April 27 coronavirus news

17 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:39 a.m. ET, April 27, 2020

New Zealand is set to lift its toughest restrictions

An empty street is seen in Auckland, New Zealand, on March 26.
An empty street is seen in Auckland, New Zealand, on March 26. Bradley White/Getty Images

New Zealand will lift some of its strictest lockdown restrictions at midnight local time as the country moves from level 4 to a level 3 alert for two weeks.

What it means: Under level 3, New Zealand will still essentially be under lockdown, but there will be an easing of restrictions. Schools can open. People will be able to buy takeaway food, and take part in more recreational activities, such as swimming at the beach. Up to 10 people will be allowed to gather for weddings and funerals. 

Alert level 3 does not permit more social activity, but would allow more economic activity like construction, manufacturing and forestry.

Dwindling cases: The move comes as New Zealand has seen a dwindling number of coronavirus cases over the past few weeks. On Monday, New Zealand reported one new case, four "probable cases" and one new death.

"It has been nearly five weeks living and working in ways that just two months ago would have been impossible. But we did. And we have done it together," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a news conference today.

Ardern said that New Zealand had one of the highest testing rates per capita in the world, with the capacity to process up to 8,000 tests per day. The country also has one of the lowest mortality rates and a low rate of transmission, with each case infecting less than half an additional person, she said.

“This provides strong evidence that there is not widespread transmission that is going undetected," she said. “Through out cumulative actions, we have avoided the worst.”

What happens next: Ardern said that the ambition is to be able to ease the social restrictions, but said to do that confidently, they would need to move "slowly and cautiously."

"We must make sure that we do not let the virus run away on us again and cause a new wave of cases and deaths," she said. "To succeed we must hunt down the last few cases of the virus."

"It is not and cannot be a return to pre-Covid-19 life," she said.

Level 3 will remain in place until May 11, when Cabinet will review whether to extend.

12:20 a.m. ET, April 27, 2020

The US reported more than 1,000 deaths on Sunday

From CNN's Alta Spells

At least 965,942 cases of coronavirus, including 54,883 related deaths have been reported in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

On Sunday, JHU reported 26,732 new cases and 1,092 deaths in the US.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases and those in the US military, veterans hospitals and federal prisons.  

CNN has an interactive map tracking coronavirus cases across the country:

12:08 a.m. ET, April 27, 2020

Bill Gates explains how the US can safely ease coronavirus restrictions

From CNN's Clare Duffy

Bill Gates says US states should focus on "high value" segments of the economy, and how to reopen them with masks and social distancing.
Bill Gates says US states should focus on "high value" segments of the economy, and how to reopen them with masks and social distancing. PBG/AAD/STAR MAX/IPX/AP

The ability for parts of the United States to safely and effectively begin to lift coronavirus restrictions will depend on the country's capacity to aggressively test for and trace new cases of the virus, Bill Gates said Sunday.

Here's what he said:

Warning: Just because some areas looking to reopen have experienced relatively small outbreaks doesn't mean they're not at risk, Gates said. Many are concerned that reopening too soon could prompt a second wave of infections

In stages: It will require thinking critically about which elements of society are most essential to get back to work, implementing safety measures as they are reopened and ensuring diagnostic testing and contact tracing are in place.

Finding the cause of a rebound: "What we don't know is, (if) we go slightly back to normal, which activities create the risk of a rebound?" Gates said. 

Ramp up testing: "We need to put in place a very dense testing regime so you would detect that rebound going back into exponential growth very quickly and not wait for the ICUs to fill up and there to be a lot of deaths. If you see the hot spot, you kind of understand the activities causing that," he said.

Planning for reopening: States should focus on "high value" segments of the economy such as schools, manufacturing and construction, and should figure out how to operate those things with masks and social distancing, Gates said.

Continue tracking: Once some schools and businesses get back to work, communities should continue to track the effects on infection rates, he said. But it will take time. "The inequality has gotten greater in education, so if we can figure out how to do K through 12 in the fall, that would be good," Gates said.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has studied pandemics for years and is now involved in fighting coronavirus.

Read more here.

11:47 p.m. ET, April 26, 2020

Reviving America after Covid-19 will take years, not months

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

Another 4.4 million Americans filed first-time jobless claims last week, bringing the number of people who've lost work in the past five weeks to an apocalyptic 26.5 million.

Each individual claim represents a life on edge.

People who never had their hands out before are going to food banks, and the unemployment rate is suddenly approaching Great Depression territory. It's the same story around the world.

President Donald Trump thinks pent-up demand will ensure that the US economy takes off when normal life creaks open and once customers are free to shop and spend again. But even if the virus were waning across the US -- which it isn't -- shops, restaurants, bars and movie theaters would likely reopen at reduced capacity.

And there's no guarantee those other jobs will ever come back.

Fewer workers will mean fewer people with money to buy cars and go on vacation -- which will mean that industries like tourism, entertainment and hospitality have a long haul.

After the battle against the coronavirus is won, the war to revive America will likely continue. We're talking years, not months.

Read the full analysis:

11:34 p.m. ET, April 26, 2020

UK PM Boris Johnson will return to work today

From CNN’s Robert Iddiols in London

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has returned to 10 Downing Street and will be back at work on Monday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has returned to 10 Downing Street and will be back at work on Monday. Alberto Pezzali/AP

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will return to work on Monday after recovering from coronavirus, according to a Downing Street spokesperson.

Dominic Raab, the UK's Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State, will step aside after deputizing for the Prime Minister, allowing Johnson to make a full return. 

Downing Street confirmed the previously waylaid Johnson is now "raring to go." 

Johnson left hospital on Easter Sunday after contracting Covid-19 and has spent several days recovering further at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s countryside retreat.

11:14 p.m. ET, April 26, 2020

Trump denies he is about to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar

From CNN's Jeremy Diamond, Kristen Holmes and Sarah Westwood

US President Donald Trump attends the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on April 24, in Washington.
US President Donald Trump attends the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on April 24, in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP

US President Donald Trump on Sunday denied he was going to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

In a tweet, Trump said that "Reports that H.H.S. Secretary @AlexAzar is going to be 'fired' by me" are false.

Azar echoed Trump's message in his own tweet thread later Sunday evening attacking the media and praising the President's coronavirus response. 

The public pushback comes after multiple calls between Trump, Azar and top White House advisers, which culminated in the coordinated issuing of a series of tweets that Azar's job was safe for now, CNN has learned.

The flurry of phone calls surrounded a series of news reports Saturday night quoting anonymous sources saying White House officials were looking at the possibility of replacing Azar, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

Read the full story:

11:00 p.m. ET, April 26, 2020

Japan reports nearly 200 new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Junko Ogura in Tokyo

A staff member of the Yokosuka Medical Association holds a coronavirus test at the Yokosuka Emergency Medical Center on April 23, in Yokosuka, Japan.
A staff member of the Yokosuka Medical Association holds a coronavirus test at the Yokosuka Emergency Medical Center on April 23, in Yokosuka, Japan. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japan reported 199 new coronavirus cases on Sunday and three deaths, according to the country's health ministry.

The total number of reported infections in Japan now stands at 14,097, including 364 deaths. Some 712 cases and 13 deaths are linked to the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The number of confirmed cases of the virus in Japan has spiked in the past month -- dashing hopes that the government's initial virus response had succeeded in controlling its spread. 

On March 1, the country had reported 243 cases.

10:46 p.m. ET, April 26, 2020

The US has recorded more than 54,000 coronavirus deaths

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Medical workers load a body into an ambulance at Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center on April 16, in Andover, New Jersey.
Medical workers load a body into an ambulance at Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center on April 16, in Andover, New Jersey. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

At least 965,435 cases of coronavirus, including 54,856 related deaths have been reported in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases and those in the US military, veterans hospitals and federal prisons.  

CNN has an interactive map tracking coronavirus cases across the country: 

10:30 p.m. ET, April 26, 2020

South Korea reports 10 new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Sophie Jeong in Seoul

South Korea reported 10 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, raising the national tally to 10,738, according to the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the new cases, seven are imported from overseas.

South Korea reported one death on Sunday, taking the national death toll to 243, the KCDC said.

Forty-seven more people have been discharged from isolation, bringing the national total of recovered cases to 8,764.