April 21 coronavirus news

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8:56 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Trump estimates US coronavirus death toll will be lower than earlier projections

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez 

US President Donald Trump at a coronavirus task force meeting at the White House on April 20.
US President Donald Trump at a coronavirus task force meeting at the White House on April 20. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

US President Donald Trump said during Monday’s White House news briefing that 50,000 to 60,000 people in the US are expected to die from coronavirus -- far fewer than earlier projections made by the administration.

“Now we’re going toward 50 -- I’m hearing, or 60,000 people. One is too many. I always say it. One is too many, but we’re going toward 50 or 60,000 people. That’s at the lower -- as you know the lower (end of the projections) was supposed to be 100,000 people,” he said.

“If we didn’t do what we did, we would have had, I think, a million people, maybe 2 million people, maybe more than that (dead),” he added.

Late last month, the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN's "State of the Union" that based on models, 100,000 Americans or more could die from the virus.

At least 42,138 people have died in the US from coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

8:54 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Georgia governor's decision to reopen some businesses is "reckless," Savannah mayor says

From CNN's Elise Hammond

CNN's Erin Burnett and Savannah, Georgia, Mayor Van Johnson.
CNN's Erin Burnett and Savannah, Georgia, Mayor Van Johnson. Source: CNN

Savannah, Georgia, Mayor Van Johnson said Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to allow some businesses in the state to reopen as early as Friday is "not based in any type of science or best practices."

"I am beyond disturbed," Johnson told CNN's Erin Burnett. "In my mind, it's reckless, it's premature and it's dangerous."

Johnson said Kemp did not talk to him or other local municipalities before announcing his decision on Monday.

He said local mayors would "have the best information here on the ground."

"Our reality here in Savannah is our numbers are still going up. We still have not done expanded testing and we do not have the 14-day decline. So this just blows our minds that here in Georgia that we would have these types of rules being lifted in a time when people are still suffering," Johnson said.

Kemp said earlier Monday that no local ordinance can restrict the openings, which will be implemented statewide. Johnson said because there is nothing he can do on a local policy level, he is encouraging people in Savannah to "follow common sense."

"This is still a dangerous time, and it's not the time for people to take their feet off the gas. Not the time to think we're lulled into a false sense of security. This is still a dangerous world and Covid is still killing people," he said.

8:51 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Crew member on Italian cruise ship tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Junko Ogura in Tokyo

One crew member of the Italian cruise ship Costa Atranchica has tested positive for coronavirus, the mayor of Nagasaki, Tomihisa Tagami, said at a news conference on Monday.

The Costa Atranchica, which is anchored at Nagasaki port in southwestern Japan, has a total of 623 crew members who are foreign nationals. All crew members are now onboard the ship.

Health checks will be carried out on at least 53 people who may have had close contact with the crew member who tested positive, according to Tagami.

On March 13, Nagasaki Gov. Hoso Nakamura said the government requested that the crew refrain from disembarkation due to the spread of infection in Japan.

Local authorities did not provide any details on the crew members and their nationalities. 

8:48 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Chile to launch immunity card program for coronavirus survivors 

From Cristopher Ulloa, Ana Cucalon and Jackie Castillo

Chile will begin issuing digital immunity cards this week to people who have recovered from coronavirus, according to an announcement from health officials on Monday.

The so-called “Covid cards” will be issued to people who tested positive for the virus and have shown signs of recovery after a 14-day quarantine. 

The program, which had been announced by the Chilean health minister last week, was scheduled to launch Monday but has now been postponed for the next “coming days,” according to the country’s public health undersecretary Paula Daza. 

Chilean health officials said last week the Covid card would help identify those individuals who no longer pose a health risk to others. 

As of Monday, Chile had reported 10,507 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 139 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.