April 9 coronavirus news

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6:39 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

UK researchers suggest letting young people return to work first

From CNN's Simon Cullen

Commuters travel on a London Underground train on March 18.
Commuters travel on a London Underground train on March 18. Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

Young people who don’t live with their parents should be allowed to return to work first as part of an easing of coronavirus restrictions, British researchers have suggested.

The approach could ease the “severe damage” that is being done to the country’s economy, according to a briefing paper by Andrew J. Oswald and Nattavudh Powdthavee from Warwick University.

“Unless a vaccine is discovered quickly, it is unlikely that there will be any riskless or painless course of action,” they said.

“Epidemiological and economic trade-offs will instead have to be faced. The choices at that juncture are likely to be difficult ones for politicians and citizens."

The researchers propose that the millions people aged 20-30 who don't live with their parents be released from quarantine to return to work.

“This would help to restart prosperity before an extraordinary recession takes hold; it would lead to other societal benefits; it would also create a reasonably small, but unfortunately not negligible, extra risk to health in the country," said the paper.

The researchers calculate that there are 4.2 million people who would fall within the age category and who don’t live with parents.

6:57 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Coronavirus cases in Austria close to 13,000

From Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, center, arrives for a news conference about the coronavirus outbreak in Vienna, Austria, on April 6.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, center, arrives for a news conference about the coronavirus outbreak in Vienna, Austria, on April 6. Helmut Foringer/Pool/AP

Austria has recorded 12,969 confirmed cases of coronavirus since the outbreak began, the country’s health ministry said Thursday.

There have been 295 deaths and 5,240 people have recovered from the virus, said the ministry.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced earlier this week that the country is preparing for a “resurrection” after Easter, which would involve re-opening some shops.

Austria is the first European country to outline loosening of its coronavirus lockdown. However, at the same time, it will also extend the requirement to wear face masks in supermarkets and on public transport.

6:29 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Airbus cuts production by one third

From Pierre Bairin and Fanny Bobille in Paris

Airbus technicians work on parts for an Airbus A320 at the company's Finkenwerder plant in Hamburg, Germany, in October 2019.
Airbus technicians work on parts for an Airbus A320 at the company's Finkenwerder plant in Hamburg, Germany, in October 2019. Christian Charisius/dpa/AFP/Getty Images

Airbus says it is cutting production by about one-third as airlines scale back orders for new planes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our airline customers are heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury in a statement. “We are actively adapting our production to their new situation and working on operational and financial mitigation measures to face reality.”

The airplane manufacturer will now make 40 A320, two A330 and six A350 planes per month.

“This represents a reduction of the pre-coronavirus average rates of roughly one third," the company said.

"With these new rates, Airbus preserves its ability to meet customer demand while protecting its ability to further adapt as the global market evolves.”

On Wednesday night, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the government would help large companies such as Airbus and Air France.

6:26 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Indian state is first to extend lockdown until end of April

From journalist Swati Gupta in New Delhi

Police stand guard during lockdown in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of India's Odisha state, on April 4.
Police stand guard during lockdown in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of India's Odisha state, on April 4. Stringer/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The Indian state of Odisha has become the first Indian state to extend its lockdown until April 30.

The decision was made after a cabinet meeting Thursday, said the office of the state’s chief minister Naveen Patnaik in a tweet. 

“Odisha Cabinet headed by CM @Naveen_Odisha decided to extend the state lockdown till April 30th & recommended Union Government to extend the national lockdown till then. CM requested the GoI not to start train & air services during the lockdown. #OdishaFightsCorona,” read the statement.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days last month, which is due to expire on April 14. The government has not yet made an official decision on whether to reopen the country or extend the lockdown amid fears of a further spread of coronavirus.

India's nationwide tally for confirmed positive novel coronavirus cases is 5,916, including 178 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

6:27 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

New Zealand has recorded just one death from coronavirus. Here's how it did it

From CNN's Julia Hollingsworth in Wellington

Police stop traffic during lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand, on April 9.
Police stop traffic during lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand, on April 9. Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

New Zealand has managed to do something that many countries wish they could achieve: for four straight days, it has reported a decline in new coronavirus cases.

On Thursday, the country reported 29 new confirmed and probable cases, bringing New Zealand's total to 1,239 -- including only one death. Of those cases, only 14 are in hospital -- and 317 have recovered.

New Zealand, a small island country with a population of just under 5 million, is halfway through a month-long lockdown aimed at not only containing the virus, but eliminating it.

And so far, the approach appears to be successful.

"We are turning a corner," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a speech Thursday. "And your commitment means our plan is working."

For other countries, those positive signs might be a reason to lift restrictions. Denmark, which has at least 5,597 cases and 218 deaths, announced it will begin to lift its lockdown next week if cases remain stable.

Instead, Ardern said Thursday she was tightening border restrictions, meaning all those who arrive in the country will be required to spend two weeks quarantined in an approved facility.

"At the halfway mark, I have no hesitation in saying that what New Zealanders have done over the last two weeks is huge," Ardern said at a news conference Thursday. "You made the decision that together, we could protect one other. And you have. You have saved lives."

Read more here:

6:09 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

It could be "the end of Europe" if EU does not loosen purse strings, says Italian prime minister

From CNN’s Valentina di Donato in Rome and Vasco Cotovio in London

Italian PM Giuseppe Conte addresses the nation on April 5, 2020. (Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Italian PM Giuseppe Conte addresses the nation on April 5, 2020. (Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has called on the European Union (EU) to loosen its budget rules, warning that a failure to do so could mean “the end of Europe.”

Members of the bloc are currently divided over an economic response to the coronavirus outbreak, and Conte called for collective action in an interview with German newspaper Bild.

“European nations must act without ifs or buts,” Conte said Wednesday.

National responses to what he called the greatest “emergency” the continent has faced since World War II risk “being less effective than coordinated European action and can jeopardize the European dream,” he added.

“If Europe does not give itself financial instruments up to the challenge, like Eurobonds, Italy will be forced to face the emergency and the relaunch with its own resources,” he said, referring to a proposed form of collective EU debt that has so far been opposed by countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. “In order not to not lose competitiveness, we need Eurobonds,” said Conte.

“We compete with China, with the United States -- see the reactions they have put into play. In the United States we are talking about a maneuver that is about 13% of the GDP,” he said. “If Europe does not react in the same way, it will remain behind.”

Italy is not “asking others for money,” said Conte, as he sought to reassure those who oppose collective debt.

“Eurobonds are useful and they don’t mean that Italy’s debt must be paid for by German or Dutch citizens," he said. "We pay out debt, we have always done that.”

Conte went on to say that collective debt emissions were not “about Germans having to help Italians,” but rather about Europeans acting to “help each other in their common interest."

“I ask a question to German citizens, do you really think that Germany can proceed and have economic advantages if other countries go through a serious recession?” he said.

“We must strengthen the current instruments we have, that weren’t created to face such a symmetric shock, that is as extraordinary as this,” added Conte.

“We must improve our capacity to respond.”

6:04 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

US death toll reaches 14,808

From CNN's Joe Sutton

Medical personnel transport the body of a deceased coronavirus patient in Brooklyn, New York, on April 8.
Medical personnel transport the body of a deceased coronavirus patient in Brooklyn, New York, on April 8. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

There are at least 432,438 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 14,808 people have died during the outbreak, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

This includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other U.S. territories, as well as all repatriated cases. 

Wyoming is the only state or territory that is not reporting a death from coronavirus.

On Wednesday, White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx said models projecting the number of American deaths from coronavirus have dropped dramatically in recent days because Americans have drastically changed their behavior. 

CNN's Jim Acosta asked President Donald Trump about the projections during a press briefing at the White House Wednesday. 

"My impression is those were the numbers that were set and those were set as an expectation quite a while ago. I think we are doing much better than those numbers," the President said, before asking Birx to come to the podium. 

She said that the US was doing, "much better in many cases than several other countries, and we're trying to understand that." 

"We believe that our healthcare delivery system in the United States is quite extraordinary," she said, but added that the models were based on "what America is doing." 

5:52 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

Lufthansa Group says it is losing 1 million euros every hour and needs state support

From Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

The engines of a Lufthansa Boeing 747 are seen covered with plastic film at Frankfurt Airport in Hessen, Germany on April 8, as the airline temporarily decommissions part of its fleet.
The engines of a Lufthansa Boeing 747 are seen covered with plastic film at Frankfurt Airport in Hessen, Germany on April 8, as the airline temporarily decommissions part of its fleet. Boris Roessler/picture alliance/Getty Images

Lufthansa, one of Europe's biggest airline groups, says it is losing around 1 million euros of its liquidity every hour.

The group confirmed to CNN that CEO Carsten Spohr addressed staff on Wednesday in a video message, telling them the coronavirus pandemic represented “the greatest challenge in our history” and that Lufthansa is “fighting” for its future.

Instead of its normal 350,000 passengers a day, the airline is currently carrying fewer than 3,000 passengers per day. 

“In total, we therefore lose 1 million euros of our liquidity reserve every hour -- day and night, week after week and probably month after month," Spohr said.

7,000 employees to be affected: The airline group, which owns national carriers in Germany,  Switzerland, Austria and Belgium, began the crisis with financial reserves of more than 4 billion euros, but the group was only posting a “fraction of the revenues.” It was therefore foreseeable that the group would only survive the crisis with state support, Spohr said.

According to Spohr, 7,000 employees will be affected by measures to cut costs -- 1,400 of whom are with the group’s budget airline subsidiary Germanwings, which will cease operations. 

Earlier this week, Lufthansa announced that it is permanently reducing the size of its fleet and announced it will decommission at least 43 aircraft -- about 6% of its fleet.

5:42 a.m. ET, April 9, 2020

What it's like inside a Hong Kong coronavirus quarantine camp

From CNN's Tara Mulholland in Hong Kong

If you'd asked me a month ago what I thought I'd be up to on my 30th birthday, being confined to a government quarantine center in Hong Kong wouldn't have been near the top of the list.

But the coronavirus pandemic has derailed a lot of plans -- and even in a city that's grown used to upheaval, the recent sudden shift in response to a surge in Covid-19 cases has been startling.

For me, it's meant going from planning holidays and parties, to being escorted from my apartment by hazmat-suited health care workers and driven to a quarantine facility for two weeks of isolation. For everyone else, it's meant a speedy reassessment of how to respond to a global crisis, on both a personal and societal level -- and a new understanding of just how strict the measures to fight coronavirus might have to be.

Life in quarantine -- with its regimented meals, temperature checks and PPE-wearing staff -- feels like an odd mix of being in school, at camp, and in prison. My facility, in Lei Yue Mun Park, is normally a leafy holiday village in the east of Hong Kong Island. Now, some 100 temporary single-room homes have been constructed in neat rows on an outdoor sports pitch, surrounded by high yellow barriers, housing anyone whom the health department decides needs to be isolated after coming into contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Read the rest of Tara's coronavirus diary here.