Global coronavirus cases exceed 1.5 million: Live updates | News


There are now more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus cross the world, with the United States and the United Kingdom suffering the highest number of deaths in a single day since the outbreak began.

But in countries including South Korea and New Zealand, there is evidence that lockdowns, testing, monitoring and quarantines can help slow the spread of the virus. 

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Data collected by Johns Hopkins University shows that of the 1.5 million people with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, nearly 329,000 have recovered. More than 88,000 people have died with the US reporting 1,850 deaths on Wednesday, and the UK, 938. 

Here are the latest updates.

Thursday, April 9

04:40 GMT – Keep out: Remote Indigenous communities sealed off in Australia

Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are more likely than other Australians to suffer from chronic diseases, which puts them at greater risk from COVID-19.

As part of the country’s shutdown, remote communities in Australia’s vast interior have also been shut down to protect those who live there. Nick Rodway wrote this for Al Jazeera. 

04:30 GMT – First case found among Yanomami people in Brazil

Brazil’s health minister Luiz Henrique Mendetta says the first case of coronavirus has been diagnosed among the Yanomami people in the Amazon.

The patient is a 15-year-old boy is in intensive care in hospital.

Mendetta said the discovery was “very worrying”. 

04:10 GMT – Positive signs in New Zealand after two weeks of lockdown

New Zealand has recorded its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in nearly three weeks, reporting on 29 new cases, the fourth successive daily drop. 

The country is halfway through a month-long national lockdown.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also announced stricter border measures requiring all returning nationals to go into a managed quarantine facility for two weeks. Previously, returning nationals with no symptoms of COVID-19 were allowed to isolate themselves at home.

04:00 GMT – South Korea sees continued slowdown in coronavirus

South Korea’s latest coronavirus update shows the outbreak there continues to slow.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement on Thursday there were 39 more cases, bringing the total to 10,423. The number of deaths rose by four to 204.

Testing, combined with isolation and monitoring, have helped South Korea get control of the virus. The government has also deployed technology to help in the fight including alerts to people’s smartphones to advise them of cases nearby and potential hotspots.

Al Jazeera’s Kelly Kasulis has written about the potential privacy issues – not to mention fatigue – created by the alerts.  You can read more here.

03:20 GMT – China tackling coronavirus cluster in northeastern province

Cases of coronavirus brought into China from overseas have reached their highest level in two weeks, with the northeastern province of Heilongjiang rushing to build a new hospital as more cases are brought in from Russia.

The National Health Commission reported 63 new cases on Wednesday, with 61 coming of those coming from overseas. That’s the highest since March 25.

The country has imposed strict quarantine rules on anyone arriving in China from overseas.

02:30 GMT – ICRC steps up support in the Philippines crowded prisons

The International Committee for the Red Cross is stepping up efforts to help inmates in the Philippines overcrowded prison system, establishing four isolations centres for those confirmed with mild to moderate coronavirus or suspected of having the disease. 

A four tent, 48-bed isolation facility in the new Quezon City Jail site started operations with 17 detainees on Wednesday and will serve the entire Metro Manila region. The facility has  electricity, water, and sanitation.

Philippines ICRC

The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology with the support of the ICRC built a temporary isolation unit at the new Quezon City Jail site in less than three days. It opened on Wednesday to serve COVID-19 positive and PUI detainees in Metro Manila with mild to moderate systems of the disease [Supplied/ICRC]

Three other sites are under development.

“Physical distancing is a privilege simply not available to people behind bars,” Boris Michel, ICRC head of delegation in the Philippines, said in a statement. “Overcrowding and limited health services mean infectious diseases like  COVID-19 can spread fast and wide inside detention facilities.” 

Philippines ICRC

The staff of the isolation facility prepare for the first arrivals on Wednesday [Supplied/ICRC]

01:30 GMT – Taiwan condemns ‘groundless’ accusations it attacked WHO chief

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday has condemned accusations from the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) that it had used racist slurs against him as “groundless”.

On Wednesday, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “racist slurs” had been made against him, which he said had originated in Taiwan.

The island’s Foreign Ministry labelled the accusations “imaginary”.

“We are a mature and highly-accomplished advanced democratic country, and have absolutely not instigated our people to personally attack the WHO’s Director General, and have absolutely not made any racist comments,” it said.

Tedros’ comments were irresponsible and he should clarify them and apologise to Taiwan, it said.

Taiwan is not a member of the WHO. You can read more about why here.

00:10 GMT – Australian police take ‘black box’ from Ruby Princess

Australian police have interviewed the captain of a cruise ship that became the country’s biggest single source of coronavirus infections after hundreds of passengers – some with the virus – got off the ship in Sydney.

About 400 passengers from the Ruby Princess later tested positive for the virus and 15 have died.

The police are conducting a homicide investigation into the incident. The ship remains at a port south of Sydney with about 1,000 crew on board.

00:00 GMT – New York flags at half-mast to honour coronavirus dead

New York, the hardest-hit state in the US, on Wednesday flew flags at half-mast as the number of coronavirus-related deaths in a single day reached a record.

“Every number is a face, ” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “This virus attacked the vulnerable and attacked the weak and it’s our job as a society to protect the vulnerable.”

The number of confirmed cases in New York state is now approaching 150,000.

23:55 GMT – US CDC advises precautions for essential workers 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US has released new guidance for people working in essentials areas such as healthcare and food supply who have been within 1.8 metres (six feet) of someone with a confirmed or suspected case of the coronavirus.

CDC Director Robert Redfield says the employee can return to work as long as they take their temperature before they go to work, wear a face mask at all times and practise social distancing.

Redfield said the employees should continue to stay home if they are sick. He also said employers should take the worker’s temperature before allowing them to come back to work.

23:40 GMT – Brazil president says country to buy materials for hydroxychloroquine

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro says hydroxychloroquine, which is usually used for malaria, is saving the lives of people with COVID-19 and that Brazil will import raw materials from India to manufacture the drug.

Scientists say there is no conclusive evidence on the drug’s efficacy in treating COVID-19.

Twitter has previously deleted posts by Bolsonaro touting hydroxychloroquine.

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I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur with Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Read all the updates from yesterday (April 8) here





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