COVID-19 Pandemic: New York City records more deaths from virus than 9/11; U.S. has over 378K cases, over 11K coronavirus-related deaths

Coronavirus

A man stands on a platform for the New York City subway system while wearing a mask and gloves due to coronavirus concerns, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

TOP OF THE HOUR:

— New York City records more deaths from virus than 9/11.

—British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in intensive care.

—Japan declares national emergency.

—U.N. estimates loss of 195 millon full-time jobs in 2nd quarter.

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OSLO, Norway — Norway says it plans to open kindergartens from April 20 in the first stage of a gradual lifting of the country’s lockdown.

The government says pupils in the first four years of school would return to school a week later on April 27 and higher grades “before summer.”

Prime Minister Erna Solberg tells reporters “it has now been 26 days since we changed the way we live our lives” in reference to the lockdown and “we can see that (government’s) anti-infection measures are working ”

Norway, which has so far recorded 89 deaths and 5,903 confirmed COVID-19 infections, joins Austria and Denmark as the first European nations to emerge from a lockdown.

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has appealed to his nation to keep sticking to social distancing rules to slow the spread of the coronavirus. He also is warning it will take a long time for the country to return to normal.

Rutte says “it is much to soon to speculate” about a possible exit strategy from what the premier calls the “intelligent lockdown” in the Netherlands, where bars, restaurants, museums, schools and universities are closed until at least April 28.

Ahead of the Easter weekend, when the Netherlands usually draws large numbers of tourists from neighboring Germany and Belgium, Rutte is urging people — in Dutch, German and French — to stay home.

The country’s public health institute reported that the virus outbreak death toll had risen by 234 to 2,101. So far, nearly 20,000 people in the Netherlands have tested positive to the virus.

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s health minister reported 76 deaths from the new coronavirus in the past 24 hours, raising the death toll in the country to 725.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the nation’s scientific advisory council, Fahrettin Koca also reported 3,892 new infections on Tuesday, increasing the total number of positive cases to 34,109.

Koca said 1,474 COVID-19 patients are currently in intensive care, including 987 who are intubated.

Meanwhile, Koca also announced that his ministry is developing a smart phone app that will monitor people who have tested positive for the virus at their homes and ensure that they remain in isolation.

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NEW YORK — The National Funeral Directors Association says relief could be on the way for exhausted funeral directors in New York City — if Gov. Andrew Cuomo will let them.

The NFDA tweeted it has hundreds of funeral directors lined up to travel to New York and “ensure the dead are buried with dignity.” The one thing holding them back: Funeral directors licenses are state-specific, so undertakers and embalmers can’t work across state lines.

The association says it has made its request to Cuomo’s office and is awaiting a reply.

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — India has gifted 10 tons of essential life saving medicines to the neighboring Sri Lanka to help the battle against the coronavirus. The consignment was brought to Sri Lanka by an Air India special charter flight.

Sri Lankan government made the request for the medicines. The Indian ocean island nation has taken strict measures to contain the spreading of the disease, including a countrywide curfew since March 20.

So far, six people have died from the virus while there are 185 confirmed cases.

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ROME — Italy’s number of new coronavirus cases has continued to drop.

Civil Protection authorities said Tuesday there were 3,039 new cases in a 24-hour period. Italy hasn’t seen such a low daily number since the early weeks of the outbreak.

Said Giovanni Rezza, director of the infectious disease division of the national health institute: “Finally it seems we are beginning to see a lessening of new cases” after a plateau phase. He expressed satisfaction that even Italy’s most stricken region, Lombardy, is also witnessing the same trend.

Italy has 135,586 cases confirmed cases. After some 600 additional deaths were registered on Tuesday, Italy has counted 16,523 deaths in the COVID-19 outbreak.

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CHICAGO — The president of the American Medical Association is urging U.S. leaders to base COVID-19 decision-making on science and facts, not politics and ideology.

In a live-streamed speech addressed to the nation, Dr. Patrice Harris warned against prematurely easing physical distancing measures, prescribing medications without scientific proof that they work, and retaliation against experts who communicate science-based facts.

Harris didn’t single out any leaders at the federal, state or local level by name. But she urged the news media to be vigilant in communicating factual information from credible sources and in challenging “those who choose to trade in misinformation.”

“Despite solid evidence behind the public health measures now in place, misinformation about COVID-19 is spreading rapidly, even intentionally, due to fear, or to various political agendas,” Harris said.

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ATHENS, Greece — A high court in Greece has rejected complaints seeking to overturn a ban on religious services over the Easter holidays.

Judges from the Council of State say the recently announced measure to outlaw public attendance of religious services as part of a campaign of circulation restrictions was in the public interest. Several religious organizations, not connected to Greece’s Orthodox Church, had backed the court challenge against the church ban, arguing it was unconstitutional.

Greece’s new coronavirus death toll rose to 81 Tuesday, with authorities arguing the restrictions have so far been effective. But Nikos Hardalias, a deputy minister for civil protection, said that effort could be undermined if Greeks abandoned caution at Easter, celebrated on April 19 together with other Orthodox Christian countries.

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WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced an additional $225 million in foreign assistance to help countries around the world combat the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the total to nearly half a billion dollars.

The new assistance won’t include personal protective equipment due to the high domestic demand for such supplies in the U.S. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says it is intended to help foreign nations boost their response to the COVID-19 virus.

He says the money would be for diagnosis, prevention and control, and bolstering national health systems. It could also prepare laboratories to deal with testing and train medical workers.

Last month, the U.S. announced $274 million in virus prevention and treatment assistance to 64 countries.

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MOSCOW — Russian experts say they can speed up tests of a new coronavirus vaccine.

Rinat Maksyutov, head of the state Vektor lab, reported to President Vladimir Putin the trials involving volunteers could begin in May instead of June as earlier planned.

Maksyutov says more than 300 people already have volunteered to take part in clinical tests. Putin noted that the outbreak hasn’t yet reached its peak in Russia, noting that “the situation is difficult but not hopeless.” Russia reported 1,154 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the country’s total caseload to 7,497, with 58 deaths.

Putin asked experts whether it would be possible to lift some of the restrictions earlier to ease the pain for the economy. They said next week would show if the lockdown has helped.

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PRAGUE — The lower house of Czech Parliament has agreed to extend the state of emergency imposed by the government until April 30.

The state of emergency gives the government extra powers to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, including a power to limit basic rights.

The government demanded a maximum possible 30-day extension until May 11, but Prime Minister Andrej Babis says the compromise was “acceptable.”

The Czech Republic and Austria were the first European countries to announce on Monday they’ll start to relax their restrictions to contain the virus.

The Health Ministry says 4,828 Czechs have been infected and 80 have died.

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announced large-scale social restrictions in the capital will start Friday.

The Indonesia Health Ministry granted the request from the governor after a significant increase and spread of COVID-19 in Jakarta.

The social restrictions should be implemented for 14 days. It can be extended if there are still cases of transmission. With this new status in Jakarta, there will be stricter law enforcement from the National Police.

“Basically people in Jakarta have applied the restrictions by working at home, studying at home and doing the worship at home in the last three weeks. But we will add the law enforcement component on it,” Baswedan said.

Baswedan says the local government will ban events with more than five participants.

The government says half the infection cases are in Jakarta. There are 1,369 of COVID-19 cases with 106 deaths in the capital.

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WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced an additional $225 million in foreign assistance to help countries around the world combat the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the total to nearly half a billion dollars.

The new assistance won’t include personal protective equipment due to the high domestic demand for such supplies in the U.S. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says it is intended to help foreign nations boost their response to the COVID-19 virus.

He says the money would be for diagnosis, prevention and control, and bolstering national health systems. It could also prepare laboratories to deal with testing and train medical workers.

Last month, the U.S. announced $274 million in virus prevention and treatment assistance to 64 countries.

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NEW YORK — More people have died from the coronavirus in New York City than perished in the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

At least 3,202 people have been killed in the city by the virus, according to a new count released by city health officials Tuesday.

The deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil killed 2,753 people in the city and 2,977 overall, when hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 11, 2001.

The coronavirus has made New York ground zero again in a national tragedy and the center of a crisis that is reshaping Americans’ lives and liberties.

New York City recorded its first coronavirus death on March 13, less than two weeks after confirming its first infection.

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JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s health minister says 66 people at a single hospital in Durban have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past few days, including 48 staffers.

Zweli Mkhize says authorities are looking into closing parts of St. Augustine’s Hospital. The minister says less than 100 people across the country are currently hospitalized with the virus.

He also seeks to reassure anxious health workers after a union went to court over the shortage of protective gear. Mkhize says South Africa’s supply should last up to eight weeks.

South Africa has Africa’s most confirmed cases with more than 1,700.

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GENEVA — The U.N.’s labor organization estimates the equivalent of 195 million full-time jobs could be lost in the second quarter alone from the COVID-19 outbreak, with businesses and plants shuttered worldwide.

The projection from the International Labor Organization is based on an emerging impact of the virus, and it amounts to a big increase from its March 18 prediction for an extra 25 million jobs losses for all of 2020.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder says, “These figures speak powerfully for themselves: That the world of work is suffering an absolutely extraordinary fall.”

The agency says full or partial lockdown measures now affect nearly 2.7 billion workers or about 81 percent of the global workforce.

Some 1.25 billion are in hard-hit sectors such as hotel and food services, manufacturing and retail.

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PARIS — Paris authorities have banned all outdoor sports activities between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. after Parisians took to the streets in numbers over the weekend to enjoy the sunny weather.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and police prefect Didier Lallement say Parisians should limit their movement to urgent or indispensable outings amid stringent lockdown measures implemented across the country. Starting Wednesday, Parisians can only exercise outdoors when “street crowd is at its lowest.”

Parisians were previously allowed to exercise outdoors for an hour while carrying a form explaining the reason why they were going out.

France has nearly 9,000 dead and some 100,000 known infections across the country.

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LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in stable condition in an intensive care unit and has not been put on a ventilator.

Johnson spokesman James Slack says “the prime minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits. He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and is breathing without any other assistance.”

He said Johnson was not receiving mechanical ventilation and does not have pneumonia.

Johnson was admitted to St. Thomas’ Hospital late Sunday with a fever and cough that persisted 10 days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19. He was moved to the intensive care unit Monday evening after his condition worsened.

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