World coronavirus death toll tops 180,000 – latest updates

In total, 180,289 deaths have been recorded worldwide for 2,596,383 infections, according to AFP tally at 1740 GMT. Here are the updates for April 22:

Members of the Russian Emergencies Ministry wearing protective gear spray disinfectant inside Kiyevsky railway station, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), in Moscow, Russia, April 22, 2020.

Wednesday, April 22

World coronavirus death toll tops 180,000

More than 180,000 people in the world have died from the novel coronavirus, nearly two-thirds of them in Europe, since it emerged in China last December, according to an AFP tally based on official sources.

In total, 180,289 deaths have been recorded worldwide for 2,596,383 infections, according to the tally at 1740 GMT. There were 112,848 deaths in Europe for 1,263,802 cases on the hardest-hit continent.

The United States is the country with the most deaths at 45,153, ahead of Italy with 25,085, Spain 21,717, France 21,340 and Britain with 18,100.

US CDC reports 802,583 cases, 44,575 deaths

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 802,583 cases of the novel coronavirus, an increase of 26,490 from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 2,817 to 44,575.

The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as Covid-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of April 21, compared with its count a day earlier. 

The CDC figures do not necessarily reflect cases reported by individual states.

France death toll close to Spain’s, still world’s fourth highest

France registered a total of 21,340 deaths from coronavirus infections, an increase of 544 or 2.6 percent, the fourth-highest casualty tally in the world, but trailing just a few hundred behind Spain, which has a death toll of 21,717.

The number of people in French hospitals with Covid-19 fell by 365 or 1.2 percent to 29,741, the eight consecutive fall and more than 2,300 patients less than the high of 32,113 set on April 13, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

The number of patients in intensive care units – the most important metric of a health system’s ability to deal with the epidemic – fell by 215 or 4 percent to 5,218, the 14th consecutive decline.

There are now nearly 2,000 people less in ICUs from the high of 7,148 set on April 8.

US deaths top 46,000 after near-record increase previous day

US coronavirus deaths topped 46,000 after rising by a near-record single-day number on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally.

A University of Washington model, often cited by the White House, projected a total of nearly 66,000 US coronavirus deaths by August 4, an upward revision from its most recent previous estimate of 60,000 deaths. At current rates, US deaths could reach 50,000 later this week.

The first US coronavirus death happened weeks earlier than previously believed, according to California county health officials who conducted two autopsies.

‘Incredibly small’ chance of mass vaccine or treatment in next year – UK official

There is an “incredibly small” chance of having a highly effective vaccine or treatment for the coronavirus within the next year, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Wednesday.

“In the long run, the exit from this is going to be one of two things, ideally, one of which is a highly effective vaccine … and/or highly effective drugs,” he told reporters.

“Until we have those – and the probability of having those any time in the next calendar year are incredibly small and I think we should be realistic about that – we’re going to have to rely on other social measures.”

Turkey says virus outbreak under control, as death toll rises by 117 to 2,376

Turkey confirmed 117 more fatalities from the novel coronavirus over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 2,376.

The total number of registered coronavirus reached 98,674, as 3,083 more people tested positive for the virus, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said at the news conference following Coronavirus Science Board meeting.

So far, a total of 16,477 patients have been discharged from hospitals after recovering from the virus, with 1,559 discharged on Wednesday alone, the minister added.

A total of 37,535 tests were conducted over the past 24 hours, with the total reaching 750,944.

Italy’s daily death toll falls, but new cases climb

Deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy climbed by 437, against 534 the day before, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the daily tally of new infections increased to 3,370 from 2,729 on Tuesday.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 now stands at 25,085 the agency said, the second highest in the world after that of the United States.

The number of confirmed cases was 187,327, the third highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain.

People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 107,699 from 107,709 on Tuesday, a third consecutive daily decline.

There were 2,384 people in intensive care on Wednesday against 2,471 on Tuesday, maintaining a long-running decline. Of those originally infected, 54,543 were declared recovered against 51,600 a day earlier.

Iran reopens parks, further easing virus-linked curbs

Iran reopened parks and recreational areas, pressing ahead with measures to ease its coronavirus curbs despite one of the worst outbreaks of the disease in the Middle East.

Ninety-four people died from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours raising the overall toll to 5,391, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said on state TV on Wednesday. 

Canada’s confirmed deaths rise to 1,871

The total number of people killed by the coronavirus in Canada rose by just over 8 percent to 1,871 in a day, official data posted by the public health agency showed.

