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.

Walmart sold enough toilet paper in 5 days for every American to have one roll, CEO says

Walmart sold enough toilet paper in five days for every American to have their own roll, a statistic cited by the retail giant's CEO in saying that shoppers should buy only what they need for a week instead of stocking up. 

As to what else people are buying, CEO Doug McMillon said on TODAY on Friday that initially food was flying off the shelves during the pandemic. Then entertainment and educational products such as puzzles and games became popular. Now, grooming products like hair color and beard trimmers are in high demand. 

Walmart's business has increased during the crisis, leading to the hiring of more than 100,000 new workers since March 19.

All employees have masks and gloves and starting Friday, their temperatures were being taken before they began their shifts. 

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

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.