Coronavirus: A timeline of the outbreak related to the deadly Sars - April 2020

  • The latest news and statistics about the Covid-19 pandemic
  • The novel coronavirus has symptoms that include fever, tiredness, a sore throat and dry coughs

 

Susan Ramsay |
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2019 - January February March 

April 30

As of noon today, 3,220,830 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 1,000,983 and 228,239 people have died. There are 1,991,608 active cases and 1,229,222 closed cases. In total, 210 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected. Greenland, St Barth and Anguilla have no known active cases.

Animal lovers in India are taking to the streets to feed the millions of animals left hungry by the country in lock down. They bring out dog food, cow food and water in a bid to give animals some relief.

In Michigan in the US, the American Patriot Rally sparks condemnation after members of the Michigan Liberty Militia stand guard on the statehouse steps. They have weapons and tactical gear, and their faces are partially covered. They later joined a mob of protesters that moved inside the Capitol. The protesters demanded they be let on to the House floor, his is prohibited. Some armed protesters go to the Senate gallery, where a senator later said some armed men had shouted at her.

Britain is “past the peak” of its coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says, despite recording another 674 deaths in the last 24 hours.

Vice President Mike Pence dons a face covering as he tours a General Motors/Ventec ventilator production facility in Indiana after coming under fire for failing to wear one earlier this week in violation of Mayo Clinic policy.

Happy 100th Birthday Captain Tom! Britain's second world war veteran "Captain Tom” Moore celebrates his 100th birthday in style. Moore recently thrust himself into the thick of Britain’s latest battle by doing 100 laps of his garden and raising over £29 million (US$36 million) for healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients. His efforts and humility have propelled him to iconic status, with a high-speed train named after him and all letters sent in the British postal service this week carrying a birthday message. He was also given an honorary promotion to Colonel. - Agence France-Presse

US President Donald Trump speculates that China unleashed the virus on the world "by mistake". He allows stay at home guidelines to expire, giving the power to state governors.

Texas becomes the largest US state to begin easing lockdown measures despite reporting a single-day high in deaths at 50.

Comoros Islands reports its first case.

April 29

As of noon today, 3,138,413 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 955,824 and 217,985 people have died. There are 1,964,604 active cases and 1,173,809 closed cases. In total, 210 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

China’s top legislature will hold its annual session next month after postponing the meeting for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus outbreak, Xinhua, the official news agency reports. The Communist Party leadership announced in February that it would put off the annual National People’s Congress (NPC) for the first time since the Cultural Revolution as the country battled the outbreak, which has since become a pandemic. The rescheduled session on May 22 will be seen as a sign of confidence by the leadership that the country has largely brought its outbreak under control.

Singapore, battling a resurgence of cases, now in migrant workers, begins housing them infected on the cruise ship, SuperStar Gemini. The SuperStar Aquarius, is standing by to accommodate more. The city state had the virus under control but is facing a fast-moving second wave of cases, with the vast majority of new infections in sprawling dormitory complexes housing migrant workers, many of them construction labourers from South Asia.

 

April 28

As of noon today, 3,064,830 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 922,397 and 211,609 people have died. There are 1,930,824 active cases and 1,134,006 closed cases. In total, 210 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

Australia opens its famous Bondi Beach, but sunbathing is still banned.

The US reaches 1 million cases.

US Virus Tzar and vice president Mike Pence chooses not to wear a face mask during a tour of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, an apparent violation of the world-renowned medical center’s policy requiring them. Video feeds show that Pence did not wear a mask when he met with a Mayo employee who has recovered from Covid-19 and is now donating plasma, even though everyone else in the room appeared to be wearing one. He was also maskless when he visited a lab where Mayo conducts coronavirus tests. Covid has now killed more Americans than the number who died in the Vietnam war.

US Vice President and virus tsar Mike Pence visits a testing lab at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota as part of his tour of research facilities.

Three US children infected with the virus are being treated for a rare inflammatory syndrome that appears similar to one that has raised concerns by doctors in Britain, Italy and Spain. All three - who range in age from 6 months to 8 years - have had fever and inflammation of the heart and the gut. 

There is a glimmer of hope that the drug remdesivir may be an effective treatment against the virus. Early results, emerging from a large clinical trial sponsored by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appears to position the drug as the standard therapy for hospitalised COVID-19 patients going forward. In the trial, patients who received remdesivir recovered 31 per cent faster than those who received a placebo, a finding of superiority that could not be attributed to chance, researchers reported. The remdesivir is not a cure, but shortens the length of time patients need to stay in hospital.

Brazil passes 5,000 deaths.

New doubts are being raised over whether Japan will be able to host the already postponed Summer Olympics next year without the development of a vaccine.

Nine prisoners die in Peru when rioting breaks out over inmates dangerous living conditions.

April 27

As of 5 pm today, 2,994,958 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 878,955 and 206,997 people have died. There are 1,909,006 active cases and 1,085,952 closed cases. In total, 210 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

Hong Kong reports no new infections.

