13th April 2020 – United Kingdom
# 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.
$ Cases now include Pillar 2 cases as of 11th April 2020
More information coming soon.
22:51 White House briefing begins
US President Donald Trump has taken the stage and the White House coronavirus taskforce is now beginning. Trump begins by saying the “number of daily new infections remained flat nationwide” in the past few days. “Hospitalisations are slowing in hot spots like New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Louisiana,” he adds, saying this is due to Americans “following the guidelines”. “You looked at the charts, the models from early on, predictions were 100,000 [or],120,00 people,” says Trump. “We’re going to hopefully be way, way below that number,” he says, calling this “clear evidence that our aggressive strategy is working”.
Dr Anthony Fauci, US infectious disease chief, confirmed the president’s remarks that it appears the Covid-19 outbreak is slowing down, “even though we’ve had a really bad week last week”. “We’re starting to see in some areas the kind of flattening – particularly in a place that was a hotspot like New York,” he says.
Top US disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci says he did not choose his words carefully when he said in an interview on Sunday that earlier mitigation efforts could have saved American lives. His answer led to speculation, fuelled by Trump, that he would be fired. “I had an interview yesterday that I was asked a hypothetical question and hypothetical questions can sometimes get you into difficulty,” Fauci says in today’s briefing. He called his answer a “poor choice of words”. He adds: “I just thought it would be nice for me to clarify, because I didn’t have a chance to clarify…The first and only time that I went in and said we should do mitigation strongly, the response [from Trump] was, ‘yes, we’ll do it.’” When asked if he was forced by Trump to issue this clarification, he responds: “Everything I do is voluntary, don’t even imply that.”
The White House coronavirus taskforce has dimmed the lights in the press briefing room and has shown a de facto campaign video which praises Trump’s handling of the crisis. The several-minute long video shows clips of news reports in an effort to combat recent reporting by US media that shows Trump delayed responding to the crisis for nearly six weeks. One New York Times reporter who was quoted in the video has already responded on Twitter to say her quote was taken out of context. Trump later says the video was produced by White House staff, and not his campaign.
President Trump lambasts what he calls “fake news” coverage of his attempts to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the US. Trump touts his China travel restrictions, arguing that, actually, he acted fast on the virus. He pointed out the campaign of Joe Biden, the presumptive presidential candidate for the Democrats, had called him xenophobic after he issued a travel ban on China early in the coronavirus crisis. Biden’s campaign this month said the former vice-president supports the Trump administration’s decision to impose a China travel ban.
“I’m getting along very well with the governors,” says Trump, adding that Vice-President Mike Pence had a call today with governors which was a “10”. “He said it was like a 10. He used one of my expressions actually,” says Trump, who previously ranked his coronavirus handling a “10 out of 10”. Trump and state governors have been disputing who has responsibility for lifting lockdowns, and effectively re-opening the US economy. But despite Trump claiming the power, constitutional scholars say the the authority to lift state lockdown orders actually rests with the governors who first imposed them.
Trump continues to defend his handling of the pandemic, emphasising: “Everything we did was right.” The president says he would have been criticised even if he had shut down the country earlier, and again shifted some of the blame regarding equipment shortages to the governors of the nation’s 50 states. “Governors should have had ventilators, they chose not to have them,” Trump says. “We were able to get them. They got the ventilators.” “The surge is supposed to be coming now and if they do need ventilators we’ve got almost 10,000 that are ready to rock.” In recent weeks, several state leaders have expressed frustrations with the bidding war between other states and the federal government to obtain supplies in the private market.
President Donald Trump says that three millions tests for coronavirus have been done in the US, deflecting long-standing criticism that the country was slow to begin testing, which could have helped slow the contagion. “We’re performing approximately 115,000 tests a day,” says Trump. Experts around the world say life will not be able to get back to normal until mass testing is done on large percentages of the population.
Trump says his administration will “soon finalise new and very important guidelines to give governors the information they need to start safely opening their states”. The president last week had announced the formation of a new “opening our country” council. He says the White House guidance would come “over a short number of days”. Trump says the plan will “give the American people the confidence they need to begin returning to normal life”. “Our country is going to be open.”
Trump claims “numerous provisions” of the US constitution give him the power to force states to re-open for business. “The president of the United States calls the shots,” he says, telling reporters that a legal brief outlining his argument will be released soon. “It’s a decision for the president of the United States. That said we’re going to work with the states because it’s very important.” Trump adds that “they can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States”. Trump’s claim flies the face of state governors, who argue that only they have the authority to lift the lockdowns that they imposed. Federal guidelines issued by Trump are only advisory, not compulsory.
Trump has attacked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) calling the international agencies the “Bobbsey Twins”. The children’s book series, written by Laura Lee Hope, tells the story of “two sets of twins as they go on wild adventures and solve intriguing mysteries,” according to publisher Penguin Random House. So, to be clear, there are four people that make up the Bobbsey Twins. Asked about cutting WHO funding, as he said last week he was considering, he says: “I would say by the end of the week I’m going to make a decision on that.”
22:26 Migrant rescue ship’s atmosphere ‘extremely dire’
On Sunday we reported that about 150 migrants on board a German rescue ship sailing in the Mediterranean were to be transferred to another vessel and quarantined by Italy. Italian authorities said the migrants, who were rescued off the Libyan coast last week, would undergo medical checks. The Alan Kurdi ship, operated by the German humanitarian group Sea-Eye, has been refused access to Italian and Maltese ports over coronavirus fears.
On Monday afternoon, a spokesman for Sea-Eye, Simon Pompé, told the BBC the group did not know when the migrants would be moved but “would be grateful for this humanitarian act”. Pompé said the German Foreign Ministry, which has been involved in assisting the ship, had yet to approve any decision to move the migrants. He said the remaining migrants were “struggling” to cope in conditions he described as cramped and unsanitary. “The atmosphere on board is extremely dire,” Pompé said, calling on the EU to help Italy and Malta relocate the migrants. None of the migrants on board the Alan Kurdi had shown any symptoms of coronavirus, Pompé said.
