A still image from footage released by 10 Downing Street, the office of the British prime minister, on April 3, 2020 shows Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 10 Downing Street central London giving an update on his condition after he announced that he had tested positive for the new coronavirus on March 27, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in "good spirits" on April 6 and remained in charge of the government despite his admission to hospital for tests after suffering "persistent symptoms" of coronavirus 10 days after being diagnosed, officials said.
AFP/10 Downing Street
British PM in intensive care as virus toll soars
Alice Ritchie (Agence France-Presse) - April 7, 2020 - 8:09am

LONDON, United Kingdom — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved to intensive care Monday as his condition worsened in a battle with the coronavirus, as the death toll from the pandemic hit grim new highs in Europe and the United States.

Johnson, the most prominent victim yet of the pandemic, deputized his foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, to stand in for him, but remained conscious according to Downing Street.

The setback came as the death toll from the virus jumped in Western Europe and soared past 10,000 in the United States — taking the global toll past 73,000, out of more than 1.32 million confirmed cases.

In somber warnings from both sides of the Atlantic, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union was facing its "biggest test," while US officials said Americans should prepare for for an ordeal comparable to the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. 

Signs of a possible turnaround in Europe — where daily virus tolls have been falling — were dampened by a surge in deaths in both France and Italy on Monday, a record 833 in France, and 636 in Italy. 

"We have not reached the end of the ascent of this epidemic,"said France's health minister, Olivier Veran.

Admitted to hospital 10 days ago with the disease, Britain's 55-year-old prime minister has not been able to shake it. 

Johnson was transferred into intensive care as the country's death toll topped 5,000 -- an increase of 400 in a day.

"Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the prime minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital," said a Downing Street statement. 

Light at the end?

There was also no evident respite in the United States, which has the world's highest number of recorded cases.

"This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans' lives, quite frankly," US Surgeon General Jerome Adams told Fox News.

"This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it's not going to be localised."

At the epicentre of the US outbreak, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said daily deaths had been levelling off for the past two days, suggesting the crisis may be peaking -- but he extended a statewide shutdown, warning: "Now is not the time to be lax."

In Washington, meanwhile, President Donald Trump tweeted: "Light at the end of the tunnel."  

'Critical situation'

The pandemic has reached almost every corner of the planet, confining nearly half of humanity to their homes and turning life upside down for more than four billion people, according to an AFP tally of populations under some form of lockdown.

Battling the two-pronged health and economic crisis, Tokyo announced an imminent state of emergency and a trillion-dollar stimulus package.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the country's hospitals face a "critical situation" with a rapid increases of new.

Italy likewise unveiled a record 400 billion euro ($430 billion) stimulus to help businesses hurt by a month-long national lockdown

Speaking one day ahead of a key eurozone finance ministers' conference on a joint economic rescue plan, Merkel called for strength.

"In my view... the European Union stands before the biggest test since its founding," she warned.

"Everyone is just as affected as the other, and therefore, it is in everyone's interest, and it is in Germany's interest for Europe to emerge strong from this test," she said.

Italy, France and Spain want to establish common debt facilities — "coronabonds" — to cushion the economic impact of the virus.

But the richer northern nations have resisted the calls — with Germany and the Netherlands in the lead — fearing their taxpayers will be left to foot the bill.

India hospital locked down

In India, the world's second most populous country, a major private hospital in economic hub Mumbai was shut down after 26 nurses and three doctors tested positive, amid complaints from staff that they had been told to work without adequate safety gear.

India has so far recorded 4,000 coronavirus cases among a population of 1.3 billion, but experts warn true the real number is likely to be far higher, with the country carrying out little testing.

And in the latest cruise ship to be caught up in the health crisis, more than 80 passengers and crew aboard an Australian liner off South America have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Uruguay's public health ministry said six passengers with "life-threatening" illness had been taken off the Greg Mortimer for treatment in Montevideo. 

The rest of the more than 200 passengers and crew remain stranded on the vessel, which was on a voyage to Antarctica and South Georgia with Australian tour company Aurora Expeditions.

BORIS JOHNSON NOVEL CORONAVIRUS UNITED KINGDOM
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: June 3, 2020 - 4:47pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

June 3, 2020 - 4:47pm

The Department of Health reports 751 new cases of the coronavirus disease, which brings the national tally to 19,748.

There are 90 new recoveries and eight new deaths.

June 3, 2020 - 7:43am

Brazil surpasses 30,000 deaths from the coronavirus outbreak on Tuesday as the disease continued to rip through South America's worst-hit country.

Figures released by the health ministry shows 1,262 deaths in the previous 24-hours, as well as 28,936 new infections. 

The overall number of cases — 555,383 — makes Brazil the second most affected country by the crisis after the United States in terms of infections. — AFP

June 3, 2020 - 7:19am

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 377,213 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Tuesday. 

At least 6,320,480 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2,662,300 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

June 2, 2020 - 4:47pm

The Department of Health reports 359 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the national tally to 18,997.

There are 84 new recoveries and six new deaths.

June 2, 2020 - 10:27am

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 373,439 people since the outbreak first emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Monday. 

At least 6,220,110 cases of coronavirus have been registered in 196 countries and territories. Of these, at least 2,599,500 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. — AFP

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