April 9 coronavirus news
The total number of beds in intensive care units available for use during the spread of coronavirus in 43 countries in Africa is less than 5,000. This is about five beds per one million people in those parts of Africa compared, to 4000 beds per one million people in Europe, the World Health Organization reports.
There are also less than 2,000 functional ventilators in 41 countries in Africa.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa has risen to more than 10,000.
While the virus was slow to reach the continent compared to other parts of the world, infection have grown exponentially in recent weeks and continues to spread, WHO reports.
Africa’s first coronavirus case was recorded in Egypt on Feb. 14. Since then, a total of 52 countries have reported cases.
“COVID-19 has the potential not only to cause thousands of deaths, but to also unleash economic and social devastation. Its spread beyond major cities means the opening of a new front in our fight against this virus,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. “
Top Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow suggested on Fox Business this afternoon that the economy will be reopened on a "rolling basis."
"What we're looking at here, I hope, will be a two month gap interference, if you will. March, end of April. The next month or two, we should be able to restart, at least on a rolling basis."
Kudlow touted the $2.3 trillion from the Federal Reserve geared at helping medium-sized "Main Street" businesses, but didn't provide many details, saying that he didn't "know all of the parameters" for the loans yet and that is still being worked out with the Treasury Department.
However, he said, "Everybody who wants one is going to be able to get one. That is our goal. That’s the essential message: we want to keep you in business, we know just how difficult this is. We know the hardships are enormous."
He added that mitigation efforts "seem to be bearing fruit," and that it is his hope that the economy will reopen in a four to eight week time frame (something he's said previously).
He again acknowledged "glitches" with the small business loan program but expressed praise for Mnuchin and the SBA.
As of today at 2 p.m., he said, 500,000 loans have been approved, worth $128 billion, via almost 4,000 bank lenders.
One viewer who owns a hair salon asked him about issues with getting employees to want to come back to work.
"If I may, it's cool to work," Kudlow said. "Working has become cool again."
Today marks the 100th day since the World Health Organization was notified of the first cases of novel coronavirus in China, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on his Twitter account.
Since then, more than 1.5 million cases of coronavirus have been reported around the world, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
“For the past 100 days, our unwavering commitment has been to serve all people of the world with equity, objectivity and neutrality. That will continue to be our sole focus in the days, weeks and months ahead,” Tedros wrote.
“We've been especially concerned with protecting the world’s poorest & most vulnerable, not just in the poorest countries, but in all countries,” Tedros said.
He added that the health organization will be releasing an updated strategy and a “revised Strategic Preparedness & Response Plan in the next few days.”
In a live address on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a two-week extension to South Africa’s current 21-day lockdown, keeping restrictions in place until at least the end of April.
Ramaphosa said that the strict nationwide lockdown had slowed the rate of confirmed infections in the country over the past two weeks.
“While it is too early to make a definitive analysis in South Africa, there is sufficient evidence that the lockdown is working,” he said. “But the struggle against the coronavirus is far from over. We are only at the beginning of a monumental struggle. This evening I ask you to endure even longer.”
During his address, Ramaphosa also announced that senior government officials, including himself, will take a one-third pay cut over the next three-months. The portion will be donated to the country’s solidarity fund, set up to aid the country’s coronavirus response.
Ramaphosa said that any decisions to ease restrictions needed to be cautious and calibrated.
“Our immediate priority must remain to slow down the spread of the virus and prevent a massive loss of life,” he said. “This is a matter of survival and we will not fail.”
New Jersey's peak could occur in the next 2 to 3 days, according to Commissioner of Health Judy M. Persichilli.
At that point, New Jersey would have 14,400 hospitalizations and 2,880 critical care cases in the state, according to model projections as of last night.
“We look at this every day. It changes every day,” Persichilli noted.
The Spanish Parliament has voted to extend the state of emergency in the country for the second time, until April 26.
Speaking in front of an almost empty Parliament, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the country has reached the "peak" of the pandemic.
"[T]he last thing we should allow is a step backward because that would be more than a setback," he said.
Sánchez also added that he is "convinced" he'll have to request a new extension of the state of emergency in 15 days, extending it into May.
The vote happened as the country prepares the "de-escalation" phase where some easing in measures could happen, like allowing non-essential workers in certain sectors to go back to work.
The state of emergency was first declared on March 14 and extended for the first time on March 27.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson "has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery," Downing Street said in a statement Thursday.
“He is in extremely good spirits,” the statement added.
Some background: The 55-year-old was taken to London's St. Thomas' Hospital on Sunday because he was displaying "persistent" symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus.
Johnson's condition worsened on Monday, and he was taken to the ICU. On Tuesday, Downing Street said he was in a stable condition.
He did not require mechanical or invasive ventilation and did not have pneumonia, according to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputizing for the Prime Minister.
Canadian public health officials for the first time released national projections on the spread of Covid-19 and warned that social distancing measures were unlikely to end soon.
Projections released and provided to CNN indicate there could be as many as 700 deaths in Canada by mid-April and anywhere from 11,000 to 22,000 deaths throughout the duration of the pandemic, depending on social distancing measures.
“These stark numbers tell us that we must do everything that we can now to remain in that best-case scenario,” said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer.
“We don’t know if we’ve reached the peak anywhere in Canada as of yet, so it’s too early to tell,” Dr. Tam said. She added that Canada is at an earlier stage of the pandemic than other countries.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was blunt as he discussed the projections, saying there would be no "return to normal" until a widely available vaccine is found.
“We have the chance to determine what our country looks like in the weeks and months to come. Our health care systems across the country are coping for the time being, but we're at a fork in the road, between the best and the worst possible outcomes," Trudeau said.
Trudeau told Canadians to expect many more weeks of sheltering in place with immediate family.
By the numbers: Canada has reported 19,260 cases of Covid-19 and 436 deaths. Nearly half of those deaths are among residents of long-term care homes as health officials deal with outbreaks at those facilities right across the country.
Connecticut schools will stay closed for “at least another month,” Gov. Ned Lamont said Thursday.
Schools had previously been closed until April 20 and now they will stay closed until at least May 20, the governor said. An official announcement will be released by the state “within a day or two” Lamont said.
Lamont said it’s likely that the state will issue a similar extension for bars and restaurants and other non-essential businesses, though that has not been officially decided yet.