France coronavirus death toll tops 10,000: Live updates

Higher number of daily deaths reported in Spain, as Japan declares state of emergency over COVID-19 pandemic.

Health care members of French Civil Protection ("Protection Civile") dress prior to taking care of a migrant infected with coronavirus and carrying him to a cottage of a holyday center used as a cente

France has become the fourth country to register more than 10,000 deaths due to coronavirus, while New York reported 731 new fatalities, the highest overnight jump since the beginning of the outbreak.

Meanwhile, Spain on Tuesday recorded a slight increase in the daily death toll for the first time in five days, with 743 people succumbing overnight. 

Japan declared a state of emergency amid a spike in coronavirus cases, as Singapore began a partial lockdown and other countries extended stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of the disease. 

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was diagnosed with coronavirus late last month, was moved to intensive care in a London hospital after his condition worsened on Monday evening.

Globally, the number of people diagnosed with the virus now exceeds 1.3 million. More than 74,500 people have died while nearly 285,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Here are the latest updates:

Tuesday, April 7

20:45 GMT – Brazil’s health minister warns of respirator shortages

Brazil’s Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandettahas warned that the country faces “serious problems” of availability of respirators. 

The Latin American country’s coronavirus cases reached 13,717 while the death toll stands at 667. 

20:10 GMT – Comparing COVID-19, SARS and MERS

The new coronavirus outbreak has spread rapidly around the world, affecting more than 183 countries and territories, infecting over a million and killing more than 80,000 people.

This is not the first time an international health crisis occurred due to the spread of a novel coronavirus or other zoonotic (animal-originated) viruses, such as influenza that created the swine, bird and seasonal flu epidemics in recent history.

Here is a comparison of the information and data we have on COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, with similar recent coronavirus-related diseases.

INTERACTIVE: Coronavirus epidemics, Apr 7 2020

19:35 GMT – Mnuchin seeks additional $25bn in small business relief

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he wants Congress to approve an additional $250bn for a small business relief programme by Friday.

Mnuchin, speaking at the White House, said the additional funds would supplement a $350bn relief programme launched last Friday, which is aimed at helping small businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

“If you don’t get the loan this week, there will be plenty of money for you next week,” he said.

19:30 GMT – How is coronavirus benefitting technology companies? 

Many people are no longer physically shopping or eating in restaurants. Flying to the world’s favourite destinations is now far from reality.

The measures we are taking to protect ourselves during the coronavirus pandemic are disrupting businesses globally.

But staying at home with our only window to the outside world being an internet connection and a device is changing our consumption habits and benefitting major tech companies.


18:55 GMT – Slovenia could soon loosen coronavirus restrictions  

Slovenia could start easing its coronavirus lockdown  as soon as next week if the current trends continue, Prime Minister Janez Jansa said.

“Positive experiences allow us to study and plan loosening some restrictions  starting next Tuesday if some conditions are met,” Jansa said in a televised address.     

He added that factories and service providers that can ensure the safety of their workers and customers through the use of protective gear and other cautionary measures, could be among the first to be allowed to resume operations.

18:35 GMT – What COVID-19 reveals about educational inequality in Ghana 

Kwabena Opoku-Agyemang, a lecturer at the University of Ghana, is looking for new ways to carry on teaching his students.

He has no other choice. Ever since Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo ordered last month the indefinite closure of all schools to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, many of the country’s higher educational institutions began exploring options in online learning.

“I plan to use WhatsApp and Zoom to make the classes more interactive,” said Opoku-Agyemang, who teaches literature courses at the Accra-based university’s Department of English. “I will also be having guest artists and guest lecturers join in. The artists will use Instagram Live, while the guest lecturers will probably use Zoom.”

Read more here

18:25 GMT – UN condemns attack on Tripoli hospital 

The United Nations condemned the shelling of a hospital in Tripoli, calling it a “clear violation of international law” as Libya struggles to prepare for an outbreak of the new coronavirus.

On Monday, projectiles struck the grounds of the Al Khadra General Hospital located in an area held by the internationally recognised government near a front line, injuring at least six health workers.

Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told a news conference held via video link that the UN was “appalled” to learn of the shelling.

Read more here

17:56 GMT – France death toll tops 10,000

France has become the fourth country to register more than 10,000 deaths due to coronavirus, with 7,091 recorded in hospital and 3,237 in old age homes, according to a government official.

A total of 7,131 people were being treated in intensive care, top health official Jerome Salomon told reporters, warning that “the epidemic is continuing its progression.”

Italy, Spain and the United States are the other three countries to have recorded more than 10,000 deaths.

17:47 GMT – Tunisia announces strict penalties

Tunisians infected with coronavirus could be prosecuted for manslaughter if they contaminate others by disobeying the health ministry’s instructions, according to officials.

“If someone who is sick does not self-isolate as required in line with health ministry instructions, and they contaminate someone else, we will pursue them under the penal code,” Interior Minister Hichem Mechichi told reporters.

“If that cross-contamination results in death, they can be prosecuted for manslaughter.”

Tunisia has registered 22 deaths amid 596 cases of coronavirus.

INSIDE STORY: How is coronavirus benefitting technology companies?

17:30 GMT – Turkey’s death toll reaches 725, total cases 34,109

Turkey’s has announced 3,892 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking it total number of infections to 34,109.

The death toll rose by 76 to 725 while to the number of recoveries stood at 256, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told a news conference.

17:10 GMT – Qatar cases rise by 225 to 2,057, total deaths six

Qatar reported 225 new coronavirus cases, taking its total number of infections to 2,057, according to the country’s public health ministry. 

It said the death toll rose by two to six, adding that 150 have so far recovered. 

16:50 GMT – Japan’s Abe unveils massive $1 trillion aid package 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe  on Tuesday declared a state of emergency to fight coronavirus infections in major population centres and rolled out a nearly one-trillion-dollar stimulus package to soften the economic blow.

The state of emergency, giving authorities more power to press people to stay at home and businesses to close, will last a month and be imposed in the capital, Tokyo, and six other prefectures, accounting for about 44 percent of Japan’s population.

“It is no exaggeration to say that Japan’s economy, and the world economy, is facing the biggest crisis since post-war right now. We will protect the employment and life at all costs,” Abe told a news conference.

Read more here.

16:40 GMT – UK cases not accelerating but too early to call a peak 

The government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance said that while Britain is not seeing an acceleration in the number of coronavirus cases, it remains too early to tell whether the outbreak is peaking. 

“There is a fairly steady increase in numbers. It’s possible we are beginning to see the beginning of change, in terms of the curve flattening a little bit. We won’t know that for sure for a week or so,” Vallance said at a news conference. “But what we’re not seeing is an acceleration.”

Japan declares state of emergency after COVID-19 surge

16:30 GMT – Trudeau: Still work to do to ensure acquisition of US medical supplies 

Canada still has more work to do to persuade Washington to continue supplying it with medical supplies, despite the US officials having agreed to allow the export of 500,000 masks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

Trudeau told a briefing that the masks – ordered by the province of Ontario to help fight the coronavirus – should arrive on Wednesday. Canadian officials had pressed their US counterparts over the weekend and on Monday after Ontario complained the shipment had been blocked.

16:20 GMT – UK’s Raab reassures public, says PM Johnson is breathing without ventilator

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab reassured Britons, saying the heath of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is breathing without assistance and continues to be monitored in critical care.

Raab, who is acting as Johnson’s deputy, said the British leader had remained stable overnight and was receiving “standard oxygen treatment”.

“He has not required any mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support. He remains in good spirits and in keeping with usual clinical practice his progress continues to be monitored in critical care,” Raab told a news conference.

“I’m confident that he’ll pull through because if there’s one thing I know about this prime minister, he’s a fighter. He’ll be back at the helm leading us through this crisis in short order.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson Hospitalized Due To Coronavirus Infection
Raab has assumed some of Johnson’s responsibilities as the prime minister receives treatment  [Peter Summers/Getty]

16:00 GMT – Coronavirus is gutting US car sales, and autoworkers are worried

As the United States braces for what President Donald Trump warns will be “a very, very deadly period”, with deaths from coronavirus expected to peak over the next two weeks, down south in Montgomery, Alabama, Joyce Oswald, 52, is feeling anxious about the future.

But it’s not just the threat to physical health she fears. Oswald is deeply concerned about the toll the coronavirus pandemic could take on her family’s financial wellbeing.

Her husband Charles and her two brothers-in-law work with about 3,000 other people at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant on the outskirts of Montgomery. On March 18, the company temporarily suspended production to clean its facilities after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, and then reopened to essential workers only.

Read more here

15:50 GMT – Canada coronavirus cases rise to 17,063, total deaths 345

Canada’s has confirmed 1,241 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total number of infections to 17,063, data from the public health agency showed.

It said deaths rose to 345 from 293 the previous day.

15:45 GMT – New York records deadliest day in coronavirus crisis

New York reported its deadliest day in the coronavirus pandemic, with 731 new deaths in the state to a total of 5,489 fatalities even as Governor Andrew Cuomo said that hospitalisations appeared to be reaching a plateau.

The death count for April 6 of 731 marked an increase from the prior day’s 599 new deaths, Cuomo told a daily briefing on the coronavirus. 

New York records highest single-day increase in COVID-19 deaths

15:35 GMT – Singapore coronavirus cases rise by 106 to 1,481

Singapore’s Health Ministry reported 106 coronavirus cases, most of them locally transmitted, taking the city-state’s total to 1,481.

It said 39 were linked to clusters at migrant workers’ dormitories. Singapore has quarantined workers in three dormitories after they were linked to several cases of the disease.

A man crosses an empty street in the central business district of Singapore on April 7, 2020, as the country ordered the closure of all businesses deemed non-essential as well as schools to combat the
Singapore has announced what it calls a ‘circuit breaker’ to deal with a spike in coronavirus cases; it will last into the start of next month forcing the closure of most businesses, as well as schools [Roslan Rahman/AFP]

15:30 GMT – Czech lawmakers approve extending state of emergency to late April

Czech lawmakers approved a motion to extend a state of emergency over the coronavirus the coronavirus until April 30, a shorter period than what the government had wanted. 

Prime Minister Andrej Babis’s government had sought a one-month extension to May 11 for the state of emergency, which allows the cabinet to curb some rights of citizens, including freedom of movement or enterprise, and gives it more flexibility in areas such as public procurement.

15:10 GMT – Dow surges almost 900 points on slowing coronavirus cases 

United States stocks surged again on Tuesday extending Monday’s rally on hopes that the coronavirus crisis has plateaued, while energy stocks climbed on mounting hopes for a ceasefire in the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 887.61 points or 3.91 percent to 23,567.60 in the early minutes of trading in New York. The S&P 500 index- a gauge for the performance of US retirement and college savings plans – jumped 3.34 percent higher while the Nasdaq Composite Index traded 2.77 percent higher.

Read more here

15:00 GMT – Life may never get back to ‘normal,’ says US coronavirus scientist 

“Normal” life around the world before the coronavirus pandemic struck may never return, the top US scientist tackling the outbreak said.

Dr Anthony Fauci said at a White House press briefing that gradually countries will again “functions as a society but… if you want to get the pre-coronavirus, that might not even happen in the sense that the threat is there”.

“If ‘back to normal’ means acting like there never was a coronavirus problem, I don’t think that’s going to happen until we do have a situation where you can completely protect the population… Ultimately, the showstopper will obviously be a vaccine,” he said.

Read more here

14:50 GMT – Trump administration to keep critical medical equipment in the US 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the Trump administration will focus on keeping critical medical items in the United States. 

“Right now, given the great need for PPE [personal protection equipment] in our own country, our focus will be on keeping critical medical items in the United States until demand is met here,” Pompeo told a State Department news conference.

US: Retired doctors, medical students volunteer against COVID-19 (2:36)

14:30 GMT – England football association chief warns of losing clubs

Greg Clarke, the chairman of England’s Football Association, has warned that clubs across the country could vanish as their finances collapse under the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Clubs and the players union, the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), have been unable so far to reach an agreement on wage cuts and deferrals to help clubs during the suspension of action.

“Football faces economic challenges beyond the wildest imagination of those who run it. The pandemic will be followed by its economic consequences, and all business sectors will suffer,” Clarke said in a speech to the FA Council.

“We face the danger of losing clubs and leagues as finances collapse. Many communities could lose the clubs at their heart with little chance of resurrection.

“In the face of this unprecedented adversity, all the stakeholders within the game from players, fans, clubs, owners and administrators need to step up and share the pain to keep the game alive,” he said

14:00 GMT – US Vice President Pense to brief lawmakers on coronavirus outbreak

US Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to brief members of congress on the country’s coronavirus outbreak, his spokeswoman said said in a Twitter post.

Pence will hold four separate conference calls with House Democrats, House Republicans, Senate Democrats, and Senate Republicans to provide an update and take questions on the coronavirus, Katie Miller said.

13:50 GMT – Queen Elizabeth wishes PM Johnson a “full and speedy recovery’ 

Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom has wished Prime Minister Boris Johnson a “full and speedy recovery” and sent a message of support to his pregnant fiancée and his family.

“The queen sent a message to Carrie Symonds and to the Johnson family,” Buckingham Palace said.

“Her Majesty said they were in her thoughts and that she wished the prime minister a full and speedy recovery.”

UK foreign secretary steps in as PM Johnson remains in ICU (6:28)

13:40 GMT – Millions of aviation jobs at risk due to coronavirus outbreak 

The International Air Transport Association has warned that 25 million jobs across the world were at risk due to the coronavirus virus, urging governments for support amid warnings that carriers were running out of cash.

It said global air travel saw a 70 percent drop at the beginning of the second quarter, with European flights down 90 percent.

12:53 GMT – Benin orders citizens to don face masks

The West African state of Benin ordered residents in key cities and towns to wear face masks in the country’s attmept to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The country of 11 million follows a growing number of nations where it has now obligatory to wear masks in public.

An official statement said the order covered 12 areas under a “cordon sanitaire” – including the capital Porto-Novo and the largest city, Cotonou – and come into effect from Wednesday.

All movement in and out of these areas is already banned, gatherings and public transport are restricted and bars are closed.

12:40 GMT – Syrian refugee to join UK’s NHS to help with coronavirus efforts

A Syrian refugee living in the United Kingdom tweeted that he would be joining “an army of cleaners” to help his local hospital in London.

“London has been my home since leaving Syria, and the least I can do is making sure my neighbours and the amazing NHS staff are safe and sound”, Hassan Akkad said.

Akkad fled the war-torn Syria after being jailed for anti-government protests, escaping first to Turkey, and then moving from there to the UK. He was formerly an English teacher in the Syrian capital Damascus.

12:35 GMT – Why is Boris Johnson in intensive care and who is ‘caretaker PM’?

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is the first world leader to be hospitalised with COVID-19, was transferred to an intensive care unit on Monday, shortly after he was first admitted to St Thomas’ in London.

On March 27, Johnson said he had tested positive for the virus and went into immediate self-isolation in a flat at Downing Street.

Read more here.

12:30 GMT – UK minister Gove is self isolating as family member has COVID-19 symptoms – ITV

British Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove is self isolating as a member of his family is displaying COVID-19 symptoms, an ITV reporter said.

Gove, one of the most senior members of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government, continues to work, ITV said.

UK PM in intensive care, Europe virus cases slow

12:10 PM – UK PM Boris Johnson battling coronavirus – latest updates

The spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a media briefing said the PM was in “good spirits”  after the conservative leader was moved to intensive care on Monday evening.

Here are the latest updates:

  • Johnson is breathing standard oxygen without any other assistance, requiring no mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support.
  • The prime minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits.
  • Weekly audiences with the Queen will not go ahead in the PM’s absence.
  • UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab cannot hire or fire minister as he deputises for Johsnon.
  • An update on Johnsons condition will given later in the day.

11:49 GMT – Germany plans new curbs on foreign takeovers

German ministers plan to approve Wednesday a new law tightening checks on foreign takeovers of the country’s companies, aiming to keep critical production and knowhow within its borders.

The weekly cabinet meeting “will deal with” the updated foreign investment law, government sources told AFP news agency.

Already in progress before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the plans have been lent fresh urgency by shortfalls of critical supplies.

How will the global economy ever recover from the coronavirus? | Start Here

11:25 GMT – EU to agree virus bail-out but not ‘coronabonds’

EU finance ministers hope to agree a coronavirus economic rescue package for the worst-hit member states on Tuesday, but will fall short of demands from beleaguered Spain and Italy.

The EU’s 27 finance ministers are to hold a videoconference where, at the least, they should strike a deal to use the eurozone’s 410-billion-euro ($443-billion) bailout fund.

But, with deep divisions between the rich northern countries and the heavily-indebted south, they are expected to put aside – for now – a proposal to issue “coronabonds” to pool public borrowing.

11:05 GMT – Go easy on the sake when stuck at home, Japanese brewer cautions

A Japanese sake brewery has warned against binge drinking at home as more Japanese are expected to hunker down indoors after the government stepped up calls for people to stay at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Asahi Shuzo, whose premium Dassai is served in high-end restaurants worldwide, said imbibing at home was not a bad thing – as long as tipplers avoided going too deep in their cups.

“When you can’t go out, the stress will gradually get to you. So it’s important to seek relief by playing games or enjoying a drink,” the company said on its website.

“We suggest drinking a moderate amount, slowly,” it said.

10:50 GMT – Coronavirus testing methods: Key questions answered

The World Health Organization and other experts say mass testing for COVID-19 would allow positive cases to be isolated and help identify those who came in contact with them, helping to curb further transmission.

But how does testing happen and how does it help?

Read our story to find out.  

10:40 GMT – Swiss coronavirus death toll rises to 641

The Swiss death toll from the new coronavirus has reached 641, the country’s public health agency said, rising from 584 people on Monday.

The number of positive tests also increased to 22,242 people from 21,652 on Monday, it said.

The government is due to give an update later on Tuesday on the epidemic situation.

10:30 GMT – Nollywood star arrested for breaching coronavirus rules

A popular Nigerian actress was arrested for throwing a birthday party during a lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country’s financial capital, Lagos.

Funke Akindele, a Nollywood film star popularly known as Jenifa, was accused of hosting guests at the bash for her husband in their upscale residence in Lekki on Saturday.

Funke Akindele at the 2014 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards [Ameyaw Debrah/CC]
Akindele party sparked anger online after she appeared in advertisements calling on Nigerians to observe social distancing [File: Ameyaw Debrah/CC] 

Read the full story

10:24 GMT – Putin: ‘Sense of humour’ will help UK PM recover

Russian President Vladimir Putin wished British Prime Minister Boris Johnson a speedy recovery from the coronavirus, saying his “optimism and sense of humour” would help him get better.

“I would like to express my sincere support at this difficult moment for you,” the Kremlin quoted Putin as saying in a message to Johnson.

“I am sure that your energy, optimism and sense of humour will help to defeat the disease.”

10:05 GMT – WHO warns against easing virus measures too early

The World Health Organization (WHO) has no blanket recommendation for countries and regions for easing measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, but urged them not to lift them too early, a spokesman said.

“One of the most important parts is not to let go of the measures too early in order not to have a fall back again,” said WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier in a virtual briefing.

“It’s similar to being sick yourself if you get out of bed too early and get running too early you risk falling back and having complications,” he added.

10:00 GMT – Malaysia reports 170 new cases, 1 death

Malaysian health authorities reported 170 new coronavirus cases, raising the cumulative tally to 3,963 cases as Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy grapples with the highest infection rate in the region.

The latest data includes one new death, raising total fatalities to 63.

09:45 GMT – Iran records 133 new coronavirus deaths

Iran’s coronavirus death toll rose to 3,872 with 133 deaths in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV.

The total number of cases climbed to 62,589, with 2,089 new infections, while 3,987 infected people were in a critical condition, he said. 

Coronavirus amplifies US economic and racial disparities

09:40 GMT – Spain reports 743 new coronavirus deaths 

The pace of coronavirus deaths in Spain ticked up slightly for the first time in five days, with 743 people succumbing overnight to reach a total of 13,798.

That compared to 637 people who died during the previous 24 hours in the nation with the second highest toll of fatalities in the world from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total cases rose to 140,510 from 135,032 on Monday, the health ministry said.

09:20 GMT – Japan approves stimulus package worth $993bn

Japan’s government approved an emergency economic stimulus package worth 108.2 trillion yen ($993 billion), with fiscal spending of 39.5 trillion yen, aimed at battling the deepening fallout from the coronavirus, government officials said.

In the package, the government referred to the pandemic as the “biggest crisis” the global economy has faced since World War II.

09:17 GMT – Indonesia records biggest daily rise in cases

Indonesia confirmed 247 new coronavirus infections, taking the total to 2,738, according to a health ministry official.

Achmad Yurianto reported 12 more deaths, taking the total to 221, while 204 people had recovered.

More than 14,300 coronavirus tests have been carried out.

09:00 GMT – Philippines reports 14 new coronavirus deaths

The Philippines’ health ministry reported 14 new coronavirus deaths and 104 additional infections.

Deaths have reached 177 and total cases 3,764, Health Secretary Francisco Duque told a news conference.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier in the day extended to the end of April strict quarantine measures on the country’s main island implemented to contain the outbreak.

08:46 GMT – Japan PM declares state of emergency over virus

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared a month-long state of emergency in Tokyo and six other prefectures to ramp up defenses against the spread of the coronavirus.

Abe said there would be no European-style lockdowns. The state of emergency will empower Tokyo’s Governor Yuriko Koike and heads of six other designated prefectures to urge people to stay inside and to call for businesses to close.

All of those measures will be requests that cannot be enforced with penalties for violations.

“As I decided that a situation feared to gravely affect people’s lives and the economy has occurred… I am declaring a state of emergency,” Abe said.

08:00 GMT – Former Chad president temporarily released from jail 

A judge in Senegal has granted Chad’s former President Hissene Habre two months’ leave from prison, where he is serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity, as the jail is being used to hold new detainees in coronavirus quarantine.

Former Chadian leader Hissene Habre sentenced to life in prison over crimes against humanity
Habre was arrested in 2013 and tried by a special tribunal set up by the African Union under a deal with Senegal [File: EPA]

Habre, who ruled Chad from 1982 to 1990, was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at an African Union-backed trial in the Senegalese capital Dakar in 2016.

Read more here.

07:40 GMT – Russia’s daily rise in cases passes 1,000 

The number of coronavirus cases in Russia rose by more than 1,000 for the first time to reach 7,497 in the past 24 hours, the country’s crisis response centre said. 

The number of reported cases rose by 1,154 while deaths rose by 11 to 58, the centre said.

07:30 GMT – British PM Johnson not on ventilator, says minister

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who spent the night in intensive care with a deteriorating case of coronavirus, has been given oxygen but is not on a ventilator, a minister said.

“The prime minister has received some oxygen support,” senior cabinet minister Michael Gove told LBC radio, adding that “he has not been on a ventilator” but it was there if needed.

Read more here

UK premier at hospital as 'precautionary step'
 A general view of St Thomas’ Hospital in London where Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care after experiencing persistent symptoms of COVID-19 [Kate Green/Anadolu]

07:20 GMT – Finland extends border controls until May 13

Finland’s government has extended and tightened border controls restricting travel to and from the country until May 13 in order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Finland has followed with mounting concern neighbouring Sweden’s liberal pandemic strategy, fearing cross-border commuters could speed up the spread of the virus in northern parts of Finland with an ageing population and limited intensive care resources.

“The government’s aim is to further reduce movement in the inherent commute area across the borders with Sweden and Norway,” Finland’s government said in a statement.

06:45 GMT – Boris Johnson still in intensive care: Cabinet minister

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still in intensive care but his team are working together to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said. 

“As we speak, the prime minister is in intensive care, being looked after by his medical team, receiving the very, very best care from the team at St Thomas’ and our hopes and prayers are with him and with his family,” Gove told BBC television.

Read more here

06:30 GMT – Hundreds of animals die at Pakistan pet markets

Abandoned when Pakistan’s largest cities went into lockdown, hundreds of caged cats, dogs and rabbits have been found dead inside pet markets hurriedly shuttered as the coronavirus spread.

Animals still alive in the corner of Karachi’s sprawling Empress Market were rescued only after activists appealed to the authorities for access, AFP news agency reported.

“When we got inside, the majority of them were dead, about 70 percent. Their bodies were lying on the ground,” Ayesha Chundrigar, who runs ACF Animal Rescue, told AFP.

06:00 GMT – Dubai extends closure of commercial activities 

Dubai, the commercial hub of the United Arab Emirates, has extended the closure of commercial activities until April 18 as part of efforts to contain coronavirus, the Dubai Economic Department said in a statement on Twitter.

During this period, sectors exempted from the lockdown will operate as usual, the statement said.

Dubai announced a two-week lockdown starting on April 4 at 8 p.m. (1600 GMT) to disinfect the emirate and contain the coronavirus.

The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dubai
A general view of deserted Al Ras district, famous for its gold and spice markets, after a full lockdown, following the coronavirus outbreak in Dubai, United Arab Emirates [File: Christopher Pike/Reuters] 

05:55 GMT – Germany’s coronavirus cases rise to 99,225

Germany’s confirmed coronavirus infections rose by 3,834 in the past 24 hours to 99,225, rising again after four consecutive days of drops, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.

The reported death toll rose by 173 to 1,607.

05:38 GMT – No change in Boris Johnson’s condition: Reuters

There has been no change in Boris Johnson’s condition, two sources close to him said on Tuesday, after the British prime minister was taken into intensive care following a deterioration in his coronavirus symptoms.

Johnson was given oxygen on Monday and taken to an intensive care unit at a central London hospital in what Downing Street said was a precautionary measure after his condition had worsened.

UK PM in intensive care, Europe virus cases slow

Hello. This is Saba Aziz in Doha, taking over from my colleague Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

05:30 GMT –

I will shortly be handing over the blog to my colleagues in Doha.

Before I go a brief summary of the morning’s developments:

  • Donald Trump and other world leaders have been showing their support for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who has COVID-19 and was moved to an intensive care unit on Monday night.
  • Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe is preparing to announce a state of emergency that will include Tokyo. He’s also preparing a record rescue package for the economy,
  • Singapore has started a partial month-long lockdown amid a sudden surge in cases, while the Philippines is extending its lockdown of Luzon for the rest of April.
  • China reported no new deaths from the coronavirus for the first time since it started publishing data in January.

04:50 GMT – Japan readies record economic stimulus package 

Japan’s government is finalising its biggest-ever stimulus package worth 108 trillion yen ($990bn) – equal to 20 percent of economic output – to cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s economy.

The measures are expected to include cash payouts to households and small businesses as well as deferred tax payments.

More on that story here.

04:30 GMT – Singapore tables bill for ‘safe’ elections during coronavirus outbreak

Singapore’s government has tabled a bill to ensure that if a general election were called during the COVID-19 outbreak, it could be held safely.

The city-state began a month-long partial lockdown on Tuesday to try and curb a sharp rise in coronavirus cases and does not have to go to the polls until early 2021.

However, the government, which controls nearly all the seats in parliament, has said it is not ruling out holding the ballot before the deadline.

Some opposition parties have said would be a health risk.

The Elections Department said the temporary arrangements would the “ensure the safety of voters, candidates and election officials, should the next General Election (GE) take place amid the COVID-19 situation.”

03:50 GMT – World leaders send support to UK Johnson in COVID-19 battle

World leaders, including US President Donald Trump, have been sending their support to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson after the 55-year-old was taken into intensive care in a London hospital.

Johnson, who won an election last December, also received good wishes from across Britain’s political spectrum.

More on that story here.

03:30 GMT – New Zealand’s health minister demoted after taking family to beach

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has demoted the country’s health minister for breaching nationwide lockdown rules but rejected his offer to resign because it could jeopardise plans to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Health Minister David Clark drove his family to the beach in the early stages of a lockdown that started in late March.

