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Monday, April 6: Coronavirus global update

As of 10.50 today more than 1,284,750 people have been infected across the world and over 70,320 have died but at the same time 271,731 people have recovered.

The USA is now the country with the most infected cases (336,851) ahead of Spain (135,032) who overtook Italy (128,948) in the last couple of days. Germany and France follow with 100,123 and 92,839 cases respectively

Confirmed Deaths by country:
Italy: 15,887 Spain: 13,051 USA: 9,620 France: 8,078 UK: 4,934

CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN NUMBERS (updated continuously)

TRACKING THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS

THE VIRUS IN THE USA


All the latest news in brief as it happens

17:13 UK PM in hospital with persistent symptoms 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in hospital undergoing tests on Monday after suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms for more than 10 days, but the government said he was in good spirits and still in charge.

Johnson, 55, who tested positive for the virus on March 26, was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital in central London on Sunday night for “routine tests” with what Downing Street described as mild and then persistent symptoms.

His spokesman urged caution about media reports that Johnson was receiving oxygen treatment but refused to answer directly if he had pneumonia. Johnson, the government said, was still in charge of the government.

16:19 English death toll rises 403 to 4,897 

England’s hospital death toll from the coronavirus rose by 403 to 4,897, the National Health Service said.

The health service said 15 of the 403 patients had no known underlying health conditions.

15:18 France may see deepest post-WWII downturn

France will likely see its deepest economic downturn this year since the end of World War Two, far surpassing the slump seen after the global financial crisis, its finance minister said on Monday.

Bruno Le Maire told a Senate hearing by teleconference that euro zone’s second-biggest economy would likely contract more than it did in 2009.

“That shows the magnitude of the economic shock we are facing,” he said.

14:42 Austria plans to reopen shops next week

Austria’s government plans to start reopening shops from next week in an initial loosening of its coronavirus lockdown, saying on Monday the country was turning a corner though it widened a requirement to wear face masks.

The Alpine republic was broadly shut down three weeks ago, with schools, bars, restaurants, theatres, non-essential shops and other gathering places closed. The public has been told to stay at home and work from there if possible.

14:21 China to tighten controls at borders as cases rise

China will work to further prevent coronavirus cases imported through its land borders, the Chinese government said in a statement on Monday after a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.

The risk of the virus being imported into China via land borders is increasing and the number of such cases has exceeded those recorded at airports recently, the statement said.

14:01 Germany draws up plans to end lockdown after April 19

Germany has drawn up a list of measures, including an obligation to wear masks in public, limits on public gatherings and the rapid tracing of infection chains, that officials think should allow life to return to normal after lockdown’s scheduled end on April 19.

The proposals, contained in a draft action plan compilied by the Interior Ministry document and seen by Reuters on Monday, say the measures should be sufficient to keep the number of people infected by each person below 1 even as public life is allowed gradually to resume.

13.48 Japan’s Abe unveils ‘massive’ coronavirus stimulus worth 20% of GDP

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged on Monday to roll out an unprecedented economic stimulus package, equal to 20% of economic output, as his government vowed to take “all steps” to battle deepening fallout from the coronavirus.

The package, to be confirmed by the cabinet on Tuesday, will total 108 trillion yen ($989 billion), far exceeding one compiled in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis totalling 56 trillion yen in size, with fiscal spending of 15 trillion yen.

“We decided to carry out an unprecedentedly massive scale of economic package worth 108 trillion yen, or 20% of GDP, following the immense damage to the economy from the novel coronavirus,” Abe told reporters after a meeting with senior ruling party lawmakers.

13.32 Swiss coronavirus deaths hit 584, positive tests rise to 21,652

The Swiss death toll from the novel coronavirus has risen to 584, the country’s public health agency said on Monday, from 559 people on Sunday.

The number of positive tests also increased to 21,652 from 21,100 on Sunday, it said.

13.30 Hungary to give subsidized loans to firms, raise budget gap to 2.7%/GDP – PM Orban

Hungary will raise this year’s budget deficit to 2.7% of economic output from 1% to help finance an economic stimulus package including massive subsidized loans to Hungarian companies, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday.

Orban said the package, which would amount to 18%-20% of GDP including the central bank’s programmes, will help jump-start the economy, which has taken a major hit from the novel coronavirus pandemic.

13.28 PM Modi, lawmakers agree 30 pct salary cut as India deals with coronavirus

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top government figures will take a 30 percent salary cut this year, a government minister said on Monday, as the country tackles the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the economy.

Modi has imposed a three-week lockdown to halt the spread of the virus, but it has left millions without jobs and many of the more vulnerable sections of society struggling for food and shelter. The federal cabinet has approved a decree under which Modi, along with President Ram Nath Kovind, state governors and members of parliament, will take the salary cut as part of their social responsibility, cabinet minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters.

13.18 Iran death toll from coronavirus outbreak reaches 3,739 – health ministry

The death toll in Iran from the coronavirus outbreak has reached 3,739, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said on state TV on Monday.

The total number of people infected by coranavirus in the country has reached 60,500, he said.

13.16 France to see worst post-war downturn this year – minister

France will likely see its worst post-war economic downturn this year, far surpassing the -2.2% slump seen in 2009 after the global financial crisis, its finance minister said on Monday.

“We will probably be at more than the -2.2% in 2009. That’s shows the magnitude of the economic shock we are facing,” Le Maire told the Senate in hearing by teleconference.

13.14 Swedish Labour Board says 25,350 workers registered as unemployed last week

More than 25,000 Swedes registered as unemployed in the week between March 30 and April 5, the Labour Board said on Monday, amid a wave of layoffs as companies shut down due to the effects of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

“The number of new people signing on last week was somewhat higher than during any single week during the financial crisis of 2008, which says a lot about how serious the situation is,” Annika Sunden, chief analyst at the Labour Board said in a statement.

12.51 Spain’s coronavirus death toll slows further on Monday

The pace of Spain’s coronavirus deaths slowed again on Monday as 637 patients died overnight, taking the total to 13,055, the government said.

Though Spain has the second-highest death toll in the world after Italy, the number of deaths each day has been falling since Thursday’s peak of 950, according to health ministry figures.

Monday’s data showed total cases up to 135,032 from 130,759 the previous day.

12.49 Austria widening face-mask requirement while loosening lockdown

Austria will extend a requirement to wear face masks in supermarkets to include public transport and shops that reopen on April 14, Health Minister Rudolf Anschober and Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s office said on Monday.

Shortly after Kurz announced a loosening of Austria’s lockdown with the reopening of smaller shops next week, Anschober said that would happen in parallel with the requirement to wear a face covering.

A scarf or shawl can also be used instead of a mask, Kurz’s office said in a statement. (

12.46 British retailer Debenhams files notice of intent to appoint administrator

British department store chain Debenhams said on Monday it had filed a notice of intent to appoint an administrator to protect it from the threat of legal action during the coronavirus emergency.

It said legal action could have had the effect of pushing the business into liquidation while its 142 UK stores remain closed during the national lockdown.

12.35 Spain to widen coronavirus tests as hopes rise for easing lockdown

Spain said on Monday it plans to widen coronavirus testing to include people without symptoms as a first step towards slowly easing a lockdown in the nation with the second highest death toll from the global pandemic.

As with worst-hit Italy, Spain has seen the rate of new infections and deaths slow in recent days, giving cause for hope the peak has passed. On Sunday, it reported 674 fatalities in the previous 24 hours – a 6% increase in total, but half the pace of a week previously.

“We are preparing ourselves for de-escalation for which it is important to know who is contaminated to be able to gradually lift Spanish citizens’ lockdown,” Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez told TV station Antena 3.

12.33 Iran will never ask U.S. for coronavirus help -official

Iran will never ask the United States to help Tehran in its fight against the new coronavirus, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday, adding that Washington should lift its “illegal” sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

“Iran has never asked and will not ask America to help Tehran in its fight against the outbreak … But America should lift all its illegal unilateral sanctions on Iran,” Mousavi said in a televised news conference.

12.30 Austria plans to start reopening shops from next week

Austria plans to reopen smaller shops from next week in its first step to loosen a lockdown that has slowed the spread of the coronavirus, as long as the public continue to observe the lockdown broadly, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Monday.

Kurz told a news conference that since Austria had acted earlier than most countries, that gave it the ability to reopen shops sooner as well.

11.57 Hong Kong stocks hit 3-week high on easing virus fears, policy support

Shares in Hong Kong rose to their highest level in more than three weeks on Monday, as countries globally reported fewer new coronavirus deaths, and after the Chinese central bank released $56 billion to cushion the economic fallout from the pandemic.

*The Hang Seng index closed 2.2% higher at 23,749.12, having hit its highest level since March 13 during the session. The Hang Seng China Enterprises index rose 1.7%.

*The sub-index of the Hang Seng tracking energy shares gained 2.6%, the IT sector added 1.9%, the financial sector ended 1.6% higher and the property sector was up 2.7%.

11.52 Philippines reports 11 more deaths, 414 new coronavirus infections

The Philippines’ Health Ministry on Monday reported 11 additional deaths and 414 new infections from of the coronavirus outbreak.

In a bulletin, the ministry said total deaths in the Philippines had reached 163 and cases rose to 3,660, while 73 patients had recovered.

11.51 Indonesia reports biggest daily rise in coronavirus cases

Indonesia on Monday confirmed 218 new coronavirus cases, the biggest daily jump since the first cases were announced a month ago, taking the total number of infections to 2,491, a Health Ministry official said.

Achmad Yurianto, the official, said that 11 deaths had been recorded, taking the total to 209, while 192 people had recovered.

11.44 Poland expects peak of coronavirus infections in May, June

Poland is still at the beginning of its fight with the coronavirus, with the peak of infections expected in May and June, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday.

Speaking to the lower house of parliament, Morawiecki said Poland has some shortages of medical equipment. It plans to increase within days the number of daily coronavirus tests to 8,000-9,000 from the current 6,000-7,000, he said.

Poland has reported 4,201 coronavirus cases, including 98 deaths.

11.30 Britain’s BT commits to no job losses due to coronavirus crisis

Britain’s BT on Monday committed to no job losses related to the coronavirus crisis for the foreseeable future.

The firm said it would increase pay for “team member” workers and freeze pay for managers, while chief executive Philip Jansen said he would donate his salary for at least the next six months.

11.02 Czechs report slowest daily rise in coronavirus cases

The Czech Republic reported its slowest daily percentage rise in confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, as the country entered fourth week of restrictions on business and movement.

The country had 4,591 cases as of Sunday midnight, up 2.6% from the previous day, the Health Ministry said on its website. This was the lowest percentage increase since early March when the country had a handful of known infections.

This followed increases of 282 on Saturday, 332 on Friday and 269 on Thursday and was the lowest absolute daily increase since March 22.

Czech data on new cases have been lower on weekends as some laboratories do not process tests.

10.45 Russia’s coronavirus cases jump by almost 1,000 in 24 hours

Russia’s coronavirus case tally has risen to 6,343 in the past 24 hours, a record daily increase of 954, the country’s crisis response centre said on Monday.

Cases have been recorded widely, but Moscow remains the epicentre of the outbreak with 591 new cases, the centre said. Forty-seven people have died across the country, it said.

10.31 German clubs resume training amid tight virus restrictions

Bundesliga clubs were allowed to return to team training on Monday, with some opting to train players in small groups amid strict measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Soccer in the country has been suspended for almost a month and the German Football League (DFL) has said the ban will remain in place for the top divisions at least until April 30.

Clubs, however, were given the all clear to resume training this week, with champions Bayern Munich deciding to train players in small groups to minimise the risk of infection.

09.45 UK PM Johnson will continue to lead government, housing minister Jenrick says

Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to lead the government, housing minister Robert Jenrick said on Monday after the British leader spent the night in hospital for tests because he was still suffering symptoms of the coronavirus.

“He’s been working extremely hard, leading the government and being constantly updated, that’s going to continue,” Jenrick told BBC TV.

He is expected back to the office shortly

09.10 Swiss face shortage of ethanol for disinfectant after abandoning stockpile

Switzerland faces a shortage of the raw material needed to make disinfectant to tackle the coronavirus pandemic after the country abandoned its emergency reserve of 10,000 tonnes of ethanol two years ago, newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reported on Monday.

Switzerland keeps emergency stockpiles of everything from coffee, wheat, rice and cooking oil. In 2018, the country ended it longtime practice of stocking ethanol as part of efforts to privatise the country’s alcohol market, the Swiss newspaper said.

09.08 Norwegian Air’s March traffic tumbles 60% amid virus lockdown

Norwegian Air’s passenger volume fell by 60% year-on-year in March as the company gradually grounded its fleet amid global efforts to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The company has said it will cancel 85% of its flights in the time ahead and furlough 90% of staff while seeking financial aid from Norway’s government.

09.06 European stock index futures jump as coronavirus death toll slows

European stock index futures jumped more than 4% on Monday as a slowdown in coronavirus death toll in France and Italy raised hopes that lockdown measures were starting to show results.

Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 4.1% at 0600 GMT, with German DAX futures and French CAC futures gaining 4.5% and 4%, respectively.

Italy reported its lowest daily COVID-19 death toll for more than two weeks on Sunday, while France’s daily death toll from the novel coronavirus dropped and admissions into intensive care slowed.

08.37 Japan considering 6-month period for state of emergency -TBS

The Japanese government is considering a period of six months for the state of emergency that it is preparing to call in response to the coronavirus pandemic, broadcaster TBS reported on Monday.

The move would cover Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures as well as Osaka, TBS said, citing unidentified sources. Within the six-month period, these prefectures would decide the length of time for their individual measures, TBS said.

The government is preparing to announce a state of emergency as early as Tuesday, the broadcaster said.

07.52 Thailand reports 51 new coronavirus cases, three more deaths

Thailand reported 51 new coronavirus cases and three more deaths on Monday, according to a spokesman for the government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

Thirteen of the new cases were medical personnel who attended to infected patients or had activities with them, said the spokesman, Taweesin Wisanuyothin.

More than half of the new cases were in Bangkok, he said.

07.46 Germany reports fourth straight drop in daily rate of new coronavirus infections

Germany’s confirmed coronavirus infections rose by 3,677 in the past 24 hours to 95,391 on Monday, the fourth straight drop in the daily rate of new cases, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

The number of new cases was lower than the 5,936 new infections reported on Sunday.

The reported death toll rose by 92 to 1,434.

07.00 Japan’s PM Abe to declare state of emergency as soon as Tuesday -Yomiuri

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will declare a state of emergency as early as Tuesday in a bid to stop the coronavirus spreading across the country, the Yomiuri newspaper reported, as the cumulative number of infections topped 1,000 in Tokyo alone.

Abe will likely announce his plans to declare the emergency on Monday, the paper said, while Kyodo news agency said new measures would likely come into force on Wednesday.

04.51 American Airlines to temporarily suspend more flights in New York area

American Airlines Group Inc said late Sunday it would temporarily suspend more flights to three airports in the New York area, starting April 7, due to reduced demand in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

American Airlines said the new, temporary schedule will run through May 6, and include flights at New York’s JFK and LaGuardia airports and New Jersey’s Newark EWR.

They will only operate between 10 a.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET as turn-only operations with no aircraft or crews remaining overnight at the airports, the airline said.

04.31 S.Korea reports fewer than 50 new coronavirus cases for first time since Feb. 29 peak

South Korea reported fewer than 50 new coronavirus cases on Monday for the first time since its Feb. 29 peak, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said.

The KCDC reported 47 new infections, taking the national tally to 10,284. The death toll rose by three to 186.

03.50 China reports increase in new coronavirus cases on April 5; one death

Mainland China reported 39 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, all but one of them imported from abroad, up from the 30 reported a day earlier, as the number of asymptomatic cases also surged.

The National Health Commission said in a statement on Monday that 78 new asymptomatic cases had been identified as of the end of the day on Sunday, compared with 47 the day before. Only one new death was recorded on April 5, the new data showed.

03.13 Mexico registers 2,143 coronavirus cases, 94 deaths

Mexico on Sunday had registered 2,143 cases of the novel coronavirus in the country, an increase of 253 cases from a day earlier, the health ministry said.

The number of deaths linked to the virus rose by 15 to 94.


What happened on Sunday

EUROPE

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests on Sunday after showing persistent symptoms of the coronavirus, 10 days after testing positive.
  • Queen Elizabeth told the British people on Sunday that they would overcome the outbreak if they stayed resolute in the face of lockdown and self-isolation.
  • Britain will have to impose more curbs on outdoor exercise if people flout lockdown rules, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
  • France’s daily death toll fell in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Sunday. Data showed 357 people died in hospitals, compared with 441 in the previous 24 hours, taking the total toll in hospitals to 5,889.
  • Italy’s health minister outlined plans for broader testing and beefed-up health services as part of a package of measures that would follow a future easing of the country’s lockdown.
  • The rate of new infections and deaths in Spain slowed again as the country, one of the worst hit by the pandemic, began its fourth week under a near-total lockdown.
  • Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar re-registered as a medical practitioner and will work one shift a week to help out during the coronavirus crisis.
  • Pope Francis marked a surreal Palm Sunday in an empty St. Peter’s Basilica, urging people living through the pandemic not to be so concerned with what they lack but how they can ease the suffering of others.
  • Scotland Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood resigned on Sunday after she flouted her own advice to stay at home by travelling to her second home on two successive weekends.

AMERICAS

  • * U.S. President Donald Trump said the United States was seeing a “leveling-off” of the coronavirus crisis in some of the hot spots, even as a senior official warned the country was entering the “hardest” week of the crisis.
  • A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City tested positive, in the first known case of COVID-19 in an animal in the United States or a tiger globally.
  • Over 336,000 people have tested positive and more than 9,500 have died in the United States, according to a Reuters tally. * Deaths in Canada has jumped by just over 20% to 258 in a day, officials said on Sunday, while Ottawa offered full-time jobs to reservists in the armed forces.
  • Panama on Sunday said total cases stood at 1,988, a rise of 187 cases from a day earlier. The number of deaths increased by eight to 54.
  • Mexico said total cases were 2,143, an increase of 253 cases from a day earlier. The number of deaths rose by 15 to 94. * Barbados on Sunday reported its first virus-related death.
  • Haiti on Sunday reported its first death, with 21 confirmed cases of the respiratory disease.
  • Brazil’s lower house of Congress approved a constitutional amendment for a “war budget” to separate coronavirus-related spending from the government’s main budget and shield the economy as the country surpassed 10,000 confirmed cases.

ASIA

  • Mainland China reported 30 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, up from 19 a day earlier as the number of cases involving travellers from abroad as well as local transmissions increased, highlighting the difficulty in stamping out the outbreak.
  •  South Korea reported fewer than 50 new cases for the first time since its Feb. 29 peak. The country reported 47 new infections, taking the tally to 10,284. The death toll rose by three to 186.
  • Thailand reported 51 new cases and three more deaths. Thailand has confirmed 2,220 cases and 26 fatalities since the outbreak in the country in January.
  • Turkey’s death toll has risen by 73 to 574 in the last 24 hours, with new confirmed cases jumping by 3,135 to total 27,069.
  • India is restricting the export of most diagnostic testing kits, as coronavirus cases topped 3,350 on Sunday. The country is under a three-week nationwide lockdown.
  • Carnival Corp’s troubled Ruby Princess cruise liner, the biggest single source of Australia’s 5,687 COVID-19 cases, docked at a port on Australia’s east coast on Monday to help remove crew who need urgent medical treatment and to refuel the ship to send it away.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

  • About 20 million jobs are at risk in Africa as the continent’s economies are projected to shrink this year due to the impact of the pandemic, according an African Union (AU) study.
  • Dubai imposed a two-week lockdown and Saudi Arabia sealed off parts of the Red Sea city of Jeddah as Gulf states tightened measures in big cities to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Franciscan friars wearing surgical masks and gloves made house calls in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, delivering olive branches to Christians who are self-isolating.
  • The United Arab Emirates will reinforce its stockpile of strategic goods and waive residency visa fines for the rest of the year in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

ECONOMIC FALLOUT

  • * Oil prices skidded after Saudi-Russian talks to cut output were delayed, while stocks jumped as investors were encouraged by a slowdown in coronavirus-related deaths and new cases.
  • British consumer confidence has recorded its biggest fall in more than 45 years, a survey showed on Monday, as a widening shutdown of the economy to slow the spread of the coronavirus hammered households’ financial hopes.
  • The Bank of England will not resort to irreversibly printing money in order to fund a surge in government spending as it tries to shield Britain’s economy, its governor Andrew Bailey said.
  • The job losses suffered in March as the U.S. economy shut down were widespread but still were disproportionately felt in a handful of employment sectors and by women, the young and the less educated.

SPORTS

  • FIFA is getting ready to deal with complaints and appeals over wage cuts for players, producing guidelines for clubs and football bodies looking to cut costs during the stoppage caused by the pandemic, an internal document seen by Reuters showed.

 



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