The number of confirmed deaths from coronavirus has passed 50,000, according to a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University. Here are the latest updates for April 2:

The Zaandam, one of the two Holland America Line cruise ships which have been afflicted with coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is seen near Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US April 2, 2020.
The Zaandam, one of the two Holland America Line cruise ships which have been afflicted with coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is seen near Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US April 2, 2020. (Reuters)

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Florida to allow two cruise ships to dock after impasse

Florida officials on Thursday said they were prepared to allow two Holland America cruise ships with coronavirus patients aboard dock at a port near Fort Lauderdale, resolving a days-long impasse that drew the attention of President Donald Trump.

The tentative agreement would allow the cruise line’s Rotterdam and Zaandam ships to dock at the Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale after 27 days at sea, NBC reported. Four passengers aboard the Zaandam have died, two of them after becoming infected by the coronavirus.

Global Covid-19 cases now one million

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide have now crossed the one million mark, according to a tracker.

The outbreak continues to hit the US, Italy, and Spain especially hard. Almost every country in the world now has confirmed cases.

Italy reports 760 new deaths from coronavirus

The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has climbed by 760 to 13,915, the Civil Protection Agency said on Thursday, slightly higher than the daily rise of 727 registered a day earlier.

The number of new cases was steady, growing by 4,668 from a previous 4,782, bringing total infections since the outbreak came to light on February 21 to 115,242.

Italy has registered more deaths than anywhere else in the world and accounts for around 28 percent of all global fatalities from the virus.

Turkey's coronavirus death toll rises to 356

Turkey's death toll from the coronavirus outbreak increased by 79 to 356 on Thursday, its highest daily rise, while the number of confirmed cases from the disease rose by 2,456 to 18,135, Health Ministry data showed.

A total of 415 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals since the beginning of the outbreak, according to the announced data, which said 1,101 patients were being treated at intensive care units.

Also, more than 18,000 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours and the number of overall tests carried out so far stood at 125,556.

Also, 124 Turkish nationals died overseas due to Covid-19.

Global death toll from coronavirus exceeds 50,000

Coronavirus-related deaths pushed past the 50,000 mark on Thursday as the spread of the pandemic surges.

The virus emerged in Wuhan, China last December and spread to at least 180 countries and regions.

According to a running tally of US-based Johns Hopkins University, the total number of deaths stands at 50,230 and confirmed cases are leaning on the 1 million mark with 981,200.

However, the number of recoveries were quadruple the death toll with more than 204,600.

Italy, Spain, China and France continue to be the most affected countries, while the highest number of cases are in the US with more that 226,300, cases. The US has confirmed close to 5,320 deaths.

UK registers 569 more coronavirus deaths

With 569 more deaths in the last 24 hours, the death toll from the novel coronavirus in the UK jumped to 2,921, the health authorities announced on Thursday.

"As of 9 am 2 April, a total of 163,194 people have been tested of which 33,718 tested positive," said the British Department of Health.

"As of 5 pm on 1 April, of those hospitalised in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus, 2,921 have sadly died."

The news came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson could have to extend his stay in self-isolation, after testing positive for coronavirus last week.

His self-isolation was due to end on Friday, but he still has a high temperature according to local media. 

Meanwhile, UK's Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the country is aiming to test 100,000 people per day for the virus by the end of the month.

Iran Parliament speaker tests positive

Iran's Parliament speaker tested positive for Covid-19, state TV reported on Thursday, becoming the latest official to contract the disease in the hard hit country.

Ali Larijani "was tested for coronavirus after showing certain symptoms, and as the result was positive, he is currently in quarantine and undergoing treatment," the report said.

Larijani, 62, is close to the Iranian leadership and president and was re-elected in 2016 for a second term as parliament speaker. He is one of the most senior officials to be infected so far.

Earlier Iran had reported 124 new deaths from the coronavirus, raising its total to 3,160 with more than 50,000 people infected.

More than 500,000 confirmed cases in Europe

More than 500,000 coronavirus infections have been diagnosed in Europe, over half the global total, according to a tally published by AFP from official sources at 1000 GMT on Thursday.

The continent has recorded 508,271 cases and 34,571 Covid-19 deaths, compared with global figures of 940,815 and 47,836 respectively. 

The worst-hit countries are Italy, with 13,155 fatalities, and Spain, with 10,003. Both have more than 100,000 confirmed infections.

However, the true number of cases and deaths is likely far higher, as many countries are only testing cases that require hospitalisation.

Istanbul Greek Patriarchate donates funds

The Istanbul Greek Patriarchate, the religious centre of the orthodoxy, has donated nearly $45,000 or (300,000 Turkish liras) to the National Solidarity Campaign initiated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to fight Covid-19 pandemic.

The donation was made on behalf of the Patriarchate and the Greek Community living in Turkey.

"We reiterate our recommendations for keeping everyone at home for the sake of protecting the whole community and not going out unnecessarily," it said in a statement, adding they have no doubt that the national campaign against Covid-19 would achieve its goal.

The Syriac Orthodox Church in Istanbul also made a donation to the fund, worth $15,000.

Spain's coronavirus death toll surpasses 10,000

Spain's death toll from coronavirus surpassed the 10,000 threshold after a record 950 people died overnight, the country's Health Ministry said.

The country's total death toll caused by the disease was 10,003, while the number of cases registered rose to 110,238 from 102,136 on Wednesday, the ministry said.

Philippines reports 11 new deaths

The Philippines' health ministry on Thursday recorded 11 new deaths and 322 additional cases from the coronavirus outbreak.

The latest figures bring the total death toll to 107 and infections to 2,633, Health Secretary Francisco Duque told a regular news conference, reiterating that people should stay home while the country's main island of Luzon is under a month-long strict quarantine. 

Belgium's coronavirus death toll tops 1,000

The number of deaths attributed to the epidemic in Belgium increased sharply and passed the 1,000 mark, health officials said.

The official toll in the country of 11.4 million has doubled in the space of three days, in part because figures have been updated with a backlog of fatalities from retirement homes.

There have now been 1,001 deaths and 15,348 officially recorded cases since the start of the outbreak, officials told a daily news conference.

Thailand to announce nationwide curfew

Thailand is to announce a nationwide curfew (between 10 pm and 4 am local time), starting Friday to try to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, the government said in a statement.

The curfew will have some exceptions, including for the transport of medical supplies, movement of people into quarantine, patients and travel of medical personnel, according to the statement shown to reporters.

"The prime minister will make the announcement this evening on national television around 6 pm," said deputy spokeswoman Ratchada Thanadirek. 

Malaysia reports 208 new cases, total over 3,000 

Malaysia reported 208 new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 3,116, the highest in Southeast Asia.

The Ministry Of Health has recorded a total of 50 deaths, with five reported on Thursday. 

Russia's cases jump to more than 3,500

Russia's coronavirus case tally jumped to 3,548, a record daily increase of 771, Russia's crisis response centre said.

Cases have been recorded in 76 of Russia's more than 80 regions, but Moscow remains the epicentre of the outbreak with 595 cases, the centre said. Thirty people have died across the country, it said. 

At least 20 test positive at Greek refugee camp

Authorities have placed a refugee camp north of the Greek capital under quarantine after 20 of its residents tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The Migration and Asylum Ministry said the Ritsona camp would be quarantined from Thursday for 14 days, during which nobody would be allowed into or out of the facility. The camp is normally open, with residents allowed to enter and leave at will.

One of the camp’s residents, hospitalised in Athens to give birth, was found to be positive earlier in the week and health authorities began tracking the people she had come into contact with.

The ministry said 63 people were tested in the camp, and 20 were found to be positive for the virus. None of those found positive were showing any symptoms, it said, adding that none of the camp’s staff had tested positive.
Authorities would continue testing in the camp on Thursday.

Number of cases in Germany rises to 73,522 

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has risen to 73,522 while 872 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert KochInstitute for infectious diseases showed.

Cases rose by 6,156 compared with the previous day, while the death toll climbed by 140, the tally showed.

Thailand reports 136 new cases, 2 more deaths

Thailand reported 136 new coronavirus cases and two new deaths, raising the total number of infections to 1,524 and fatalities to nine.

Popular tourist resort island Phuket in southern Thailand began a partial lockdown on Monday, when it started closing beaches and all points of entry and exit except air travel until the end of April.

The new cases were scattered across 18 of Thailand's 77 provinces. The capital Bangkok now accounts for nearly half of the cases overall.

Poland expects Covid-19 peak in April

Poland may face a peak in coronavirus infections in April, government spokesman Piotr Muller told state radio, adding that further curbs on people's movements could not be ruled out.

By Wednesday, 2,554 people had been infected with the virus, with 43 dead in the country of 38 million people.

WHO expects Malaysia's cases to peak in mid-April

The number of coronavirus cases in Malaysia is expected to peak in mid-April, the World Health Organization said, adding that there are signs of a flattening of the infection curve.

"Based on available data, the WHO Country Office has projected that Malaysia will see a peak in hospitalized cases in mid-April," said Ying-Ru Lo, the WHO's head of mission and representative to Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore.

The number of critically ill patients is estimated to reach the peak within the next week, she said.

Malaysia has the highest number of infections in Southeast Asia with 2,908 confirmed cases.

US sets new one-day record with 884 deaths

The coronavirus has killed 884 people over the past 24 hours in the US, a new one-day record for the country with by far the highest number of reported cases anywhere in the world, Johns Hopkins University said Wednesday evening.

That took the total death toll in America to 5,102

The number of reported cases rose by 25,200 over the past 24 hours to 215,020 said the university's coronavirus tracker.

The grim record for deaths in one day is held by Italy with 969 on March 27.

Israeli health minister and his wife contract Covid-19 

Israeli Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and his wife have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, his office said.

In a statement, the health ministry said the 71-year-old minister and his wife are feeling well, receiving medical care and will remain in isolation. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was informed of the development, the statement added. 

Litzman, the most senior Israeli official to be diagnosed with the virus, will continue to carry out his duties from his home. 

The death toll from the novel coronavirus has risen to 26 in Israel, according to the health ministry. 

Trump considering cancelling domestic flights

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he is considering a plan to halt flights to coronavirus hot zones in the United States as he struggles to contain a pandemic that is projected to kill at least 200,000 people.

"We're certainly looking at it, but once you do that you really are clamping down an industry that is desperately needed," Trump told a White House news briefing.

Deaths mount in New York

New York authorities rushed to bring in an army of medical volunteers on Wednesday as the statewide death toll from the coronavirus doubled in 72 hours to more than 1,900 and the wail of ambulances in the otherwise eerily quiet streets of the city became the heartbreaking soundtrack of the crisis.

As hot spots flared around the US in places like New Orleans and Southern California, the nation's biggest city was the hardest hit of them all, with bodies loaded onto refrigerated morgue trucks by gurney and forklift outside overwhelmed hospitals, in full view of passing motorists.

"It's like a battlefield behind your home," said 33-year-old Emma Sorza, who could hear the sirens from severely swamped Elmhurst Hospital in Queens.

And the worst is yet to come.

"How does it end? And people want answers," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. 

"I want answers. The answer is nobody knows for sure."

UN's COP26 climate summit postponed over coronavirus

The UN's COP26 climate change summit due to take place in the Scottish city of Glasgow in November has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the British government said on Wednesday.

"In light of the ongoing, worldwide effects of Covid-19, holding an ambitious, inclusive COP26 in November 2020 is no longer possible," the government said in a statement, adding that dates for a rescheduled conference in 2021 would be announced later.

Some 30,000 people, including 200 world leaders, had been due to attend the 10-day conference for crucial talks to halt rising global temperatures.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies