April 6 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 9:18 p.m. ET, April 6, 2020
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4:42 a.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Colombian president calls for solidarity with Venezuelan migrants during coronavirus outbreak

From CNNE’s Daniel Silva Fernandez in Miami and Hira Humayun in Atlanta

Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez speaks during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference, in Washington on March 2.
Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez speaks during the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference, in Washington on March 2. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Colombian President Ivan Duque called for solidarity and support for more than a million Venezuelan migrants who have been hit hard by the impacts of coronavirus, during a Facebook Live session on Sunday.

About 600 Venezuelan citizens crossed the Colombian border into Venezuela on Saturday, according to Migracion Colombia, Colombia’s Immigration Authority. They were received by officials from the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Immigration of Venezuela. 

Colombia’s quarantine measures during the outbreak have left many Venezuelan citizens in the country without a source of income.

Duque said Colombia will help the migrants despite the difficulties caused by the outbreak, "especially those with the most vulnerable conditions, being able to receive food and some protection at this time."

He said the government would continue making progress in food aid and protection programs to help the nearly 1.7 million displaced Venezuelans.

9:22 a.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Coronavirus cases in Switzerland continue to rise

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

Swiss personnel help move a coronavirus patient at the Pourtales Hospital in Neuchatel, Switzerland, on March 25.
Swiss personnel help move a coronavirus patient at the Pourtales Hospital in Neuchatel, Switzerland, on March 25. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Switzerland reported 822 more cases of coronavirus on Sunday, bringing the national total to 21,100, according to the Swiss Federal Office for Health.

At least 559 people have died from the virus.

The Swiss authority said that there are 246 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

“Switzerland now has one of the highest incidences (246/100,000) in Europe,” said a statement on the health authority's website.

4:26 a.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Top Indian doctor says community participation is vital in stopping slum coronavirus outbreaks

People rest by their homes in Dharavi, one of Asia's largest slums, in Mumbai, India, on April 3.
People rest by their homes in Dharavi, one of Asia's largest slums, in Mumbai, India, on April 3. Rajanish Kakade/AP

Dr. Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi says that the most important way to stop a coronavirus outbreak in India's slums will be to get community participation.

"In my mind the control of the disease is going to be through the community rather than through the hospitals," Guleria said, speaking to CNN on Monday.

Efforts to stop the coronavirus from spreading in Mumbai's densely populated Dharavi slum are being ramped up after several cases and one death were confirmed there last week.

Quarantining not possible in a slum: Guleria said it is impossible for people there to isolate themselves at home.

"If you have a number of people living in one room, its not possible for them to have home quarantine or self-quarantine. So a facility that can put them up for two weeks so they don't spread the virus in their community is something that needs to be looked at," Guleria said.

Lockdown showing signs of helping: India is entering its second week of a 21-day nationwide lockdown, and Guleria recommended that more aggressive restrictions may be needed in hotspot areas.

"We could look at a graded lockdown in some areas -- where the infections are lower based on the data, the lockdown may be partially lifted. But in the hotspots where we have a large number of cases being picked up, I think we will need to look at a more aggressive lockdown so that community spread can be stopped in these areas," he said.

Can India cope? On whether the country has enough hospital resources to cope with a large outbreak, Guleria said that while resources "are going to be strained," India has had a few weeks to prepare.

"What advantage we have had is that we’ve had time over the past few weeks to start preparing. And a lot of work has gone in to prepare a lot of Covid hospitals facilities, whether it be PPEs, ventilators, or whether it be trying to train our doctors, to manage this.
"We need to see how we can flatten the curve because if we have these huge surge of cases that are happening in the US, it’s going to be a big problem as far as India is concerned," he said.
4:16 a.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Boris Johnson continues to lead British government from hospital

From CNN's Lauren Kent in London

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in charge of the British government from hospital, housing minister Robert Jenrick said on Monday. 

Johnson was admitted to the hospital on Sunday night in what Downing Street said was a "precautionary step" after continuing to experience coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive on March 27.

"I know for him personally it will be very frustrating that he's had to go to the hospital to have these tests, and he'll want to be back in Number 10 leading from the front, which is his way," said Jenrick on the BBC's Today program. "But he remains in charge of the government and he will be updated regularly in the hospital, as he has been while he was self-isolating."

UK foreign minister Dominic Raab will chair the regular morning meetings for the government, Jenrick said. 

He added that it "wasn't an emergency admission."

"It was a planned admission, in order to have some routine tests. Those tests are underway and he'll stay in hospital as long as he needs to do that. But I've heard that he's doing well, and I very much look forward to him being back in Number 10 as soon as possible," Jenrick said.
4:05 a.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Scotland's chief medical officer resigns after she was caught leaving home without a proper excuse

From CNN’s Simon Cullen

Scotland's Chief Medical Officer, Catherine Calderwood speaks at a coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh on March 29.
Scotland's Chief Medical Officer, Catherine Calderwood speaks at a coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh on March 29. Jeff J Mitchell/AFP/Getty Images

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Catherine Calderwood has resigned after being caught leaving her home without a proper excuse during the coronavirus pandemic.

