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Vietnam Latest Country to Lockdown

Residents wearing protective masks wait for coronavirus testing at a makeshift rapid testing center in Hanoi, Vietnam March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Kham

At the start of the lockdown, there were 212 confirmed cases in Vietnam and no deaths and authorities want to keep it there.

Vietnam is the latest country to go into a nationwide lockdown because of the coronavirus.

The 15-day period starts Wednesday with officials telling people to avoid gathering in groups of three or more.

At the start of the lockdown, there were 212 confirmed cases in Vietnam and no deaths and authorities want to keep it there.

U.S. President Donald Trump said last month that he suspects the coronavirus will slow down or even disappear as warm weather sets in across much of the globe.

While heat and humidity can affect the transmission of viruses, the World Health Organization said Tuesday there is no evidence it will slow down the new coronavirus and said it has no idea how long the pandemic will last.

Trump is finding little good news to report at his daily White House briefings.

After saying on Sunday that he expects the outbreak to peak by Easter and “great things” will come by June 1, he said on Tuesday Americans will have a “hell of a bad two weeks” coming up.

The White House projects as many as 240,000 Americans could die from coronavirus before the worst is over.

The administration's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that the coronavirus can lead to severe complications in cigarette smokers and people suffering lung disease, heart disease, and diabetes. The centers said people with these conditions should be especially conscious about staying home.

But doctors in The Netherlands say a 101-year-old woman who has recovered from coronavirus has given them a “spark of hope.”

The woman tested positive nearly two weeks ago, was isolated in a hospital near Rotterdam, and will soon return home.

Doctors in Italy, which has been Europe’s hot spot for the virus, say they believe the outbreak there has hit a “plateau” and we should start seeing a decline, if daily precautions continue. The chief of the Italian national institutes of health, Dr. Silvio Brusaferro, says it would be premature to lift the country's three-week nationwide lockdown.

Workers in Jerusalem’s Old City sanitized the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site, where the pious come to pray.

The workers use gloves and wooden clamps to pull out the prayers written on slips of paper the worshippers left.

Meanwhile, U.N. aid workers in Gaza started making house-to-house deliveries of food and other aid to poor Palestinians. They want to avoid large crowds at distribution centers to prevent a coronavirus outbreak.

About 70,000 packages are expected to be delivered. Only 10 cases have been confirmed in Gaza so far.

One sign that life may be returning to normal in Wuhan, China, where the pandemic began in December, is people flocking to the city’s noodle shops, where noodles covered with peanut sauce are as popular as pizza is in the U.S. and fish and chips in Britain.

Social distancing is still required in Wuhan and the shops are open for carry out only, the long lines in front of the shops has spread optimism in the city which had been locked down and sealed off to contain the virus.

The head of China’s National Health Commission, Ma Xiaowei, said Tuesday the "most dangerous, most critical stage" of the outbreak looks as if it has passed. But he said lifting the quarantine on travelers and reopening schools will be done very slowly and carefully.

Meanwhile, goats have taken over the locked-down Welsh town of Llandudno. With no people on the streets to bother them or chase them away, mountain goats are wandering the streets, boldly helping themselves to the tasty leaves on the trees and bushes in people’s yards, and behaving as if they own the town.