Global death toll passes 100K as confirmed cases top 1.6 million

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
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A healthcare worker talks with a patient at a COVID-19 testing site near Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on March 24, 2020.Matt Slocum / AP

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The coronavirus death toll across the U.S. continues to climb and passed 18,500 by Friday evening, according to an NBC News tally. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New York state had reached 170,512.

Globally, the number of cases passed 1.6 million with more than 102,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University, as countries deliberate over further lockdown measures or worry about second wave outbreaks. Millions of people around the world are preparing for religious celebrations and a holiday weekend.

Current and former U.S. officials, meanwhile, tell NBC News that American spy agencies collected raw intelligence hinting at a public health crisis in Wuhan, China, in November, but the information was not understood as the first warning signs of an impending global pandemic.

Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.

This live coverage has ended. Continue reading Apr. 11 Coronavirus news.

U.S. virus economy could burst big-city rent bubble

The gridlocked U.S. coronavirus economy could upend housing from coast to coast, bursting national apartment rents that have risen by 150 percent over the last decade, experts say.

Yet the situation will likely do little to alleviate the housing crisis, as the more than 16 million Americans who filed for unemployment insurance in the last three weeks will still need roofs over their heads, say economists and affordable housing advocates.

More than half of the 600 concerned landlords on a conference call Wednesday with the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles said they have tenants who haven't fully paid their April rent, according to Executive Director Daniel Yukelson.

Read the full story here.

A sign advertising a house for rent in Los Angeles on Feb. 27, 2015.Richard Vogel / AP file

From Rome to Jerusalem, Christians mark Good Friday in isolation

Christians around the world are commemorating Easter without the solemn church services or emotional processions of past years, marking Good Friday in a world locked down by the coronavirus pandemic.

A small group of clerics held a closed-door service in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem — built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the dead. 

In Rome, the torch-lit Way of the Cross procession at the Colosseum is usually a highlight of Holy Week, drawing large crowds of pilgrims and tourists. It’s been cancelled this year, along with all other public gatherings in Italy — which is battling one of the worst outbreaks. Pope Francis will lead a Good Friday ceremony to an empty St. Peter’s Square on Friday evening.

Cats that guard Russia's Hermitage museum doing well in virus lockdown

St. Petersburg’s Hermitage museum is known world over for its rich collection of artwork, but it is also known for its furry, friendly guard cats.

The museum’s YouTube channel featured a 15-minute “hang out” with the cats in their basement hideout on Thursday, assuring viewers that all was well, amid a nation-wide coronavirus home isolation order.

“The Hermitage cats convey their greetings and meow-meow!” the museum wrote in the video description. “Everything is fine with them. They are looked after, petted, fed, and sometimes even given all kinds of treats!”

The cats have a press secretary and assistant who usually cares for them. But, with most employees working from home, the job has been left to the Museum Security Service, who can be seen in the video. It ends with a call to those interested in adopting a feline friend to contact the museum.

Spain extends state of emergency for second time

Spanish lawmakers voted Thursday evening to extend state of emergency measures until April 26, as the country battles the coronavirus outbreak.

The measures prolong the state of emergency for a second time in Spain, which has the world’s second-highest coronavirus death toll, and also included economic and labor decrees to help alleviate the crisis.

The outbreak has led to a near-collapse of Spain's health system as the country reported more than 15,000 deaths  as of Friday, according to an NBC News tally. The daily rate of infection, however, has started to slow

As Spanish citizens will now be under compulsory lockdown for a total of six weeks, the Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez warned that he may need to ask for a third extension to prolong measures until May.

Tokyo imposes further social restrictions in face of virus

Tokyo set in place further restrictions on Friday, as part of its battle to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Theaters, sports facilities and places of assembly will be closed, while bars and restaurants will have limited opening times, governor Yuriko Koike told a press conference. The measures are part of the country's ongoing month-long state of emergency announced April 7.

"From our point of view, this is a matter of life and death for Tokyoites," said Koike. "We’ve been receiving reports on a daily basis that the medical capacity of the city is getting stretched thin." 

Tokyo's lockdown is not compulsory but rather requests the public to refrain from leaving their homes.

Australia's crackdown on Easter travel amid coronavirus

Australia will deploy helicopters, set up police checkpoints and hand out hefty fines to deter people from breaking travel bans during the Easter weekend, officials warned Friday, even as the spread of coronavirus slows across the country.

With places of worship closed, bans on public gatherings and non-essential travel limited to combat the spread of the virus, Australians have been told to stay home during the Easter public holidays.

"Police will take action," New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys told reporters, adding that police had issued almost 50 new fines for breaches of public health orders in the previous 24 hours. Police have also said they will block roads and use number plate recognition technology to catch those infringing the bans.

Celebrities say 'thank you' to Britain's healthcare workers

U.S. singer Billie Eilish, actor Hugh Grant and author Stephen Fry were among the celebrities who took part in a video thanking Britain's National Health Service and staff, Thursday evening.

The video is part of what is becoming a weekly ritual across Britain that sees people standing on door steps and hanging out of windows to cheer and applaud health care workers, as they continue to manage the coronavirus outbreak.

Yemen confirms first coronavirus case

Yemen has recorded its first confirmed case of coronavirus on Friday, the country's supreme national emergency committee tweeted

The patient is being treated and is in a stable condition in the ⁧‫⁩ Hadhramaut governorate, the national emergency committee for the disease said. The case in the war-torn country has stoked fears that an outbreak could devastate an already crippled health care system. 

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels declared a cease-fire this week on humanitarian grounds to prevent the spread of the pandemic — possibly paving the way to a peace agreement.

A nun prays in front of the closed door of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, during a coronavirus social lockdown on Thursday.Ariel Schalit / AP

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