What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

Countries around the world continue easing restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and regaining a bit of what life was like before the outbreak.

In Paris, sidewalk cafes are open for outdoor business — albeit with appropriate social distancing guidelines.

Members of Britain’s Parliament have been called back to the office, although a few have reservations about the return.

And in Portugal, there’s hope the country’s vital tourism sector can rebound with some flights resuming to its popular Algarve region.

(Here are some of AP’s top stories Tuesday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.)

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:

— CHINA-WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: While the WHO publicly praised China in January for its speedy response to the then-new coronavirus, the health group was frustrated behind the scenes by China’s delays in sharing information needed to fight the spread of the virus, The Associated Press has found.

— STAYING HOME: Some British lawmakers were not pleased about going back to the office as the country eased restrictions from the virus outbreak. Some in Parliament, who have largely been working from home, say the government’s decision to scrap a remote-voting system used during the pandemic will turn those who must stay home because of age, illness or family issues into second-class lawmakers.

— ANIMAL TESTING: While companies working on a COVID-19 vaccine line up tens of thousands of people for studies this summer, scientists are testing ferrets, monkeys and other animals in search of answers leading to a successful vaccine.

— TRACKING THE VIRUS: Some in Moscow are angry about a virus contact tracing app required for those in quarantine, while France goes online with its version to try to prevent future outbreaks. In Moscow, some say the app was glitchy and led to repeated fines when people could not comply with tracking requirements. Civil liberties groups in France worry that tracing apps open the way for government surveillance.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. 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.

TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.

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ONE NUMBER:

— 8: Eight states will hold primaries today, seven of them holding presidential votes as those looking to turn out must handle curfews and health concerns to do it. Iowa, which held its presidential caucus this past February, will have several down-ticket races in its primary.

IN OTHER NEWS:

—FUNNY PAPERS: Sunday’s comics will have more than just laughs this week. Artists from more than 70 comic strips and panels will have hidden six symbols such as a healthcare mask and an apple for teachers to honor those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. The comics include Garry Trudeau’s “Doonesbury,” and Jim Keane’s “Family Circus.”

SIDEWALK LIFE: Sidewalk cafes are back in business in the City of Light. Paris has eased restrictions due to the outbreak, making it once again possible to sit outside and watch Parisian life go by. Patrons can’t yet go inside cafes and outdoor seating must follow social distancing guidelines.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

Categories: National News

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