April 1 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Tara John, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 9:37 p.m. ET, April 1, 2020
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9:25 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Hawaii governor orders mandatory quarantine for people traveling between islands

Hawaiia Gov. David Ige in 2018
Hawaiia Gov. David Ige in 2018 Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said violators of a mandatory quarantine in the state could face up to year in prison and a $5,000 fine. The mandate went into effect just after midnight in Hawaii and requires residents and visitors traveling between any of the state’s islands to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

“I fully understand that the ability to travel between islands is important for many residents for work, family, and medical treatment and we have been working how to allow essential travel and still protect our community,” said Gov Ige at a press conference. 

The mandate requires travelers to fill out an inter-island declaration form. Essential functions, such as those traveling for medical or health care, are not subject to self-quarantine, but travelers must wear masks and follow social distancing requirements. 

“In Hawaii, we have a tradition of coming together during challenging times. This is who we are. This is what makes our island community so special and as a community it is all of our responsibility to help flatten the curve and stop the spread of Covid-19 in Hawaii,” said Gov Ige. 

The state has reported 224 coronavirus cases including 1 death.

9:27 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Most White House coronavirus task force members support Americans wearing masks in public

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Most members of President Trump’s coronavirus task force have come to agree that Americans should begin wearing face coverings in public and could issue formal guidance soon, people familiar with the matter said.  

Trump signaled he was open to the idea during Tuesday’s briefing and members of the task force are working to draft recommendations on how to fashion the coverings to prevent spread of the virus. 

Previously, some members of the task force — including Dr. Deborah Birx — cautioned in meetings against recommending Americans wear masks because of a fear it could lull them into a false sense of protection and prevent them from socially distancing. 

But new insights into asymptomatic spread of the virus have led to a reconsideration of the guidance. 

Among the issues discussed by the task force and the CDC have been how to teach Americans to wear masks and how to prevent a rush on medical-grade equipment still in short supply for hospitals. 

There have also been discussions of the cultural shift that recommending masks would represent, since Americans — unlike citizens of some Asian countries — are not accustomed to wearing masks in public. 

There have also been discussions of whether or not to call the recommended face coverings “masks.” Some have suggested referring to them simply as “face coverings” or “courtesy masks” to distinguish them from the medical masks needed by professionals.

9:03 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Japan extends entry ban to 73 countries and regions to curb coronavirus spread

From CNN's Eric Cheung in Hong Kong and Junko Ogura in Tokyo

Terminal 3 is deserted at Tokyo's Haneda airport on April 1.
Terminal 3 is deserted at Tokyo's Haneda airport on April 1. Kyodo News via Getty Images

Japan will extend an entry ban to foreign nationals from 73 countries and regions, including the US, Britain and Canada, in its latest attempt to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Japanese government made the announcement after a coronavirus task force meeting today. Notably, the list includes most European countries and all parts of China and South Korea. It will take effect on Friday until the end of April.

The government is also asking all Japanese nationals returning from overseas to self-quarantine for two weeks and to refrain from using public transportation.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Japan has not reached the point for declaring a state of emergency and said the country will continue to place protecting people's lives and health as the top priority.

8:51 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Edinburgh festival cancelled for the first time in more than 70 years

From Martin Goillandeau in London

Entertainers perform on the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019.
Entertainers perform on the Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2019. Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, billed as the “biggest celebration of arts and culture on the planet, has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, Chief Executive Shona McCarthy said in a statement.

It had been scheduled for August. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was “a heart-breaking decision” during her address to the Scottish Parliament today.

“We’ve had confirmation earlier today that the Edinburgh Festival will not take place this summer for the first time in more than 70 years. This is a heart-breaking decision but absolutely the right one,” Sturgeon said.

Four other festivals also slated to take place in the Scottish capital in August have been cancelled:

  • Edinburgh Art Festival
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival
  • Edinburgh International Festival
  • Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

All five festivals, including the Fringe, welcome "audiences of 4.4 million and over 25,000 artists, writers and performers from 70 countries, making them the second biggest cultural event in the world after the Olympics," the organizer's wrote in a statement.

9:00 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

He had to say goodbye to his mother over walkie-talkie as she died of coronavirus 

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

CNN
CNN

A 42-year-old mother of six, raising her children alone in Washington state after their father died in 2012, died after contracting the coronavirus. 

Sundee Rutter’s son Elijah Ross-Rutter, 20, said they were allowed behind a glass window outside her hospital room. They said final goodbyes via a walkie-talkie.  

“It’s a moment that nobody really ever wants to be in. I told her I loved her. I told her everything is going to be all right with the kids," he said. "Us older siblings, we're going to make sure everything’s OK with them and that they're going to grow up to be some adults that my mom would want them to be."

She survived stage 3 breast cancer and was declared cancer-free in January and after undergoing surgery and radiation.

