April 13 coronavirus news

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7:36 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Japan provides emergency shelter for "internet cafe refugees"

From CNN's Emiko Jozuka in Tokyo

Janese authorities are preparing emergency housing for thousands of "internet cafe refugees" as coronavirus infections spike across the country.

Open around the clock: Internet cafes, which face temporary closure under Japan's state of emergency declaration, have become a de facto home for those without access to stable housing. Many internet and manga cafes across Japan are open 24 hours a day and feature showers, coin laundries, a cafe with food and most importantly -- private booths that can be rented on an hourly or daily rate. 

Mostly men: There are more than 4,000 internet cafe refugees in Tokyo, according to a 2018 survey conducted by the Tokyo Metropolitan government. Nearly 86% of "residents" are men and just over 14% are women. 

Roughly 15,000 people stay at such cafes daily during the week and some 4,000 of them are homeless. About 3,000 do not have stable jobs, according to the survey.

Hatanaka Kazuo, a spokesperson for the metropolitan government, told CNN that rooms would be available in business hotels in the capital for those who applied. A total of 175 people have moved into hotel rooms as of April 10. The rooms will be available until May 6, when the country's state of emergency is scheduled to end.

7:48 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Pope prays for victims of domestic violence during lockdown

From CNN's Delia Gallagher in Rome

Pope Francis delivers a blessing over an almost empty St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on April 13.
Pope Francis delivers a blessing over an almost empty St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, on April 13. Vatican News/AP

Pope Francis prayed for victims of domestic violence and all women involved in helping to assist others during the pandemic, in a special address from the Vatican's Apostolic Library on Monday.

"Today I want to remember how much many women do to take care of others, especially during this health emergency," the Pope said during a special prayer, called the Regina Caeli. "Women doctors, nurses, police and prison guards, those who work in shops providing essential items and many women and sisters and grandmothers who are on lockdown at home with their families: children, elderly and the disabled." 

Francis also mentioned women who are at home and at risk of domestic violence.

"Sometimes they are at risk of violence due to a living situation which is too great a weight for them," the Pope said. 

"Let us pray for them, that the Lord gives them strength and that our communities may sustain them, together with their families." 

"May the Lord give us the courage of women, to always move forward," Francis said.

Calls to abuse hotline up 25%: As coronavirus lockdowns are announced around the world, charities and police forces have warned of a potential spike in domestic violence.

Refuge, a leading British charity focused on fighting domestic abuse, said last week that calls to its helpline had risen by 25% since restrictions on people's movement began, and that hits on its website had increased by 150%.

Being confined at home with an abuser makes victims more vulnerable, because there is no escape. In addition, multiple studies have found that emotionally stressful events can lead to an increase in aggressive behavior at home.

Read more about coronavirus and its impact on domestic abuse here. 

7:08 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

It's just after 7 a.m. in New York. Here's the latest on the pandemic

Spanish Red Cross volunteers distribute face masks at the Chamartin Station in Madrid on April 13. Some companies are set to resume operations after the government lifted some of the country's lockdown restrictions.
Spanish Red Cross volunteers distribute face masks at the Chamartin Station in Madrid on April 13. Some companies are set to resume operations after the government lifted some of the country's lockdown restrictions. Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

Here's what you need to know if you're just joining us:

  • Global cases top 1.8 million: At least 1,859,011 cases of the novel coronavirus and 114,979 deaths have been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. This doesn't represent the total number of active cases, but rather the number of infections since the pandemic began. 
  • Spain begins loosening restrictions: Despite still reporting hundreds of new infections every day, the Spanish government has announced it will begin rolling back some of its tough lockdown restrictions after the Easter holiday. The move is aimed at sectors like construction and manufacturing -- non-essential retail outlets, bars and places of entertainment must remain closed. On Monday, Spain recorded its second-lowest daily rise in deaths for three weeks: 517 in the past 24 hours.
  • US worst-affected country by far: The United States has confirmed more than 557,000 cases, with New York City alone reporting over 104,000 infections. More than 22,000 people have died countrywide. Speaking on Sunday, the country's top medical expert on the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN that lives would have been saved in the US if mitigation efforts had started earlier.
  • India's PM to address the nation as infections climb: Nearly 800 new infections have been recorded in 24 hours in India, the day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's countrywide lockdown is due to expire. Modi will address the nation Tuesday. Several Indian states have already extended the lockdown.
  • UK nurses can refuse to treat Covid-19 patients as a "last resort" if they don't have adequate protective equipment: The Royal College of Nursing, a union in the United Kingdom, has advised its members that they can refuse to treat Covid-19 patients as a last resort if they are not provided with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and an adviser to the UK government, said on Sunday that the UK is "likely to be one of the worst, if not the worst, affected countries in Europe."
  • More than 100 new infections in China: For the first time in at least a week, the Chinese government has announced a three-figure rise in new infections, recording 108 new confirmed cases on Sunday. All but 10 of the new cases were imported.

6:50 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Netherlands sees surge of Covid-19 cases among medical workers, as testing ramps up

From CNN’s Mick Krever in London

Medical workers are seen alongside a trauma helicopter as they transport a coronavirus patient on April 12 in Den Haag, Netherlands.
Medical workers are seen alongside a trauma helicopter as they transport a coronavirus patient on April 12 in Den Haag, Netherlands. Sebastiaan Nederhoed/BSR Agency/Getty Images

The Netherlands has seen a surge of confirmed Covid-19 cases among medical workers, as the government ramps up testing.

About 26% of the confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Netherlands are healthcare workers, according to a CNN calculation of data from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. The country has recorded a total of 25,587 confirmed cases as of Sunday.

In announcing new cases involving healthcare workers this weekend, the Public Health Institute said that the surge was being revealed by an increase in testing. 

As of a few days, health care workers can also get tested outside the hospital if they have complaints. The first effects of this are visible in the reports,” the institute said.

The Public Health Institute added that the number of medical staff cases varied significantly by region, depending on the virus' spread “and local testing policy as of April 6.” As of Friday, 56% of the reported cases in Groningen Province were healthcare workers.

6:46 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

US records at least 557,590 coronavirus cases, and at least 22,109 deaths 

Healthcare workers mourn colleagues who have died during the coronavirus outbreak at a demonstration near Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City on April 10.
Healthcare workers mourn colleagues who have died during the coronavirus outbreak at a demonstration near Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City on April 10. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

There are at least 557,590 cases of coronavirus in the United State and at least 22,109 people have died in the US from coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as all repatriated cases. 

Wyoming is the only state that has not yet reported a death from coronavirus.

6:43 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Spain records second-lowest daily rise in deaths for three weeks

From CNN's Max Ramsay in London, and Al Goodman and Ingrid Formanek in Spain

Another 517 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in Spain in the past 24 hours --the second-lowest daily rise in deaths for three weeks -- according to Spanish Health Ministry data released Monday.

In the past three weeks, the daily number of deaths has only fallen below 600 on two occasions.

The country has now recorded a total of 17,489 deaths with 87,280 active cases.

The increase in infections -- 624 new cases were recorded on Monday -- is higher than Sunday’s rise, but in the middle of the range recorded over the past week.

The daily increase in those listed as having "recovered" from the virus was lower than those reported in the past two weeks, at 2,336.

A healthcare worker prepares medication for a coronavirus patient at a hospital in Badalona, Spain, on April 1.
A healthcare worker prepares medication for a coronavirus patient at a hospital in Badalona, Spain, on April 1. Felipe Dana/AP

One of the countries worst hit by the pandemic so far, Spain has recorded a total of 169,496 coronavirus cases.

Back to work for some: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will lift some restrictions on movement and service despite new cases of the coronavirus being reported daily.

Speaking at a news conference on Easter Sunday, Sánchez warned the Spanish people against complacency as the rate of infections and deaths from coronavirus slows.

I want to be clear, we are not even entering phase two ...The state of alarm continues, consequently the general confinement continues," he said.

Sánchez said that the lifting of restrictions, some of which will begin on Monday, would be progressive and measured.

6:18 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Virus may dash Trump's plan for a "big bang" economic opening

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

President Donald Trump arrives for a daily briefing on the novel coronavirus at the White House on April 7.
President Donald Trump arrives for a daily briefing on the novel coronavirus at the White House on April 7. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump almost certainly won't get his "big bang" reopening of the frozen US economy.

His hopes for a sharp rebound in the summer of his reelection year are likely to be dashed by the science of a virus that is highly contagious, for which there is no vaccine and no proven therapies.

Furthermore, many state governors and big city mayors -- who so far retain more public trust over their management of the crisis than Trump -- are nervous about a premature end to stay-at-home orders. Trump can't simply force them to open up.

And the administration itself appears far short of the readiness required to reopen the country safely. Mass testing capabilities needed to underwrite a staged return to normal life before the pandemic is contained are nowhere near needed levels.

There is also no sign of a government plan for how vital functions like air and surface transport can safely resume without triggering a new wave of mass infections.

Read the full analysis here:

6:07 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

Iran fires back at US opposition to IMF coronavirus loan

From CNN’s Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran

Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei is pictured during a news conference in Tehran, Iran in July 2019.
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei is pictured during a news conference in Tehran, Iran in July 2019. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

The United States has no right to veto the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) measures, Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said at a press conference on Monday, in response to US opposition to Iran accessing IMF funds to fight coronavirus.

“America, legally speaking, is not authorized to prevent the enactment of any operation of international bodies,” Rabiei said on state TV, adding, “America has no right to veto IMF's measures. We have paid for years our membership fees and our nation is entitled to receive the loan amid the pressure of US sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.”

US set to veto: CNN reported last Thursday that the US would veto any vote at the IMF on a $5 billion emergency loan to Iran to help them combat the pandemic, two administration officials told CNN.

“The world's leading state sponsor of terrorism is seeking cash to fund its adventurism abroad, not to buy medicine for Iranians,” a State Department spokesperson told CNN. "The regime’s corrupt officials have a long history of diverting funds allocated for humanitarian goods into their own pockets and to their terrorist proxies."

Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called on the IMF to provide access to the $50 billion "Rapid Emergency Fund" to help fight coronavirus.

5:59 a.m. ET, April 13, 2020

UK nurses can refuse to treat Covid-19 patients as "last resort" if they don't have adequate protective equipment, says union

From CNN’s Mick Krever in London

A person wearing a face mask holds up a banner reading: 'PPE' outside St Thomas' Hospital on April 07, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
A person wearing a face mask holds up a banner reading: 'PPE' outside St Thomas' Hospital on April 07, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images) Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

The Royal College of Nursing, a union in the United Kingdom, has advised its members that they can refuse to treat Covid-19 patients as a last resort if they are not provided with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Ultimately, if you have exhausted all other measures to reduce the risk and you have not been given appropriate PPE in line with the UK Infection Prevention and Control guidance, you are entitled to refuse to work,” the union said in a guidance document to its members.
“If the employer does not provide appropriate PPE and a safe working environment, as an employee you can refuse to care for a patient, but you must follow RCN guidance before making this decision.”

The union emphasizes that this should be a “last resort,” and that “you must be able to justify your decision as reasonable, so keep a written record of the safety concerns that led you to withdraw treatment.”

Lack of protective equipment: Donna Kinnair, the union’s chief executive, told the BBC on Saturday that British nurses do not have adequate protection.

“My inbox, on a daily basis, this is the number one priority that nurses are bringing to my attention – that they do not have adequate supplies of PPE,” she said.

Addressing reports of PPE shortages, the UK’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, said on Sunday that “there are now record amounts in the system.”

When asked at the daily government briefing about the Royal College of Nursing’s guidance, he said: “We’re working night and day to make sure that we get the right PPE.”

Hancock told the BBC on Saturday that 19 National Health Service staff members had died due to Covid-19.