Coronavirus global summary: deaths, cases, news - 26 April

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

Follow all the latest in our live blog for Monday 27 April 2020 here.

We'll be taking a short break from our coronavirus coverage but we'll be back shortly with the morning team to keep you updated on all the latest developments around the world regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. 

US records 1,330 daily deaths

According to figures from Johns Hopkins University, the United States recorded 1,330 fatalities related to Covid-19 on 26 April. 

Donald Trump used his Twitter account to state that in three years he has done more than any other president in the history of the United States.

"It bothers me that this is still in the news cycle"

The White House coronavirus response coordinator, Dr Deborah Birx, has said the media needs to “get the information to the American people that they need” rather than continuing to report on US president Donald Trump’s touting of disinfectant injections as a potential coronavirus cure.

It bothers me that this is still in the news cycle, because I think we’re missing the bigger pieces of what we need to be doing as an American people to continue to protect one another,” Birx said in an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union. 

“As a scientist and a public health official and a researcher, sometimes I worry that we don’t get the information to the American people that they need when we continue to bring up something that was from Thursday night.”

Spain's main sports dailies combine for charity edition

AS, Marca, Mundo Deportivo and Sport have joined forces for the first time to produce a star-studded special charity edition to raise funds for the Red Cross.

Full story here:

Coronavirus live: US latest news

We have just opened up a new United States-focused live feed, which you can follow here:

Johnson to ease UK lockdown next week - Telegraph

The Telegraph reports that UK prime minister Boris Johnson is preparing to mark his return to Downing Street by easing the lockdown measures in place in Britain next week.

The UK registered 413 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday - its lowest 24-hour mortality rate since March.

Serie A clubs eye 18 May training return as Italy eases lockdown

More on Guiseppe Conte's plans to ease lockdown restrictions in Italy: Serie A clubs are set to be able to return to group training on 18 May, with the Italian PM suggesting sport should be up and running in the country by June.

"Right now, we need to complete all the discussions to ensure that if we do reach that stage, we'll do so in the utmost safety and security," Conte said. "We are passionate about sport and don't want our idols to get ill."

You can find the full story on that here.

Lockdown restrictions to be eased in Italy

In a televised national address, Italy’s prime minister Guiseppe Conte has told Italians that they will be able to visit relatives in small numbers from 4 May, as part of the easing of lockdown restrictions. 

Italy has suffered more deaths than any other nation in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, with just over 26,000 people dying from Covid-19. In total, 200,00 cases have been registered in the country.

Trump: "The only thing we weren't prepared for was the media"

Busy Madrid street raises alarm bells as under-14s allowed out

This footage of a crowded street in Madrid has emerged on the first day of Spain's eased lockdown restrictions, with children under 14 now allowed out for walks:

Former PL footballer completes garden marathon

Ex-Southampton footballer Francis Benali, who made over 300 top-flight appearances for the Premier League club between 1988 and 2004, has raised 13,000 pounds - and counting - for NHS Charities and the Saints Foundation after completing a back-garden marathon.

Donations to that good cause are still open - you can contribute here.

UK PM Johnson reportedly back at Downing Street

UK prime minister Boris Johnson returned to 10 Downing Street on Sunday, Sky News reported, after spending a week in hospital with Covid-19 and two weeks recovering at his country residence. A Downing Street spokeswoman declined to comment on Johnson's whereabouts. The government had previously announced he would be back at work on Monday. Foreign secretary Dominic Raab, who has been deputising for him in his absence, said Johnson was "raring to go". (Reuters)

Can you get Covid-19 from food and food packaging?

Although extreme caution is recommended when it comes to hygiene, there is a low risk of coronavirus infection from food or its packaging.

Full story:

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:

Spain's minister for health urges caution on LaLiga return

Spain's minister for health Salvador Illa was cautious on the possibility of LaLiga making a return in the forthcoming months at today's Covid-19 briefing session.

 

UK posts lowest daily death rate since March

The number of deaths in UK hospitals from the coronavirus has risen to 20,732 – an increase of 413 in the last 24 hours. This is the lowest daily rise since the end of March.

If North Korea faces succession, who might replace Kim Jong-un?

Despite rumours of his death, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was spotted this week at a resort town in the country, according to satellite images reviewed by a Washington-based North Korea monitoring project.

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In pictures: A green outbreak in Rome

A view of tufts of grass growing in Piazza del Quirinale square in Rome, Italy, 26 April 2020, during a nationwide lockdown over the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo: EFE/EPA/ANGELO CARCONI)

Family members walk by Puerta del Sol square, after restrictions were partially lifted for children for the first time in six week

Spain sees significant drop in daily death toll as restricitons begin to ease

Spain has registered 288 deaths in its latest 24-hour period, the lowest figure since 20 March, as the country finally eased up on lockdown  restrictions to allow children up to 14 years old outside for the first time in six weeks.

A further easing of restrictions is set for next week, as Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced that Spanish residents will be allowed out for exercise and to take walks from Saturday 2 May. To date, adults have only been allowed out to go to supermarkets, pharmacies or their jobs, if deemed necessary. 

"If the pandemic keeps evolving positively as it has been doing until now, from May 2, individual physical activity will be permitted and walks with the people you live with," he said in his public address to the nation on Saturday.

(Photo by Reuters: Family members walk by Puerta del Sol square, after restrictions were partially lifted for children for the first time in six weeks).

Check out our Netflix lockdown recommendations...

Experts have said that Africa will require ingenuity to tackle the coronavirus crisis. Well, here is an example of another innovative initiative on the continent...

 

	Workers clean and sterilise the roof of Kaaba, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), ahead of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, in the Grand mosque in the holy city of Mecca :: Internacional, Health/Medicines, Religion Etiquetas.

Saudi eases coronavirus curfews, keeps 24-hour curfew in Mecca

Saudi Arabia eased curfews on Sunday across the country, while keeping 24-hour curfews in the city of Mecca and in neighbourhoods previously put in isolation, state news agency SPA said. Outside those exceptional areas, curfews will be eased between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (0600-1400 GMT) effective Sunday until May 13. The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began on Friday.

The royal order also allowed some economic and commercial activities to re-start, including wholesale and retail shops and shopping malls, from Wednesday until May 13. Activities which do not allow for physical distancing, including salons and cinemas, will remain closed. Social gatherings of more than five people are forbidden. Authorities in the capital Riyadh issued additional advice saying banknotes were not to be used. Shops that do open should ensure no more than one customer per 10 square metres. Malls must be sterilised every 24 hours and children under 15 are not allowed to enter.

Saudi Arabia has recorded 16,299 cases of infection with the new coronavirus and 136 deaths. These are the highest numbers in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which together have recorded almost 43,000 cases and 250 deaths. (Reporting by Reuters)

Spain has world's highest number of Covid-19 cases among health care workers

Spain has so far confirmed 37,103 cases of coronavirus cases among healthcare workers, the highest such figure in the world. Thirty nine healthcare workers have died in the country. Spain has so far recorded a total of 223,759, cases,with healthcare workers accounting for 14% of the total. 

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In pictures: Daily life amid coronavirus pandemic in Australia

A man runs past a tree with a face mask and eyes stapled to it in Melbourne, Australia, 26 April 2020. Authorities have said social distancing and isolation measures could still remain in place for the next six months. A shutdown of non-essential services is in effect Australia wide in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease. (Photo: EFE/SCOTT BARBOUR)

Expert claims that 6 million could have already had coronavirus in UK

A leading professor has claimed that up to six million people in the UK could have already been infected with coronavirus. 

“There’s uncertainty around this but I would say nationally, somewhere between sort of three and maybe up to 10% of the population, would have had coronavirus by this stage,” Professor Christophe Fraser of the University of Oxford, told the BBC. 

“We’re still waiting for the definitive studies based on immunological assays, but this is based on our understanding base of the spread of coronavirus.” 

Russia's coronavirus tally surpasses 80,000-mark

Russia has registered 6,361 new cases of Coivd-19 on Sunday, bringing the country's total to 80,949. Sixty-six people died of the virus in the past day, bringing the death toll to 747. 

Ghana using drones to transport test samples

Health authorities in Ghana are using drones to deliver test samples, another example of African ingenuity in the face of the coronavirus crisis...

 

Last coronavirus patient discharged in Wuhan

Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus outbreak began, has no remaining Covid-19 cases in its hospitals, health officials claim.

According to a spokesperson for the National Health Commission, the last patient was "cured" on Friday after having been in a serious condition.  They also confirmed that there are no new cases of the virus in the city. Wuhan has far reported 6,452 cases, 56% of the total in China. 

 

US, UK, Germany studying Covid-19 passports

Despite the World Health Organization's misgivings about the possibility of causing social divisions in communities already ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, the debate is underway about a Covid-19 immunity passport. Chile, the USA and Catalonia are among the countries and regions considering the measure as a way to gradually lift quarantine restrictions, theoretically without placing the wider population at any greater risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. 

Australia to launch tracing app

Australia's home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, says the country will launch a tracing app today but says it will be very careful with people's data and that it is necessary to get the country back to normal.

“There are absolute protections that are guaranteed around the privacy,” he told Sky News.

“All of us have numerous apps on our phones which collect more data than we have here."

“If we’ve got somebody who’s identified positive and look at their contacts over the course of the last 24 hours or seven days, contact those people, get them tested, we won’t have the spread we have seen in Italy.”

Children allowed to leave their houses in Spain

On Sunday, kids under 14 are allowed out for a walk with their parents. Spain has been subjected to some of the most stringent lockdown measures and the president announced they would be allowed out for an hour starting today, Sunday.

Brazil registers 4,000 deaths and 58,500 positive cases

The number of fatalities due to coronavirus in Brazil reached 4,045 on Saturday, with almost 60,000 confirmed cases. The figures issued by the Ministry of Health but the death toll during the past 24 hours at 346 - a 9.4 % increase on Friday although less than the daily-high of 407 recorded on Thursday. New cases rose by 10.4 % with an additional 5,514 confirmed between Friday and Saturday.

Boris back at work on Monday

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be back at work on Monday, a spokeswoman for his Downing Street office confirmed on Saturday. Johnson has been recovering from coronavirus at his country residence Chequers after spending two nights in intensive care earlier in April.

Coronavirus

Global coronavirus death toll passes 200,000 mark

More than half of the fatalities have been reported by the United States, Spain and Italy. The first death linked to the disease was reported on Jan. 10 in Wuhan, China. It took 91 days for the death toll to pass 100,000 and a further 16 days to reach 200,000.

By comparison, there are an estimated 400,000 deaths annually from malaria, one of the world's most deadly infectious diseases.

China's smog-prone Hebei saw pollution fall 15% from Oct-March

China's smog-prone northern province of Hebei met its air quality targets by a big margin over the winter after concerted efforts to tackle emissions, a local official said on Sunday, without mentioning coronavirus-related factory shutdowns.

Average PM2.5 concentrations over the October-March period dropped 15% from a year earlier to 61 micrograms per cubic metre, while sulphur dioxide also fell by a third, said He Litao, vice-head of the provincial environmental bureau.

Most experts have attributed the significant decline in air pollution throughout China in the first quarter to the coronavirus outbreak and tough containment measures, which saw cities and entire provinces locked down and sharply reduced traffic and industrial activity throughout the country.

With millions staying at home, concentrations of lung-damaging PM2.5 particles fell by nearly 15% in more than 300 Chinese cities in the first three months of 2020. Shanghai saw emissions fall by nearly 20% in the first quarter, while in Wuhan, where the pandemic originated, monthly averages dropped more than a third compared to last year.

However, He of the Hebei environmental bureau attributed the local decline in pollution to the "conscientious implementation" of government decisions even in the face of unfavourable weather conditions.


Cuba sends doctors to South Africa to combat coronavirus

Cuba sent 216 healthcare workers to South Africa on Saturday, the latest of more than 20 medical brigades it has sent worldwide to combat the coronavirus pandemic, in what some call socialist solidarity and others medical diplomacy.

The Communist-run country has sent around 1,200 healthcare workers largely to vulnerable African and Caribbean nations but also to rich European countries such as Italy that have been particularly hard hit by the novel coronavirus.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has urged nations not to accept Cuba's medical missions on charges it exploits its workers, which Havana denies. But the calls have largely gone unheeded as overwhelmed healthcare systems have welcomed the help.

Singapore races to build beds for COVID-19 patients as cases surge

Singapore is rapidly building bed space for coronavirus patients in cavernous exhibition halls and other temporary facilities as it faces a surge in cases, mainly among its large community of low-paid migrant workers.

The tiny city-state of 5.7 million people has over 12,000 confirmed infections of the virus that causes COVID-19, one of the most in Asia, due to outbreaks in cramped dormitories housing over 300,000 mainly South Asian workers.

One such facility at Changi Exhibition Centre - home to the Singapore Airshow, Asia's biggest aerospace gathering - could eventually house over 4,000 patients recovering from the disease and those with mild symptoms.

"The entire process of setting up the infrastructure took six days," Joseph Tan, a member of the organising committee for the temporary facility, told Reuters on a visit.

The first patients, mainly from Bangladesh and India, were moved on Saturday into the vast conference hall, partitioned into rooms for eight to 10 people, with metal beds, plastic storage drawers and fans.

The United States records lowest Covid-19-related deaths in almost 3 weeks

Even though the United States has more than 50,000 coronavirus deaths and is now the epicenter of the pandemic, the curve seems to be flattening.

Good day to all, it's another day of lockdown measures and social distancing around the world. It's Sunday 26 April and we have all the global news as we continue to battle the pandemic.

The total number of deaths from coronavirus around the world passed 200,000 on Saturday. There was good news for Spaniards however as the Spanish Prime Minister said lockdown measures would be eased on 2 May with adults allowed outside to do some exercise and to go for walks. They have had some of the most strict lockdown measures enforced on them.

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