Coronavirus Latest Updates: The number of the coronavirus cases in the US crossed 700,000 on Saturday, while over 35,000 people have died from the disease. President Donald Trump assured the people that America was “very close” to seeing the light “shinning brightly” at the end of the tunnel. US has the highest toll in the world, followed by Italy (22,170). Spain has recorded 19,130 deaths, followed by France with 18,681.
A total of 154,142 people have died and 2,242,868 people have been infected worldwide by the novel coronavirus that originated in China in November last year, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Here are the key developments around the globe today:
Spain reaches 20,000 deaths from coronavirus
Spain has reached 20,000 deaths for the coronavirus pandemic and total infections increased to more than 190,000. Spain’s health authorities reported 565 deaths in the last 24 hours. Only the United States and Italy have more deaths. New infections rose by nearly 4,500. More than 74,000 people in Spain have recovered. This week, health authorities said there were discrepancies in the statistics of virus deaths and infections reported by regional administrations. The central government has ordered regions to give more precise data and use the same parameters.
As the outbreak’s spread slows, pressure on hospitals has relaxed. Authorities have closed one part of a huge field hospital with thousands of beds set up by the military in a convention center in Madrid. But strict confinement rules are expected to be extended beyond April 26.
Africa deaths above 1,000, including Nigerian chief of staff
Africa now has more than 1,000 deaths from COVID-19, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday. A total of 52 of the continent’s 54 countries have reported the coronavirus, with the overall number of cases more than 19,800. Nigeria’s government said Abba Kyari, chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, died Friday of COVID-19. Kyari’s case had been one of the highest-profile in Africa.
NIgeria’s Chief of Staff to President Buhari, Abba Kyari, OON dies of coronavirus at 81.
He was UBA’s CEO and an Executive Director, Unilever’s Board Director, Board Member of Exxon Mobil, Borno State Commissioner, AIB Secretary to the Board. He attended Harvard Business School. pic.twitter.com/cgyPY6SnAS
— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) April 18, 2020
Several government ministers and a US ambassador were infected with the virus earlier in Burkina Faso. The World Health Organization on Friday noted a 51 per cent increase in cases in Africa and a 60 per cent jump in deaths in the past week. But the WHO chief warned that because of a shortage of testing it’s likely the real numbers are higher than reported. The Africa CDC has said more than 1 million test kits will be rolled out starting next week.
Pak struggles to rein in defiant clerics as COVID-19 cases near 7,500
Pakistan’s coronavirus cases on Saturday rose to 7,481 with 465 new patients even as the government struggled to control clerics flouting orders against congregations in mosques. The Ministry of National Health Services reported that 143 people have died so far including eight on Friday. Another 1,832 have recovered. The largest province of Punjab registered 3,391 patients, followed by Sindh with 2,217, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 1,077, Balochistan 335, Gilgit-Baltistan 250, Islamabad 163 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir with 48 patients. The ministry showed that so far 92,548 tests have been conducted, including 6,416 in the last 24 hours. The steady rise continued despite hectic efforts to contain the spread.
China reports 27 news cases
China has reported 27 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, as it tries to stem an upsurge in infections in a northeastern province bordering Russia. Twenty of the new cases were in Heilongjiang province, including 13 Chinese nationals who had returned recently from Russia. The land border with Russia has been closed. China’s official death toll rose sharply to 4,632, reflecting a major upwards revision the previous day by authorities in Wuhan, the nation’s hardest-hit city. The latest confirmed cases brought the total to 82,719, of which 77,029 have recovered and been discharged, the National Health Commission said.
The country’s is struggling to revive an economy that suffered its biggest contraction since possibly the mid-1960s after millions of people were told to stay home to fight the coronavirus. The world’s second-largest economy shrank by 6.8% from a year earlier in the quarter ending in March after factories, offices and shopping malls were closed to contain the outbreak, official data showed Friday.
Japan PM Abe stresses importance of social distancing
Japan had 556 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing a national total to 9,795, the country’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Saturday. With an addition of 712 others from a cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo earlier this year, Japan now has 10,507 cases altogether, surpassing the 10,000-mark about three months after the first case was found in the country. Nearly one-third of the domestic cases come from Tokyo, where the daily surge has overburdened hospitals, triggering fear of the collapse of medical system.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expanded his April 7 state of emergency, which was limited to Tokyo and six other urban prefectures, to all of Japan on Thursday. He expressed concern at a news conference Friday that people were not observing the government-requested social distancing as much as they should.
Trump calls protesters against stay-at-home orders ‘very responsible’
Even as the number of the coronavirus cases in the US crossed 700,000, Donald Trump has posted controversial tweets stoking protests against physical distancing and other coronavirus stay-at-home measures in three states led by Democratic governors. “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” the US president wrote in capital letters on Friday. “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” He followed up with a third tweet: “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!” – a reference to Virginia’s governor, Ralph Northam, last week signing into law new measures on gun control.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
Trump has repeatedly ignored his own entreaty to put partisan politics aside during the coronavirus pandemic. Trump also lashed out on Friday at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, another Democrat, saying he should “get out there and get the job done.” New York state with more than 10,000 deaths is the epicentre of the virus outbreak in the United States.
More than 40 of the 50 US states have imposed stay-at-home orders and about 95% of the US population is currently under some form of lockdown in accordance with social distancing guidelines from the federal government. Trump unveiled plans on Thursday for states to reopen their economies but largely left the decision to the governor of each state.
In other news
In other news Chile will become the first country to issue “immunity cards” to those who have recovered from Covid-19 while will begin administering Covid-19 immunity tests
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer told reporters on Friday that she hoped Trump’s tweets were “not encouraging more protests.” “There is a lot of anxiety and I think, you know the most important thing that anyone with a platform can do is try to use that platform to tell people, ‘We are going to get through this,'” Whitmer said. “We will reengage our economy when it’s safe,” she said. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam shrugged off Trump’s tweets.
1 in 3 put on breathing machines in New York
A large study of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in New York City found 1 in 3 were put on breathing machines. That’s a rate more than 10 times higher than seen in China. The study’s authors say that of the patients studied, 36% were obese, which may have contributed to severe breathing problems and the need for ventilators. Published online Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the report involves 393 patients admitted to two unidentified hospitals from March 5-27. Patients were aged 62 on average and 60% were men. Almost 40% were white but the report had no other racial breakdown. Overall, 6% were health care workers. Cough, fever and shortness of breath were the main symptoms, but diarrhea, nausea and vomiting were also common.
Iran parades medical gear for Army Day amid outbreak
More than 14,000 people have died in the city and over 200,000 lakh people have tested positive so far. Neighbouring New Jersey has more than 78,000 cases and 3,800 deaths.
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