Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Trump’s medical status unclear
President Donald Trump could be discharged from the hospital where he is being treated for Covid-19 as soon as Monday, according to his doctors, although his condition remains unclear and outside experts warn that his case may be severe.
Sequestered at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington since Friday, Trump has released a series of videos in an effort to reassure the public that he is recovering. “It’s a very interesting journey. I learned a lot about COVID,” he said in a video posted to Twitter on Sunday.
Doctors are treating Trump with a steroid, dexmethasone, that is normally used only in the most severe cases.
Trump briefly left the hospital in a motorcade on Sunday to wave to supporters gathered outside, sparking criticism that he was putting others at risk for a political stunt.
U.S. states see record increases in cases
Nine U.S. states have reported record increases in Covid-19 cases over the last seven days, mostly in the upper Midwest and West where chilly weather is forcing more activities indoors.
Daytime highs in many of these states are now in the 50s Fahrenheit (10 Celsius). Health experts have long warned that colder temperatures driving people inside could promote the spread of the virus.
Kentucky is the first Southern state to report a record increase in cases in several weeks. Governor Andy Beshear said last week was the highest number of cases the state has seen since the pandemic started.
‘Nuclear’ lockdown recommendation for Ireland
Ireland’s government faced political and business resistance on Monday to a surprise recommendation by health chiefs for Europe’s first major second wave national lockdown to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed as coronavirus cases rise.
The National Public Health Emergency Team called for a leap to the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions, Level 5, late on Sunday, just three days after telling government the current Level 2 status for most of the country was appropriate.
“If we’re brutally honest, as a people we could better adhere to existing restrictions. Let’s collectively put that right rather than going nuclear just yet,” Barry Cowen, a member of parliament from Prime Minister Micheal Martin’s Fianna Fail party said on Twitter.
Auckland restrictions to be lifted
Coronavirus restrictions in New Zealand’s largest city will be lifted this week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday as she expressed confidence a second wave of Covid-19 infections in Auckland has been almost eliminated.
The city will move to alert level 1 from 11.59 p.m. on Wednesday, joining the rest of the country, after reporting no new cases in the Auckland cluster for 10 consecutive days. The easing of measures means there will be no 100 person-limit on gatherings in Auckland, and no physical distancing rules in bars and restaurants.
“There is now a 95% probability of the cluster being eliminated,” Ardern said at a news conference. “Covid-19 will be with us for many months to come. But we should still mark these milestones.”
Cineworld brings down the curtain
Cineworld will close all of its UK and U.S. movie theatres this week, leaving as many as 45,000 workers unemployed for the foreseeable future as it strives to survive a coronavirus collapse in film-making and cinema-going.
The world’s second-biggest cinema chain said the reluctance of studios to push ahead with major releases such as the new James Bond film had left it no choice but to close all 536 Regal theatres in the U.S. and its 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theatres in the UK from Oct. 8.
Confirming weekend reports on the closures by Reuters and UK media, the company’s statement on Monday spelt out the scale of the job losses, which take in thousands of ancillary staff including cleaners and security as well as its own employees. It gave no indication of when cinemas might reopen.