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COVID-19 global updates, 16 April: UK extends lockdown for 3 more weeks; New York extends till May 15

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Tracker Global Latest Updates: Globally, more than 1,30,000 deaths since the outbreak began. The total number of infections is also highest in the US at 608,458 – an increase of 26,385 cases from its previous count.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
April 16, 2020 10:32:25 am
Pallbearers wearing full PPE stand behind the grave of Benedict Somi Vilakasi during his funeral ceremony at the Nasrec Memorial Park outside Johannesburg Thursday, April 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Coronavirus Latest Updates: Confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide passed 2 million on Thursday, with more than 1,38,000 deaths since the outbreak began. The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States approached 31,000, the highest so far. This is followed by Italy (21,645) and Spain (19,130). The total number of infections is also highest in the US at 608,458 – an increase of 26,385 cases from its previous count, followed by Spain (173,060), Italy (162,488), Germany (132,210) and France (131,361).

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Meanwhile, on late Wednesday, the head of the World Health Organization said it regretted the US decision to halt funding. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the US has been “a longstanding and generous friend to WHO and we hope it will continue to be so.” Tedros saID WHO remained committed to slowing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and it would work with its partners to ensure that any funding shortfall could be met.

Here’s all the global news that you should know:

US: New York extends lockdown till May 15

People wearing masks cross the street at Langston Hughes Place in Harlem, Wednesday night, April 15, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic in New York. Known as “The City That Never Sleeps,” New York’s streets are particularly empty during the pandemic. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

New York, the most populous city of the United States, has extended the state-wide lockdown till May 15. Governor Andrew Cuomo cited data showing conditions were improving but adding that “we have to continue what we are doing.”

“I would like to see that infection rate get down even more,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing, reporting that 606 more people had died in the US COVID-19 epicenter, the lowest daily toll in 10 days.

UK extends lockdown by 3 more weeks

The UK government has announced to extend the nationwide lockdown by an additional three weeks as health officials said the coronavirus outbreak – one of Europe’s worst – was nearing its peak. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “Any change to our social distancing measures now would risk a significant increase in the spread of the virus.”

The lockdown was imposed on March 23, shutting down schools, pubs, restaurants and most shops. Chief Scientific Officer Patrick Vallance said that while transmission of the virus has been dramatically reduced, “we run the risk of a second peak” if the lockdown is loosened now.

A man reads a newspaper with the headline: ‘PM in intensive care’, outside St Thomas’ Hospital in central London as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care fighting the coronavirus in London, Tuesday, April 7, 2020.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson a government adviser said easing restrictions would also require vastly expanded testing for the virus so that people who are ill and their contacts can be isolated or quarantined.

Spain sees over 500 new deaths, 5,183 Covid-19 cases

In another sharp increase in the daily tally, Spain has recorded 551 new Covid-linked deaths and over 5183 cases. The official fatality toll rose to 19,130 with 182,816 people who have contracted the virus. Health Minister Salvador Illa says that at least 1312 or a quarter of Thursdays new infections were identified by the new rapid antibody tests that are also able to identify those who already passed the illness or show no symptoms.

Health workers applaud during a memorial for their co-worker Esteban, a male nurse that died of the coronavirus disease, at the Severo Ochoa Hospital in Leganes in Leganes, Spain, Friday, April 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

US: 17 bodies found at nursing home in New Jersey

A morgue intended to hold no more than four people, saw 17 bodies piled inside in a town in New Jersey in US, earlier this week. The police in a small New Jersey town acted upon an anonymous tip about a body being stored in a shed outside one of the largest nursing homes in the US. Upon arrival, the police removed the corpse from the shed only to discover 17 more bodies in a small morgue.

Workers wearing personal protective equipment bury bodies in a trench on Hart Island in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

“They were just overwhelmed by the amount of people who were expiring,” said Eric C. Danielson, the police chief in Andover, a small township in Sussex County, the state’s northernmost county, according to the New York Times.

The 17 deceased were among 68 recent deaths linked to the long-term care facility, Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center I and II, including two nurses, officials said. (Read more)

China may be hit by second wave of coronavirus in November

Top medical experts have warned China and other countries could be hit by a second wave of coronavirus in November. Zhang Wenhong, who heads the Covid-19 clinical expert team in Shanghai and leads the infectious disease department at one of the eastern metropolitan city’s top hospitals, expects that in the long term, countries will have to take a flexible approach to recurring outbreaks.

Passengers from Wuhan stand in lines designating where they will quarantine in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/Sam McNeil)

While countries around the world may be able to bring the deadly pandemic under adequate control by autumn, the coming winter may bring a second wave of infections in China and elsewhere, he said.As of Wednesday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in China reached 82,341. Altogether 3,342 people have died of the disease, according to the National Health Commission of China. (PTI)

Trump calls latest data on COVID-19 in US ‘encouraging’

President Donald Trump says data indicates the US is “past the peak” of the COVID-19 epidemic, clearing the way for his plans to roll out guidelines to begin to “reopen” the country. Speaking during his daily press briefing, Trump called the latest data “encouraging,” saying they have “put us in a very strong position to finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country.” Trump said those guidelines will be unveiled Thursday at the White House. The guidelines are expected to clear the way for an easing of social distancing guidelines in areas with low transmission of the coronavirus, while keeping them in place in harder-hit places. The ultimate decisions will remain with governors.

A few of them have began cautiously preparing Americans for a post-virus life that would likely include public face coverings as the “new normal.”The governors of Connecticut, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania each issued orders or recommendations that residents wear face masks as they emerge from isolation in the coming weeks.

France reports decrease in number of COVID-19 patients

For the first time since the virus outbreak began in the country, France reported a decrease in numbers of COVID-19 patients at hospitals. National health agency chief Jerome Salomon says there were about 500 fewer people infected with the virus at hospitals than the day before. Numbers of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units dropped for the seventh straight day, he added.

Read | In a single room flat in Abu Dhabi, 6 roommates and a COVID patient

The overall death toll from the disease in France has risen to 17,167, including 10,643 at hospitals and 6,524 in nursing homes. Salomon urged the French to keep enforcing strict confinement rules with the lockdown in the country extended to May 11. “We must remain vigilant,” he said.

Around 3,000 people remain hospitalised with COVID-19  in China

China, the first country hit by the coronavirus pandemic, is cautiously beginning to get back to business, but it’s not easy with many millions of workers wary of spending much or even going out. Factories and shops nationwide shut down as the illness expanded beyond central China. Millions of families were told to stay home under unprecedented lockdown restrictions that have been copied by the United States, Europe and India.

Medical personnel prepare to swab a patient as Morgan County Health Department begins its first day of COVID-19 testing at the site, Wednesday, April 15, 2020, in Decatur, Ala. (Dan Busey/The Decatur Daily via AP)

The worst of the outbreak, which China says has killed 3,342 of the 82,341 people testing positive there as of Thursday, may have passed. But the trauma inflicted on Chinese lives and the economy is likely to linger for much longer. The country reported 46 new virus cases on Thursday, 34 of them brought from outside the country, but no new deaths from the outbreak.  Around 3,000 people remain hospitalized with COVID-19 or under isolation and monitoring for showing signs of the illness or testing positive but not displaying symptoms.

Singapore witnesses third straight day of sharp daily spikes

In Singapore, 447 new coronavirus cases were recorded, it’s third straight day of sharp daily spikes, to raise its tally to 3,699. The number of infections has jumped by 1,167 since Monday, mostly linked to crowded dormitories that house foreign workers from Bangladesh, India and other poorer Asian countries.

Also read | IMF proposes to deploy full USD 1 trillion lending capacity to support countries battling COVID-19

Despite successfully managing the first wave of infections, Singapore has overlooked this vast population of foreign workers who live in dormitories that typically house up to 20 men in a room with shared kitchen, toilets and other facilities. Tens of thousands of workers have been quarantined in their dormitories, while some were moved to alternative sites to reduce crowding. The health ministry said in a statement late Wednesday that the significant rise in cases among foreign workers, that now account for about half of total infections, were expected partly due to ongoing tests at the dormitories. About a fifth of total cases were detected in one single dormitory.

Artist Sebastian Wien shows a coronavirus sculpture at his studio in Dortmund, Germany Wednesday, April 15, 2020. He created the sculpture with the title “Here and Now,” which consists of two hemispherical shells made of steel, to which screws are welded. (Bernd Thissen/dpa via AP)

The city-state of nearly six million people has imposed a partial lockdown until May 4, and made it mandatory for people to wear masks outside of their homes to curb the virus transmission. Ten people have died so far from the virus.

Canada’s lockdown to last ‘many more weeks’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada’s lockdown will last “many more weeks” and warned Canadians if the economy is reopened too soon all the sacrifices they are making now might be for nothing as the country could see another peak in coronavirus cases. Trudeau says Canada is still “a number of weeks away” from being able to start to reopen and urged Canadians to be patient. He says once there is some reopening there is going to be a need for rapid testing on a wide scale and extensive contact tracing for those who test positive. He says once Canada is past the first wave government needs to have the capacity to stamp out any future outbreaks. His remarks are his strongest yet against loosening economic restrictions too soon. Canada has more than 27,557 confirmed cases including 954 deaths.

Two women wearing masks as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus stand at a window while they watch as soldiers of the Revolutionary Armed Forces clean the streets with a bleach solution in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Cuban authorities are requiring the use of masks for anyone outside their homes. (AP Photo / Ramon Espinosa) Soldiers of the Revolutionary Armed Forces wearing masks as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus prepare to clean the streets with a bleach solution in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, April 15, 2020. Cuban authorities are requiring the use of masks for anyone outside their homes. (AP Photo / Ramon Espinosa)

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