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Tuesday, April 7: Coronavirus global update

As of 17.40 today more than 1,378,949 people have been infected across the world and over 78,113 have died but at the same time 294,370 people have recovered.

The USA is now the country with the most infected cases (377,499) ahead of Spain (140,510) who overtook Italy (132,547) in the last couple of days. Germany and France follow with 104,592 and 98,010 cases respectively

Confirmed deaths by country:
Italy: 16,523
Spain: 13,798
USA: 11,781
France: 8,911
UK: 6,159


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

18.04 Czech lawmakers approve extending state of emergency to end-April

Czech lawmakers on Tuesday approved extending a state of emergency until April 30, a shorter period than what the government had wanted for using the extraordinary legal framework to further tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s government had sought a one-month extension to May 11 for the state of emergency, which allows the cabinet to curb some rights of citizens, including freedom of movement or enterprise, and gives it more flexibility in areas such as public procurement.

17:33 Spain wants jobless, immigrants to cover farm shortfall

Spain moved on Tuesday to tackle a shortfall of farm workers due to the coronavirus crisis by authorizing the temporary hiring of tens of thousands of immigrants or jobless people.

Border restrictions and lockdowns have forced many foreign workers to stay at home during the peak food-harvesting season in Spain, which has the second highest death toll in the world from the COVID-19 disease.

But to unblock the production chain and prevent food shortages, the government said it would allow farms to take on between 75,000-80,000 people locally, many of whom would normally be barred from working as they receive benefits.

16:17  England death roll rises 758 to 5,655 

England’s hospital death toll from the coronavirus rose 758 to 5,655, the health service said.

The health service said 29 of the 758 dead had no known underlying health condition and were aged between 23 and 99 years old.

15:47 Japan declares state of emergency, stimulus

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday declared a state of emergency to fight coronavirus infections in major population centres and rolled out a nearly $1 trillion stimulus package to soften the economic blow.

The state of emergency, giving authorities more power to press people to stay at home and businesses to close, will last a month and be imposed in the capital, Tokyo, and six other prefectures, accounting for about 44% of Japan’s population.

15:24 Norway’s unemployment rises to record 15.4% 

Norway’s rate of unemployment rose to 15.4% on Tuesday, the Labour and Welfare Agency (NAV) said, the highest level on record, up from 14.7% on March 31, as the economy ground to a halt amid efforts to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

The Norwegian government announced last month emergency shutdowns of many public and private institutions, including schools and kindergartens, sending the economy into a tailspin and triggering hundreds of thousands of layoffs.

14:56 UK PM Johnson stable overnight and in good spirits

British prime minister Boris Johnson was stable overnight in intensive care after suffering a deterioration of his COVID-19 symptoms and he remains in good spirits, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

The spokesman told reporters the prime minister, who was admitted to hospital on Sunday, was receiving standard oxygen treatment and was breathing without any other assistance. He did not require a mechanical ventilator.

14:51 Spain deaths near 14,000 as pace ticks up again

The pace of coronavirus deaths in Spain ticked up for the first time in five days on Tuesday, with 743 people succumbing overnight, but there was still hope the national lockdown might be eased soon.

Tuesday’s toll from the health ministry compared to 637 people who died during the previous 24 hours, taking the total to 13,798, the second highest in the world after Italy.

Still, the proportional daily increase of 5.7% was about half that reported a week ago.

14:25 German lab did 332,414 tests last week

German labs processed 332,414 tests for the coronavirus last week, up 5.9% from a week earlier, a trade group said on Tuesday, adding that the industry had some spare capacity for more intense diagnostic activity if required by healthcare policy makers.

The ALM association of certified laboratories in Germany said in a media briefing that its tally covered about 85%-90% of all coronavirus testing carried out in Germany.

13:51 German economy could shrink by 4.2% 

Germany’s leading economic research institutes expect Europe’s biggest economy to shrink by 4.2% this year due to the effects of the coronavirus, two people familiar with the numbers told Reuters on Tuesday, before rebounding by 5.8% next year.

Envisaging a serious recession, the institutes are due to announce their latest forecasts on Wednesday.

Factories in Germany have stopped production and shops, businesses and restaurants have shut in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

13.38 Swiss coronavirus death toll rises to 641, positive tests surpass 22,000

The Swiss death toll from the new coronavirus has reached 641, the country’s public health agency said  on Tuesday, rising from 584 people on Monday.

13.19 Dutch government says no again to using eurobonds for virus crisis

The Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra repeated on Tuesday that the Netherlands would not support the use of “eurobonds” to combat Europe’s coronavirus outbreak and it would only support using the European Stablity Mechanism (ESM) with conditions.

“Eurobonds, I wouldn’t do that, and the cabinet also wouldn’t do that,” Hoekstra told parliament before a meeting of eurozone finance ministers, adding that there must always be conditions attached to using ESM.

13.03 WHO warns against easing coronavirus measures too early

The World Health Organization has no blanket recommendation for countries and regions for easing measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but urged them not to lift them too early, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

“One of the most important parts is not to let go of the measures too early in order not to have a fall back again,” said WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier in a virtual briefing.

12.56 UK minister Gove is self isolating as family member has COVID-19 symptoms

British Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove is self isolating as a member of his family is displaying COVID-19 symptoms, an ITV reporter said.

Gove, one of the most senior members of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government, continues to work, ITV said.

12.50 Iran records 133 new coronavirus deaths, toll at 3,872 – health official

Iran’s coronavirus death toll rose to 3,872 with 133 deaths in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV on Tuesday.

The total number of cases climbed to 62,589, with 2,089 new infections, while 3,987 infected people were in a critical condition, he said.

12.38 Spain’s coronavirus deaths up to 13,798 as pace ticks up again

The pace of coronavirus deaths in Spain ticked up slightly for the first time in five days on Tuesday, with 743 people succumbing overnight to reach a total of 13,798.

That compared to 637 people who died during the previous 24 hours in the nation with the second highest toll of fatalities in the world from the COVID-19 pandemic.

12.37 Malaysia reports 170 new coronavirus cases including 1 new death

Malaysian health authorities on Tuesday reported 170 new coronavirus cases, raising the cumulative tally to 3,963 cases as Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy grapples with the highest infection rate in the region.

The latest data includes one new death, raising total fatalities to 63.

12.36 Parisians banned from outdoor sports between 10am and 7pm

French authorities tightened their lockdown measures in the capital on Tuesday by banning Parisians from outdoors sports activity between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time, aiming to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.

The move came after many French politicians and doctors expressed dismay at the fact that the streets of Paris still feature people jogging or congregating near markets, despite government orders to get people to stay in as much as possible.

12.16 Indonesia records biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections

Indonesia confirmed on Tuesday 247 new coronavirus infections, taking the total to 2,738, said a health ministry official.

Achmad Yurianto, the official, reported 12 more deaths, taking the total to 221, while 204 people had recovered.

More than 14,300 coronavirus tests have been carried out.

12.13 UK’s Queen Elizabeth sends message of enduring appreciation to health workers

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday sent a message of “enduring appreciation and good wishes” to health workers around the world for World Health Day.

“I want to thank all those working in the healthcare profession for your selfless commitment and diligence as you undertake vitally important roles to protect and improve the health and well-being of people,” the queen said.

“My family and I send our enduring appreciation and good wishes,” the queen said.

11.58 Philippines reports 14 new coronavirus deaths, 104 more infections

The Philippines’ health ministry on Tuesday reported 14 new coronavirus deaths and 104 additional infections.

Deaths have reached 177 and total cases 3,764, Health Secretary Francisco Duque told a news conference.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier in the day extended to the end of April strict quarantine measures on the country’s main island implemented to contain the outbreak.

11.50 Swiss aid package could head off jobless surge – gov’t

Switzerland’s largest ever aid package launched to counter the economic impact of the new coronavirus epidemic should help the country avoid a massive wave of joblessness, the head of the government’s labour department said on Tuesday.

Although the unemployment rate will rise in the weeks ahead, measures like the extended short-time working compensation scheme will ease the burden on companies and workers, Boris Zuercher said.

11.45 Japan declares coronavirus emergency, prepares near $1 trln stimulus

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday declared a state of emergency to fight new coronavirus infections in major population centres and unveiled a stimulus package he described as among the world’s biggest to soften the economic blow.

Abe announced the state of emergency targeting the capital Tokyo and six other prefectures – accounting for about 44% of Japan’s population – for a period of about one month.

11.23 Too early to talk about easing of new cases in Germany yet – RKI

It is too early to talk about an easing of new cases of coronavirus in Germany, the head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases said on Tuesday.

“We need to wait a few days to see if there is a trend in the reports,” Lothar Wieler, president of the RKI, told reporters.

10.55 UK foreign minister Raab in charge, will decide on lockdown measures – Gove

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will run the country while Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care and any decision on lifting coronavirus lockdown restrictions won’t be delayed, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said on Tuesday.

“The person who is running the country, following the plan that the prime minister has set out, is Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary,” Gove said on ITV.

10.54 Sweden to run large deficits in 2020-2021 due to coronavirus crisis – debt office

Sweden will run large deficits in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak and the effects on the central government budget will be seen from April, the debt office said in a statement on Tuesday

10.52 China stocks end higher on stimulus, drop in new coronavirus cases

China stocks ended up more than 2% on Tuesday as markets resumed trading after a long weekend, with investor sentiment lifted by the government’s latest stimulus to shore up the world’s second-largest economy and a drop in cases of the new coronavirus.

** At close, the Shanghai Composite index was up 2.05% at 2,820.76.

** The blue-chip CSI300 index was up 2.28%, with its financial sector sub-index higher by 1.52%, consumer staples up 3.11%, real estate up 1.23% and healthcare up 2.63%.

** The smaller Shenzhen index ended up 3.18% and startups board ChiNext Composite index was higher by 3.31%.

** China’s central bank said on Friday it was cutting the amount of cash that small banks must hold in reserve, releasing around 400 billion yuan ($56.38 billion) in liquidity to shore up an economy jolted by the coronavirus outbreak.

** China has about 4,000 small and mid-sized banks. The latest cuts would lower their RRR to 6%.

10.35 Russia’s daily rise in coronavirus cases tops 1,000 for first time

The number of coronavirus cases in Russia rose by more than 1,000 for the first time to reach 7,497 in the past 24 hours, the country’s crisis response centre said on Tuesday.

The number of reported cases rose by 1,154 while deaths rose by 11 to 58, the centre said.

10.29 European shares climb as coronavirus cases slow

European shares rallied for a second straight day on Tuesday, with investors focusing on early signs that the coronavirus pandemic may be easing, even as major companies still take steps to shore up cash after lockdowns crushed global demand.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 2.7% at 0716 GMT – hitting its highest in almost a month, with governors of several hard-hit U.S. states pointing to tentative signs the outbreak might be starting to plateau.

Spanish stocks jumped 2.2% as coronavirus deaths slowed for a fourth day on Monday, prompting the government to contemplate a gradual easing of a nationwide lockdown.

10.27 UK minister says unaware of any pneumonia diagnosis for PM Johnson

One of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s most senior ministers said on Tuesday he was unaware of any possible pneumonia diagnosis for Johnson who is in intensive care with serious coronavirus symptoms.

When Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove was asked by BBC radio if he know whether doctors had diagnosed Johnson with pneumonia, he said: “I’m not aware of that”

Few details have been released about Johnson’s diagnosis.

10.20 Finland extends border controls until May 13

Finland’s government on Tuesday extended and tightened border controls restricting travel to and from the country until May 13 in order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Finland has followed with mounting concern neighbouring Sweden’s liberal pandemic strategy, fearing cross-border commuters could speed up the spread of the virus in northern parts of Finland with an ageing population and limited intensive care resources.

“The government’s aim is to further reduce movement in the inherent commute area across the borders with Sweden and Norway,” Finland’s government said in a statement.

10.09 Austrian finance minister says flexible on ESM, rules out euro bonds

Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel is willing to use a lot of flexibility with the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to help European partners recover economically from the coronavirus crisis but reiterated his opposition to common euro zone debt.

“There are other possibilities, like the European Investment Bank, and other things and the fact is that the existing instruments have not been used so I don’t understand the debate when you say you need this,” he told Germany’s ZDF television, when asked about euro bonds.

10.04 Swiss jobless expected to rise as coronavirus hits companies – govt

Switzerland’s jobless figures will rise in the coming months as the strict measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic could force even successful companies to shut down, a government official said on Tuesday.

“I believe unemployment will clearly increase,” said Boris Zuercher, the head of the labour department at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco).

“The longer this situation lasts, the harder it is to get out. If it continues like this for another three or four months, it will also affect solvent companies.”

09.40 France’s COVID-19 epidemic has not yet peaked- health minister

France has not yet reached the peak of its COVID-19 epidemic, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Tuesday.

“We are still in a worsening phase of the epidemic,” Veran told broadcaster BFM TV. He also said that the country’s lockdown would last as long as necessary.

France’s coronavirus figures on Monday showed that the rate of increase in fatalities – at almost 9,000 – sped up again after several days of slowing.

08.57 Dubai extends closure of commercial activities until April 18

Dubai, the commercial hub of the United Arab Emirates, has extended the closure of commercial activities until April 18 as part of efforts to contain coronavirus, the Dubai Economic Department said in a statement on Twitter.

During this period, sectors exempted from the lockdown will operate as usual, the statement said.

