The virus has infected more than 1,5 million people and killed over 88,000 by spreading to 209 countries and territories. Here are the latest updates for April 8:

A UK government public health campaign is displayed in Piccadilly Circus, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues, London, Britain, April 8, 2020.
A UK government public health campaign is displayed in Piccadilly Circus, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues, London, Britain, April 8, 2020. (Reuters)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020:

Covid-19 cases top 1.5 million worldwide

Global coronavirus infections have exceeded 1.5 million as governments worldwide struggle to get the pandemic under control.  

The Johns Hopkins study found that 1,506,061 people have been infected with the virus since it emerged in China four months ago, including 88,085 people who have died and 319,286 individuals who have fully recovered.  

The US remains the country with the highest number of infections at more than 425,000, but Italy is the country with highest death toll with 17,669 fatalities.  

Global fatalities now over 88,000

More than 88,000 people worldwide have died from the novel coronavirus in the four months since it emerged in China, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

In all, the university counted 88,085 Covid-19 deaths and 319,286 recoveries. There are over 1.5 million confirmed infections globally, according to the university based in the state of Maryland.   

The US remains the country with the highest number of infections at more than 425,000, but Italy is the country with highest death toll with 17,669 fatalities.  

Johnson stable in ICU as UK deaths pass 7,000

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “responding to treatment” but remains in intensive care with the new coronavirus, his spokesman said Wednesday, as the UK saw its biggest spike in deaths from the virus to date.

A shaken UK government sought to keep a grip on its response to the outbreak with its leader hospitalized and the number of Covid-19-related deaths approaching the peaks seen in Italy and Spain, the two countries with the greatest number of fatalities.

Britain's confirmed death toll reached 7,097 on Wednesday, an increase of 938 from 24 hours earlier.

Not all the deaths reported each day occurred in the preceding 24 hours, and the British total only includes deaths in hospitals.

Turkey's coronavirus death toll now 812

Turkey's cases of coronavirus increased by 4,117 in the last 24 hours, and 87 people have died, taking the death toll to 812, the health ministry announced on Wednesday.

The total number of recovered cases stood at 1,846, and the number of tests carried out over the last 24 hours was 24,900, the health ministry said.

Turkey's total confirmed cases stood at 38,226, the ministry said. 

Italy's daily coronavirus death toll falls

Deaths from the Covid-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 542 on Wednesday, a lower tally than the 604 the day before, but the number of new cases pushed higher to 3,836 compared with a previous 3,039.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 rose to 17,669, the Civil Protection Agency said, the highest in the world.

There were 3,693 people in intensive care on Wednesday against 3, 792 on Tuesday -- a fifth consecutive daily decline, underscoring growing hopes that the illness is on the retreat thanks to a nationwide lockdown introduced on March 9.

Of those originally infected, 26,491 were declared recovered against 24,392 a day earlier.

 EU plan for virus aid package under fire

An EU effort to put together a 20-billion-euro aid package to help poor countries fight coronavirus came under fire on Wednesday, and the bloc's diplomatic chief admitted it contained "no fresh money".

Brussels plans to redirect money from existing funds to help countries with weak healthcare systems tackle the pandemic and aid their long-term economic recovery.

EU officials fear that beating the pandemic in Europe alone will not be enough because, if it continues to rage elsewhere in the world, the virus will simply return in time.

German Development Minister Gerd Muelle r said after talks with his 26 EU counterparts that the proposals did not go far enough.

"I do not consider the proposals to be sufficiently far-reaching but an important first step," Mueller said.

US tops 400,000 coronavirus cases: tracker

The United States on Wednesday surpassed 400,000 novel coronavirus cases, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The pandemic has now claimed the lives of at least 12,936 people in the United States, which leads the world in the number of confirmed infections with 401,116, by the Baltimore-based school's count.

The 300,000-case milestone was passed on Saturday.

The US death toll is approaching those of hard-hit Italy with more than 17,000 and Spain with more than 14,500.

WHO Europe says 'now is not the time to relax measures'

The World Health Organization's European office said that despite seeing "positive signs" from some countries, it was too early to scale back measures aimed at containing the spread of the new coronavirus.

"Now is not the time to relax measures. It is the time to once again double and triple our collective efforts to drive towards suppression with the whole support of society," WHO regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, told a press conference.

France reports 541 more coronavirus deaths in hospital 

France on Wednesday reported 541 more deaths from Covid-19 in hospital over the last 24 hours, bringing its total official toll from the coronavirus epidemic to 10,869. 

Top health official Jerome Salomon told reporters that there were now 7,148 people in intensive care, a net increase of 17 from the day earlier, the lowest increase recorded in recent weeks.

