April 10 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 0138 GMT (0938 HKT) April 11, 2020
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5:05 a.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Germany records largest single-day death toll

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

Germany's death toll has increased by 266 in the past day, according to the country's disease and control centre, marking the largest 24 hour increase in fatalities since the country's coronavirus outbreak began.

Overall, 2,373 people have now died form the virus in Germany, the Robert Koch Institute said.

The total number of confirmed cases in the country has reached 113,525, which marks an increase of 5,323 in the past 24 hours.

Merkel offers "cautious hope": German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday urged people to continue to observe social distancing rules over Easter, adding that the number of people infected with the virus is declining slightly.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel briefs the media in Berlin on April 9.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel briefs the media in Berlin on April 9. Markus Shreiber/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

''The latest developments in the figures regarding the spread of the virus give reason for cautious hope," she said on Thursday. "The coronavirus curve is flattening out slightly and the number of those currently infected is declining slightly.''

Germany has so far been spared the vast death tolls seen in other major European countries like Italy and Spain, and has implemented a large-scale testing program to identify cases among its population.

Merkel added that the coronavirus pandemic will be ''with us some time to come'' and that a decision on if and how to ease the restrictions would be based on a broad scientific study published on next week.

5:01 a.m. ET, April 10, 2020

16 US states have mandated statewide school closures due to Covid-19 

From CNN's Joe Sutton

School buses are parked at the Arlington County Bus Depot in Arlington, Virginia, on March 31.
School buses are parked at the Arlington County Bus Depot in Arlington, Virginia, on March 31. Olivier Douliery/AFP Getty Images

A total of 16 school systems in the United States have been ordered closed through to the end of the school year, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The states are:

Meanwhile, officials in three other states have recommended statewide closures through the end of the school year:

California: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said:

"Due to the current safety concerns and needs for ongoing social distancing, it currently appears that our students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year. In order to allow schools to plan accordingly, and to ensure that learning still occurs until the end of the school year, we are suggesting that schools plan and prepare to have their curriculum carried out through a distance learning model."

Closing and reopening school facilities is a decision that is made at the local level in California. The State Superintendent does not have the authority to close schools.

Idaho: The State Board of Education closed schools through the end of the academic year, but left local school districts the option to reopen their schools

South Dakota: The governor asked accredited schools to remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year. Schools in South Dakota are independent entities.

"All of South Dakota’s 149 public school districts are implementing some form of what we are calling 'flex learning.' That might include a variety of online educational opportunities, as well as packets sent home to students," said Mary Stadick Smith, Deputy Secretary, South Dakota Department of Education
4:52 a.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Malaysia extends nationwide movement restrictions until April 28

From CNN's Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

Medical workers enter a building under lockdown in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 7.
Medical workers enter a building under lockdown in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on April 7. Vincent Thian/AP

Malaysia is extending its nationwide movement restrictions for two more weeks until April 28, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced today, according to state-run Bernama News Agency.

The spread of Covid-19 has "more or less" been checked since the order was first imposed on March 18, but the extension will allow more room and flexibility for healthcare workers to combat the virus and prevent cases from surging again, Bernama reported. 

Under the current restrictions, all Malaysian nationals are prohibited from traveling abroad. All social, religious and educational gatherings are also banned.

Malaysia now has 4,229 confirmed cases and 67 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

4:38 a.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Italian PM expected to extend lockdown into May

From CNN’s Valentina Di Donato in Rome

A resident watches from her apartment as Palm Sunday mass is celebrated on the rooftop of the San Gabriele dell'Addolorata church in Rome on April 5, during the country's lockdown.
A resident watches from her apartment as Palm Sunday mass is celebrated on the rooftop of the San Gabriele dell'Addolorata church in Rome on April 5, during the country's lockdown. Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is expected to announce an extension to the country's lockdown measures when he addresses the nation on Friday.

Conte held a call with Italian union representatives on Thursday and explained the country was still not ready to ease restrictions, Christian Ferrari, president of the CGIL labor union in the northeastern Veneto region, who was present on the call, told CNN on Friday.

According to Ferrari, Conte said the extension would continue until May 3 with only a few exceptions of businesses being allowed to reopen slightly sooner. Conte went on to tell union representatives that this was the only way to protect public health in Italy.

The Italian Prime Minister is expected to address the country on Friday, an official government source told CNN. The source declined to comment on whether Conte would announce an extension to the lockdown measures.

4:16 a.m. ET, April 10, 2020

With the spread of coronavirus came a surge in anti-Asian racism online, new research says

From CNN's Leah Asmelash

A new study backs up what has already been documented anecdotally in the past few months: The coronavirus pandemic has coincided with a surge in Sinophobic, or anti-Chinese, sentiments -- especially online.

Researchers at the Network Contagion Research Institute, an organization that tracks misinformation and hate speech, released a report Wednesday that looked at the spread of hate online toward Asians.

"As a conjoined threat, outbreaks of hate and disinformation on social media comprise unparalleled dangers to society in the face of actual viral pandemics, such as Covid-19," said the study.

"NCRI's research indicates that hateful communities may serve as sources of spread for disinformation and propaganda during politically volatile events for purposes of hate."

The group of researchers looked at a variety of social media platforms and online bulletin boards like 4chan, where there was a rise in derogatory terms for Chinese people around February of this year.

Other terms and slurs toward minority groups decreased or flatlined in relation to topics surrounding the virus, research found.