In a statement posted shortly after 11:00 eastern time (1500 GMT), it said the figure for those diagnosed with the coronavirus had climbed to 38,932. 

The respective figures on Tuesday were 1,728 deaths and 37,382 positive diagnoses. 

Eswatini reinstates lockdown rules as infections rise

The kingdom of Eswatini reversed a decision to relax coronavirus restrictions after infections almost doubled to 31 in one week.

Authorities in Africa’s last absolute monarchy last week eased some of the restrictions imposed on March 27.

Public buses were allowed to resume circulating, and some companies could reopen.

One fatality has so been far recorded.

South Africa to deploy 73,000 more troops for lockdown

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa plans to deploy more than 73,000 extra troops to help implement a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, the defence minister said.

The country is four weeks into a strict police and military-enforced shutdown during which jogging, dog-walking and the sale of alcohol have been banned until the end of April.

Security forces have struggled to keep people indoors – particularly in overcrowded townships – and the police have been grappling with illegal alcohol sales, sometimes involving its own men.

In a letter to parliament tweeted by an opposition party leader, Ramaphosa announced his decision to deploy an additional 73,180 members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) until June 26.

The operation is expected to cost around $2.4 million (4.5 billion rand/ 2.2 million euros), said the letter, which was dated Tuesday.

Those deployed comprise regular, reserve and auxiliary personnel.

Switzerland to stock shops with a million masks a day

Switzerland said it would deliver to shops a million masks a day, but insisted it would not make it mandatory to wear them as coronavirus restrictions start to ease.

The army will be used to distribute the million masks daily for the next two weeks, for stores to be able to sell to the public.

Switzerland stopped short of imposing full confinement in emergency measures introduced last month to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.

But on Monday it will begin to ease the restrictions as the spread of Covid-19 has slowed.

UK death toll rises by 759 to 18,100

A total of 18,100 people with coronavirus have died in hospitals in Britain, new health ministry figures showed, up 759 from the previous day’s toll.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock had earlier said that Britain was “at the peak” of its outbreak of Covid-19, one of the worst in the world.

First virus case recorded in refugee camp in Lebanon

A Palestinian woman from Syria has become the first refugee living in a camp in Lebanon to test positive for the coronavirus, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees said. 

The agency, UNRWA, said the woman resided in the only Palestinian camp in eastern Lebanon’s Bekaa region. 

It said the patient was transferred to the government-run Rafik Hariri Hospital in Beirut.

Dutch cases rise by 708 to 34,842

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Netherlands rose by 708 to 34,842, health authorities said.

The country’s death toll stands at 4,054 with 138 new deaths, the Netherlands Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said in its daily update. The RIVM reiterated that the actual numbers are likely higher, as not all likely cases are tested. 

Switzerland death toll surpasses 1,200

The Swiss death toll from the new coronavirus has reached 1,217, the country’s Health Ministry said, rising from 1,187 people on Tuesday.

The number of positive tests also increased to 28,268 from 28,063, it said. 

The rise in new cases has decelerated in recent days, allowing the government to start relaxing restrictions from April 27. 

69 UK health service staff die of coronavirus

A total of 69 people who worked for Britain’s National Health Service have died of Covid-19 while the number of staff in care homes for the elderly who have died from the disease is not known, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said.

The government is under pressure over accusations it has failed to deliver personal protective equipment to all the medical and care staff who require it.

“We’ve delivered 1 billion items of personal protective equipment and tens of millions have been distributed via the devolved administrations (semi-autonomous governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland),” Raab told parliament.

“We recognise though that we have got to strive even harder in this incredibly difficult and competitive international environment to source the equipment.” 

Jakarta extends social restrictions to May 22

The governor of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta said he would extend large-scale social restrictions for an additional month to May 22 and also ensure residents prayed at home during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“This year’s Ramadan will be different. Usually, we pray in the mosque, but this year we will stay at home,” Governor Anies Baswedan told a streamed news conference. Ramadan is due to start later this week in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

While Jakarta has not imposed a full lock-down, Baswedan said he would increase enforcement of the restrictions in place which include limiting public gatherings.

UK confident of hitting 100,000 daily tests target

Raab said the government was confident it would meet its target of carrying out 100,000 tests a day for the coronavirus by the end of the month.

Official figures on Tuesday showed 18,206 tests had been carried out the previous day.

“I do think it is important to have a target and to drive towards a target. We are making good progress, we are confident we will meet it,” Raab, who is standing in for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovers from Covid-19, told parliament.

