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April 27 coronavirus news
By Helen Regan, Emma Reynolds and Adam Renton, CNN
Nigeria extends lockdown in three states
From CNN’s Stephanie Busari in Lagos
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the country’s coronavirus lockdown in three major states —Abuja, Lagos and Ogun — for another week until May 4.
In a national address Monday evening, Buhari said the country will phase into an eased lockdown period, with some businesses and sectors being allowed to open after the total lockdown period ends on May 4. After this date, there will also be overnight curfews from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time in the three states.
Meanwhile, the northern state of Kano will be place under total lockdown for two weeks because of a spike in the number of deaths in the region. These deaths have not been officially linked to coronavirus. However, autopsies have not been carried out because they are not in line with Islamic burial practices in the state, officials said.
Nigeria first introduced lockdowns for the three worst affected states on March 30. This was then extended for a further two weeks by the President.
Buhari added that Nigeria's Center for Disease Control on Monday accredited 15 laboratories nationwide with an aggregate capacity to undertake 2,500 tests per day across the country. Nigeria has only tested around 10,000 people so far, out of a population of 200 million.
As of Monday, the country has recorded 1,273 positive Covid-19 cases and 40 deaths, according to the NCDC.
There's more than 3 million coronavirus cases around the world
From CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq and Jen Deaton
Global coronavirus cases have now topped 3,000,000, according to a running tally done by Johns Hopkins University.
Nearly a third of all cases in the United States, the university reported.
The United States has a count of at least 972,969 confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET, according to the JHU Coronavirus Resource Center website.
Spain follows the US as the nation with the second highest count of Covid-19 cases worldwide, with a total of 229,422 cases, according to Johns Hopkins.
Paraguay schools to remain closed through December
From CNN’s Flora Charner, Florencia Trucco and Sanie López Garelli
Paraguay President Mario Abdo Benitez announced Monday that in-person classes will remain closed through December.
Benitez said that although there is “scientific evidence suggesting children are less vulnerable to the virus,” the government has a “constitutional obligation” to care for the health of its citizens.
“We know this decision is unprecedented,” Benitez said. “I would like to ask for cooperation, mainly from parents and from the education sector.”
“I know that it will be a difficult year, but we are confident that we will be able to develop and deepen our capacity in the use of technology within the education system,” he added.
The National Educators Union released a statement earlier this month, highlighting the difficulty teachers were experiencing to meet deadlines due to the “deficient coverage” provided in order to reach students without access to internet or other technology.
The Paraguayan Health Ministry launched virtual training courses for teachers last week to help develop curriculums for online classes, according to the Education Ministry’s website. The ministry said “physical materials” would be distributed to students in areas with limited access to internet.
Paraguay has confirmed at least 228 cases of coronavirus and nine deaths.
"The pandemic is far from over," World Health Organization says
From CNN's Amanda Watts
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization Director-General said, the coronavirus pandemic isn't over.
“The pandemic is far from over,” he said at a news conference.
He said the World Health Organization "continues to be concerned about the increasing trends in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries."
“As in all regions, cases and deaths are underreported in many countries in these regions, because of low testing capacity,” Tedros said.
“This virus will not be defeated if we are not united, if we are not united, the virus will exploit the cracks between us and continue to create havoc. Lives will be lost,” Tedros added.
4 million jobs furloughed in the UK, chancellor says
Four million jobs have been furloughed in the UK and a quarter of businesses have stopped trading, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak told the UK Parliament today.
He said that "we should be in no doubt" about the seriousness of the economic situation.
"We can't save every job and every business" Sunak said, adding that "these are already tough times, and there will be more to come."
Sunak told members of Parliament he understood and shared people's anxiety, but that the most important thing the government can do to protect the economy is to "protect the health of our people."
He said that the government's financial assistance package should act as a bridge, supporting viable businesses to stay afloat and protecting the jobs of people who would have otherwise been laid off during what he called a "sharp and significant" crisis.
Sunak said 16 billion GBP — about $19.8 billion USD — has been paid out so far to the National Health Service and other public services, and around half a million employers applied for the job retention scheme, which guarantees to pay 80% of workers' wages up to the 2,500 GBP (about 3,100 USD) if they are put on leave.
Russia says predicting the end of the lockdown is a "shot in the dark"
From CNN’s Darya Tarasova in Moscow
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Russian President Vladimir Putin would meet tomorrow with regional governors to discuss the spread of coronavirus around the country.
Asked in a conference call when Russians might expect an exit from self-isolation orders, Peskov said it was too early for predictions.
“It is obvious that a decision remains to be made based on current dynamics and short-term forecasts,” Peskov said. “Forecasts for the medium- and long term are hardly possible. To call any dates now would be a shot in the dark.”
Russian military reports more than 2,000 Covid-19 cases
From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina in Moscow
The Russian military reported 2,090 cases of the coronavirus among its personnel, cadets and civilian employees, according to the country's defense ministry.
From March through April 26, 874 servicemen have tested positive, the Defense Ministry said Sunday, adding that most of them were either isolated at home or in military hospitals.
Another 971 cases were found among cadets in military academies and schools across the country, and 245 civilians employed by the defense ministry have tested positive. The majority of patients showed no symptoms, the statement added.
Over the past weeks, reports had emerged in Russia’s independent media outlets about coronavirus outbreaks in military academies, including troops who took part in the Moscow rehearsals for the May 9 Victory Day parade.
Last week, the head of the prestigious Kirov Military Medical Academy in Moscow was fired for failing to implement adequate coronavirus measures.
“The academy made errors in implementing preventive measures at the faculty for the training of medics for foreign armies, which led to infection among some cadets,” the defense ministry said, according to state-run agency TASS. "Given that … the head of the academy, Alexander Fisun, was removed from his position."
The defense ministry did not disclose the exact number of cases at the academy, saying that cases were found in foreign students as well as 55 cases in students of other faculties.
Several thousand servicemen have also been quarantined after they took part in dress rehearsals for the Victory Day parade in the Moscow region as late as April 6. At the time, Russia had officially reported over 6,000 coronavirus cases and Moscow officials had already banned gatherings of more than 50 people.
The massive parade marking the end of World War II in Europe, which usually has around 13,000 troops marching on the Red Square, has since been postponed by President Vladimir Putin.
The defense ministry is still moving ahead with its annual spring draft, with 135,000 army conscripts expected to be called up in May.
Rural health CEOs take to hardware stores and delivery trucks in the coronavirus pandemic
From CNN's Madeline Holcombe
In a small town, everyone pitches in, says Tim Putnam, the CEO at a rural hospital in Batesville, Indiana.
So even as the coronavirus pandemic puts added strain on many rural hospitals' finances and resources, they are buoyed by the support and sacrifice of their communities and individuals. Neighbors leave encouraging messages, businesses make donations and medical professionals work around the clock in compromising environments.
Even those at the top of rural hospital administration are getting into the thick of the coronavirus fight. For some CEOs, that means hitting the road to ensure their staff had the supplies they need to continue serving the communities that need them.
John Henderson, CEO of Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals, formed part of a "daisy chain" transporting a supply of 70,000 surgical masks to 40 or 50 rural Texas hospital sites, he said.
Adam Willmann, President and CEO of Goodall-Witcher Healthcare in Clifton, Texas, began frequenting local hardware stores, lumber yards and feed stores to stock up on N95 masks. "I take this a lot more personally than maybe others do at a normal job because it's not a normal job to me," he said.
Read the full story here.