10th April 2020 – United Kingdom 

# Cases


New Cases







Source: Public Health England and news reports. (Public Health England Web Site)
*=Interim Figures / Key: UK USA Other
** A  new process for collecting numbers of recovered patients is in development: the figure shown is for 22/03/2020.


More news coming soon

23:27 Riot rocks prison in Kansas

Things were already tense at a prison in Lansing, Kansas. A dozen inmates and 14 staffers got sick from Covid-19, and officials gave out cloth masks to try and stop the infection from spreading further. Then, on Thursday, some of the prisoners began to set fires and smash windows. The uprising lasted several hours, and it is not clear why it started. No-one was badly hurt during the melee, and the facilities were locked down again by early the following day.

The violence at the prison – which houses about 150 inmates – is the latest sign that people in confinement are becoming increasingly desperate. Hundreds of people have been infected in US prisons and jails, according to data compiled by the New York Times, and more than two dozen have died. Prisoners try to protect themselves against the disease as best they can. In some places, such as in Lansing, they have begun to express their rage in a violent manner.

22:16 Apple and Google team up to trace virus contacts

Apple and Google are jointly developing technology to alert people if they’ve recently come into contact with others infected with coronavirus. Their plan is to initially help contact-tracing apps from public health authorities to run efficiently. Ultimately, they plan to develop a separate “Bluetooth-based contract tracking platform” to gather extensive data which apps from public health authorities can access. The two companies believe their approach addresses privacy concerns. People using the service will do so voluntarily, and no GPS location data or personal information will be recorded.

22:05 Turkey orders 48-hour curfew

Turkey has imposed a two-day curfew in 31 of its largest cities as it attempts to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The country’s interior minister said all residents in those cities, including the capital Ankara and Istanbul, will be required to stay at home from midnight on Friday. Warm and sunny weather has been forecast for much of the country over the weekend, prompting concern social-distancing rules may be flouted. Turkey’s coronavirus death toll jumped by 98 on Friday, with the total now at 1,006. Its total number of confirmed cases is now 47,029, a rise of 4,747 in 24 hours.

21:55 Yemen ‘faces nightmare’ as first case confirmed

Aid agencies have expressed alarm after the first virus case was confirmed in Yemen, where years of civil war have devastated health systems. Oxfam said it was a “devastating blow”, while the International Rescue Committee called it a “nightmare scenario”. Yemen is suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and millions are reliant on food aid. Diseases including cholera, dengue and malaria are rife and only half of hospitals are fully functional. News of the first Covid-19 case came a day after the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen began a ceasefire, saying it wanted to help stop coronavirus spread and support UN peace efforts.

20:54 Epidemic under control in Romanian hospitals, official says

The situation in Romania’s hospitals is under control despite localised problems caused by the spread of coronavirus, a government official has told the BBC. The country has struggled to contain the spread of the virus, not helped by the return of 250,000 Romanians from jobs elsewhere in Europe during March. Almost 5,500 people have tested positive, 257 have died, and a similar number of new infections were reported in the last 24 hours. In the north-eastern city of Suceava, the hospital became the centre of contagion, with 182 medical staff infected. Elsewhere in the western city of Timisoara, 10 newborn babies tested positive for the virus, despite none of their mothers having the disease. Of those babies, seven have since tested negative. A criminal investigation has been launched, the director of the public health authority fired, and the hospital re-organised.

20:28 Italy PM extends lockdown to May

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has extended Italy’s nationwide lockdown until 3 May. The first nationwide lockdown was imposed on 9 March until 3 April but was later extended to 13 April. The tight lockdown in Italy appears to be working. Its latest 24-hour death toll is 570, continuing a declining trend. But Italy still has the world’s highest overall death toll, which currently stands at 18,849.

20:21 Football legend Dalglish tests positive for virus

Liverpool and Scotland football legend Sir Kenny Dalglish has tested positive for coronavirus and is in hospital but showing no symptoms. The 69-year-old was admitted to hospital on Wednesday for treatment of an infection and tested positive for Covid-19 after a routine test. His family said in a statement “he looks forward to being home soon”. Dalglish played over 500 games for Liverpool and also managed the club on two occasions. He also won more than 100 caps for Scotland.

19:59 France reports 987 more deaths

France has reported 987 more deaths of people who had coronavirus. The total death toll in France has now risen to 13,197. However, the number of patients in intensive care fell for the second day in a row, top health official Jérôme Salomon told reporters, describing the trend as a “ray of sunshine”. Deaths increased by 554 to 8,598 in hospitals and by 433 to 4,599 in homes for the elderly and dependant, he said. France has the third highest coronavirus death toll in the world, surpassed only by Spain and Italy. A tally by Johns Hopkins University says there are more than 118,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in France, the fifth highest in the world.

19:29 Republic of Ireland death toll rises by 25

A further 25 people with coronavirus have died in the Republic of Ireland. It brings the number of deaths to 288. There are now more than 7,000 confirmed cases of the virus in the country. It comes after Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar announced that restrictions on public movement will remain in place until 5 May.

18:55 Whitehouse Press Briefing

 US President Donald Trump has begun his daily briefing, with the latest updates from the White House coronavirus task force.

US President Donald Trump says he sees “tremendous progress” in saving lives. “In the midst of grief and pain we are seeing clear signs that our aggressive strategy is saving countless lives,” he said. While saying the number of deaths was “horrible”, he added: “We’re saving so many lives compared to what it could have been. They’re saying 100,000 lives on the minimum side. “We’ll see what it ends up being, but it looks like we’re heading to a number substantially below 100,000.” “That’s a lot fewer than we were originally told and thinking. They said between 100,000 and 220,000 lives on the minimum side, and up to 2.2 million lives if we didn’t do anything.”

President Donald Trump has said that the US is in “very good shape” in preparing itself for a “surge” of the virus that is to come. “We are in great shape with ventilators and protective clothing,” Trump said. “We are not getting any calls from governors. “We are getting very few calls from governors needing anything. “They are in great shape for the surge that is coming.”

President Trump says he will make an announcement on funding to the World Health Organization next week. He has previously said he would consider ending US funding for the UN agency, accusing them of being biased towards China and saying they “really blew” their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

US President Donald Trump says more than two million coronavirus tests have now been completed in the US. “We’re conducting approximately 100,000 more every day,” he said. “We’re also working to bring a blood-based serology test to the market as quickly as possible so Americans can determine whether or not they have already had the virus and potentially have immunity. “The FDA are currently validating these antibody tests to ensure that they are accurate. They’re doing that at breakneck speed, we are going to get them approved very quickly. We are leading the world now in testing, by far.”

Earlier New York – the epicentre of the outbreak in the US – had some positive news, with hospitalisations down. Deborah Birx, a member of the president’s coronavirus task force, said as encouraging as the signs are, the US “has not reached the peak”. “Every day we need to continue to do what we did yesterday and the day before and before that,” she said. “That is what will take us across the peak and down the other side.” Earlier in the briefing President Trump said “nationwide the number of new cases per day is flattening substantially, suggesting we are near the peak”.

Dr Jerome Adams, the US Surgeon General, takes the podium to speak about how there has been a larger impact of coronavirus on minority American communities. “It’s alarming but it’s not surprising that people of colour have a greater burden of chronic health conditions,” he says. “African Americans and Native Americans develop high blood pressure at much younger ages. “Puerto Ricans have higher rates of asthma and black boys are three times as likely to die of asthma as their white counterparts. “As a matter of fact, I have been carrying an inhaler in my pocket for 40 years out of fear of having a fatal asthma attack. I hope by showing you this inhaler it shows little kids with asthma across the country that they can grow up to be Surgeon General one day.” He goes on to say that people of colour are both more likely to be exposed to Covid-19 and have increased complications from it. “We tell people to wash their hands, but as studies show, 30 percent of the homes in Navajao Nation don’t have running water,” he says. “It’s even more important in communities of colour we adhere to the task force guidelines to slow the spread.”

President Trump says he has a date “in mind” for loosening restrictions but will not make changes until he knows the country will be healthy. “We are looking at a date – we hope we will fulfil a certain date – but we are not doing anything until we know this country will be healthy,” Trump said. “We are not going to start doing it [applying restrictions] over again, even if it will be in a smaller scale.”

Asked about his statement last month that anyone who wants a test can get a test, Trump says that there are some places which don’t need them. “There’s not a lot of issues with testing,” he says. “We go to Iowa, we go to Nebraska, Idaho it’s very interesting because they had a few small breakouts – but they are very capable states, with big distances, a lot of land, a lot of opening. You don’t need testing there. “Where you have a state with a small number of cases, some states with almost none- you don’t have to test every person in the state of Iowa, as an example. “You don’t need that. That being said if there’s a little hot corner someplace, we’ll be testing. “We’re going to do testing, but you don’t need to test 325 to 350 million people because it’s unnecessary, vast areas of our country don’t need this.”

President Trump said he wants to reopen the country “as soon as possible” but “facts will determine” when he does so. Current restrictions in the US are set to end on 30 April. Asked if he was overly determined to reopening the country on that date, Trump said: “I would love to open, I’ve not determined anything. The facts will determine what I do.” He said he will announce a new council on Tuesday, made up of doctors and businessmen tasked with discussing when the country could reopen. Trump named the council the “opening our country council”. “We are going to have great business leaders and doctors,” he said. “We will be announcing names on Tuesday and that will play a role [in deciding when the country can reopen]. “I want to get open as soon as possible. This country is meant to be open and vibrant.”

US President Donald Trump said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s approval rating “must be about 300%”. Johnson tested positive for coronavirus on 27 March and has been in hospital since Sunday, including four days in intensive care. He had been leading the UK’s response to the coronavirus but some have criticised his handling of the crisis. Trump said he had called Johnson’s “group” to wish him well but had not spoken to the Prime Minister. “His approval rating must be about 300%,” Trump added. “He is a great guy. “He was a great guy before and people see what he has been through. What he has been through has been incredible.”

18:53 Private jet carrying holidaymakers sent back to UK

A private jet carrying holidaymakers has been sent back to the UK by French police after those on board attempted to reach a villa in Cannes during the lockdown. Ten people were declined entry into France after arriving at Marseille airport from London last Saturday, French news channel BFMTV reports. There were reportedly three women aged 24 and 27 and seven men aged between 40 and 50 on board. Those on board were of Croatian, German, French, Romanian and Ukrainian nationality.

18:38 Worldwide coronavirus deaths pass 100,000

The death toll for the coronavirus now stands at 100,376, according to Johns Hopkins University. Italy has seen the most deaths, followed by the US and Spain.

18:32 World risks a ‘deadly resurgence’ of coronavirus, WHO chief warns

The world risks a “deadly resurgence” of coronavirus cases if countries lift social-distancing restrictions too quickly, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was important for countries to have effective strategies for gradually and safely easing restrictions on life. “The WHO wants to see restrictions lifted as much as anyone,” Dr Tedros said. “At the same time, lifting restrictions too quickly could lead to deadly resurgence. The way down can be as deadly as the way up if not managed properly.” His comments come as some of the worst-affected countries in the world, from the US to Italy and Spain, consider easing some restrictions.

17:56 Hope in Italy as death toll drops again

There was a glimmer of hope in Italy on Friday as the country saw another drop in the number of deaths from coronavirus. A total of 570 people died in the last 24 hours, down from 610 on Thursday. This takes the death toll to 18,849. Italy’s deadliest day was on 28 March with 971 deaths. More than 147,000 people have now tested positive for the virus, according to the Civil Protection agency.

The hardest hit area of the country remains the Lombardy region, which now counts 10,238 victims. But there will be hope in Italy – which currently has the world’s highest death toll – that the latest figures are another sign that the country is past the worst of the crisis.

