Coronavirus live updates: deaths and cases, UK, India, Canada, Australia... news today

Coronavirus live updates: deaths and cases, UK, India, Canada, Australia... news today

Coronavirus live: latest Covid-19 news - Saturday 18 April

Football to feel financial hit

A French MEP has been speaking about how this current crisis could turn Real Madrid's €200-million target into a €40 million reality.

UK dithering and delay

During his Brexit push, he often accused those opposing him of 'dither and delay' but those accusations are now being fired his way.

This is a rather damning report from The Sunday Times into Boris Johnson's handling of the coronavirus crisis in its early days.

Trump praised by Bahrain King

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa expressed his appreciation for U.S. President Donald Trump's efforts in achieving stability in energy markets to boost global economy growth, state news agency BNA said on Saturday, via Reuters.

In a phone call between the two leaders, Bahrain's king also welcomed American efforts in maintaining security and stability in the region, and the active role of the American military 'to protect international shipping in the Arabian Gulf, Arab Sea and Bab al-Mandab.' Al Khalifa also stressed the importance of international cooperation to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The White House confirmed the call and said the two countries would work together on the coronavirus. 'The president and the king will continue to work together to defeat the virus, minimize its economic impact, and focus on critical regional issues,' it said in a statement. 'The president thanked the king for Bahrain's strong support for efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East, and for hosting the United States Fifth Fleet.'

Spain passes 20,000 deaths

According to the Johns Hopkins University, Spain's official number of deaths due to Covid-19 has surpassed 20,000, as the number of confirmed cases in the country closes in on 200,000.

Only the USA (nearly 38,000) and Italy (23,000) have reported more at this point.

Moscow

Russia’s Health Ministry approves using unregistered Chinese drug against coronavirus

The Russian Ministry of Health has given the green light for the use of Chinese drug hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus infection in Russia even though the product is not registered in the country, the ministry’s press service told reporters on Saturday.

The Ministry explained that "from a clinical pharmacology standpoint, in terms of its safety and effectiveness it does not differ from drugs previously registered in the Russian Federation with the same international non-proprietary name". 

As of 23:30 hours CEST this evening, a total of 36,793 positive cases of coronavirus infection have been confirmed in Russia with 3,057 patients having recovered from the virus and 313 fatalities reported nationwide.

No hands, still helping

This, for the vast majority of people, is truly, truly remarkable.

Narita

Domestic, internal flights continue in Japan with planes practically empty

Japan’s two major airlines are operating at almost full domestic capacity even though Covid-19 has caused seats on flights to be left mostly empty, amid a lack of clear government directives on the functioning of transport infrastructure during the crisis.

ANA and Japan Airlines (JAL), the nation’s two biggest airlines, have cut around 90% of international flights but left their domestic networks relatively intact, industry data showed. The two normally fly around 800 or more domestic flights daily.

Japan declared a one-month state of emergency in all major cities on 7 April - a move that was expanded on Thursday to include the entire country.

The Scheduled Airlines Association of Japan, which represents ANA, JAL and 17 other airlines, estimates that the pandemic will cost its members some ¥500 billion ($4.64 billion) in lost revenue by the end of May.

Liverpool vs Atlético worsened Covid-19 spread 

“The evidence was already out there,” Ashton said. “The game at Anfield should have been cancelled.”

The Champions League second leg was a controversial one, and Tony Evans writes about how the tragedy in Merseyside was not on the pitch, but off it. Full story.

Spain extends state of alarm to 9 May

Pedro Sánchez is currently speaking to the Spanish people and has stated that the current lockdown will be extended two weeks.

He has also said that children will be allowed to leave the house and go outside (with sensible distancing rules) from 27 April. A boost for parents around the country.

We're live!

Turn on, tune it, and turn the volume up as you stay at home.

Turkey overtake Iran

Turkey's confirmed coronavirus cases have risen to 82,329, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Saturday, overtaking neighbouring Iran for the first time to register the highest total in the Middle East, report Reuters. An increase of 3,783 cases in the last 24 hours also pushed Turkey's confirmed tally within a few hundred of China, where the novel coronavirus first emerged.

Koca said 121 more people have died, taking the death toll to 1,890. A total of 1,822 people have recovered from coronavirus so far, and the number of tests carried out over the past 24 hours came to 40,520, the minister said. The Interior Ministry also said it was extending restrictions on travel between 31 cities for a further 15 days starting at midnight on Saturday.

Lockdowns extended

Azerbaijan and Morocco are the latest countries to confirm that they will be extending their restrictive measures due to Covid-19, both governments stated on Saturday.

Azerbaijan has extended quarantine restrictions by two weeks until 4 May. The country of around 10 million in the South Caucasus has recorded a total of 1,373 coronavirus cases, with 18 deaths.

Morocco will extend their lockdown measures for another month until 20 May. The decision was made by the government council as the number of coronavirus cases rose to 2670, including 137 deaths and 298 recoveries as of Saturday morning. 

Staying fit at home...

...although this may be a bit too much for most people.

Italy report lowest death increase since 12 April

Deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 482 on Saturday, the lowest daily increase since 12 April, report Reuters. The number of new cases was stable at 3,491, the Civil Protection Agency said and the daily tallies of deaths and cases extend the broadly stable situation in place over the last 13 days.

This plateau is down considerably from peaks reached around the end of March, but the downwards trend has not proceeded as fast as was hoped in a country that has been in lockdown for almost six weeks. Saturday's number of deaths marked the lowest daily rise since last Sunday, when it stood at 431.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on 21 February rose to 23,227, the second highest in the world after that of the United States. Total confirmed cases stood at 175,925.

'More frontline protection'

The United Kingdom needs to do more to get personal protective equipment (PPE) to health workers on the frontline, housing minister Robert Jenrick said on Saturday after criticism about shortages in hospitals treating Covid-19 patients.

'We've got to do more to get the PPE that people need to the frontline,' Jenrick said, adding that a consignment was due to arrive from Turkey on Sunday containing equipment including 400,000 protective gowns.

'We are trying to do everything we can to get the equipment we need.'

UK Covid-19 death toll passes 15,000

The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus in the UK passed 15,000 on Saturday, with 888 more fatalities reported over the previous 24 hours.  

All the information you need on how to watch the One World: Together at Home concert on Saturday 18 April in aid of the WHO's Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Spain reports slight drop in daily death toll

The latest coronavirus figures released by Spain's health ministry confirm that the overall death toll has now passed the 20,000 mark, with 565 new fatalities reported between Friday and Saturday. That's 20 fewer than the previous 24-hour period, and means that Covid-19-related deaths in the country have remained under 600 for five straight days. In total, 192,920 coronavirus cases have now been registered in Spain.

'Corona Container' developed to help tackle Covid-19 hotspot

Belgian design agency Bump has designed a coronavirus testing system to help safely test citizens in what has become one of the worst-affected areas of Europe.

Full story:

Queen asks for no birthday gun salutes

Queen Elizabeth II has asked for there to be no gun salutes to mark her 94th birthday on Tuesday, as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. It is the first time this has happened since her coronation in 1953.

"Her Majesty was keen that no special measures were put in place to allow gun salutes as she did not feel it appropriate in the current circumstances," a Buckingham Palace source told ITV.

Trial of Covid-19 vaccine could be done by August, says UK gov adviser 

Clinical trials on a coronavirus vaccine which have begun at Oxford University could be finished by August, a key adviser to the UK government has told the BBC.

Oxford began human trials on Thursday and expects to find out by next month if this potential vaccine has a significant effect on the virus,  Professor Sir John Bell said on Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday.

“[The question is] will it protect people,” Bell, who is a member of the British government’s vaccine taskforce, said, adding that it would only be possible to know this once it has been tested on “a significant number of people”.

He continued: “But if things go on course and it does have efficacy, then I think it is reasonable to think that they would be able to complete their trial by mid-August.”

Trial of Covid-19 vaccine could be done by August, says UK gov adviser 

Clinical trials on a coronavirus vaccine which have begun at Oxford University could be finished by August, a key adviser to the UK government has told the BBC.

Oxford began human trials on Thursday and expects to find out by next month if this potential vaccine has a significant effect on the virus,  Professor Sir John Bell said on Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday.

“[The question is] will it protect people,” Bell, who is a member of the British government’s vaccine taskforce, said, adding that it would only be possible to know this once it has been tested on “a significant number of people”.

He continued: “But if things go on course and it does have efficacy, then I think it is reasonable to think that they would be able to complete their trial by mid-August.”

Doctors criticise UK government over coronavirus protection shortages

Doctors and health workers criticised the British government on Saturday for suggesting that gowns used to protect them while treating coronavirus patients could be re-used.

Full story: 

Did stray dogs cause the spread of the virus?

A new study published in Molecular Biology Evolution suggests a dog might have eaten bat meat contaminated with Covid-19 and passed it on to humans.

Full story:

"Beer may lose its fizz"

The coronavirus crisis could prove to be bad news for beer drinkers:

Iran crosses 5,000 mark, country's health ministry reports

Iran's death toll from the new coronavirus rose by 73 in the previous 24 hours to reach 5,031 on Saturday, health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpour said on state TV.

The number of death recorded daily is one of the lowest in recent days, he said. The total number of people diagnosed with the Covid-19 disease caused by the new virus reached 80,868, he said.

A parliamentary report released earlier this week said the coronavirus death toll might be almost double the figures announced by the health ministry, and the number of infections eight to 10 times more.

Iran is the Middle Eastern country worst-affected by the Covid-19 respiratory disease and has one of the world's highest death tolls.

(Text: Reuters)

NBA sell team face masks to raise money for hunger relief

The NBA and WNBA released a line of masks with the logos of each team to raise money for hunger relief organisations affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Full story:

How H1N1 cases and deaths compare to Covid-19

A decade ago, the H1N1 virus infected an estimated 24% of the global population during a pandemic that lasted 19 months. So how much deadlier is Covid-19?

Full story:

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:

Germany death toll past 4,000 mark

Over 4,000 people have now lost their lives as a result of coronavirus in Germany, where the Robert Koch Institute says there have been a total of 4,1110 Covid-19-related deaths. The Johns Hopkins University live tracker, meanwhile, puts this figure slightly higher, at 4,352.

Overall, Johns Hopkins says there have been 141,397 coronavirus cases in Germany, where people are currently under a month-long lockdown.

Nigerian president's chief of staff dies of Covid-19

Abba Kyari, the chief of staff to Nigerian president Mohammadu Buhari, has died after contracting coronavirus, it has been announced.

The Presidency regrets to announce the passage of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari,” presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu tweeted early on Saturday. 

"The deceased had tested positive to the ravaging COVID-19, and had been receiving treatment. But he died on Friday, April 17, 2020.

"May God accept his soul."

Trump

"A lot of strange things are happening"

Meanwhile, Donald Trump also said that "a lot of strange things are happening" regarding the origins of the novel coronavirus.

The source of the virus is a mystery. The broad scientific consensus is that the novel coronavirus originated in bats. Fox News reported on Wednesday that the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory as part of China's effort to demonstrate the capability of its efforts in identifying and combating viruses.

Trump has said his government is seeking to determine whether the virus emanated from a laboratory in China. "A lot of strange things are happening but there is a lot of investigation going on. And we're going to find out," the US president told reporters at the White House.

Trump also cast doubt on China's death toll, which was revised up on Friday. China said 1,300 people who died of the coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan - half the total - were not counted, but dismissed allegations of a cover-up.