Dubai announced a two-week lockdown starting on April 4 at 8 p.m. (1600 GMT) to disinfect the emirate and contain the coronavirus.

08.55 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise to 99,225, deaths to 1,607

Germany’s confirmed coronavirus infections rose by 3,834 in the past 24 hours to 99,225 on Tuesday, rising again after four consecutive days of drops, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by 173 to 1,607.

Tuesday’s number of new cases was higher than the 3,677 new infections reported on Monday. Deaths had risen by 92 on Monday.

08.38 No change in British PM Johnson’s condition – sources

There has been no change in Boris Johnson’s condition, two sources close to him said on Tuesday, after the British prime minister was taken into intensive care following a deterioration in his coronavirus symptoms.

08.20 India will allow some exports of anti-malaria drug after Trump appeal

India will allow some exports of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday, after U.S. President Donald Trump urged New Delhi to release supplies of the drug seen as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

The Indian government had earlier put a hold on exports of hydroxychloroquine as well as on the pain reliever, paracetamol, saying it had to meet its internal demand. But Trump spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the weekend seeking supplies and later hinted that India may face retaliation.

08.17 Thailand reports 38 new coronavirus infections, one death

Thailand reported 38 new coronavirus infections and the death of a 54-year-old man on Tuesday, a spokesman for a government agency said.

In addition to 16 new cases, including imported ones, there are 17 patients linked to previous cases and five people who tested positive but await investigation into how they caught the disease, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman of the Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

05.46 Philippines extends coronavirus lockdown, home quarantine to end-April

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday approved the extension of lockdown and home quarantine measures covering more than half of the population, a crisis panel official said, in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The Philippines was among the first countries to adopt strict home quarantine measures.

05.36 Indonesia approves large-scale social restrictions for Jakarta -media

Indonesia’s health ministry has approved a request by the government of Jakarta to impose large-scale social restrictions in the city to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, media on Tuesday cited a ministry official as saying.

A health ministry spokeswoman, however, subsequently told Reuters that Jakarta’s request has yet to be approved.

05.30 China posts drop in coronavirus cases, Wuhan lockdown due to end

Mainland China reported on Tuesday a drop in new coronavirus cases after closing its borders to virtually all foreigners to curb imported infections, while the central city of Wuhan, epicentre of the outbreak, saw no new deaths for the first time.

China had 32 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Monday, down from 39 cases a day earlier, the National Health Commission said.

All of the 32 cases involved travellers arriving from overseas, compared with 38 imported cases a day earlier. The overall number of imported infections so far stands at 983, the health authority said.

3.39 Mexico reports 296 new coronavirus cases, bringing total to 2,439

Mexico has registered 296 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s total to 2,439 cases and 125 deaths, the health ministry said in a press conference on Monday.

3.09 Colombia extends coronavirus quarantine by two weeks

Colombia will extend a nationwide quarantine meant to stem the transmission of the coronavirus until April 27, President Ivan Duque said on Monday.

The lockdown was originally set to last 19 days, ending just before midnight on April 13. The Andean country announced its nationwide quarantine measures last month, before its infections passed 200.

“This isolation – which seeks the best of all of us – is exactly so we can keep saving lives, breaking the exponential growth of this pandemic,” Duque said during a live television broadcast.

More than 1,500 people have been confirmed infected with the coronavirus in Colombia and 46 have died. Infection numbers are lower than initially expected, Health Minister Fernando Ruiz said during the broadcast.

2.56 Panama reports 112 new coronavirus cases, bringing total to 2,100

Panama has registered 112 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s total to 2,100 confirmed cases and 55 deaths, the health ministry said on Monday.


What happened on Monday

EUROPE

  •  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to intensive care on Monday after his coronavirus symptoms worsened but he is still conscious.
  • The coronavirus is the European Union’s biggest ever challenge and member states must show greater solidarity so that the bloc can emerge stronger from the economic crisis unleashed by the pandemic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
  • Residents in Lombardy, Italy’s worst-hit region, scrambled for scarce protective face masks and makeshift alternatives after authorities ordered anyone moving outside to cover up.
  • The rate of deaths in Spain slowed for the fourth day on Monday as the government contemplated a gradual easing of a lockdown in the nation with the second-highest death toll.
  • France’s coronavirus figures on Monday showed that the rate of increase in fatalities – now at almost 9,000 – sped up again after several days of slowing.
  • Switzerland said it was too early to ease measures that restrict the spread of the new coronavirus, as neighbouring Austria sketched out plans to start loosening a national lockdown.
  • Norway’s health minister said the country’s epidemic was under control, pointing to low transmission rates.
  • The Czech Republic reported its slowest daily percentage rise in confirmed cases as the country entered a fourth week of restrictions.
  • Ireland’s prime minister re-registered as a medical practitioner and will work one shift a week to help out during the crisis.
  • Military forces across Europe have scaled back operations and imposed stricter rules on personnel to try to stem the spread among staff who often live and work in close quarters.
  • Denmark plans to reopen day care centres and schools for children in first to fifth grade on April 15 as a first step to gradually relax a three-week lockdown.
  • Poland’s ruling nationalists edged closer to a green light for holding a May presidential election as a postal ballot due to the pandemic.

AMERICAS

  •  The governors of New York and New Jersey said on Monday their states were showing tentative signs of a “flattening” of the outbreak, but they warned against complacency as total cases in the country reached 330,891, and death toll rose to 8,910.
  • Democratic Governor Tony Evers moved to postpone Wisconsin’s primary election from Tuesday until June 9, citing health risks from the pandemic, but Republicans said they would challenge the order in the state Supreme Court.
  • The White House trade adviser said members of the coronavirus task force clashed over the weekend about the efficacy of a malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, for use against the disease.
  • Canada said it was pressing Washington over a complaint that U.S. officials had blocked the export of three million face masks bought by the province of Ontario.
  • Mexico’s president unveiled an economic plan vowing to help the poor and create jobs, but his promise of fiscal discipline sparked criticism that the measures fell far short of what was needed.
  • Brazil’s education minister accused Chinese medical equipment makers of profiteering from the coronavirus pandemic, further souring diplomatic relations.

ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

  • China said it will work to further prevent cases imported through its land borders, as its number of asymptomatic cases surged.
  • Japan is to impose a state of emergency in Tokyo and six other prefectures as early as Tuesday, while the government prepares a $990 billion stimulus package.
  • Migrant workers living in vast Singapore dormitories cut off from the outside world due to the outbreak fear these are fast becoming a hotbed for infection.
  • India hopes to be testing 20,000 people daily by the end of the week, twice the current rate, while a statistical oddity in its testing data has sparked questions.
  • Indonesia announced its biggest daily increase in cases and a medical association said 24 doctors had now died.
  • Carnival Corp’s troubled Ruby Princess cruise liner, the biggest single source of coronavirus infections in Australia, docked south of Sydney.

MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

  • Saudi Arabia placed its capital Riyadh and other big cities under a 24-hour curfew, while Kuwait announced a full lockdown of two densely populated districts and extended a public holiday by two weeks until April 26.
  • Iran will never ask the United States for help in the fight against the coronavirus, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.
  • Kenya’s president ordered a halt to all movement in affected areas, including the capital Nairobi.
  • Ivory Coast police clashed with protesters who had begun dismantling a half-built coronavirus testing centre, afraid that people using the facility would spread the epidemic.
  • Syria is dragging its feet on releasing prisoners under an amnesty declared by President Bashar al-Assad, raising fears of mass infections, rights groups said on Monday.
  • More than 20,000 Pakistani workers stuck in the United Arab Emirates are seeking to return home, as the Gulf Arab state tightens restrictions.

ECONOMIC FALLOUT

  • World stock markets jumped on Monday, encouraged by a slowdown in coronavirus-related deaths and new cases in some global hot spots, although a delay in talks between Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut supply sent oil tumbling again.
  • A near total closure of U.S. businesses as authorities try to control the spread of the novel coronavirus could make U.S. economic data unreliable in the coming months and harder to get a clearer picture of the severity of the recession caused by the virus.
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to roll out an unprecedented economic stimulus package, equal to 20% of economic output. * The IMF cited limited but encouraging signs of recovery in China, but said it could not rule out a resurgence in China and elsewhere.
  • About 20 million jobs are at risk in Africa as the continent’s economies are projected to shrink this year.
  • Nigeria has requested a total of $6.9 billion from the IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank, the finance minister said on Monday.
  • Taiwan’s central bank pledged to double the amount of money earmarked to support small and medium-sized companies if needed.
  • Singapore unveiled $3.55 billion in additional economic spending such as wage support, waiver of levies and one-off payments.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co’s top boss, Jamie Dimon, said he sees a “bad recession” in 2020.

SPORTS

  • This year’s 149th Open Championship due to be held at Royal St George’s has been cancelled.
  • IndyCar cancelled a doubleheader race weekend in Detroit.
  • German soccer clubs were allowed to return to training on Monday, with some opting to train players in small groups.
  • The Indonesia Open has been cancelled, the Badminton World Federation said on Monday.

 

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