He said that due to a technical fault there was no daily data available Wednesday from nursing homes, meaning that the overall death toll is likely incomplete.

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise to 103,228 

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Germany rose by 4,003 in the past 24 hours to 103,228 on Wednesday, climbing for the second straight day after four previous days of drops, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed. 

The reported death toll rose by 254 to 1,861. 

Turkish Jewish Community's co-chair makes personal donation

Erol Kohen, Co-chair of the Turkish Jewish Community, has joined others in supporting the solidarity campaign in Turkey by making a personal donation of $177,000 (1.2M TL).

"I believe we will overcome this period, I am standing with our hard-working health personnel and our government," he said in a statement.

Spain daily virus deaths 757, second successive rise

Spain recorded a second successive daily rise in coronavirus-related deaths, with 757 fatalities, lifting the total toll to 14,555, the health ministry said.

The number of new infections in the world's second hardest-hit country after Italy also grew to 146,690, up from 140,510, it added.

Iran's coronavirus death toll rises to 3,999 

Iran's new coronavirus death toll has climbed to 3,999, with 121 more deaths in the past 24 hours, a health ministry spokesman told state TV, adding that the total number of infections in the country has risen to 64,586.

Iran had earlier placed deaths at 4,003 and cases at 67,286 before an official sent out a correction.

Malaysia reports 156 new cases with 2 new deaths

Malaysian health authorities reported 156 new cases of coronavirus infection, pushing the cumulative total to 4,119 cases as Southeast Asia's third-largest economy continues to grapple with the highest rate of infection in the region.

The health ministry also reported two new deaths, including one Pakistani national who had attended a mass religious gathering that was the source of over 1,000 infections in the country.

Indonesia reports 218 new infections, taking total to 2,956

Indonesia confirmed 218 new coronavirus infections, taking the total in the Southeast Asian country to 2,956, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said.

He reported 19 new coronavirus deaths, taking the total to 240, while 222 people have recovered.

Russia reports record daily rise in new cases 

The number of coronavirus cases in Russia rose by more than 1,000 for the second day running, taking the total to 8,672, the crisis response centre said.

The number of reported cases rose by 1,175, a record daily rise, while deaths increased by five to 63, the centre said. 

Philippines reports five new deaths, 106 more cases

The Philippine health ministry said the coronavirus outbreak has killed five more people, with 106 additional infections.

In a bulletin, the health ministry said total deaths have risen to 182, while infections have increased to 3,870. Twelve patients recovered on Wednesday, bringing the total to 96, it added.

Turkey delivers medical aid to Balkans to fight virus 

Turkey on Wednesday delivered medical supplies to five Balkan countries to help fight the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"Masks, overalls, and test kits prepared by Turkey's Health Ministry will be delivered to Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Kosovo at the instructions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan," the Turkish Defence Ministry said on Twitter.

A Turkish military aircraft departed from the capital Ankara early Wednesday to carry aid to the Balkan countries to help them fight the outbreak.

Turkey previously sent medical aid to Italy and Spain, the countries in Europe worst hit by the virus. 

Bars, clubs in Seoul closed to halt virus spread

South Korea's capital Seoul has shut down more than 400 hostess bars, night clubs and discos amid concerns over coronavirus transmissions.

The measures announced by Mayor Park Won-soon on Wednesday came a day after two female bar employees were found to have contracted the coronavirus after one of them contacted a pop-star customer who also tested positive, triggering public calls for stronger controls on entertainment venues.

Park says the temporary gathering bans imposed on the 422 venues through April 19 will shut down all such businesses in the city for now as 1,700 others had already closed or suspended operations under the city’s anti-virus recommendations.

Park says officials have placed 118 of the bar employees’ contacts under self-quarantine and are testing them for Covid-19. So far, 18 of them have tested negative. 

Thailand reports 111 new coronavirus cases, 3 more deaths

Thailand on Wednesday reported111 new coronavirus cases and 3 more deaths.

The dead included a 48-year-old Russian, a 69-year-old Indian and a 69-year-old US national, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the government's Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

Since the pandemic escalated in January, Thailand has reported a total of 2,369 cases and 30 fatalities, while 888 patients have recovered and gone home.

People allowed to leave China's Wuhan 

The central Chinese city of Wuhan began allowing people to leave on Wednesday for the first time since it was locked down 76 days ago to contain the novel coronavirus despite fears of a second wave of infection if such restrictions are eased too soon.

China sealed off the city of 11 million people on January 23 after it became clear that the flu-like virus that had emerged there late last year was highly contagious and potentially deadly.

The first train to carry departing passengers out of the city left at 1650GMT, and outbound highways were opened to vehicular traffic around the same time.

Panama reports 149 new cases

Panama registered 149 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the country's total to 2,249 cases, authorities said.

The death toll stands at 59

Two Peruvian women diagnosed with Covid-19 give birth

Two pregnant women diagnosed with the new coronavirus in Peru have given birth to babies who have tested negative for the disease, a hospital in the capital Lima said on Tuesday.

The first of the children was born on March 27 and the second on March 31, both through cesarean sections on the advice of doctors to avoid complications, the Rebagliati Hospital in Lima reported.

"Fortunately, there has been no vertical transmission, that means that there has been no contagion from mothers to newborns," said Carlos Albretch, a doctor in the family unit of the hospital, which is run by state-owned Essalud.

He added that both mothers were in good health, although still receiving treatment for the coronavirus.

Nearly 2,000 US coronavirus deaths in last 24 hours

Nearly 2,000 people infected with the new coronavirus have died in the United States in the last 24 hours, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University as of 0030GMT Wednesday.

The record daily figure of 1,939 brings the total number of deaths in the US to 12,722, which is approaching tolls in the worst-hit countries so far, Italy with 17,127 dead and Spain with 13,798.

China reports 62 new confirmed cases of coronavirus

Mainland China reported 62 new confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, up from 32 a day earlier, the National Health Commission said as the number of infections from people arriving from abroad surged.

Mainland China's imported cases stood at 1,042 as of Tuesday, up 59 from day earlier, according to the health authority.

That brings the total number of confirmed cases to 81,802 so far. 

Mexico registers 2,785 cases of coronavirus and 141 deaths

Mexico has registered 346 new cases of coronavirus infection, bringing the country's total to 2,785, as well as 141 deaths, the health ministry said.

Head of EU's top science panel quits over Covid-19 response

The head of the EU’s top science organisation has resigned at the height of the coronavirus crisis, an EU spokesman said.

Mauro Ferrari had only become president of the European Research Council on January 1, but EU Commission spokesman Johannes Bahrke said that “I can confirm that Professor Ferrari resigned”.

The news was first announced by the Financial Times, based on a statement released to the paper by Ferrari, who said he had “been extremely disappointed by the European response” to the pandemic. 

He complained about running into institutional and political obstacles as he sought to swiftly set up a scientific program to combat the virus.

“I have seen enough of both the governance of science, and the political operations at the EU,” he wrote in the statement. “I have lost faith in the system itself.”

NYC virus deaths exceed 4,000, topping toll for 9/11 attacks

New York City’s death toll from the coronavirus rose past 4,000 on Tuesday, eclipsing the number killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Covid-19's toll in New York City is now more than 1,000 deaths higher than that of the 9/11 terror attack on US soil, which had killed 2,753 people in the city and 2,977 overall.

New York state recorded 731 new coronavirus deaths, its biggest one-day jump yet, for a statewide toll of nearly 5,500, Andrew Cuomo said.

“A lot of pain again today for many New Yorkers," he said.

But in an encouraging sign, the governor said hospital admissions and the number of those receiving breathing tubes are dropping, indicating that measures taken to force people to keep their distance from one another are succeeding.

Brazil looks to China for coronavirus help as cases rise quickly

Brazil's health minister said the country faced a "serious problem" getting enough mechanical ventilators and had spoken to China to try and ensure it would be able to fill an order for face masks as coronavirus deaths accelerated.

Latin America's largest country has confirmed 13,717 coronavirus cases, while deaths rose to 667, exceeding 100 in 24 hours for the first time.

Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said he had spoken with the Chinese ambassador on Tuesday to ensure fulfilment of medical equipment orders.

"We need to bring 40 million masks from China," he said at a news conference. "We are having difficulties in the Chinese market to guarantee these purchases."

Australia's parliament set to pass huge stimulus plan

Australia's parliament will return on Wednesday in a slimmed-down version to pass an emergency $80 billion stimulus package as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the country's economy.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Wednesday would become "one of the most important days in the history of the Australian parliament as we come together across the political divide to save millions of Australian jobs".

"What we are absolutely focused on is getting the support to people who need it most," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Parliament will sit with fewer than normal lawmakers amid efforts to stop the virus from spreading, with some MPs given special permission to cross state boundaries to pass the legislation, the ABC reported.

Trump says US may be getting to top of coronavirus curve

President Donald Trump said US might be getting to the top of the "curve" of the coronavirus outbreak and said he did not see an early written warning about the pandemic from a top White House aide.

The president said he was reluctant to talk about it but that the country might be on track for far fewer deaths than projected. Trump's coronavirus task force previously projected, based on models, that as many as 240,000 people in the US could die in the pandemic.

Trump reiterated that he wanted to reopen the US economy.

"We want to get it open soon, that's why I think maybe we're getting to the very top of the curve," Trump said.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies