Coronavirus latest: at a glance

Coronavirus latest: at a glance
A summary of the biggest developments in the global coronavirus outbreak

Follow our latest coronavirus blog for live news and updates
Christine Kearney

Sat 18 Apr 2020 06.51 BSTLast modified on Sat 18 Apr 2020 08.00 BST
Coronavirus daily briefing.
Coronavirus daily briefing. Illustration: Guardian Design/EPA/GETTY

Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:

Global death toll exceeds 154,000
More than 2.2 million people have been infected worldwide with Covid-19 and at least 154,219 people have died since the outbreak began, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The figures, which are based on official data and media reports, are likely to underestimate the true scale of the pandemic due to suspected underreporting and differing testing regimes.

Trump calls protesters against stay-at-home orders ‘very responsible’
Donald Trump said that protestors who flouted social distancing measures “seem to be very responsible people”. Demonstrations against stay-at-home orders, which have drawn elements of the far right, have been held in Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia. Some protesters have carried guns, waved Trump and Confederate flags and sought to frame the debate as a defence of constitutional freedoms.

‘A lot of strange things are happening’
President Trump also cast doubt on China’s death toll, which was revised up on Friday, and said that “a lot of strange things are happening” regarding the origins of the coronavirus. While the source of the virus is unknown, the broad scientific consensus is that it originated in bats.

Trump’s coronavirus task force members have pushed back against criticism that limited testing ability is preventing the country from tackling the virus.

Japan’s emergency medical system pushed to the brink
Hospitals in Japan are increasingly turning away sick people as the country struggles with surging coronavirus infections and its emergency medical system collapses according to reports. Japan’s total infections stand at more than 9,800, with 207 deaths, according to a tally by public broadcaster NHK.

China pushes for reopening of the economy
China’s politburo has said that the government must pursue a comprehensive reopening of China’s economy while taking steps to restrict the spread of coronavirus, it was reported by China’s state-run Global Times. The meeting on Friday also said government spending should be increased and the central bank should cut market loan rates to support business. China reported 27 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, of which 17 were linked to foreign travel. No new fatalities were recorded.

Canadians told to wear face coverings on planes

All airline passengers in Canada will be required to wear a non-medical masks or face coverings during travel to curb the spread of coronavirus. The regulator said travellers must cover their mouth and nose during the boarding process and flights. The rule goes into effect on Monday.

Migrants on US deportation flight were infected with coronavirus, Guatemala says
The Guatemalan president Alejandro Giammattei has said that migrants who were deported from the US on Monday were infected with Covid-19. Giammattei said 12 randomly selected migrants who took the flight from the US tested positive for coronavirus when examined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US health protection agency. Flights deporting Guatemalan migrants from the United States have been once again temporarily suspended after reports of the infections.

In the midst of a global crisis…
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