Senior students in Shanghai and Beijing returned to school. Students in Beijing must have their temperatures checked at school gates and show “green” health codes on an app that calculates a person’s infection risk, according to the education ministry.

New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern claims her country has scored a significant victor over the virus as it begins a phased exit from lock down tonight.  "There is no widespread, undetected community transmission," she said, adding that the country still had to be cautious.

Almost 2 million people in Australia rush to download a new app designed to make virus contact tracing easier. The COVIDSafe app works by detecting other app users nearby. If a user tests positive, other users who were in close proximity to them can we traced more easily.

Mothers in Hong Kong have rallied to donate breast milk for babies whose moms are infected. Hong Kong Breastfeeding support group posted an SOS online and within hours they had more than 15 litres of mild. 

US President Donald Trump uses the Defense Production Act to order animal slaughterhouses to remain open, setting up a showdown between the giant companies that produce America’s meat and the unions and activists who want to protect workers. Meat processing plants around the US have shut because of the virus. Trump's order says that “such closures threaten the continued functioning of the national meat and poultry supply chain, undermining critical infrastructure during the national emergency.” The government will provide additional protective gear for employees as well as guidance. The move came just days after Tyson Foods biggest U.S. meat processor, ran paid ads in national newspapers stating that the food supply chain was “broken.”

The CDC adds six new symptoms to the list of signs people may have the virus. They are: chills, muscle pain, repeated shaking with chills, headache, sore throat and loss of taste or smell.

There is confusion in the US as the almost daily White House press briefings are cancelled and then reinstated within a few hours. Trump takes to Twitter to claim the media is seeking to undermine him. "There has never been, in the history of our Country, a more vicious or hostile Lamestream Media than there is right now, even in the midst of a National Emergency, the Invisible Enemy!" he tweets.

New York city cancels its democratic primaries for the first time in history.

Italian and British medical experts investigate a possible link between the  pandemic and clusters of severe inflammatory disease among infants who are arriving in hospital with high fevers and swollen arteries. Doctors in northern Italy, one of the world’s hardest-hit areas during the pandemic, have reported extraordinarily large numbers of children aged under nine with severe cases of what appears to be Kawasaki disease, more common in parts of Asia. In Britain, doctors have made similar observations.

Some 68 residents of the state-run Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts have died from the virus. A further 82 residents and 81 employees have tested positive. The home superintendent Bennet Walsh said authorities had known the home was in trouble because of a shortage of staff. Authorities are investigating to see if any charges need to be brought. Doctor Michael Wasserman, president of the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine, said experts had been warning since March that homes for the elderly were extremely vulnerable.

April 26

China’s ambassador to Australia warns that demands for a probe into the spread of the coronavirus could lead to a consumer boycott of Aussie wine or trips Down Under. Australia has joined the US in calling for a thorough investigation of how the virus transformed from a local epidemic in central China into a pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 people, forced billions into isolation and torpedoed the global economy. Cheng Jingye warned the push for an independent inquest into the origins of the outbreak was “dangerous”. “The Chinese public is frustrated, dismayed and disappointed with what Australia is doing now,” he claimed in an interview with the Australian Financial Review published on Sunday.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to 10 Downing Street after recovering from his infection as Britain reports its lowest death toll in weeks.

April 25

The US state of Georgia begins to reopen, despite its death toll and infection rate still increasing.

April 24

As of 11 am today, 2,718,699 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 745,620 and 190,654 people have died. There are 1,782,425 active cases and 936,274 closed cases. In total, 210 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

The US hit 50,000 deaths.

April 23

US meat packing giant Tyson Foods says it will temporarily close a massive beef slaughterhouse in Washington state. The plant produces enough beef in one day to feed four million people. The nation's largest meat supplier, also says it will indefinitely suspend operations at its largest pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, after operating at reduced capacity. Plant employees tested positive for the virus, and others stayed home out of fear of becoming infected. The facility slaughters about 19,500 pigs a day, or about five per cent of total US pork production, according to industry data. Tyson also plans to close a pork processing facility in Logansport, Indiana, while its more than 2,200 workers at the plant undergo testing. 

A Tyson Fresh Meats plant employee leaves the plant in Logansport, Indiana. The plant will close temporarily after several employees tested positive.“Consumers will see an impact at the grocery store as production slows,” Tyson Fresh Meats Group President Steve Stouffer said.

US President Donald Trump, during a press briefing on the latest things known to kill the virus, seems to suggest that researchers try bleach injections, sparking a nationwide campaign to tell people not to inject or ingest bleach.Trump’s comments came after Bill Bryan, an undersecretary of science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, had been discussing a new federal study that touted sunlight and household disinfectants as being effective in killing the virus on surfaces or in the air. “And then I saw the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in one minute, and is there a way we could do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning,” Trump said during a White House press briefing.

Trump also signs an executive order to block green cards for most categories of immigration.