(Text: Reuters; Photo: EFE/Oliver Contreras/POOL)

Trump tweets

Trump defends protesters against “too tough” lockdowns in some US states

As the total number of cases in the United States passed 700,000, America president Donald Trump defended protesters against strict lockdown measures in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia, saying some states’ stay-at-home orders may be “too tough”.

"These are people expressing their views,” Trump told his daily press briefing. “I see where they are and I see the way they’re working. They seem to be very responsible people to me, but they’ve been treated a little bit rough.”

Trump’s comments were made alongside a series of tweets in which he declared, “LIBERATE VIRGINIA”, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and “LIBERATE MINNESOTA”.

What have been the worst pandemics and epidemics in history?

In five months, the Covid-19 pandemic has claimed over 150,000 lives globally. But the world has suffered other deadlier pandemics, epidemics and plagues through history.

Full story:

"Very little was done"

Speaking recently, Microsoft founder Bill Gates explained that the world could have got itself ready for a global pandemic, but failed to do so.

Full video:

Global coronavirus figures at 09:30 CEST

Here is a selection of the latest coronavirus figures, correct at 09:30 CEST, according to the Johns Hopkins University live tracker

Spain: 190,839 cases; 20,002 deaths

UK: 109,769 cases; 14,607 deaths

US: 706,779 cases; 37,079 deaths

Italy: 172,434 cases; 22,745 deaths

China: 83,784 cases; 4,636 deaths

Germany: 141,397 cases; 4,352 deaths

France: 149,130 cases; 18,703 deaths

Canada: 32,857 cases; 1,356 deaths

Australia: 6,547 cases; 67 deaths

India: 14,425 cases; 488 deaths

Nigeria: 493 cases; 17 deaths

World: 2,249,717 cases; 154,271 deaths

No new fatalities confirmed in China

China has reported that on Friday, 27 new coronavirus cases were confirmed, of which 17 were linked to foreign travel. No new fatalities were recorded.

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

UK, United States, Spain, Germany, France, Turkey and more countries have announced stimulus packages in an effort to stave off economic and social collapse.

Covid 19 vaccine situation

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

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his country’s border with the US would not fully reopen for at least several weeks.

“We are having ongoing discussions on border issues, on supply chains with the United States all the time,” Trudeau told reporters at a briefing Thursday, Agence France-Presse reported. He also urged that domestic lockdown restrictions be coordinated on a national level.

Peru confirm almost 1,000 new cases in past 24 hours

The Peruvian government confirmed 998 new positive coronavirus cases in the South American nation with the death toll standing currently at 26. The total infected cases now stands at 13,489.

Swedish football league to start in June

The Swedish FA stated on Friday that it hoped the domestic league could start on 14 June as leagues across the continent look at potential start dates to resume activity.

Buenos Aires orders over 65s to stay inside

Over 65s in the Argentine capital must request a special permit from the city government in order to go shopping or take their dog for a walk. 

To date there have been over 2,000 positive cases in Argentina with Covid-19 related deaths at 123.

How H1N1 cases and deaths compare to Covid-19

A decade ago, the H1N1 virus infected an estimated 24% of the global population during a pandemic that lasted 19 months. So how much deadlier is Covid-19?

Covid-19 (at a glance figures)

Cases-Deaths

Canada: total confirmed cases 32,575 / total Covid-19 deaths: 1,355

Australia: total confirmed cases 6,522 / total Covid-19 deaths: 66

UK: total confirmed cases 109,769 / total Covid-19 deaths: 14,607

India: total confirmed cases 14,352 / total Covid-19 deaths: 486

source: Johns Hopkins University

Hello and welcome to our live coronavirus blog. Over the course of the day, we will be bring you the latest information, breaking news and data relating to the Covid-19 pandemic from around the world on 18 April. At the time of writing, the virus has claimed over 150,000 lives with over 2.2 million positive cases currently confirmed around the world.

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