Global Coronavirus Deaths Slow For 4th Straight Day: Live Updates

Summary:

  • Maryland Gov tells ABC state could start reopening in early May
  • No. global coronavirus cases: 2,919,000 (JHU)
  • China says Wuhan hospitals cleared of virus
  • Boris Johnson to return to No. 10 on Monday
  • NY reports another 5,902 cases
  • Spain reports another drop in daily deaths
  • NY, Italy report encouraging drop in deaths
  • FT estimates global deaths 60% higher than reported
  • Mexico death toll likely 50% higher than reported
  • World reports 4th straight drop in daily death toll
  • Singapore scrambles to build more hospital space
  • UK releases latest numbers: lowest daily death toll in a month
  • Spain allows children outside for first time in 6 weeks
  • France, Spain plan to release reopening plans

*         *          *

Update (1500ET): It's been a relatively slow day for coronavirus news. Here's a quick rundown of new developments over the past two hours:

After reporting another promising decline in deaths earlier, NY state has just released an update on new cases, and it looks like the state has reported nearly 6k, a jump vs. the prior day, though not by much of a margin.

  • NEW YORK REPORTS 5,902 NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES; TOTAL 288,045
  • *ITALY TO START EASING VIRUS LOCKDOWN ON MAY 4, CONTE SAYS

In a Sunday evening address, Italian President Giuseppe Conte announced that Italy will start easing its stringent lockdown measures on May 4. Here's a rundown of his comments:

  • CONTE: ITALIANS WILL HAVE TO LEARN TO COHABIT WITH VIRUS
  • CONTE: RETAIL SHOPS, MUSEUMS TO REOPEN ON MAY 18
  • CONTE: CAFES, RESTAURANTS, HAIRDRESSERS TO REOPEN ON JUNE 1
  • CONTE: WHOLESALE RETAIL TO REOPEN FROM MAY 4
  • CONTE: MANUFACTURING, CONSTRUCTION SECTORS TO RESTART MAY 4
  • CONTE: TRAVEL OUTSIDE OWN REGION TO REMAIN BANNED AFTER MAY 4
  • CONTE: ITALY TO REOPEN PARKS, ALLOW SPORTS TRAINING FROM MAY 4

Meanwhile, the FT has released the results of its latest statistical analysis of global coronavirus cases, and it found that the global death toll from the virus might be as much as 60% higher than reported.

On a similar tip, Bloomberg reported Sunday that severe acute respiratory infections in Mexico spiked 50% this season compared with the same period from a year ago, an increase that's almost certainly entirely due to the coronavirus, just the latest sign that Mexico's confirmed coronavirus figures are far too low, according to Bloomberg.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom meanwhile urged residents to stay home as a heat wave sends many scrambling for relief at the beach.

*         *          *

Update (1230ET): New York and Italy just reported their latest figures on the number of new cases and deaths recorded over the last 24 hours.

Officials in NYS and Rome reported encouraging reductions in the number of deaths reported over the last 24 hours.

First, in NY, officials reported 367 new deaths, the lowest count since March 31.

Cuomo also announced during Sunday's press briefing that his state's reopening will be led by construction and manufacturing industries.

In Italy, the Civil Protection Service reported just 260 deaths occurred yesterday, compared with 415 for the day before.

That's the smallest daily increase since March 14, when the outbreak in the Italian north was still in its relatively early stages. Meanwhile, the total number of new cases climbed by just 2,324 to 197,675 as Italy inches closer toward becoming the third country to report more than 200k cases (after the US and Spain).

Currently, Italy's death toll is at 26,644, the second-highest 'official' count, besides the US.

*         *          *

Update (1200ET): The French and Spanish governments are planning to release detailed plans for reopening their economies as more European countries prepare to start reopening this week, according to an exclusive report from the FT.

On Sunday, French prime minister Edouard Philippe confirmed that he would present the “national deconfinment strategy” on Tuesday, with a focus on six themes: “health (including masks, testing and isolation), school, work, shops, transport and gatherings.”

[...]

Spain is also planning to relax its six-week-old coronavirus lockdown — one of the toughest in the world — in the coming days by allowing people to walk and exercise outdoors from the start of next month. In a televised address to the nation on Saturday night, Pedro Sánchez, prime minister, highlighted the country’s falling official daily death toll — which on Sunday fell to 288, the lowest for more than a month. He added that if the figures continued to improve the government would permit adults to go for walks and exercise outside their homes from May 2.

Meanwhile, the UK Department of Health has released its latest round of numbers:

Officials reported just 413 deaths over the last 24 hours, the lowest number in a month. Speaking at the daily Downing Street press briefing, UK Environment Secretary George Eustice said the next phase of the measures would involve a combination of measures - including testing and tracing technology - while easing restrictions on movement, though he stressed "we are not there yet."

*         *          *

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world moves closer to the 3 million mark, more countries and US states are beginning the process of reopening their economies, while China and Singapore continue to struggle with rising numbers of new cases, forcing them to tighten restrictions all over again.

After reporting another single-day increase of nearly 1,000 new cases (almost all of them migrant workers, a persistent theme), Reuters reported that Singapore was taking a page out of China's play book and rapidly building bed space for coronavirus patients in cavernous exhibition halls and other temporary facilities.

In some parts of China, authorities are closing gyms and swimming pools as the number of new cases continues to rebound. Meanwhile, in Wuhan, Chinese health officials on Sunday claimed that the city no longer has any coronavirus patients in hospitals, according to the Washington Post.

Mi Feng, a spokesman for the National Health Commission, said the achievement was a result of the “hard work from Wuhan and health officials from around the country,” according to Chinese state media. China recorded only 11 more cases of the virus on Sunday and has had no new deaths for almost a week.

While in the US, millions are looking ahead with a mix of trepidation and anticipation as several states plan to dramatically reopen their economies during the coming week. Last night, we reported that the global coronavirus death toll surpassed 200k, with roughly a quarter of deaths reported in the US alone.

On Saturday, 6,069 deaths were reported around the world, with 2,194 people reported to have died from coronavirus in the US on the same day. Even as the global death toll surpassed 200k, the number of new deaths declined for the fourth straight day.

Source: FT

As the Washington Post examined each state's plans for reopening on Sunday. The reporters pointed out that so far, the process of reopening has "cleaved largely along party lines, with some Republican governors moving to reopen key sectors and Democrats moving more slowly." In states such as New York, where the virus has exacted its heaviest toll, there are no plans for letting up. In nearby Connecticut, businesses likely won't reopen until June.

However, on Sunday morning, Maryland Gov Larry Hogan - a moderate Republican governing a typically blue state - became the first non-southern, non-western governor to declare his intentions to reopen despite a record jump in deaths in his state reported over the weekend. "I want to get our economy back opened just as soon as we can," Hogan told ABC News on Sunday. He's shooting to start the process in early May, meaning some 'non-essential' businesses might start reopening as soon as this week.

Since the states have largely taken the lead in fighting the virus, we're surprised that the media hasn't focused on the fact that high-tax states with more resources are largely planning to stay closed for longer, while states that collect less in tax revenues per capita are generally looking to reopen more quickly.

In Tennessee, restaurants will start reopening on Monday. In Missouri, the state is planning on allowing"almost every business" to reopen starting a week from Monday. And in Idaho, churches and other places of worship could be unlocking their doors by next weekend.

Even the states that are plotting their reopenings understand that the process must be controlled, or else risk reversing "all that we've accomplished," as Iowa Gov. Brad Little warned. Still, many epidemiologists are less-than-thrilled about the reopening plans, since most states don't have nearly enough testing capacity to adequately monitor their progress.

"We don’t have the resources in place to do the level of testing and contact tracing we need to make sure we’re monitoring this effectively," said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University. "We’re flying blind." No matter how you slice it, states that are reopening first are willingly becoming test subjects in a high-stakes experiment. Nobody can say for sure how this will play out.

Georgia isn't the only state that has opened up: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced on Wednesday that salons, barbers and pet groomers would be allowed to reopen as of Friday. Though, to be sure, that's only a handful of businesses in the grand scheme of things

Florida's decision to reopen some beaches has been widely criticized by the MSM, but as WaPo admits in its latest story about the reopening, in many areas, beaches are the largest swaths of public land and basically analogous to public parks. Even states like New York and Connecticut haven't closed their parks.

Whatever happens with the reopenings, as more Americans realize that many of the stores in their once-vibrant downtown areas are being emptied out of all inventory and quietly closing their doors, it's becoming apparent that the US likely won't see the true extent of these closures for weeks; even in Georgia, many small businesses that are technically allowed to reopen still haven't for myriad reasons.

Outside the US, the biggest news on Sunday was Boris Johnson's announcement that he will be returning to No. 10 on Monday and retake the reins as the debate about reopening rages in Britain. More conservative lawmakers are pushing to at least release a plan for reopening to ease the anxieties of the people.

Another reason for the reopening push: many small businesses are on the verge of collapse. More than half the owner-managed businesses in the UK will run out of cash within 12 weeks, according to a survey by accountancy network Association of Practising Accountants (APA), which has a network of tens of thousands of clients. Roughly 900 participated in the survey.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who has been running the country in BoJo's stead, said the PM's return would be "a boost for the country" as polls have shown the overwhelming majority of Britons want the PM in the driver's seat.

In Spain, young children were allowed outside their homes on Sunday for the first time since the lockdown began as the Spanish government eases some restrictions while extending the lockdown to May 9.

Children are only allowed out for 1 hour a day, and must be accompanied by an adult.

Spain on Sunday reported its lowest daily coronavirus death toll in more than a month. And it wasn't alone: Iran on Sunday reported its lowest number of deaths in 47 days as the government presses on with its rapid reopening to stave off a complete economic collapse.

Finally, in a tweet Saturday evening, President Trump announced the cancellation of future White House briefings.

He also tweeted a message for the nation's governors.