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What you need to know today about the virus pandemic

The global lockdown put in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus is hurting the illegal drug trade. Pressure continues to grow on governments to loosen restrictions ease the economic pain of lockdowns. In Germany, breweries are threatened with permanent closure. In the U.S., the coronavirus is accelerating the decline in the coal industry.

Still, there were occasional signs of hope: South Korea reported just eight more cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, the first time a daily increase has dropped to single digits in about two months. And in New York, the daily toll of coronavirus deaths has hit its lowest point in more than two weeks.

Here are some of The Associated Press' top stories Sunday on the 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: — Experts have deep skepticism over North Korea’s claim to have zero infections. — California corrections officials announced the first prison inmate death from complications related to COVID-19.

— Orthodox Christian churches, including those in Russia, remain closed to worshipers on their holiest day of the year, Easter. — The Trump administration and Congress are negotiating an aid package to replenish a loan program for small businesses that ran out of money.

— For-profit colleges are ramping up advertising amid that the coronavirus pandemic will push unemployed workers back to school, helping revive the industry. — A Broadway star must have his leg amputated following coronavirus complications.

AP FACT CHECK:

President Donald Trump is wrongly casting blame on governors and the Obama administration for shortages in coronavirus testing. He has also suggested that the U.S. response to the virus is better than many other countries', but it's too soon to tell.

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. 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 the spread of the virus is through frequent hand-washing 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.

Phones should also be washed. 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.

ONE NUMBER:

— 1,000,000: Europe logs more than 1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

IN OTHER NEWS:

— MAKING GOOGLE, FACEBOOK PAY: Global digital platforms Google and Facebook will be forced to pay for news content in Australia, the government said as the coronavirus pandemic causes a collapse in advertising revenue.

— LIFE-CHANGING: Idris Elba says he and his wife had their lives “turned around” after contracting the coronavirus.

— LUCKY CRUISE: Travelers on a virus-free around-the-world cruise say they enjoyed “a stroke of good luck.”

— RESPITE FOR THE LONELY: Nursing home in France tests everyone in hopes of identifying those who must be isolated so that others can leave their rooms and participate in activities.

— HE TRAINED THEM WELL: Ex-medical students — now professionals — help treat a former professor suffering from COVID-19.

— LOCKDOWN FREEBIES: Companies offer free books, dance lessons and movies as a way to ease the lockdown pain.

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

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