Calderwood initially said in a news conference apologizing for her actions that she intended to stay in the role. But by late Sunday night, she had resigned “with a heavy heart."

“The justifiable focus on my behaviour risks becoming a distraction from the hugely important job that government and the medical profession has to do in getting the country through this coronavirus pandemic,” she said in a statement.
“Having worked so hard on the government's response, that is the last thing I want.”

Calderwood was photographed by a Scottish newspaper near her second home, in a different part of the country from her Edinburgh address.

Police issued her with a formal warning on Sunday for breaking Scotland’s strict measures aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Monday that she had hoped that Calderwood would be able to stay in the position, "because at this point in dealing with the pandemic, continuity of advice from somebody who’s been immersed in this from the very outset was very important."

“By last night, it became very clear to me that whatever the risk of that was … it was outweighed by the risk of our message being crowded out and undermined," Sturgeon said.
3:57 a.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Ireland's leader has reregistered as a doctor to help during the coronavirus

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks during the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon at the US Capitol on March 12 in Washington.
Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks during the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon at the US Capitol on March 12 in Washington. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ireland's Taoiseach (prime minister) Leo Varadkar has rejoined the medical register and will work one shift a week to help out during the coronavirus pandemic, according to national broadcaster RTE.

Varadkar worked as a doctor for seven years before becoming a politician. He left the medical profession in 2013.

RTE reported that he reregistered as a doctor in March and offered his services to the country’s Health Service Executive (HSE) for one session a week.

Varadkar will carry out phone assessments to free up staff for frontline work, according to RTE.

3:44 a.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Efforts to stop coronavirus spreading through one of Asia's largest slums are being ramped up

Testing in Dharavi.
Testing in Dharavi. Kiran Dighavkar via Twitter

Home to around 1 million people, Dharavi in Mumbai is one of Asia's largest slums -- and a coronavirus outbreak there could become unmanageable.

But the slum may be the site of the first self-sufficient model in India for the identification, quarantine, and treatment of coronavirus, according to a senior municipality official.

Since a 56-year-old man tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday and succumbed to the disease later that evening, four more coronavirus cases have been identified in Dharavi. 

"Even though the number of cases is low at this stage, everybody is anticipating a big outbreak in Dharavi. The municipal commissioner visited the area today to take stock of the situation," said Kiran Dighavkar, an official with Mumbai's Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). 

The Rajiv Gandhi Sports Complex in the area has been converted into a 300-bed quarantine facility for high-risk patients, while efforts to fight the virus are being ramped up.

Boosting the response in Dharavi:

  • On Sunday, the BMC acquired a 51-bed hospital, along with its entire medical staff, to exclusively quarantine asymptomatic coronavirus patients from Dharavi, Dighavkar said. 
  • A team of 274 health-care workers, who had worked on a polio vaccine drive, have been deployed in Dharavi to identify and test potential contacts.
  • A pathology lab near Dharavi has offered to test samples from the slum and lab officials will receive training by BMC doctors on Monday.
  • Fifteen doctors from the Doctors Association of India have also come forward to set up a health camp to screen residents of Dharavi for the virus, Dighavkar said. 
"With everyone coming forward to offer their services, Dharavi can become a self-sufficient model for dealing with the coronavirus. However, all critical cases still go to Kasturba Hospital (the first hospital in Mumbai that began treating coronavirus patients)," Dighavkar added. 

3:29 a.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny are essential workers, New Zealand PM reassures children

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during her post-Cabinet media update at Parliament on April 6, in Wellington, New Zealand.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during her post-Cabinet media update at Parliament on April 6, in Wellington, New Zealand. Mark Mitchell/Pool/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was asked a slightly more unusual question about the nationwide lockdown at a news conference today.

"We've had some correspondence from some younger viewers who are quite concerned about the Easter Bunny," asked a journalist at the conference. "Have you considered any exemptions for the Easter Bunny? Because of course he would be breaking the bubble."

The "bubble" refers to the idea that New Zealanders should stay within their own bubbles, composed of people in their household -- and not go out or enter neighbors' and friends' bubbles during the lockdown.

"You'll be pleased to know that we consider both the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny to be essential workers," replied Ardern.

"But as you can imagine, at this time, of course they're going to be potentially quite busy at home with their family as well and their own bunnies. So I say to the children of New Zealand, if the Easter Bunny doesn't make it to your household, we have to understand that it's a bit difficult at the moment perhaps for the Bunny to get everywhere."

Ardern suggested that if the Easter Bunny can't make it to children's homes this year, they could instead draw Easter eggs and tape them to the front windows of their homes, so neighborhood children can have their own social-distancing Easter egg hunt.

New Zealand has been under lockdown since March 25. The country has reported 1,106 coronavirus cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

3:19 a.m. ET, April 6, 2020

Japan reports almost 400 new cases in one day

From Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

Japan's health ministry announced 378 new cases of coronavirus and three more deaths nationwide by the end of Sunday.      

The total number of cases in the country has risen to 4,366, 712 of which were from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Some 84 people have died from the disease in the country, 11 of whom were linked to the ship.