Empty churches, food drive mark start of Easter weekend in coronavirus-hit U.S
Political leaders and health experts urged Americans celebrating Good Friday and the Easter weekend under threat of the coronavirus to avoid church gatherings and observe the holidays at home as the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 18,600. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, and other health officials pointed to declining rates of coronavirus hospitalizations and admissions to intensive care units – particularly in hard-hit New York state – as signs that social distancing measures are paying off.
U.S. coronavirus cases top 500,000: Reuters tally
U.S. coronavirus cases topped 500,000 on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, although there are signs that Americans staying home was helping to curb new infections. Confirmed U.S. cases of the COVID-19 illness caused by the virus have been rising by 30,000 to 35,000 cases a day as testing becomes more available. Globally, there have been over 1.6 million confirmed cases, with the death toll topping 100,000 on Friday.
New Zealand reports 2 coronavirus deaths, Australia has 56
New Zealand said on Saturday there had been two new deaths due to the coronavirus – its biggest daily total to date despite the low number and bringing the total to four in a country that’s halfway through a four-week nationwide lockdown. Both deaths were older people with underlying health conditions and were linked to existing clusters, Director of Public Health Caroline McElnay said in a televised briefing.
Global coronavirus death toll hits 100,000, cases over 1.6 million
The number of deaths linked to the novel coronavirus reached 100,000 on Friday, as the tally of cases passed 1.6 million, according to a Reuters tally. The first death came in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on Jan. 9. 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.
Thailand reports 45 new coronavirus cases, two new deaths
Thailand reported on Saturday 45 new coronavirus infections and two more deaths. The dead were Thai men, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman of the government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.
Two thirds of COVID-19 patients improve after Gilead drug: NEJM
More than two-thirds of severely ill COVID-19 patients saw their condition improve after treatment with remdesivir, an experimental drug being developed by Gilead Sciences Inc. , according to new data based on patient observation. The analysis, published on Friday by the New England Journal of Medicine, does not detail what other treatments the 61 hospitalized patients were given and data on eight of them were not included — in one case because of a dosing error.
Trump says he thinks U.S. will lose fewer than 100,000 lives to coronavirus
President Donald Trump said on Friday that he thinks the United States will lose fewer than the initially projected 100,000 lives to COVID-19. Trump suggested that the United States is nearing its peak infection rate and said the nationwide number of new coronavirus cases is flattening, with the situations in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Detroit, Michigan, stabilizing.
Outbid and left hanging, U.S. states scramble for ventilators
On the final Thursday in March the Arkansas team in charge of procuring ventilators thought they had scored a coup: a vendor had agreed to sell them 500 of the breathing machines critical to keeping COVID-19 patients alive at $19,000 each. The next day they were told the deal had vanished because a buyer representing New York was offering to purchase 10,000 units, pay cash upfront and double the price, a deal the vendor could not turn down. Reuters could not independently verify that New York bought the ventilators.
Germany’s coronavirus cases rise by 4,133, deaths by 171: RKI
Germany’s number of confirmed coronavirus infections rose by 4,133 on Saturday to 117,658, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed. That was lower than 5,323 reported on Friday, marking the first decline after four days of increases. The reported death toll rose by 171 to 2,544.
New York ‘cautiously optimistic’ with first daily drop in ICU COVID-19 patients
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday that the number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units across the state dropped in the last day, offering a glimmer of hope that the surge in critical care hospitalizations might be leveling off. Cuomo said there were 17 fewer patients in the state’s intensive care units on Thursday than a day prior. This was the first time that group of patients has decreased in a day since the outbreak took hold and a sign that social distancing measures are successfully reducing the virus’ spread.
Pictured: Medical workers react to applause from firefighters and members of the public during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs