US coronavirus deaths near 6,000, cases top 240,000: Live updates

UN General Assembly approves resolution recognising ‘unprecedented effects’ of virus as cases surpass one million.

The number of coronavirus infections continue to rise worldwide, with more than 1,013,000 people diagnosed, as the death toll surpassed 53,000, including almost 6,000 in the United States, according to the data from Johns Hopkins University early on Friday.

The coronavirus pandemic death toll in Spain passed 10,000 on Thursday, as the country reported its highest single-day number of deaths since the outbreak began with the total rising by more than 1,000 to 10,348 among 112,065 infections.

More:

  • Coronavirus: Which countries have confirmed cases?

  • Coronavirus: Why are deaths rising so quickly in Spain?

  • Why Turkey is facing a steep curve of new coronavirus cases

In response, the UN General Assembly has unanimously approved a resolution recognising “the unprecedented effects” of the coronavirus pandemic and calling for “intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat” the deady disease.

More than 210,000 people have recovered from the disease, including 9,000 in the US.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act to rapidly expand domestic manufacturing of N95 protective masks, as health officials debate new guidelines amid concerns that the disease is being spread by infected people who are showing no symptoms.

Here are the latest updates:

Friday, April 3

03:17 GMT – South Korea coronavirus cases hit 10,000

South Korea has reported 86 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing its caseload above 10,000, the Associated Press reported.

South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said about half of the new cases came from the densely populous Seoul metropolitan area, where infections linked to international arrivals have been rising.

Another 22 infections were detected at airports where workers have been isolating and testing passengers arriving with fever or respiratory symptoms.

03:10 GMT – Singapore reports fifth person has died from coronavirus

Singapore reported another coronavirus-related death on Friday, raising the city-state’s total fatalities from the disease to five.

The latest death was of an 86-year-old female Singapore citizen, the health ministry said in a statement.

The country has reported 1,049 coronavirus cases in total.

03:02 GMT – US state of Washington extends stay-at-home order until May 4 

Washington Gov Jay Inslee has extended orders to keep non-essential businesses closed and most of the state’s more than seven million residents home through May 4, saying that social distancing measures must remain in place an additional month in order to minimize the spread of coronavirus.

In recent days, Inslee had been signaling that his initial stay-at-home orders from March 23, which were set to expire next week, would be extended.

02:43 GMT – Scientists, doctor launch anti-coronavirus body

A group of scientists, physicians, funders, and policy makers from over 70 institutions from over 30 countries have launched an international coalition to respond to COVID-19 in resource-poor settings, The Lancet magazine reported.

The COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition aims to accelerate desperately needed COVID-19 research in those areas where the virus could wreak havoc on already-fragile health systems and cause the greatest health impact on vulnerable populations, the report said.

The members of the coalition argue that international research collaboration and coordination is needed urgently to support African, Latin American, Eastern European, and certain Asian countries to respond effectively to the health crisis.

02:30 GMT – US Navy relieves aircraft carrier commander over coronavirus action

The US Navy has relieved the commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, who wrote a scathing letter that leaked to the public asking for stronger measures to control a coronavirus outbreak onboard his warship.

The removal of Captain Brett Crozier from command of the 5,000-person vessel, which was first reported by Reuters, was announced by acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who said the commander exercised poor judgment.

The dismissal, two days after the commander’s letter leaked, was a dramatic example of how the coronavirus is challenging US institutions, even those accustomed to dangerous and complex missions like the US military.

02:18 GMT – How to talk to your children about coronavirus

With many of the world’s people confined to their homes amid efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, families are finding themselves spending more time than ever together.

For many, this is an unexpected opportunity to connect with spouses, children and siblings. But one question has come bubbling up: How should adult caregivers be talking about coronavirus to the children in their lives?

Here are some helpful tips. 

01:22 GMT – China reports 3,322 coronavirus deaths

China’s health commission reported on Friday four new coronavirus cases bringing the total to 3,322 as of the end of Thursday.

China also reported 60 new asymptomatic cases of the virus.

01:22 GMT – Iraq has confirmed thousands more COVID-19 cases than reported, medics say

Iraq has thousands of confirmed COVID-19 cases, many times more than the 772 it is has publicly reported, according to three doctors closely involved in the testing process, a health ministry official and a senior political official.

Three doctors, who work in pharmaceutical teams helping test suspected COVID-19 cases in Baghdad, each said that confirmed cases of the disease, based on discussions among fellow medics who see daily results, were between about 3,000 and 9,000 although they each gave different estimates.

The sources all spoke to Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity. Iraqi authorities have instructed medical staff not to speak to the media.

Iraq’s health ministry, the only official outlet for information on the coronavirus, dismissed the sources’ reading of the spread of the disease.

“It’s incorrect information,” said Saif al-Badr, the health ministry spokesman, in a text message sent to Reuters without elaborating.

The ministry said in its latest daily statement on Thursday that the total recorded confirmed cases for Iraq were 772, with 54 deaths.

00:22 GMT – UN calls for unity against ‘unprecedented’ coronavirus threat 

The UN General Assembly has unanimously approved a resolution recognising “the unprecedented effects” of the coronavirus pandemic and calling for “intensified international cooperation to contain, mitigate and defeat” the deady disease.

General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande sent a letter to all UN member nations Thursday night informing them that there were no objections to the resolution entitled “Global Solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease” sponsored by Ghana, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. He said the resolution was approved and is in effect.

The resolution also recognises the disease, also known as COVID-19, has resulted in “severe disruption to societies and economies, as well as to global travel and commerce, and the devastating impact on the livelihood of people” and that “the poorest and most vulnerable are the hardest hit.”

00:06 GMT – WHO urges Middle Eastern countries to act fast

Governments in the Middle East need to act fast to limit the spread of the coronavirus after cases rose to nearly 60,000, almost double their level a week earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

“New cases have been reported in some of the most vulnerable countries with fragile health systems,” said Ahmed Al-Mandhari, the WHO’s director for the Eastern Mediterranean region, which includes Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Djibouti, as well as Middle Eastern states.

“Even in countries with stronger heath systems, we have seen a worrying spike in the numbers of cases and deaths reported,” he said in a statement.

“I cannot stress enough the urgency of the situation,” said Mandhari. “The increasing numbers of cases show that transmission is rapidly occurring at local and community levels.”

“We still have a window of opportunity, but this window is slowly closing day by day,” he added.

23:20 GMT Thursday – Trump to Iran: If they want help, we will give them help 

President Donald Trump has said if Iran requests his administration for help in dealing with the coronavirus emergency that he would be willing to do it.

“They have a very big case of virus. A very, very big case. One of the worst on earth if you believe what you’re reading and I happen to believe what I see and what I know. If they want help, we will give them help.”

Earlier, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, former Vice President Joseph Biden said he supports the lifting of sanctions against Iran as the country deals with the deadly disease.

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

Read all the updates from yesterday (April 2) here. 

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