Live Updates

April 5 coronavirus news

Palm Sunday amid social distancing rules

What you need to know

  • The figures: The novel coronavirus has infected more than 1.2 million people and killed more than 68,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.
  • The US: There are more than 331,000 recorded cases and more than 9,400 deaths, with 1,344 of those reported on Saturday — the nation’s largest single-day death toll.
  • Spain’s death toll: On Sunday, 674 people died in Spain from coronavirus, bringing the total to 12,418 deaths. That is a rise of 5.7% but in percentage terms, it’s the lowest daily rise since early March.
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Third Coral Princess passenger dies after being taken to the hospital

A third passenger from the Coral Princess cruise ship has died after being transported by a private ambulance to a hospital in Hialeah, Florida, according to a press release from the office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

The Coral Princess departed Santiago, Chile, on March 5. Princess Cruises announced operations were halting one week later.

On Saturday, Princess Cruises confirmed the ship arrived in Miami, Florida. The cruise line said Saturday that disembarkation of guests is expected to take several days due to limited flight availability and passengers “requiring shoreside medical care will be prioritized to disembark first.”

Two passengers died on board the ship before it docked and six others were transported from the ship for treatment at local hospitals on Saturday, the release from Gimenez’s office said.

Eight additional passengers were transported from the Coral Princess to local hospitals on Sunday, according to the release. Information on the condition of those patients is not known.

The county is not able to clear passengers to leave the ship, the release said. Vessels are required to report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Customs and Border Protection and the US Coast Guard, to have their passengers offloaded, the release said.

Passengers and crew who have received medical screenings and clearance for travel are driven on charter buses to an isolated area of Miami International Airport and go directly to board charter flights coordinated by the cruise line, the release said.

Gimenez sent additional medical staff to assist the Coral Princess Sunday, the release said. The county also replaced the ship’s oxygen cylinders with full ones after learning the supply on board was critically low, the release said.

Trump on face masks: 'I would wear one if I thought it was important'

President Donald Trump said he would wear a face mask if he “thought it was important.” Trump was asked at the White House briefing Sunday about his wife Melania Trump, who for days has tweeted encouraging the use of masks.

“She likes the idea of wearing it,” Trump said, “A lot of people do.”

Trump said he would wear one.

“I’m just generally not in a, like, I should, would you like me to wear one right now in answering your question? That would be a little awkward I guess.”

“I would wear one if I thought it was important,” he said.

Asked if his family in New York would start wearing masks and if he was encouraging them to wear them, Trump answered: “Wouldn’t be surprised.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he tested negative for coronavirus Saturday when asked why he wasn’t wearing a face mask.

“The major reason to wear a face mask is to protect you from infecting you,” Fauci said. “I had my test yesterday and it’s negative.”

President Trump added: “Very good answer.”

Here's what it's like inside a New York ER during the coronavirus outbreak

At one New York hospital emergency room, six patients went into cardiac arrest in a span of 40 minutes. Four died before they made it out of the ER. It’s not chaos, but to an onlooker, it seems like hell.

“They’re so sick you lose them in a heartbeat, they’re that sick,” respiratory therapist Julie Eason told CNN. “They’re talking to you and then a few minutes later you’re putting a tube down their throat and you’re hoping that you can set the ventilator in such a way that it actually helps them.”

This is the truth of what coronavirus is doing to thousands of Americans, and likely will to many thousand more. It has been largely unseen because visitors are not allowed to be in hospitals, and everyone else is staying home.

CNN was invited to witness the scenes inside the University Hospital of Brooklyn, New York, part of the SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University. All the patients the hospital treats now are suffering from coronavirus. The hospital is one of three in the state ordered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to dedicate itself entirely to dealing with the pandemic.

Full story

Pence announces hydroxychloroquine trial in Detroit hospital

A packet of hydroxychloroquine pills.

Hydroxychloroquine will be used in a trial of 3,000 patients at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and the results will be tracked in a formal study, Vice President Mike Pence announced Sunday.

Pence added that they are “more than prepared” to make hydroxychloroquine available to doctor’s offices and pharmacies in the Detroit area “as they deem appropriate.”

Rear Adm. John Polowczyk of the Supply Chain Logistics Task Force said that the government is working to put out millions of doses of hydroxychloroquine into areas with increasing number of coronavirus cases.

President Donald Trump has frequently claimed the drug has high efficacy against Covid-19 despite no evidence the drug is effective and safe for preventing or treating the coronavirus.

However, there is no “definitive information to be able to make any comment” on whether the drug can be used to treat coronavirus, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at the White House briefing on Saturday. There are currently no products approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to prevent Covid-19.

VA to begin opening beds to civilians in multiple states

The Department of Veterans Affairs will open about 1,500 beds at hospitals in multiple states to civilians to alleviate the burden on civilian hospitals, according VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.

“We provide a bridge from the federal government to states and localities during these emergencies,” Wilkie said.

In the metropolitan New York area, the VA is opening up approximately 100 beds in Brooklyn, Manhattan and East Orange in New Jersey, Wilkie said.

Louisiana will gain access to the VA medical center in Shreveport, Wilkie said.

In Michigan, access to hospital beds will be provided in both Ann Arbor and Detroit as as providing a pharmaceutical trailer for the state’s use, Wilkie said.

Wilkie said the VA will help Massachusetts officials “in their efforts to protect the most vulnerable citizens in two of their nursing homes.”

Trump: 'We see light at the end of the tunnel'

President Donald Trump showed optimism during a press briefing Sunday evening about the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We see light at the end of the tunnel. Things are happening, things are happening. We are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully in the not too-distant future, we’ll be very proud of the job we all did,” Trump said.

In an interview this morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said the government is struggling to get the coronavirus under control.

Italy records lowest coronavirus death rate in two weeks

Italy has recorded its lowest death rate in a 24-hour period with 525 deaths, the Italian Civil Protection Ministry said Sunday.

A total of 15,877 people have died of Covid-19 in Italy. There was a small decrease in patients in critical condition with hospital intensive care units reporting 17 fewer patients. A total of 2,972 new cases have been diagnosed, another decline, bringing the total active cases to 91,246. 

A total of 21,815 people have recovered from the coronavirus, an increase of 819. There are now almost 130,000 coronavirus cases in Italy.

Italy has been in a lockdown for almost four weeks now.

Trump claims 1.6 million people in the US have been tested and received results

President Donald Trump claimed Sunday that 1.6 million people in the United States have been tested for coronavirus and been given results.

“That’s far more than any country’s been able to do,” Trump said.

He also said that Abbott Laboratories will produce 1,200 of its new 15-minute coronavirus test weekly. Abbott’s test was approved by the Food and Drug Administration on March 27.

British Prime Minister expected to stay in the hospital overnight

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to stay in the hospital overnight, a Downing Street source told CNN on Sunday.

Johnson was admitted to the hospital on Sunday night in what Downing Street said in a statement was a “precautionary step” given that the “Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus.”

Johnson was diagnosed with coronavirus on March 27.

US President Donald Trump wished Johnson well during a Sunday night press briefing.

“I want to express our nation’s well wishes to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he wages his own personal fight with the virus,” Trump said. “All Americans are praying for him. He’s a friend of mine, he’s a great gentleman and a great leader.”

“I’m hopeful and sure that he’s going to be fine,” Trump said. 

Trump administration considering new air travel restrictions for cruise ship passengers

Passengers look out from the deck of the Coral Princess cruise ship as it docks in Miami, Florida, on April 4.

The Department of Homeland Security and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are finalizing new restrictions that are expected to prohibit cruise ship passengers and crew arriving in the US from boarding domestic commercial flights, according to a person briefed on the matter and an administration official.

The restrictions would apply even to people not showing symptoms and would require 14-day quarantines for cruise passengers and crew. 

While officials are working on the new protocols, they have not been finalized, according to the sources.

These new protocols would likely be agreements between cruise ship companies and the government, requiring that they be followed for these ships to dock at specific ports, the administration official said.

The official said that there could be a range of exceptions and specific circumstances that would divert from the new protocols, specifically as it relates to foreigners on the ships.

If adopted, the new restrictions would limit cruise passengers and crew to flying on charter aircraft. 

The US Coast Guard said Saturday there are 114 cruise ships, carrying 93,000 crew members, either in or near US ports and waters.

This includes 73 cruise ships, with 52,000 crew members, moored or anchored in US ports and anchorages. Another 41 cruise ships, with 41,000 crew members, are underway and still in vicinity of the United States. The cruise industry has an ongoing obligation for the care, safety and welfare of their seafarers.

1 million rapid coronavirus tests to be distributed among Spain's autonomous regions

The first batch of 1 million rapid tests to detect coronavirus are set to be distributed among autonomous regions in Spain between Sunday and Monday, according to a statement from the country’s government. 

“Spain will substantially increase the diagnostic capacity to confirm or rule out the presence of COVID-19 in the population,” the statement read.  

“Fifteen thousand to 20,000 tests are being performed daily, but this daily diagnostic capacity needs to be increased,” the statement added.

The rapid tests will complement the standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and will especially target hospitals and vulnerable groups like nursing homes. 

The key part of the diagnostic strategy will continue to be the PCR tests, according to the statement.

As of Sunday, according to the ministry’s data, there are 80,261 active cases and 12,418 people have died in Spain

New York subway system has lost 22 workers to coronavirus

An empty New York City subway car.

At least 22 New York City subway employees have died of complications due to coronavirus, according to Metropolitan Transit Authority spokesman Aaron Donovan.

Of about 74,000 workers, 1,092 have tested positive for the virus, Donovan said Sunday.

There are 5,430 MTA employees that are on home quarantine, which includes the 1,092 members who have tested positive, Donovan said.

Haiti reports first coronavirus death 

Haiti reported its first novel coronavirus death Sunday, a 55-year-old man who had underlying health conditions, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health.

The country has only reported 21 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus, according to the statement. 

A 2019 report from the Research and Education Consortium for Acute Care in Haiti (REACH), which surveyed Haitian health facilities, said that Haiti had as few as 124 ICU beds and the capacity to ventilate 62 ICU patients across the country, which has a population of more than 10 million. 

The country has faced a prolonged electricity crisis, power that is vital for keeping ventilators and other hospital equipment running.

CDC releases instructions for making cloth face masks

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released instructions and visual tutorials on how to make cloth face coverings from common household materials.

The CDC recently released guidance recommending the use of cloth face coverings “in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community based transmission.”

Cloth face coverings, according to the CDC, can be homemade out of pieces of fabric, T-shirts, bandannas and coffee filters to slow down the spread of the virus, especially those that may be asymptomatic and capable of transmitting it to others despite experiencing no symptoms. 

The CDC recommended any homemade cloth face coverings include multiple layers of fabric, be secured to the ears, and allow for breathing without restriction. The guidance recommends routinely cleaning coverings in a washing machine and that no child under the age of 2 should wear them.

India observes nationwide candlelight vigil in a show of solidarity in the fight against coronavirus

A man displays a traditional lamp from the balcony of his home during a nationwide candlelight vigil in India on Sunday.

People across India turned off all lights in their homes and stood on their balconies, at their open entryways and outside their homes with candles and lamps lit, or flashlight and mobile phone lights turned on to observe a nationwide candlelight vigil Sunday night.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the people of India to hold a nationwide candlelight vigil on Sunday at 9 p.m. local time, for nine minutes, in a show of solidarity for the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Modi said it was important for every Indian to realize that he or she wasn’t alone in this fight. 

People light candles during the vigil in Amritsar, India.

Social media has lit up with images of the vigil. Photos posted online show India’s President Kovind and the country’s first lady with candles at the Presidential Palace. Prime Minister Modi was seen lighting a lamp at his residence.  

China’s ambassador to India, India’s Home Minister, Bollywood star couple, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli and his wife, Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, were just some of the people across the country posting images online as they observed the vigil.

Tiger at Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus

Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for coronavirus.

A 4-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York tested positive for coronavirus, which causes Covid-19 in humans. This is the first instance of a tiger being infected, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories.

The tiger, named Nadia, along with her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions “had developed a dry cough and all are expected to recover,” a news release from the zoo said.

Samples from Nadia were taken and tested after several lions and tigers at the zoo showed symptoms of respiratory illness, the USDA said in a release.

“Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers. It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to novel infections, but we will continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries,” the zoo’s release said.

The zoo said the big cats were infected by a person caring for them who was either asymptomatic or had not yet developed symptoms.

“Appropriate preventive measures are now in place for all staff who are caring for them, and the other cats in our four WCS zoos, to prevent further exposure of any other of our zoo cats,” the release said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted to hospital

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital on Sunday, according to a statement released by Johnson’s office.

Johnson tested positive for coronavirus March 27.

“On the advice of his doctor, the Prime Minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests,” the statement read.

“This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

“The Prime Minister thanks (to National Health Service) staff for all of their incredible hard work and urges the public to continue to follow the Government’s advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

At least 331,151 coronavirus cases in the United States

There are at least 331,151 cases of coronavirus in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases.

At least 9,441 people have died in the US from coronavirus. 

As of Sunday, there have been at least 18,906 new cases and at least 945 new deaths reported in the US.

CNN is keeping track of coronavirus cases across the US and an interactive map can be found here.

Churches across the US hold Palm Sunday services despite social distancing and stay-at-home orders

Parishioners attend a Sunday morning worship service at City On A Hill Church in Houston, Texas. The service was held outside in the church's parking lot and the church practiced social distancing during the service.

Despite many states implementing stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, churches across the US are still holding service on Palm Sunday, which marks Jesus’ monumental arrival in Jerusalem.

“We don’t get our rights to worship freely from the government we get those from God,” said the Rev. Tony Spell with the Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. More than 1,200 people attended his church Sunday.

The Rev. Alvin Gwynn Sr. of Friendship Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, said he had a steady stream of people walking through the church, processional style, careful not to have more than eight or nine.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters Sunday churches were allowed to stay open. Most churches are making services available online, he said.  

“Churches by and large do the right thing, they want to protect their parishioners,” Hutchinson said. “There are a few that have a very small attendance and they socially distance, we don’t recommend that but if it’s within the guidelines then that’s understandable.”

Hutchinson did mention officials “had trouble with a church putting parishioners at risk. After the health department called them, “they took the right steps and are not meeting” with a large congregation, Hutchinson said.

African Americans account for 30% of coronavirus cases in Illinois

African Americans account for 30% of the coronavirus cases in Illinois, according to Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Ezike said the disparity in health care access is a long standing issue for the black community.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state is working to reopen hospitals in harder-hit communities with a large percentage of people of color.

“It’s hard to make up for decades frankly, maybe centuries, of inequality” in access to health care, Pritzker said. “This virus doesn’t discriminate.”

The state reported 899 new coronavirus cases, including 31 deaths, Ezike said during a Sunday afternoon press conference.The total number of cases statewide is now 11,256 and the death count is 274, Ezike said.

 Ezike also reported that a second person involved in the outbreak at Stateville Prison has died. That person is one of 60 cases reported at the prison, Ezike said.

Former FDA commissioner calls on CDC to release more data on coronavirus patients

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, is calling for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to publish more data on coronavirus patients in the United States.

That information is needed to help doctors navigate the new virus, said Gottlieb in a series of tweets Sunday. He served as FDA commissioner from 2017 to 2019.

Gottlieb cited anecdotes on how many patients die after being put on ventilators – and suggested that more reliable information is needed.

“Doctors are being forced to let clinical experience guide care decisions in absence of systematic data,” Gottlieb tweeted.

He added that such publications “won’t matter much in May. They’re needed tomorrow. Today. Urgently.”

While the CDC has published some information on coronavirus patients to help guide health care workers, much of it is based on data from China. The agency has also released limited data on hospitalization and underlying conditions among patients in the US.

Boston mayor enacts stricter social distancing guidelines

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh prepares to give a televised address from his office at Boston City Hall on March 17.

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced Sunday new measures on social distancing to combat the spread of coronavirus.

These measures include:

  • public health advisory for everyone in Boston except essential workers to stay at home from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily.
  • Encouraging everyone to wear a mask covering over their mouth and nose when in public.
  • Closing city parks with recreational sports areas.
  • Encouraging residents 65 and older and with underlying health conditions to only take trips outside the house when “absolutely necessary” for food or medications.

“I cannot stress enough that the actions we take now through the next several weeks will help curb the spread of this virus, and save lives,” Walsh said. “There is nothing that I won’t do as Mayor of the City of Boston to protect our residents, and at this very critical time, we must do everything we can as Bostonians to protect one another. This is bigger than any one person – this is about the greater good of our people. Stay safe, stay inside, and let’s get through this together.”

Queen Elizabeth calls for unity during the coronavirus pandemic