April 24 coronavirus news

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9:32 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Our live coverage of the global coronavirus pandemic has moved here.

4:14 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

At least 150 Italian doctors have died from coronavirus

A doctor and nurse embrace at the end of their shift in the intensive care unit treating Covid-19 patients, at the San Filippo Neri hospital in Rome, on April 20.
A doctor and nurse embrace at the end of their shift in the intensive care unit treating Covid-19 patients, at the San Filippo Neri hospital in Rome, on April 20. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

In Italy, at least 150 doctors have died after contracting coronavirus, the Italian Association of Doctors said on Friday.

Health care professionals account for about 10% of all infections, the organization said.

A separate Italian health care group, ANAAO, criticized the decree aimed at strengthening the health system, saying it's not good enough.

ANAAO called the measures set out in the Cura Italia decree — which is worth 25 billion euros ($27 billion) and was approved by the government on Friday — "completely disappointing."

"The additional funding provided is not enough to guarantee the remuneration of all the overtime fielded between February and March with generosity and a spirit of sacrifice by the health workers to face the tsunami of patients who poured into hospitals, hitting the health care system that has been under financed for decades," a statement from the organization said.
4:12 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Air France-KLM secures $7.5 billion in loans to get through crisis

French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire arrives for press briefing at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on April 24.
French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire arrives for press briefing at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on April 24. Lucovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Air France-KLM Group and Air France have secured $7.5 billion in financing to help it remain solvent during the Covid-19 crisis, the airline group announced in a statement.

The financing comes in two parts: a French state-backed loan of roughly $4.3 billion (4 billion euros) granted by a syndicate of six banks (guaranteed by the French state up to 90%) and a direct shareholder's loan of roughly $3.2 billion (3 billion euros) from the French state to the airline group.

“This aid mechanism, which remains subject to approval by the European Commission, will enable the Air France-KLM Group to provide Air France with the means necessary to meet its obligations by continuing its transformation in order to adapt in a sector that the global crisis will severely disrupt,” the statement said. 

"This is not a blank check. There are conditions of profitability," French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview on French network TF1. "Air France must become the most environmentally-friendly company on the planet."

The statement also said negotiations with the Dutch government over support to KLM are ongoing.

According to data from February 2019, the French state holds a 14.3% stake in Air France-KLM and the Dutch government has 14%. Delta owns 8.8% of the company.

2:21 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

UK will host "Global Vaccines Summit" on June 4

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab leaves the Foreign Office in London on April 20.
Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab leaves the Foreign Office in London on April 20. Niklas Hallen/AFP/Getty Images

 

The UK will host a "Global Vaccines Summit" on June 4 in an effort to encourage the international community to “come together” to support the development of a Covid-19 vaccine, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced Friday.  

“Diseases have no borders, so we must come together to make sure that Gavi [The Vaccine Alliance] is fully funded and its expertise is at the heart of efforts to secure broad access to any COVID-19 vaccine,” Raab tweeted. 

Gavi is an international organization that aims to bring together the public and private sectors to improve access to vaccines.

In a later tweet, the British foreign secretary added that the UK will also co-host the Coronavirus Global Response Summit on May 4 alongside its international partners, including the European Union, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Norway and South Africa. 

“The UK is playing a leading role in efforts to develop a COVID vaccine and better testing. We’re pleased to co-host the Coronavirus Global Response Summit on 4 May with our partners…to develop a vaccine together,” he added. 

12:41 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

London police arrest more than 4,000 people for domestic abuse during Covid-19 restrictions

Police officers patrol the near-deserted streets in London on April 16.
Police officers patrol the near-deserted streets in London on April 16. Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty

London's Metropolitan Police arrested more than 4,000 people for domestic abuse since the restrictions imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus were introduced, the force said in a statement on Friday.

"The COVID-19 restrictions and 'stay at home' instruction is vital to managing this public health crisis, but unfortunately it has also left current and potential victims of domestic abuse even more vulnerable and isolated," said Commander Sue Williams, the Met's lead for safeguarding.

She added: "Victims should be assured that they can leave their homes to escape harm or seek help, and they will not be penalized in any way for not maintaining social distancing, or otherwise breaching COVID-19 restrictions. Our prime concern is protecting victims and others who are affected, and bringing offenders to justice."

12:42 p.m. ET, April 24, 2020

UK government to start trials of drones delivering medical supplies

Britain's Transport Secretary Grant Shapps leaves number 10, Downing Street in central London on March 17.
Britain's Transport Secretary Grant Shapps leaves number 10, Downing Street in central London on March 17. Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

The UK government has green-lit trials for drone delivery of medicines and medical equipment, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said at the daily coronavirus briefing on Friday.

Plans were already in motion to use drones to make deliveries in the UK, but due to the coronavirus crisis, "now we have an urgent need" to fast-track them, he said.

The trials will begin next week and will carry medical equipment to St Mary's Hospital on the Isle of Wight, off UK's southern coast, Shapps said.

10:48 a.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Here's who is joining the World Health Organization's new vaccine efforts

Melinda Gates speaks at Hunter College on February 13, 2018 in New York City.
Melinda Gates speaks at Hunter College on February 13, 2018 in New York City. John Lamparski/Getty Images

Leaders from around the world joined the World Health Organization, after it announced the launch of a new effort to accelerate the development of vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here's what they're saying: 

  • Melinda Gates, speaking for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a co-host of the effort, said, “the moment we are living through right now is a reminder, that we’re all part of the same global community. As new diagnostics, treatments and vaccines become available, we have a responsibility to get them out equitably, with the understanding that all lives have equal value.” 
  • António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations said “the world needs development, production and equitable delivery of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.” 
  • Giuseppe Conte, prime minister of Italy said, “There is one thing we understand well, finding and distributing the vaccine is the only way to win this battle,” adding, "You can count on Italy, together we will make it.”
  • Dominic Raab, Britain’s Foreign secretary who has stepped in for Boris Johnson, said “by working together, we can develop an affordable vaccine which is accessible to everyone who needs it, as quickly as possible, to end this pandemic once and for all.” 
  • Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa said, “As now more than ever, the world needs solidarity and cooperation to mobilize and guide all efforts and drive delivery towards equitable access to new Covid-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.” Ramaphosa added, “Africa is extremely vulnerable to the ravages of this virus, and is in need of every possible support and assistance.” 
  • Erna Solberg, Norway prime minister said, “We must commit to a system of fair global access, because as long as the virus is active somewhere, we are at risk everywhere.” 
  • Muhyiddin Yassin, prime minister of Malaysia said, “the only way we can destroy this common invisible enemy of ours is through solidarity and cooperation. The world needs to come together to coordinate our efforts and expedite the development of effective tools to stop the spread of this disease.”
10:35 a.m. ET, April 24, 2020

The US will send ventilators to Ecuador, El Salvador and Indonesia, Trump says  

President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus at the White House in Washington, DC on April 23.
President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus at the White House in Washington, DC on April 23. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The United States will send ventilators to Ecuador, El Salvador and Indonesia, President Trump tweeted Friday, announcing he spoke with the countries' presidents.

"Just spoke to my friend, President Joko Widodo of the Republic of Indonesia. Asking for Ventilators, which we will provide," the President wrote. "Great cooperation between us!"

Trump said he had a "great conversation with President Lenin Moreno" of Ecuador. He added that the US "will be sending them desperately needed Ventilators, of which we have recently manufactured many, and helping them in other ways. They are fighting hard against CoronaVirus!"

Trump also praised El Salvador for helping the US on immigration. 

"Will be helping them with Ventilators, which are desperately needed," Trump wrote. "They have worked well with us on immigration at the Southern Border!"

9:58 a.m. ET, April 24, 2020

Germany's largest state will allow some religious services next month

A woman pushing a stroller walks at the empty Marienplatz in Munich on April 21.
A woman pushing a stroller walks at the empty Marienplatz in Munich on April 21. Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

Bavaria, Germany's largest federal state, will allow church and other religious services to go ahead under certain conditions beginning on May 4, local authorities said on Friday.

Visitors must maintain a distance of about 2 meters, or about six feet, from each other and wear face coverings. There will also be a 60-minute time limit,  Bavaria's head of the state chancellery Florian Herrmann told CNN in a statement.

He warned that there needs to be an abundance of caution in conducting the services, adding: ''No infections should follow from encounters of faith! Faith and community strengthens us, especially in challenging times.''

Bavaria is the German state with the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths.