April 13 coronavirus news

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8:38 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

300,000 people return to work in Madrid as some restrictions lift across Spain

From Laura Perez-Maestro, Al Goodman, Ingrid Formanek and Max Ramsay

Around 300,000 non-essential workers have gone back to their jobs Monday in the Madrid region, a spokesman for Madrid's regional government told CNN.

Despite still reporting hundreds of new infections every day, the Spanish government announced it would begin rolling back some of its tough lockdown restrictions after the Easter holiday.

Spain’s General Workers Union, GTU, a major trade union, raised concerns over the safety of those returning to work. The union, which has 940,000 members according to its website, called for employers to be responsible for providing personal protection equipment.

Here's some background: The country has now recorded more than 17,400 total deaths, with more than 87,000 active cases. Today, Spain recorded its second-lowest daily rise in deaths for three weeks: 517 in the past 24 hours.

A partial lifting of restrictions came into effect today. Workers who cannot work from home, such as those working in construction and other industries, were permitted to return to work. However, shops, bars, and restaurants and other businesses considered non-essential, remain closed.

8:18 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Lebanese army to distribute coronavirus aid parcels

From CNN’s Ghazi Balkiz in Beirut

A military vehicle patrols in Beirut, Lebanon, amid the coronavirus pandemic, on March 22.
A military vehicle patrols in Beirut, Lebanon, amid the coronavirus pandemic, on March 22. Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images

Lebanese Army units deployed throughout the country will on Tuesday begin distributing aid packages to citizens who have lost their income because of coronavirus, the army says.

The Lebanese government had earlier pledged to allocate 75 billion Lebanese Liras (about US$4.97 million) in social aid to those in need.

Lebanon has recorded 630 coronavirus cases and 20 deaths, according to the Lebanese Health Ministry.

8:09 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

The US is "nearing the peak right now," health official says

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the United States is "nearing the peak right now" of the coronavirus pandemic.  

"I think we'll sometime, hopefully this week, we'll be able to say — you'll know when you're at the peak when the next day is less than the day before," Redfield said this morning during an appearance on the "Today" show.

"We are stabilizing across the country in terms of the state of this outbreak," he added.

8:12 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Could the US reopen by May 1? Here's what the CDC director says.

From CNN's Gisela Crespo

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), attends a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on April 8.
Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), attends a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House on April 8. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday "it's important to look at the country as many different separate situations" when asked on the "Today" show if it was conceivable to relax social distancing guidelines by May. 

"This pandemic has affected different parts of the country differently," Redfield said. "We're looking at the data very carefully, county by county by county, and we will be assessing that." 

Redfield told NBC's Savannah Guthrie that in his view, a number of things need to happen before reopening the country, including increasing public health capacity to do early case identification, isolation and contract tracing.  

He added officials also need to "start working to rebuild confidence in the community, so the community has confidence to reopen." 

7:53 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Good news on coronavirus makes it harder for Trump to hold the line

Analysis by CNN's John Harwood

President Donald Trump listens to questions from reporters following a meeting of his coronavirus task force at the White House on April 6.
President Donald Trump listens to questions from reporters following a meeting of his coronavirus task force at the White House on April 6. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Donald Trump urged Americans eight days ago to brace for the "toughest week" of the coronavirus pandemic -- but for Trump himself, the week ahead may well be tougher.

That's because, even as the death toll keeps rising, so have signs that social distancing restrictions have begun tempering the crisis. Good news makes it harder to hold the line on those restrictions as the outcome of America's war against coronavirus remains uncertain.

That paradox has produced intense cross-pressures inside the White House. Business interests, economic advisers and Republican conservatives seek an end to the shutdown that has halted normal life and thrown 16 million Americans out of work; public health authorities warn that moving prematurely risks a second tsunami of infection with escalating loss of life and deeper economic damage.

"Now is no time to back off," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease specialist, told CNN on Friday. "Now is the time to actually put your foot on the accelerator, because we're going in the right direction."

Read the full analysis here:

7:47 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Swiss coronavirus numbers rise

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

A medical worker treats a coronavirus patient at a hospital in Rennaz, Switzerland, on April 8.
A medical worker treats a coronavirus patient at a hospital in Rennaz, Switzerland, on April 8. Laurent Gillieron/Keystone/AP

At least 25,580 people have so far tested positive for the virus in Switzerland, according to The Swiss Federal Office for Health -- an increase of 280 in the past 24 hours.

885 people have so far died. Switzerland's coronavirus incidence rate is one of the highest in Europe, the office pointed out, with 298 cases recorded per 100,000 inhabitants.

7:36 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Japan provides emergency shelter for "internet cafe refugees"

From CNN's Emiko Jozuka in Tokyo

Janese authorities are preparing emergency housing for thousands of "internet cafe refugees" as coronavirus infections spike across the country.

Open around the clock: Internet cafes, which face temporary closure under Japan's state of emergency declaration, have become a de facto home for those without access to stable housing. Many internet and manga cafes across Japan are open 24 hours a day and feature showers, coin laundries, a cafe with food and most importantly -- private booths that can be rented on an hourly or daily rate. 

Mostly men: There are more than 4,000 internet cafe refugees in Tokyo, according to a 2018 survey conducted by the Tokyo Metropolitan government. Nearly 86% of "residents" are men and just over 14% are women. 

Roughly 15,000 people stay at such cafes daily during the week and some 4,000 of them are homeless. About 3,000 do not have stable jobs, according to the survey.

Hatanaka Kazuo, a spokesperson for the metropolitan government, told CNN that rooms would be available in business hotels in the capital for those who applied. A total of 175 people have moved into hotel rooms as of April 10. The rooms will be available until May 6, when the country's state of emergency is scheduled to end.

7:48 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Pope prays for victims of domestic violence during lockdown

From CNN's Delia Gallagher in Rome

Pope Francis delivers a blessing over an almost empty St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on April 13.
Pope Francis delivers a blessing over an almost empty St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on April 13. Vatican News/AP

Pope Francis prayed for victims of domestic violence and all women involved in helping to assist others during the pandemic, in a special address from the Vatican's Apostolic Library on Monday.

"Today I want to remember how much many women do to take care of others, especially during this health emergency," the Pope said during a special prayer, called the Regina Caeli. "Women doctors, nurses, police and prison guards, those who work in shops providing essential items and many women and sisters and grandmothers who are on lockdown at home with their families: children, elderly and the disabled." 

Francis also mentioned women who are at home and at risk of domestic violence.

"Sometimes they are at risk of violence due to a living situation which is too great a weight for them," the Pope said. 

"Let us pray for them, that the Lord gives them strength and that our communities may sustain them, together with their families." 

"May the Lord give us the courage of women, to always move forward," Francis said.

Calls to abuse hotline up 25%: As coronavirus lockdowns are announced around the world, charities and police forces have warned of a potential spike in domestic violence.

Refuge, a leading British charity focused on fighting domestic abuse, said last week that calls to its helpline had risen by 25% since restrictions on people's movement began, and that hits on its website had increased by 150%.

Being confined at home with an abuser makes victims more vulnerable, because there is no escape. In addition, multiple studies have found that emotionally stressful events can lead to an increase in aggressive behavior at home.

Read more about coronavirus and its impact on domestic abuse here. 

7:08 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

It's just after 7 a.m. in New York. Here's the latest on the pandemic

Spanish Red Cross volunteers distribute face masks at the Chamartin Station in Madrid on April 13. Some companies are set to resume operations after the government lifted some of the country's lockdown restrictions.
Spanish Red Cross volunteers distribute face masks at the Chamartin Station in Madrid on April 13. Some companies are set to resume operations after the government lifted some of the country's lockdown restrictions. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

Here's what you need to know if you're just joining us:

  • Global cases top 1.8 million: At least 1,859,011 cases of the novel coronavirus and 114,979 deaths have been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. This doesn't represent the total number of active cases, but rather the number of infections since the pandemic began. 
  • Spain begins loosening restrictions: Despite still reporting hundreds of new infections every day, the Spanish government has announced it will begin rolling back some of its tough lockdown restrictions after the Easter holiday. The move is aimed at sectors like construction and manufacturing -- non-essential retail outlets, bars and places of entertainment must remain closed. On Monday, Spain recorded its second-lowest daily rise in deaths for three weeks: 517 in the past 24 hours.
  • US worst-affected country by far: The United States has confirmed more than 557,000 cases, with New York City alone reporting over 104,000 infections. More than 22,000 people have died countrywide. Speaking on Sunday, the country's top medical expert on the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN that lives would have been saved in the US if mitigation efforts had started earlier.
  • India's PM to address the nation as infections climb: Nearly 800 new infections have been recorded in 24 hours in India, the day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's countrywide lockdown is due to expire. Modi will address the nation Tuesday. Several Indian states have already extended the lockdown.
  • UK nurses can refuse to treat Covid-19 patients as a "last resort" if they don't have adequate protective equipment: The Royal College of Nursing, a union in the United Kingdom, has advised its members that they can refuse to treat Covid-19 patients as a last resort if they are not provided with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and an adviser to the UK government, said on Sunday that the UK is "likely to be one of the worst, if not the worst, affected countries in Europe."
  • More than 100 new infections in China: For the first time in at least a week, the Chinese government has announced a three-figure rise in new infections, recording 108 new confirmed cases on Sunday. All but 10 of the new cases were imported.