We'll soon be crowding into cafes it's 1954 in Rapallo, Italy. Photo: LIFE Picture Collection via Getty

Europeans and Americans are desperate to move beyond the worst of the crisis and return to something approximating normality, but the World Health Organization is cautioning that moving too fast will undermine the sacrifices made so far.

Where things stand: Nearly every country on Earth is still seeing their caseload increase, and a recent uptick in Singapore shows that apparent victory over the virus can be fleeting. But several countries are providing reason for optimism.

Four countries now report fewer active cases than one week ago, according to a report from Albright Stonebridge Group, though Cambodia’s testing rate is so low that there’s little reason to trust its data.

  • China’s numbers might also be too good to be true, but the trajectory is clearly positive. The cordon sanitaire around Wuhan was lifted Wednesday after 76 days, allowing people to travel freely and families to reunite.
  • South Korea now has twice as many recoveries as active cases, but it isn’t declaring victory yet. The government is extending strict social distancing rules for another two weeks, but the country will go ahead with parliamentary elections on April 15. Voters will wear masks and gloves.
  • In Jordan, thousands have been arrested for the crime of being outside during what is perhaps the world’s strictest coronavirus lockdown. It seems to be working — Jordan’s case count has fallen to 202, while numbers are climbing elsewhere in the Middle East.

New Zealand saw more recoveries (35) than new cases (29) in the past 24 hours.

  • While the government's decisive action has contained the outbreak, the aim is to "crush it" before easing restrictions, Axios' Rebecca Falconer writes.

Austria is leading Europe’s tiptoe toward normal life, with small shops reopening next week and larger ones on May 1. Schools, restaurants and hotels are slated to open their doors in mid-May.

  • Denmark and Norway are also rolling out staged reopening plans, while Italy is expected to allow some factories to reopen soon.
  • “Phase two is a necessary phase in which we will have to learn to coexist with the virus, because the virus won’t disappear,” Italy’s Health Minister Roberto Speranza has said. “We have to rethink how we will organize our social life, our manufacturing and our public health-care system. ... It will be very gradual.”

Italy and Spain appear now to be through the worst of what have been Europe’s deadliest outbreaks so far.

  • “We have begun to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We can touch it,” Alberto Mantovani, scientific director of the Humanitas hospitals in Milan and Bergamo, told WSJ. “We feel it in the hospital. The number of admissions is down and people are leaving the ICU.”
  • France, Italy and the U.S. are now in the eye of the storm.

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Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events
  6. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Amy Coney Barrett took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice at a White House ceremony Monday night, not long after the Senate voted to confirm her nomination to the high court in a 52-48 vote.

The state of play: Justice Clarence Thomas administered the oath. The Supreme Court wrote in a statement that Barrett will take the judicial oath on Tuesday, at which point she will be able to begin her work on the court.

Gulf Coast braces for Zeta after storm strengthens into hurricane

Hurricane Zeta's forecast path. Photo: National Hurricane Center

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) declared a state of emergency Monday as Zeta strengthened into a hurricane and threatened Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula as it moved towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The state of play: Zeta was expected to make landfall on the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula Monday night, bringing with it a "dangerous storm surge" and "heavy rainfall" as it moved into the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Service said.