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Coronavirus live news: Boris Johnson in intensive care as confirmed cases in Africa pass 10,000

Coronavirus live news: Boris Johnson in intensive care as confirmed cases in Africa pass 10,000
UK foreign secretary to lead country; Japan declares state of emergency; China reports no deaths from Covid-19
  • Boris Johnson ‘stable’ in intensive care and not on ventilator, says No 10
  • See all of our coronavirus coverage
  • Updated 

    Summary

    • The UK prime minister remains in intensive care. The foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, who is running the UK government while Boris Johnson receives treatment in hospital for coronavirus, says he is confident the prime minister will recover.
    • Official global death toll passes 78,000. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, at least 78,269 people have now died worldwide, while at least 1,381,014 have been infected. Due to suspected under-reporting, these figures are likely to be lower than the true statistics.
    • More than 55,000 have now tested positive in the UK. According to the latest official figures, 213,181 people in the UK have been tested and 55,242 have been confirmed as having contracted the virus. Of those hospitalised with Covid-19, 6,159 have died.
    • Africa, the world’s second-largest continent, now has at least 10,000 cases – and experts believe the true scale of the outbreak is much greater. More than 1,700 of the cases are in South Africa, which has been rolling out an aggressive testing campaign.
    • Turkey has world’s fastest rising infection rateThe number is increasing by more than 3,000 a day, reaching 30,217 since the first case was confirmed four weeks ago. Reported fatalities remain much lower than other badly hit countries, at 649.
    • The death toll in Italy continues to rise. The country reported 604 more deaths, though it marked the lowest day-to-day increase in new infections since introducing quarantine measures. New cases rose 0.9% to 880.
    • The US is still obstructing medical supply shipment. Justin Trudeau says Canada still has more work to do to persuade Washington to ensure supplies flow freely, after it emerged Donald Trump had blocked a shipment of masks to Ontario.
    • The equivalent to 195m jobs are forecast to be lost in working hours as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, according to the International Labour Organisation, which forecasts the global downturn to be far more damaging than the 2009 crash.
    • The WHO held off recommending face mask use. Experts say that, despite evidence suggesting widespread use of masks could help reduce the virus’ spread, they are insufficient on their own, despite many places making them mandatory.
    Updated 
    The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said it has been contacted by 6,000 short-term travellers in Pakistan who want to return home to the UK, confirming suspicions that the country is one of the blackspots for British nationals stranded because of the coronavirus pandemic, Lisa O’Carroll reports.
    It said it estimates there are as many as 100,000 British nationals in Pakistan, confirming a recent tweet by the high commissioner.
    He tweeted earlier today to thank the “50 people all working double shifts” to help the 6,000 people desperate to get home.
  • Updated 

    Confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Africa pass 10,000

    Cases of Covid-19 in Africa have now topped 10,000, though most experts believe the real number of infections is considerably higher, Jason Burke, the Guardian’s Africa correspondent, reports.
    More than 1,700 of these are in South Africa, which has been rolling out an aggressive testing campaign. One particular cluster has given cause for concern - 66 people tested positive in a single hospital in the eastern city of Durban.
    Health authorities said many - possibly most - were staff.
    South Africa, which is into the 12th day of a stringent 21-day lockdown, has also got tough with those spreading conspiracy theories and misleading material about the virus. A man was in court today in Cape Town, facing charges related to his repeated posts on social media claiming that tests would pass on the virus.
    Medical staff walk outside the St Augustines Hospital in Durban last Friday. More than 60 people at the hospital have tested positive for Covid-19
     Medical staff walk outside the St Augustines Hospital in Durban last Friday. More than 60 people at the hospital have tested positive for Covid-19. Photograph: AP
    Aid organisations continue to raise deep concern about parts of the continent where health systems are most fragile. UN officials in Geneva raised potential issues in Somalia where there are only two health workers per 100,000 people compared to the global standard of twenty-five.
    “A Covid 19 outbreak would devastate the already fragile healthcare system,” the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs told reporters on Tuesday.
    There are also growing calls for dramatic measures to cushion the massive blow delivered by the pandemic to African economies, possibly through widespread cancellation of the massive debts run up by many countries over recent decades.
    This is more complicated than it sounds however. Once, it was just wealthy western countries and international institutions that were creditors. Now China’s government, banks and companies are owed as much as $160bn while African governments have raised over $55bn on international debt markets in the past two years alone.

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