Coronavirus live blog: As it happened on April 7-8

Local police patrol as pedestrians wear face masks in the main street of Sceaux, south of Paris,  on April 8, 2020
Local police patrol as pedestrians wear face masks in the main street of Sceaux, south of Paris, on April 8, 2020 Copyright THOMAS COEX/AFP
By Rachael KennedyLauren Chadwick
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Coronavirus live blog: As it happened on April 7-8


Coronavirus crisis - as it happened on April 7-8, 2020


Health experts warn that the coronavirus pandemic has yet to reach its peak in Europe.
US Senator Bernie Sanders dropped out of the US 2020 presidential race on Wednesday.
Joe Biden is now the only Democratic candidate left.

'Too early' to lift social distancing measures as 'continuous spread' of coronavirus can be expected in Europe

Andrea Ammon, the director of the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), said on Wednesday that it is too early to "suddenly lift all community and physical distancing measures" in EU countries and in the UK.

“In the current situation, continuous spread of the virus can be expected," Ammon said.

He also stressed the importance of a coordinated strategy between EU member states when it will be time to lift the current measures, saying: "Solidarity and coordination between Member States will remain essential when considering the lifting of any measures."


Italy records 542 new deaths as its number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care continues to drop

The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 in Italy reached 17,669 on Wednesday, with an increase of 542 in one day, Italy's Civil protection has said. It was slightly lower than Tuesday's daily toll of 604.

There are 95,262 confirmed cases of coronavirus patients in Italy, with an increase of 1,195 in the last 24 hours. 

For the fifth consecutive day, the number of patients in intensive care units has been falling. it is now of 3,693 patients in the wards, 99 fewer than Tuesday. 


The EU is struggling to find an agreement on the Eurozone rescue plan to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.


Madrid's coronavirus death toll in nursing homes could be five times higher than previously thought, authorities say

The number of deaths from coronavirus in Madrid's nursing homes could be much high than previously thought, the city's authorities said on Wednesday.
The official figure of 741 deaths due to COVID-19 in old people's homes does not include the 3,500 other deaths that occured in such facilities in the last month, Madrid authorities have said.
Between 8 March and 8 April, out of the Madrid region's 50,000 nursing home residents, 4,750 people died. Of them, 741 were confirmed cases of coronavirus, the authorities said.
The remaining 3,479 others presented COVID-19 symptoms but had not been tested.
"This figure is much high than other months", the Spanish government's spokesperson said, as doubts over the real death toll due to coronavirus are growing in the country.
Spain has the second highest death toll due to the virus in the world, with 14,555 recorded deaths. The real toll could be much higher, as only confirmed cases of coronavirus are recorded in this figure.

France to extend its lockdown beyond 15 April

France will extend its lockdown beyond 15 April, the AFP reported on Wednesday, citing Elysée Palace sources.
French president Emmanuel Macron has postponed his TV address, originally planned for Thursday at 20:00 EST, to Monday 13 April at the same time. He will discuss the lockdown extension.

France records 541 deaths overnight in hospitals, more than 7,000 people in intensive care units

France recorded 541 deaths in 24 hours in hospitals and has more than 7,000 people in intensive care units.

Jérôme Salomon, the country's director general of health, said hospitalisations were at an "unprecedented level" with intensive care units filling "at a level absolutely unmatched in French medical history".

A total of 10,869 people have died since the beginning of the epidemic in France and there are more than 82,000 confirmed cases of the virus.

"Staying at home is to act against the virus," Salomon added, asking people to respect the movement restrictions put in place by the French government.

"You are our most efficient weapons against the spread of this virus."

Airbus reduces production rate by a third

Airbus reduced its production rate by a third to meet customer demand during the coronavirus crisis, according to a press release published Wednesday.

"Our customers, the airlines, are heavily affected by the Covid-19. We are adapting our production to this new situation and are working on operational and financial measures to face this reality", said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury in a statement, according to AFP.

US: New York state death toll jumps 779 in a day

There have been 779 new deaths due to COVID-19 in 24 hours in New York state in the United States.
This is a new grim record for the state, where New York City in particular has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

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