April 8 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Jack Guy, Fernando Alfonso III, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 9:35 p.m. ET, April 8, 2020
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8:23 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

New York City mayor: "We’re not out of the woods"

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

CNN
CNN

New York yesterday reported its deadliest day yet during the coronavirus pandemic. While New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio says officials have seen some progress in fighting the virus, he cautions against relaxing social distancing guidelines. 

“As much as we all want to get back to normal, as much as we’re all feeling like we just want to get outside and socialize again, it's not that time yet,” he tells CNN’s John Berman. “In fact, what this says…is that social distancing, the shelter in place is working. We got to stick to it to make sure we really defeat the coronavirus and to absolutely be careful it doesn't rebound back on us.” 

“We surpassed the number of people who died in the World Trade Center in the last couple of days. … We've got to realize just how destructive this is,” he added. 

The mayor said the city has enough ventilators to last for the week, but he’s not sure about next week due to the “unpredictable” nature of the virus. “For the first time, we got a bit of breathing room. I can tell you we can get through this week, we got great help from the federal government and the state government. 

But also the number of people who need them finally is leveling off a little,” he said, but advises “we’re not out of the woods.”

De Blasio also said his administration is looking to further educate and support minority communities regarding the dangers of coronavirus, which is affecting black and Latino Americans at a higher rate. “This disease, unfortunately, it amplifies the horrible health disparities that already exist,” he said.

8:35 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Boris Johnson is "responding to treatment," says spokesman

From CNN's Luke McGee

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a coronavirus news conference inside number 10 Downing Street on March 19 in London.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a coronavirus news conference inside number 10 Downing Street on March 19 in London. Leon Neal/WPA Pool/Getty Images

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is responding to treatment for the coronavirus and remains in a stable condition in hospital, according to his official spokesman.

“The Prime Minister is receiving oxygen treatment and is breathing without support,” he said.

Johnson has spent three nights in St. Thomas’s Hospital in central London – two of which have been in intensive care.

Johnson revealed he was suffering from coronavirus on March 27, as did health secretary Matt Hancock, who has since recovered. UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is deputizing for Johnson while the Prime Minister is in intensive care.

There is no codified line of succession at the pinnacle of British politics, but Johnson has nominated Raab to deputize for him while he is in hospital.

The UK's coronavirus restrictions are due to be reviewed on Monday, but won't be relaxed until it’s clear the peak of infections has passed, said junior health minister Edward Argar on Wednesday. He has urged people to stay home over the Easter weekend.

8:01 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

UK soccer stars pictured flouting social distancing rules

From CNN's Ben Church

The coach and some star players from UK soccer team Tottenham Hotspur have been pictured flouting social distancing regulations by training in a north London park.

Pictures appeared on social media of coach Jose Mourinho holding a makeshift training session for midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, while Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon were seen running together in breach of the two-meter requirement.

The club did not respond to CNN for comment, but a statement released to the BBC read: "All of our players have been reminded to respect social distancing when exercising outdoors. We shall continue to reinforce this message."

8:03 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

HHS announces contract to produce 30,000 ventilators for US national stockpile

From CNN's Delano Massey

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a $489.4 million contract with General Motors (GM) to produce 30,000 ventilators under the Defense Production Act

The ventilators will be delivered to the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of August with a production schedule allowing for the delivery of 6,132 ventilators by June 1, according to a press release. 

HHS said the move follows President Trump’s direction to HHS Secretary Alex Azar to invoke the Defense Production Act -- which was passed in 1950 in response to production needs during the Korean War -- with regard to GM’s production of ventilators on March 27.

By using the Defense Production Act, Azar said HHS is "helping manufacturers like GM get the supplies they need to produce ventilators as quickly as possible, while also ensuring that these ventilators are routed through the Strategic National Stockpile to where they’re needed most."

"The Trump Administration has deployed thousands of ventilators from the Strategic National Stockpile that have helped save lives in hotspots such as New York so far," he said. "We’re grateful to the GM team for working with the federal government to expand our nation’s supply of ventilators as the pandemic evolves.”

7:55 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

NYC mayor unclear if city will have enough ventilators next week

From CNN's Elizabeth Joseph

 

Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomes medical members of the US Navy who have volunteered from across the country to work at the temp Jacob K. Javits Center in New York, on April 5.
Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomes medical members of the US Navy who have volunteered from across the country to work at the temp Jacob K. Javits Center in New York, on April 5. Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN’s John Berman that the city has enough ventilators to get through this week, but cautions future needs are unclear.

“We can get through this week … We're good for this week, but the future is still unknown," he said.

The city reported 806 new coronavirus deaths Tuesday, as well as 5,825 new cases, according to the New York City website.

It has reported a total of 3,544 deaths and 74,601 coronavirus cases to date.

Tuesday was the deadliest day of the outbreak so far. 

“The toll that this virus has taken on families and New Yorkers across the city is truly sad,” said the city’s Health and Hospitals spokesman Christopher Miller in a statement.

7:50 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Iran coronavirus death toll exceeds 4,000

From Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran and Deborah Bloom

People wear protective clothing while carrying the body of a victim who died from coronavirus at a cemetery just outside Tehran, Iran, on March 30.
People wear protective clothing while carrying the body of a victim who died from coronavirus at a cemetery just outside Tehran, Iran, on March 30. Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

Iran recorded 121 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 4,003, health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpoor said Wednesday on state TV.

There were also 1,997 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 64,586, said Jahanpoor.

He added that 29,812 patients have so far recovered at home or been released from hospitals across the country. Of those hospitalized, 3,956 are in critical condition.

Though the death toll continues to rise, the past few days have seen a slowdown of new coronavirus cases in Iran. On Sunday, the country saw a 4.5% increase in Covid-19 cases. This fell to 3.2% on Wednesday.

7:38 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Switzerland records 547 new cases

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

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

A further 547 people tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total to 22,789 cases, the Swiss Federal Office for Health said Wednesday.

The country has also recorded 705 coronavirus-related deaths, and the incidence rate is 266 per 100.000 inhabitants, the office said.

Public and private events are banned in Switzerland until April 19, and the country has moved to restrict non-essential travel.

Only Swiss residents and citizens -- and those of neighboring Liechtenstein -- or people traveling for work-related or emergency reasons, are permitted to enter the country.

7:02 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

Officials in Michigan order four portable refrigeration units to store bodies

From CNN's Joe Sutton

Officials in Wayne County, Michigan, have ordered at least four portable units -- equivalent to the size of a semi-trailer -- to help increase capacity to accommodate bodies. 

The county morgue has space for 300 bodies, and Wayne County Spokesman Bill Nowling told CNN each portable unit will hold about 40 bodies, increasing storage capacity to 450 total.

"Based on current projections of the number of expected cases and potential deaths, we think this will be enough," said Nowling.

"We monitor daily and will order more portable units as necessary."

Wayne County is the 13th most populous in the US and contains the city of Detroit.

Excluding Detroit there are at least 3,513 cases of coronavirus in the county, and 180 deaths, according to county data.

Michigan has at least 18,970 cases of coronavirus and 845 deaths, according to the Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services as well as Johns Hopkins University. 

6:44 a.m. ET, April 8, 2020

First coronavirus patients being treated in temporary London hospital

From Simon Cullen

Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images
Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

The first coronavirus patients are being treated in the temporary Nightingale Hospital in London, which was set up to deal with the pandemic.

“Our first patients have now been admitted to the NHS Nightingale London, as planned," said a spokeswoman for NHS Nightingale.

"There is also treatment capacity available in other hospitals across London to complement the care being provided at the London Nightingale.”

The facility at the Excel Centre in east London will initially provide up to 500 beds equipped with ventilators and oxygen. It was officially opened by Prince Charles on Friday last week.

The spokeswoman declined to say how many patients were currently being treated there.