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
20 Posts
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12:46 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

World faces "greatest test" since World War II, says UN secretary-general

From CNN's Richard Roth

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a news briefing at UN Headquarters on February 4 in New York City.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during a news briefing at UN Headquarters on February 4 in New York City. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced since the United Nations was formed in the wake of World War II, said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"COVID-19 is the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations," Guterres said in a new report released Tuesday.
"This human crisis demands coordinated, decisive, inclusive and innovative policy action from the world’s leading economies – and maximum financial and technical support for the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries.
"But this is much more than a health crisis. It is a human crisis. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is attacking societies at their core."

Guterres said the world must work together if it is going to reduce the social and economic impact of the coronavirus on the global population.

In response to the crisis, the secretary-general said in a statement that he has established a dedicated Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund to support the efforts of low- and middle-income countries to stop local epidemics.

The United Nations was founded in 1945 in the immediate aftermath of World War II by more than 50 countries with an aim of increasing cooperation between states and preventing conflict. It now has 193 member states.

12:32 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

At least 830 new US coronavirus deaths reported in single day

The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus is rising rapidly in the United States, with at least 830 new fatalities reported on Tuesday alone, according to a count by CNN Health.

It the most reported deaths in the US in a single day during the coronavirus epidemic.

To date, there has been a total of 3,834 deaths reported in the US since the pandemic began, with at least 185,499 cases across the country.

Hawaii reported its first death from the disease on Tuesday, leaving Wyoming the only state yet to report a fatality.

For the most up-to-date US numbers compiled by CNN, please check this map which automatically refreshes every 10 minutes:

12:14 a.m. ET, April 1, 2020

The timetable for a coronavirus vaccine is 18 months. Experts say that's risky

From CNN's Robert Kuznia

Eighteen months might sound like a long time, but in vaccine years, it's a blink.

That's the long end of the Trump administration's time window for developing a coronavirus vaccine, and some leaders in the field say this is too fast -- and could come at the expense of safety.

"I don't think it's ever been done at an industrial scale in 18 months," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar focused on emerging infectious disease at the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University. "Vaccine development is usually measured in years, not months."

Vaccine trials typically start with testing in animals before launching into a three-phase process.

Mark Feinberg, president and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, told Stat that while he recognizes the importance of animal trials, the urgency of the current public emergency makes it worth the trade-off.

"When you hear predictions about it taking at best a year or a year and a half to have a vaccine available ... there's no way to come close to those timelines unless we take new approaches," he told the health news website, which is produced by Boston Globe Media.

For more on the vaccine trials and vaccine development, read the full story here:

11:58 p.m. ET, March 31, 2020

Tokyo records highest single-day jump in coronavirus cases as lockdown pressure builds

From CNN's Emiko Jozuka in Tokyo

Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike attends a news conference in Tokyo on March 30, 2020, amid the spread of new coronavirus infections.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike attends a news conference in Tokyo on March 30, 2020, amid the spread of new coronavirus infections. Kyodo via AP Images

Tokyo reported 78 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday -- the highest single-day increase for Japan's capital -- as pressure builds to lock down the city. 

The latest rise in people testing positive in Tokyo came as Japan recorded over 200 new coronavirus cases on the same day -- the biggest single-day jump during the outbreak, according to public broadcaster NHK. 

“This is the biggest increase so far and is certainly of high concern. I’m worried by what tomorrow’s figure could show,” said Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike in a news conference. 

On Tuesday, Koike urged Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to use Tokyo as a reference to decide whether to declare a state of emergency to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, NHK reported. 

“Tokyo is on the verge of an explosive increase of infections. We are trying to prevent that situation and trying to prevent further spread (of the virus). A decision by the state is needed now,” Koike told reporters Tuesday. 

Lockdown measures: Last Wednesday, Koike urged residents in Tokyo to avoid bars, restaurants and large public gatherings, and telework where possible until April 12. 

Koike’s remarks were a test for the city of over roughly 13.5 million people, which until then had been reluctant to impose a lockdown on its residents. While other countries have been quick to enforce restrictions on their citizens to contain the spread of the coronavirus, in Japan it's largely been business as normal. 

11:47 p.m. ET, March 31, 2020

Illinois governor says the state will run out of ventilators "and the federal government really isn’t helping at all"

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker listens to a question after announcing a shelter-in-place order to combat the spread of the coronavirus during a news conference Friday, March 20, in Chicago.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker listens to a question after announcing a shelter-in-place order to combat the spread of the coronavirus during a news conference Friday, March 20, in Chicago. Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Tuesday that the federal government isn’t meeting the needs of his state for ventilators for Covid-19 patients and that the state is purchasing its own.

The governor said the state has requested 4,000 additional ventilators from the federal government, but only received 450.

"I'm purchasing every ventilator that I can find," Pritzker said. "But we're buying them in 100 lots and 200 lots, frankly, I'm taking them 50, 20, 10, wherever I can get them."
"We are going to run out of ventilators and the federal government really isn't helping at all," Pritzker said.

Federal miscommunication over ventilators: Pritzker's comments come after the Department of Defense said it still hadn't shipped 2,000 ventilators to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health because it didn't know where to send them.

"There was discussion with (Health Department) on where to send them. And then they said: 'Hey wait, we’re trying to take a look at the demand that’s required,' and so we were asked to just wait while there was just some sorting through on that. And I won’t speak on behalf of them, but we were in a position to provide 2,000," said Lt. Gen. Giovanni Tuck, the Pentagon's top logistics official, on Tuesday.
11:36 p.m. ET, March 31, 2020

US Coast Guard warns medical evacuations are putting strain on its resources

From CNN's Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt

Medical staff attend suspected Covid-19 patients as they arrive at US Coast Guard Base Miami Beach on March 26 in Miami, Florida.
Medical staff attend suspected Covid-19 patients as they arrive at US Coast Guard Base Miami Beach on March 26 in Miami, Florida. Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images

As more and more foreign passenger vessels require medical evacuations for people with flu-like symptoms, the US Coast Guard's strained local medical resources are feeling the pressure.

According to a Marine Safety Information Bulletin issued by the US Coast Guard and obtained by CNN, the increased demand “is leading to the establishment of improvised field hospitals.”

“Medical facilities in the Port of Miami, for example are no longer accepting medevac patients due to limited hospital capacity and it is expected that neighboring counties will follow suit,” the bulletin warned.

The Zaandam cruise ship, which is headed to Florida with dozens of people with flu-like symptoms -- and at least eight people who tested positive for Covid-19 -- is flagged in the Netherlands. It is requesting to dock at Port Everglades. There are 305 US citizens on board, including 49 Floridians.

Foreign-flagged vessels that sit beyond US territorial seas “should seek flag state support prior to seeking support from the limited facilities in the U.S,” the bulletin said.

The bulletin goes on to say that an evacuee “has better access to comfortable surroundings and medical staff on board the foreign passenger vessel where care is already being provided.”

“This is necessary as shore-side medical facilities may reach full capacity and lose the ability to accept and effectively treat additional critically-ill patients,” the bulletin said.

11:24 p.m. ET, March 31, 2020

Samsung works with mask companies to help increase output

From CNN's Sophie Jeong in Seoul

Samsung, the world’s largest maker of smartphones, TVs and memory chips, has sent its manufacturing experts to mask-producing firms to increase output without adding new equipment, according to a news release from the South Korean tech giant.

At one firm, the daily mask output increased from 40,000 to 100,000, the release said. Samsung also imported 284,000 masks and donated them to the Daegu region, where the outbreak in South Korea has been concentrated.

Samsung’s 14 affiliates, including Samsung Electronics, have donated 30 billion won ($24.6 million) to the Korea Disaster Relief Association to support efforts to overcome the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Samsung also provided South Korean authorities with its training facility to use as a care center for coronavirus patients with mild symptoms. 

South Korea has recorded 9,887 cases of the novel coronavirus, including 165 deaths.

11:16 p.m. ET, March 31, 2020

US federal prisons will confine inmates to cells for 2 weeks due to coronavirus

From CNN's David Shortell

The US federal prison system will move to a heightened state of lockdown as it fights the spread of coronavirus behind bars, the Bureau of Prisons announced.

Beginning Wednesday, inmates will be confined to their cells for a two-week period, with exceptions for certain programs and services like mental-health treatment and education. 

Limited group gatherings -- like access to prison stores, laundry, showers and the telephone -- will be "afforded to the extent practical," the agency said.

The strict protocols come just days after the first coronavirus death in the federal prison system -- at a Louisiana prison over the weekend.

Read the full story here:

11:00 p.m. ET, March 31, 2020

"It's like war," Detroit emergency medical technician says

From CNN’s Paul Murphy

Detroit hospitals are being stretched thin as coronavirus cases skyrocket in the Michigan city.

First responders at the city's fire department are still assisting residents -- and when the call comes in as code "Charlie," that signifies it's a possible Covid-19 call, a Detroit Fire emergency medical technician (EMT) tells CNN.

"I see citizens still wanting to go to the ER for mild symptoms who should reality isolate at home and follow CDC guidelines," the EMT says. "Hospitals are just flooded and overwhelmed. It’s like war." 

First responders try to educate and inform those with mild symptoms of the CDC guidelines, the EMT says. Ultimately, they have to transport people if they ask to be brought to the hospital. 

"We try and give them every possible scenario," the EMT says. "But we never discourage anyone from seeking treatment."

While responding to a call, the EMT says first responders from the fire department are in constant communication with "medical control," an ER physician on the other radio. 

While in the home, even with their personal protective equipment (PPE) on, they're trying to maintain a six-foot (1.8 meters) distance with any patients.

Right now, the EMT says they believe they have a good supply of PPE. They are constantly cleaning their trucks, too.

"I come home smelling of bleach," the EMT says. "If the coronavirus doesn’t get to my lungs the bleach will."