“We were just starting to, you know, feel whole again ... After this happened, it was just tragic,” Ross-Rutter told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.  

Ross-Rutter said his 24-year-old sibling will take custody over their other siblings, and they plan to stay together as a family. There is a GoFundMe set up to help support them. 

Watch:

8:31 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

The British Prime Minister tweeted a photo of his virtual cabinet meeting. Now, there are security concerns.

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac, Robert North, Lauren Kent and Vasco Cotovio in London

from Twitter
from Twitter

A screen grab of a virtual cabinet meeting tweeted by the British Prime Minister has raised security concerns

Boris Johnson, who is self-isolating after catching the virus, chaired the meeting using video conferencing platform Zoom due to the spread of coronavirus amongst government officials. 

But a screen grab of the meeting, shared on Johnson's Twitter account, inadvertently revealed the meeting ID number in the left hand corner of the screen, as well as the usernames of some of the cabinet ministers.

In a statement to CNN, 10 Downing Street said highly classified government business is always held via secure systems. 

"In the current unprecedented circumstances the need for effective channels of communication is vital. National Cyber Security Centre guidance shows there is no security reason for Zoom not to be used for meetings of this kind,” a spokesman for the Prime Minister said.

“Zoom takes its users’ privacy, security, and trust extremely seriously," Zoom said in a statement to CNN addressing wider security concerns around its platform.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working around-the-clock to ensure that hospitals, universities, schools, and other businesses across the world can stay connected and operational. We appreciate the New York Attorney General’s engagement on these issues and are happy to provide her with the requested information.”

8:27 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Cardiologists urge patients to keep taking blood pressure medications despite questions around coronavirus risk

(From CNN's Jacqueline Howard)

Two new viewpoint papers published in the Journal of the American Heart Association today turn a spotlight on how certain blood pressure medications may be associated with more severe Covid-19 infections — but still, it is important that patients continue taking their medications as prescribed, they say.

The papers focus on the types of drugs known as ACE inhibitors or ACEIs and angiotensin receptor blockers or ARBs, which "upregulate" an enzyme called ACE2.

It turns out that the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19 enters the body's cells through ACE2. Therefore there has been some speculation that heart and blood pressure medications that influence ACE2 could put patients at increased risk of severe Covid-19 infections — but until more research is conducted, doctors urge patients to keep taking their medicine.

"Taken together, ACE2 plays a protective role in both cardiovascular diseases and acute lung injury. For uninfected patients, we tend to believe it is unnecessary to discontinue ACEIs/ARBs given the lack of evidence to support the hypothesis that ACEIs/ARBs might lead to an increased risk of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection," authors Junyi Guo, Zheng Huang, Li Lin and Jiagao Lv wrote in one of the papers published Wednesday. The authors are from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus pandemic began.

They added that infected patients also should not discontinue their medications but there is no immediate need for an infected patient not already taking the medication to initiate use.

Both papers call for more research into this issue.

 

8:17 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

There are at least 186,014 coronavirus cases in the US

From CNN's Amanda Watts

According to CNN Health's tally of US cases that are detected and tested through US public health systems, there are at least 186,014 cases of coronavirus in the US.

At least 3,848 people have died in the US from coronavirus. 

The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases.

Wyoming is the only state not reporting a death from coronavirus. 

8:15 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

Finnish Prime Minister admits some things have not gone perfectly

From CNNs Schams Elwazer and Stephanie Halasz in London

Prime Minister Sanna Marin speaks during a press conference on March 16.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin speaks during a press conference on March 16. Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has admitted some aspects of the coronavirus management have not gone perfectly in her country, according to the Finnish public broadcaster YLE.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Sanna Marin admitted things had not gone well at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, where thousands of travellers have arrived without clear instructions on how and whether or not they should self-isolate, YLE reports. 

"Information has not flowed as it should and co-ordination has not worked as it should," said Marin.

At the same press conference, Social Services Minister Krista Kiuru announced that testing capacity would be doubled in the near future from the current level of 2,500 tests per day, according to YLE. 

Health Minister Aino-Kaisa Pekonen said that Finland had already spent hundreds of millions of euros on acquiring protective equipment for healthcare workers, and the first consignments would arrive this week. She said there was no shortage on a national level, but noted that there were regional differences in the availability of protective kits, says YLE.

This comes as the Finnish government announced Wednesday that all restaurants must be closed in the country starting Saturday, according to the Finnish government website. 

“The restrictions will remain in force until the end of May. The restrictions apply to all restaurant operations except for preparing food for take away and for delivery by food couriers. The restrictions do not apply to canteens or restaurants that are essential for food supply such as canteens in schools, hospitals and similar establishments, or personnel restaurants that serve in-house personnel only,” a government statement reads.