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April 2 coronavirus news
By Ben Westcott, Helen Regan, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN
Singapore reports 49 new cases, with 15 yet to be traced
From CNN’s Isaac Yee in Hong Kong
Singapore recorded 49 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, only eight of which had a travel history to Europe, North America or other parts of Asia.
Some 26 of the remaining new cases are linked to previous patients or community infection clusters, according to a Ministry of Health news release. Fifteen of the new infections are currently unlinked and contact tracing is ongoing.
Overall, there have been 1,049 recorded cases of the novel coronavirus in Singapore since the outbreak began. Like many other Asian countries, Singapore is currently experiencing a second wave of infections after bringing its initial outbreak more or less under control.
As of April 3, 266 confirmed coronavirus patients have fully recovered from the infection and have been discharged from hospitals and community isolation facilities across Singapore.
Of the 779 cases still being treated in hospitals across the city, 23 are in critical condition. Four cases have died from complications due to the coronavirus according to the Ministry of Health.
CNN's coronavirus town hall has wrapped
CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta's two-hour special on the coronavirus pandemic has concluded.
Scroll below for some of the highlights from the meeting.
The owner of the New England Patriots used the team's plane to bring hundreds of thousands of masks from China
Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, recently purchased 1.2 million N95 protective masks to donate to the state of Massachusetts and another 300,000 for New York state.
He joined CNN's coronavirus town hall to explain how it got done.
Kraft explained that his eldest son, who is the chairman of the board of Massachusetts General Hospital, is close with the state's governor, Charlie Baker. Baker asked if there was a way that the state could get the masks bought in China.
So Kraft offered to use the team's jet, which was sitting idle.
"This was probably the most challenging operation our organization and team ever had to do. It was a lot of red tape, but a lot of people cooperated," he said.
"Our crew flew probably more hours than they should have, but they knew how important it was. It's like doing your job and never taking time off when something is really important."
Kraft said he believes both Baker and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was on CNN at the time, were both doing a great job.
Gov. Cuomo said the call he got from Kraft saying they were getting the extra masks was probably "the only good call I've gotten in about 10 days."
Tokyo records largest single-day rise in cases
From CNN's Junko Ogura in Tokyo
Japan reported 235 new cases of the novel coronavirus today, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the country to 3,329.
The East Asian country also reported three new coronavirus-related deaths.
Tokyo had its largest single-day rise yet, with 97 new cases. The number of cases reported in the capital is now 684.
Japan’s national total includes 2,617 cases on land and 712 related to the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined in Yokohama Bay for two weeks in February.
A total of 74 people have died from Covid-19 in Japan, including 63 on land and 11 related to the Diamond Princess.
I don't feel sick. Should I wear a face mask?
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for the World Health Organization's Covid-19 response, chimed in on the current debate about when to wear face masks and who should be wearing them.
"What we recommend is that people who are sick wear masks -- medical masks, not N95 masks with respirators. Those must be reserved for our frontline workers who are caring for patients," she said.
"We also need people who are caring for those who are sick to be wearing the masks," she said.
She said right now, it's crucial that personal protective equipment in short supply be reserved for medical workers.
"We have to prioritize the use of masks for frontline workers, if that is one thing I can stress. Medical masks, respirators, gloves, gowns, these are people who are putting their lives on the line to help us, to care for other people and they must be protected," she said.
The WHO has been one of the strongest holdouts when it comes to recommending the widespread use of masks. US health officials recommended the same, but may be shifting course.
On Monday, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Robert Redfield, told NPR that his organization was reviewing its guidelines and may recommend general mask use to guard against community infection. Trump said the US plans to release new recommendations on face masks in the coming days.
When asked about President Trump's suggestion that people use facial coverings like scarves, Van Kerkhove said the WHO is investigating.
"We are constantly looking at evidence, all the time, for the use of masks for anything that is related to this and related to health issues. We are talking with scientists around the world, including US CDC scientists," she said.
Read more about the global debate on face masks here:
Can Covid-19 spread through your apartment building's pipes?
Student Andrew Sutton asks CNN's town hall if someone in an apartment building gets Covid-19, can the virus spread to other units through the plumbing or vents, like SARS did?
Dr. Leana Wen, the former Baltimore health commissioner, said currently there is no evidence that the coronavirus can spread long distances.
However, she added that the virus could spread through a defective plumbing system. This was a particular concern in Hong Kong. During the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, this method became a major source of transmission. At the Amoy Gardens housing estate, there were more than 300 infections and 42 deaths after defective plumbing allowed the virus to spread through the building.
Dr. Wen recommended that "buildings should make sure that they check their exhaust systems, their pipe systems. And I think for all of us who live in apartment buildings, there are additional steps you can take as well, including don't get into crowded elevators. Try to make sure you are not in an elevator with someone."
Dr. Wen also recommended opening the windows to increase your own ventilation once the weather gets warmer and to wash your hands thoroughly after touching surfaces that are used often, like handrails or buttons in elevators.
Peru becomes the latest country to embrace gender-based quarantine
From CNN's Tatiana Arias in Atlanta
Peru will allow men and women out on separate days as part of a gender-based quarantine measure designed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
The new measures will begin in Peru today, President Martin Vizcarra announced to the nation on Thursday. So far, Peru has reported 1,414 cases of coronavirus and 55 deaths.
"Monday, Wednesday, and Friday," only men can be outside; "Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, only women are allowed to circulate," said Vizcarra. The gender-based measure will be in effect until Sunday, April 12.
It comes two days after Panama began restricting movement by gender, arguing the measure urges people to return home since their loves ones are not allowed to be outside.
Peru said it would adopt the same system following the positive results the gender-based measure has yielded in other countries and due to its simplicity in visually detecting who should and shouldn't be out on the streets, Vizcarra explained.
How to sanitize your groceries
Cheryl from Jacksonville, Florida, asked CNN's coronavirus town hall if Covid-19 can be contracted by ingesting it from produce at a supermarket.
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta said that since the virus is respiratory, you can't get it from contaminated food.
"It's more of a question of the packaging. You just have to think about, is there any risk of contamination in other ways. But you are not going to get a GI type thing from eating the virus.
Watch below for a guide on how to sanitize your groceries: