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U.S. deaths top 12,000 as New York City suffers deadliest day

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Apr 7, 2020; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee resident Jennifer Taff holds a sign as she waits in line to vote at Washington
Milwaukee resident Jennifer Taff holds a sign as she waits in line to vote at Washington High School in Milwaukee on April 7, 2020. "I'm disgusted. I requested an absentee ballot almost three weeks ago and never got it. I have a father dying from lung disease and I have to risk my life and his just to exercise my right to vote" she said, as she'd been in line almost two hours.Patricia McKnight / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via USA TODAY Network

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading April 8 Coronavirus news.

At the start of what officials have warned could be the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic, the total number of deaths in the U.S. rose to more than 12,000 on Tuesday, according to NBC News' tally. New York City alone topped 4,000 deaths, recording its single deadliest day with over 800 dying in the 24 hours since Monday night.

Despite the coronavirus crisis, Wisconsin's controversial election is on for Tuesday, and voters will get no extension on the deadline to return absentee ballots, thanks to two top courts that sided with Republicans on Monday.

In the fight to mitigate the fallout from the pandemic, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced Tuesday that he planned to donate $1 billion to global coronavirus relief.

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NYC to release data that will show racial disparity in cases, mayor says

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that the city will soon release data on the racial breakdown of coronavirus cases that will show disparities among who is affected by the pandemic.

"This disease is affecting people disproportionately in lower-income communities" with "more health problems" and in "communities of color," de Blasio said. He said the numbers on age and gender are readily available, but it's been harder to get hospitals to track race in the midst of an emergency. 

Jumaane D. Williams, public advocate for New York City, on Thursday sent a letter to de Blasio calling for a release of data on the racial impact of the crisis. 

De Blasio also said Tuesday that the number of people hospitalized and in need of ventilators has "improved a bit in recent days." 

"It is giving us some more time, giving us the opportunity to get more ventilators in and know we can get farther into the week," the mayor said. "We know we bought a few more days." 

Airlines cannot afford to refund canceled flights

Global airlines cannot afford to refund canceled flights because of the coronavirus crisis, according to the head of the industry’s representative body IATA.

The airlines are instead issuing vouchers, as they conserve cash to survive. 

“The key element for us is to avoid running out of cash, so refunding the canceled ticket for us is almost unbearable financially speaking,” IATA Director General Alexandre De Juniac told an online news conference on Tuesday. 

Airlines have been criticized by consumer groups for breaking rules over providing refunds within set time limits. 

IATA also said that one-third of global airline employees have either been furloughed or lost their jobs.

African Americans may be dying from COVID-19 at a higher rate. Better data is essential, experts say.

In Chicago, a recent report found that 70 percent of people who died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are black — even though the city's population is just 30 percent black. In Milwaukee County, which is 27 percent black, the figure is 81 percent.

And public health officials tracking the coronavirus have seen similar disproportionate impacts on African Americans in PhiladelphiaDetroit and other cities.

But just how widespread the disparities might be across the country is difficult to know, because most states and the federal government haven't released demographic data on the race or ethnicity of people who've tested positive for the virus. That's created an information gap that could aggravate existing health disparities, prevent cities and states from equitably distributing medical resources and potentially violate the law, advocates say.

Read the full story here.

Global Update: British PM in intensive care and Japan’s state of emergency

Britain's Boris Johnson remains 'stable' in hospital

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is “stable” and in “good spirits” after a night in intensive care at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, Downing Street said on Tuesday.

He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any other assistance and has not required mechanical ventilation, nor does he have pneumonia, officials said.

Johnson, 55, was admitted to the hospital on Sunday evening after "persistent" COVID-19 symptoms, having tested positive on March 27 for coronavirus. Britain's foreign minister Dominic Raab will continue to lead the country in Johnson's absence. Scheduled weekly calls between the Prime Minister and Queen Elizabeth will not take place while Johnson remains unwell, Downing Street confirmed.

At one California beach, police have 'zero tolerance' for stay-at-home violations

Few spots personify laid-back Southern California more than the picturesque coastal city of Manhattan Beach.

But faster than you can say "tasty waves,” police in this beach burgh of 35,000 have descended on the sand and surrounding streets for "zero tolerance" enforcement of the "safer at home" order, now in its third week. Other locales, like the city of Los Angeles, have leaned more toward educating violators. But as some have continued to head to the sand, Manhattan Beach is cracking down.

A week ago, one surfer received a $1,000 citation for repeatedly ignoring warnings to stay out of the water. Manhattan Beach police issued 129 citations this past weekend and shut down four construction projects.

Wisconsin votes as National Guard called out, many polling places shuttered

Wisconsin’s primary election went on as planned Tuesday despite the state’s stay-at-home order and a day after two courts ruled that the election couldn't be postponed.

Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET for voters to cast ballots in person, though according to the state's elections commission, voters' designated polling places may have changed because of poll worker shortages.

Wisconsin's chief elections official, Meagan Wolfe, said in a statement Monday that voters who show up to the polls Tuesday should "be careful and patient" as social distancing procedures will be implemented at each site. The state is also recommending that voters wash their hands before heading to their polling place and wash or sanitize their hands when they arrive at the location before they vote.

Read the fully story here.

Paris bans outdoor exercise during the day

A man jogs on a bridge in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Thursday.Philippe Lopez / AFP - Getty Images

Municipal authorities in Paris have banned residents from doing exercise outdoors between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. hours to ensure fewer people are on the streets in the French capital as it tries to contain the coronavirus epidemic

The city, in coordination with the local police force, said Parisians won’t be allowed to engage in any outdoor sport activity between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time.

The new measure, which starts on Wednesday, applies to Paris only. France has been in lockdown since March 17 to stem the spread of the virus. The measures have been extended until April 15, and are likely to be extended again.

U.S. reports 1,200 coronavirus deaths in one day as China lifts lockdown

Fire department EMTs walk past a man in a hazmat suit outside of the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx borough of New York City on Monday. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

At the start of what is expected to be the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the White House tried to offer some hope that measures to contain the spread were working.

The virus killed 1,264 over 24 hours in the U.S. as of 2:05 am ET on Tuesday, according to NBC New's tracker. A total of 10,906 have been recorded killed by COVID-19.

Meanwhile in China, where the pandemic broke out, not a single new death was reported, and the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, where the new virus was first identified, prepared for lockdown measures to be lifted.

Read the full story here. 

Japan declares state of emergency as coronavirus cases rise

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared on Tuesday a month-long state of emergency following a sharp rise in confirmed coronavirus cases. 

However, Abe said that the emergency measures would not involve "locking down" like "cities overseas" and that "public transportation and other vital socio-economic services will be sustained as much as possible." Abe added that people will still be allowed to exercise outdoors.

The state of emergency will allow the heads of six designated prefectures and Tokyo to do more to reinforce calls for social distancing. On Monday, the chairman of the Tokyo Medical Association, an independent body representing the city's doctors, had said the capital was in a "critical situation."