Global Coronavirus Cases Top 1 Million With More Than 50K Deaths: Live Updates

Summary:

  • Spain deaths pass 10k
  • Global cases near 1 million mark
  • Infection in New Delhi slum sparks fears of mass breakout
  • PM Abe mocked for handing out 'two masks' to every Japanese household
  • British health official says "everybody is frustrated" about test shortage
  • UK's Johnson says lockdown likely to last beyond April 15
  • NY says Javits Center will be used to house coronavirus patients
  • NYC Mayor tells New Yorkers to weak masks in public
  • Half the world on lockdown, AFP reports
  • World hits 50k COVID-19 deaths
  • Italy cases, deaths continue to level off
  • France reports drop in new cases
  • UN climate summit canceled
  • Singapore reports 49 new cases
  • London's Francis Crick institute develops rapid test
  • France tells battered women to go use secret code word at pharmacies to report abuse
  • NY nears 100k cases, reports ~400 more deaths
  • Another Princess Cruises ship has confirmed COVID-19 cases aboard
  • Pence says US facing similar trajectory to Italy
  • Tokyo reports record 97 cases in a day
  • UN projects global economy will contract 1% in 2020
  • Putin extends Russian shutdown
  • Philippines' ambassador to Lebanon dies of COVID-19

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Update (1830ET): New York has reported the first death of a prisoner in the state, an inmate at the infamous Sing Sing prison. In other news, the Daily News reported that the Javits Center will be used to house coronavirus patients. Gov. Cuomo announced the decision after putting in a request with President Trump.

"I asked President Trump this morning to consider the request and the urgency of the matter, and the President has just informed me that he granted New York’s request," Cuomo said in a written statement. "I thank the President for his cooperation in this pressing matter and his expeditious decision making."

Both Javits, with its 2,500 beds expected to come online, and the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship that has been sent to New York, which is docked along the West Side and will eventually boast 1,000 beds, were originally intended as overflow facilities to ease the burden on city as hospitals like Elmhurst were overwhelmed.

But now that the notorious performing arts center will house coronavirus patients, we can't help but wonder, how much longer until it's 100% full of COVID-19 sufferers, and what kind of long-term impact will it have on the venue?

Circling back to the prisoners, De Blasio has let hundreds of prisoners out of Rikers, including rapper and notorious snitch SixNine. With news of this death, we suspect he and Cuomo will move more quickly to accelerate releases of non-violent offenders who are at risk as the virus has shown a tendency to spread like wildfire in prisons.

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Update (17:22ET): NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio kicked off his daily press briefing by announcing that he was officially recommending that all New Yorkers wear masks in public in what appears to be a weak attempt to upstage the president, who just started speaking at his press conference.

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Update (15:58ET): The new coronavirus has now infected 1 million people across the world, a milestone reached just four months after it first surfaced in the Chinese city of Wuhan. More than 51,000 have died and 208,000 recovered in what has become the biggest global public health crisis of our time.

Wuhan’s first known virus patient begins developing symptoms on Dec. 1, according to a paper published Jan. 24 in The Lancet medical journal.

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Update (1511ET): According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the US is now double the next nearest country, both a testament to the White House's failure to quickly address the crisis after the first few domestic cases were confirmed.

The US now has more than double the confirmed cases of Italy, the next-highest country:

Though, to be sure, Italy has more than twice as many confirmed deaths.

And still, people around the country are still complaining that there are their mother/father/grandmother/grandfather/friend can't get tested.

Meanwhile, in the UK, Boris Johnson just suggested that the lockdown will probably be extended beyond April 15.

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Update (1400ET): Hours after Italy and Spain reported new coronavirus data that gave epidemiologists hope that their lockdown policies had at least worked to stop the acceleration in the virus's spread, France on Thursday reported a surprisingly large drop in new cases. Health officials counted 2,116 new cases in the last day, compared with 4,861 for the day before.

But France also reported 884 new deaths in the country's nursing homes, bringing its national death toll to 5,387.

At the end of the day, it appears France is still tracking Italy.

Meanwhile, as Florida residents get used to their new 'lockdown'...drones are helping to distribute toilet paper.

As residents continue adapting to lockdown conditions, France, inspired by a similar scheme in Spain, has started telling victims of domestic abuse, particularly women, to head to drugstores and whisper the codeword "mask 19" to the pharmacist behind the counter. The pharmacist will then surreptitiously alert the police.

In other news, we've long since lost track of the number of cruise ships that have reported COVID-19 crises on board. But yet another Carnival-owned Princess Cruises ship - this one called the Coral Princess - is having a crisis just days after four patients aboard another ship, the Zaandam (also indirectly owned by Carnival), died after being repeatedly refused port calls. That ship is now docking in Florida, along with another ship with suspected COVID-19 carriers aboard.

At least 12 passengers, and 5 crew aboard the Coral Princess have tested positive.

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Update (1254ET): Italy received more encouraging news on Thursday when the country's Civil Protection Agency revealed that new cases and deaths continued to level off.  For Wednesday, Italy reported 4,668 new cases of COVID-19, and 760 new deaths. This brought Italy to a total of 115,242 cases and 13,915 deaths.

The deaths brought the global total over the top to 50k. And although deaths and cases continued to "flatten", Italy's mortality rate remained disturbingly high, at 12.1%.

The outbreak has forced the Italian medical community to innovate to try and protect health-care workers.

And another indicator: The canals of Venice remain clear.

Before we go, a quick recap:

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Update (1240ET): During Thursday's press conference, Governor Cuomo cited some new projections claiming the virus would taper off by August, moving the goalposts slightly further into the future, as he shifts gradually from early summer to mid summer to late summer for the timeline of when we will finally be free from the novel coronavirus.

Thursday's briefing also featured a special guest: the governor's brother, CNN reporter Chris Cuomo, who preceded to share a story about a fever dream he had where his brother was wearing a dancing costume.

The governor also pointed out that all 62 counties in the state now have at least one case, including the counties that have "more cows than people."

Cuomo also threw some more shade at the White House, saying that he doesn't think the administration is "in a position to provide ventilators to the extent the nation may need them...they may have some that they aren't distributing now...but I don't know if they have more in the stockpile...I know that the ventilator availability is just a problem for everyone."

"Our attitude here is 'we're on our own'..."

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Update (1140ET): New York State's total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has climbed to 92,381. Watch Cuomo's Thursday press conference below.

Additionally, New York reported ~400 more deaths, bringing the statewide death toll to 2,373.

Here's where that leaves the US, which passed 5k deaths earlier, as we pointed out.

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Update (1030ET): As data begin to show that lockdowns in Italy and Spain are finally showing some success in 'flattening the curve' (though this unfortunately didn't stop hospitals in Madrid and Milan and the surrounding area from being overwhelmed), more leaders are imposing them. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday extended the country's "non-working holiday" until the end of April, adding an additional 2 weeks to the shutdown as he insisted that the isolation efforts were working to stop the spread of the virus.

The AFP, which has been assiduously tracking stay at home orders and government lockdowns, just proclaimed that half of the world's population has been subjected to some level of lockdown during the crisis so far.

As the US quarantines troops in Afghanistan, the French government announced on Thursday that four French soldiers stationed in Mali have tested positive for COVID-19. Of them, three have been sent home.

Elsewhere, Singapore reported 49 new novel coronavirus cases on Thursday, raising the city-state's total number of infections to 1,049. It's the latest indication that Asian countries that initially found success in combating the virus are seeing a resurgence.

In the UK, the official death toll from the coronavirus rose 24% to 2,921 as of Thursday morning, the Department of Health announced. Total cases numbered at 33,718.

Even as Boeing's CEO brazenly insists his company won't accept federal bailout money if it would leave the federal government with a stake in Boeing, the struggling aerospace company and defense contractor on Thursday rolled out a 'voluntary worker layoff program', telling employees that it hoped to avoid "other workforce actions" as the entire aviation industry is rattled by the crisis.

And unfortunately for Greta Thunberg, who has probably finished recovering from her imaginary case of the coronavirus by now, the outbreak has led to this year's United Nations global climate summit being postponed. Looks like Greta will need to find another gathering of world leaders to shout at.

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Before we get started today, let's take a minute to review...

  • 3/10 1,000
  • 3/11 1,267
  • 3/12 1,645
  • 3/13 2,204
  • 3/14 2,826
  • 3/15 3,505
  • 3/16 4,466
  • 3/17 6,135
  • 3/18 8,760
  • 3/19 13,229
  • 3/20 18,763
  • 3/21 25,740
  • 3/22 34,276
  • 3/23 42,663
  • 3/24 52,976
  • 3/25 65,273
  • 3/26 82,135
  • 3/27 101,295
  • 3/28 121,176
  • 3/29 139,773
  • 3/30 160,377
  • 3/31 185,469
  • 4/01 199,729

...and on Thursday? 4/02 216,722

That looks like exponential growth to us.

Now that the administration is "all in" on social distancing as America battles what is now the biggest novel coronavirus outbreak in the world, President Donald Trump warned that Americans are heading for a "horrendous" two or three weeks as they hunker down at home, reiterating his warning about "painful" times ahead, while raising the possibility that the government might shutter all remaining domestic flights between coronavirus 'hot spots' in the US like NYC and Miami.

Looking ahead, economists are bracing for Thursday's initial jobless claims to jump as much as 5 million - maybe even 6.5 million - after yesterday's ADP report on private employment, and after last week's record 3.3 million jump.

"I am looking where flights are going into hot spots.” Trump replied when asked if he was considering a temporary ban on all domestic flights. "Some of those flights I didn’t like from the beginning, but closing up every single flight on every single airline, that’s a very, very, very rough decision. But we are thinking about hot spots, where you go from spot to spot, both hot. And we’ll let you know fairly soon."

"We’re certainly looking at it but once you do that you really are clamping down on an industry that is desperately needed," Trump said.

On Thursday morning, the number of confirmed cases in the US climbed above 5,000 (it was 5,137 when we last checked), while the number of confirmed cases has climbed above 200k (to 216,722). This, after Vice President Pence said during last night's press conference that models suggest the US is facing a trajectory similar to Italy’s, the country with the highest number of coronavirus deaths with more than 13k.

NYC remains the epicenter in the US, with more than 1,374 deaths, more than double the death toll from the rest of the state (585). The global case count is quickly heading toward the big 1 million (last count: 939,436) as case numbers in the US and Europe surge (even as Italy and Spain show the first signs of a 'plateau' of new cases) while China, South Korea and other Southeast Asian nations and territories (Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong) report a second wave. Around the world, 76,836 cases were reported yesterday.

More than 10,000 people have now died in Spain after contracting coronavirus, with a record 950 of them dying on Wednesday, the latest in a grim streak of daily death-toll records. Death toll records released Thursday morning in Spain showed the official death toll hitting 10,003, up from 9,053 the day before.

Spain now has 110,238 confirmed cases of coronavirus, an 8% increase. Though that's slowed from the ~25% daily jumps seen earlier this month, it doesn't change the fact that Spain is 2.5 weeks into a shelter in place-style lockdown. Thanks to the lockdown, Spain recorded its biggest jump in unemployment in its history, with more than 800,000 people filing for benefits last week. The jump in deaths recently has pushed Spain's mortality rate well above that of the US.

As it turns out, the US isn't the only developed western country that is ill-prepared to ramp up testing for the novel coronavirus: As angry tabloid headlines bash the British government, led by a currently sickened PM Boris Johnson, a top British health official expressed frustration with the government's struggles to provide enough tests, claiming that "everybody involved is frustrated" as the UK scrambles to ramp up testing, the FT reports.

Fortunately, London's Francis Crick Institute has developed a rapid diagnostic coronavirus test and says it hopes to test 500 frontline workers a day from next week.

Though the US government is preparing to bail out American airlines, international airlines remain locked in a free fall: On Thursday, British Airways is expected to announce plans to suspend about 32,000 employees as it seeks to cut costs now that nobody is flying unless they absolutely need to.

As businesses continue to struggle with planning for the future, a new report from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs said the global economy could shrink by almost 1% before year's end. Before the outbreak, they had anticipated growth of 2.5%, the Washington Post reports.

Now that the 2020 Tokyo Games have been officially postponed until next year (they're still the 2020 Games though), Japan can focus on fighting the virus without that albatross around its neck: But as the country stands "on the very brink" of a coronavirus crisis, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has resisted calls to try and enforce a state of emergency and other measures. Instead, he's planning to send every household two small washable cloth masks, a decision that has earned him no shortage of ridicule.

Abe's "two masks" plan was brutally mocked on social media, with many questioning how the masks would be split between a whole family.

Tokyo alone reported 97 new cases on Thursday, a new record high, and the latest in a two-week resurgence that has turned back the clock on Japan's fight against the virus.

As more government officials catch the virus, the Philippine ambassador to Lebanon died of complications arising from the virus this week, the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday. Ambassador Bernardita M. Catalla, a nearly 30-year veteran of the diplomatic corps., died in Beirut early Thursday morning.

Finally, as Indians continue to grumble about that the inept implementation of that country's three-week lockdown, imposed despite a relative dearth of cases as officials feared rapid spreading in the country's slums, the death of a middle-aged man in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum has stoked worries about the highly contagious virus ripping through what's widely regarded as the largest slum in Asia.