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.
- Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments.
- MAPS: Confirmed cases in the U.S. and worldwide, confirmed deaths in the U.S. and globally.
- Stay-at-home orders across the country: What each state is doing — or not — amid widespread coronavirus lockdowns.
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This live coverage has ended. Continue reading Apr. 11 Coronavirus news.
Obama to U.S. mayors: 'Speak the truth. Speak it clearly.'
Former President Barack Obama addressed a group of mayors on how to best deal with the outbreak in an online meeting on Thursday, saying the “biggest mistake any us can make in these situations is to misinform.”
"Speak the truth. Speak it clearly. Speak it with compassion. Speak it with empathy for what folks are going through," Obama said to mayors of more than 300 cities across America, according to a press release on the virtual meeting organized by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Obama also urged the politicians to surround themselves with a strong team of reliable experts and to not be afraid to ask questions. This was the fourth virtual meeting Bloomberg's group has held with mayors. Two of the previous meetings have featured speeches by former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Nigeria reports 14 new cases of coronavirus
Nigeria has reported 14 new cases of coronavirus, the majority in the economic center of Lagos, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
The West African nation now has 288 confirmed cases and 7 deaths as of Thursday evening, it said.
Tokyo Olympics may not happen even in 2021
TOKYO — As the coronavirus spreads in Japan, the chief executive of the Tokyo Games said Friday he can’t guarantee the postponed Olympics will be staged next year — even with a 16-month delay.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued an emergency declaration this week to battle the virus, putting the country under restrictions after it seemed it had avoided the spread.
“I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not,” Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said, speaking through an interpreter at a news conference conducted remotely. ”We’re certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer.”
The Olympics were postponed last month with a new opening set for July 23, 2021, followed by the Paralympics on Aug. 24.
U.S. virus economy could burst big-city rent bubble
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.
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
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.
Trump allies reportedly think briefings hurt more than help
More men than women are testing positive
WASHINGTON — Men are not getting tested as much for the coronavirus as women.
Yet, when men do get tested, a higher percentage test positive for the virus.
Dr. Deborah Birx used the numbers to remind men “about the importance of health care” during a briefing Thursday at the White House.
So far, Birx says, 56 percent of the people tested for COVID-19 are female, and 16 percent of them tested positive for the virus.
But for men, 23 percent tested positive.
Birx made a plea for men experiencing symptoms that could be a result of the virus to get tested, saying “we appreciate you engaging in that.”
Birx serves as the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator.
Oakland, California, to close 74 miles of city streets to cars, inviting walkers, runners and cyclists instead
OAKLAND, Calif.— This Bay Area city will join a growing list of others around the country that are closing streets to cars in favor of increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic during the COVID-19 crisis, an official said Thursday.
“We’ll announce an emergency measure that allows Oakland residents more space to walk, bike and run safely through their neighborhoods, and we’re calling it the Oakland Slow Streets” Alexandria McBride, the city’s chief resilience officer, told a town hall meeting held via Zoom video conference.
McBride said Oakland will open up 74 miles of car-free streets and will begin rolling out the program Saturday.
Other cities, including St. Paul, Minnesota, and Philadelphia, have taken similar measures, and several other U.S. cities are discussing the possibility. By one count, Oakland’s road closure is the largest by far of any American city during the pandemic.
HHS reverses course on funding for local coronavirus testing sites
The Department of Health and Human Services late Thursday reversed its decision to end federal support on Friday for community-based coronavirus testing sites around the country.
Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that states will now be able to choose whether they want to transition to managing the testing programs themselves or continue with federal assistance.
"In this instance, we wanted to at least give them the option to take control of that. But, we will continue to resource them with personnel, supplies, and any other support they need going forward,” he said at the daily White House coronavirus briefing.
The availability of widespread testing remains scarce in the U.S., and public health officials have called it a failure of the administration's coronavirus response.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services told NBC News in a statement Thursday that the federal government “will continue working closely with states, and their respective FEMA regions, to determine whether sites want to continue as they are now, with direct federal supervision and manpower, or transition to full state control.”