Coronavirus Latest Updates: The confirmed number of Covid-19 cases globally topped 1.5 million, news agency AFP reported, while the death toll has crossed 88,000. Infections have been reported in 212 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019. Even as the number of deaths rises, most governments are reporting an apparent slowdown in confirmed cases.
Meanwhile, coronavirus-infected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has moved out of intensive care.
The United States recorded nearly 2,000 novel coronavirus deaths for the second day in a row, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. With this, America is now at 431,838 infections followed by Spain (148,220), Italy (139,422), France (113,982), Germany (113,296 ) and China (82,809). With 17,669 deaths, Italy is still at the top, followed by Spain (14,792), France (10,869) and United Kingdom (7,097). As many as 88,444 people have died and over 1.5 million positive cases (1,514,866) have been reported so far.
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Singapore reports highest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases
Singapore reported 287 coronavirus cases on Thursday, the highest single-day rise, taking the total number of positive cases to 1,910, as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned of tough action on people gathering in public places. The prime minister warned that the authorities will strictly enforce the “circuit breaker” measures from Thursday, noting there are still far too many public gatherings taking place.
There were still crowds seen in nature reserves, markets and other places, on the third day of strict measures that include closing most workplaces and barring social gatherings of any size in homes or public spaces like parks, according to media reports. Meanwhile, authorities said Thursday’s 219 cases are linked to existing clusters, with at least 160 cases linked to the S11 Dormitory in Punggol, where a large number of foreign workers are lodged.
China orders re-test of recovered Covid-19 patients, intensified screening of asymptomatic cases
China on Thursday unveiled a new trial protocol warranting re-testing of the recovered coronavirus patients besides intensifying the screening of asymptomatic cases as concerns grew over the second wave of virus infections in the country.
The move comes a day after China lifted the 76-day lockdown in Wuhan, where the pandemic originated. China’s National Health Commission (NHC) on Thursday reported 63 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including 61 imported ones taking the total to 1,104 cases. Two more persons were killed due to the disease, taking the death toll in the country to 3,335. The overall coronavirus cases have reached 81,865 in the country.
After nearly three months of grim battle against the coronavirus, China is fast returning to normalcy with factories and business humming back to activity amid concerns over coronavirus rebound due to a steady rise of new infections, especially coming from thousands of Chinese returning from abroad.
US unemployment rises 6.6m in a week
With a startling 6.6 million people seeking jobless benefits last week, the United States has reached a grim landmark: More than one in 10 workers have lost their jobs in just the past three weeks to the coronavirus outbreak.
The figures collectively constitute the largest and fastest string of job losses in records dating to 1948. By contrast, during the Great Recession it took 44 weeks — roughly 10 months — for unemployment claims to go as high as they now have in less than a month, AP reported.
The job market is quickly unraveling as businesses have shut down across the country. All told, in the past three weeks, 16.8 million Americans have filed for unemployment aid. The surge of jobless claims has overwhelmed state unemployment offices around the country. And still more job cuts are expected.
One hundred Italian doctors have died of virus: medics
One hundred Italian doctors have died of the novel coronavirus since the pandemic reached the Mediterranean country in February, according to news agency AFP. This toll also includes retired doctors the government began calling in a month ago to help fight a coronavirus that has officially claimed 17,669 lives in Italy.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed thousands of lives around the world, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva Thursday said that due to the pandemic, the year 2020 could see the worst global economic fallout since the Great Depression in the 1930s with over 170 countries likely to experience negative per capita income growth.
The remarks were made by Georgieva during the Managing Director’s address on Confronting the Crisis: Priorities for the Global Economy at Washington ahead of the annual Spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank the following week.
Pakistan PM warns situation ‘can further deteriorate’ as tally reaches 4,414
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned that the situation due to coronavirus pandemic “can further deteriorate” and “hospitals may not be able to cope” with the increasing number of COVID-19 patients, as authorities on Thursday reported 340 new cases, taking the tally to 4,414.
The Ministry of National Health Services reported that the number of patients in worst-hit Punjab province was 2,171, Sindh 1,128, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 560, Gilgit-Baltistan 213, Balochistan 212, Islamabad 102 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 28.
According to the ministry, 63 people have died due to the infection, including five in one day. A total of 572 people have recovered. Thirty one people are in critical condition.
Iran says 117 new virus deaths take total past 4,000, mass Ramadan events may stop
Iran’s health ministry on Thursday said 117 new deaths from the novel coronavirus took the total to 4,110 in the country, one of the worst-hit by the disease, AFP reported. The ministry spokesman said another 1,634 people tested positive for the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall number of cases to 66,220.
Iran’s supreme leader suggested Thursday that mass gatherings in the Islamic Republic may be barred through the holy Muslim fasting month Ramadan amid the coronavirus pandemic. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made the comment in a televised address as Iran prepares to restart its economic activity while suffering one of the world’s worst outbreaks. He is also the highest-ranking official in the Muslim world to acknowledge the holy month of prayer and reflection will be disrupted by the virus and the COVID-19 illness it causes.
Russia’s coronavirus case tally surpasses 10,000 after record daily rise
Russia on Thursday reported a record one-day rise of 1,459 new cases of coronavirus, pushing its national case total to 10,131. The number of coronavirus-related deaths rose by 13 to 76, the national coronavirus crisis response centre said.
Spain reports slight drop in daily virus deaths
Spanish health authorities say that reported coronavirus infections and deaths have gone down again after a two-day uptick, hopefully signaling a return to the overall slowdown in the pandemic growth under a national lockdown, AP reported. The Health Ministry said Thursday that authorities reported 5,756 new cases and 728 new deaths over the previous 24-hour period. That is compared to new 6,180 cases and 757 new deaths on Wednesday.
Overall, Spain has 152,446 infections and 15,283 fatalities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, situating it as one of the world’s hardest-hit countries along with the United States and Italy. Over 52,000 patients have also recovered in Spain, as pressure has eased slightly on its hospitals.
New York sees biggest one-day death tally
New York, the hardest-hit state in America, reported 779 deaths – its highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in a single day on Wednesday. “Every number is a face, ” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who ordered flags flown at half-staff across New York in memory of the victims. “This virus attacked the vulnerable and attacked the weak, and it’s our job as a society to protect the vulnerable.”
US President Donald Trump said he would like to reopen the US economy with a “big bang” but that the death toll from the coronavirus needs to be on the downslope before that can happen. While he did not give a timeframe on when he would like to reopen the economy, but his chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said on Tuesday it was possible this could happen in four to eight weeks.
The United States deaths due to coronavirus topped 14,700, the second-highest reported number in the world behind Italy, according to a Reuters tally. New York state accounts for over a third of the US total. “We are in the midst of a week of heartache,” Vice President Mike Pence said. He also said that it’s not the time for retribution against China over the infection. He also said that Philadelphia is emerging as a potential hotspot for the coronavirus and urged its residents to heed social distancing guidelines.
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 9, 2020
China seeks to contain ‘silent carriers’ of coronavirus
China released new measures on Wednesday to try and prevent asymptomatic “silent carriers” of coronavirus from causing a second wave of infections, as the country reported another modest rise in new confirmed cases. Under the regulations, medical institutions must report the detection of asymptomatic cases within two hours of their discovery. Local governments must then identify all known close contacts of the case within 24 hours.
Asymptomatic patients will be quarantined collectively for 14 days and will be counted as confirmed cases if they start to show symptoms. People who have had close contact with them must also be quarantined for two weeks. The heightened sense of caution came as restrictions on the outbound movement of people from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak in China, were lifted on Wednesday after a virtual lockdown of more than two months.
WHO head defends handling of coronavirus pandemic against Trump criticism
In response to US President Donald Trump’s criticism of the agency, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for unity and a halt to “politicisation” of the global health crisis, specifically urging China and the United States to show “honest leadership”. Tedros, a former foreign minister of Ethiopia, rejected Trump’s suggestion that the WHO was “China-centric”, saying: “We are close to every nation, we are colour-blind.” “We will have many body bags in front of us if we don’t behave,” he added.
Tedros also rejected “racist slurs” against him, which he said had originated in Taiwan, and disclosed that he had also received a death threat during the crisis.
UK’s Johnson ‘improving’ as he fights COVID-19 in intensive care
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s condition is improving and he is able to sit up in bed and engage with clinical staff, said finance minister Rishi Sunak. Johnson was admitted to St Thomas’ hospital on Sunday evening with a persistent high temperature and cough and was transferred to intensive care on Monday. The 55-year-old British leader, who tested positive for the new coronavirus nearly two weeks ago, has received oxygen support but has not been put on a ventilator.
Spain close to reversing coronavirus curve, says PM
Spain’s latest coronavirus data is encouraging and the country is close to the beginning of a decline in the epidemic, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Thursday. “The fire starts to come under control,” he told parliament before a vote on the extension of a state of emergency by another two weeks until April 26.
France to extend lockdown as virus deaths soar in Europe, US
In France, one of the hardest-hit nations in Europe with more than 10,000 deaths, the government is mulling extending the lockdown, news agency AFP reported. President Emmanuel Macron will address the nation next week to explain the path forward. The confinement order issued on March 17 “will be extended” beyond the current deadline of April 15, an official close to Macron told AFP.
Staff from the Georgia Aquarium introduced month-old kittens — named Nemo, Dory, Guppy, Marlin and Bubbles — to exhibits of colorful fish and jellyfish last week.
The Georgia Aquarium has closed its doors in an effort to minimize the spread of coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/CuqClaTVcY
— TIME (@TIME) April 9, 2020
Other stories from across the globe
- Both President Trump and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the raw materials for anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) drug. First case of coronavirus among the Yanomami people on the country’s largest reservation for indigenous tribes was also reported.
- Forty-two of the 76 all-male Thailand Muslim pilgrims returning from a trip to a mass religious meeting organised by the Tablighi Jamaat in Indonesia have tested positive.
- President Vladimir Putin likened Russia’s fight against the coronavirus to its battles against medieval invaders and said the next few weeks would be decisive.
- South Korea says it has reported 39 more cases of the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, in a continued slowdown of the virus outbreak in the Asian country. But, the 39 new cases are the smallest daily jump since Feb. 20. South Korea recorded 47 and 53 new cases on Tuesday and Wednesday.
- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head on Wednesday said essential workers who are asymptomatic after exposure to a confirmed or suspected coronavirus case can return to work, but should wear face masks and take other precautions.
- Italy may start lifting some restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the new coronavirus by the end of April provided the slowing trend of the epidemic continues, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told the BBC in an interview on Thursday.
- Egypt will extend a nationwide night-time curfew by 15 days until April 23 and Ethiopia has also declared a state of emergency
- Cats can become infected with the new coronavirus but dogs appear not to be vulnerable, according to a study published on Wednesday, prompting the WHO to say it will take a closer look at transmission of the virus between humans and pets. Dogs, chickens, pigs and ducks are not likely to catch the virus, however, the researchers found.
- The fallout of the pandemic can wreak havoc on economies around the world could push around half a billion people into poverty, Oxfam said. Calling it a “deeper economic crisis than 2008,” the report said the global poverty could increase for the first time since 1990, adding that this could throw some countries back to poverty levels last seen some three decades ago.
Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?
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