April 22

The total case count has reached over 2.5 million worldwide. In Hong Kong, four new cases, all of them travelers returning from the UK brings the cities total to 1,033.

Research on a vaccine for the virus continues, with more early stage human trials happening in China, where at least two more in are also in testing, with an additional two in the United State undergoing trials.

US President Donald Trump does a 180, telling  governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp that he thinks it is too soon for the state to reopen.

As part of the 'circuit breaker' in Singapore, bubble tea shops have been ordered to close, potentially until June. The city government has strengthened their social distancing measures after a sudden large rise in cases linked to foreign worker dormitories brought their case numbers to over 9,000 the highest in Southeast Asia.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

April 20

As of 2 pm today, 2,407,600 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 625,312 and 165,083 people have died. There are 1,617,205 active cases and 790,395 closed cases. In total, 210 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

US President Donald Trump is wrongly casting blame on governors and the Obama administration for shortages in coronavirus testing. He has also suggested that the U.S. response to the virus is better than many other countries’, but it’s too soon to tell. Associated Press

Europe logs more than 1 million cases.

April 19

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces new deaths and new cases of people being admitted to hospital are trending down. He also announces aggressive plans for antibody tests to form the best possible picture of who has been infected and who might be immune.

Ebola returns to the Democratic Republic of Congo, with six cases reported in the week.

The head of the Institute of Virology in Wuhan, Yuan Zhiming, denies conspiracy theories that the Covid-19 virus escaped from his laboratory. “We clearly know what kind of virus research is going on in the institute and how the institute manages viruses and samples,” he added. More generally, he said, “there is no evidence to prove that the virus has artificial or synthetic traces.”

None of the laboratory staff had been infected with the coronavirus, the director said, adding that he understood why people had jumped to conclusions about his institute in Wuhan, the city where the pandemic originated. “But it’s bad when some are deliberately trying to mislead people,” said Yuan Zhiming. “I know it’s impossible,” he added. “This is entirely based on speculation.” - Associated Press

April 18

As of  noon today, 2,250,757 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 571,145 and 154,262 people have died. There are 1,525,350 active cases and 725,407. In total, 210 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

April 17

As of  7 pm today, 2,193,666 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 555,590 and 147,384 people have died. There are 1,490,692 active cases. In total, 210 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

China announces that 50 per cent more people died of the virus in Wuhan than originally thought. adding 1,290 deaths that were not registered because hospitals were overwhelmed. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian acknowledged that the virus’s rapid spread had contributed to undercounting. He said that allegations that the WHO treated China with favouritism was a smear campaign. Leaders of the US, Britain and France has accused China of a coverup and Trump has halted US funding to WHO.

Russia, overwhelmed by a flood of cases, says it will use the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which has been touted by US President Donald Trump as a possible cure, to treat the virus. Russia added more than 4,000 cases today, to take its total to more than 32,000.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the US's top expert on infectious disease, rejects a conspiracy theory that the virus escaped a Chinese lab. "A group of highly-qualified evolutionary virologists looked at the sequences in bats as they evolve. The mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now is totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human," Fauci said at the daily White House press briefing in response to a question from a reporter on the theory, which has been pushed by President Donald Trump's allies in recent days. 

The precise origins of the virus remain somewhat of a mystery. But, as Fauci underscores in his remarks, studies of the virus' genome have strongly indicated that it was transmitted from an animal to a human. 

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a news conference at the White House in Washington DC, US. "We do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible," an analysis published in Nature Medicine in mid-March said. The study, led by computational biologist Kristian Andersen of the Scripps Research Institute in California, compared COVID-19 to the six other coronaviruses known to infect humans. The analysis explicitly states that the evidence shows SARS-CoV-2 "is not a purposefully manipulated virus".

But as research on the origins of the virus continues, some in the Trump administration, including the president, are seemingly still open to the possibility it escaped from a Chinese lab. "More and more, we're hearing the story, and we'll see," Trump said yesterday. Reuters

Hospitals in Japan are increasingly turning away sick people as the country struggles with surging  infections and its emergency medical system collapses. In one recent case, an ambulance carrying a man with a fever and difficulty breathing was rejected by 80 hospitals and forced to search for hours for a hospital in downtown Tokyo that would treat him. The Japanese Association for Acute Medicine and the Japanese Society for Emergency Medicine say many hospital emergency rooms are refusing to treat people including those suffering strokes, heart attacks and external injuries. Associated Press

The Global Virus Death Toll surges past 150,000.

A group of more than 100 protesters converged on Huntington Beach in a demonstration against California’s stay-at-home rules, part of a series of national demonstration organized by conservative groups. Trump calls on his supporters, including those who attended these protests, to “liberate” Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia, all of which have Democratic governors.

Trump attacks Obama and Biden aministration's handling of 2009 H1N1 "Biden/Obama were a disaster in handling the H1N1 Swine Flu. Polling at the time showed disastrous approval numbers. 17,000 people died unnecessarily and through incompetence! Also, don’t forget their 5 Billion Dollar Obamacare website that should have cost close to nothing!"

A nursing home in Montreal has become the symbol of the terrible toll the virus is taking in Canada’s long-term care homes. Elderly residents are left soiled and unfed after their caregivers fled the premises. 

Called to the rescue after most of the staff deserted the facility, health authorities found residents dehydrated, unfed for days and lying listless in bed, some covered in excrement. Others had fallen to the floor. Two deaths had gone unnoticed for several days. At least five of the 31 recent deaths at the home have been officially attributed to the virus, with the others still being investigated by a coroner. Agence France-Presse

New York, by far the nation’s leader in coronavirus nursing home deaths, releases details on outbreaks in individual facilities after weeks of refusing, revealing one home in Brooklyn where 55 people died and four others with at least 40 deaths. Associated Press

April 16

As of  7 pm today, 2,088,861 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 516,010 and 134,755 people have died. There are 1,438,096 active cases. In total, 210 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

Trump's administration releases its reopening guidelines. "Every state is very different. They’re all beautiful. We love them all. But they’re very, very different. If they need to remain closed, we will allow them to do that. And if they believe it is time to reopen, we will provide them the freedom and guidance to accomplish that task — and very, very quickly — depending on what they want to do."

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

April 15

Denmark reopens schools.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issues executive order requiring people in the state to wear face coverings in public when they cannot maintain social distance of around 2 metres from others.

April 14

US President Donald Trump halts US funding to the World Health Organisation saying it did not do enough to halt the spread of the virus. The move sparks a global backlash. Trump has also accused the WHO of favouring China over the rest of the world.

Austria opens many shops under strict conditions, making the country among the first in Europe to ease  restrictions following four weeks of shutdown.

Small retailers such as bookshops and boutiques, as well as garden centres and hardware stores, were allowed to reopen their doors - provided they follow strict hygiene rules.

France says all crew members of its aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle have been tested. The French armed forces ministry said 1,767 marines had been evaluated - most from the aircraft carrier and 668 had tested positive.

African countries are seethe over accounts that Africans are battling stigma and discrimination in China over the the pandemic, apparently linked to a cluster of cases in the Nigerian community in the southern city of Guangzhou. The African residents say they have suffered forced evictions, arbitrary quarantines and mass tests and face discrimination in restaurants and hotels. “We saw images of Nigerians in the streets with their possessions and this was of course extremely distressing for us at home,” Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama told Chinese ambassador Zhou Pingjian. 

Taiwan reports no new cases of the virus. DPA

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

April 13

As of  5 pm today, 1,929,633 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 453,018 and 119,785 people have died. There are 1,356,830 active cases. In total, 210 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

US President Donald Trump startles White House reporters by airing a video at his daily briefing that sounded like a campaign re-election advert. Despite a US death toll of 23,200,Trump insists his administration had superbly mitigated the damage, at one point even claiming that his actions saved “tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of lives.” To the shock of reporters gathered for his briefing on the pandemic, Trump plays a self-congratulatory, anti-media video during the press conference. Several news outlets, which have taken to broadcasting most or all of the lengthy events live, quickly cut away. Asked why he aired the video, Trump was curt: “because we’re getting fake news”. Agence France-Presse

Trump also claims "total authority" to decide how and when to reopen the economy. Associated Press

Guinean President Alpha Conde makes the wearing of masks compulsory in a bid to curb the spread of virus. Speaking in a televised address, the president says offenders would be “prevented from moving around” and slapped with a civil disobedience tax of 30,000 Guinean francs ($3.16, 2.8 euros). Agence France-Presse

The US fast-food chain McDonald’s in Guangzhou, China apologises after a sign in one of its restaurants in Guangzhou told black people they were banned from entering. Agence France-Presse

April 12

As of  9 pm today, 1,792,801 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 411,590 and 109,788 people have died. There are 1,271,423 active cases. In total, 210 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

April 11

As of  9 pm today,1,700,870 people have been infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 376,796 and 102,789 people have died. There are 1,221,285 active cases. In total, 209 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

The African Union expresses its “extreme concern” about the situation in Guangzhou and called on Beijing to take immediate corrective measures after reports of racism surface. Agence France-Presse

April 10

As of  8 am today,1,599,580 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 355,484 and 95,527 people have died. There are 1,148,569 active cases. In total, 209 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

