April 30 coronavirus news

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4:17 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Singapore reported more than 500 new cases today. The vast majority are migrant workers

Singapore recorded 528 new coronavirus cases as of noon local time today, according to the country's Ministry of Health.

That brings the total to 15,641 cases in the Southeast Asian city-state, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Among today's new cases, the vast majority are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories, while six are Singaporean citizens or permanent residents.

The country's cases spiked dramatically at the start of April, and authorities traced the increase to clusters of cases in the dormitories. About 200,000 migrant workers live in 43 dormitories, where cramped conditions and shared facilities make it easy for a highly infectious virus to spread.

The dormitories are now all under lockdown, with nobody in or out. Authorities have taken residents showing symptoms to quarantine, stepped up testing, and are monitoring residents still inside the dorms.

4:05 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020

British war veteran Tom Moore promoted to colonel on 100th birthday for fundraising efforts

From CNN's Simon Cullen in London

Tom Moore completes the 100th length of his back garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, England, on April 16.
Tom Moore completes the 100th length of his back garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, England, on April 16. Vickie Flores/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

British war veteran Tom Moore, who turns 100 today, has been promoted to honorary colonel in recognition of his efforts to raise money for the UK’s health service.

“His mature wisdom, no-nonsense attitude and humor in adversity make him an inspirational role model to generations young and old,” said Gen. Mark Carleton-Smith, chief of the general staff of the British Army.

Moore has been appointed as the first honorary colonel of the Army Foundation College Harrogate, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said.

The centenarian began a JustGiving fundraiser on April 8, initially hoping to raise £1,000 ($1,245) for NHS Charities Together, which raises funds for UK hospitals and patients. The World War II veteran completed the challenge after walking 10 laps of his garden each day, aided by a walking frame, and raised more than £29 million ($36.1 million).

He then became the oldest person to reach number 1 on the UK’s music chart, by debuting a rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" last week.

More than 125,000 birthday cards have been sent to Moore, many from young children across the UK.

3:52 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020

France's GDP sees biggest decline since quarterly records began

From CNN's Pierre Bairin in Paris

A man walks on a street in the business district of La Defense in downtown Paris, France, on April 8.
A man walks on a street in the business district of La Defense in downtown Paris, France, on April 8. Ian Langsdon/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The French economy has shrunk by 5.8% in the first quarter compared to the previous quarter -- the biggest drop since the country began recording its quarterly GDP in 1949, said France's national statistics agency, INSEE, on Thursday.

Europe's third-largest economy’s slump is caused mainly by the coronavirus lockdown measures that have been in place since mid-March, according to an estimate released by INSEE.

A way out of lockdown: French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe outlined plans yesterday to gradually ease the country's coronavirus restrictions. France will be divided into red or green zones, depending on their case numbers, testing efficiency and health care capacity. The red zones will face stricter measures, while restrictions will be loosened more in the green zones.

3:43 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Global energy use has dropped so much it's like all of India stopped using any power

From CNN's Julia Horowitz

Global energy use has been dealt such a huge blow by the coronavirus pandemic that it's like wiping out demand from all of India, a country of 1.3 billion people and the world's third biggest consumer.

That's according to the International Energy Agency, which said in a new report today that demand for energy could crash 6% this year if lockdowns persist for many months and the economic recovery is slow.

Such a scenario is "increasingly likely," the IEA said, adding that a drop of that scale would be seven times the size of the decline following the 2008 global financial crisis. Demand for electricity is poised to plunge 5% in 2020, the largest fall since the Great Depression.

"This is a historic shock to the entire energy world," Dr. Fatih Birol, executive director of the Paris-based agency, said in a statement. "It is still too early to determine the longer term impacts, but the energy industry that emerges from this crisis will be significantly different from the one that came before."

Read the full story:

3:40 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020

It's just past 9:30 a.m. in Frankfurt and in 1 p.m. in Mumbai. Here's the latest on the pandemic

Cranes at a construction site for residential buildings in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on April 29.
Cranes at a construction site for residential buildings in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on April 29. Armando Babani/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Covid-19 has shut down countries worldwide and infected nearly 3.2 million people. If you're just joining us, here are the latest developments from today:

  • Milestone in South Korea: The country reported zero local transmissions yesterday for the first time since February 18. Four new cases yesterday were imported.
  • But a bad day for Pakistan: The country recorded 874 infections in the past 24 hours -- its biggest one-day jump in cases so far.
  • Germany steps up testing: The country's labs can now conduct more than 860,000 coronavirus tests per week, double the amount they ran last week.
  • UK falls short: The UK will probably fail its target of reaching 100,000 tests per day by today, said the country's justice secretary, adding that they may hit the target in the next few days.
  • India prepares to lift lockdown: Nationwide restrictions are set to ease on May 3 -- this Sunday. The country is now preparing by setting up border checkpoints, arranging transport to bring home stranded workers across states, and creating new non-lockdown guidelines.
  • China is also reopening: Tourist destinations like the Forbidden City in Beijing are set to open tomorrow for the first time in three months -- but with new restrictions and a cap on daily visitors.
  • The Olympic question: The rescheduled Tokyo Games next year are not contingent on the development of a coronavirus vaccine, according to an International Olympic Committee official. Earlier this week, the president of Japan’s Medical Association said it would be “difficult to hold the Olympics” without a vaccine.
3:21 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020

A prisoner who gave birth while on a ventilator died after testing positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Chris Boyette and Christina Maxouris

A 30-year-old federal prison inmate who tested positive for coronavirus and gave birth while on a ventilator has died, the US Bureau of Prisons says.

The woman had been in federal custody since March 20, when she was transported from a South Dakota jail to a federal prison medical center in Forth Worth, Texas.

On March 28, the woman was sent to a nearby hospital for concerns regarding her pregnancy, BOP said. She was discharged the same day.

The woman was seen by the prison facility's medical staff on March 31 for a "fever, dry cough and other symptoms" and was again transported to the hospital, where she was placed on a ventilator.

On April 1, she gave birth by cesarean section and days later, tested positive for the virus.

The agency says the woman had a pre-existing medical condition that according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put her at higher risk for coronavirus-related complications. The agency did not disclose the woman's condition.

She was pronounced dead by hospital staff on April 28, the agency said.

Some 1,534 federal inmates and 343 Bureau of Prisons staff have tested positive for coronavirus nationwide so far. At least 31 federal inmates have died due to the disease. There have been no staff deaths, the agency said.

3:09 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020

The UK probably won't hit its coronavirus testing target today, minister says

From CNN's Simon Cullen in London

A staff member administers a coronavirus test at a facility near Wembley Stadium in London on Wednesday, April 29.
A staff member administers a coronavirus test at a facility near Wembley Stadium in London on Wednesday, April 29. Frank Augstein/AP

It’s "probable" that the UK won’t meet its target of conducting 100,000 tests per day by today, said the country's Justice Secretary Robert Buckland.

"Even if we don’t hit it -- and it's probable that we won't -- we will in the next few days hit that target," he told Sky News.
"We’re up to 52,000 people being tested. The capacity’s rising.
"I think it was right to set an ambitious target. And sometimes even if you don’t hit the target on the due date, the direction of travel is the most important thing."

Early in April, the UK government set itself the target of carrying out 100,000 coronavirus tests per day by the end of the month.

To put that in perspective, Germany is currently at a testing capacity of 141,815 tests per day.

2:54 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020

Asian domestic flights begin returning to the skies

From CNN's Lilit Marcus

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, people around the world are wondering when life will return to "normal."

The word normal is, of course, relative, but a spate of domestic flight routes slowly opening up in Asia and the Pacific give clues into what the aviation industry could look like in the weeks and months ahead.

China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia are among the countries set to resume or increase domestic flights as the virus wanes.

But don't book your summer vacation just yet -- many of these flights are government subsidized and solely for the purpose of transporting cargo. Though some are open to public bookings, others will only issue tickets to emergency personnel or essential workers who need to get around.

Think of these flights as a dress rehearsal for a gradual re-upping of the aviation industry.

Read more about it here:

2:40 a.m. ET, April 30, 2020

California governor plans to order closure of all state beaches and parks, police memo says

From CNN’s Sarah Moon and Paul Vercammen

Crowds at Huntington Beach, California on April 25.
Crowds at Huntington Beach, California on April 25. Credit: Apu Gomes/AFP/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom intends to order the closure of all state beaches and parks starting Friday, according to a California Police Chiefs Association memo sent to police agencies across the state. 

A copy of the memo was provided to CNN by a senior law enforcement official.

While the governor intends to make the announcement on Thursday, the memo was sent to police chiefs ahead of time to prepare law enforcement for the planned closures. 

“We wanted to give all of our members a heads up about this in order to provide time for you to plan for any situations you might expect as a result, knowing each community has its own dynamics,” the memo says.

According to the memo, state parks personnel will also help support local efforts.

Newsom’s office did not respond to CNN requests for comment.

Crowded beaches: This comes after thousands of people packed beaches in Southern California’s Orange and Ventura counties this past weekend, seeking relief from a heat wave.

Earlier this week, Newsom chastised beachgoers and warned that defying the state’s stay-at-home order could delay its reopening. 

“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off. This virus doesn’t go home. We have to manage and augment our behavior,” Newsom said. “The only thing that will set us back is people stopping practicing physical distancing.”