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‘A lot of death’ ahead in US fight against COVID-19: Live updates | News

President Donald Trump has warned the United States is entering what could be its “toughest” week yet as the number of coronavirus cases in the country surged past 300,000. 

“There will be a lot of death, unfortunately,” he told reporters at the White House on Saturday. “This will be probably the toughest week – between this week and next week.”

More than 8,000 people have died in the US from the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19. The state of New York, where the virus has killed more than 3,500 people, reported another record in its daily toll – 630 deaths – on Saturday. 


In hard-hit Italy, the death toll rose to 15,362, while Spain reported a total of 11,744 deaths. 

Spain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates extended restrictions on movements in a bid to contain the virus, while Kuwait and Georgia reported their first deaths from COVID-19. 

Globally, the death toll surpassed 60,000, according to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and the number of infections rose above 1.2 million.

Here are the latest updates:

Sunday, April 5

04:16 GMT – Sri Lanka releases 2,961 prisoners 

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s president, says he has released 2,961 inmates in the past two weeks as part of an effort to reduce congestion in prisons during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Those released include people who had served a major portion of their sentences or were being held in remand for minor offences and had been unable to pay bail, he says in a post on Twitter. 

04:03 GMT – CDC begins antibody tests to track coronavirus spread in US

The New York Times and Politico are reporting that the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has begun conducting tests to find out how many Americans have been infected with SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The test detects antibodies the immune system makes to fight the virus, and such testing can help determine how widespread the disease has been and whether there have been significant numbers of people who were infected but did not become ill, according to the NYT.

03:15 GMT – MSF urges nations to stop hoarding critical medical supplies

Christos Christou, president of Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) is calling on European governments to stop hoarding medical supplies, including personal protective gear, and to allow their export to vulnerable countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

“We need to scale up the manufacturing capacity of all the essential medicines and all medical material. And while we expand the supply, we have to guard against the nationalistic responses we’ve seen so far that hoard the medical supplies and limit the exports,” he tells Al Jazeera.

02:20 GMT – Airbus delivers four million masks from China to Europe 

Guillaume Faury, chief executive of Airbus, says the company brought back four million masks from China to Europe as part of its efforts to support governments in the fight against COVID-19. 

The delivery is part of Airbus’s so-called air bridge mission between China and Europe. 

02:10 GMT – New York gets 1,000 ventilators from China 

Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, says Chinese billionaires Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai have donated 1,000 ventilators to help in the state’s fight against the coronavirus. 

“It’s going to make a significant difference for us,” he says, adding that the US state of Oregon is also volunteering to send 140 more breathing machines.

01:00 GMT – Guatemala bans domestic travel for Easter 

Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei is banning internal travel and spending time at the beach before and during Easter to stem the spread of the coronavirus. 

In a national broadcast on Saturday, Giammattei said travel will only be allowed for work reasons and said sales of alcohol to the public would also be prohibited. 

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Guatemala City

A police officer takes the temperature of a man detained for breaking a curfew imposed as part of measures against COVID-19 in Guatemala City, Guatemala April 3, 2020 [Luis Echeverria/ Reuters]

00:41 GMT – Businesses close in New York City as toll surges 

With no clear indication as to when they can return to business-as-usual, some bars and restaurants in New York City are boarding up their windows and doors, reports Al Jazeera’s Radmilla Suleymanova. 

Laundromats, coffee shops, and even doctor’s offices – open last week as essential businesses – have since closed or cut back on hours.

The sidewalks are scantily peppered with people waiting for their take-out orders – a New York habit even the ugliest of pandemics cannot seem to break. A growing number are clad in pale blue surgical masks and cloth coverings.

Those delivering lunches and dinners on bicycles, unloading packages off trucks and hauling boxes into groceries rule the streets. Once relegated to the shadows, they are now centre stage and this city’s lifeline. 

00:20 GMT – China reports 30 new cases on mainland 

China’s National Health Commission says it recorded 30 new coronavirus cases in the mainland on Saturday. 

The figure includes 25 cases imported from abroad and is a rise from the 19 cases reported a day earlier.

00:00 GMT – Trump warns ‘a lot of death’ ahead

Trump is warning the US is facing its “toughest” week in the battle against the new coronavirus amid a rise in the number of infections and deaths. 

“There will be a lot of death, unfortunately,” he says. 

The US military will soon deploy soldiers and medical personnel to hard-hit states, he says. That includes about 1,000 to New York state. 

“We are going to be adding a tremendous amount of military to help supplement the states. Thousands of soldiers, thousands of medical workers, professional nurses, doctors,” he says. 

Hello, this is Zaheena Rasheed in Male, Maldives, with Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. 

You can find all the updates from yesterday, April 4 here

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