The top infected countries and areas are as follows: USA: 465.689 cases, with 16,548 dead. Spain: 153,222 cases, with 15,447 dead. Italy: 143,626 cases, with 18,279 dead. Germany: 118,235 cases with 2,607. France: 117,749 cases, with 12,210 dead. China: 81,866 cases, with 3,335 dead. Iran: 66,220 cases, with 4,110 dead. Britain: 65,077 cases, with 7,9078 dead. Turkey: 42,282 cases, with 908 dead. Belgium: 24,983 cases, with 2,523 dead. Switzerland: 24,051 cases, with 948 dead. Netherlands: 21,762 cases, with 2,396 dead. Canada: 20,766 cases, with 509 dead. Brazil: 18,092 cases, with 950 dead. Portugal: 13,956 cases, with 409 dead. Austria: 13,244 cases, with 295 dead. South Korea: 10,432 cases, with 204 dead. Russia: 10,131 cases, with 76 dead. Israel: 9,968 cases, with 86 dead.Sweden: 9,141 cases, with 793 dead. India: 6,725 cases, with 226 dead. Ireland: 6,674 cases, with 263 dead. Norway: 6,211 cases, with 108 dead. Australia: 6,104 cases, with 51 dead. Chile: 5,672 cases, with 57 dead. Denmark: 5,635 cases, with 237 dead. Poland: 5,576 cases, with 174 dead. Czechia: 5,569 cases, with 112 dead. Peru: 5,256 cases, with 138 dead. Romania: 5,202 cases, with 248 dead. Ecuador: 4,965 cases, with 272 dead. Japan: 4,667 cases, with 94 dead. Pakistan: 4,489 cases, with 65 dead. Malaysia: 4,228 cases, with 67 dead. Philippines: 4,076 cases, with 203 dead. Indonesia: 3,293 cases, with 280 dead, Saudi Arabia: 3,287 cases, with 44 dead. Mexico: 3,181 cases, with 174 dead. Luxembourg: 3,115 cases, with 52 dead. UAE: 2,990 cases, 14 dead. Serbia: 2,867 cases, 66 dead. Finland: 2,605 cases, 42 dead. Panama: 2,528 cases, with 63 dead. Thailand: 2,423 cases, 32 dead. Qatar: 2,376 cases, with 6 dead. Dominican Republic: 2,340 cases, with 118 dead. Colombia: 2,223 cases, with 69 dead. Greece: 1,955 cases, with 87 dead. South Africa: 1,934 cases, with 18 dead. Singapore: 1,910 cases, with 7 dead. Ukraine: 1,892 cases, 57 dead. Argentina: 1,795 cases, with 72 dead. Egypt: 1,699 cases, with 118 dead. Algeria: 1,666 cases, with 235 dead. Iceland: 1,648 cases, with 6 dead. Belarus: 1,486 cases, with 16 dead. Croatia: 1,407 cases, with 20 dead. Morocco: 1,374 cases, with 97 dead. Moldova: 1,289 cases, with 29 dead. New Zealand: 1,283 cases, with 2 dead. Iraq: 1,232 cases with 69 dead. 

Lambs all over the world are spared the slaughter for traditional Easter meals.

France begins isolating marines from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

April 9

As of  9 am today,1,513,243 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 329,731 and 88,403 people have died. There are 1,095,109 active cases. In total, 209 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condition is improving.

Australian police raid the coronavirus-stricken Ruby Princess cruise ship and seiz its black box, as part of a criminal investigation after thousands of passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney and 15 later died of the illness.

Taiwan demands an apology from the World Health Organization chief after he accuses the island’s government of leading personal attacks against him and his agency’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Relations between the WHO and Taiwan have worsened considerably since the pandemic began, even as health experts have lauded Taiwan for its response. Taiwan used to be able to obtain observer status at the WHO’s annual assembly, but diplomatic pressure from Beijing in recent years has pushed the island out of major international bodies.
 
Bangladesh imposes a “complete lockdown” in Cox’s Bazar district -- home to more than a million Rohingya refugees from neighbouring Myanmar, officials say. Experts have warned that the disease could spread quickly through the cramped, sewage-soaked alleys where the persecuted Muslim minority are housed in canvas and bamboo shacks. No cases have been confirmed in the camps but one infection has been recorded nearby. 
 
Thailand bans the sale of liquor for 10 days from tomorrow. The move hopes to tamp down the raucous Songkran water festival. The festival, which started out as a respectful Buddhist affair has morphed into a three day water fight involving heavy drinking.
 
China begins building a field hospital  in Suifenhe, in north eastern Heilongjiang province which has seen a rise in imported cases from nearby Russia. The city is under lockdown and the border closed.
 
Australia and New Zealand deploy police to stop holidaymakers from reaching their beaches. "You can't rent a holiday house, you can't rent an Airbnb, you can't caravan, you can't boat, you can't fish," says Victoria Police Minister Lisa Neville.
 
In Indonesia authorities stop a ferry carrying more than 250 migrant workers from Borneo. The ferry was blocked from docking in Sulawesi over fears that some workers may be infected. Several grab life jackets and jump overboard to swim ashore.
 
As the virus spreads through South Africa, health experts worry that it will have a devastating effect on the country's 7.5 million HIV positive people. Only about two thirds of those are on anti-retrovials. Experts fear the remaining third will not be helped.
 
Spain which has been one of the most affected countries in the world, with 15,238 deaths sees a glimmer of hope as its daily death toll eases.
 
Not everyone is taking the outbreak badly. Hong Kong's pandas took advantage of the peace and quiet to mate, something scientists have been trying to get them to do for years. Fin whales have been spotted off Marseille, which is very rare. In Llandudno, a town in North Wales, mountain goats have been roaming the streets, grazing in peoples gardens. But in impoverished places the story is not a happy one as people are unable to afford to feed their animals which are being left to starve. Animals like the monkeys in Thailand have become dependent on tourist handouts and are becoming increasingly desperate.
 
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Ramadan events in the country might be cancelled.

April 8

As of  9 pm today,1,447,618 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 309,147 and 83,401 people have died. There are 1,055,070 active cases. In total, 209 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in ICU.

<img src="https://cdn.i-scmp.com/sites/default/files/styles/660x385/public/d8/images/2020/04/18/dpa_20200408191728_paper_cake.jpg?itok=E0DakUPU" width="660" height="385" alt="" title="At a ice cream shop owned by Pino Cimino in the German town of Rastatt, ice cream cakes in the shape of toilet paper rolls are up for sale." data-style-type="default" data-source="DPA" data-writer="Wire" class="image-660x385 caption" data-insert-type="image" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="insert-660x385-9826faa5-624f-45fa-8307-75016eccddb5" />At a ice cream shop owned by Pino Cimino in the German town of Rastatt, ice cream cakes in the shape of toilet paper rolls are up for sale.After 76 days in lockdown, the Chinese city of Wuhan that was at the heart of the global pandemic reopens, and tens of thousands immediately hopped on trains and planes to leave. 

Cats can become infected with the new virus but dogs appear not to be vulnerable, says a study published in the journal Science. The WHO says it will take a closer look at transmission of the virus between humans and pets. The study finds that ferrets can also become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the scientific term for the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Dogs, chickens, pigs and ducks are not likely to catch the virus, however, the researchers found.

April 7

As of 11 pm today, 1,362,045 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 293,655 and 76,328 people have died. There are 992,062 active cases. In total, 209 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

US President Donald Trump considers withholing funds from WHO.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

April 6

As of 9 pm today, 1,287,112 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 271,882 and 70,525 people have died. There are 944,705 active cases. In total, 208 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johonson is in intensive care.

Sao Tome and Principe reports its first case.

April 5

As of 9 pm today, 1,202,715 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 246,648and 64,734 people have died. There are 891,333 active cases. In total, 206 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected. The area tallies are as follows:

USA: 311,635 cases, with 8,454 deaths. Spain: 126,168 cases, with 11,947 deaths. Italy: 123,632 cases with 15,363 deaths. Germany: 96,092 cases, with 1,444 dead. France: 89,853 cases and 7,560 deaths. China: 81,669 cases, with 3,329 deaths. Iran: 55,743 cases, with 3,329 deaths. Britain: 41,903 cases with 4,313 deaths. Turkey: 23,934 cases, with 501 deaths. Switzerland: 20,505 cases with 666 deaths. Belgium: 18,431 cases with 1,283 deaths. Netherlands: 16,627 cases with 1,651 deaths. Canada: 14,018 cases, with 233 deaths. Austria: 11,781 cases, with 186 deaths. Portugal: 10,524 cases, with 266 deaths. Brazil: 10,360 cases, with 445 deaths. South Korea: 10, 237 cases w ith 183 deaths.

Israel: 7,851 cases, with 44 deaths. Sweden: 6,443 cases with 373 deaths. Australia: 5,635 cases, with 34 deaths. Norway: 5,550 cases, with 62 deaths. Russia: 4,731 cases, with 43 deaths. Ireland: 4,604 cases, with 137 deaths. Czechia: 4,472 cases with 59 deaths. Chile: 4,161 cases with 27 deaths. Denmark: 4,077 cases with 161 deaths. Poland: 3,627 cases with 79 cases. Romania: 3,613 cases with 79 deaths. India: 3,588 cases with 99 deaths. Malaysia: 3,483 cases with 57 deaths. Ecuador: 3,483 cases, with 172 deaths. Philippines: 3,094 cases, with 144 deaths. Pakistan: 2,818 cases, with 41 deaths. Luxembourg: 2,729 cases with 31 dead. Saudi Arabia: 2,370 cases, with 29 deaths. Thailand: 2,169 cases, with 23 deaths. Indonesia: 2,092 cases, with 191 deaths.

Mexico: 1,890 with 79 cases. Finland: 1,882, with 25 deaths. Panama: 1,801 cases, 46 deaths. Peru: 1,746 cases, with 73 deaths. Greece: 1,673 cases, with 68 deaths. Serbia: 1,624, with 44 deaths. South Africa: 1,585 cases, with 9 deaths. Dominican Republic: 1,578 cases, with 77 deaths. UAE: 1,505 cases, with 10 deaths. Argentina: 1,451 cases with 43 deaths. Iceland: 1,417 cases, with 4 deaths. Colombia: 1,406, with 32 deaths. Qatar: 1,325 cases, with 3 deaths. Algeria: 1,252 cases, with 130 dead. Ukraine: 1,225 cases, with 32 dead. Singapore: 1,189 cases, with 6 dead. Croatia: 1,125 cases, with 12 dead. Egypt: 1,070, with 71 dead. Estonia: 1,039, with 13 dead. New Zealand: 1,039 cases, with 1 dead.

Slovenia: 977, with 22 dead. Morocco: 919 cases, with 59 deaths. Iraq: 878 cases, with 56 dead. Hong Kong: 862 cases, with 4 dead. Lithuania: 771 cases, with 11 dead. Armenia: 770 cases, with 7 dead. Moldova: 752 cases, with 12 dead. Diamond Princess: 712 cases, with 11 death. Bahrain: 688 cases, with 4 dead. Hungary: 678 cases, with 32 dead. Bosnia Herzegovina: 624 cases, with 21 dead. Cameroon: 555 cases, with 9 dead. Tunisia: 553, with 18 dead. Kazakhstan: 551 cases, with 5 dead. Azerbaijan: 521 cases, with 5 dead. Lebanon: 520 cases, with 17 dead. Latvia: 509 cases, with 1 dead. Bulgaria: 503 cases, with 17 dead.

North Macedonia: 483 cases, with 17 dead. Kuwait: 479 cases, with 1 dead. Slovakia: 471 cases, with 1 dead. Andorra: 466 cases, with 17 dead. Belarus: 440 cases, with 5 dead. Costa Rica: 436 cases, with 2 dead. Cyprus: 426 dead, with 9 dead. Uruguay: 400 cases, with 5 dead. Taiwan: 355 cases, with 5 dead. Afghanistan: 337 cases, with 7 dead. Reunion: 334 cases. Albania: 333 cases, with 20 dead. Jordan: 323 cases, with 5 dead. Burkina Faso: 318 cases, with 16 dead. Cuba: 288 cases, with 6 dead. Oman: 277 cases, with 2 dead. Honduras: 268 cases, with 22 dead. Uzbekistan: 266 cases, with 2 dead. Channel Islands: 262 cases, with 5 dead. San Marino: 259 cases, with 32 dead.

Ivory Coast: 245 cases, with 1 dead. Vietnam: 240 cases. Senegal: 219 cases, 2 dead. Palestine: 217 cases, with 1 dead. Nigeria: 214 cases, with 4 dead. Malta: 213 cases. Ghana: 205 cases, with 5 dead. Mauritius: 196 cases, with 7 dead. Faeroe Islands: 181 cases. Sri Lanka: 166 cases, with 5 dead. Georgia: 162 cases, with 1 dead. Bolivia: 157 cases, with 10 dead. Venezuela: 155 cases, with 7 dead. DRC: 154 cases, with 18 dead. Kyrgyzstan: 147 cases, with 1 dead. Martinique: 145 cases, with 3 dead. Niger: 144 cases, with 8 dead. Brunei: 135 cases, with 1 dead. Guadeloupe: 134 cases, with 7 dead. Mayotte: 134 cases, with 2 dead. Kenya: 126 cases, with 4 dead. Isle of Man: 126 cases, with 1 dead. Guinea: 111 cases. Paraguay: 104 cases with 3 dead. Trinidad and Tobago: 103 cases, with 6 dead. Rwanda: 102 cases.

Gibraltar: 98 cases. Liechtenstein: 77 cases, with 1 dead. Bangladesh: 70 cases with 8 dead. Madagascar: 70 cases. Monaco: 66 cases, with 1 dead. Aruba: 64 cases. El Salvador: 62 cases, with 3 dead. Guatemala: 61 cases, with 2 dead. French Guiana: 61 cases. Jamaica: 55 cases with 3 dead. Barbados: 52 cases. Djibouti: 50 cases. Uganda: 48 cases. Macau: 44 cases. Mali: 41 cases, 3 dead. Togo: 41 cases, 3 dead. French Polynesia: 40 cases. Zambia: 39 cases, with 1 dead. Ethiopia: 38 cases. Bermuda: 37 cases. Cayman Islands: 35 cases, 1 dead. Saint Martin: 29 cases, 2 dead. Eritrea: 29 cases. Bahamas: 28 cases, with 4 dead. Sint Maarten: 25 cases, with 4 dead. Guyana: 24 cases with 4 dead. Congo: 22 cases with 2 dead. Gabon: 21 cases with 1 dead. Myanmar: 21 cases, 1 dead. Haiti: 21 cases. Tanzania: 20 cases with1 dead. Maldives: 19 cases. Libya: 18 cases, 1 dead. Guinea-Bissau: 18 cases. New Caledonia: 17 cases. Syria: 16 cases: 2 dead. Benin, Equatorial Guinea: 16 cases. Antigua and Barbuda: 15 cases. Dominica, Mongolia, Namibia, Saint Lucia: 14 cases. Fiji, Grenada: 12 cases. Curacao: 11 cases, 1 dead. Greenland: 11 cases. Angola: 10 cases, 2 dead. Sudan: 10 cases, 2 dead. Sudan: 10 cases, 2 dead. Liberia, 10 cases, with 1 dead. Suriname: 10 cases, 1 dead. Laos, Mozambique, Seychelles, 10 cases.

MS Zaandam: 9 cases, 2 dead. Zimbabwe: 9 cases, 2 dead. Zimbabwe: 9 cases, 1 dead.  Chad, Eswatini, Nepal, Saint Kitts and Nevis: 9 cases. Central African Republic: 8 cases. Cabo Verde: 7 cases, 1 dead. Cabo Verde: 7 cases, 1 dead. St Vincent Grenadines, Somalia, Vatican City: 7 cases. Mauritania: 6 cases, 1 dead. Mauritania, Montserrat, St Barth: 6 cases. Nicaragua: 5 cases, 1 dead. Bhutan: 5, Turks and Caicos:: 5 cases. Botswana: 4 cases, 1 dead. Gambia: 4 cases, 1 dead. Belize, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Western Sahara: 4 cases. Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Burundi: 3 cases. Caribbean Netherlands: 2 cases. Falkland Islands, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste: 1 case.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is admitted to hospital, suffering from Covid19. 

A tiger, Nadia, at Bronx zoo tests positive after developing a dry cough.

United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II addresses the nation, something she has only done on four other occasions in her 67-year-reign.The 93-year-old queen addressed Britain from Windsor Castle saying that if the nation stands united, they will overcome.

Captain Brett Crozier, recently relieved of his duty as captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier for demanding help for his sick crew, has tested positive.

Saint Pierre Miquelon, South Sudan  report their first cases.

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

April 4

As of 9 pm today, 1,133,373 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 235,999 and 60,375 people have died. There are 836,999 active cases. In total, 205 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

Britain holds a virtual Grand Natonal. The world famous horse race brought in US$3.2 million for the national healthcare system.

Trump invokes the DPA to stop companies hoarding medical supplies, calling them "wartime profiteers".

Western Sahara reports its first cases.

April 3

As of 7 pm today, 1,030,181people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 219,810 and 54,197 people have died. There are 756,174 active cases. In total, 204 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

Australia insists it will not let the crew of multiple virus-stricken cruise ships into the country, slapping aside suggestions it was falling short on legal and moral obligations. More than a dozen ships are believed to be off Australia’s coast, carrying around 15,000 crew and some experiencing outbreaks of coronavirus. “We have issued notices to all of these ships to leave Australian waters,” Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram tells local media. “If ever there was a time, I think, for ships to go back to where they’re registered, it’s probably during a time of a global pandemic like this.” Associated Press 

There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 

April 2

As of 4 pm today, 935,581 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 194,260 and 47,223 people have died. There are 694,098 active cases. In total, 203 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

North Korea says it is virus free.

A pledge by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to send two reusable cloth face masks to every household as the country battles the coronavirus outbreak has been met online with derision and humour.
Within hours of the announcement, the hashtag “Abenomasks”, a play on the prime minister’s signature “Abenomics” economic policy, was trending on Japanese Twitter.
 

Hong Kong International Airport and Heathrow in Britain decide to close one runway because travel is so bad. 

The US Navy relieves the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt’s captain of his, punishing him for the leak of a scathing letter he sent to superiors that sought stronger measures for curbing a coronavirus outbreak aboard the ship. The removal of Captain Brett Crozier, first reported by Reuters, was announced by acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who said the senior officer of the nuclear-powered vessel of 5,000 crew members had exercised poor judgment in the way he “broadly” distributed his letter.
 

The Mexican brewer of Corona beer said Thursday it was suspending production because of the health emergency in the country over the COVID-19 pandemic. Grupo Modelo -- whose brands also include Pacifico and Modelo -- said the measure was in line with the Mexican government’s order to suspend all non-essential activities until April 30 to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

Malawi reports its first case.

April 1

As of 4 pm today, 860,184 people are infected by Covid-19. The number of recoveries stands at 178,468, and 42,345 people have died. There are 639,371 active cases. In total, 200 countries and territories, and two international transporters have been infected.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has told security forces they should shoot dead anyone causing “trouble” in areas locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

US President Donald Trump casts doubt on the accuracy of official Chinese figures on its coronavirus outbreak after US lawmakers, citing an intelligence report, accused Beijing of a cover-up. He uses the DPA to compel 3M and other companies to make masks and ventialtors.

A team of Chinese scientists has isolated several antibodies that it says are "extremely effective" at blocking the ability of the new coronavirus to enter cells, which eventually could be helpful in treating or preventing COVID-19. Zhang Linqi at Tsinghua University in Beijing said a drug made with antibodies like the ones his team have found could be used more effectively than the current approaches, including those using plasma, which is restricted by blood type.
 
There has still been no word from Chinese citizen journalists Chen Qiushi, a lawyer last heard from on February 7, and Fang Bin, a Wuhan resident who became well known after he released a video clip of dead bodies in a van outside a major hospital. Fang was taken away by plain-clothes police on February 9. 
 
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