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.

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

West Virginia reports 536 confirmed coronavirus cases, five deaths

More than 500 people in West Virginia have tested positive for COVID-19, the state Department of Health and Human Resources said.

West Virginia has 536 positive cases, 14,001 negatives and five deaths. Nearly half of the confirmed cases are located in three counties: Berkeley (83 confirmed cases), Monongalia (76), and Kanawha (74).

Photos: Portrait of a California neighborhood under lockdown

Todd Bigelow / Contact Press Images

The nation’s most populous state is serving as a laboratory for how Americans may be asked to live in the months ahead. See more compelling images from photojournalist Todd Bigelow's look at the confined existence of residents of West Hills, a Los Angeles suburb. 

Nurses union calls for help with housing, child care amid coronavirus fight

The helpers need help, too. The country's largest union of registered nurses is calling on governors of 17 states, the mayor of Washington, D.C., and hospital employers to provide housing, child care and workers' compensation in addition to protective equipment to nurses caring for coronavirus patients.

The union, National Nurses United, sent letters to governors of Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia.

“NNU has heard too many reports of nurses sleeping in their cars or garages to protect their families from potential infection, and far too many reports of nurses being told to use their sick or vacation time to cover precautionary leave after being exposed,” NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo said in a statement. “This is outrageous and morally wrong, and we call on the states and hospitals to immediately address our demands for better protections.”

Ohio Dept. of Health offers a stark metaphor for the importance of social distancing

Connecticut senator warns on shortage of tests, protective equipment

Irish sheep farmer uses large pair of shears for lockdown haircut

While many people have resorted to home haircuts due to the closure of barbers and salons during the COVID-19 pandemic, 62-year-old Irish sheep farmer and sheepdog trainer Donie Anderson took things a step further, using a large pair of shears to trim his own hair in a video that has been viewed nearly 2 million times on Facebook.

From his home in the Dublin Mountains where he is lambing 130 ewes, Anderson told NBC News that he normally shears his hair at Christmas, but worries over catching a cold meant that he had been waiting for the first bout of good weather to get a trim. 

While the shears look foreboding, Anderson’s experience using them on his sheep means he is able to use them to great effect. “If you clipped your ear with the shears it’d need stitching with needle and thread”, he said, “but I’ve been shearing sheep for 50 years so I’m able to do it properly”. 

Pandemic disproportionately affecting women and girls, UN says

The coronavirus pandemic is disproportionately affecting women and girls globally, the United Nations said in a policy brief released Thursday.

While the pandemic reaches everyone, "it affects different groups of people differently, deepening existing inequalities. Early data indicates that the mortality rates from COVID-19 may be higher for men. But the pandemic is having devastating social and economic consequences for women and girls,” said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in a video released along with the brief. 

The economic toll will hurt women globally as they tend to earn less, hold less secure jobs and are more likely to be employed in the informal sector. Issues surrounding women’s healthcare, unpaid domestic labor and gender-based violence are also currently exacerbated, it said. 

As well as working to contain the outbreak, Guterres urged governments to also focus on the gender divide: “That starts with women as leaders, with equal representation and decision-making power. Measures to protect and stimulate the economy — from cash transfers to credits and loans — must be targeted at women,” he said.

Prisoners in Ecuador set to manufacture coffins amid virus shortage

Hundreds of prisoners in Ecuador will begin making wooden coffins to help cover a shortage emerging due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The health crisis has prompted a shortage of coffins in Guayaquil, one of the worst hit regions, prompting some families to bury their relatives in cardboard boxes donated to cemeteries by private companies.

"The Environment Ministry is donating seized wood, which would have gone toward other purposes for a noble cause: give a wooden coffin to families who have lost a loved one," Environment Minister Juan DeHowitt said in a statement.

Prisoners in Ambato city plan to start delivering the coffins next week.

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.