“Under normal conditions, I would sack the minister of health. What he did was wrong and there are no excuses,” Ardern said in Wellington.

Instead, she demoted Clark to the bottom of cabinet rankings and stripped him of his role as associate finance minister.

“I expect better and so does New Zealand,” she said.

Clark said in a statement that he had been “an idiot”.

03:05 GMT – South Korea’s delivery drivers pay price for online shopping spree

Like many other people cooped up in their homes during coronavirus lockdowns, South Koreans have turned to delivery – for basic supplies, meals and other goods.

Delivery drivers like Ha Woong, already required to make super-fast deliveries, now find themselves with even more work. And this is taking a toll on their health.

But their push for better working conditions is on hold.

Kelly Kasulis has more on the story here.

02:50 GMT – Human Rights Watch urges Philippines action on prisons

Human Rights Watch is urging the Philippines to reduce the number of inmates in its jails amid concerns of a “serious outbreak” of the coronavirus in the world’s most overcrowded prisons.

The group said the number of prisoners stood at 215,000 as of November 2019, in a system with the capacity for 40,000 inmates.

It called on the authorities to release those detained or convicted for low-level and non-violent offences.

02:35 GMT – Philippines Duterte extends Luzon lockdown until end of April 

The Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has extended the lockdown of the country’s main island of Luzon, including Manila, until the end of April.

The measures were due to come to an end next week and cover more than half the population of the Philippines. Many of Manila’s poorer residents were already struggling.

02:30 GMT – Jakarta governor gets approval for restrictions

Anies Baswedan, the governor of Jakarta, has been given the Health Ministry’s approval to impose strict social restrictions in the Indonesian capital, according to and other Indonesian media.

A Health Ministry official told Reuters news agency, however, that the ministry had yet to give its approval for the measures.

02:05 GMT – Japan’s Abe expected to announce state of emergency

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to announce a state of emergency later on Tuesday covering Tokyo and six other prefectures.

Abe’s due to speak to the media at 7pm (10:00 GMT) after discussions with a panel of experts.

The government is also planning to finalise a stimulus package worth 108 trillion yen ($990 billion) – equal to 20 percent of Japan’s economic output.

“Japan and countries overseas and facing their biggest crisis in recent years because of the coronavirus outbreak,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday.

01:20 GMT – China reports no new coronavirus deaths for first time

China’s National Health Commission has reported no new coronavirus deaths for the first time since it started publishing figures on the virus late last year.

The milestone comes as the country prepares to lift all travel restrictions on Wuhan, the city where the virus first emerged at a seafood market late last year.

Latest data shows 32 new cases of coronavirus nationwide, all of them imported.     

There were also 30 new asymptomatic infections bringing the national total to 1,033. About a quarter of those were also imported from overseas, the commission said.

23:30 GMT (Monday) – Save the Children launches $100m appeal

Save the Children has launched a $100m appeal – its biggest ever – to help children and their families in some of the world’s most fragile nations during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The pandemic is now spreading across the world’s poorest countries further crippling health systems where children are already missing out on life-saving treatment for malaria, pneumonia and malnutrition,” Save the Children’s Chief Executive Inger Ashing said in a statement. “It will leave many children without caregivers, out of school and in danger. We only have a matter of weeks to take swift action that will determine how many lives we can save.”

Save the Children estimates about 1.5 billion children around the world are out of school, which in poorer nations could increase the risk of them being forced into work or marriage, it said.

23:45 GMT Monday – UN Security Council to hold first coronavirus talks on Thursday    

The UN Security Council is expected to hold its first meeting on the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday,  diplomats have told AFP news agency.     

“Meeting confirmed for Thursday,” one diplomat told AFP news agency on condition of anonymity. It was to be held behind closed doors at 3pm (19:00 GMT).

Nine of the 10 non-permanent members formally requested a meeting with a presentation by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, last week.

Last week, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution calling for “international cooperation” and “multilateralism” in the fight against COVID-19 – the first text to come out of the world body since the outbreak began.

I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur with Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

You can find all the updates from yesterday (April 6) here.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies