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Coronavirus live: latest Covid-19 news - 16 April

Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has fired his health minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, after clashes as to how to respond to the coronavirus. Oncologist Nelson Teich will be appointed to replace Mandetta, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on condition of anonymity. (Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu Writing by Jake Spring Editing by Brad Haynes)

coronavirus

Which countries have applied measures like stimulus checks and how much?

The coronavirus has caused countries to close down, business to close their doors and employees away from their offices and places of work. The global economy has taken a battering too with the sudden halt as oil prices have plummeted due to lack of demand. Workers have been laid off in various countries at a staggering rate and the governments in those countries are trying to respond with packages to stimulate the economy until life returns to normal. Here is a list of some of the world's largest nations and their plans to keep the economy and their citizens afloat in these unpredictable times.

Friday headlines

UK based The Independent makes reference to the extending of the lockdown period in the UK by a further three weeks as the death rate continues to rise. At present there have been 103,093 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, with 13,729 deaths in total.

Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez added to One World: Together at Home 'gig'

Swift and Jennifer Lopez will be joining Celine Dion, Sam Smith, Kesha, Christine and the Queens, Alicia Keys, Adam Lambert and Pharrell for an online the concert in aid of the front line workers during the COVID-19 crisis which takes place this Saturday.

Which US states have extended lockdown?

With several US states planning on relaxing lockdown restrictions as of the first of May, seven states confirmed an extension to their respective lockdown dates.

Protests erupt after deaths at U.S. factories in Mexican border town

Protests have erupted outside factories in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez in recent days after the deaths of several workers, including some employed by U.S. companies, from what the protesters said was the coronavirus.

So far, 82 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus in the city that lies across the border from El Paso, Texas, local authorities said on Thursday. A total of 19 have died, the city health department said.

Several workers for Lear Corporation, a Michigan-based car seat maker, have died from respiratory illnesses, the company said in a statement to Reuters. 

Honeywell International Inc on Thursday told Reuters a worker at one of its plants in the city had died after being sent home to self-quarantine and receive medical attention.

The deaths and the protests about ongoing production at border factories follow outbreaks of the virus at meat-packing plants in the United States that have raised concerns over working conditions during the epidemic.

Five things that have to happen before UK lockdown is relaxed

The UK will remain in lockdown for another three weeks says Dominic Rabb, who is standing in for Boris Johnson. The foreign secretary also outlined five things that need to happen before they can consider re-opening the country.

Brian Allen confirmed as first NFL player with coronavirus

Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen told FOX Sports that he tested positive for the virus three weeks ago and then again early last week. The 24-year-old said he now is symptom-free and expects to be cleared later this week.

Brazilian president Bolsonaro fires health minister

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta on Thursday, Mandetta said on Twitter, after the two had clashed for weeks about how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

New York on lockdown through to mid May

State Governor Andrew Cuomo has extended the New York state shutdown to 15 May. Another 606 people have died from the virus in New York, the lowest figure in 10 days, bringing the total above 12,000 in the state.

Serie A to opt for closed doors policy through to March 2021

Italian outlet Polesine24 maintain that domestic football could return on 31 May but with a behind closed doors policy through to March of next year.

Another 5 million join the unemployed queue in the United States

More unsettling news for the US jobs market as the weekly figures were announced today. An additional 5.24 million citizens filed for unemployment benefits during the past seven days, bringing the total for the month to 22 million - equivalent to losing the past decade's worth of job creation. The US unemployment rate currently stands at 17%, almost double the level reached during the financial crisis. 

 

Barça boss Setien with reservations over a May LaLiga restart.

Plans are reportedly in place for LaLiga to resume as early as next month, but Quique Setien is not sure that it is a possibility.

UK lockdown restrictions extended until May

As expected, stay-at-home restrictions in the United Kingdom will continue into next month. Acting Prime Minister Dominic Raab announced in this evening's post-Cobra meeting press briefing that lockdown measure would remain in place for a further three weeks "at least", until 7 May. 

 

UK lockdown restrictions extended until May

As expected, stay-at-home restrictions in the United Kingdom will continue into next month. Acting Prime Minister Dominic Raab announced in this evening's post-Cobra meeting press briefing that lockdown measure would remain in place for a further three weeks "at least", until 7 May. 

Chilean author Sepuldeva dies in Asturias

Another figure from the world of the arts succumbs to the Covid-19 virus with the news that Chilean author Luis Sepuldeva passed away in a hospital in his adopted town of Oviedo in Asturias (Northern Spain). The author was 70-years-old and was best known for "The Old Man Who Read Love Stories", Sepulveda was exiled from Chile in 1977 by the Pinochet dictatorship and travelled extensively before settling in Europe in the 1980s.

Covid-19, the flu or a cold? How to tell the difference

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to place incredible strain on the emergency services, it's essential to check symptoms.

Premier League clubs to discuss football's 'millennium bug'

With football suspended and looking unlikely to have finished by 30 June as a result of the coronavirus crisis, clubs and players are left in limbo.

Full story:

Madrid

Nitrogen dioxide levels in Madrid have dropped 65% in the past week

Contamination continue to subside in the Spanish capital due to restrictions on travel. Levels of nitrogen dioxide have dropped 65% during the past seven days in Madrid reaching their lowest figures since 2010, according to data released by the regional council's Environment and Mobility Department. During the past decade, the Madrid skyline has been dominated by its famous boina (beret), a yellowy-green layer of NO2 which, under legislation set by the EU Environmental , cannot exceed the hourly mean limit of 200 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) more than 18 times during a year. the NO2 annual mean value may not exceed 40 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3)

Netflix overtakes Disney as streaming services surge

The streaming service Netflix recorded an all-time share-price high on Wednesday as the coronavirus-enforced lockdown leaves people stuck on their sofas.

Full story: 

London

740 new deaths reported in England

A total of 740 people lost their lives after testing positive for Covid-19 in England during the pat three days. That figure bring the total number of confirmed deaths in hospitals to 12,396.

Meanwhile, it was announced this afternoon that 18 people in Northern Ireland have died with coronavirus over the past 24 hours, 158 in total since the pandemic started, the Public Health Agency confirmed. The total death total in the UK as of mid-afternoon on Thursday stood at 12,686.

Spain coronavirus deaths rise to 551

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Spain rose on Thursday but remained under 600 for the fourth consecutive day, the Spanish health ministry has confirmed.

551 people died in Spain as a result of Covid-19 between Wednesday and Thursday - 28 more than the previous 24-hour period - taking the country’s total death toll to 19,310.

In all, there have been 182,816 coronavirus cases in Spain, more than any other country in Europe.

Coronavirus pandemic leaves Oktoberfest in doubt

The annual Oktoberfest, the world's largest beer festival, is unlikely to take place this year due to the coronavirus crisis, the premier of the southern German state of Bavaria said on Thursday.

The Oktoberfest attracts around six million visitors to Munich every year, with many traveling from abroad. Revellers sit together on long communal tables to swig beer, eat sausages, pretzel or pork knuckle, and listen to oompah bands.

Bavarian premier Markus Soeder told journalists he was very sceptical whether this year's festival - scheduled from 19 September to 4 October - could take place and said he would make a final decision with Mayor Dieter Reiter in the next two weeks.

The German government and regional state governors agreed on Wednesday to start relaxing some of the lockdown rules introduced last month to stem the spread of the coronavirus, but said big events would stay banned until 31 August.

(Text: Reuters)

New York face-covering order: how to make, where to buy cloth mask

The governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, has announced that all people must cover their faces in public if unable to maintain social distancing.

Here are some tips on where to buy a cloth mask, and what the best materials are if you're making one yourself:

The Raven run keeps going

Miami Beach runs allowed to continue...for one man.

Busquets casts doubt on LaLiga season resuming

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has cast doubt on LaLiga's 2019-20 season being resumed as Spain battles to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas has suggested the competition could return as early as the end of next month, but Busquets is not convinced it will be possible to conclude the season.

"I think it'll be difficult to resume," he told Cadena COPE and Onda Cero. "I don't think it can be done."

You'll find the full story on Busquets' comments here.

Financial news

In America, the dollar consolidated its gains against other currencies ahead of the release of weekly US jobless data (which we'll bring you here as soon as it's announced). This will likely provide more evidence of a deep recession in the world's biggest economy.

The dollar edged up 0.1% to 99.774 against a number of major currencies, after snapping a four-day losing streak the previous day as equity market gains hit a wall.

In the UK, the pound steadied on Thursday, slipping slightly against the dollar but holding firm against the euro, ahead of an expected announcement about an extension of Britain's lockdown imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Later today the British government is expected to announce that it will extend the lockdown in the UK for a further three weeks at its daily coronavirus news conference.

How to stay active under lockdown

The World Health Organization recommends that adults do 30 minutes of physical activity per day and that children be physically active for an hour every day. With so much of the globe's population under lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, the WHO has offered the following tips on how to stay fit at home:

 

Coronavirus: the complete guide to the Covid-19 pandemic

All the information you need to understand the coronavirus and ways to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic:

70 coronavirus vaccines in development, two of which in Spain

The World Health Organization says 70 vaccines against the coronavirus are currently in the works, with three now being tested on humans.

Full story:

Calls for Hungary condemnation

An open letter has been sent to the European Commission calling for the Hungarian government's exploitation of the current crisis to be condemned. The measures taken by prime minister Viktor Orbán have effectively allowed him to rule by decree. The letter reads:

"We cannot allow unscrupulous political actors to use the current climate as a pretext for dismantling democracy and undermining the rule of law. The recent actions of Viktor Orbán’s government in Hungary are a flagrant attack on the cornerstones of the rule of law and the values of the union. We therefore urge you to unequivocally condemn the Hungarian government’s misuse of the coronavirus crisis to erode democratic values. 

The European Commission and the Council must also take swift and decisive actions to address these threats to the rule of law being carried out under the guise of emergency powers.”

German chancellor explains spread

Thanks to Benjamin Alvarez for sharing this with subtitles.

Man's best friend linked to Covid-19 origin

A new study suggests that stray dogs could have spread the virus that is currently wreaking havoc around the world. Full story below...

UK lockdown to remain

The United Kingdom's novel coronavirus outbreak is starting to peak but it is too early to lift the lockdown because the virus would "run rampant" if the government eased social distancing measures, Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Thursday.

"We think it is too early to make a change," Hancock said. "While we've seen a flattening of the number of cases, and thankfully a flattening of the number of deaths, that hasn't started to come down yet."

Why is baking soda flying off supermarket shelves?

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, baking soda is an item that has experienced a major surge in popularity among supermarket shoppers.

Full story:

£12 million: bish, bash, bosh

Congratulations to Captain Tom!! A truly incredible achievement.

WHO's on first

Bill Gates is a major part of the WHO's funding structure, but it is the largest contributor, the USA, that has pulled out. So, what do they do anyway?

Here's what you need to know...

Australian PM ups testing plans

The prime minister of Australia, a country that has seen only 63 deaths since the Covid-19 outbreak began, has said at his press conference that they want to increase the amount of testing including for those that are asymptomatic.

The plan is also to increase the scale of contact tracing using an app which will help them when they lift some of the lockdown restrictions.

Trump

Trump looks to open up

President Donald Trump said earlier that data suggested the country had passed the peak on new coronavirus infections, and said he would announce "new guidelines" for reopening the economy at a news conference on Thursday.

"The battle continues but the data suggests that the nation has passed the peak on new cases," Trump said in his daily White House news briefing. "While we must remain vigilant, it is clear that our aggressive strategy is working and very strongly working, I might add," Trump said.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll - the highest in the world - surged past 30,000 on Wednesday after doubling in a week.

Turmoil on Asian stock markets expected

Asian stocks look set to tumble on Thursday, as fears that the world is in its worst recession since the 1930s were heightened by data showing U.S. retailers suffered a record sales collapse in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Amazon

Amazon to close French warehouses

Amazon, which is seeing soaring sales during the coronavirus pandemic, has decided to temporarily close all of its six distribution centres in France, the day after a court ruling held that the company was not doing enough to protect its workers from coronavirus. 

"This week, we are requesting employees of our distribution centres to stay at home. In the longer term, we will evaluate the impact of that [court] decision for them and our French logistic network," said the US company.

The warehouses will shut for five days for a deep clean, said the company, which also confirmed that all 10,000 full- and part-time staff would continue to be paid. 
 

Trump threatening to adjourn both chambers of Congress

Somewhat Covid-19 related, but President Trump today threatened to use his executive power to adjourn both Chambers of Congress if the Senate won't confirm his nominees for vacancies across the administration. 

Trump said confirming his nominees was more urgent than ever with the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. 

No president has ever exercised this authority. "Perhaps it's never been done before... But we're going to do it. We need these people here. We need people for this crisis and we don't want to play any more political games", said Trump. 

Here's more on that from USA Today

 

IRS

People waiting, not entirely patiently, for their cash

#stimuluspayment is trending hard in the US as people wait for their checks from the government. The fact that the IRS website is showing "Payment Status Not Available" when people go to find out how long they have to wait is really, really annoying a lot of people. Here's the search for the hashtag, but be warned, some of the language is not family friendly.

Trump

Trump doubts China death figures

Trump's press conference was combative as usual. Asked why US fatalities now account for a fifth of the global total Trump went on the offensive saying he doubted China's coronavirus death toll. He also doubled down on his decision to halt funding to the World Health Organisation. 

Apple SE 2020

Apple release new phone despite Covid-19 pandemic

Much of the world may be on lockdown, but that isn't stopping Apple releasing a new phone, the SE2020. Be interesting to see how much demand there is for it in these terrible economic times...

Juventus

Rugani & Matuidi recover from coronavirus

Good news from Juventus, where the first two players at the club to test positive have now been confirmed to be free of the disease. They are out of isolation. 

Trump

Trump is not king

President Donald Trump claimed he had "total authority" on Monday, as he was asked about who had power to impose or lift stay-home restrictions in States. Trump believes it's up to him, but the Constitution is clear it's not.

Bezos personal wealth soars 

Amazon has seen demand and its share price soar as consumers stuck at home turn to the online retailer. The stock price has risen from $1,689 to $2,295 now. Founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos has seen his personal fortune swell to $138 billion.

Hello and welcome to our live blog with all the latest news on the developing coronavirus situation in the USA and around the world.

There have now been over 2,000,000 confirmed cases around the word, with the total standing at 2,049,888 (634,975 in the US) at 01:00 CEST on Thursday 16 April (19:00 EDT, 16:00 PDT).

There have been 133,572 deaths from Covid-19 (27,940) and 510,486 people have recovered (51,770 in the US).

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