17:02 UK Press Conference

Health Secretary Matthew Hancock is leading the government briefing in the continued absence of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Matt Hancock says the government’s plan is to “protect life and protect the NHS”. He says it is a “national effort”, but this Easter will be a “test of the nation’s resolve”. England’s health secretary adds: “However warm the weather, however tempting the beach or park, we need everyone to stay at home. “NHS staff are battling day and night to keep desperately sick people breathing and they need you to stay at home.”

Matt Hancock says the number of deaths across the UK of people in hospital who tested positive for coronavirus has now reached 8,958 – a 980 increase on yesterday. “We never forget behind this number, behind each one is a name, a loss and a family which will never be the same again.” He also repeats the news Boris Johnson’s condition is improving, and praises the care he has got from the NHS. He says 19,116 tests have been carried out across Great Britain, with 5,706 testing positive.

Matt Hancock says there is now testing capacity for all NHS workers, and 15 drive-in testing centres are now open across the country. He then moves onto the issue of protective equipment for healthcare workers. England’s health secretary says there is “huge international demand for PPE and a global squeeze on supply”. In the UK, in normal times, suppliers deliver to 233 hospital trusts, but Mr Hancock says right now 58,000 separate health care providers need PPE. He asks people to use the equipment they clinically need – “no more, no less”.

Matt Hancock has unveiled a new “PPE plan” with three strands. He says the first is on guidance – about “being clear who needs PPE, when they need it and who does not”. Mr Hancock says there is enough PPE to go round, but only if it is used within guidance as it is a “precious resource”. The second strand is the “Herculean logistical effort” to distribute. He says 742 million pieces of PPE have been delivered to the front line, but over the next three weeks, an online portal will launch so primary care and social care can request what they need. Finally, Mr Hancock says it is about supply, appealing to British companies to help create PPE “on an unprecedented scale”.

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Office for England, says that, although it’s “difficult” to stay indoors over the Easter weekend, it’s vital. She adds that people should remember the “sacrifices” NHS staff are making. They’re working “calmly” to deal with coronavirus, but it’s taking a “toll”, both “physical and emotional”, Ms May says.

Ruth May announces that Sunderland and Exeter will soon get Nightingale hospitals to deal with critically ill coronavirus patients.

The Downing Street press conference is continuing, if you’re just joining us. England’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that the measures in place are about “protecting the people who protect us”. He says: “Even if you are not directly involved… there is something that everyone of us can do to play your part in the national effort. “Stay at home, because spreading the virus today risks lives tomorrow and increases pressure of those working in the NHS. “Do it for them. For it for the people you love.”

Deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, says the use of transport has continued to fall. He says: “I can’t tell you how important is is that you keep going with this. “It is not over. We have to keep pushing as a nation to maintain our social distancing, and have to take the pain now to make the gain.”

When it comes to the number of cases in the UK, Prof Van-Tam says it is at a “high level” and “varying day by day”. But he hammers home the point the UK is in a “dangerous phase still” When it comes to people in hospital beds, the deputy chief medical officer says the “curve is beginning to bend”. He also reassures people that their “hard work is beginning to pay off”. But he says he cannot say yet if we have reached the peak of the pandemic.

Prof Van Tam repeats that it is “too premature to say” we have reached the peak. But, he adds a personal note, saying his mother-in-law and friends work within the NHS, and it “really matters that we keep going with it.”

Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be treated as a “precious resource”, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says. There’s “clearly a huge task ahead” to make sure those who need it get it, he adds. He says while it is a “constant effort” to get it to the front line, the government has a detailed plan to get suppliers on board. Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, says she has received refresher training about how to wear PPE, saying it’s a “challenge” to work in it.

Asked how the government is functioning during the prime minister’s continued absence, Matt Hancock says Boris Johnson is “recovering”, adding: “I am sure the whole nation is delighted to see the news.” He adds: “It demonstrates once again just how serious the disease is.” England’s health secretary says the “good news” is that the government has been functioning “very efficiently and effectively” during the PM’s illness. He says the government does not have enough information yet to make changes to the lockdown measures, but promises a meeting on them will take place next week. And he praises Dominic Raab for stepping into the role of deputising for the prime minister. “But that is within the context of a strategy the prime minister clearly set out,” he adds. “We get on with the day-to-day things and do what is needed while the PM recovers.”

Matt Hancock says the government “follows the science” on coronavirus and international travel and it’s been “borne out by events”. The same is true of the government’s policy on face masks, he adds. And that is that they “should be saved for those who need them” most, he says. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam calls the wearing of face masks by the public a “vexed” issue. There “just isn’t the evidence base” to support this as advice, Prof Van Tam adds. He also says closing the UK’s borders will “not work” in stopping the transmission of coronavirus.

England’s chief nurse, Ruth May, is asked how many frontline NHS staff have died due to coronavirus. She says any death due to coronavirus is “a tragic one”, describing the death of an NHS staff member – “one of our family” – as “heartbreaking”. Ms May says they are collating the numbers of frontline workers who have died, but that it is inappropriate to give a number, especially as some family members may not have given permission. She adds: “We will learn any lessons to be learnt, but it is inappropriate to comment on any individual death we have seen, whether a healthcare worker or not.”

Matt Hancock says his goal is to protect life but this must be in “the widest context”. He says that at “no point in this crisis” has the NHS been overrun. Asked about reports of a sharp economic downturn being forecast, he says he and the chancellor are working to ensure decisions on social distancing look at the impact on “the whole country”. But it’s too early to judge this, he adds, urging people to stay at home this weekend.

A reporter asks the chief nursing officer how she feels when she sees people ignoring social distancing rules. Ruth May says it is “very very frustrating”, adding that she saw groups of cyclists “hording” together on Westminster Bridge today. But at the same time, she said some of her staff were getting shouted at for getting in their cars to go to walk, and “getting abuse from neighbours”. She adds: “My ask of everyone is to stay at home, save lives and protect my staff.”

Asked about what targets we need to reach so we can relax social distancing measures, Prof Van-Tam warns it is a complex picture. “I completely understand everyone wants a number or figure they can I look out for… but unfortunately it is complicated,” he says. The government’s scientific advisers will look at a range of data, from the number of people who test positive, to the number of hospital admissions, and the number of deaths. “All of those indicators will need to be taken into account for a proper reliable picture that things are definitely on the downturn and we are confident that is consistently the case,” he adds. “But even if I am itching to give you one thing you can go on, that this is the signal we are looking for, I just can’t. “It is just too soon and a more complicated judgement than that.”

Matt Hancock says he’s set a “clear goal” of 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by end of the month and there have been “a huge number of offers” from science firms to convert their facilities. They and the government are “working 24/7” to achieve this target, he adds. He praises “super-specialist” volunteers working at the three “mega-labs” set up so far. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam says the requirement for oxygen for coronavirus patients is extremely high and that setting up supplies and ventilators is a “logistical challenge”. There have been “one or two reports of where something has gone slightly wrong with an oxygen supply”, he adds, and that “we have to learn as we go along”. Mr Hancock adds there are 2,000 spare beds with ventilators and that spare capacity is increasing.

Matt Hancock denies claims he has been holding large meetings in his office and not observing social distancing rules at work. Prof Van Tam moves on to say the “extraordinary efforts” the public has made with social distancing measures has “stopped the NHS from being overwhelmed”. He adds: “Without it, the NHS it absolutely would have been overwhelmed, and several weeks ago.” The deputy chief medical officer says “other emergencies will go on” so it is important we have protected the NHS’ “vital functions”. He says: “Road traffic accidents will still occur. Cardiac emergencies will continue. “The important message for British people, for those emergencies, [is to know] the NHS is open, business as usual.” Ruth May says it is particularly important for pregnant women, who must call the NHS if they have concerns about their babies. Matt Hancock finishes the press briefing supporting this message, saying he wants it to be heard “loud and clear” that the NHS is still open to those who need it.

16:42 Cuomo begins New York update

Andrew Cuomo opens the briefing by announcing that hospitalisations in New York State are down and change in ICU admissions is a negative number for first time. “We are cautiously optimistic we are slowing the infection rate,” he said. “The bad news is we continue to lose a tremendous number of lives and endure great pain as a state. “I understand why it is happening, it doesn’t make it any easier to accept. “As someone who searches for solace in all this grief, the levelling off of the number of lives lost is a somewhat hopeful sign.” He said that the number of total lives lost is now 7,844, and compared this to the 2,753 New Yorkers who died during the September 11 terrorist attacks. “I lived through 9/11 as many New Yorkers did. I believed 9/11 was the worst situation I was going to deal with in my lifetime. “In terms of lives lost, that this situation should exceed 9/11 is beyond my capacity to fully appreciate.”

Andrew Cuomo opens the briefing by announcing that hospitalisations in New York State are down and change in ICU admissions is a negative number for first time. “We are cautiously optimistic we are slowing the infection rate,” he said. “The bad news is we continue to lose a tremendous number of lives and endure great pain as a state. “I understand why it is happening, it doesn’t make it any easier to accept. “As someone who searches for solace in all this grief, the levelling off of the number of lives lost is a somewhat hopeful sign.” He said that the number of total lives lost is now 7,844, and compared this to the 2,753 New Yorkers who died during the September 11 terrorist attacks. “I lived through 9/11 as many New Yorkers did. I believed 9/11 was the worst situation I was going to deal with in my lifetime. “In terms of lives lost, that this situation should exceed 9/11 is beyond my capacity to fully appreciate.”

16:37 PM ‘able to do short walks’

We’ve just had an update from Downing Street on the health of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. A spokesman said: “The prime minister has been able to do short walks, between periods of rest, as part of the care he is receiving to aid his recovery. “He has spoken to his doctors and thanks the whole clinical team for the incredible care he has received. “His thoughts are with those affected by this terrible disease.” Boris Johnson left intensive care on Thursday but remains in hospital, having been admitted on Sunday.

16:34 Irish restrictions extended until 5 May

The Republic of Ireland is extending its coronavirus restrictions until Tuesday 5 May, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has announced. “We need to persevere and we need to maintain our discipline and resolve,” the taoiseach told a news conference. “The restrictions we introduced two weeks ago were set to expire on Sunday. Today the expert recommendation is to extend them for a further three weeks until Tuesday 5 May. “The government has accepted this recommendation.”

16:02 Indigenous teenager dies in Brazil

A 15-year-old member of the Yanomami indigenous group has died in the northern Brazilian state of Roraima, local authorities say. Rights groups have raised concerns about the possible impact of the virus on indigenous people, and say two other people from different tribes have already died though this has not been officially confirmed. Across the country, there have been 17,857 confirmed cases and 941 deaths.

15:39 French president meets maverick medic

Virologist Didier Raoult has made a name for himself worldwide for promoting anti-malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as a treatment against Covid-19. In France, some 450,000 people have signed a petition calling for the drugs to be used more widely. President Donald Trump has regularly mentioned them too. However, the European Medicines Agency has warned of potentially serious side-effects and said they should only be used in cases of “national emergency”.

So it came as a surprise when President Emmanuel Macron travelled south to Prof Raoult’s Marseille specialist infectious diseases hospital for three-and-a-half hours of talks with no media allowed. President Macron is to give a big TV address on Monday and his officials say he wanted to talk to a variety of voices beforehand – so the meeting did not mean any kind of “recognition” of the doctor’s methods, just an interest in therapeutic trials. Better to have the controversial virologist in the tent than out, as commentators said.

Meanwhile, Didier Raoult has presented his own study of 1,061 people treated with hydroxychloroquine, claiming a 91.7% success rate, with a “poor outcome” for 46 patients. However, several French scientists have already described the study as flawed.

15:31 UK opposition calls for clarity on lockdown

The newly elected Labour leader, Keir Starmer, has called for the government to be transparent about its strategy on the UK’s lockdown. He said the public needed to know the “principles” that would have to be met before the nationwide measures are lifted.

15:21 Moscow hospitals stretched to limit, deputy mayor warns

Hospitals and ambulance services in Moscow are at risk of being overwhelmed after a steep rise in coronavirus cases, a senior city official has said. Anastasia Rakova, Moscow’s deputy mayor, issued the warning as Russia recorded its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases, jumping by 1,786 to almost 12,000. The national death toll stands at 94. The numbers are expected to rise significantly now as officials have begun including all patients showing obvious symptoms of the infection in their statistics, arguing that coronavirus tests are too often mistaken.

The majority of coronavirus patients are in the capital, the epicentre of the outbreak in Russia. The number of hospital admissions in Moscow has doubled in the past few days, Rakova said. The deputy mayor said almost all new patients had pneumonia, brought on by coronavirus. She warned that both hospitals and the ambulance service were stretched to their limit. That is clear from the first-hand accounts of medics, who are beginning to talk of a non-stop flow of ambulances and of overflowing wards. The Russian capital has been in lockdown since the end of March, with residents only allowed out for essential work, or to the nearest shop.

14:58 South Korean patients thought cured test positive again

South Korean health authorities say 91 people thought recovered after contracting coronavirus have tested positive for the disease again. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Friday it was not clear why the patients had tested positive for a second time. KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong told a news conference it was possible that the virus had “reactivated” in the patients, as opposed to them being re-infected. Other health experts suggested the patients may have “relapsed” or been misdiagnosed by faulty tests. The results will be of keen interest internationally, as health experts worldwide hope people infected by Covid-19 will develop immunity to the disease, allowing them to return to work.

14:50 Downing St defends housing secretary’s trip

The UK prime minister’s spokesperson has defended the housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, after several newspapers accused him of flouting social distancing rules by travelling to his parents’ home. Mr Jenrick said his trip was to drop of food and medicines for his elderly parents, who cannot go shopping for themselves, and was therefore a permitted journey. Mr Jenrick was also criticised for driving to his other home in Herefordshire, to join his wife and children for the Easter weekend. The PM’s spokesman said: “As part of the coronavirus response, there will be occasions when ministers have no option but to work from Whitehall. “In the event this is required, and the rest of the household is living elsewhere, it’s not an unnecessary journey for them to travel to rejoin that family.”

14:43 Antibody tests close to being ready – Fauci

Dr Anthony Fauci, who is leading the US response to coronavirus, tells CNN that antibody tests are close to being ready. An antibody test can be used to see if someone has already had the virus. “At the last task force meeting, the individuals responsible for developing, validating and getting the test out are saying that within a period of a week or so we are going to have a rather large number of tests that are available,” he said. “Other countries have gotten burned by this – these antibody tests are tests we do on other diseases, but they need to be validated. You need to make sure they are consistent and accurate. “As soon as they get validated, they’ll be out there for people to use.”

14:33 A further 10 deaths in Northern Ireland

Another 10 people have died in Northern Ireland after testing positive for Covid-19. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Northern Ireland is now 92. Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency says 951 individuals have been tested in the past 24 hours. A further 112 people have tested positive, bringing the total number of cases in NI to 1,589.

14:24 A further 10 deaths in Northern Ireland

Another 10 people have died in Northern Ireland after testing positive for Covid-19. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Northern Ireland is now 92. Northern Ireland’s Public Health Agency says 951 individuals have been tested in the past 24 hours. A further 112 people have tested positive, bringing the total number of cases in NI to 1,589.

14:18 Wales sees 29 more coronavirus deaths

A further 29 people with coronavirus have died in Wales, according to Public Health Wales. It takes the total number of deaths to 315. The total number of confirmed cases in Wales stands at 4,591 – an increase of 502 on yesterday’s figures.

14:13 Belgium sees highest daily death toll so far

Belgium has reported 496 new deaths in the past 24 hours, its deadliest day so far, bringing the number of fatalities to 3,019. The number appears very high for a country of 11.4 million, however around half the number of fatalities have been recorded outside Belgium’s hospitals, largely in care homes, and many of the latest deaths happened last month. Geert Meyfroidt, president of the Belgian Society of Intensive Care Medicine, has told the BBC that the number is so high because Belgium counts all suspected cases of Covid-19 as well as confirmed cases. “In most other countries, they only count those who have tested positive.” He also said the number of deaths in care homes was barely higher than normal. The situation in Belgium’s hospitals and intensive care units appears to have stabilised, according to local health authorities.

14:05 New York using mass graves amid outbreak

Images have emerged of coffins being buried in a mass grave in New York City, as the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak continues to rise. The location is Hart Island, used for New Yorkers with no next-of-kin or who could not afford a funeral.

13:59 Germans can still head to the Baltic coast, court rules

Locals in northeastern Germany can still head for the beach and soak up the spring sunshine, thanks to a court ruling. Despite the general lockdown, a court in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania says locals can go to the Baltic coast for Easter. The regional government lost the argument. One lawyer said it was illogical to coop people up in a town when the beach was wide open and empty of tourists. The number of new cases reported in Germany has risen four days in a row, reaching 113,525, the respected Robert Koch Institute says. The death toll stands at 2,373. In another development Germany is easing its restrictions exceptionally for foreign farm labourers, as it needs people to pick fruit and vegetables. Up to 80,000 will be allowed in, under strict controls to prevent Covid-19 spreading.

13:23 Amazon to build virus testing lab for staff

Retail giant Amazon says it will build its own coronavirus testing lab to monitor the health of its staff, after cases were reported at more than 50 of its facilities across the US. Some of those cases have involved multiple infected workers. The company said it had assembled a team to build its own “incremental testing capacity”. “Our operations sites and grocery stores are distributing masks to employees and conducting employee temperature checks,” the company said. “A next step might be regular testing of all employees, including those showing no symptoms. Regular testing on a global scale across all industries would both help keep people safe and help get the economy back up and running.”

13:14 Google data gives details of park visits

Google has released its second set of reports on activity in 131 countries around the world, gathered from Google Maps users. The data for the UK shows activity still very much reduced compared to normal, but visits to parks increased markedly, and there was a slight uptick in visits to transport hubs and food stores. The data is for last Sunday, 5 April, and shows visits to places such as parks, public beaches and gardens were down 29% compared to normal.

But the data for the previous weekend showed visits down 52%. There had been concerns last weekend that sunny weather would bring too many people out, and a number of parks were closed. Visits to transport hubs – bus and train stations – were down 70%, as compared to a 75% fall the previous weekend. And activity at food stores and pharmacies was down 41%, compared to 46% the week before.

13:05 UK PM at ‘early stage of recovery’

Boris Johnson’s team have just finished a briefing with UK journalists, updating them on the PM’s health. Mr Johnson was taken into hospital on Sunday after 10 days of coronavirus symptoms, and moved to intensive care on Monday. But he went back to the ward yesterday and his spokesman said the PM was doing well, even waving his thanks to staff at St Thomas’ Hospital as he left ICU. “The PM is back on a ward and continuing his recovery which is at an early stage,” said the spokesman. “He continues to be in very good spirits.” Downing Street has not indicated when Mr Johnson is likely to return to work, saying this will be guided by his medical team.

12:59 US expels thousands of migrants using coronavirus powers

Last month, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a public health measure banning the entry of foreigners considered to pose a “serious danger” to the spread of disease. Now, officials have confirmed that the US expelled more than 6,300 undocumented migrants – including unaccompanied children – on its border with Mexico using this order. Critics say the Trump administration is using the measure as an extension of strict immigration policies, which authorities deny. In a letter, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee said the government’s actions were illegal, adding: “This amounts to a startling expansion of executive power under the guise of a global pandemic response.”

12:43 Cargo of masks and protective equipment heading to UK

A Turkish Air Force A400M transport aircraft will land at Brize Norton later today carrying a cargo of masks and protective equipment for the UK. This is the first aid flight to use a Nato call sign – a procedure which expedites air traffic control clearances. What’s known as the RAM, or Rapid Air Mobility initiative, enables the rapid movement of military transport through national airspace by using this code. The original idea was to help speed things up in the event of a military crisis – but obviously this time the goal is to speed up Covid-19 response and cut bureaucracy. The cargo comprises some 100,000 masks, 50,000 N95 masks, and 100,000 medical PPE suits.

12:12 North-east England gets a Nightingale hospital

After weeks of speculation, NHS England will today confirm the opening of a new Nightingale hospital to treat Covid-19 patients from across the north-east of England. Work has been under way to transform a building at the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing near the Nissan car plant in Sunderland. The project has been managed by the Newcastle Hospitals health trust. I understand up to 500 beds will be on the site for a range of patients suffering from coronavirus, including those on ventilators who need the highest level of critical care.

The north-east of England has been behind London when it comes to the spread of the virus, but health experts have warned this week that the region is on the “edge of the pandemic” and hospitals are rapidly starting to see more patients – and more deaths. The South Tyneside and Sunderland health trust alone has now reported more than 100 deaths.

11:33 Spain sees lowest fatalities since 24 March

Spain is second only to Italy in the number of deaths in the coronavirus pandemic. It has reported another 605 deaths in the past 24 hours, taking its official total to 15,843. But that figure for new deaths is the lowest for 17 days and a further sign that the outbreak is past its peak in Spain. The country’s state of alert has been in place since 14 March and the mortality rate peaked in early April. Spain has seen 157,022 cases, more than Italy, and yet the daily rate of increase in new infections recorded – 4,576 – is also down to 3%. That’s the lowest since the outbreak started, the El País newspaper reports. Over 55,000 patients have recovered. A look at the health ministry map shows the spread of infections per 100,000 people in the past two weeks. The Madrid region is worst affected.

11:27 Biggest weekly gain for US shares in 46 years

Wall Street’s S&P 500 share index has risen 12% this week, as the US central bank announced more stimulus measures to support the economy.Financial markets have experienced extreme volatility as the economic impact from the coronavirus has worsened. Many markets, including those in the US, are closed on Good Friday.

On Thursday, the Federal Reserve – the US central bank – said an additional $2.3 trillion was available to support debt markets, saying it would act “forcefully, pro-actively, and aggressively” to combat an economic tidal wave. The strong words came after data showed US jobless claims jumped by 6.6 million, taking the three-week total to more than 16 million unemployed and seeking benefits.

11:01 Mexico’s refusal threatens Opec deal

A potential deal between major oil producers to counter the slump in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak has hit a roadblock after Mexico refused to approve an agreement committing to historic production cuts. Members of Opec-plus – an oil cartel consisting of over 20 oil-producing countries led by Saudi Arabia and Russia – had agreed to reduce supplies by 10%. But with Mexico walking out, the deal is under threat.

Worldwide fuel demand has plunged by around 30% of global supplies, as steps to fight the virus have cut vehicle usage, grounded planes and virtually shut down economic activity. Oil prices dropped to 18-year lows in the last week of March.

10:34 101-year-old makes full recovery

The news at the moment is often grim. We’re well aware. So hopefully this update will make you smile. A 101-year-old man who tested positive for coronavirus has returned home from hospital after making a full recovery. Keith Watson, from Worcestershire, was initially admitted for surgery on his leg following a fall and was tested for Covid-19 after developing a high temperature. “Having gone in for the operation is one thing and then when we learned he tested positive we were thinking the worst,” said his daughter-in-law, Jo Watson. “He’s amazing for his age.” Mrs Watson said her father-in-law had gone back to his care home after spending two weeks in hospital and is “complaining about the pain in his leg”, but “not anything else”. A Facebook post from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust with Mr Watson has since been shared more than 3,000 times.

10:05 Infections spike aboard US warship

A spike in infections has been reported from a US navy warship, whose captain was removed from command for pleading with his superiors to do more to halt a coronavirus outbreak on board. In a letter dated 30 March, Capt Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt had urged his superiors to act to prevent US troops dying outside of wartime. There were at least 100 confirmed infections aboard the ship at the time. But now a report from NPR says that number has climbed to 400, while at least one sailor is in intensive care. Around 2,700 crew members of the ship have disembarked – a little more than half the total crew.

09:39 South Korea heads to vote despite virus

South Koreans are proving their commitment to democracy – heading to the polls amid the coronavirus pandemic. The two days of early voting ahead of the parliamentary elections next Wednesday have seen a record turn-out. All voters must have their temperatures checked, and wear masks and gloves before casting their votes. South Korea recorded 27 new cases on Friday, bringing the total tally to 10,450. The death toll also rose by four to 208 according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the city of Daegu, which was the epicentre of the country’s Covid-19 crisis, has reported no new cases of the virus for the first time.

09:09 UK minister ‘should explain visit to parents’

It is up to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick to explain why he drove 40 miles to visit his elderly parents, says shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds. Mr Jenrick said he was delivering essentials, including medicines, because his parents are self-isolating. He said he “respected social distancing rules”. “There are the four reasons for leaving your house. One of them is to deliver essential supplies to vulnerable people,” Mr Thomas-Symonds told BBC Breakfast. “Clearly if that is what Robert Jenrick has done, then it fits within the four exceptions. It is for him to answer precisely what the purpose of the journey he undertook was.” Dr Paul Cosford, medical director for Public Health England, also said it “sounds what he did was within one of those four guidelines”. He added: “The principle is clear, and that is stay at home unless you absolutely have to go out.” It’s been five days since Scotland’s chief medical officer Catherine Calderwood resigned after making two trips to her second home.

08:52 A good month for dogs in China

Last week, the Chinese city of Shenzhen became the first to ban the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat. And now China may reclassify dogs as pets rather than livestock, after the virus outbreak – which began in a market selling live animals – prompted the country to review its laws around the wildlife trade. “With the progress of human civilisation… dogs have changed from traditional domestic animals to companion animals,” said the country’s agriculture authority in a proposed policy, according to a state media report.  “Dogs are generally not regarded as livestock… and China should also not manage them as [that].” The draft policy is now open to the public for consultation.

08:07 Boris Johnson must rest, says father

Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in hospital after being moved out of intensive care but is in “extremely good spirits”, Downing Street says. Mr Johnson has been receiving treatment for coronavirus at St Thomas’ Hospital in London since Sunday – 10 days after he tested positive – and was taken into intensive care on Monday.

On Thursday evening a spokesman said he had “been moved from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery”. Mr Johnson’s father, Stanley, said his family were relieved, grateful and thankful for the work of the NHS, but that the prime minister must now “rest up”. “It has actually, I think, served an amazing purpose in the sense it’s got the whole country to realise this is a serious event,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “I don’t think you can say that this is out of the woods now, he has to take time. I cannot believe you can walk away from this and go straight back to Downing Street and pick up the reins without a period of readjustment.”

07:31 NY state records more cases than any country

New York state has now recorded more infections than any country – including the hardest-hit European countries, Italy and Spain. Almost 160,000 people in New York have tested positive with the virus, compared to 153,000 in Spain and 143,000 in Italy. The human toll of the outbreak has become clear, with harrowing pictures emerging of coffins being buried in mass graves in New York City. While the number of new hospital admissions has fallen for a second day running, raising hope, a record 799 people died in New York state on Wednesday alone. That brings the total number of deaths to over 7,000.

07:01 Foreign Office to bring UK nationals home from India

The Foreign Office has chartered a further 12 flights to bring more than 3,000 UK nationals back from India. Seven flights have already been arranged, meaning the total number of Britons repatriated from India will rise to around 5,000. “This is a huge and complex operation which also involves working with the Indian Government to enable people to move within India to get on these flights,” said the Foreign Office’s Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon.

06:54 First case in war-torn Yemen

Yemen has reported its first coronavirus case – in the eastern province of Hadramout. Aid groups have been warning the spread of the disease could have a catastrophic impact in the war-torn country. Yesterday, a unilateral two-week ceasefire called by the Saudi-led coalition fighting against Houthi rebels in Yemen came into effect. The five-year conflict has devastated Yemen, reportedly killed more than 100,000 people, and triggered what the UN considers the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

06:45 EU agrees rescue package

EU finance ministers have agreed a €500bn (£440bn) rescue package for member countries hit by the pandemic. The deal was reached after marathon discussions in Brussels in Thursday. The package includes support for governments, companies and for workers. Yet the ministers fell short of accepting a demand, by France, Spain and Italy, to share out the cost of the crisis by issuing so-called corona bonds.

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected that idea of mutual debt, stating that she didn’t believe there should be a “common liability for each other’s debt, given the current state of the political union in the EU”.

06:17 No new cases in South Korean epicentre

The South Korean city of Daegu, which was the epicentre of the country’s Covid-19 crisis, has reported no new cases of the virus for the first time since the outbreak began two months ago. Elsewhere, 27 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed, the fewest number of infections to be reported in 50 day. No new reported cases of coronavirus in the city of Daegu is good news, but health officials have issued a stark warning ahead of the Easter weekend.

They are concerned about large church services and the prime minister has urged religious groups to refrain from mass gatherings. Meanwhile South Koreans are heading to the polls which have opened for two days of early voting ahead of the parliamentary elections next week. All voters are advised to wear masks, they will have their temperature checked and be kept at least one meter apart from others while waiting to cast their ballot. Everyone entering the voting booth will have to disinfect their hands and wear plastic gloves. The National Election Commission has also set up polling stations at eight facilities where Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms are being treated.

06:00 A rocket to ‘the safest place on earth’

Two Russian cosmonauts and one US astronaut have arrived at the International Space Station. They had to go through extra strict quarantine to make sure they don’t take the virus to space. Before takeoff they said that in light of the pandemic, they were off to probably “the safest place on earth”.

05:52 Fears over immigration centre outbreak

Detainees in Australia’s immigration centres are asking the authorities to release them into the community, after a case of Covid-19 was confirmed in a facility. The inmates say it is impossible to self isolate and some say they are on a hunger strike in protest. The government insists there are plans for dealing with cases within its detention network. A spokesperson said inmates showing symptoms would be quarantined and tested. There are about 1,500 being held on the Australian mainland. About 40% of them are asylum seekers.

05:44 Germany sees new rise in daily infections

The number of confirmed infections in Germany has risen by 5,323 over the past 24 hours to 113,525. The country had earlier seen something of a decline, but this marked the fourth straight day of the numbers going up. The reported death toll rose by 266 to 2,373. These numbers are from the country’s Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases, which tends to give lower figures than the Johns Hopkins University, which is also charting cases worldwide. The US university has Germany with 118,235 cases and 2,607 deaths.

04:54 Second death in New Zealand

There has been a second death from Covid-19 in New Zealand, the country said on Friday. The woman in her 90s was at the Burwood hospital in Christchurch when she died. She had been one of 20 residents transferred out of a rest home – which was later found to be the city’s first cluster, say local reports. New Zealand recorded its first fatality in late March, but has managed to keep the coronavirus spread contained so far. The country reported 44 new cases today – this is up from a low of 29 cases yesterday. Overall, there are 1,283 cases in the country.

04:25 Asian clothing industry gives stark coronavirus warning

Clothing factory workers and owners in developing Asia are struggling to keep operations open with shops closed amid coronavirus lockdowns. Vijay Mahtaney employs a total of 18,000 workers in three countries – Bangladesh, India and Jordan. But the outbreak has forced him to shut down the majority of the business, with just one factory, in Dhaka, partially operational. Coronavirus lockdowns aren’t the only thing affecting their ability to pay their workers. They say their main problem is unreasonable demands from big clients – mainly in the US and the UK.

03:58 Boris Johnson out of intensive care

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved out of intensive care but remains in a London hospital for his coronavirus infection. According to the government Johnson “is in extremely good spirits”. “The prime minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery,” a spokesman said. It is not clear yet when he will be able to return to full time work. The UK government is urging people not to ignore the coronavirus lockdown over the Easter holiday weekend.

03:50 ‘We know better than anyone what discrimination feels like’

A row has broken out between the chief of the WHO and Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen. WHO’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had been subjected to racist comments and death threats – and that the abuse had originated from Taiwan. But President Tsai said Taiwan was opposed to any form of discrimination.

This tension between the WHO and Taiwan is not new – Taiwan has long called to be included in the WHO. WHO membership is only given to countries that are members of the United Nations- which does not recognise Taiwan, which means the island has been excluded from emergency meetings and briefings. “For years, we have been excluded from international organisations, and we know better than anyone else what it feels like to be discriminated against and isolated,” said Ms Tsai, according to Reuters.

03:42 Global numbers top 1.6 million

The number of people worldwide who have tested positive has just hit 1.6 million, up from 1.5 the day before. Just as a reminder: on Friday last week, that number was at just under a million. The worst-hit countries currently are the US (465,329 cases), Spain (153,222), Italy (143,626), France (118,783) and Germany (118,235), China (82,885), Iran (66,220) and the UK (65,872).

China is a bit of an exception here. While it’s the country where the pandemic started, more than 77,600 people have already recovered there. Globally, some 354,000 people have recovered. Overall, it’s important to remember that all those stats (collected by the Johns Hopkins University) are only the confirmed cases and depend on the level of testing. The actual number is thought to be higher.

03:28 Singapore’s foreign worker dorms lead surge in cases

Singapore has reported its biggest spike in infections yet. There was once a time where it looked like the country had its virus spread well under control, but yesterday’s 287 new infections show that this no longer the case. A large majority of them have been linked to foreign worker dormitories – home to mostly male migrant workers from countries like India and Bangladesh.

Most of these workers typically share rooms in tightly packed quarters, eating and sleeping together with hundreds of their colleagues. Around 20,000 workers in two main dormitory “clusters” have now been quarantined. And authorities are working to move healthy foreign workers out of their dorms and into hotels, army camps and public flats to prevent them from being infected. There are now 1,910 confirmed cases and six deaths in the country.

03:17 US maintains criticism of WHO

The United States has renewed its criticism of the World Health Organization (WHO), accusing the body of not having warned the global community early enough. The US accuses the WHO of putting politics before health by ignoring early warnings by Taiwan which due to pressure from China is not a member of the global body.

President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold funding from the body. The US is the biggest overall contributor to the WHO with more than $400m (£350m) in 2019 while China’s contribution was about $44 million. Yet Beijing has contributed more than the US to the WHO’s specific coronavirus appeal so far.

03:04 New York sees another record in deaths

The state of New York has recorded another 799 deaths linked to Covid-19, that’s once again the highest number of deaths for the state in a single day since the start of the outbreak in the US. The state is by far the worst hit in the United States and Governor Andrew Cuomo said he’d had to call in extra funeral directors to cope with the crisis.

But the number of patients newly admitted to a hospital in the state dropped for a second day, to 200. Cuomo said it was a sign that social distancing was working and warned people not to relax their adherence to the guidelines. Overall, the US has seen more than 16,500 coronavirus deaths, and currently has more than 430,000 confirmed infections.

02:54 Empty pews at Easter

It’s a Good Friday celebration unlike any other. The pews will be empty, parish doors closed, and there will be no hymns in the air – on a day that’s supposed to mark the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. But that doesn’t mean services aren’t going ahead. In the Vatican, events will be live-streamed for a global audience, and then archived for later viewing.

Thousands of churches around the world are doing the same. In Singapore, some pastors have begun pre-recording their Good Friday messages. In Australia, the St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney will additionally stream an Easter Vigil Mass as well as an Easter Sunday Mass which will be broadcast live on TV. “Never before in modern times has the Catholic Church here been so stripped of our rich liturgical traditions,” said the Archbishop of Singapore William Goh. “While it is painful. I believe this is a period for us to dig deeper into our faith.”

02:50 China sees 42 new cases

China has reported 42 new virus cases – of which 38 were imported – bringing the total number of cases to 81,907. One death was also reported in Hubei, where the virus epicentre of Wuhan is located. A total of 3,336 people in the country have died from the virus.

Sources: Various news sources including but not limited to BBC News, Fox News, CNN.