Global coronavirus cases exceed 1.5 million: Live updates

US and UK suffer highest number of daily deaths since outbreak began.

There are now more than 1.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus cross the world, with the United States and the United Kingdom suffering the highest number of deaths in a single day since the outbreak began.

Data collected by Johns Hopkins University shows that of the 1.5 million people with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, nearly 329,000 have recovered.

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Across the world, more than 88,000 people have died with the US reporting 1,850 deaths on Wednesday, and the UK, 938. 

Even as the number of deaths rises, an apparent slowdown in confirmed cases and hospital admissions has some governments considering ways to ease the lockdowns that have helped curb the spread of the disease.

I’m Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur with Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Here are the latest updates.

Thursday, April 9

01:30 GMT – Taiwan condemns ‘groundless’ accusations it attacked WHO chief

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday has condemned accusations from the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) that it had used racist slurs against him as “groundless”.

On Wednesday, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said “racist slurs” had been made against him, which he said had originated in Taiwan.

The island’s Foreign Ministry labelled the accusations “imaginary”.

“We are a mature and highly-accomplished advanced democratic country, and have absolutely not instigated our people to personally attack the WHO’s Director General, and have absolutely not made any racist comments,” it said.

Tedros’ comments were irresponsible and he should clarify them and apologise to Taiwan, it said.

Taiwan is not a member of the WHO. You can read more about why here.

00:10 GMT – Australian police take ‘black box’ from Ruby Princess

Australian police have interviewed the captain of a cruise ship that became the country’s biggest single source of coronavirus infections after hundreds of passengers – some with the virus – got off the ship in Sydney.

About 400 passengers from the Ruby Princess later tested positive for the virus and 15 have died.

The police are conducting a homicide investigation into the incident. The ship remains at a port south of Sydney with about 1,000 crew on board.

00:00 GMT – New York flags at half-mast to honour coronavirus dead

New York, the hardest-hit state in the US, on Wednesday flew flags at half-mast as the number of coronavirus-related deaths in a single day reached a record.

“Every number is a face, ” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “This virus attacked the vulnerable and attacked the weak and it’s our job as a society to protect the vulnerable.”

The number of confirmed cases in New York state is now approaching 150,000.

23:55 GMT – US CDC advises precautions for essential workers 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US has released new guidance for people working in essentials areas such as healthcare and food supply who have been within 1.8 metres (six feet) of someone with a confirmed or suspected case of the coronavirus.

CDC Director Robert Redfield says the employee can return to work as long as they take their temperature before they go to work, wear a face mask at all times and practise social distancing.

Redfield said the employees should continue to stay home if they are sick. He also said employers should take the worker’s temperature before allowing them to come back to work.

23:40 GMT – Brazil president says country to buy materials for hydroxychloroquine

Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro says hydroxychloroquine, which is usually used for malaria, is saving the lives of people with COVID-19 and that Brazil will import raw materials from India to manufacture the drug.

Scientists say there is no conclusive evidence on the drug’s efficacy in treating COVID-19.

Twitter has previously deleted posts by Bolsonaro touting hydroxychloroquine.

Read all the updates from yesterday (April 8) here. 

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