It’s still too early to say when the number of coronavirus cases in the UK will peak, the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson says.
Boris Johnson — who remains in intensive care after testing positive for coronavirus — announced an initial three-week set of restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of the virus. They are due to be reviewed on Monday.
His spokesman says the government will provided updated guidance on the restrictions before they expire.
“(It’s) too early to say when the peak is going to be,” the spokesman said. “Our focus now needs to be on stopping the transmission of this disease while building capacity in the NHS. While this is difficult, the public needs to stick with it.”
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.
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.
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."
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.”
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.
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.
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.