donate masks

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan has announced it is planning to donate 10 million face masks, plus medicine, to medical staff in countries that are fighting coronavirus.

The self-governed island claimed by Beijing has been seeking to showcase its own handling of the outbreak as it pushes back against China’s efforts to isolate it diplomatically.

The Japanese electronics maker Sharp, which is owned by Taiwan’s Honhai Precision Industry, a major maker of iPhones, has meanwhile said it was expanding production of surgical masks to locations in Europe, China and India. Sharp earlier announced it was launching production of surgical masks in Japan.

As of Wednesday, Taiwan had reported 329 confirmed cases and five deaths.

Australia sends doctors to cruise ships that refuse to leave

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia is sending doctors by helicopter to cruise ships anchored off Sydney to assess who needs medical evacuation rather than bring 8,500 crew members ashore and risk overrunning hospitals with COVID-19 cases.

Eight foreign cruise ships off Australia’s east coast plus a German ship birthed at the west coast port of Fremantle have defied an Australian Border Force order on March 29 to leave the country. The ships fear their crews will become dangerously ill at sea.

New South Wales state Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said on Thursday he won’t allow crew members ashore in Sydney unless they need medical attention.

Fuller told reporters: “If a small percentage end up with the virus, it will overwhelm our health system and everything we’ve done to date will be wasted.”

Unprecedented number apply for U.K. welfare benefits

LONDON — Around 950,000 people have applied for welfare benefits amid the COVID-19 crisis — nearly 10 times the usual number for a two-week period.

The Department of Work and Pensions says the surge is unprecedented and that it is moving 10,000 staff to the frontlines to help process the applications. It says more will also be hired.

The grim news comes as British Airways continues talks with unions over the fate of thousands of employees who face being laid off because of the crisis.

The airline has grounded much of its fleet and cabin crew, ground staff and engineers are among those facing job suspensions.

The Unite union says has been “working around the clock to protect thousands of jobs and to ensure the UK comes out of this unprecedented crisis with a viable aviation sector.’’

Aviation has been particularly hard-hit in the crisis, as travel restrictions keep people close to home.

Diplomats warn that democratic principles are at risk

BERLIN — Foreign ministers from 13 European Union countries warned Thursday that democratic principles could be at risk from measures taken to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Top diplomats from Germany, France, Italy, Spain and nine other nations said in a joint statement that it was legitimate for EU members to adopt “extraordinary measures to protect their citizens and overcome the crisis.”

But the countries warned they were “deeply concerned about the risk of violations of the principles of rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights arising from the adoption of certain emergency measures.”

The statement didn’t single out any specific country, but measures taken by Hungary in particular have been criticized by human rights activists.

The 13 foreign ministers said “emergency measures should be limited to what is strictly necessary, should be proportionate and temporary in nature, subject to regular scrutiny, and respect the aforementioned principles and international law obligations.”

They warned it “should not restrict the freedom of expression or the freedom of the press.”

Virus outbreak accelerates in Russia

MOSCOW — The coronavirus outbreak in Russia continues to pick up speed.

Russian officials registered 771 new cases on Thursday — 43% more than the day before, bringing the country’s total to 3,548 cases, with 30 deaths and 230 recoveries.

The vast majority of Russian regions are currently on lockdown, ordering residents to self-isolate at home and not go out, unless it’s to buy groceries, medications, walk their dogs or take out trash.

Seoul builds massive testing station for returning residents

SEOUL, South Korea — The South Korean capital of Seoul is building a huge coronavirus testing station in a sports complex built for the 1988 Summer Olympics as it seeks to test hundreds of people returning to the city each day amid broadening outbreaks in Europe and the United States.

Mayor Park Won-soon on Thursday said the city will test all South Korean and long-term foreign residents returning from overseas starting Friday, mostly relying on the makeshift station located in the main Olympic stadium’s parking lot that will be capable of testing 1,000 people per day.

South Korea has been enforcing two-week quarantines on all passengers arriving from overseas since Wednesday to stem a rise in imported coronavirus infections.

While passengers arriving with fever or respiratory symptoms are isolated and tested at the airport, Seoul also plans to test those who seem well as experts say the virus can spread from people with no or mild symptoms.

South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says at least 601 of the country’s 9,976 coronavirus infections were linked to recent arrivals, with most of the cases detected in the Seoul metropolitan area over the past three weeks.

China monitoring cases

BEIJING — China on Thursday recorded another 35 confirmed and 20 suspected coronavirus cases, all from overseas.

Another 55 asymptomatic cases were also recorded, 17 of them imported, bringing to 1,075 the number of who have tested positive but show no symptoms and are now being isolated and monitored.

China also reported another six deaths, all in the hardest-hit province of Hubei, bringing the national death toll to 3,318 with 81,589 total cases.

Greek refugee camp quarantined

ATHENS, Greece — Authorities have placed a refugee camp north of the Greek capital under quarantine after 20 of its residents tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The Migration and Asylum Ministry said the Ritsona camp would be quarantined from Thursday for 14 days, during which nobody would be allowed into or out of the facility. The camp is normally open, with residents allowed to enter and leave at will.

One of the camp’s residents, hospitalized in Athens to give birth, was found to be positive earlier in the week and health authorities began tracking the people she had come into contact with.

The ministry said 63 people were tested in the camp, and 20 were found to be positive for the virus. None of those found positive were showing any symptoms, it said, adding that none of the camp’s staff had tested positive. Authorities would continue testing in the camp on Thursday.

Separately, an asylum seeker living in an apartment in Kilkis in northern Greece was also found to be positive for the coronavirus while in a local maternity hospital. The woman and her family had been placed in quarantine at home for 14 days, and authorities were tracking down the woman’s contacts.

Tens of thousands of migrants and refugees live in Greece, many of them in overcrowded camps on eastern Greek islands. So far no cases of coronavirus infections have been reported in the island camps.

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