A summary of the latest developments:
Total number of coronavirus cases in Russia has surged past 20,000 as the country posted a record number of daily cases.
Some 1.92 million people around the world have now been confirmed to have the new coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 119,500 have died, while nearly 450,000 have recovered.
- The WHO is due to release its latest strategic advice on tackling the outbreak, which will include six criteria for lifting restrictions on movement.
More than 10,000 people have now died from coronavirus in New York state.
Here are the latest updates.
Tuesday, April 14
12:55 GMT – Cuomo says Trump is not a king, can’t force states to reopen
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took to morning TV shows to push back against President Donald Trump’s claim of “total” authority to reopen the nation’s virus-stalled economy, noting that a president is not an absolute monarch.
“We don’t have a king,” Cuomo said on NBC’s Today.
“We have a president. That was a big decision. We ran away from having a king, and George Washington was president, not King Washington. So the president doesn’t have total authority.”
The Democratic governor, whose state has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, was reacting to Trump’s assertion Monday that “when somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total”.
12:40 GMT – Dutch coronavirus cases rise by 868 to 27,419 – authorities
Confirmed coronavirus cases in the Netherlands rose by 868 to 27,419, health authorities said, with 122 new deaths.
Total deaths in the country are at 2,945, the Netherlands Institute for Public Health said in its daily update.
Visitors avoid Greece over virus fears, battering economy
12:18 GMT – Sinn Fein leader says she has the coronavirus but is recovering
The leader of the left-wing Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein, Mary Lou McDonald, said that a test taken at the end of March confirmed she had the coronavirus, but she was no longer infected and would return to work next week.
McDonald said she was given the result on Monday after “weeks of being very unwell”. The test was taken on March 28.
McDonald’s party stunned Ireland’s establishment in February by winning the most votes in an inconclusive national election.
12:00 GMT – McDonald’s apologises after China store bans black people
US chain McDonald’s has apologised after a sign telling black people they were banned from entering a branch in southern China prompted outrage online, following reports of discriminatory treatment towards Africans in the city.
Tensions have flared between police and Africans in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou after local officials announced a cluster of COVID-19 cases in a neighbourhood with a large migrant population.
As the row escalated, posts widely shared online showed a sign at fast food chain McDonald’s saying black people were not allowed to enter the restaurant.
11:40 GMT – That’s the spirit! Japan hospitals find way to beat sanitiser shortage
Strong alcoholic drinks can be used “when absolutely necessary” instead of hand sanitiser in Japanese hospitals, authorities said, as supplies run dry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Spirits with an alcohol proof of between 70 and 83 percent can be substituted to sterilise hands under new rules set out in a health ministry document obtained by AFP news agency.
Some vodkas are that strong, but traditional Japanese tipples such as sake and shochu do not make the grade – at a maximum alcohol proof of roughly 22 and 45 percent respectively.
Stray cats struggle in quarantined Istanbul
10:50 GMT – Guinea to mandate mask-wearing against virus
Guinean President Alpha Conde has decided to make the wearing of masks compulsory in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Speaking in a televised address on Monday evening, the president said offenders would be “prevented from moving around” and slapped with a civil disobedience tax of 30,000 Guinean francs ($3.16, 2.8 euros).
The order takes effect from Saturday.
Conde called on all companies, ministries and NGOs to provide masks to their employees by Saturday. He also urged that masks be manufactured locally and sold cheaply.
10:40 GMT – Hunger for ‘good news’ grows amid coronavirus crisis
Battered by grim headlines, horrifying statistics and deep uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic, many people worldwide are trying to lift their spirits by seeking out positive news stories.
Sites specialising in upbeat news have seen a surge in recent weeks, and Google searches for “good news” have jumped five-fold since the start of the year.
The Good News Network, created in the late 1990s, has seen traffic treble in the past month with more than 10 million visitors, according to founder and editor Geri Weis-Corbley.
Read more here.
10:20 GMT – Iran says virus deaths drop below 100 for first time in month
Iran said the number of lives lost in the country to the novel coronavirus dropped to double figures for the first time in one month.
Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 98 deaths from the COVID-19 disease were recorded in the past 24 hours, bringing the overall toll to 4,683.
“Unfortunately, we lost 98 of our compatriots infected with the disease… but after a month of waiting, this is the first day that the death toll has been double figures,” he told a televised news conference
09:50 GMT – Spain’s virus death toll tops 18,000
Spain reported 567 deaths from the new coronavirus, a slight increase after a one day decline, bringing the total number of fatalities to 18,056 – officially the third highest in the world behind the United States and Italy.
The number of new infections rose by 1.8 percent to 172,541 cases, according to the health ministry, the smallest increase since the country imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 14 to curb the spread of the virus.
09:30 GMT – Russia posts another record daily rise in new COVID-19 cases
The number of coronavirus cases in Russia has crossed 20,000, while the death toll is nearing 200, authorities said.
A total of 2,774 more people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the overall case count to 21,102, Russia’s coronavirus task force said in a statement.
The death toll has risen to 170 after 22 more fatalities, while recoveries reached 1,694 as 224 more patients were discharged from hospitals.
09:26 GMT – ‘Not a king’: Trump gets pushback for total authority claim
US President Donald Trump has claimed he has “total” authority to decide how and when to reopen the economy after weeks of strict physical distancing guidelines aimed at fighting the novel coronavirus.
But governors from both parties were quick to push back, noting they have primary responsibility for ensuring public safety in their states and would decide when it was safe to begin a return to normal operations.
Read more here.
08:45 GMT – UK accused of underreporting senior virus deaths
The boss of one of Britain’s biggest nursing home operators says the number of reported coronavirus deaths among elderly residents is much higher than has been officially reported.
The government says outbreaks of COVID-19 have been reported in one in eight UK care homes. But David Behan, chairman of home operator HC-One, said cases of the new coronavirus had been reported in 232 of the firm’s homes – two-thirds of the total.
He says 311 residents have died with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
08:20 GMT – Exclusive: Kerala CM says UAE quarantine facilities ‘inadequate’
The chief minister of India’s Kerala state has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to repatriate Indian workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) amid the coronavirus pandemic, expressing alarm over the Gulf country’s response to the health emergency.
In a letter sent on April 9, Pinarayi Vijayan revealed that numerous complaints were being received over “inadequate isolation and quarantine facilities” in the UAE, which is currently hosting more than three million migrant workers from India, according to the United Nations.
Read more here.
08:01 GMT – Taiwan reports no new coronavirus cases for first time in a month
Taiwan reported no new cases of the coronavirus for the first time in more than a month, in the latest sign that the island’s early and effective prevention methods have paid off.
Taiwan has won plaudits from health experts for how it has fought the virus, including starting as early as December 31 with checks on passengers arriving from China’s Wuhan city, where the first cases were reported late last year.
Taiwan has reported 393 cases to date and six deaths. A total of 338 were so-called imported cases, where people were suspected of becoming infected overseas before entering Taiwan, and the rest were cases of local transmissions.
07:45 GMT – Anger as right-wing UK voices ‘predict’ Ramadan virus spread
Concerns have been raised that right-wing voices in the United Kingdom could fuel Islamophobia, after a commentator predicted a “spike” in coronavirus cases during Ramadan.
Andrew Pierce, a journalist for the Daily Mail tabloid, tweeted on Sunday: “If families gather for holy month of Ramadan there will be a huge spike in Covid cases. Doctors are very worried.”
Read more here.
07:18 GMT – AstraZeneca to asses potential of blood cancer drug
AstraZeneca Plc said that it would start a clinical trial to assess the potential of Calquence in the treatment of the exaggerated immune response associated with COVID-19 infection in severely ill patients.
Calquence is a BTK inhibitor and currently used to treat certain types of blood cancers.
The drug has been approved for the treatment of adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia in the United States and a number of other countries.
07:01 GMT – Turkey to release prisoners to ease overcrowding
Turkey’s parliament has approved legislation that will free some 90,000 prisoners to ease overcrowding in prisons amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, that does not include journalists and activists, who will remain behind bars.
The legislation, approved early on Tuesday, reduces some sentences and places 45,000 convicts, currently serving terms in open prisons, under temporary house arrest.
COVID-19: Nurse demonstrates how fast germs spread
06:40 GMT – Malaysia arrests Myanmar workers for breaching lockdown restrictions
Malaysian police have arrested 62 migrant workers from Myanmar for breaching lockdown restrictions by allegedly staging a weekend street party marking Thingyan, the Buddhist New Year.
“Some admitted to attending the event, and more arrests are being carried out to track the other suspects involved. Two mobile phones used by the suspects have also been seized,” said Wan Kamarul Azran, assistant police commissioner of Sepang, Kuala Lumpur.
The Thingyan festival is usually a week of concerts, street parties and water fights across much of Myanmar – as well as among the large communities of migrants from Myanmar in neighbouring Thailand and Malaysia.
06:20 GMT – UK’s Heathrow Airport sees passenger demand down by 90 percent in April
Heathrow Airport, traditionally the busiest in Europe, forecast that passenger demand would plunge by over 90 percent in April, as coronavirus restrictions stop most travel.
Heathrow said that its passenger numbers were down 52 percent in March compared with the same period last year, with many of those being Britons returning home from abroad.
The airport, owned by a group of investors including Spain’s Ferrovial, the Qatar Investment Authority and China Investment Corp, said it was now only using one of its two runways, as flights continue for cargo.
Hello, this is Usaid Siddiqui in Doha taking over from my colleague Kate Mayberry.
05:40 GMT –
I will shortly be handing the blog over to my colleagues in Doha. Keep checking in to follow our continuing coverage of the pandemic.
05:30 GMT – Heilongjiang clamps down on people returning from Russia
Authorities in China’s northeastern province of Heilongjiang have established a hotline to reward citizens for reporting people crossing the border illegally, after a jump in the number of coronavirus cases imported from Russia.
According to a notice, people supplying verified information about illegal cross-border crimes will get 3,000 yuan ($426). Those who apprehend any illegal migrants and hand them over to authorities will get 5,000 yuan ($710).
Russia has become China’s largest source of imported cases, with 409 cases found to have originated there. State-owned Global Times said in an editorial Chinese citizens should stay put in Russia and not try to return home.
Heilongjiang had 79 new cases of imported coronavirus on Monday. All were Chinese citizens travelling back from Russia, state media said on Tuesday.
05:10 GMT – Medical equipment stockpile, fund under discussion at ASEAN meet
Leaders of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met online on Tuesday to discuss their countries’ response to the coronavirus, including discussions on a regional stockpile of medical equipment for emergencies, and the creation of a regional fund to fight the pandemic.
“It is in these grim hours that the solidarity of the ASEAN community shines like a beacon in the dark,” Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said in an opening speech.
Containment efforts had placed the pandemic “actually under control,” he said, warning against complacency.
Further talks – with China, Japan and South Korea – will take place later on Tuesday.
Malaysia urged for the @ASEAN Economic Ministers to meet urgently to formulate an ASEAN Economic Recovery Plan – not just on the financial aspects of the economy; but also social welfare safety nets, food security, and education for our combined 600 million peoples in the region pic.twitter.com/Mx417HEI2L
— Hishammuddin Hussein (@HishammuddinH2O) April 14, 2020
04:50 GMT – Germany reports fourth day of slowing cases
Confirmed new cases continue to slow in Germany, where the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has just announced 2,082 more cases, bringing the total to 125,098.
This is the fourth day of decline after four days of increases in new cases.
A further 170 people died from the virus, RKI said on Tuesday.
04:30 GMT – India’s PM Modi extends nationwide lockdown until May 3
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has just announced the country’s nationwide lockdown will be extended until May 3 to battle the coronavirus.
03:15 GMT – Patience a virtue: Australia, New Zealand sticking with lockdowns
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the country remains “many weeks away” from lifting any restrictions despite the sharp slowdown in coronavirus cases.
“Patience has got to be our virtue here,” Morrison said.
Australia confirmed 63 new infections on Sunday and Monday – the lowest two-day increase in a month – bringing its total cases to 6,366.
Cases in New Zealand are also falling, with only eight new cases on Tuesday – the lowest in more than three weeks.
“Our goal has to be go early and go hard, so that we get into a position where we can ease up restrictions with confidence,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, adding that no action would be taken for at least another week.
Both countries have closed their borders to foreigners and imposed 14-day quarantines on returning residents.
New Zealand has enforced a strict stay-at-home lockdown while Australia imposed tight restrictions on movement, gatherings and public activities.
02:55 GMT – Philippines militaristic approach to pandemic punishes poor
The Philippines has locked down its main island of Luzon, including the sprawling capital, Manila to try and curb a coronavirus outbreak that is now the largest in Southeast Asia.
But for the country’s poor, the lockdown has left them without food or an income and at risk of detention if they venture out to find either. You can read more in this story by Ana Santos.
02:40 GMT – Southeast Asia urged to do more for refugees, migrant workers
A group of Southeast Asian members of parliament is calling on regional governments to do more to help migrant workers and refugees who have not only lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus but are also at greater risk of exposure and illness.
“Because of their living conditions, work situation or limited access to healthcare they are at high risk of both catching the virus and falling into extreme poverty,” said Charles Santiago, a Malaysian MP and chair of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights. “The recent images of migrant workers rushing to get home have only highlighted how the measures taken by one country deeply affect another.”
We have reported on the situation for the thousands of people from Myanmar who live and work in Thailand, the strict quarantines of migrant worker dormitories in Singapore and the fears facing refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia, which is not a signatory to the UN Convention.
02:30 GMT – South Korea reports 27 new cases of coronavirus
South Korea’s Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it confirmed 27 new cases of the coronavirus, the 13th successive day with less than 100 new cases.
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun during an anti-virus meeting on Tuesday called officials to provide stronger support for scientists’ efforts to develop vaccines and treatments for the virus, which he said would be a boon for the country’s biomedical industry.
02:00 GMT – Johns Hopkins revises coronavirus cases lower
Johns Hopkins University has revised downwards the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus globally. It is now 1.918 million. Earlier, it said more than two million people around the world had been diagnosed with the virus.
01:40 GMT – China approves early-stage human trials for two vaccines
China has approved early-stage human tests for two experimental vaccines to combat the new coronavirus, state media outlet Xinhua reported on Tuesday.
The vaccines are being developed by a Beijing-based unit of Nasdaq-listed Sinovac Biotech, and by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, an affiliate of state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group.
— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) April 14, 2020
In March, China gave the green light for another clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences and Hong Kong-listed biotech firm CanSino Bio.
01:00 GMT – China reported 89 new coronavirus cases
China has confirmed 89 new cases on April 13, compared with 108 the previous day.
The National Health Commission says 86 cases were imported – many of those cases are coming through the northeast province of Heilongjiang, which borders Russia.
The number of total confirmed cases in China since the beginning of the outbreak now stands at 82,249 and the death toll is 3,341, with no new reported deaths on April 13. All arrivals to China from overseas must go through a 14-day centralised quarantine.
00:00 GMT – WHO to release new advice on coronavirus
The World Health Organization (WHO) will release its latest strategic advice on tackling the pandemic later on Tuesday.
It will include guidance for governments considering lifting restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus.
In a media conference on Monday evening, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said six criteria needed to be considered:
- Transmission is controlled.
- Systems are in place to detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace their contacts.
- Risks are minimised in care homes and other at-risk environments.
- Preventive measures are in place in schools, offices and other places people need to go.
- Importation risks can be managed.
- Communities are fully educated and able to deal with the “new norm”.
While #COVID19 accelerates very fast, it decelerates much more slowly. This is especially concerning for countries with large poor populations, where #StayAtHome orders & other restrictions used in some high-income countries may not be practical.
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) April 13, 2020
22:15 GMT (Monday) – Trump plays campaign-style video defending virus response
In his daily coronavirus briefing, US President Donald Trump played a campaign-style video defending his response to the pandemic amid criticism of the White House’s handling of the crisis.
The video was put together by a White House team.
Trump has denied seeing a January 30 memo by a senior US official warning of tens of thousands of deaths and economic devastation from the new coronavirus. He has also claimed he did not know about US intelligence warnings reportedly made as early as November about an infection that had the potential to lead to a “cataclysmic event”.
22:00 GMT (Monday) – Fauci says Trump listened to his coronavirus advice
Top US health expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, says Trump did listen to his advice when he recommended that mitigation efforts be taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Fauci made the comments after saying in a separate interview that lives could have been saved if the country had shut down sooner.
Trump retweeted a call to fire Fauci after that interview, but the White House said on Monday Trump did not intend to sack him.
I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.
You can read all the updates from yesterday (April 13) here.