“It is about capacity, it is about distribution, we’ll only be able to manage to hit that target if all of us come together to deliver on it,” he added. 

Vietnam to ease lockdown in most areas 

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc agreed to ease the nationwide coronavirus lockdown in most parts of the country, state media reported.

No provinces in the Southeast Asian country are seen as “highly prone” to the new coronavirus, Phuc was quoted as saying on Voice of Vietnam national radio.

Turkey donates medical equipment to Pakistan

Turkey on Wednesday donated medical protective equipment for Pakistani doctors battling the coronavirus in the country, an official said.

The medical supplies were handed over by Turkish Ambassador to Islamabad Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul to Pakistani officials at the Islamabad International Airport.

“A special Turkish Airlines flight brought 20,000 masks, 50,000 protective suits and 100,000 face shields for our Pakistani brothers and sisters,” Yurdakul told Anadolu Agency.

The medical aid was handed over to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority.

Pakistan sends chloroquine to Turkey

Pakistan sent one million tablets of chloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, to Turkey for the treatment of coronavirus patients.

A Turkish Airlines flight that carried medical equipment to Pakistan, brought the medicine back home.

Turkey and Pakistan enjoy close friendly relations and the two countries are quick to help each other during times of crisis.

Earlier, Pakistan had announced it would send chloroquine to help friendly nations deal with the Covid-19 crisis.

Iran coronavirus death toll rises to 5,391

The death toll from the outbreak of the new coronavirus in Iran rose by 94 in the past 24 hours to 5,391, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said in a statement on state TV on Wednesday.

Iran has 85,996 diagnosed cases, Jahanpur said.

Ukraine extends quarantine until May 11

Ukraine extended strong quarantine measures till May 11, hoping then to ease restrictions if there is a reduction in virus cases, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said.

Ukraine reported a total 6,592 infected as of April 22, including 174 deaths and 424 recovered. 

Germany approves first clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine

Germany’s vaccines regulator approved live human testing of a potential vaccine against the Covid-19 virus developed by German biotech company BioNTech, the regulator said in a statement.

The trial, only the fourth worldwide of a preventive agent targeting the virus behind the global pandemic, will be conducted on 200 healthy people aged between 18 and 55 in the first stage, and on further people, including those at higher risk from the disease, in a second stage.

BioNTech said it was developing the vaccine candidate, named BNT162, together with its partner, pharma giant Pfizer. 

Tests of the vaccine were also planned in the US, once regulatory approval for testing on humans had been secured there.

Spain reports 435 deaths overnight, bringing total at 21,717

Spain’s death toll from the virus climbed by 435 in the past 24 hours, the Health Ministry said, roughly in line with the 2% increases reported in the past few days.

The cumulative death toll now stands at 21,717, while the number of confirmed infections rose by 4,211 to 208,389, according to the ministry. 

Malaysia reports 50 new cases, one death

Malaysia reported 50 new coronavirus cases, bringing the cumulative total to 5,532.

The health ministry also reported one new death, bringing the total number of fatalities up to 93.

The country has in the last seven days reported a lowered trend in both infections and deaths.

Indonesia reports 283 new infections, 19 deaths

Indonesia reported 283 new infections taking the total number of cases to 7,418, a health ministry official said.

The official, Achmad Yurianto, said there were 19 new coronavirus deaths, taking the total to 635.

More than 47,300 people have been tested and 913 had recovered, he said.

Philippines records 6,710 cases in total

The Philippines’ health ministry reported nine new coronavirus deaths and111 new confirmed infections.

In a bulletin, the health ministry said total deaths have increased to 446 while infections have risen to 6,710. 

But 39 more patients have recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 693.

Number of cases in Poland exceeds 10,000

The number of people infected in Poland exceeded 10,000, with the death toll reaching 404, the Health Ministry said on its Twitter account.

The ministry said the number of people infected rose to 10,034 in the country of 38 million.

On Monday, the government started to relax some of the restrictions imposed during the outbreak. 

Russia’s confirmed cases reach 58,000

Russia recorded 5,236 new virus cases in the last 24 hours, bringing its nationwide tally to 58,000, the Russian coronavirus crisis response centre said.

Fifty-seven people with the virus died in the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 513, it said.

Spain aims to phase out lockdown in second half of May

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said his government plans to begin winding down lockdown measures in the second half of May.

Restrictions will be eased slowly and gradually to ensure safety, 

Sanchez said at a parliamentary session where he will ask lawmakers to extend Spain’s state of emergency until May 9.

The lockdown was first enforced in Spain on March 14.

Singapore confirms 1,016 more cases

Singapore’s health ministry said it had preliminarily confirmed another 1,016 cases, taking total infections to10,141.

The health ministry said most of the cases were among migrant workers living in dormitories, a group that accounts for more than three quarters of the city-state’s infections.

Singapore authorities on Tuesday extended a partial lockdown until June 1.

Tokyo orphanage for babies reports 8 coronavirus cases

A residential-care facility inTokyo for babies and toddlers reported eight cases of coronavirus infections, local media said.

One staff member at the institution had tested positive for the virus on April 16, prompting a test of its residents, Kyodo News said. 

None of the eight children who tested positive were showing major symptoms such as a fever, Kyodo said.

Saiseikai Central Hospital, which runs the institution, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Japan relies on institutional care for the majority of children who cannot live with their parents for reasons such as abuse and neglect.

Iceland offers $420 million aid for firms and families hit by lockdown

Iceland will inject an additional $420 million into the economy with a package of measures to help smaller businesses and vulnerable groups recover from the lockdown, the government said.

Jobseekers and low-income families will get extra help, and companies that have had to halt operations will be compensated, the government said. Smaller businesses will be offered immediate supports loans, it added.

“Today’s announcement reflects our priorities to protect jobs, embrace our people and look to the future,” Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir said in a statement.

Thailand reports 15 new cases, one new death

Thailand reported 15 new cases and one new death, continuing a trend of lower numbers of new cases.

Despite the slowing of new cases, officials remained cautious.

“The lower numbers are a small success … but we cannot let our guard down,” said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

The new fatality reported on Wednesday was a 58-year-old Thai woman who had diabetes and high-blood pressure as underlying diseases, said Taweesin.

Thailand has a total of 2,826 confirmed cases and 49 deaths.

Germany’s confirmed cases rise to over 150,000

According to Worldometre tracker figures, Germany had 150,690 cases and 5,367 deaths. 

It’s now the fourth highest in terms of cases in Europe.

The country’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases marked a second consecutive day of new infections accelerating.

The reported death toll rose by 281 and cases by 2,237.

Second wave may be even worse: US health chief

A second wave of the virus in the US could be even more destructive because it will likely collide with the beginning of flu season, one of the country’s top health officials said.

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), called on Americans to use the coming months to prepare, and get their flu shots.

“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” he was quoted as saying in an interview with the Washington Post.

“We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time,” he said.

US virus deaths top 45,000 

US virus deaths topped 45,000 doubling in a little over a week as cases climbed to over 800,000, according to a Reuters tally.

US has by far the world’s largest number of confirmed cases, almost four times as many as Spain, the country with the second-highest number. 

Globally, cases topped 2.5 million, with North America accounting for one-third of all cases.

Deaths increased by more than 2,600 alone with a few states yet to report.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan each reported their highest single-day death tolls, over 800 between the three states. 

New York state, the epicentre of the US outbreak, reported 481 new deaths.

Virus fatalities in the US hit a peak of 2,806 on April 15, the deadliest single day of the epidemic.

US cases were at 809,000, up 23,000.

China sees 30 new cases

Mainland China reported 30 new cases, 23 of which were so-called imported cases involving travellers from overseas, up from 11 a day earlier.

The National Health Commission said in a statement the number of new asymptomatic patients, who are infected with the virus but not showing symptoms, also rose to 42 from 37 a day earlier.

A total of 82,788 cases have been reported to date in mainland China, while the number of deaths remained unchanged at 4,632.

Mexico’s surpass 9,000 

Mexico registered a jump of more than 700 confirmed cases to reach a total of 9,501 cases, health ministry officials told reporters at a regular briefing.

Reported deaths from the highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the virus stand at 857, or 145 more than the previous day.

US Senate approves new $480B pandemic relief plan 

The US Senate approved a bipartisan, $480 billion emergency package that replenishes a depleted program to help devastated small businesses, funds hospitals and ramps up nationwide testing during the crisis.

The measure, which passed by unanimous consent after more than a week of negotiations between Democrats, Republicans and the White House, now heads to the House of Representatives where a vote could occur as early as Thursday.

The effort is the government’s latest massive cash injection to prop up a collapsing economy amid struggles to contain a pandemic that has killed 43,000 Americans and left some 22 million people jobless.

Turkey evacuates over 2,000 expats

Turkey has so far evacuated 2,043 citizens from all over the world amid the pandemic.

At the instruction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and in coordination with the Foreign Ministry, Turkey decided to bring back nearly 25,000 citizens before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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