April 3 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 8:02 a.m. ET, April 4, 2020
20 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:49 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Los Angeles mayor recommends people cover their faces in public

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is advising people in his city to wear some sort of face covering in public.

The issue of who should wear face masks and when has become hotly debated, especially due to potential shortages of personal protective equipment for frontline medical workers.

"Los Angeles is a leader in responding to this global crisis, and that’s why I want to share the latest guidance from public health experts on how you can help protect yourself and those around you from infection. As we learn more about this virus, we will continue to update our guidance so we don’t just flatten the curve, but get ahead of it," Garcetti said.

"Early data suggests that many who are infected with Covid-19 do not have symptoms, which is why everyone should wear cloth face coverings when leaving the house for essential activities. However, a face covering is not a substitute for other critical measures -- most importantly, staying home as much as possible, washing hands frequently, and practicing safe physical distancing in all settings."

The city's guidance can be found here

US public health officials at first advised against wearing masks, 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. President Trump said the government plans to release new recommendations on face masks in the coming days.

The World Health Organization has refrained from advising the general public from wearing masks. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for the WHO's Covid-19 response, chimed in on the current debate about when to wear face masks and who should be wearing them at CNN's coronavirus town hall Thursday.

She said the organization currently recommends that people who are ill or caring for the sick wear normal medical masks, while the more efficient N95s should be saved for frontline health-care workers. The WHO is studying other options, like whether the general public should use scarves to cover themselves.

"We have to prioritize the use of masks for frontline workers, if that is one thing I can stress," Van Kerkhove said. "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.

Read more about the face mask debate here:

12:29 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

China to hold national day of mourning for "martyrs" who died fighting coronavirus

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

China will hold a day of national mourning on Saturday for the "martyrs" who died while fighting the novel coronavirus outbreak inside the country, the government said.

During the commemoration, national flags will fly at half-mast whilst people across the country observe three minutes of silence.

"Air raid sirens and horns of automobiles, trains and ships will wail in grief," China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported. 

The announcement comes after Chinese authorities revealed on Thursday that one of the first whistleblowers Dr. Li Wenliang had been awarded the "martyr" title.

Read more about Dr. Li:

12:19 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

At least 10 US states have closed school for the year as part of social distancing measures

From CNN's Chris Boyette

At least 10 US states have closed schools through the end of the school year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

They are:

Schools in California are currently closed and both Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state's superintendent of public instruction have said it is unlikely they will be able to re-open before the end of the year.

12:12 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

More than 245,000 coronavirus cases in the US as of late Thursday Eastern Time

From CNN's Joe Sutton

At least 245,213 cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally. Of those, 5,983 patients have died.

On Thursday, 28,491 new cases and 846 deaths were recorded, according to Johns Hopkins. 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 to have reported a death from coronavirus.

12:00 a.m. ET, April 3, 2020

Cathay Pacific flew just 582 passengers one day this week. Now it's cutting capacity even further

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

A Cathay Pacific passenger airplane takes off as other aircraft belonging to the airline are seen parked on the tarmac at Hong Kong International Airport on March 10.
A Cathay Pacific passenger airplane takes off as other aircraft belonging to the airline are seen parked on the tarmac at Hong Kong International Airport on March 10. Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways will further decrease the number of passenger flights it runs due to low demand caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The airline said it flew just 582 passengers in one day this week, down more than 99% on its daily expectations. The airline usually expects to fly around 100,000 passengers a day.

In an internal memo shared with CNN, Cathay Pacific's CEO Augustus Tang said that the "economic implications associated with the COVID-19's global pandemic is intensifying" and that "our passenger fleet has been virtually grounded as the remaining demand has disappeared."
Tang said that due to the pandemic, "passenger capacity will now be reduced further from the skeleton schedule previously announced," adding, "We will continue to monitor flights closely and may make further reductions if necessary."

The new cost-saving measures come after Cathay announced last month that it would halt all flights on its low-cost carrier HK Express and cut passenger capacity on Cathay Pacific by 96%.

The airline will now only operate two long-haul flights per week to four destinations: London, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Sydney. In Asia, Cathay will maintain three weekly flights to eight destinations including Tokyo, Manila and Singapore.  

Tang said that he and Cathay chairman Patrick Healy will be taking a 30% cut in base salary, while executive directors will each see their salaries cut by 25% from April to December.

He warned that employees in regions where capacity has been reduced or flights have been eliminated may need to take unpaid leave or furloughs.

11:51 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Medical supplies seized from seller suspected of hoarding will be given to medical staff

From CNN's Evan Perez and David Shortell

The US Health and Human Services Department said Thursday it had distributed some 192,000 N95 respirator masks and a large haul of other scarce medical supplies that the FBI had seized during the arrest of a Brooklyn man.

Baruch Feldheim, 43, was arrested Monday after he allegedly coughed on FBI agents and told them he had the coronavirus. Prosecutors alleged in court documents that Feldheim sold the N95 masks to doctors and nurses at inflated prices; in one instance at as much as a 700% markup.

They're now being distributed to health-care workers in New York and New Jersey. The department used its authority under the Defense Production Act to make the move.

Read more:

11:40 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Fact-checking Trump on whether scarves are "better" than masks

From CNN's Matthew Philips

While discussing the question of whether his administration will advise citizens to use masks today, President Donald Trump claimed that some scarves can be more effective against the coronavirus, when used to cover people's faces, than masks themselves.

“In many cases the scarf is better, it’s thicker. I mean you can -- depending on the material, it’s thicker,” Trump said.

Trump also said that new recommendations for civilians using masks will come out soon.

Facts First: Though he was addressing what citizens should do, Trump’s claim that scarves can work better than masks is not supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidance for health care workers.

While scarves may offer some protection, the CDC's advice describes scarves as a possible last resort if masks are not available -- and urges workers to exercise caution if they are using scarves and other clothing, since their capacity to protect workers is "unknown."

When masks are no longer available, the CDC says workers “might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort.” The guidance also states that “caution should be exercised when considering this option” and that face shields should be used in addition to these homemade masks.

Read more here:

11:42 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

It's 11:30 p.m. in New York and it's past midday in Tokyo. Here's the latest on the pandemic

Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment remove bodies from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center Thursday, April 2, in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment remove bodies from the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center Thursday, April 2, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Mary Altaffer/AP

Global cases top 1 million: More than a million people have been infected with the novel coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University, a landmark moment in the growing worldwide pandemic. The worst affected countries are the United States, Italy and Spain, all of which have more than 100,000 cases.

Italy's death toll nears 14,000: More than 53,000 deaths have been reported globally, according to Johns Hopkins. The countries with the highest number of fatalities are Italy, with 13,915 deaths, and Spain with 10,348.

US to issue nationwide guidance on face masks: In a news conference Thursday, President Donald Trump said that US regulations on face masks would be announced soon, but added they likely wouldn't be mandatory.

Time for national stay-at home order: Fauci: Top US infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci told a CNN town hall Thursday night that it was time to put in place a nationwide order for citizens to stay at home unless absolutely necessary. "I don't understand why that's not happening," he said. President Trump has previously called for flexibility between states.

South Korea tops 10,000 recorded cases: South Korea is now the second country in Asia to have more than 10,000 infections, after China. Nearly 60% of the country's patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital.

Tokyo records highest single day rise in infections: Japan reported 235 new cases of the novel coronavirus today, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the country to 3,329. The capital Tokyo saw its largest single-day rise yet of 97 cases. There are now 684 infections in the city.

11:19 p.m. ET, April 2, 2020

Sony launches $100 million global coronavirus fund

By CNN's Emiko Jozuka in Tokyo

The Sony Corp. headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, July 30, 2019.
The Sony Corp. headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sony is gearing up to launch a $100 million fund to support those around the world who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative would support frontline medical workers and first responders in the fight against the virus; help children and teachers who must now work remotely; and assist people working in the arts and entertainment industries, the company said in a statement released on Thursday.

"Sony extends its condolences to the families of those who have passed away as a result of the coronavirus crisis, and extends its sympathies to all those who have been impacted," said Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony's president and CEO, in a statement.
“In order to overcome the unprecedented challenges that as a society we now face around the world, we will do all we can as a global company to support the individuals on the frontlines of the battle against coronavirus the children who are our future, and those who have been impacted in the creative community."