For example, researchers found an instance where one user said he and his friends would shoot Asian people in Chinatown because "that's the only way we can destroy the epidemic."

Read the full story here:

4:06 a.m. ET, April 10, 2020

UNICEF hopes this story book can help children to cope with the pandemic

From CNN's Radina Gigova in Atlanta

The book, titled “My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19!”, features the fantasy creature Ario.
The book, titled “My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19!”, features the fantasy creature Ario. IASC

A new story book that aims to help children understand and cope with Covid-19 has been released by the United Nations Children’s Fund, in collaboration with more than 50 humanitarian organizations.

“All over the world, children’s lives have been completely upended — the majority of them living in countries with some form of restricted movement or lockdown," UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said in a statement Thursday. 

The book would help children "understand and navigate this new landscape and learn how they can take small actions to become the heroes in their own stories,” she said. 

The book, titled “My Hero is You, How kids can fight COVID-19!”, features the fantasy creature Ario, who helps children understand how they can protect themselves, their families and friends from coronavirus, and how to manage difficult emotions when confronted with a new reality.

The book is aimed at children aged 6-11: It's a collaboration between UN agencies, national and international nongovernmental organizations and international agencies providing mental health and psychosocial support in emergency settings. 

Widely translated: Six language versions have already been released and translations to 30 more languages are in the works. The book is being released as a printable version available online for download, and as an audiobook. 

3:56 a.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Sweden challenges Trump -- and scientific mainstream -- by refusing to lock down

From CNN's Tim Lister and Sebastian Shukla

Shoppers walk past an H&M in central Stockholm on April 2.
Shoppers walk past an H&M in central Stockholm on April 2. Fredrik Sandberg/TT News Agency via Getty Images

Much of Europe is still on lockdown with severe movement restrictions -- but not Sweden.

Restaurants and bars are open in the Nordic country, playgrounds and schools too, and the government is relying on voluntary action to stem the spread of Covid-19.

It's a controversial approach, and one that's drawn President Donald Trump's attention. "Sweden did that, the herd, they call it the herd. Sweden's suffering very, very badly," Trump said on Tuesday.

The next day, Sweden's Foreign Minister Ann Linde said Trump was "factually wrong" to suggest that Sweden was following the "herd immunity" theory.

Here's their strategy: The idea, Linde said, was "No lockdown and we rely very much on people taking responsibility themselves."

The approach is about encouraging and recommending, not compulsion. Two days after Spain imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 14, Swedish authorities were encouraging people to wash hands and stay at home if sick. On March 24, new rules were introduced to avoid crowding at restaurants. But they very much stayed open.

Is it working? "I think Sweden is doing okay," Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told CNN affiliate Expressen.

"It's producing quality results the same way it's always done. So far Swedish health care is handling this pandemic in a fantastic way."

Sweden has reported 9,141 cases of the coronavirus and 793 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Read the full story here:

3:35 a.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Cases are starting to plateau in the UK, but it's too early to talk about lifting restrictions

From CNN's Lauren Kent in London

National Medical Director at NHS England Stephen Powis during a news conference at 10 Downing Street on March 21 in London.
National Medical Director at NHS England Stephen Powis during a news conference at 10 Downing Street on March 21 in London. Jonathan Brady-WPA Pool/Getty Images

The UK is beginning to see coronavirus cases plateau, indicating a potential slowdown in the rate of new daily cases -- but it is still too early to lift restrictions, said National Health Service England Medical Director Stephen Powis.

Speaking to Sky News today, Powis said, "We're hopeful we're beginning to see a plateau. But we need to keep complying with instructions. That's the way the plateau will turn into a drop."

When asked about the possibility of lifting any restrictions, Powis said, "I'm not going to confirm anything because I think those discussions are still ongoing. I think it is too early to be clear about which of those options we should pursue."

"One of the things we do know is that it's very likely ... that there are people who are asymptomatic, and that's one of the unknowns that we will need to find out. Once the virus has more established, as in all countries, you need to evolve your strategy," Powis said.

"This is not something that any country will be able to work out in a matter of weeks," he added. "This is something we'll have to work out over a few months."
3:24 a.m. ET, April 10, 2020

Ultimate Fighting Championship postpones UFC 249 and all other events

From CNN's Jill Martin

All UFC events have been postponed indefinitely.
All UFC events have been postponed indefinitely. Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

UFC 249, the highly anticipated fight event organized by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, will not happen on April 18 as previously scheduled.

"Today, we got a call from the highest level you can go at Disney, and the highest level of ESPN ... and the powers that be there asked me to stand down and not do this event next Saturday," said UFC president Dana White on camera to ESPN.

Additionally, all other UFC events have been postponed indefinitely.

"While the organization was fully prepared to proceed with UFC 249, ESPN has requested the postponement of the event and subsequent bouts until further notice in light of the Covid-19 pandemic," a UFC spokesperson said in a statement to CNN on Thursday.
"UFC looks forward to resuming the full live events schedule as soon as possible."

UFC 249 had been moved to Tachi Palace Casino Resort near Fresno, California. On Thursday, US Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement that the event should be postponed.

"I'm concerned by reports that Ultimate Fighting Championship plans to hold a pay-per-view event in California, in defiance of the state’s shelter-in-place order,” Feinstein said. "This event would involve dozens of individuals flying to California and driving to a casino for a purpose no one can honestly claim is essential."