U.S. deaths top 16,000, Boris Johnson out of intensive care

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
Image: A woman puts cloth face masks on a string to dry before distributing it for free around the neighbourhood, amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia
A woman puts cloth face masks on a string to dry before distributing it for free around the neighbourhood, amid the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tangerang, on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia, April 9, 2020.Willy Kurniawan / Reuters

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The coronavirus death toll in the U.S. now stands at 16,527 and total cases neared half a million at 460,967, according to an NBC News tally as of Thursday night.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New York state has reached 159,937 — outpacing any country except the United States as a whole.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday that New York was bringing in additional funeral directors "to deal with the number of people who have passed."

Lockdowns appear set to remain in place in many European countries amid rising death tolls, as governments from Britain to France decide whether to extend restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of the virus.

In the U.K., Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved out the intensive care unit at a St. Thomas' Hospital as he continues to recover from COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus.

"Saturday Night Live" announced Thursday that it would be back on air this weekend, using remotely produced content. The sketch show tweeted a photo of its stars, including Kenan Thompson and Kate McKinnon, together on a video conference.

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Sailor from USS Theodore Roosevelt in ICU

A sailor assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt has been transferred to ICU after being found unresponsive in their room in Guam.

“A U.S. Navy Sailor assigned to USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam April 9. The Sailor tested positive for COVID-19 on March 30 and at the time of hospitalization was in a 14-day isolation period on Naval Base Guam," a statement from the Navy said.

So far, there have been 416 sailors on the ship who have tested positive for the virus, with 97% having been tested. 

Capt. Brett Crozier was relieved of command of the ship after sounding the alarm about an outbreak on the ship.

Spain close to reversing virus curve, PM says

Spain is close to the beginning of a decline in its coronavirus epidemic, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Thursday.

“This war against the virus will be a total victory...the fire starts to come under control,” Sanchez told a near-empty parliament as more than 300 lawmakers participated remotely, ahead of a vote on the extension of a state of emergency by another two weeks.

One of the worst-hit countries globally, Spain is second only to Italy in terms of its death toll. Both countries, however, have recently reported a slow in daily infection rates

Saudi officials announce Yemen cease-fire amid pandemic

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen announced Wednesday that its forces would begin a cease-fire starting Thursday, a step that could pave the way for the first direct peace talks between the two sides that have been at war for more than five years.

In a statement carried by Saudi Arabia's official state news agency, a Saudi military spokesman, Col. Turki al-Malki, said that the ceasefire would for last two weeks and comes in response to U.N. calls to halt hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Read the full story here. 

Coronavirus could spark first recession in 25 years in sub-Saharan Africa, World Bank warns

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to fall sharply as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, with a risk of sparking the first recession in the region in 25 years, the World Bank warned on Thursday.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the limits of societies and economies across the world, and African countries are likely to be hit particularly hard,” said Hafez Ghanem, World Bank Vice President for Africa. 

The analysis showed that COVID-19 would likely cost the region between $37 billion and $79 billion in losses for 2020, due to trade disruption, reduced foreign financing and weak domestic demand. The continent's three largest economies — Nigeria, Angola, and South Africa — are set to be particularly hard hit, the report found. 

Taiwan to deliver 6 million masks around the world

Taiwan will donate 6 million medical masks around the world to help countries battle the coronavirus pandemic, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday. It completed a first round of similar humanitarian assistance last week.

The masks will be sent to European Union countries, heavily-affected states in the U.S., and nations in Latin America and the Caribbean, said officials.

Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted his thanks to Taiwan for the initial donation of 2 million masks, saying, "During tough times, real friends stick together."

New Chinese data on asymptomatic coronavirus cases could help world response

China began to release data on asymptomatic coronavirus patients last week, a move experts say will help other countries respond to the pandemic and provide crucial insight into how the virus is spread.

"We have been basing a lot of our models and our predictions off the Chinese data because it was the first major outbreak," Nadia Abuelezam, an epidemiologist at Boston College's Connell School of Nursing, told NBC News.

With the addition of asymptomatic patients -- those infected but showing no symptoms of the disease -- raising the count, she said, "this changes the potential dynamics of the models."

Read the full story here.

A store worker wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus waits for customers behind a barrier in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province on April 1, 2020.Noel Celis / AFP - Getty Images

Half a billion people could be pushed into poverty by coronavirus, Oxfam warns

More than half a billion people could be pushed into poverty unless urgent action is taken to bail out countries affected by the intense economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, Oxfam warned in a report on Thursday.

The charity said the impact of shutting down economies to prevent the virus spreading risked setting back the fight against global poverty by a decade — and by 30 years in some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, north Africa and the Middle East. 

The humanitarian agency urged world leaders to agree to an “Economic Rescue Package for All" to keep poor countries afloat and support citizens through cash grants.

Sarah and Aaron Sanders celebrate a Passover Seder with their children, Noah, 19, Bella, 18 and Maya, 13, at home and different family members across the country via video conference on April 8, 2020 in San Anselmo, California.Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Inmates demonstrate over cases at Washington state prison

Inmates at a Washington state prison were involved in a destructive disturbance Wednesday night after six men at the facility tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said.

Authorities used pepper spray and "sting balls" to help quell the demonstration at the Monroe Correctional Complex that involved more than 100 inmates in a recreation yard around 6 p.m. Fire extinguishers were discharged within two housing units in the minimum-security unit, the state department of corrections said.

There were no injuries, and the situation is under control, the department said.

Read the full story here