Global reported cases head toward 1 million

Global reported cases head toward 1 million

This is a live blog. Please check back for updates.

  • Global cases: More than 932,600
  • Global deaths: At least 46,809
  • Top 5 countries: United States (213,372), Italy (110,574), Spain (104,118), China (82,361), and Germany (77,872)

The data above was compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of 8:43 a.m. Beijing time.

All times below are in Beijing time.

11 am: South Korea reports 89 new cases, four additional deaths

There were 89 new cases of infection in South Korea and four more people died, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

South Korea’s total cases are just shy of hitting 10,000; the current figure stands at 9,976 and 169 people have died. Mass testing and rigorous efforts to isolate infected patients have relatively slowed down the spread of the virus within the country. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

10:55 am: Australia says it will provide free child care for some families during coronavirus pandemic

Australia will provide free child care for around one million families during the coronavirus pandemic under a plan from Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government.

As part of the plan, the government will pay 50% of the sector’s fee revenue up to the existing hourly rate cap before parents had started withdrawing their children in large numbers. The caveat is that the services need to stay open and not charge families for care. The measure will apply from April 6 based on the number of children who were in care during the fortnight leading into March 2, whether or not they are attending services. 

“These services are vital for so many parents so they can provide for their family, and children need as much familiarity and continuity as we can help provide at this unsettling time. Priority will be given to working parents, vulnerable and disadvantaged children that need early education more than ever and parents with pre-existing enrolments,” Morrison said. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

10:07 am: Japan may consider support to increase ECMO machine production

Japan’s government will consider support to increase production of extracorporeal membranous oxygenation, or ECMO, machines that can replace a person’s breathing, Reuters reported, citing Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura.

It would be part of an economic package to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters said.

ECMO machines are used in potentially life-saving treatment for coronavirus patients. They can directly pump oxygen into a person and remove carbon dioxide at the same time.

Japan has more than 2,000 reported cases of infection, according to JHU data. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

9:30 am: Singapore reports fourth death related to COVID-19

Singapore’s health ministry said a 68-year-old Indonesian man died on April 2 at 6:43 a.m. local time due to complications from COVID-19. The patient was a work pass holder in the city-state and had been in Indonesia from Jan. 20 to March 16.

He was admitted to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases on March 22 and was diagnosed with COVID-19 on the same day. The ministry said he had a history of diabetes and hypertension.

Four people have died to-date from COVID-19-related complications in Singapore. The number of reported cases of infection rose in recent weeks as more residents returned from abroad. (see 7:30 a.m. update) — Saheli Roy Choudhury

8:55 am: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti encourages residents to wear face coverings in public

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said on Wednesday that residents should wear face coverings or homemade masks when out in public.

Although the CDC does not currently recommend that healthy people wear masks, an increasing number of officials are recommending them to Americans to slow the spread of COVID-19. Garcetti said he expected the official advice to be updated soon. Earlier on Wednesday, President Trump said that people could wear scarves to cover their mouths. 

“I think it is time for us to do this,” Garcetti said. “I know it will look surreal, we don’t have that cultural tradition of wearing masks.”

Garcetti added that the city has approved 146 businesses which will make 2 million non-medical face masks per week. — Kif Leswing

8:23 am: Apple donates almost 2 million N95 masks to New York

Apple has donated 1.9 million N95 masks to the state of New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

“We are so grateful to Apple for this much-needed gift of critical PPE supplies,” Cuomo tweeted. PPE refers to personal protective equipment that medical workers need in order to tend to sick patients.

 

Apple CEO Tim Cook previously said the company had sourced and donated 10 million masks to the medical community in the United States. The masks are in short supply as medical professionals ask for additional equipment to protect themselves while they treat patients who may have COVID-19.

On Saturday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey tweeted out a picture of 63,000 N95 masks donated by Apple. — Kif Leswing

8:20 am: White House advisor Fauci says coronavirus vaccine trial is on target and will be ‘ultimate game changer’

The first human trial testing a potential vaccine to prevent COVID-19 is “on track” with public distribution still projected in 12 to 18 months, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday. It would be the “ultimate game changer” in the fight against the pandemic, he said.

U.S. health officials have been fast-tracking work with biotech company Moderna to develop a vaccine to prevent COVID-19. They began their first human trials on March 16. 

“It’ll take a few months to get the data to where we’ll feel confident to go to the phase two, and then a few months from now, we’ll be in phase two and I think we’re right on target for the year to year-and-a-half,” Fauci said at a White House press conference with President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force. — Noah Higgins-Dunn

7:30 am: Singapore has 1,000 reported cases

Based on the latest reported figures from the health ministry, Singapore now has 1,000 recorded instances of COVID-19 infection. The city-state had been praised for its handling of the crisis in January and February by implementing strict measures to quarantine suspected cases and contact tracing for potential exposure to the coronavirus. 

Social distancing markers are seen at a cafe outlet as authorities implement a social distancing measures to combat the coronavirus on March 28, 2020 in Singapore.

Suhaimi Abdullah | Getty Images

But, the number of cases in Singapore has grown in recent weeks as more residents returned from abroad and tested positive. As of April 1, noon local time, the country reported 74 new cases of COVID-19 infection, of which 20 were “imported,” 29 were linked to previous clusters and 25 had no apparent links discovered yet. 

Three people have died from the disease in Singapore;  245 patients have been discharged and another 291 remain clinically well but isolated as they still test positive for the virus. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

7:24 am: Global cases top 930,000 as death toll nears 47,000

As many as 932,605 cases of coronavirus infection have been recorded around the world and at least 46,809 people have died, according to the latest information compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The United States reported the most number of infections at 213,372, while Italy’s death toll remains the highest for a single country at 13,155. At least 193,177 people appeared to have recovered. 

Italy and Spain each have reported more than 100,000 infection cases as the coronavirus pandemic shows few signs of abating. — Saheli Roy Choudhury

All times below are in Eastern time.

7:05 pm: Updated map of US cases, which now total 213,372

7:02 pm: Trump says that the government ordered hospital gowns from Walmart

President Donald Trump said that he spoke to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and put in a “big big order” for gowns.

“Let it be shipped directly to the side of the hospital because we save a lot of time when we do that,” Trump said.

Doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers around the country have called for more “PPE” or personal protective equipment like gowns and facemasks to protect them from the coronavirus while working at hospitals. — Kif Leswing

6:34 pm: Trump says he doesn’t know if China underreported coronavirus numbers: ‘I’m not an accountant from China’

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