21:16 Michelle Obama backs mail-in voting
Former US First Lady Michelle Obama has called for states to make it easier for Americans to vote amid the Covid-19 crisis. The presidential election is to be held on 3 November. President Donald Trump will probably be facing former Vice-President Joe Biden. Mrs Obama is the co-chair of a non-partisan voter registration organisation, When We All Vote. She and the group announced support of a Democratic bill that would expand access to voting-by-mail and early voting measures, as well as provide funding to help states prepare for voting during the pandemic. “Americans should never have to choose between making their voices heard and keeping themselves and their families safe,” Mrs Obama said. Mr Trump has pushed back against increasing voting-by-mail options. In recent days, the president has suggested that mail-in voting increases voter fraud, without offering evidence.
20:47 Labour calls for daily death figures from care homes
In the UK government press conference earlier, chief medical officer Chris Whitty confirmed that 92 care homes across the country have had new Covid-19 outbreaks in the past 24 hours. Now the UK’s main opposition party, Labour, has called for daily figures of deaths in care homes to be published. Liz Kendall, the shadow minister for social care, says the briefing “exposed the growing crisis in our care homes because of coronavirus”. She adds: “Ministers must publish daily figures of deaths in care homes so we know the true scale of the problem and how fast it is spreading.” Ms Kendall also says the government must ensure social care has the resources it needs, including personal protective equipment – the roll-out of which has led to widespread criticism of the government.
20:15 McDonald’s in China apologises after Africans banned
McDonald’s in China has apologised after one of its restaurants in the city of Guangzhou banned black people over fears that Africans were spreading coronavirus. The company said the outlet had closed for half a day on Sunday for training on “diversity and inclusion”. There have been widespread reports of discrimination against the large African population in Guangzhou. On Monday, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said China treated all foreigners equally – although he added that the authorities in Guangzhou would adopt “new” measures.
20:01 TV host criticised for 5G conspiracy comments
TV host Eamonn Holmes has sparked outcry over comments he made about a false claim linking 5G technology and coronavirus. The baseless conspiracy theory, which is being spread on social media, has been linked to a number of suspected arson attacks on mobile phone masts in the UK. On his programme, ITV’s This Morning, Holmes said that while he agrees with the description of the conspiracy theory as “ridiculous”, it’s “very easy to say it is not true because it suits the state narrative”.
It comes after the UK government had deemed it “a crackpot conspiracy theory”. Scientists have called the rumours that there is a link between 5G and coronavirus “complete rubbish” and a biological impossibility. However, that has not stopped false claims being shared on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Tik Tok. Some posts have now been removed, but in recent weeks the conspiracy theory has been shared by verified accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers. ITV is yet to comment on Holmes’ remarks.
In response to the comments, the government reiterated that those attacking phone masts or abusing telecoms engineers would face “the full force of the law”.
19:43 Macron’s TV address: What did he say?
France’s President Emmanuel Macron has just delivered his third TV address on the coronavirus, announcing the extension of a nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus. The lockdown, Macron said, would be extended until 11 May. Under the rules, which are enforced by police, anyone who goes outside is required to carry a document stating their reason for leaving home.
Here’s what else he said:
- He thanked essential workers in all sectors for “allowing our nation to continue to operate” during the pandemic
- He admitted the French government was not prepared for the crisis, acknowledging shortcomings in delivering medical supplies to hospitals
- France’s borders will remain closed to non-EU countries until further notice
- Restaurants, bars, cinemas and other public venues will remain closed, and festivals cannot be held until mid-July
- The elderly, and those with severe disabilities or suffering from chronic illnesses, must remain confined even after restrictions begin being eased
- Schools, colleges and high schools will gradually reopen from 11 May
- All people with symptoms of coronavirus will be tested from 11 May
- In co-operation with its EU partners, France will ramp up research into developing a vaccine against coronavirus
19:34 Trump: US disease expert Fauci ‘won’t be fired’
The White House has denied that President Trump plans to fire top US disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci, less than a day after Trump retweeted a comment calling for Fauci’s removal. “This media chatter is ridiculous – President Trump is not firing Dr Fauci,” the latest statement reads. “The president’s tweet clearly exposed media attempts to maliciously push a falsehood about his China decision in an attempt to rewrite history,” said the statement from Trump aide Hogan Gidley, referring to Trump’s decision to block visitors from China in late January. The speculation was largely driven by Trump himself, who retweeted “Time to #FireFauci” hours after the doctor appeared on CNN saying that if mitigation techniques had been employed earlier, more US lives could have been saved.
19:04 French president speaks as figures released
French President Emmanuel Macron is delivering an address on the coronavirus epidemic. Minutes before he started speaking, France released its daily figures on coronavirus deaths and cases. There were 574 more deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total near to 15,000, French health authorities said. However, the number of patients in intensive care fell for a fifth day in a row, dropping by 24. France’s health ministry said Monday’s figures confirm the country is in “the high plateau phase” of the epidemic.
French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a widely expected extension to the country’s lockdown. Restrictions will now be kept in place until 11 May. It comes at a time when France’s coronavirus epidemic is showing signs of slowing down. “Hope is coming back but nothing is certain”, he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said France was not “sufficiently ready” for the outbreak of the new coronavirus. In a televised address he said “we lacked protective clothing, gels, masks, like other countries…we have made difficult decisions”. He warned that hospitals were still under pressure in some parts of the country. France’s schools could begin to reopen after 11 May, the president added.
18:55 Only vaccine will stop global virus spread, WHO chief says
Only an effective vaccine against the coronavirus can “fully interrupt transmission” of the disease worldwide, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a media briefing that the “global connectedness” of the world meant the risk of a resurgence of Covid-19 would continue. “Ultimately, the development and delivery of a safe and effective vaccine will be needed to fully interrupt transmission,” Dr Tedros said. Most experts say a vaccine that gives people immunity to coronavirus will not be developed and mass produced for at least a year. As some countries consider lifting social-distancing restrictions, Dr Tedros cautioned against doing so until “the right public health measures are in place”.
18:35 US Supreme Court cases to be held via teleconference
The US Supreme Court has announced that it plans to hear arguments in forthcoming cases by teleconference. The arguments will be live-streamed on the internet for the first time in history, and will be available to the general public. One of the fights that the public will be able to hear play out live will be over whether President Trump’s tax returns can be shielded from US investigators. Six of the court’s nine justices are over the age of 65, putting them at particular risk if they get infected by coronavirus. The only other time the court has met outside its 85-year-old building was in 2001, when anthrax was discovered in the mailroom. During that scare, the justices met across town in a federal courthouse.
18:27 Recovered patients testing positive again – South Korea
South Korea has reported that at least 116 people initially cleared of the new coronavirus have tested positive again. Officials are looking into the cause of the apparent relapses but Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), says the virus may have been reactivated rather than the patients being re-infected. There are also concerns that laboratory tests are incorrectly telling people they are free of the coronavirus.
18:05 US sailor dies of coronavirus
A US sailor has died in hospital in Guam after contracting Covid-19, the US Navy has confirmed. The soldier has not been identified but had been serving on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt. It is the first confirmed death from the ship, which has hundreds of confirmed cases. The Theodore Roosevelt’s commander was removed earlier this month after saying the navy was not doing enough to halt a coronavirus outbreak on board the aircraft carrier. In a letter that was leaked to the media, Captain Brett Crozier urged his superiors to act to prevent US sailors dying. The acting US Navy secretary later resigned after publicly criticising Capt Crozier’s actions.
17:50 Covid-19 ’10 times deadlier than 2009 flu pandemic’
The disease caused by the new coronavirus is 10 times deadlier than the swine flu pandemic of 2009, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said new data from around the world was “giving us a clearer picture about this virus, how it behaves, how to stop it and how to treat it”. “We know that COVID-19 spreads fast, and we know that it is deadly – 10 times deadlier than the 2009 flu pandemic,” Dr Tedros said at a briefing in Geneva on Monday. The 2009 swine flu pandemic, involving the H1N1 influenza virus, is estimated to have killed around 200,000 people around the world. We’ll have more updates from the WHO’s briefing later.
17:48 New York governor: ‘Worst is over – if we stay smart’
Now we’ve heard from the UK government there is lots of news to bring you – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has reported that for the first day in a week, the state has seen less than 700 deaths from Covid-19. He said “the worst is over – if we continue to be smart”. In his daily press briefing from Albany, he said: “God did not do that. Fate did not do that. Destiny did not do that. A lot of pain and suffering did that. “If we do something stupid, you will see those numbers go right back up tomorrow,” he warned, adding that official death toll now stood at 10,056. Quoting wartime British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, as he has often in his news conferences, he called this moment “the end of the beginning”. Cuomo added that he would be speaking with other state governors about a “geographically co-ordinated” plan to re-open the economy by “recalibrating” what jobs were deemed essential. His statement came an hour after President Trump tweeted: “A decision by me, in conjunction with the governors and input from others, will be made shortly!”
17:05 UK Press Conference
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is standing in for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who’s recovering after spending a week in hospital with coronavirus. Mr Raab is joined in Downing Street by Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, and Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.
Dominic Raab opens the briefing by saying he last spoke to the PM on Saturday. The foreign secretary says the government is “united in focus and determination” to defeat the virus. He gives his thanks to St Thomas’ Hospital where Boris Johnson was treated, and all the staff working over the weekend across the whole of the NHS. “Can I also take the opportunity to thank all those who chose to stay at home,” he adds. “At the end of last week we were concerned people might start ignoring the advice or cutting corners. “But in fact the overwhelming majority of people stayed at home and realised the importance of doing so.”
Dominic Raab confirms the total number of deaths in the UK has reached 11,329. He says despite the “grisly figures”, there is some hope in the numbers, saying the lockdown measures are slowing the spread. But he doesn’t expect any changes to be made to lockdown measures currently in place until they can be confident they can be made safely. He also promises the government is ramping up testing, while the chancellor and business secretary are “working round the clock to mitigate the damage this crisis has undoubtedly done to our economy”. Mr Raab asks people to keep keep following the guidance and to stay home. “If we let up now the virus will only take advantage, spread faster and kill more people,” he adds. “Our plan is working. Please stick with it and we will get through this crisis together.”
Sir Patrick Vallance says the UK is “tracking behind Italy” on deaths from coronavirus. He says he expects deaths to plateau for a while then decrease.
Dominic Raab says evidence suggests the UK is still “going through the peak of this crisis”. It’s “critically important” to keep preventing its spread, he adds. Chris Whitty says the coronavirus death toll outside hospitals is being measured. He adds that Office for National Statistics data includes these details.
The BBC’s David Shukman asks if the government could change its advice about wearing masks outdoors as more countries introduce recommendations to wear them outside. Patrick Vallance says the government would change its mind if the evidence showed it was the right thing to do. He says there is a review ongoing at the moment over evidence on the impact of wearing masks, and says they have already seen “more persuasive” data on it stopping you passing on the virus, rather than catching it. But the advice has yet to change, he adds. Asked about what moves the government would make to reduce the lockdown measures in the UK ahead of a review later this week, Dominic Raab says it is “far too early to talk about that”. He adds: “We are still going through the peak. We are doing all the work in government to assess the evidence and we will be guided by the science. “But until we have got that evidence, we will be getting ahead of ourselves. Our focus is to keep up that national effort [on social distancing].”
Asked if we will ever know the true extent of the deaths of coronavirus, due to deaths outside of hospital or incorrect recordings, Prof Chris Whitty says the accuracy will increase as testing is increased. “At this point in time, most people who appear to have Covid-19 do have it, but that wouldn’t be true during flu season, for example,” he says. “But ramping up will allow greater accuracy.” Asked specifically about care homes if doctors cannot get in to see the patients who have died, Prof Whitty says doctors “take it very seriously and try to make sure they get as much information”.
Dominic Raab is pulled up on his remark that the government plan was working – with the government facing criticism for the death toll and lack of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. The foreign secretary says they have been making sure the NHS is protected by making people follow social distancing advice, for starters. “People have shown forbearance and sacrifice and allowed us to deliver on that, so that has been a success that has helped limit the spread,” he adds. “It is difficult when you look at the death toll but there are tentative signs of it flattening out.” Mr Raab says the second success is the increase is capacity in the NHS, when it comes to critical beds and ventilators. “I am not saying there haven’t been challenges, but we have got ourselves into a good place.”
Prof Chris Whitty says 92 care homes have experienced a coronavirus outbreak in the last 24 hours. Staff are doing a “very difficult job” for residents, he adds.
With more than 11,000 people dying to date, some experts say the UK could have the worst death toll in Europe because it failed to act sooner with lockdown measures. Asked if the UK should have acted sooner, Patrick Vallance says: “The aim all along has been to get the numbers down, make sure we keep the numbers below NHS capacity and ensure the NHS can function. “So far that is exactly where we are, with heroic efforts from the NHS and superhuman efforts of doctors and nurses.” He says “we will have to wait and see” how we end up comparing with other countries, adding: “We have a long way to go yet in this disease, it is still new.” But the professor also says there must be a focus on vaccines and treatment going forward. Dominic Raab ends the press conference, saying you cannot compare the UK “like for like” with other countries as we are at a different point in the curve of the virus. He concludes: “We will continue to monitor – and we do monitor what is going elsewhere – and we will feed that into what we are doing.
16:52 New York surpasses 10,000 deaths
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has reported 671 news deaths on Easter sunday, raising the state’s death toll to 10,056. The 24-hour death tolls are falling but the figure is still too high, says Cuomo, adding that the dreaded “apex” appears to be more of a “plateau”. The curve – the rate of new infections and deaths – is “basically flat at a horrific level of pain and grief and sorrow”, Cuomo says.
16:42 US ‘nearing peak’ – CDC director
The US is approaching the peak of its coronavirus outbreak, paving the way for the the economy to reopen “step by step”, a top health official has said. Dr Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told NBC News cases were “stabilising across the country”. The US has recorded 557,663 cases and 21,600 deaths linked with Covid-19, the highest number on both counts in the world. However, daily death tolls do appear to be stabilising in some of the worst-hit states. In New York, the epicentre of the country’s outbreak, daily deaths have dropped to around the 700 mark in recent days. When questioned about reopening the US economy, Dr Redfield urged caution, saying : “It’s going to be a step by step, gradual process.”
16:35 Lockdown spares Czech women an Easter whipping
The Czech Republic has seen the suspension of a controversial tradition where men lightly whip women with a switch made of willow branches to ensure fertility. It is an Easter Monday ritual of pagan origin, popular in rural areas. Men go door-to-door, singing a ditty and whipping women’s legs and buttocks. They are rewarded with painted eggs and shots of plum brandy. However, for many Czech women the ritual is far from harmless. “It hurt like hell,” Ladka Bauerova, who grew up in Prague, told the BBC. “Even as a child I felt acute embarrassment at the heavy-handed symbolism – you’re giving men your eggs to stop them from being violent!?” But this year Interior Minister Jan Hamacek has urged Czech men to leave their whips at home and wear the compulsory protective masks. There were 89 new cases in the country on Sunday and a total of 139 Covid-19 deaths.
16:23 Russia ‘on the foothills’ of the epidemic
Two and a half weeks ago, the message from the Kremlin was that “there is de facto no epidemic” in Russia. It’s a different message now. Vladimir Putin conceded that the situation is changing rapidly, “and not for the better”. Earlier Russia recorded its largest daily increase in coronavirus cases: the official figure jumped by 2,558 to a total of 18,328; 148 people have died. Compared with other countries, these numbers are relatively low. But senior officials have warned that Russia is only in the “foothills” of this epidemic.
In Moscow, there are already signs that the health-care system is under strain. Last weekend on the edge of the city, dozens of ambulances were seen queuing outside a hospital handling coronavirus cases, waiting to drop off patients. On Monday President Putin ordered officials to make contingency plans for the “most difficult and extraordinary scenarios.” He said Russia should draw upon the experience of its armed forces, which have been sent to help countries like Italy and Serbia tackle the pandemic. “All the capabilities of the Russian defence ministry, if necessary, can and should be used here,” he said.
16:16 Care homes investigated in US and Canada
Care homes for the elderly in the US and Canada are being investigated for allegedly failing to provide treatment to Covid-19 patients or even concealing their deaths from authorities, families or own staff. In Holyoke, Massachusetts, a residence for US veterans where 38 people have died is now under scrutiny from federal prosecutors after the National Guard was called to provide aid. The mayor of Holyoke has claimed that Soldiers’ Home staff did not notify state officials after several people died with Covid-like symptoms.
In Canada, Quebec province is investigation a home where 31 people died from Covid-19. The Quebec premier blamed “major negligence” and said staff were refusing to co-operate with the inquiry. Care homes are also being investigated in Michigan, Nevada, Washington and Colorado.
There have been over 3,600 coronavirus-related deaths in US nursing homes alone, according to the Associated Press. The news agency noted that there could be many more, as patients who die without a positive diagnosis are not included in the tally.
15:44 Macron’s TV address: What can we expect?
At 20:00 local time (19:00 BST) on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron will deliver his third TV address to the nation on the coronavirus pandemic. It comes at a time when France’s coronavirus epidemic is showing tentative signs of slowing down. On Sunday, hospital deaths dropped slightly and, for the fourth day in a row, the number of patients in intensive care fell.
French health officials have attributed these reductions to the strict national lockdown imposed by President Macron on 17 March. As the lockdown nears its expiration date, 15 April, Macron’s speech will outline the next steps of his government’s plan. In briefings to French media outlets, presidential sources have said Macron will extend the lockdown beyond 15 April. An Elysées Palace source told AFP news agency that Macron might extend it until at least the middle of May. The date should be “long enough away so everyone understands the effort that still needs to be made but sufficiently close to sketch out how France will look afterwards”, the source added.
Like other world leaders, Macron will be mindful of the advice issued by health experts, who have warned of a deadly Covid-19 resurgence should restrictions be lifted too soon.
15:27 England sees 667 more coronavirus deaths
A further 667 people who tested positive for coronavirus in England have died, NHS England says. This brings the total number of deaths in hospitals in England to 10,261. Of the figure, 118 of the new deaths happened on 12 April with the rest taking place between 1 April and 11 April. A total of 575 patients have died in Scotland after testing positive for coronavirus, up by nine from 566 on Sunday. In Wales, there have been a 15 further deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19, taking the number of deaths to 384. Six further people have died in Northern Ireland after testing positive for the virus, taking the total there up to 124.
15:08 Putin warns of rise in Russian cases
President Vladimir Putin has warned that the situation in Russia is getting worse, after the country saw its largest single-day rise in confirmed cases of Covid-19. “As we can see, the situation is changing almost every day. Unfortunately, it is not changing for the better,” he told members of the Russian government. The Russian president also said the military could be deployed to help tackle the outbreak as it had done in Italy and elsewhere. On Monday new figures showed more than 2,550 new infections in Russia, bringing the total to 18,328. Almost two-thirds of confirmed cases have been in the capital Moscow.
14:53 UK death toll reaches 11,329
The number of people who have died in the UK after being hospitalised and testing positive for coronavirus has now reached 11,329. The government’s department for health and social care said it is a rise of 717 from Easter Sunday’s total.
14:25 US pork supplies to shrink as meat plant shuts
Coronavirus infections among workers at a meat packaging plant in the US state of South Dakota will leave the country “perilously close to the edge” for pork supplies. Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest packaged pork producer, announced at the weekend it would stop operations indefinitely as it works with regulators to find a way to resume. The plant makes 4-5% of US pork supplies. The closure follows similar moves by other US packaged-meat firms such Tyson Foods, Cargill and JBS. “These facility closures will also have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions for many in the supply chain, first and foremost our nation’s livestock farmers,” Kenneth Sullivan, CEO of Smithfield Foods, said. There were 238 cases of coronavirus at the plant as of the weekend, according to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. The plant employs 3,700 workers. The company statement added that “there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of” the coronavirus.
13:40 Boris Johnson now tests negative for virus
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tested negative for coronavirus before being discharged from hospital yesterday, a government spokesman has said. He said Johnson was continuing his recovery at Chequers, his official country residence. Asked why he was there rather than his primary residence of No 10, the spokesman said it was “considered to be a suitable place”. The prime minister had spoken to Dominic Raab, who is deputising for him, over the weekend. “The PM is focusing on his recovery and not currently carrying out government work,” the spokesman added. Separately, the government has denied that Cabinet minister Michael Gove’s daughter being tested for coronavirus was an example of “double standards,” after controversy about a lack of testing for frontline staff. The spokesman said the test was carried out “on the advice of the chief medical officer and in line with medical guidance”. “The test ensured Michael Gove could get back to work to help drive the government’s response at a critical time,” the spokesman said.
13:29 Coronavirus in South Africa: The lull before the surge?
During the past fortnight, South Africa has seen a dramatic and unexpected slowdown in the daily rate of coronavirus infections. Health experts are warning that it is far too early to see this as a significant development, and worry that it could even trigger a dangerous sense of complacency. “We’re a bit perplexed,” said Dr Tom Boyles, an infectious disease doctor at Johannesburg’s Helen Joseph Hospital. “We’ve been calling it the calm before the storm for about three weeks. We’re getting everything set up here. And it just hasn’t arrived. It’s weird.” President Cyril Ramaphosa has suggested that the two weeks of lockdown is responsible. He has extended the nationwide restrictions, scheduled to end in one week’s time, to the end of the month.
13:18 Raspberry Pi-powered ventilator to be tested in Colombia
A team in Colombia is to test a ventilator made with a Raspberry Pi computer and easy-to-source parts. The design and computer code were posted online in March by a man in California, who had no prior experience at creating medical equipment. Marco Mascorro, a robotics engineer, said he had built the ventilator because knew the machines were in high demand to treat Covid-19. “I am a true believer that technology can solve a lot of the problems we have right now specifically in this pandemic,” he told the BBC.
12:48 Belgium deaths continue to rise
Official data from Belgium shows the daily death toll there rose by 303 on Monday, bringing its recorded total to 3,903. The update includes deaths in care homes from people who were suspected of having the virus, but were not necessarily tested. Though the number may seem small compared with other European nations, Belgium’s population is only about 11.5 million. Germany has a population of about 83 million, and has recorded about 3,000 deaths in total – meaning proportionally, Belgium’s death toll is closer to Spain and Italy per head of population. Belgium has confirmed more than 30,000 cases since the outbreak began.
12:37 Interest in home composting soars during UK lockdown
One consequence of the lockdown in the UK has been a surge of interest in home composting. The Royal Horticultural Society says views of the relevant pages on its website were up nearly 500% in the last nine days of March compared with the whole of 2019. This comes as more than a third of councils in England have stopped collecting garden waste. The RHS said there was a similar increase in page views on its advice of how to divide perennials.
12:27 Russia records biggest daily rises in cases
More than 2,550 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Russia in the past 24 hours – the country’s largest daily rise in infections so far. About 11,500 of the 18,328 people infected have been in the capital Moscow. There have been recorded 148 deaths. Although Russia has a relatively low number of cases compared with many European countries, the government has introduced a range of measures to deal with the outbreak. A full lockdown has been imposed in most regions.
12:20 Bodies lie in houses and on streets in Ecuador
“Look at the blood, look at how they’re carrying a body. Oh my god.” Residents in Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, have been forced to keep the bodies of their relatives in their homes, sometimes for days, with authorities unable to keep up with the need to remove them. Images emerged last week of bodies left lying on the street, and many residents are still waiting to bury their loved ones.
11:59 Warnings as Nicaragua continues life as normal
You would be forgiven for thinking the coronavirus has not reached Nicaragua. Photos taken this weekend show people gathering for a festival and professional footballers playing a league game. Figures from Sunday suggest there have been nine Covid-19 infections and one death in the country. What sets it apart from the rest of the region is the approach the government has taken to the pandemic. While other leaders imposed strict restrictions on movement and closed borders, Vice-President Rosario Murillo told Nicaraguans to keep calm and carry on working. The governing party – led by Murillo and her husband, President Daniel Ortega – has also convened mass gatherings. The Pan-American Health Organization expressed concern about “inadequate infection prevention and control”. President Ortega, 74, was last seen on 12 March taking part in a conference call. His wife insists he is “here, working, directing, co-ordinating all the efforts”, but there are no shortages of rumours about the president’s health.
11:42 Wearing face masks ‘will become the norm’
Wearing facial protection will soon become normal, according to the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 spokesman David Nabarro. Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Nabarro said people had to come to terms with the new reality of living with the virus. “This virus is not going to go away. We don’t know whether people who have had the virus stay immune and we don’t know when we will have a vaccine,” he said. “Some form of facial protection I am sure is going to become the norm, not least to give people reassurance. I think it will come because of what I am calling being Covid-19-ready.”
11:04 Spain: cases and deaths fall, as lockdown eases
New Spanish data released on Monday showed 517 people had died in the previous 24 hours, compared with 619 recorded on Sunday. The number of new confirmed new cases also fell. The figures came as Spain allowed builders, factory workers and others unable to work from home to return to work, provided they follow strict safety guidelines. It was a return to normality of sorts for some non-essential workers. On the Madrid metro and at bus and railway stations, police handed out face masks to commuters. But even at rush hour, use of Madrid’s transport system was much lower than normal. Antonio Álvarez, a self-employed manual worker, described it as a relief to be able to resume work on the digging of a swimming pool on a private property near the capital. “I think the restrictions so far have worked. If they hadn’t implemented them it would have been disastrous,” he said.
10:51 Singapore readies for steady rise of infections
Singapore continues to see a steady increase of new confirmed cases. The latest figure from Sunday was 233 tests coming back positive. It’s the second time in a week that new cases had spiked above 200 in the city state of less than 6 million people. Singapore had long been a model of how meticulous contact-tracing seemed to keep the virus under control. For long, the main concern was not local transmission, but imported cases. By now though, the spread is local.
Many of the recent positive tests are from workers’ dormitories. The number of residents testing positive is “likely to continue going up especially as we undertake more aggressive testing at the dormitories,” the health ministry said. Workers in affected dorms are being isolated, some even in floating accommodation off the coast. In many cases, entire dorms are under lockdown, affecting tens of thousands of workers who in normal times contribute to Singapore’s strong economy. Overall, Singapore has 2,532 confirmed cases while 8 deaths have been linked to Covid-19.
10:39 Parents ‘proud’ of daughter who nursed Boris Johnson
Mike and Caroline McGee, the parents of Jenny McGee, one of the nurses thanked by Boris Johnson after he left hospital, spoke to TVNZ about their pride in their daughter’s professionalism. The UK prime minister said two nurses – Jenny from New Zealand and Luis from Portugal – stood by his bedside for 48 hours at the most critical time. McGee told her parents it was the “most surreal time in her life”, they said. Johnson was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Sunday – 10 days after testing positive for Covid-19.
10:26 Former Israeli chief rabbi dies with coronavirus
A former chief rabbi of Israel has died with Covid-19 – the highest profile death from the disease in the country. Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, 79, was chief rabbi of the Sephardi community – Jews or their descendants from the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa and the Middle East – from 1993 to 2003. He was noted, among other things, for his work in promoting interfaith dialogue.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Bakshi-Doron “served as a guide to all Israeli communities, in Israel and in the world”. Owing to social-distancing rules, police urged mourners not to attend Bakshi-Doron’s funeral, which would normally have attracted large crowds.
09:48 More than half of Germany’s infected have recovered
Germany now has more people who have recovered from coronavirus than active cases, officials say. Over the past 24 hours, there were 2,537 new positive tests, taking the total to 127,854. That’s the fourth-biggest number in Europe, but just over 50% of those have recovered.
In Spain, 37% of the 166,831 people infected have recovered, in Italy 22% of 156,363, in France 21% of 133,670. In the UK 85,208 people have tested positive, but data on the recovery rate was not available.
Germany also has a lower mortality rate, which is attributed to widespread testing, so that among the positive tests are many patients with only mild symptoms. Chancellor Angela Merkel and top state officials will meet on Monday to discuss a possible easing of the countrywide lockdown.
09:22 UK government criticised as death toll passes 10,000
Criticism of the UK government’s response to coronavirus is growing after one of its top scientific advisers said the country was likely to be among the worst affected in Europe. The warning from Sir Jeremy Farrar came as UK hospital deaths passed 10,000 on Sunday. Sue Hill, vice-president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said she believed UK deaths could rise to 30,000. “Cabinet ministers are standing up every day, addressing us as if we’re on a war footing and giving Churchillian quotes when they could be doing a few simple things like getting more bits of plastic and paper [personal protective equipment for medical staff] on to wards,” Hill said. Professor John Ashton, a former public health director, called on the government to be “completely honest”, as the recorded number of deaths being put out is only those who have died in hospital, and does not include deaths in care homes and in the community. “There’s a lot of worry now on social media that we’re not being given the full picture. People need to be treated like adults,” he said.
Dozens of NHS workers are known to have died so far, with doctors who came out of retirement, as well as a disproportionate number of workers from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds among those who have lost their lives. The government faced serious criticism early on in the spread of the pandemic in the UK, after messages from officials led to confusion over the strategy being pursued, and the country was relatively slow to shut down non-essential businesses and public gatherings.
09:11 Top US official says recommendations were ignored
Dr Anthony Fauci, one of the nation’s top health experts and the face of the nation’s fight against coronavirus, appeared to confirm a New York Times report that the Trump administration ignored public health warnings for almost a month. According to the Times article, Fauci and other health officials called for social distancing measures in February but were rebuffed by the president. When asked about why the administration did not act, Dr Fauci told CNN: “You know … as I have said many times, we look at it from a pure health standpoint. We make a recommendation. Often, the recommendation is taken. Sometimes, it’s not.” Fauci said that if the US had moved sooner to shut down, lives would have been saved. The US has recorded more than 555,000 virus cases and 22,000 deaths.
08:59 China focuses on ‘imported’ cases
Imported cases have been China’s focus for several weeks now. It believes the main threat now to be people bringing the virus back to the country. Most of these people are Chinese returning home. The arc of China’s efforts to tackle, contain and end the outbreak went like this: local officials knew about an emerging outbreak but didn’t act; the national government imposed a draconian lockdown of Wuhan; China imposed domestic travel restrictions but insisted that international travel to and from China should not be cut; the virus spread abroad; China believed it had successfully contained the outbreak then switched its focus to people bringing it back here from abroad. Something like a cat and mouse chase has emerged – despite drastically reducing international flights into China, barring any direct arrivals into Beijing and insisting that passengers now undergo strict quarantine, people found a weak point. The usually obscure land crossing between Russia and China in the northern province of Heilongjiang has seen a persistent cluster of travellers bringing the virus with them. New ‘imported’ cases there are almost all Chinese coming home. And they appear to be spreading it. The latest official figures reveal 10 new domestic cases, seven of which are in Heilongjiang, home to that land crossing.
08:40 Hundreds of Bolivians left stranded in Chile
More than 700 Bolivian nationals are being transferred to temporary accommodation, after being left stranded by lockdown measures in neighbouring Chile. Last week, Chile’s National Institute of Human Rights warned about the situation of the migrants, who were forced to sleep rough and were struggling to find food as coronavirus measures left them unable to return home. Around 450 people were transferred to the port city of Iquique on Sunday, according to local media, with the rest due to follow on Monday. The incident was criticised by a Bolivian government minister, who accused Chile of allowing people to travel into the country despite the border closures.
08:12 India in race against time to protect doctors
India, like most parts of the world, is in a race against time to deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) to its medical teams fighting the coronavirus. With more than 8,500 cases nationwide so far, state governments are struggling to cope with the demand. In some cases, doctors were forced to use raincoats and motorbike helmets. One doctor working in a hospital in the northern city of Lucknow said: “We are not getting PPE kits as fast as we should. This is really a war and we are being compared to soldiers. But you don’t send soldiers to fight a war without ammunition.” Many countries have seen shortages. In the UK, paramedics and other frontline staff have raised concerns about their protective equipment..
07:51 Internet cafe closures spells trouble for Japan’s homeless
Internet cafes are a common destination for homeless people in many Japanese cities – many cafes are open 24 hours and have private booths, showers, and entertainment. Japan has a lower level of homelessness than many developed countries, but more than 4,000 people live in internet cafes in the capital Tokyo alone. Now the cafes have been ordered to close to curb the spread of coronavirus, and authorities are rushing to find temporary housing for thousands of homeless. Hotel rooms and sports halls are among the options being assessed.
07:41 Spain allows some businesses to reopen
Some non-essential workers in Spain will be allowed to go back to work on Monday as the country partially relaxes its lockdown measures. Manufacturing and construction are among the businesses that will be allowed to reopen, as long as they adhere to strict safety guidelines. Non-essential shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues will remain closed. Ten million face masks will also be given to those travelling on public transport this week as people start to return to work. Spain is one of the countries worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak – with more than 166,000 confirmed cases and nearly 17,000 deaths as of Sunday. But the number of new infections has been falling.
07:02 Senior UN official calls for wildlife market ban
The UN’s biodiversity chief has called for a global ban on wildlife markets to prevent the outbreak of future pandemics. Elizabeth Maruma Mrema told the BBC that the practice of buying and selling wild animals in markets can pose a threat to human health as well as to endangered species. “We know over the last 60 years the majority of the new zoonotic diseases have emerged as the result of human activities … pushing wild animals into closer contact with humans and increasing the risk of transmission,” Mrema said. “Therefore we need to ensure that wet markets are well regulated, clean and not linked to the illegal trade of wild animals.” She acknowledged that many rural communities around the world depend on wildlife trade for “for economic and food security reasons”. China has placed a temporary ban on the consumption of wild animals, following reports that the current global coronavirus pandemic originated in a market in Wuhan where live animals were bought and sold – though there is still no definitive proof the market was the source of the outbreak.
06:39 Sri Lanka makes cremations mandatory for Covid-19 victims
Sri Lanka has made cremations compulsory for victims of Covid-19 – a move which has angered its minority Muslim population who say this goes against their own religious customs. Out of the seven confirmed deaths so far, three were Muslim, reports The Hindu newspaper.
06:13 Australians have ‘responded magnificently’
Transport movements in Australia over the long Easter weekend were below 13%, Health Minister Greg Hunt has revealed. In a press conference on Monday, he praised Australians for staying at home, saying they had “responded magnificently” and they had “significantly flattened the curve”. “Australians are making a difference, saving lives and protecting lives [and] staying at home. I couldn’t be more impressed and heartened,” he said. “Thank you to all Australians for their actions.” He said the latest numbers showed 6,335 people in Australia had been diagnosed with Covid-19. From this number 3,338 have officially recovered.
05:54 South Korea to test all US arrivals
South Korea will test everyone arriving from the US within three days of self-isolation. The measure goes into effect Monday morning, the country’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said according to the Yonhap News Agency. Like China, South Korea continues to struggle with cases being imported by people coming in from abroad. Official data shows that over that over the past two weeks, half of such imported cases came from the United States which has become the epicentre of the global pandemic.
05:27 Harbin tightens rules to curb virus
The Chinese city of Harbin has stepped up efforts to curb the virus, implementing a 28-day quarantine period for all arrivals from abroad. Those entering the capital of Heilongjiang province, which borders Russia, will be held at a quarantine centre for 14 days, followed by another 14 days at home. They will also have to go through two nucleic acid tests and an antibody test, said state media outlet the Global Times. According to Bloomberg, Heilongjiang has in this month alone seen more than 100 imported infections from Russia. The border town of Suifenhe, also in Heilongjiang but around 300 miles east of Harbin, has already entered lockdown.
05:10 5,000 people in Tasmania forced to quarantine
The Australian state of Tasmania has closed down two hospitals after a number of infections were found to be linked to them. All 1,200 staff members from the North West Regional Hospital and the North West Private Hospital in Burnie, as well as their household members, now need to go into quarantine for two weeks. Local media reports say that’s about 5,000 people that will have to be quarantined. The majority of patients will be transferred to a nearby hospital so the hospitals can undergo “deep cleaning”. Around 60 cases of the state’s 144 cases have been linked to the hospitals, say local media reports. “Never before has a premier had to ask a community to do this,” said the state’s premier Peter Gutwein. “But I would ask that you work with us. This is the best way that we can get on top of this, that we can stop the spread of this insidious disease.”
04:59 What to make of China’s numbers
The numbers are relatively small but the trend is upwards, and that is not good for China. The 108 new confirmed cases is the highest number of daily infections in more than five weeks in the officially reported government numbers. The main reason, according to the statistics, is a continued stream of Chinese nationals returning home. They account for almost all the confirmed cases. Almost half are concentrated in the northern province of Heilongjiang, where some Chinese crossing from Russia have brought it with them. Despite severe restrictions on international travel coming into China, the reality is the government hasn’t been able to completely stop new cases of the virus emerging. In the province of Hubei, where it all began, the numbers are very small but people are still dying. Two new deaths there have been reported. That’s despite the fact it was deemed safe enough to open up to the rest of China and the world.
04:39 France and Italy death rates falling
Two of the European countries worst-affected by the pandemic, Italy and France, have both reported a reduction in the daily number of deaths linked to Covid-19. The latest figure from Italy is 431 – the lowest in more than three weeks. Officials say the crisis has peaked. France has recorded a slight fall in both the number of dead and of patients put onto life support. It said on Sunday there were 315 deaths in hospital in the past 24 hours, compared with 345 the day earlier. Spain however has seen an increase in daily deaths linked to Covid-19, to just over 600. The government warned there could still be tough times ahead, even as the number of new infections continues to slow.
04:22 Fifth death in New Zealand
A fifth person has died in New Zealand – a man in his 80s who is the third death from a cluster at a care home in Christchurch. It comes as New Zealand recorded a low of 19 new confirmed cases – bringing the total number of cases to 1,349. However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country would not be coming out of lockdown early despite the low figures. “Our number of cases may be small but that doesn’t mean we have yet been successful in hunting this virus down,” she said at a news conference on Monday. “One positive can be indicative of other cases in the community and that is why we must keep going.” She also addressed those who had broken lockdown rules over the Easter weekend. Local station RNZ said police had issued more than 100 warnings for drivers who were caught breaking the rules on Good Friday. “I say to those who broke the rules this weekend – it can take one case amongst you to have an outbreak that could lead to dozens of infections and possibly death,” said Ardern. “New Zealand does not take this challenge lightly and nor should you.”
04:13 Policeman’s hand reattached after lockdown attack
An Indian police officer whose hand was chopped off while he was trying to enforce the lockdown has had his hand re-attached. After a seven-hour operation, doctors said the hand re-implantation was done “successfully”. Doctors added that the patient will remain in hospital for observation for another 48 hours. The officer was attacked by a group of men in the northern state of Punjab. At least three of the attackers, who are reportedly from a religious sect, were arrested over the weekend. Indian police in other states have also come under attack for trying to enforce the lockdown.
04:05 World Bank predicts South Asia recession
The World Bank says South Asian nations, including India, are on course for their worst economic performance in 40 years because of the pandemic. The region, comprising eight countries and home to a quarter of the world’s population, is likely to show growth of between 1.8% and 2.8% this year, the bank said, down from the 6.3% it projected six months ago. India’s economy is expected to grow 1.5% to 2.8% in the fiscal year starting in April. Other than India, the World Bank forecast that Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh will also see sharp falls in economic growth. Three countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Maldives – are expected to fall into recession – and the bank warns that decades of progress fighting poverty in the region are now at risk.
03:57 Hundreds in Fiji arrested for breaking rules
Hundreds of people in Fiji have been arrested for breaking quarantine rules – breaching curfews and meeting despite social gathering restrictions. At least six cases in Fiji, which now has 16 cases in total, are linked to a man who reportedly flouted quarantine regulations. Its Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said a “long and dangerous” chain of transmission could grow if these orders were ignored. There are fears that ill-equipped health services across the Pacific would be unable to cope with large numbers of coronavirus infections.
03:48 Boris Johnson thanks New Zealand nurse
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was discharged from hospital in London on Sunday, having been admitted a week ago and spending several days in intensive care. He posted a video thanking the National Health Service (NHS), saying it “has saved my life, no question”. Johnson thanked several staff directly, among them “Jenny from Invercargill” in New Zealand for staying by his side when things “could have gone either way”. It didn’t take long for media in New Zealand to speak to the nurse’s family – her parents say they are “absolutely astounded and exceptionally proud” that their daughter has been recognised for her efforts. Jenny McGee is in her 30s and has been working in London for about nine years. Her mother told stuff.co.nz that her daughter had not told her she was nursing Johnson until the news became public – and even then only said that they had lots of chats. She also told her mother all staff at St Thomas’ Hospital were “absolutely exhausted” at the moment.
03:41 Record deal to cut oil output ends price war
Opec producers and allies have agreed a record oil deal that will slash global output by about 10% after a slump in demand caused by coronavirus lockdowns. The deal reached on Sunday via video conference is the largest cut in oil production ever agreed. The move – which is designed to raise the oil price by increasing demand for the remaining oil – seemed to have the desired effect. On Monday in Asia, oil rose over $1 a barrel with global benchmark Brent up 3.9% to $32.71 a barrel, and US grade West Texas Intermediate up 6.1% to $24.15 a barrel. Shares in Australia jumped 3.46% led by energy exporters, but Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.35% on continued concerns of poor global demand because of the spread of the coronavirus.
03:34 US ‘could have saved lives’ with earlier action
The US could have “saved lives” if it had introduced a Covid-19 lockdown earlier, US top health official Dr Anthony Fauci has told CNN. He said if they had “from the beginning, shut everything down, it may have been a little different.” However Dr Fauci – who is part of the response leadership – added that “it is what it is, we are where we are right now”. The US has over 555,000 virus cases and 22,000 deaths, many in New York.
03:19 China sees spike in numbers
China has reported its highest number of new daily cases in almost six weeks. Of the 108 new cases on Sunday, 98 were imported – triggering fears that infected travellers could cause a second wave of the virus. The Chinese city of Wuhan – the epicentre of the virus – only earlier last week reopened after 11 weeks in lockdown. The country also saw two deaths on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 3,341. Some 61 new asymptomatic cases – which China does not count as a confirmed case – were also recorded.
Sources: Various news sources including but not limited to BBC News, Fox News, CNN.