Live updates: Prince Charles tests positive for coronavirus; White House, Senate leaders agree to massive relief deal

As a national debate raged over the duration and severity of restrictions aimed at containing the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, political leaders in Washington reached an agreement on a record $2 trillion stimulus package to rescue the economy. Meanwhile, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, although his office said Wednesday that the 71-year-old has mild symptoms and “remains in good health.”

Here are some significant developments:

  • The national death toll in Spain surpassed 3,400 on Wednesday, making it the world’s hardest-hit country after Italy. In Madrid, where the city’s funeral service temporarily stopped accepting the corpses of those infected, an ice rink has been turned into a makeshift morgue.
  • Russia pushed back an April vote meant to allow President Vladimir Putin to serve two more terms. The country also announced stricter measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
  • The White House coronavirus task force, citing concern about the soaring infection rate in and around New York City, is asking anyone who has left the area recently to self-isolate for 14 days. Still, President Trump said he wants America “opened up” by Easter (April 12) and continued to play down the dangers of the pandemic even as experts warned of a worsening crisis.
  • India, home to more than 1.3 billion people, began the world’s largest lockdown, although prominent political leaders appeared to be flouting the directives.
  • More than 435,000 people around the world have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. But it is not mutating significantly as it circulates through the human population, according to scientists who are closely studying the pathogen’s genetic code. That relative stability is encouraging news for researchers hoping to create a long-lasting vaccine.

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