US State Department Urges Americans “Do Not Travel” Abroad

The latest in COVID-19

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US State Department Urges Americans “Do Not Travel” Abroad


Quick Take

  • According to the CDC, 20% of COVID-19 patients aged 20-44 were hospitalized in the U.S. 
  • Italy’s death toll increased to 3,405, overtaking the death toll in China
  • The US State Department has also issued a Level 4 “Do Not Travel” abroad alert.
  • Amazon temporarily closes Prime Pantry nationwide to restock.
  • IBM supercomputer identified 77 compounds that could potentially stop coronavirus from spreading.

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Italy Overtakes China’s Death Toll

The death toll in Italy has risen to 3,405, overtaking the death toll in China. The country has been turning to its military for help as the army was called in to transport bodies to be cremated as cemeteries in the northern city of Bergamo were overwhelmed.

The army also sent 120 doctors and health professionals to help in two cities in the Lombardy region. Field hospitals and emergency respiratory units are being set up elsewhere in the north. Italian authorities have also imposed sweeping restrictions on people and businesses to try to slow the spread of the virus.

Young Adults Make Up Nearly Half Of Hospitalizations

According to a new report from the CDC, 20% of COVID-19 patients aged 20-44 were hospitalized in the U.S. American adults of all ages, not just those of older age, are at risk of being hospitalized by coronavirus. However, the risk of dying was significantly higher in older people.

The findings underscore a briefing by Dr. Deborah Birx, a physician and State Department official who is part of the administration’s coronavirus task force. She cited similar reports of young adults in Italy and in France being hospitalized and needing intensive care.

In the CDC report, 12 percent of the intensive care patients were between the ages of 20 and 44. The report used data from 2,449 first recorded COVID-19 cases in the United States. The report found that 80% of deaths occurred among adults aged over 65. However, the remaining 20% of deaths occurred among individuals aged 20-64.

US Cases Soar Over 11,000

As cases in the US soar past 11,000 and doctors report insufficient protective equipment, President Trump has said the government “slashed red tape” to try to expand trials for possible treatments.

New York City holds nearly 4,000 cases, the highest in the country, however, the highest number of deaths have occurred in Washington state. People under 50 years old account for about half of coronavirus cases in New York City. Fifty-eight percent of those who tested positive in the city were men.

New York State Gov. Cuomo also ordered most businesses to keep at least 75 percent of their workers at home. The governor also announced an order waiving mortgage payments for three months for homeowners facing virus-related financial hardship. Gov. Cuomo also clarified his stance on a potential shelter-in-place measure, stating “I’m not doing it.”

The US State Department has also issued a Level 4 “Do Not Travel” alert urging U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel. The department is urging U.S. citizens who live in the US to arrange for an immediate return.

Amazon Temporarily Closes Prime Pantry

Amid the surge in online shopping, Amazon has temporarily closed its Prime Pantry service nationwide. Due to high order volumes, Pantry is not accepting new orders at this time. Items listed as Ships & Sold from Pantry cannot be added to shoppers carts.

Amazon said it was working to restock as quickly as possible but does not know when it will reopen the delivery service. Shoppers can still find household items and other essentials at Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods as well as in the grocery and household category.

IBM Supercomputer Runs Simulations

And lastly, with some positive news, IBM’s supercomputer has identified chemicals that could potentially stop coronavirus from spreading. The supercomputer, known as Summit ran thousands of simulations to analyze which drug compounds might effectively stop the virus from infecting host cells. The supercomputer identified 77 possible compounds that could bind to the spike protein of the virus, which could potentially limit its ability to spread to host cells.