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April 20 coronavirus news

What you need to know

  • Covid-19 has infected more than 2.4 million people and killed at least 165,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 40,000 people have died in the US alone.
  • Russia's coronavirus peak is still ahead, per the country's leader Vladimir Putin.
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is worried about a potential second wave of coronavirus if restrictions are eased, source says.
9:14 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic has moved here.
8:27 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Crew member on Italian cruise ship has tested positive with Covid-19

One crew member of the Italian cruise ship Costa Atranchica has tested positive for coronavirus, the mayor of Nagasaki, Tomihisa Tagami, said at a news conference on Monday.

The Costa Atranchica cruise ship, which is anchored at Nagasaki Port, has a total of 623 crew members who are foreign nationals. All crew members are now onboard the ship.

Health checks will be carried out on at least 53 people who may have had close contact with the crew member who tested positive, according to Tagami.

On March 13, Nagasaki Gov. Hoso Nakamura said the government requested that the crew refrain from disembarkation due to the spread of infection in Japan.

Local authorities did not provide any details on the crew members and their nationalities. 

2:53 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Chilean government launches immunity card program for coronavirus survivors 

Chile will begin issuing digital immunity cards this week to people who have recovered from coronavirus, according to an announcement from health officials on Monday.

The so-called “Covid cards” will be issued to people who tested positive for the virus and have shown signs of recovery after a 14-day quarantine. 

The program, which had been announced by the Chilean Health Minister last week, was scheduled to launch Monday but has now been postponed for the next “coming days,” according to the country’s Public Health Undersecretary Paula Daza. 

Chilean Health officials said last week the Covid card would help identify those individuals who no longer pose a health risk to others. 

As of Monday, Chile’s government reported 10,507 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 139 deaths. 

2:51 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Brazil's Bolsonaro defends participating in anti-quarantine rally

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks to supporters during a protest in front the army's headquarters during the Army day, amid the new coronavirus pandemic, in Brasilia, Brazil, Sunday, April 19. Andre Borges/AP


Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro defended his participation in a weekend rally, where protesters called for an end to quarantine measures and urged military intervention to shut down Congress and the Supreme Court. 

Bolsonaro told reporters Monday he personally did not call for shutting down any branch of the government, adding that Brazil is a democracy and referring to the Supreme Court and Congress as “open and transparent.”

He also lashed out at the media, saying he will not “accept provocations by the press.”

National and local governments in Brazil have issued mixed messages on how to behave during the pandemic. While Bolsonaro has been pushing against strict restrictions, state and local governments in some of the country's hardest-hit areas have closed schools and nonessential businesses, with firefighters and police in the streets urging people to stay indoors.  

Brazil has the most confirmed coronavirus cases in Latin America. As of Sunday, Brazil reported 38,654 cases and 2,462 deaths, according to health officials.  

2:39 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

More than 20,000 coronavirus patients have died in France, health official says

A funeral services van brings coffins in a building turned into a new 'large capacity' morgue in Wissous, France, on Sunday, April 19. Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images)

There have now been at least 20,265 deaths from coronavirus in France, Jerome Salomon, the director of the country's health agency, said on Monday.

He added that the death toll "has exceeded the symbolic and particularly painful threshold of 20,000 deaths."

The coronavirus epidemic has killed more people in France than any other seasonal epidemic, Salomon said, and more than the 2003 heatwave that killed 19,000 people across the country.

Salomon also shared these figures:

  • There have so far been 114,657 confirmed cases, including those who recovered and those who died
  • At least 30,584 patients are hospitalized
  • At least 5,683 patients are in ICU

He added that the numbers confirm France is on a "very high plateau."

3:24 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Ireland records deadliest coronavirus day

The Republic of Ireland reported its highest daily number of coronavirus deaths on Monday, the Department of Health said. 

The country recorded 77 fatalities in 24 hours. Previously, the highest number of Irish fatalities in a 24-hour period was 44, recorded on April 17.

The number was also almost twice the number of fatalities from the day before, when 39 deaths were announced on Sunday.

1:53 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Hundreds protest against self-isolation in Russia

Law enforcement officers and people taking part in a protest against the self-isolation order in Svobody Square in Vladikavkaz, Russia on Monday, April 20. Elina Sugarova/TASS/Sipa USA

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Vladikavkaz, the capital of North Ossetia republic in Russia, to protest against self-isolation orders and job losses on Monday, state-run TV channel Alania and Russian agencies reported. 

In videos emerging on social media, the protesters demanded the resignation of the head of the region and financial support from the authorities because of mass job losses amid the pandemic. 

Local lawmakers responded with a video urging people to stay home and form an initiative group to address the issue of job losses and financial strains of the lockdown, state-run agency RIA Novosti reported. 

Police special units largely dispersed the demonstration, detaining three organizers, according to OVD-Info, an NGO that monitors protests and police activity in Russia. 

Local media reported that the protest had been initiated by an opera singer who last week posted videos saying the coronavirus was a “made-up disease” and the response measures are inadequate. Regional authorities initiated a criminal investigation for spreading fake news about the coronavirus in Vladikavkaz. 

“Calling on the population of the republic to disobey and violate the regime of self-isolation, the suspect formed an opinion among citizens that there are no circumstances that constitute a threat to their life and health,” a statement from investigators read. "As it was established by the investigation, this information does not correspond to reality."

1:30 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Ninth Vatican employee tests positive for coronavirus

An empty St. Peter's Square is seen Monday, April 13. Andrew Medichini/AP/FILE

Ninth Vatican employee has tested positive for coronavirus, Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office, said in a statement on Monday.

The person was admitted to hospital and is under observation, Bruni said.

People who came into contact with the employee have tested negative for coronavirus, Bruni added.

12:58 p.m. ET, April 20, 2020

Italy's coronavirus case count decreases for the first time

A health care worker performs a serological test at Bellaria Hospital, where coronavirus swabs and serological tests are carried out to map the contagion, on Monday, April 20, in Bologna, Italy. Michele Lapini/Getty Images

The number of active Covid-19 cases in Italy has decreased for the first time since the beginning of the crisis, according to figures released by Italy's Civil Protection Agency.

On Monday there were 108,237 active cases in Italy, down from 108,257 on Sunday.

Remember: There have also been fewer tests conducted in the last few days, the Civil Protection Agency reported.