Coronavirus latest updates April 5: Iran says virus infections show ‘gradual’ decline; Japan proposes state of emergency

People wearing face masks and gloves to protect against the new coronavirus walk past closed shops at the Tajrish traditional bazaar in northern Tehran, Iran, Saturday, April 4, 2020. (AP)

Coronavirus Latest Updates: Over 1.25 million people have tested positive while nearly 70,000 fatalities have been reported due to the coronavirus pandemic worldwide.

In Iran, the trajectory of COVID-19 cases appears to have started a "gradual" downward trend, the government said. Meanwhile, in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government plans to declare a state of emergency and proposed a stimulus package worth USD 1 trillion as new coronavirus infections spike in Tokyo and elsewhere.

Here is a look at all the top updates from across the globe:

India crosses 4,000 mark, lockdown likely to continue in some areas

The number of coronavirus cases in India crossed the 4,000-mark to stand at 4,281 on Monday. At least 704 cases and 28 deaths have been reported across the country in the last 24 hours, the biggest rise so far. Over 80 per cent of these cases have been reported from 62 districts across India.

Top government sources said restrictions are likely to continue in these districts even after the nationwide 21-day lockdown ends on April 14. According to the Health Ministry estimates, the current rate of doubling of COVID-19 cases is 4.1 days, but it would have been 7.4 days had the Tablighi Jamaat congregation had not happened in New Delhi last month.

Iran says virus infections show 'gradual' decline

The trajectory of coronavirus infections in Iran appears to have started a "gradual" downward trend, the government said Monday, but it warned the disease is far from being under control.

The COVID-19 outbreak claimed 136 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing Iran's overall death toll to 3,739. The figure shows a drop in officially reported new cases of the novel coronavirus for the sixth consecutive day after a peak of 3,111 reached on March 31, AFP reported.

Shinzo Abe proposes state of emergency

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government plans to declare a state of emergency and proposed a stimulus package worth USD 1 trillion as new coronavirus infections spike in Tokyo and elsewhere.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a meeting about the measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the prime minister official residence in Tokyo, Japan, April 6, 2020. (Reuters)

"We hope to declare a state of emergency as early as tomorrow after listening to the opinions of the advisory panel. We are currently seeing rapid increases of new infections particularly in urban areas like Tokyo and Osaka," Abe was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.

Pressure has increased on the government to take fresh action as Tokyo announced a record 148 new cases on Sunday, with another 83 infections on Monday.

Virus-hit US braces for 'Pearl Harbour moment' as death toll spikes

US governors on Sunday appealed to the White House for a national strategy to contain the fast-spreading coronavirus, as number of deaths continued to touch 10,000 with health officials warning of a week similar to a "Pearl Harbor moment."

Anthony Fauci, the senior American scientist battling the pandemic stateside, warned of a looming "escalation," saying Americans should prepare for "a bad week." "I will not say we have it under control," Fauci told CBS Sunday. "That would be a false statement." US Surgeon General Jerome Adams sounded an even more dire alarm. "This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans' lives, quite frankly," he told Fox News. "This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9-11 moment, only it's not going to be localized."

President Trump pitches medicine, science shows not safe

President Donald Trump is pitching a medicine for COVID-19 sufferers that science has not concluded is effective or safe for their use. "Take it," he said of the drug. For people sick with the coronavirus, he said Sunday, "It can help them but it's not going to hurt them." In fact, it may or may not help some people, and it may or may not hurt them. His straight-ahead advocacy of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, is the latest and one of the most consequential examples of Trump and public-health authorities not being on the same page in the pandemic.

New York's COVID-19 death count nears 4,200

Over the last 24 hours, New York, which is the epicentre of the virus in the US, registered a slight dip in the deaths, raising hopes that the infection spread is slowing in the city, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday as the overall fatalities rose to nearly 4200. The state reported 594 fresh deaths on Sunday.

"We could either be very near the apex, or the apex could be a plateau and we could be on the plateau right now," Cuomo said. "You can't do this day to day. You have to look at three or four days to see a pattern."

A woman rolls a cart loaded with flowers and other items past the Oculus at the World Trade Center's transit hub, as three mask-clad police officers patrol the area. (AP)

Lockdown in Wuhan likely to be lifted this week

On Monday, China reported 39 fresh cases - 38 of them imported - one additional death, 10 suspected cases and 1,047 asymptomatic cases under observation. However, no new confirmed or suspected cases were reported in the epicenter city of Wuhan, where a 14-week lockdown is due to be lifted on Wednesday.

The country has now recorded a total of 81,708 cases and 3,331 deaths since Covid-19 was first detected there in late December.

Tiger at New York zoo tests positive for coronavirus

A tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York has tested positive for coronavirus, AFP quoted authorities as saying on Sunday. The tiger is believed to have contracted the infection from a caretaker who was asymptomatic at that time.

The file photo shows an entrance to the Bronx Zoo in New York. A tiger at the zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus. (AP)

Nadia, the four-year-old Malayan tiger, and her sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions had all developed dry cough and are expected to fully recover, the Wildlife Conservation Society running the city’s zoo said in a statement.

UK PM hospitalised for tests after persistent coronavirus symptoms

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests on Sunday after suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, though Downing Street said he remained in charge of the government.

The Prime Minister, who was isolating in Downing Street after testing positive last month, still had a high temperature and so his doctors felt he should go to an undisclosed hospital for tests in what the government said was a “precautionary step”. “On the advice of his doctor, the prime minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests,” his Downing Street office said in a statement. Johnson is expected to stay overnight.

Russia reports 954 new cases in 24 hours

The tally in Russia rose to 6,343 within a span of 24 hours, a record daily increase of 954, the country's crisis response centre said on Monday. While cases have been recorded widely, Moscow remains the epicentre of the outbreak with 591 new cases, the centre added. Forty-seven people have died across the country, it said.

South African Muslim cleric dies of Covid-19 after attending Nizamuddin event

An 80-year-old South African cleric, who had recently returned from India after attending the Nizamuddin congregation in New Delhi, died after contracting the novel coronavirus, according to his family members.

At the Hazrat Nizamuddin building in New Delhi. (Express photo/Praveen Khanna)

According to PTI, Moulana Yusuf Tootla attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the Nizmuddin area, that has emerged as the epicentre for the spread of the coronavirus in different parts of India and abroad after thousands of people took part in it. Tootla, who died on Tuesday, was buried after his body was collected in a bag by the Islamic Burial Council.

Queen Elizabeth II delivers message of hope to UK amid virus outbreak

On Sunday, Queen Elizabeth II said Britain would rise to the coronavirus challenge and overcome the outbreak. In a rare address to the nation, the 93-year-old monarch acknowledged the sufferings of families due to the crisis, which has infected more than 47,806 people in the UK and claimed at least 4,934 lives so far.

“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different,” she said. “This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal.

“We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us.”

2 Fiji rugby players arrested for breaking virus quarantine

The Fiji Rugby Union has criticized two of its top professional players who have been arrested for failing to self-isolate after returning to Fiji from overseas. "We strongly condemn the behavior of the players and their disregard for lawful instructions to self-isolate themselves," said John O'Connor, chief executive or Fiji rugby. "Such irresponsible behavior is totally unacceptable and we support the actions of the police in arresting these two players and any further action taken against them. Fiji Rugby will take appropriate disciplinary actions against the professional rugby players, including reporting this highly irresponsible behavior to their clubs and World Rugby."

In this file photo, Taiwanese army soldiers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant over a road during a drill to prevent community cluster infection of coronavirus in New Taipei City, Taiwan. (AP)

Boeing to extend shutdown indefinitely

Boeing said it will continue its shutdown of production indefinitely at its Seattle-area facilities because of the spread of the coronavirus. In an email to Washington employees, the company said it is extending the planned two-week shutdown rather than reopening Wednesday.

Around 30,000 of Boeing's 70,000 employees are likely to be affected by the decision in the state. The company said the decision is based on the health and safety of its employees, assessment of the coronavirus spread, supply chain concerns and recommendations from government health officials.

In this file photo, a worker walks near a mural of a Boeing 747-8 airplane at the company's manufacturing facility in Everett, north of Seattle. (AP)

France reports 357 deaths in 24 hours

France reported 357 deaths in hospitals from the virus in a single day Sunday but showed signs that its spread is slowing after 20 days of national confinement. The country is among the hardest hit in the world, with 8,078 confirmed deaths since the virus arrived in January.

A man walks in an empty square during a nationwide confinement to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in the center of Lyon, central France. (AP)

Italy sees dip in Covid-19 death toll

Italy has registered its lowest day-to-day increase in deaths of patients with the coronavirus in more than two weeks. Angelo Borrelli, the head of the national Civil Protection agency on Sunday, said there were 525 deaths in the 24-hour period since Saturday evening. That's the lowest such figure since 427 deaths were registered on March 19.

The country has registered a total of 15,887 deaths and nearly 130,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Global surge in domestic violence amid COVID-19 lockdown: UN Chief

As the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, UN Secretary General António Guterres Monday appealed governments to pay attention to and prevent a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” over the last few weeks amid lockdown measures imposed by several countries. “I urged all governments to make the prevention and redress of violence against women a key part of their national response plans for COVID-19”, he said.

Through a video message posted on Twitter, Guterres pointed out how the domestic violence cases surged with the simultaneous increase in coronavirus induced lockdown measures. “Lockdown and quarantine are essential to suppress covid-19, but they can trap women with abusive partners. Over the last week as economic pressures have grown we have seen a horrifying surge in domestic violence. In some countries the number of women calling support services have doubled,” he added.