April 13 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Amy Woodyatt, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 9:11 p.m. ET, April 13, 2020
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2:55 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Indian police officer's hand chopped off in sword attack during coronavirus lockdown

From CNN's Manveena Suri and Rishabh Madhavendra Pratap in New Delhi

Barricades are seen in Chandigarh, India, during a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus on April 12.
Barricades are seen in Chandigarh, India, during a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus on April 12. Keshav Singh/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

An Indian policeman's hand was chopped off with a sword and six other officers were severely injured when they were attacked while enforcing coronavirus lockdown measures in northern Punjab state on Sunday morning.

The severed left hand of Harjit Singh, an assistant sub inspector for Punjab Police, was later reattached to his wrist following nearly eight hours of surgery.

The attack took place when a vehicle carrying seven men -- who belong to the minority Sikh warrior sect known as the Nihangs -- was stopped at a barricade outside a vegetable market in Patiala district, KBS Sidhu, a senior state government official, told CNN.

When police asked the men for valid travel passes, one of them took out a sword and cut off Singh's hand.

The injured officers, one with sword wounds to his back, were taken to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh.

"I am happy to share that a 7 and a half hour long surgery has been successfully completed in PGI to repair the severed wrist of ASI Harjeet Singh. I thank the entire team of doctors and support staff for their painstaking effort. Wishing ASI Harjeet Singh a speedy recovery," the state’s chief minister Amarinder Singh tweeted.
"The police didn’t even take out their arms and you attack them and cut off the hand of an innocent person? This cannot be tolerated and strict action will be taken …Once more, I am telling all of Punjab, I am warning the people that strict action will be taken against those who don’t follow the curfew," Singh said in a voice message posted on Twitter.

Following an hour-long operation at a local gurdwara (Sikh temple), police arrested the seven accused men. A further investigation is underway.

India is currently under a nationwide lockdown due to end April 14. Punjab, however, was one of the first states in the country to extend the measures until the end of the month. The state has reported a total of 151 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 11 deaths.

2:35 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Africans in Guangzhou on edge as coronavirus fears spark anti-foreigner sentiment in China

From CNN's Jenni Marsh, Shawn Deng and Nectar Gan

The African community in Guangzhou is on edge after widespread accounts were shared on social media of people being left homeless in the past week, as China's warnings against imported coronavirus cases stoke anti-foreigner sentiment.

In the southern Chinese city, Africans have been evicted from their homes by landlords and turned away from hotels, despite many claiming to have no recent travel history or known contact with Covid-19 patients.

CNN interviewed more than two dozen Africans living in Guangzhou, many of whom told of the same experiences: being left without a home, being subject to random testing for Covid-19, and being quarantined for 14 days in their homes, despite having no symptoms or contact with known patients.

The move comes amid heightened media coverage of the so-called second wave of coronavirus cases, emanating from infections outside of China. Earlier this week, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged authorities to carefully watch for imported cases from ​other countries, state news agency Xinhua reported.

But one aspect of the data has received relatively less public attention: on March 26, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Luo Zhaohui said 90% of China's imported cases held Chinese passports.

Read more here:

2:16 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

India records 796 new virus cases in 24 hours

From CNN's Vedika Sud in New Delhi and Akanksha Sharma in Hong Kong

A municipal worker sprays disinfectant in Kolkata, India, on April 12.
A municipal worker sprays disinfectant in Kolkata, India, on April 12. Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images

India recorded 796 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the nation's total to 9,152 confirmed cases as of Monday, according to the country's health ministry.

The death toll also rose by 35, taking the national tally to 308. 

Some 857 patients have been discharged, the ministry added.

India has tested 195,748 samples as of April 12, according to the Indian Council for Medical Research. 

The rise in cases comes as three Indian states announced on Saturday that they would be extending their lockdowns until April 30 due to concerns around the spread of the virus.

Maharashtra, Punjab and Odisha were all originally scheduled to come out of lockdown with the rest of the country on Tuesday.

There has been no announcement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as to whether the nationwide lockdown will be extended.

1:58 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Singapore reports 233 new coronavirus cases amid second wave of imported infections

From Manisha Tank in Singapore and Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

Medical staff wait for patients to be transferred to a temporary hospital, as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19, in Singapore on April 10.
Medical staff wait for patients to be transferred to a temporary hospital, as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19, in Singapore on April 10. Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images

Another 233 coronavirus cases were reported by Singapore's Ministry of Health today, bringing the national total to 2,532.

The new cases are all locally transmitted, the ministry said. The second round of infections comes after a wave of imported cases brought to Singapore by people returning from Europe and the US.

Sixty-six cases are linked to seven existing clusters or known cases, while 167 cases are pending contact tracing.

Last Thursday, Singapore reported 287 new cases -- the country's largest single-day increase recorded since the outbreak began.

The Singaporean government has moved migrant workers to military camps and floating hotels as the number of cases spikes, according to Lawrence Wong, co-chair of the Multi-Ministry Taskforce.

As of Sunday, the total death toll stands at eight. Some 560 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital, the Ministry of Health said.

1:59 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

China’s navy is controlling coronavirus and aircraft carrier’s deployment proves it, report says

From CNN's Brad Lendon in Hong Kong

In this file photo from July 7, 2017, China's Liaoning aircraft carrier arrives in Hong Kong.
In this file photo from July 7, 2017, China's Liaoning aircraft carrier arrives in Hong Kong. Keith Tsuji/Getty Images

A Chinese naval flotilla headed into the Pacific over the weekend, evidence that the People’s Liberation Army Navy has done a much better job controlling coronavirus than the US Navy, according to a story posted on the PLA’s English-language website.

