Boris Johnson in intensive care, U.S. death toll tops 10,000

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: UNLV Medicine Nearing Point Of Running Out Of Coronavirus Testing Kits
From left, certified medical assistants Lakietha Flourney, Yatziri Perez and Evelyn Laolagi conduct tests for COVID-19 at a drive-up testing station in the parking lot of UNLV Medicine in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 6, 2020.Ethan Miller / Getty Images

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The number of deaths in the U.S. topped 10,700 by Monday night, according to NBC News' tally.

The rising toll comes as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, said Sunday that the U.S. is "struggling" to get the coronavirus outbreak under control. The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has passed 337,000. Globally, the number of deaths has topped 70,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson was taken into an intensive care unit for coronavirus, his office announced Monday. He had tested positive in March and was hospitalized Sunday for exhibiting symptoms for more than 10 days.

Meanwhile, an internal government watchdog report released Monday said that hospitals across the country face dire shortages of vital medical equipment — including testing kits and thermometers.

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South Carolina ends holdout and issues stay-at-home order

A car turns in at a location for drive-thru COVID-19 testing at Prisma Richland Hospital, in Columbia, S.C. on April 3, 2020.Meg Kinnard / AP

Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday ordered South Carolina's 5 million residents to stay home, making his state the last one east of the Mississippi River to issue such a coronavirus-related mandate.

McMaster had fought demands to issue a stay-at-home order, questioning the constitutionality of such sweeping, executive action. 

"The evidence and the facts ... the rising infection rate" prompted Monday's action, McMaster said.  "I'm confident that what we're doing today is legal, constitutional and is similarly protecting the people without destroying families."

Anyone out and not performing essential duties is subject to a misdemeanor criminal charge, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, according to the governor.

The South Carolina health department on Monday said there have been 2,232 positive tests for coronavirus and 48 deaths in the Palmetto State.

Louisiana pastor cited for defying coronavirus order hosts hundreds on Palm Sunday

Pastor Tony Spell talks with journalists before attending Sunday service on April 5, 2020.Carlos Barria / Reuters

A Louisiana pastor accused of violating government orders to limit crowds during the coronavirus pandemic hosted hundreds of churchgoers on Palm Sunday, according to police.

Pastor Tony Spell welcomed worshipers at Life Tabernacle Church in Central, near Baton Rouge.

Spell has already been hit with six misdemeanors for the six services he has held since March 16 when Gov. John Bel Edwards announced an order against gatherings of more than 50 people.

Read the full story here. 

Indiana extends stay at home order for additional 2 weeks

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a new executive order extending the state's stay-at-home measures for another 14 days. 

Holcomb's initial order on March 24 was set to expire Monday evening, but the governor asked residents to continue isolating at home and following social distancing guidelines as the pandemic continues. 

"Hoosiers have done a great job adapting to the new rules put in place during this public health emergency, but I believe the next two weeks to month could be the most critical for all of us," Holcomb said. 

California courts suspend foreclosures and evictions during coronavirus crisis

The California Judicial Council voted Monday to effectively suspend the legal proceedings used to evict tenants or foreclose on homeowners, until after the coronavirus emergency declaration is rescinded by Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

The Council said that Newsom and local officials who directed that there be a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures did not necessarily have the authority to block action from continuing in court. This decision will do that.

The Council is considering a number of other items related to court operation, including allowing many more defendants to appear in court remotely via phone or video conference, and setting bail at zero for most nonviolent infractions. 

Third passenger from Coral Princess cruise dies

Wilson Maa, left, and his wife Toyling were on the Coral Princess and got sick.Courtesy Maa family

A Northern California man died of complications from COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus, shortly after being taken off the Coral Princess — leading loved ones and a Florida lawmaker to wonder if the ill passenger was treated fast enough.

Wilson Maa, a 71-year-old South San Francisco resident, died late Saturday night at Larkin Community Hospital in Hialeah, Florida, after the ship docked in Miami in the morning.

"The family had to call 911 from out of state to get help for a family member," niece Kellie Yuh told NBC News. "They had to wait over four hours for an ambulance and he died two hours later at the hospital."

U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., asked if the California man received timely medical care, tweeting: "It’s devastating and exasperating that we will never know if Mr. Maa’s death could have been prevented with a swift and urgent medical response that this situation deserved." 

Before Maa's death, two others had passed away from COVID-19 complications aboard the ship. Operator Princess Cruises said it too wants to know the timeline leading to the man's death, issuing a statement: "All of us at Princess Cruises are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Maa. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and those impacted by this loss." 

Civil rights group, medical professionals demand federal racial data on coronavirus victims

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law sent a letter signed by 400 medical professionals to the Trump administration on Monday demanding the release of racial data related to coronavirus cases and deaths. 

The group sent the letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calling for the release of data related to testing, cases and outcomes related to race and ethnicity because of growing concerns of the infection rate in black communities. 

“We are deeply concerned that African American communities are being hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that racial bias may be impacting the access they receive to testing and health care,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the civil rights group. "To fully confront this pandemic, we must ensure that communities of color receive equitable health care and treatment during this crisis."

The CDC is not currently publicly reporting racial data for coronavirus cases or tests performed across the country, but some state and local governments have released data. 

In Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, as of April 6, African Americans made up 46 percent of the country's 1,270 coronavirus cases, while only 27 percent of the population. Black residents are also among the hardest hit in areas such as Washington, D.C, and Illinois.

Tyson Foods suspends operations at Iowa plant

Tyson Foods has suspended operations at its pork plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, after more than two dozen workers tested positive for COVID-19, the company announced Monday.

This suspension, along with worker absenteeism and other worker safety precautions such as social distancing, have slowed production across the company’s meat and poultry plants, the company's chief executive Noel White said in a statement.

“We’re working hard to protect our team members during this ever-changing situation, while also ensuring we continue fulfilling our critical role of helping feed people across the country,” White said. The company has been taking workers’ temperatures before their shifts and deep cleaning and sanitizing parts of the plant including employee break and locker rooms, he added.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson transferred to intensive care unit

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is battling the coronavirus, has been transferred to the intensive care unit at a London hospital after his symptoms worsened, his office said in a statement Monday.

"The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary," Johnson's office said. "The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication."

Trump approves Cuomo request to have Navy hospital ship take coronavirus patients

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday asked President Donald Trump if the Comfort, a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship now docked in New York City, could be shifted to take patients suffering from COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus.

The ship, brought to New York City to free up much-needed hospital space for infected patients, had previously been reserved for non-virus patients. The Comfort had only 20 patients as of Thursday night. 

"As it turned out, there's not a lot of non-COVID people in the hospital system, which is a separate story," Cuomo said. "A byproduct of shutting everything down is you have fewer car accidents, crime rate is way down, fewer trauma cases, so there is not a large non-COVID population in the hospitals." 

Cuomo said later Monday on MSNBC that Trump agreed to the request. The governor said the move adds 1,000 beds to the fight against the disease, which will hopefully alleviate some of the stress on the state's healthcare system.

Cuomo also said schools and non-essential businesses would remain closed through at least April 29 and that the fine for those who violated restrictions on social distancing would increase, from $500 to $1,000.

U.S. Army places temporary hold on sending new recruits to basic training

The U.S. Army has paused the movement of future U.S. soldiers to basic combat training, the department announced Monday.

"This tactical pause will allow commands to ensure appropriate safety measures are in place and are operating effectively at training installations," the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, which oversees training of Army recruits, said in a statement.

The pause does not affect recruits currently in basic training. They will continue under screening and monitoring guidelines established in March, and proceed to their next assignment upon graduation. Current protocols include "social-distanced-enabled training" and reduced movement of trainees.

"The decision to pause the shipment of trainees to [Basic Combat Training] for two weeks will allow leaders to focus on setting conditions so movement can be conducted in a safer manner in the future,” said Gen. Paul Funk, II, head of the Command.