April 14 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Rob Picheta and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 9:38 p.m. ET, April 14, 2020
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7:57 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

It's time to talk more seriously about the food supply

Analysis by CNN's Zachary B. Wolf

The meat supply is at risk. Farm workers are in fear. It's hard to get groceries.

Health professionals -- doctors, nurses and everyone down the line -- are the rightful and obvious heroes of the pandemic, but if this dark episode has taught us anything about the way we live today, it could be that our society rests on the backs of a lot of people who cannot simply stay home and chill while the coronavirus blows through.

Food workers are frontline workers too: You probably saw the headline recently that one of the largest hog processing plants in the country had ceased production for the foreseeable future. The reason? Employees at the plant, a Smithfield operation, account for about half of the coronavirus cases in South Dakota.

Similar closures have hit plants in Pennsylvania and Iowa and the CEO of Smithfield said the country's meat supply is at risk.

Read the full analysis here:

7:55 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Iran reports smallest increase in coronavirus-related deaths in a month

From CNN's Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran and Hira Humayun in Atlanta

Medical staff work on the production of COVID-19 testing kits in Karaj, Iran, on April 11.
Medical staff work on the production of COVID-19 testing kits in Karaj, Iran, on April 11. Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

Iran has reported 98 new coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours – the first time in nearly a month that the country has seen a two-digit increase in new deaths, health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpoor said on state TV on Tuesday.

“We hope it is the beginning of a diminishing trend, but as a proverbial saying in Farsi [says], one flower may not bring spring," Jahanpoor said, adding that: “We must observe social distancing and stay at home as far as possible."

Jahanpoor announced 1,574 new cases of coronavirus across the country on Tuesday, bringing the total to 74,877. The 98 new deaths he announced bring Iran's death toll from coronavirus to 4,683.

On Monday, Iran reported 1,617 new cases, and 111 new deaths.

6:58 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

England's coronavirus death toll is significantly higher than previously reported

From CNN's Rob Picheta and Simon Cullen

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in England is significantly higher than the British Government has reported in its daily updates, according to new data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The daily updates from the Department of Health and Social Care only include people who have died with coronavirus in hospitals, and not those who have died in nursing homes or other locations. They are also affected by a lag in reporting times.

Oak Spring care home in Liverpool, England. The home's management says there have been suspected cases of coronavirus-related deaths at the facility.
Oak Spring care home in Liverpool, England. The home's management says there have been suspected cases of coronavirus-related deaths at the facility. Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

But more complete data, released weekly by the ONS, records all deaths where coronavirus is registered on the death certificate – regardless of whether a person died in or out of hospital.

According to the ONS, the number of coronavirus-related deaths that occurred up to April 3 in England was 5,979. The comparative daily update released the following day by the UK Government reported 3,939 deaths in England.

The ONS number represents an increase of 52% on the figures initially reported for that period.

Confusion in UK death toll reporting: The disparity highlights the murkiness of Britain's recorded death rates during the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of people who had died by April 3 has now been reported as three different figures. The first number -- 3,939 -- was revised upwards by the government on April 12, to 5,186. This was likely done because deaths can often take several days to record, so initial numbers effectively understate the true figure.

Now, the ONS figure -- registered on April 11 and released on Tuesday -- has added the deaths which occurred outside of hospitals to the total, resulting in an even higher number.

The newest ONS number is a 15% rise on the updated government figure, and a 52% on the initial government figure.

Such confusion means that making direct comparisons between the UK's coronavirus curve and those of other European nations is difficult.

But the numbers clearly highlight that the UK's headline figures for daily coronavirus deaths -- which already amount to the fourth-highest total in Europe -- are understated, and the true number can be significantly higher than the numbers revealed each day by ministers.

"Older people's lives are not worth less": The conflicting data sets have also prompted calls for the government to include deaths in care homes when they announce the new figures each day.

A number of leading British charities released a joint letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Monday demanding a "daily update on coronavirus deaths in the care system, just like deaths in the NHS, so that as a society we can understand the scale of the challenge we face."

"Older people’s lives are not worth less. Care home staff are not second class carers," the charities said. "The Government must step in and make it clear that no-one will be abandoned to this virus simply because of their age, condition or where they live."

11:21 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Spain surpasses 18,000 coronavirus deaths, but records a fall in active cases

From CNN's Max Ramsay, Vasco Cotovio and Ingrid Formanek

Cemetery workers disinfect each other after moving the body of a coronavirus victim at the Torrero de Zaragoza crematorium on April 13, in Zaragoza, Spain.
Cemetery workers disinfect each other after moving the body of a coronavirus victim at the Torrero de Zaragoza crematorium on April 13, in Zaragoza, Spain. Alvaro Calvo/Getty Images

Spain recorded a slight rise in daily deaths from coronavirus on Tuesday -- 567 over the past 24 hours -- according to Spanish Health Ministry data.

It is an increase from the 517 reported on Monday, but remains the third-lowest daily rise in the past three weeks. The total number of deaths from coronavirus in Spain stands at 18,056.

However, Spain also recorded a fall of 299 active cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total down to 86,981. The decrease suggests the number of new "recovered" patients and the dead are outnumbering the increase in new cases. 

This fall in the numbers of active Covid-19 cases is the first recorded in Europe’s coronavirus “hotspots” -- Italy, Spain, France and the UK – since the pandemic began.

Spain has now reached an accumulated total of 172,541 coronavirus cases since the start of the outbreak

This post has been corrected to reflect that the fall in active cases recorded in Spain on Tuesday is the first such reduction in the European countries hardest hit by the pandemic.

6:28 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

Italy cautiously eases some lockdown measures

From CNN’s Livia Borghese and John Fiegener in Rome

A man stands in front of a store in Catania, Italy, after the Italian government allowed some shops to reopen on April 14.
A man stands in front of a store in Catania, Italy, after the Italian government allowed some shops to reopen on April 14. Antonio Parrinello/Reuters

Some shops and business in Italy will be allowed to reopen on Tuesday, according to a government decree signed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, as the country tentatively seeks to emerge from its coronavirus lockdown.

Among the stores permitted to reopen are book shops, laundries, stationery shops and clothing stores for babies and children. However, some regions have decided to delay lifting restrictions.

The measures will be in place until May 3, according to the government decree.

The government has also expanded the list of permitted production activities to allow some forestry, landscape care and maintenance and hydraulic works to resume. Computer manufacturers and wholesalers of paper and cardboard products can restart production.

These openings are in effect a preview of the larger scale openings expected to take place during “Phase 2” of Italy's three-phase plan to bring the country back to normal.

Phase 2 will only start sometime after other lockdown measures are lifted, at some point after May 3.

This week's easing of the lockdown “is not phase 2”, Gianni Rezza, Director of Infectious Diseases at the National Health Institute (ISS), said in a press briefing Monday evening.

The death rate and the epidemic curve in Italy show “positive signals that need to be consolidated in time,” he said.

In Lombardy and Veneto, the regions hardest hit by the pandemic, book stores and stationery shops are not allowed to reopen.

In Lazio, the region including Rome, book stores will be allowed to open from April 20 “to give time to the owners to organize security measures,” such as guaranteeing minimum distances between people, providing disposable gloves at shop entrances and promoting the sanitation of the premises.

The new decree says anywhere that reopens to the public must respect the rules, for example making hand sanitizer available, enforcing the use of masks in enclosed spaces, and in areas where distancing cannot be guaranteed, and the use of disposable gloves in the purchase of food and drink.

Access to shops will be staggered to ensure the social distancing of customers.

5:57 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

India considers relaxing lockdown rules in parts of the country

From CNN's Manveena Suri in New Delhi

India is considering relaxing its shutdown rules in parts of the country with low numbers of coronavirus cases, following a review of the situation in individual states since the country went into nationwide lockdown.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the country's current 21-day nationwide lockdown would be extended until May 3.  

Modi said every district and state across the country will be evaluated in terms of restrictions being followed until April 20, calling it a “litmus test.” 

Areas that succeed and are less likely to turn into a hotspot could then be allowed to open up certain activities, he said. 

“However, keep in mind, this permission will be conditional and the rules for going out will be very strict. Permission will be withdrawn immediately if lockdown rules are broken and the spread of coronavirus risked,” he warned.

A man watches Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi address the nation during a television broadcast in Bangalore, India, on April 14.
A man watches Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi address the nation during a television broadcast in Bangalore, India, on April 14. Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images

The government will provide “detailed guidelines” on the plan on Wednesday.

Several states have already set up hundreds of “containment zones” in areas that have seen a concentration of cases.  

Modi expressed his concerns over cases spreading into new areas. "A single new patient at even the smallest local level should be a matter of concern for us," he said.

“Therefore, we have to be very vigilant about hotspots ... the creation of new hotspots will further challenge our hard work,” Modi added.

On Tuesday the number of confirmed cases in India crossed the 10,000 mark, reaching 10,363. At least 339 people have died.

On Monday, the country reported it had conducted 206,212 COVID-19 tests.

5:15 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

China lifts restrictions after African nations complain of discrimination

From CNN's Isaac Yee and Anna Kam in Hong Kong

China will lift “health management” restrictions on African nationals following a meeting with representatives from 20 African countries, according to its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  

The change of policy comes after several African countries complained about the treatment of their citizens, following reports of alleged coronavirus-related discrimination against African nationals in China and particularly in the city of Guangzhou.

African students and expatriates in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou were last week subject to forced coronavirus testing and arbitrary 14-day self-quarantine, regardless of recent travel history, amid heightened fears of imported infections.

Large numbers of African nationals were also left homeless, after being evicted by their landlords and rejected by hotels in the city.

China says the lifting of restrictions will not apply to those who are confirmed to have Covid-19, or those who have been in close contact with people who have tested positive.

Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong spoke at the meeting and said Chinese people have always regarded the African people as partners and brothers, and that the China-Africa friendship is deeply rooted and unbreakable.

China has denied the discrimination accusations about African nationals since Sunday. Chen, along with Guangzhou’s director of foreign affairs Zhao Lijian, have both said that the "Chinese government treats all foreigners in China equally." 

According to a statement from the Chinese government, African representatives expressed their willingness to cooperate with the Chinese side to prevent and control the epidemic situation.

4:44 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

1.4 million people in the United Kingdom have applied for welfare support

From CNN's Simon Cullen

A total of 1.4 million people in the UK have claimed welfare support since the coronavirus pandemic began, the country's Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey said.

Coffey said the figure included those who’d applied for help under the government’s "universal credit" scheme, job seeker’s allowance, or employment support allowance.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey leaves 10 Downing Street in London following a Cabinet meeting on March 17.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey leaves 10 Downing Street in London following a Cabinet meeting on March 17. Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

“We are capable of processing and managing those claims,” Coffey told Sky News. She also said that the country’s welfare safety net is “properly functioning."

“People will start to receive financial support -- if they haven’t already had an advance," said Coffey.

4:31 a.m. ET, April 14, 2020

"Positive trends" emerging in Germany, head of country's agency for disease control and prevention says

From CNN's Stephanie Halasz

A cyclist crosses the Oberbaum Bridge in Berlin in the early morning of April 14.
A cyclist crosses the Oberbaum Bridge in Berlin in the early morning of April 14. Fabian Sommer/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Germany is showing some positive trends in its bid to stop Covid-19 from continuing to spread, the head of the Robert Koch Institute -- the country's national agency for disease control and prevention -- said at a news conference Tuesday.

"We have some positive trends, citizens have helped here. I thank everyone. It is great that our efforts are showing results," said Lothar Wieler.

But he warned that there was no clear sign that the numbers of infections were decreasing. Wieler also said there were strong regional differences in Germany and advised citizens to remain disciplined.

Germany's cases top 125,000: Another 2,082 coronavirus infections were reported by the Robert Koch Institute on Tuesday, bringing the national total to 125,098. The total includes 2,969 deaths.