Global coronavirus death toll surpasses 150,000
The number of deaths linked to the novel coronavirus reached 150,000, according a Johns Hopkins University tally.
It took 83 days for the first 50,000 deaths to be recorded and just eight more for the toll to climb to 100,000. It took another eight days to go from 100,000 to 150,000.
Wuhan Fatalities Revised Up by 1,290
The city of Wuhan in central China revised its number of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) confirmed cases and deaths on Friday.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wuhan as of the end of Thursday was revised up by 325 to 50,333, and the number of fatalities up by 1,290 to 3,869.
In a notification, the Wuhan municipal headquarters for the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control said the revisions were made in accordance with related laws and regulations as well as the principle of being responsible for history, the people and the dead.
This ensures that the information on the city's COVID-19 epidemic is open and transparent, and the data is accurate, read the notification.
Four reasons for the data discrepancies were listed in the notification:
During the initial stage of the outbreak, some patients died at home due to lack of medical resources;
During the peak of the outbreak, medical workers were overwhelmed and focused mostly on treatment, resulting in late reporting, omissions and misreporting of data;
There was a rapid increase in the number of designated medical facilities, which were run by different levels of governments or private businesses, resulting in delayed reporting from certain medical institutions;
Incomplete information on certain death cases resulted in repetitive reporting or misreporting.
An official of the headquarters told the news media that a group for epidemic-related big data and epidemiological investigations was established in late March.
The group used information from online systems and collected full information from all epidemic-related locations to ensure that facts about every case are accurate and every figure is objective and correct, the official said.
A Rush of Local News
The Chinese mainland reported 27 more COVID-19 cases on Friday, 17 of which were imported from abroad while 10 are domestic cases, according to the National Health Commission. It also reported 54 new asymptomatic patients. No new deaths were reported on the same day.
Two Sessions to be held in April: The 17th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress will be held in Beijing from April 26-29, according to the 50th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress.
Q1 GDP Contracted 6.8%: China's economy posted its first contraction in decades, contracting 6.8 percent year-on-year at 20.65 trillion yuan (about 2.91 trillion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter of 2020, data from China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Friday.
Heilongjiang: 18 party officials and public officials have been held accountable for their failure in anti-epidemic work in Harbin, according to a notice issued by the Heilongjiang provincial commission for discipline inspection on Friday.
Hubei, the hardest-hit Chinese province by COVID-19, saw its trade volume dive 20.9% to 62.75 billion yuan ($8.87 billion) in Q1. Exports sank 38.1% while imports rose 11.1%.
A Rush of News
Dubai has extended by one week a 24-hour curfew to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh, the highest religious authority in the country, said that Muslim prayers during Ramadan and for the subsequent Eid al-Fitr feast should be performed at home if the coronavirus outbreak continues
London Mayor Sadiq Khan called on the British government to make face masks compulsory for people travelling around the capital or shopping.
Japanese cabinet official tests positive for coronavirus. The infected cabinet official, who is in his 50s, works at the cabinet's council for science, technology and innovation. He was confirmed with the virus on April 16.
Everyone in San Francisco will be required to wear face coverings in public and at work, Mayor London Breed announced at a news conference Friday.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government and the Trump administration are "aligned" and that the US-Canada border will remain closed to all but essential travel for weeks to come.
The mayor of Australian city Warrnambool has been fined $1,044 after being photographed drinking beer with others outside a liquor store this month -- a breach of stay-at-home orders in the state of Victoria.
Cathay Pacific Airways is laying off hundreds of cabin crew in the United States, as demand collapses because of the coronavirus pandemic. The (China) Hong Kong carrier said Friday that it is shutting down cabin crew bases in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, effectively laying off 286 staff.
Boeing is planning to resume production at its Philadelphia facility in Ridley Township on Monday after suspending operations for two weeks.
Nissan Motor is extending the shutdown of its four U.S. manufacturing facilities until mid-May.
Hard-Hit Countries/Regions Official Announcements
France has reported 761 new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to18,681. Jerome Salomon, the head of the public health authority, however told reporters that the country's month-long lockdown was "start to bear fruit," with the total number of hospitalised patients falling for the third consecutive day with 115 few patients. Salomon added that the number of patients in intensive care was in decline for the ninth consecutive at 6,027.
Italy deaths rose by 575, up from 525 the day before, while the number of new cases declined slightly to 3,493 from a previous 3,786. The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 rose to 22,745, the Civil Protection Agency said. The number of officially confirmed cases climbed to 172,434.
Turkey's coronavirus cases have risen by 4,353 to 78,546 in the past 24 hours, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said. Fatalities reached 1,769 while a total of 8,631 people have recovered.
The Netherlands has reported 1,235 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total number of infections to 30,449, the Dutch Institute for Public Health said. Meanwhile, the death toll rose by 144 to 3,459.
Britain's death has reached 14,576, up from 13,729 the previous day, the health ministry said. "341,551 people have been tested of which 108,692 tested positive," it added.
Spain's overnight death toll rose to 585, up from 551 on Thursday but still far off figures of over 900 registered during the peak of the outbreak in early April. It was unclear why the difference in the government's death toll from Thursday and Friday did not reflect the overnight death rate. The number of overall coronavirus cases rose to 188,068 on Friday from 182,816 on Thursday, a 2.9 percent increase.
Russia announced a new record number of coronavirus cases as well as deaths caused by the infection. A total of 4,069 new cases were confirmed, bringing the tally to 32,007, the country's emergency team said in a statement. The death toll rose to 273, as 41 people died over the last 24 hours, the statement said.
Singapore has reported 728 new coronavirus cases, a record daily high for a second straight day. The health ministry said foreign workers accounted for 90 percent of the new cases, crowded dormitories housing up to 20 men in each room. The sharp rise in cases pushed total infections past the 4,000 mark to 4,427.
Iran reported 89 more deaths on Friday, bringing the nationwide total to 4,958, Iranian Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced on state television. Over the last 24 hours, 1,499 new cases have been identified in the country, which brings the total number of infected people in Iran to 79,494. At least 3,563 people are in critical condition as of Friday.
'One World: Together at Home'
The two-hour "One World: Together at Home" event, a combination of music, comedy and stories from doctors, nurses and grocery workers, will be broadcast across multiple North American and international television networks.
The Rolling Stones have said they will join a star-studded global television broadcast on Saturday to honour healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
The event is organized by Global Citizen, the nonprofit group with the WHO.
Other artists due perform include Celine Dion, Billie Eilish, John Legend, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Chris Martin, Andrea Bocelli and Michael Buble.
Here's the list of event appearances:
You can watch the event using any of the following channels and live streaming tools:
Almost half of French aircraft carrier crew test positive for coronavirus
Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images
Roughly half of the 2,300-strong crew aboard France's sole aircraft carrier test positive for the coronavirus, the Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said.
Parly told lawmakers that of the 2,010 test carried out, 1,081 came out as positive. She added that 545 sailors had shown symptoms and 24 were in hospital.
Africa coronavirus cases could hit 10 million in six months: WHO
Coronavirus cases in Africa could surge from just thousands now to 10 million within three to six months, according to provisional modelling, a regional World Health Organization (WHO) official said.
But Michel Yao, head of emergency operations for WHO Africa, said on Thursday it was a tentative projection that could change. He noted worst-case predictions for the Ebola outbreak had not come true because people changed their behaviour in time.
Germany: Recoveries Start to Surpass New Infections
Earlier, Spahn said a coronavirus contact-tracing app will be ready for Germans to download and use on their smartphones in three to four weeks [File: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu]
The coronavirus outbreak in Germany has become manageable again as the number of patients who have made a recovery has been higher than the number of new infections every day this week, Health Minister Jens Spahn said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday Germany would take small steps out of lockdown with the partial reopening of shops next week and schools from May 4.
The reproduction factor for coronavirus has dropped below R01 in Germany, the countrys center for disease control, the Robert Koch Institute, announced in a new data set published on Friday.
That means that a person who has Covid-19 is now infecting fewer than one other person on average.
US: Vehicles Protest Against Stay-At-Home Order
Vehicles sit in gridlock during a protest in Lansing, Michigan, on April 15. Paul Sancya/AP
Drivers jammed into Michigan's capital and surrounded the state Capitol in a protest against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order that featured neither face masks nor social distancing, but rather the honking of horns that could be heard inside.
The collision between a public health battle and a political one, which played out for more than five hours on Wednesday, underscores the boiling tensions of a restless nation struggling with the wisdom of reopening the economy before the deadly pandemic subsides.
Denmark's Children Back to School
Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, right, speaks to pupils during the reopening of Lykkebo School in Copenhagen, on April 1. Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix/AP
This week, as younger children across Denmark walked onto school grounds, school bags on their backs and holding parents by the hand, things seemed almost normal. Almost.
Schools across Denmark raised flags in celebration as they welcomed back younger students this week, with an excitement comparable to a first day of school. And it is the first day of school in over a month, after Denmark announced widespread closures on March 11 to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The country was among the first in Europe to close borders, shops, schools and restaurants, and to ban large gatherings, among other measures. Now, it is one of the first to begin reopening.
South Korea: 2% of Recovered Patients Retested Positive
A man receives a Covid-19 test swab at a testing booth outside the Yangji Hospital in Seoul, South Korea on March 17. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
South Korea's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported Friday that 2.1% of recovered coronavirus patients have retested positive.
Out of 7,829 patients who recovered from Covid-19 and were released from isolation, 163 retested positive.
It is currently unclear why patients could be retesting positive and the phenomena is being reviewed by the government.
Most experts think it's unlikely that somebody will be reinfected right after recovering. It's possible that issues with testing or varying amounts of viral RNA in the body, which the tests look for could explain why people tested positive after testing negative.
WHO issues warning on coronavirus testing: Theres no evidence antibody tests show immunity
The World Health Organization issued a warning about coronavirus testing, saying theres no evidence serological tests can show whether a person has immunity or no longer at risk of becoming reinfected.
These antibody tests will be able to measure that level of serology presence, that level of antibodies, but that does not mean that somebody with antibodies are immune, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHOs emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, told reporters during a press conference at the agencys headquarters in Geneva.
China's Job Positions down 27%
Affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, China saw its job positions for employment drop 27 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020, a report showed.
Recruitment of sectors including purchasing and trading, advertising and exhibition and automobile sales took the most serious hit, with their number of positions falling by more than 50 percent, said a report released by Guanghua School of Management at Peking University.
The epidemic's impact is highly related to the category of industries and the scales and features of enterprises, the report said.
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