- President Donald Trump said on Friday that he will not reopen the economy “until we know this country is going to be healthy.”
- India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to extend the country’s 21-day nationwide lockdown of its 1.3 billion people, but did not detail how long the extension would last.
- Spain’s death toll fell for third consecutive day, with 510 reported coronavirus-related fatalities in the last 24 hours, the lowest overnight increase in 19 days.
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- Global cases: More than 1,704,565
- Global deaths: At least 103,257
- Most cases reported: United States (501,615), Spain (158,273), Italy (147,577), France (125,931) and Germany (122,171)
The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 7:00 p.m. Beijing time.
All times below are in Beijing time.
7:59 pm: Boris Johnson is making ‘very good progress’
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson “continues to make very good progress” in his coronavirus recovery, a spokesperson for Downing Street said on Saturday afternoon London time. Johnson spent three nights in an intensive care unit and was moved out Thursday after showing signs of improvement. He started being able to walk again on Friday, representatives from his office said. — Natasha Turak
6:08 pm: India’s prime minister decides to extend nationwide lockdown
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to extend the country’s nationwide lockdown of its 1.3 billion people to continue fighting the spread of the coronavirus, Delhi’s chief minister said Saturday. The minister did not detail how long the extension would last.
“If it is stopped now, all gains would be lost. To consolidate, it is imp (important) to extend it,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Twitter.
The 21-day lockdown, which would have ended on Tuesday, has plunged millions of poor Indians into unemployment, with many of those facing starvation. It also triggered an exodus of millions of migrant workers traveling on foot from cities to their villages, as all public transport was shut down. — Natasha Turak
5:51 pm: Iran’s death toll jumps to 4,357
Iran, the hardest-hit country in the Middle East by the coronavirus, reported 1,837 new cases of the disease on Saturday, bringing its total infection count to 70,029. Deaths from the virus in Iran rose by 125 in the past 24 hours to 4,357, the country’s health ministry said. — Natasha Turak
5:31 pm: Spain’s death toll falls for third consecutive day
Spain reported 510 coronavirus-related fatalities in the last 24 hours, the lowest overnight increase in 19 days, the country’s national health ministry said Saturday. Its total death toll is currently 16,353, the second-highest in Europe, while its case count is the continent’s highest at 161,852, up from 157,022 on Friday. — Natasha Turak
5:08 pm: Malaysia cases reach highest level in Southeast Asia
Malaysia reported 184 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, bringing its total to 4,530, the highest in Southest Asia. Three additional deaths were also announced in the country, bringing its total death toll so far to 73. The Malaysian health ministry reported that 44% of all confirmed cases have recovered. — Natasha Turak
5:02 pm: Philippines reports 233 new cases, 26 deaths
Coronavirus cases in the Philippines rose by 233 to 4,428, with deaths growing by 26 to reach a total of 247, the country’s health ministry said Saturday. It also confirmed 17 new recoveries, bringing its the total recovered cases to 157. — Natasha Turak
4:46 pm: Russia reports over 1,500 new cases
Russia reported 1,667 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 13,584, the Russian coronavirus crisis response center said.
The number of coronavirus-related deaths has risen to 106, it added. The center says 1.18 million tests have been conducted. — Holly Ellyatt
4:41 pm: Indonesia reports 330 new cases, 21 new deaths
Indonesia’s Health Ministry reported 330 new coronavirus cases and 21 deaths on Saturday, bringing the Southeast Asian nation’s infection and death counts to 3,842 and 327, respectively. — Natasha Turak
4:08 pm: Iranian president urges people follow health warnings as some restrictions are lifted
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged the country’s residents to respect health protocols as some lockdown restrictions lifted allowing “low-risk” economic activities to restart around the country on Saturday. The easing of the lockdown does not yet apply to the capital Tehran, which will be able to see “low-risk” activities resume on April 18.
Iran’s move comes as controversial to many international health experts, who warn that the Middle East’s worst-hit country could see another surge of coronavirus infections.
“Easing restrictions does not mean ignoring health protocols … social distancing and other health protocols should be respected seriously by people,” Rouhani said Saturday, according to state news agency IRNA. — Natasha Turak
3:12 pm: India’s Modi to discuss lockdown extension; neighboring Bangladesh extends restrictions
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold talks with states on Saturday to decide whether to extend the country’s 21-day lockdown, which ends on Tuesday. He has been under pressure to extend restrictions.
Meanwhile, neighboring Bangladesh has extended its lockdown by 11 days to April 25, Reuters reported. The number of confirmed cases there has risen to 424, and there have been 24 deaths. — Holly Ellyatt
2:32 pm: Thailand reports 45 new coronavirus cases
Thailand has reported 45 new coronavirus cases and two more deaths, on Saturday, Reuters reported. In total, the Southeast Asian nation has recorded 2,518 cases and 35 deaths since its outbreak emerged in January. — Holly Ellyatt
12:47 pm: Germany confirms 117,658 coronavirus cases and 2,544 deaths
Germany has experienced a total of 117,658 coronavirus cases including 2,544 deaths, Reuters reported, citing Germany’s public health institute.
Those numbers compare with the prior day’s totals of 113,525 cases and 2,373 mortalities, as listed on the Robert Koch Institute website.
The German states most heavily affected by the pandemic are Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Baden-Wuerttemberg. —Ted Kemp
12:02 pm: Outbreak strikes homeless shelter in San Francisco
Seventy people at a San Francisco homeless shelter have tested positive for the coronavirus, the city’s mayor announced.
Sixty-eight residents and two staff members have been struck by the virus, the Associated Press cited Mayor London Breed as saying.
Debate has raged in San Francisco about what to do to protect the approximately 8,000 homeless people who live in the city. The AP reported that the outbreak marks the largest in a homeless shelter so far in the state of California, which is believed to have a homeless population of 150,000. —Ted Kemp
11:20 am: Burning Man outdoor festival canceled
Burning Man, the huge music and art festival held in the U.S. state of Nevada each year, will not take place in 2020, the organizers of the event said.
It will be replaced by an online event, due to the health risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will tackle this challenge the same way humans across the globe are doing right now — by drawing strength and inspiration from one another,” the organizers said in a statement posted to their website.
Burning Man was expected to draw about 80,000 people to the Nevada desert for nine days this year. The event typically takes place in what amounts to a temporary city and culminates with a bonfire topped by a giant wooden man. —Ted Kemp
10:55 am: Trump asks US administration to help Italy in fighting pandemic
U.S. President Donald Trump ordered top officials in his administration to help Italy in fighting the coronavirus outbreak, reported Reuters, citing a memo to several cabinet members.
Assistance that the president asked for include providing medical supplies and making U.S. troops available for telemedicine services, the report said.
Italy has reported the world’s highest number of deaths from Covid-19 at 18,849, showed data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Confirmed cases in the country stood at 147,577 — the third highest globally, according to the data. — Yen Nee Lee
10:28 am: Covid-19 infections in South Korea jump by 30 to 10,480
South Korea reported 30 new cases of the coronavirus and three more deaths, said the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That brings the country’s total to 10,480 cases, and 211 fatalities, according to KCDC.
The number of daily infections has been slowing down in South Korea, which has the second-highest number of infections in Asia after China. Since the start of April, the country has been reporting fewer than 100 new cases daily, data by KCDC showed. — Yen Nee Lee
10:14 am: Confirmed cases in the US passes 500,000
The coronavirus has now infected over 500,000 people in the U.S. as of Friday night, constituting almost one-third of all cases across the globe, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
As of 9:25 p.m. Eastern Time, the U.S. has recorded 500,399 cases of the coronavirus disease, or Covid-19, of which 174,481 were in New York, the data showed. — Noah Higgins-Dunn
9:50 am: PayPal, Intuit QuickBooks approved to take part in US small-business emergency loan program
After weeks of lobbying, fintech companies are officially allowed to take part in the U.S. government’s emergency lending program.
PayPal and Intuit QuickBooks announced Friday evening that they were approved by the Small Business Administration to take part in the Paycheck Protection Program. The emergency government loans are meant to help small businesses survive the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak. — Kate Rooney
9:08 am: China reports 46 more cases, of which 42 were ‘imported’
China’s National Health Commission (NHC) said there were 46 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, of which 42 were attributed to travelers coming from overseas. That brings mainland China’s total cases to 81,953, the NHC said.
None of the new cases were in Hubei province, where the coronavirus first emerged, the data showed.
There were three additional deaths in China — all of them in Hubei, taking the country’s total fatalities to 3,339, according to the NHC.
Separately, there were 34 new asymptomatic cases, where people tested positive for the virus but did not show any symptoms. That brings its number of asymptomatic cases currently under medical observation to 1,092, the NHC said. — Yen Nee Lee
8:40 am: Argentina extends lockdown for big cities through April 26
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said lockdown measures in the country will be extended through April 26, reported Reuters.
Fernandez said in a televised address that the measures, which were implemented on March 20, have helped to control the rate of new infections, according to the report.
Argentina has reported 1,975 coronavirus cases since the outbreak, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. — Yen Nee Lee
8:24 am: Mexico reports 403 new cases
Mexico on Friday reported 403 new cases of Covid-19, bring the country’s total cases to 3,844 since the outbreak, reported Reuters, citing the health ministry.
The country has reported 233 deaths so far, the report said. — Yen Nee Lee
8:03 am: US Treasury says larger airlines need to compensate taxpayers
The largest airlines in the U.S. will have to compensate taxpayers for billions in payroll grants to weather coronavirus, the Treasury Department said Friday, leaving the door open to an aid structure that sparked criticism from labor unions, some lawmakers and industry members.
The Treasury Department has received more than 230 applications from air carriers for payroll grants as the virus and harsh measures to stop it drive down air travel demand to the lowest level in decades. Last week, United, Delta, JetBlue, Spirit and others said they applied for the aid. — Leslie Josephs
7:28 am: Malaysia extends movement and travel restrictions
Malaysia extended restrictions on movement and travel by another two weeks until April 28 to stem the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced on Friday.
The measures, which involve shutting schools and non-essential businesses, were set to end on April 14.
Malaysia has reported the highest number of cases in Southeast Asia. The country has confirmed 4,346 coronavirus infections and 70 deaths, according to its health ministry. — Yen Nee Lee
7:10 am: Singapore’s new cases jump by nearly 200
Singapore reported 198 additional cases of Covid-19, taking its tally to 2,108 with six deaths as of Friday noon, according to the country’s Ministry of Health.
The Southeast Asian country has reported a spike in new cases in recent weeks, leading the government to implement strict social distancing and quarantine measures, including temporarily closing schools and workplaces deemed non-essential. — Yen Nee Lee
All times below are in Eastern time.
5:30 pm: Economists say US in short deep recession, but consumers expected to keep spending despite job losses
The economy is already in what will be a short, deep recession and even with a spike in unemployment, consumers are expected to continue to spend, according to a National Association for Business Economics survey.
The 45 economists surveyed by NABE expect the economy to shrink by a 26.5% rate in the second quarter, after a 2.4% decline in GDP in the first quarter. In the second half, they expect growth to turn positive, with an increase of 2% in the third quarter and 5.8% in the fourth quarter.
“NABE Outlook Survey panelists believe that the U.S. economy is already in recession and will remain in a contractionary state for the first half of 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic severely restricts economic activity,” said NABE President Constance Hunter, CBE, chief economist, KPMG. —Patti Domm
3:36 pm: Trump says economy won’t reopen until he’s sure it’s safe
President Donald Trump said on Friday that he will not reopen the economy “until we know this country is going to be healthy.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reportedly projected that lifting stay-at-home orders, school closures and social distancing after just 30 days would lead to an infection spike this summer, according to documents first reported by The New York Times.
When asked whether Trump had seen federal projections that the coronavirus could resurge if the 30-day shelter-in-place orders were lifted, he said he had not seen the projections.
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