April 9 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Jack Guy, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 10:36 PM ET, Thu April 9, 2020
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12:47 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Crew member tests positive for coronavirus on hospital ship docked in Los Angeles

From CNN’s Jenn Selva

A man watches from a roof as the USNS Mercy Navy hospital ship arrives in the port of Los Angeles to assist with the coronavirus pandemic on March 27, 2020 in San Pedro, California.
A man watches from a roof as the USNS Mercy Navy hospital ship arrives in the port of Los Angeles to assist with the coronavirus pandemic on March 27, 2020 in San Pedro, California. Mario Tama/Getty Images

A crew member aboard the USNS Mercy Hospital ship, which is docked in Los Angeles to provide medical support during the pandemic, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

US Navy Lt. Andrew Bertucci told CNN the crew member is "currently isolated aboard the ship, and will soon transfer to an off-ship isolation facility where they will self-monitor for severe symptoms."

Bertucci said it will not affect the ability for the Mercy to receive patients, and all protocols are being taken to protect the health and safety of patients and crew members on board. 

As of Wednesday morning, the USNS Mercy has treated 28 patients with 11 beds currently occupied. 

12:38 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

China restores 40% of flights amid easing of coronavirus restrictions

From Alex Lin in Hong Kong

China says it has restored 40% of its flights, according to state-run news agency Xinhua, as the country begins to unwind tight restrictions designed to stop the spread of novel coronavirus.

Xinhua said most of the flights are to areas in the northwest and southwest of the country where migrant workers are more concentrated, and industrial areas in the Yangtze River and Pear River Deltas.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China says an average of 6,533 civil aviation flights operated per day in March, an increase of 20.5% from February.

As of April 1, 970 flights were arranged to get more than 59,000 workers back to their work locations.

International flights remain largely down as the country continues with heavy restrictions on travelers entering from overseas.

12:25 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

US coronavirus cases rise by more than 33,000 in just one day

At least 432,132 cases of the novel coronavirus have been recorded in the United States, after 33,323 new infections were reported on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University,

The country's death toll stands at 14,817, following 1,922 fatalities reported on Wednesday -- the largest increase in one day.

The US totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases. 

Wyoming is still the only state or territory that is not reporting a death from coronavirus.

CNN is tracking the spread of coronavirus in the US here:

12:14 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Ecuador’s President calls for investigation on mishandling of bodies 

From CNN's Jackie Castillo in Atlanta

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno speaks at the United Nations summit on climate change on September 23, 2019 in New York City.
Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno speaks at the United Nations summit on climate change on September 23, 2019 in New York City. Dew Angerer/Getty Images

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno has called for an investigation into allegations that the bodies of coronavirus victims are being mistreated.

In a tweet Wednesday, Moreno said,” we will not allow anyone to be buried without being identified.” He added the deceased are “our brothers who deserve a goodbye with dignity.” 

The coronavirus pandemic is overloading public services in the country's most populous city of Guayaquil. Ecuador has recorded 4,450 cases of the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University, causing at least 242 deaths.

Bodies left in the streets: Hospitals have no beds left to accept patients, and morgues, cemeteries and funeral homes are straining.

With no place left to put them, some residents say they have no choice but to place bodies outside. 

Government officials have admitted making errors earlier this month and insist they are working tirelessly to meet residents' needs.

 

2:12 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

New Zealand cases fall again as quarantine rules are tightened

From CNN's Julia Hollingsworth in Wellington, New Zealand

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a news conference at Parliament on April 9 in Wellington, New Zealand.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a news conference at Parliament on April 9 in Wellington, New Zealand. Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

New Zealand reported its fourth straight day of decreases in new cases today, according to a government statement. 

There were just 29 new cases of the coronavirus reported in New Zealand today, which is half way through its month-long lockdown. New Zealand includes both confirmed and suspected cases in its count.

"At the halfway mark I have no hesitation in saying, that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a speech today. "In the face of the greatest threat to human health we have seen in over a century, Kiwis have quietly and collectively implemented a nationwide wall of defense.
"You are breaking the chain of transmission. And you did it for each other."

The national total stands at 1,239. Some 317 patients have recovered and been discharged from the hospital. 

Starting Friday, residents and citizens returning to New Zealand must quarantine "in an approved facility" and will no longer be allowed to self-isolate at home.

"To succeed, we need it to keep working. Success does not mean we change the course," Ardern said. Removing restrictions now would allow the virus to spread rapidly once again and we would be back to the starting line within two weeks. That’s also why we will keep enforcing the rules.
"As an island nation we have a distinct advantage in our ability to eliminate the virus, but our borders are also our biggest risk."
11:49 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Chinese city goes into lockdown along Russian border

From Alex Lin in Hong Kong

A city of 70,000 on the Chinese side of the border with Russia went into lockdown this morning to try to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

The city of Suifenhe’s government said all residents will be confined to their homes, while estate gates and doors to residences would be strictly guarded. 

Residents will be allowed to send one person per household to shop every three days. They must abide by QR code scanning, registration and temperature checks, and wear masks.

Between March 21 and April 7, at least 84 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed from people who entered China at the border in Suifenhe, according to CCTV. Most of them are reported to be Chinese business travelers returning from Russia.

11:39 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

North Korea has more than 500 people in quarantine -- but no confirmed cases, WHO says

From CNN’s Yoonjung Seo in Seoul

Health officials disinfect an office room amid concerns over the coronavirus at the Pyongchon District People's Hospital in Pyongyang on April 1.
Health officials disinfect an office room amid concerns over the coronavirus at the Pyongchon District People's Hospital in Pyongyang on April 1. Kim Won Jin/AFP/Getty Images

North Korea has conducted over 700 tests for the novel coronavirus, while more than 500 people are in quarantine in the country as of April 2, the World Health Organization told CNN on Wednesday.

But Pyongyang maintains there are still no confirmed cases of the virus in the country.

This is despite North Korea sharing borders with the two countries home to Asia's largest outbreaks -- China and South Korea.

“As of 2 April, 709 people - 11 foreigners and 698 nationals - have been tested for (coronavirus). There is no report of (a positive) case. There are 509 people in quarantine – two foreigners and 507 nationals,” Dr. Edwin Salvador, the WHO Representative to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name, said in an email reply.

North Korea providing updates: The WHO, which said it had been receiving “weekly updates” from the North Korean health ministry, said that Pyongyang has the capacity to test for coronaviruses in its national reference lab.

“Since 31 December 24,842 people have been released from quarantine, which includes 380 foreigners,” Salvador said. The WHO has been informed that North Korea received some primers and probes to test for coronavirus from China in January, he added.

Gen. Robert Abrams, Commander of US Forces Korea (USFK) told CNN on April 2 that based on military intelligence, it was an “impossible claim” that there were no coronavirus cases in North Korea.

11:29 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Two more passengers transported from virus-stricken cruise ship

From CNN's Dario Klein in Uruguay and Jackie Castillo in Atlanta

Aerial view of Australian cruise ship Greg Mortimer off the port of Montevideo on April 7.
Aerial view of Australian cruise ship Greg Mortimer off the port of Montevideo on April 7. Pablo Porciuncula/AFP/Getty Images

Two more passengers aboard the Greg Mortimer cruise ship have been transported to a medical facility in Montevideo, Uruguay's capital, on Wednesday.

The Greg Mortimer cruise liner, operated by Australia's Aurora Expeditions, departed March 15 on a voyage to Antarctica and South Georgia.

Since the beginning of April, however, the ship has been stuck off the coast of Uruguay, after authorities refused to allow passengers to disembark due to the risk of coronavirus.

Of the 217 people on board, 128 passengers and crew have now tested positive for the virus and a total of eight passengers have been transported to local medical facilities. 

Late Tuesday, the Uruguayan government said it had authorized a medical flight evacuation of New Zealand and Australian passengers aboard the ship for Thursday.

11:22 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020

US marks record for most new coronavirus deaths reported in a single day

From CNN’s Joe Sutton and Dave Alsup

The coronavirus death toll in the United States reached 14,817 on Wednesday evening after an increase of 1,922 deaths today -- the largest rise of fatalities in a single day yet.

The US has recorded more than 432,000 confirmed infections -- more than another other country.

CNN is tracking the spread of coronavirus in the US here: