Spanish PM calls for ‘European solidarity’; Trump tells Americans to expect ‘a lot of death’; Global deaths approach 65,000
- Latest developments: at a glance
- UK coronavirus – latest
- Coming back to life after lockdown in Wuhan
- Focus turns to US as coronavirus continues to spread
- See all of our coronavirus coverage
Pope Francis has marked the opening of Holy week in a deserted St. Peter’s Basilica by urging people to think about “what good we can do for others”.
The Palm Sunday service usually attracts tens of thousands of people to Vatican City, and includes a long procession of cardinals, priests and followers carrying palm fronds.
The tragedy we are experiencing summons us to take seriously the things that are serious, and not to be caught up in those that matter less; to rediscover that life is of no use if not used to serve others. For life is measured by love.
“May we reach out to those who are suffering and those most in need. May we not be concerned about what we lack, but what good we can do for others.”
Switzerland’s death toll from Covid-19 has risen by 19 to 559, the country’s health ministry said on Sunday.
More than 158,000 people in Switzerland – which has a population of 8.6m – have been tested for the virus, with 21,100 confirmed as positive cases.
Spain’s death toll has risen by 674 to 12,418 in the past 24 hours, according to figures which recorded the lowest number of victims in nine days. The number of registered cases rose to 130,759 from 124,736, Spain’s ministry said. The five percent rise in infections was the smallest increase since the start of the health crisis. Germany’s confirmed coronavirus infections meanwhile rose by 5,936 in the past 24 hours to 91,714 on Sunday, the third straight drop in the daily rate of new cases.
Germany’s confirmed coronavirus infections rose by 5,936 in the past 24 hours to 91,714 on Sunday, the third straight drop in the daily rate of new cases, according to data from the government’s Robert Koch Institute.
Reuters reported that Sunday’s figure amounted to a drop of 146 cases compared with 6,082 new infections recorded on Saturday, itself a fall from 6,174 new infections on Friday.
Economies in some parts of Africa face a “complete collapse” unless the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic is controlled, a senior UN official with responsibility for operations on the continent has said.
Up to 50% of all projected job growth in Africa will be lost as aviation, services, exports, mining, agriculture and the informal sector all take a hit, according to Ahunna Eziakonwa, the United Nations Development Program regional director for Africa.
There’s more on that first confirmed case of Covid-19 in South Sudan. The person is a 29-year-old woman who arrived in February from the Netherlands, via Ethiopia.
Denis Dumo, a journalist covering South Sudan, tweets this picture from a press conference given by Riek Machar, one of the country’s vice presidents.
Authorities in Lombardy, the Italian region worst-affected by coronavirus, have enacted a law obliging citizens to wear face masks when they go outside.
In the absence of a mask, people should “cover their mouths and noses with a simple foulard or scarf”, said Attilio Fontana, the president of Lombardy.
Spain’s coronavirus death toll has risen by 674 to 12,418 in the past 24 hours, according to figures which recorded the lowest number of victims in nine days.
It is also the first time since March 28 that daily deaths have dropped below 800.
The challenge we face is extraordinary and unprecedented. It calls for a single, united, radical and ambitious response to preserve our economic and social system and protect our citizens.
The Spanish have always protected and defended the European project. It is time for reciprocity. With us, with Italy and with each and every one of the 27 countries of the union.
The first confirmed case of Covid-19 has been recorded in South Sudan, one of the world’s poorest states where decades of war and hunger have already devastated infrastructure.
The news was announced by Riek Machar, one of the country’s vice presidents, Reuters reports.
Scotland’s chief medical officer (CMO) has been photographed visiting her family’s second home in Fife during the coronavirus pandemic, despite herself issuing advice to stay at home.
Photos of Dr Catherine Calderwood and her family near a coastal retreat in Earlsferry were published in the Scottish Sun late on Saturday.
Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood flouts lockdown rule by visiting holiday home on the Fife coast with her family. @ScottishSun on Sunday exclusive by @olnorton https://t.co/Di3imKBNBM
Malaysia has reported 179 new coronavirus cases, raising the cumulative total to 3,662 cases as Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy grapples with the highest number of infections in the region.
The new cases include 4 deaths, raising the tally to 61 people who have died as of noon on Sunday, Reuters reported, citing health ministry officials.
Several articles in the French media claim people have taken to calling the police to “denounce” their neighbours for breaking the lockdown rules.
Calls to the police emergency number – 17 in France – have soared to up to three times the normal number, officers in some areas have reported.
A father in China has created a “safety capsule” which he says is designed to protect infants from coronavirus and is planning to mass-produce and price it at around $1400.
As the coronavirus crisis tests the resilience of democracies around the globe, Germany has gone from cursing its lead-footed, decentralised political system to wondering if federalism’s tortoise versus hare logic puts it in a better position to brave the pandemic than most.
Under German federalism – which has roots going back to the Holy Roman Empire but was entrenched after the Nazi era to weaken centralised rule – key policy areas, such as health, education and cultural affairs, fall under the jurisdiction of the country’s 16 states, or Länder.
Priests have been delivering blessings from the back of trucks and motorised tricycles in the Philippine on Sunday, adapting the deeply Catholic nation’s traditions to the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
Locals lined up in front of their homes in a district of Manila, which is entering its fourth week of a lockdown that has brought the frenetic metropolis nearly to a halt, the AFP news agency reported.
The European Union’s very survival is at stake and a new ‘Marshall Plan for Europe is needed’ to rebuild the continent’s economies, Spain’s prime minister writes in article published today by the Guardian.
Europe must build a wartime economy and promote European resistance, reconstruction and recovery, Pedro Sánchez says.
It must start doing so as soon as possible with measures to support the public debt that many states, including Spain, are taking on.
And it must continue to do so when this health emergency is over, to rebuild the continent’s economies by mobilising significant resources through a plan we are calling the new Marshall Plan and which will require the backing of all of the EU’s common institutions.
Britain’s health minister has said he is “very concerned” that global supply chains should be kept open as he warned that the UK was “not there yet” in terms of its battle to flatten the curve of rising Covid-19 infections.
On what appeared set to be a particularly sunny day in some parts of Britain – and anger in some quarters towards those who have been pictured relaxing outdoors this weekend – Matt Hancock also said that sunbathing was against the rules that had been set out for important public health reasons.
Afghan health officials have warned of a “catastrophe” if people don’t heed Coronavirus measures as restrictions on movement tightened amid a surge in Covid-19 infections in Kabul, a city six million.
Some 38 new Coronavirus cases have been confirmed nationally in last 24 hours, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 337. Out of new cases, 10 were confirmed in the capital Kabul and 10 in Herat, the country’s worst affected area, taking the total number of infections to 214 in the province.
Four out of seven deaths of Coronavirus have been confirmed in Herat.
New positives cases decreased in Herat compared with infections of recent days, according to a health ministry spokesman who said that this was due to the effectiveness of the curfew in Herat.
Officials in Kabul said yesterday that they will serve restrictions in the city, and even “will arrest people” while Herat governor said previously that difficult days are yet to come.
“We will enter a critical time in the next three weeks. We once again call on the people to apply the health guidelines of the Ministry of Health, particularly in Kabul and Herat,” said Nizamuddin Jalil, the head of Kabul hospitals.
The UN’s office in Afghanistan also announced its first Coronavirus case on Friday and said the UN “remains committed to continue its work as a partner to Afghanistan’s government and its people during this new crisis which comes in addition to years of conflict, grinding poverty and climate change”.
#Afghanistan is reaching a defining moment. Can its leaders rally together & engage Taliban to achieve peace? The choice is made stark by all-enveloping #COVID19 threat, said UNAMA’s OIC Ingrid Hayden briefing @UN Security Council today. Read briefing: https://t.co/oGurVPETmJ pic.twitter.com/bLTvUhrB6q
Coronavirus hits the old and those with other health problems hardest, but fit, youthful people are dying too, and experts are trying to understand why.
In some cases, previously undiagnosed conditions are later revealed but in others no such explanations are available.
Tokyo has seen its highest daily jump in coronavirus cases so far after more than 130 people were infected, according to Japanese media reports.
The city’s authorities have strongly urged people to stay at home as the city of 13 million has seen a rise in the number of cases in recent days.
Below are the most important recent developments in the coronavirus pandemic.
Health authorities in Australia have expressed cautious optimism that Australia may be able to limit the domestic coronavirus outbreak, as the death toll reaches 34 including three more deaths linked to the Ruby Princess cruise ship.
Yesterday the Surrey-raised 57-year-old son of a toolmaker and a nurse, who named their son after the party’s first parliamentary leader, Keir Hardie, emerged not just strides but miles in front of his two rivals, Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy, from the long contest to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.
In the week since the NHS identified more than 1.5 million people who are most vulnerable and in need of support, the government has issued about 30,000 food parcels containing tinned vegetables, bread, tuna and fresh fruit. The number is expected to increase to “hundreds of thousands being delivered every week” according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, but action has been much quicker on the ground. We speak to some of the heroes in the drive to keep the nation fed.
Greece has quarantined a second migrant facility this week after a 53-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus, the migration ministry said on Sunday.
The Afghan man, who was found to be infected, lives with his family at the Malakasa camp along with hundreds of other migrants and asylum seekers. He has been transferred to a hospital in Athens. Tests on his contacts will continue as the public health agency tries to trace the route of the virus.
Donald Trump calls allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election a “hoax”. He called his impeachment a “hoax”. He initially called the coronavirus a “hoax”.
Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, who was jailed for four and a half years for subversion, has been released from prison but barred from reuniting with his wife and son in Beijing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
If you see stories you think I may have missed, have tips or want to share something that’s good for morale, get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan.
Detroit is planning a rapid mobilization of its engineering and manufacturing might unseen since the second world war, switching from making cars to making ventilators as the Covid-19 pandemic brings the US to breaking point.
A “car crash” media appearance. A political “reset” already being challenged. A prime minister stuck in isolation. The beginnings of a bureaucratic blame game and increasingly open concerns about the route out of the coronavirus epidemic. And all in the opening weeks of a crisis that most experts believe will grip the nation for months.
Here are Sunday’s UK front pages:
Tomorrow’s front page pic.twitter.com/lCTjmGY42Y
Donald Trump has warned the US the worst is yet to come, as global cases passed 1.2m and the governor of New York thanked China for donating 1,000 ventilators. The state recorded 630 deaths on Saturday in its worst day.
Already in a 21-day lockdown, South Africa is now embarking on the widespread testing and quarantine campaign involving some 10,000 field workers who are being sent out into homes in villages, towns and cities to screen for symptoms, AFP reports.
In Australia, New South Wales police commissioner Mick Fuller has confirmed that there will be a criminal investigation into the Ruby Princess debacle.
“There is clear evidence that [Covid-19] has been brought off that ship,” Fuller says. There’s clear evidence now when it stopped in New Zealand Covid-19 has come off that ship and at least 10 people have died in Australia from Covid-19. The only way I can get to the bottom of whether our national biosecurity laws and our state laws were broken is through a criminal investigation.”
In New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern’s government has quietly codified a “bonk ban” more than a week into the country’s clampdown designed to stamp out Covid-19
New Zealand authorities have issued new lockdown guidance that separates families and lovers who don’t live together.
Thailand reported 102 new coronavirus cases and three more deaths, the country’s public health ministry said on Sunday.
The latest numbers raised the total in the Southeast Asian nation to 2,169 cases.
23 people have died in Thailand since the outbreak first emerged in January.
The Iraqi health ministry says Covid-19 has killed 56 Iraqis and infected more than 800 others. But many suspect the real numbers to be much higher, as only a few thousand people from a population of 40 million have been tested, AFP reports.
In Thailand, a shutdown has meant red-light districts from Bangkok to Pattaya have gone quiet with night clubs and massage parlours closed and tourists blocked from entering the country, AFP reports.
That has left an estimated 300,000 sex workers out of a job, pressing some onto the streets where the risks are sharpened by the pandemic.
PetroVietnam’s net profit in the first quarter of this year likely fell 50.8% from a year earlier to 4.44 trillion dong ($188.5 million) due to low oil prices and weak demand due to the new coronavirus, Vietnam’s state oil firm said on Sunday.
In Australia, a criminal investigation is expected to be launched into the conduct of cruise line operator Carnival Australia in the wake of the Ruby Princess coronavirus scandal.
United Airlines said late Saturday it will drastically reduce flights to two New York City airports amid the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reports.
United said starting Sunday it will go from 157 daily flights total at Newark and New York LaGuardia to just 17.
Football in Nicaragua is enjoying a surge in popularity as one of the few national leagues where games are still ongoing, Reuters reports.
The refusal to shut down has drawn global attention to football in a nation that has long preferred baseball, a sport that is also resisting a lockdown in Nicaragua.
Several Australian health officials said on Sunday they were cautiously optimistic about the slowing spread of coronavirus in the country but warned social distancing restrictions are to stay in place for months, Reuters reports.
Confirmed cases rose by 181 during the 24-hour period to early Sunday, bringing the national total to 5,635, health ministry data showed. The death toll from Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, rose to 34.
The coronavirus pandemic is increasing poverty in Britain, where levels are already high after a decade of austerity triggered by the global financial crisis, according to experts.
In southern Spain, the coronavirus pandemic has completely disrupted his harvest this year. Like much of the rest of Europe, Spain has been in a lockdown since mid-March to curb the spread of the virus and this has altered consumers’ habits, with people making fewer trips to the supermarket and no longer eating out, AFP reports.
More on the situation in New Zealand now.
The country, which has been in lockdown since 25 March, has now recorded 1,039 confirmed cases, with one death. There are 15 people in hospital with Covid-19, including three in intensive care.
The effect of physical distancing restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus has slowed the flow of patients into the hospital.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases globally has passed 1.2 million, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.
Mexican Deputy Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Saturday that decades of poor eating habits in the country have created an epidemic of obesity, diabetes and other related health complications that make its people more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus.
If you see stories you think I may have missed, have tips or want to share something that’s good for morale, get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan.
Japan is considering increasing the stockpile of Fujifilm Holding Corp’s Avigan anti-flu drug during this fiscal year so it can be used to treat two million people, according to a planning document seen by Reuters.
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinian and Syrian refugees living in overcrowded and rundown camps in Lebanon are bracing for the novel coronavirus as aid groups mobilise to help, AFP reports.
Two staff members at north London’s Pentonville prison have died after suffering Covid-19 symptoms, the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) said.
Mexico’s president said Saturday that his government hopes to build ventilators domestically, as coronavirus cases rose to 1,890 and officials reported 79 deaths so far in the pandemic, Reuters reports.
British retailer Cath Kidston has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators as part of its attempt to find a buyer, Sky News reported on Saturday.
Another cruise ship with coronavirus victims on board, including two fatalities, docked in Florida on Saturday, AP reports.
Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church has decided to suspend prayers preceding Easter celebrations later this month as part of efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus, AFP reports.
New Zealand has 89 new coronavirus cases as of Sunday, according to Director-General of Health Dr Bloomfield, bringing the country’s total to 1039.
82 new cases were announced on Saturday. One person has died.
Australia’s home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, is urging Australians to be wary of imported, dodgy ‘home’ Covid-19 tests kits that could pose a serious risk to public health, AAP reports.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo said the Chinese government would facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators to arrive into JFK airport on Saturday. Cuomo said: ‘This is a big deal and it’s going to make a significant difference for us. We’re not at the apex so we’re still in the stage where we have the luxury – if you will – of gathering as much as we can.’
Brazil’s lower house of Congress approved a constitutional amendment for a “war budget” to separate coronavirus-related spending from the government’s main budget and shield the economy as the country surpassed 10,000 confirmed cases.
The war budget still needs the Senate’s approval by three-fifths of the votes in two rounds expected to take place next week.
The South China Morning Post reports that 13o Hong Kong anti-riot squad members have been placed in quarantine after an officer tested positive for the virus:
Nearly all members of a regional anti-riot squad in Hong Kong will be placed under quarantine for two weeks after an officer involved in mass arrests at the site of an anti-government protest earlier this week was confirmed to be infected on Saturday.
About 130 of the elite team tackling disorder in the West Kowloon region will be out of action and their jobs covered by officers from other districts.
Coronavirus-related illnesses killed 630 people in the last day in New York state, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday, in the grimmest 24 hours yet for the US state hit hardest by the pandemic, Reuters reports.
The novel coronavirus has now killed 3,565 people in the state and the situation is particularly worrying on Long Island, east of New York City, where the number of cases “is like a fire spreading,” Cuomo told a news conference.
The number of crew on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier who have tested positive for the coronavirus has risen 13% in the past 24 hours to 155, the Navy said on Saturday, in the wake of the firing of the carrier’s captain.
The Navy said 44% of the carrier’s nearly 5,000-strong crew had been tested and 1,548 sailors from the crew have moved ashore. None of the infected sailors have been hospitalised, it said in a statement
Captain Brett Crozier was relieved of his command of the Theodore Roosevelt on Thursday after the public leak of a scathing letter in which he called on the Navy for stronger action to halt the spread of the virus aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
Here are some comforting words for those of you suffering from having a brain (or considering cutting your own hair):
Saw this ad and wow it helped pic.twitter.com/AsWlXiPwp1
Panama’s health ministry on Saturday registered 1,801 cases of the novel coronavirus in the Central American county, an increase of 128 cases from a day earlier.
The number of deaths increased by five to 46.
Mainland China reported 30 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, up from 19 a day earlier as the number of cases involving travellers from abroad as well as local transmissions increased.
It also reported 47 new asymptomatic cases. The so-called imported cases and asymptomatic patients, who have the virus and can give it to others but show no symptoms, have become among China’s chief concerns in recent weeks, Reuters reports.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera sparked outrage on Friday by posing for photographs at the plaza that was the centre of anti-government protests before it was put under quarantine to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, Reuters reports.
Photographs of Pinera in the now empty Plaza Italia on Friday afternoon, sitting in shirtsleeves on the steps of a monument plastered with graffiti calling for his resignation, went viral on social media.
Cuando comenzaron masivas movilizaciones @sebastianpinera prefirió salir a comer pizza, ahora en plena pandemia posa para fotografiarse en plaza de la dignidad. Sí, allí mismo donde su gobierno permitió violar los derechos humanos. Indolente es poco! pic.twitter.com/MrpytCyGuW
Marianne Faithfull has been hospitalised in London with coronavirus.
The Balad of Lucy Jordan singer, who became famous amid the “swinging London” scene of the 1960s and has had a respected (and occasionally troubled) career ever since, is said to be “stable and responding to treatment”, according to her representatives.
A French orchestra has found a way around the coronavirus lockdown to record a 51-instrument rendition of Ravel’s Bolero. One by one.
Alone in their kitchens, lounges or dining rooms, individual Orchestre national de France (ONF) musicians played as their mobile phones recorded their parts in Maurice Ravel’s thrilling orchestral score.
Ecuador’s government has begun storing the bodies of victims of the coronavirus in giant refrigerated containers as hundreds of deaths in the city of Guayaquil, the centre of the country’s outbreak, have already filled morgues and hospitals.
Here’s a summary of the latest events in the US:
In his Saturday night White House press briefing, US President Donald Trump told Americans to brace for a big spike in coronavirus fatalities in the coming days, as the country faces what he called the toughest two weeks of the pandemic.
Faced with a global coronavirus pandemic that is increasingly centered upon the US, Donald Trump has touted several drugs that he claims can help tackle the outbreak.
HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains – Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents)…..
Hello and welcome to today’s live coronavirus pandemic coverage with me, Helen Sullivan.
I’ll be taking you through the latest key developments as they happen. If you see stories you think I may have missed, have tips or want to share something that’s good for morale, get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan.