Total Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Pass 500k As US Sees Biggest Single-Day Jump In Deaths Yet: Live Updates

Summary:

  • Global new cases stabilize as deaths in US, UK continue to climb
  • White House readying plan to start reopening the economy by May 1
  • Global coronavirus deaths have topped 100k
  • Feud between Taiwan and WHO intensifies as Dr. Tedros accuses Taiwanese gov't of smear campaign
  • Javits Center, UNSN Comfort mostly empty of patients as hospitalization rate drops
  • England's death toll tops 8k
  • Iran accelerates sale of gov't assets as pressure on regime intensifies
  • Malaysia extends lockdown as cases in Southeastern Asia spike
  • New York sees negative ICU admissions for first time
  • Turkey death toll tops 1k
  • Deaths in Spain continue to decline
  • UK deaths see another record jump
  • Italy reports drop in hospitalizations, ICU admissions, as new cases, deaths continue to decline
  • Chicago mayor breaks up "underage drinking party" while personally enforcing social distancing
  • Israel confirmed case total passes 10k
  • LA launches task force to test deputies at home

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Update (1015ET): "Good Friday" was actually pretty grim for front-line health-care workers battling the virus in the US.

As the case total in the country passed half a million, the daily death toll at last count had passed 2,000, leaving Friday's count on track to be the largest single-day jump in deaths yet.

Here are a few other tidbits from the last couple of hours:

New York City reported 6,684 new cases of the virus and 651 new deaths, bringing the city-wide totals to 94,409 cases and 5,429 deaths.

Brazil becomes the first country in the southern hemisphere to report more than 1,000 deaths from coronavirus as the country reported 99 deaths and 1,462 new cases on Friday. Earlier in the week, a 15-year-old from the Yamomami Tribe, a people who live deep in the Amazon and are almost untouched by civilization, died of the virus.

As outbreaks in dozens of prisons managed by the federal BoP worsen, the new total for confirmed cases was 318 federal inmates and 163 employees have tested positive for coronavirus.

As the battle over oil production cuts continues, Mexico reportsed 403 new cases of the virus and 39 new deaths, for a total of 3,844 cases and 233 deaths.

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Update (1320ET): The number of confirmed COVID-19-linked deaths around the world has surpassed 100k, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The milestone as reached shortly after JHU reported the number of confirmed cured cases had topped 300k.

While a spike in confirmed deaths in the US and UK have contributed significantly to the total in recent days, it looks like deaths reported in Italy, France and Ecuador (which reported 25 new deaths and 2,196 new cases, bringing its total to 7,161) Friday afternoon put the total over the top. France reported 987 new deaths, bringing its total to 13,197.

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Update (1220ET): Angelo Borelli, the head of Italy's Civil Protection Service, had some more good news to share with Italians during Friday's press conference.

The trend of new cases and deaths continued to decline, he said, though the government was still moving ahead with extending the nationwide lockdown until May 3.

That total infections climbed by 3,951 over the last 24 hours, while deaths climbed by 570 to 18,849 as new fatalities continued to slow.

Across Italy, 30,455 patients have recovered from the virus, with nearly 2k of those having left the hospital over the last 24 hours.  In Lombardy, ANSA reports, the number of deaths and ICU admissions have been dropping tandem, a sign that more patients leaving the ICU have recovered, instead of dying. As of Friday morning, the Civil Protection Agency said that there were only 98,273 sick patients hospitalized across Italy: the rest of the 147,577 confirmed cases have either recovered, or died.

While hospitalizations and ICU admissions fell, Italy's rate of testing continued to climb.

In the UK, meanwhile, as Boris Johnson remains in "good spirits", though still hospitalized, the UK reported the largest one-day jump in deaths yet, with fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours climbing by 980 to eclipse 8,958, according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock. The vast majority of those (roughly 8k) were recorded in England, as we noted earlier. The UK has seen its death toll continue to climb all week, while the number of new cases reported each day has plateaued. That means, for the second day in a row, deaths in the UK have exceeded deaths in Italy and Spain.

Given the holiday, the rest of the UK's figures on new cases, hospitalizations, etc. won't be published until later in the day, according to the Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, Turkey's confirmed deaths topped 1k on Friday as the country reported another 90+ deaths, and 5k+ new cases, bringing its national total yo 47,029.

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Update (1150ET): New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that New York hospital's recorded a decrease in the overall number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU over the last 24 hours for the first time.

This comes after the rate of new admissions dropped sharply over the past week.

Still, the drop in ICU patients isn't so much a victory in health-care as a silver-lining as the state has recorded by far the largest death toll in the country. As deaths accelerate, more beds are going to open up - that's only natural. The change in admissions for ICUs around the state was -17 yesterday, Cuomo  said.

Fortunately, Cuomo is doing an expert job of painting this turd gold.

But, why is this happening? Did those patients get better?

777 people died in New York yesterday, more than died in Italy and Spain. It's not a record jump, but it's still pretty big compared to the numbers we've seen over the last couple of weeks.

Watch the rest of his press briefing live:

And as millions of New Yorkers wait for those beefed up unemployment checks they’ve been promised, Cuomo said Friday that the state will provide $200 million in emergency food assistance to more than 700K low-income households enrolled in SNAP.

He also said he was working with NY's Congressional delegation to lobby Congress to create a "COVID-19 Heroes Compensation Fund" to support frontline workers and their families.

After all, more people have died from COVID-19 in NYC than died during the collapse of the World Trade Center.

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Update (1055ET): Passover has come and gone, but Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is showing no signs of letting up on what has become one of the most restrictive lockdowns in the developed world. And not without reason: Despite the government's best efforts, first undertaken at a relatively early date, to contain the virus, the number of confirmed cases in Israel has passed 10k as of Friday morning Eastern Time.

Meanwhile, Beijing continues to take umbrage at every suggestion that China should pay for the negligence that unleashed the novel coronavirus on the world.

In LA, as worries about front-line responders like cops and firefighters catching the virus grow thanks to the surge in cases among NYPD officers, the Sheriffs Office has launched a task force to deliver at-home testing kits to deputies who fear they might be infected, and are experiencing at least some of the symptoms, according to LA's KTVU.

Finally, in the UK, the NHS England just confirmed another 866 deaths on Friday, taking the total death toll in England's hospitals north of 8k to 8,114.

So far, the largest number of deaths has been recorded in London, where 249 people have died. The Midlands have recorded 229 deaths. The patients were all aged between 27 and 100 years old, and 56 of them had no underlying health conditions. As of Wednesday evening, the UK-wide death toll stood at 7,978. The figures for Thursday (typically, updates are released with a 24-hour lag) haven't been released yet, but we know now that this number is out-dated after the latest jump in deaths.

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The number of new coronavirus cases confirmed worldwide climbed at a rate of roughly 85k overnight yesterday, a rate that was roughly consistent with the prior two days. That would lead scientists to believe that the global outbreak might finally have "plateaued" - word that's been thrown a lot lately.

Unfortunately, while the number of new cases remained stable, deaths in the US and UK continued to climb. But while thousands of families bid a distant farewell to their loved ones, the Fed's latest intervention - couched as a lifeline for small business - has sent badly beaten junk bonds on their strongest daily rally since 2009 as spreads collapsed.

Now that the Fed has apparently extinguished credit risk from the market, ensuring that thousands of "zombie" firms will continue to borrow at extremely attractive rates, allowing them to lumber on through another day as 'moral hazard' is extinguished. What's worse, almost, is that no one seems to care.

With markets around the world closed for Good Friday, and millions of Christians around the world observing the holiday while stuck inside their homes, the biggest story of the day is the fact that the global death toll will likely top 100k before midnight on the East Coast of the US. Roughly 17k - about 20% - of those deaths are from the US.

Then again, it's extremely likely that the true number of deaths has already passed that number, as more reports are finding that Americans are almost certainly being left out of the counted dead, just like many Italians and Chinese probably were.

With Easter just two days away, the notion of reopening the American economy before the holiday now seems laughable. But with millions of Americans struggling to hang on without their jobs or the unemployment promised by states, Congress and the president, the administration appears to still be working diligently on its plan to start reopening the economy by the beginning of next month.

The news was met with the same hysterical warnings by health experts and anxious liberals insisting that a "premature" reopening would be disastrous because restrictions have barely had time to work. Of course, these sample people spent Thursday celebrating the wisdom of Dr. Anthony Fauci after he lowered his expectations for American fatalities by 75% from 240k to just 60k.

We're not trying to criticize the good doctor, or assign blame; we're merely trying to make the point that starting to plan out the eventual reopening of the economy is probably prudent, and by May 1, most of the US will have been shut down for almost 6 weeks. Even with money from the government, the $1,200 stimulus checks plus ramped up unemployment benefits still won't be enough to save millions of Americans from the worst effects of the coming depression.

In New York, deaths have soared over the past week, but the unfortunate upside of that is that space in the city's hospitals has opened up pretty rapidly. The Javits Center, which has been converted to a COVID-19 hospital, is almost empty, as is the USNS Comfort, the Navy ship docked at Manhattan's Pier 90. While contract workers have been brought on the bury the dead victims on Hart Island, Cuomo says that the curve may already be starting to flatten - but, of course, that doesn't mean we should let up on the social distancing measures.

Elsewhere, the feud between Taiwan and the WHO is getting so bitter as the NGO continues to ignore the amazing success Taiwan has had containing the outbreak. President Trump's harsh words for the WHO have prompted many Taiwanese to praise Trump, even as American liberals - the same ones who purportedly supported the Hong Kong protesters - cringe. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has accused the Taiwanese government of trying to smear him.

Meanwhile, in the latest sign that the Trump administration's heavy-handed approach to handling Iran is working, the regime said it plans to accelerate the privatization of certain state-run assets as the Trump administration moves to block $5 billion of IMF aid that it has asked for.

As Japan confronts a surprising resurgence in new cases, it's looking like it's not the only East Asian nation having trouble containing the outbreak as a 'second wave' looms over the Continent. Even as Abe struggles against the strictures of the Japanese Constitution, which protects individual liberty to an extremely high degree, a big data analysis shared by WaPo shows Tokyo’s state of emergency (a state of emergency has been declared by Abe in 7 prefectures, but most of the restrictions are voluntary) is having an impact on life in one of the world’s busiest cities. But it’s still far from having the kind of effect needed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Malaysia has once again extended its national lockdown for two weeks as the country tries to slow the rate of coronavirus infection. As a result of this second extension, the restrictions on daily life and business will run until April 28. At 4,346, Malaysia has the highest number of confirmed cases in southeast. Asia and counts 70 deaths. Indonesia, meanwhile, reported 219 new cases of coronavirus and 26 new deaths, bringing its confirmed-case total to 3,512 and 306 deaths. The Indonesian government has already publicly acknowledged lying about the outbreak, and it's extremely likely that the virus is far more widepsread in the country of more than 200 million.

In Spain, figures released on Friday showed that 15,843 people have died so far after contracting coronavirus in the country, with 605 of them in the last 24 hours. That compares with a peak of 950 daily deaths just over a week ago and is the lowest death toll for over two weeks. But such figures are likely to undercount the number of mortalities, since they include only proven rather than probable cases of Covid-19, the illness caused by coronavirus.

Before we end, as Chicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot tries to convince residents of her hard-hit city to follow the 'social distancing' directives, she shared a story with one interviewer about personally breaking up what she described as "an underage drinking party" on the North Side of the city.

"We pulled by and I told the driver, 'Back up,' [and] rolled down the window," she said, before telling the group: "Hey, you’re too close. Separate yourself. Social distancing!'"