Over 735,000 COVID-19 cases in the United States as Michigan officials confirm 31,424 cases and 2,391 deaths

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – State officials confirm 31,424 coronavirus cases and 2,391 COVID-19 related deaths in Michigan. An increase of 633 cases and 83 deaths from yesterday.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released the number just before 3:00 p.m. today. Yesterday, the department confirmed 30,791 cases and 2,308 deaths.

The state data shows that the City of Detroit has 7,604 cases and 618 deaths, Wayne County has 6,088 cases and 501 deaths, and Oakland County has 6,109 cases and 471 deaths. The three areas have just over 63% of confirmed cases and just over 66% of deaths.

Locally, Ingham County has 308 cases and six deaths while Jackson County has 248 cases and 10 deaths.

The state is asking for COVID-19 volunteers with qualified medical training, experience and health care professionals who can volunteer their expertise.

Michigan is among the top five states in confirmed coronavirus cases, just behind New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts according to numbers updated on Friday, April 17th by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The updated numbers for the country have Michigan at 29,952 cases and Pennsylvania at 29,442 cases.

According to Friday’s update from the CDC, the U.S. has 690,714 cases and 35,443 deaths in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S Virgin Islands.

The death toll in the U.S. is nearing 40,000 with more than 735,000 confirmed infections, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University of national health reports.

The coronavirus pandemic has increased the need for food pantries throughout the country as millions of people find themselves furloughed, laid off or with businesses that have suffered huge financial blows.

Feeding America has seen an increase in demand from 98% of its member banks, according to a recent survey. The average increase for a member was 63%, while 95% of the association’s food banks reported an increase in operating expenses, the organization said.

Pressures mounted Sunday on governments to ease the economic pain of coronavirus lockdowns after protests from those fearing for their livelihoods, and authorities responded with a wide range of possible dates and solutions.

Shutdowns that began in China in late January and spread to Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere have disrupted economic, social, cultural and religious life across the globe, plunging the world into its most painful economic slump since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The International Monetary Fund expects the global economy to contract 3% this year — a far bigger loss than 2009′s 0.1% after the global financial crisis.

In the U.S., supporters of President Donald Trump protested in several states Saturday, ignoring social distancing and stay-at-home orders to demand that governors end controls on public activity.

Trump is pushing to relax the U.S. lockdown by May 1, a plan that hinges partly on more testing.

Texas, Indiana and some other states have announced plans to allow some retailing and other activity to resume. Florida and South Carolina have reopened beaches, with some drawing noticeable crowds.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has criticized the federal response as inadequate, rejected pressure to reopen businesses. New York’s daily death toll fell below 550 on Saturday for the first time in two weeks, but Cuomo said hospitals are still reporting nearly 2,000 new patients a day.

“We are not at a point when we are going to be reopening anything immediately,” Cuomo said.

Some countries, like Britain, which is still deep in the middle of its outbreak, say it’s too soon to give definite lockdown easing dates.

In Germany, which has managed to significantly slow the rate of new infections since mid-March, most small stores can reopen Monday.

France’s health agency urged the public to stick to social distancing measures that have been extended until at least May 11

After six weeks of being stuck inside, Spanish authorities say children will be allowed to leave their homes beginning April 27. Spain imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe, helping drive the daily increase in confirmed infections from over 20% down to 2% for a country whose 20,000 virus deaths are only surpassed by the United States and Italy.

Albania plans to let its mining and oil industries reopen Monday, along with hundreds of businesses including small retailers, food and fish factories, farmers and fishing boats.

In Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government bowed to demands by religious leaders and agreed to keep mosques open during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

Pope Francis is urging the faithful to use the coronavirus pandemic’s “time of trial” to prepare for a future where inequalities are abolished and the poorest are no longer left behind.

“This is not some ideology,” Francis said. “It is Christianity.”

Francis traveled a few blocks outside the Vatican walls on Sunday to celebrate Mass at a nearby church to mark a special feast day dedicated to mercy. Only a few priests were in the pews given Italy’s strict virus lockdown.

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