The aircraft carrier Liaoning led the group, which included two guided-missile destroyers, two guided-missile frigates and an auxiliary ship, according to the report from state-run tabloid Global Times. It cited Japanese and Taiwanese reports and noted the PLA had not confirmed the operation.

The report said that the Chinese carrier was carrying out this operation while four US Navy aircraft carriers -- the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Nimitz -- have reported cases of coronavirus, crimping their operations.

The Roosevelt, now docked in Guam, has been hit the hardest by the virus, with 585 cases among its crew of more than 4,000 people. Almost all of them have been moved ashore on the island and work is going on to disinfect the ship, delaying its ability to deploy.

The PLA Navy has no such issues, Chinese military experts told the Global Times.

"Through the voyage, the Liaoning showed that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has done a great job in the epidemic prevention and control work and COVID-19 epidemic has not had an impact on its deployment and operations," the story says, citing Xu Guangyu, a senior adviser to the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association.
"It showed that the PLA can dispatch troops stationed anywhere at any time, with the troops always maintaining vigorous combat capabilities. The Chinese people can always count on them," Xu is quoted as saying.
1:30 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Japan reports 530 new coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Emiko Jozuka and Junko Ogura in Tokyo

People cross a street in Tokyo on April 8.
People cross a street in Tokyo on April 8. Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

Japan’s health ministry confirmed 530 new coronavirus cases and four deaths on Sunday. 

As of Monday, at least 7,967 cases have been reported across the country, including 712 infections from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship, according to the health ministry.

The death toll of 114 includes 12 fatalities linked to the ship.

The latest spike in cases came as large parts of Japan entered a first weekend under a state of emergency and Tokyo recorded its highest single-day jump in cases on Saturday, with 197 infections. 

WHO warning: Last week, an official at the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Japan may need to take stronger measures to contain the coronavirus in areas with untraceable infections, according to Japan's public broadcaster, NHK.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Michael Ryan, the executive director of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program said Japan would have to scale up testing and isolation to keep infection rates down, NHK reported.

1:07 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Japanese PM’s video at home with pet dog meets social media backlash

By CNN’s Emiko Jozuka in Tokyo

Japanese social media users have accused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of being tone-deaf after he posted a video of himself relaxing at home as people across the country struggle to work from home.

During the pandemic, many multinational companies have turned to messaging and video conferencing software such as Slack and Webex to keep in touch with colleagues. But in Japan, about 80% of companies do not have the ability to let their employees work remotely, according to 2019 government data.

Posted on Twitter, the video shows Abe reading a book, sipping a hot drink and relaxing with his pet dog as a musician serenades him online from another location. 

“We can’t see our friends or go out drinking. However, such (staying at home) actions are saving many lives and relieves the strain on healthcare professionals who are facing very challenging circumstances,” tweeted Abe. “Thanks to every single individual for their cooperation.”

State of emergency: Abe’s tweet urging people to stay at home comes as large parts of Japan entered a first weekend under a state of emergency.

Earlier in April, Abe faced public backlash after he said the government would distribute two reusable cloth face masks to roughly 50 million households amid growing concern over medical shortages.

Cases spike: The number of confirmed cases has spiked in recent days, after it appeared that Japan's initial response had brought the virus relatively under control. As of Monday, at least 7,967 cases have been reported across the country, including 712 cases linked to the Diamond Princess Cruise ship, according to Japan's health ministry.

12:43 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Beijing tightens grip over coronavirus research, amid US-China row on virus origin

From CNN's Nectar Gan, Caitlin Hu and Ivan Watson

China has imposed restrictions on the publication of academic research on the origins of the novel coronavirus, according to a central government directive and online notices published by two Chinese universities, that have since been removed from the web.

Under the new policy, all academic papers on Covid-19 will be subject to extra vetting before being submitted for publication. Studies on the origin of the virus will receive extra scrutiny and must be approved by central government officials, according to the now-deleted posts.

A medical expert in Hong Kong who collaborated with mainland researchers to publish a clinical analysis of Covid-19 cases in an international medical journal said his work did not undergo such vetting in February.

Controlling the narrative: The increased scrutiny appears to be the latest effort by the Chinese government to manage the origin story of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 114,000 lives and sickened over 1.85 million people worldwide since it first broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.

Since late January, Chinese researchers have published a series of Covid-19 studies in influential international medical journals. Some findings about early coronavirus cases -- such as when human-to-human transition first appeared -- have raised questions over the official government account of the outbreak and sparked controversy on Chinese social media.

Read more here:

1:22 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

SoftBank CEO plans to supply 300 million masks a month for Japan

From CNN's Kaori Enjoji in Tokyo and Michelle Toh in Hong Kong

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son at a news conference in Tokyo in August 2019.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son at a news conference in Tokyo in August 2019. Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images

SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son says he has reached a deal to supply 300 million face masks a month for Japan, his home country.

Son announced the deal on Twitter over the weekend, saying that he had partnered with Chinese automaker BYD to dedicate a factory line exclusively for SoftBank.

Some 100 million of the masks produced each month will be N95s, while the remaining 200 million will be general surgical masks, he added.

Son said he would distribute the masks in consultation with the government starting in May, working first to supply medical institutions before handing them out to the general public.

Japan's government has dramatically stepped up mask production after a shortage in the country led to widespread criticism.

Last week, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency over the pandemic, he also said that the government would start targeting domestic production of 700 million disposable masks per month.

Authorities are now working to distribute two masks to each household in a new initiative slated to kick off this week.

Son has criticized the government over its response to the outbreak, asking why a politician is leading the country's efforts instead of doctors.

"In the United States, Dr. (Anthony) Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, is heading the fight against corona," Son said on Twitter last week. "Why is Japan letting its Minister for Economic Revival take the lead?"