Britain surpasses 10,000 deaths, and Boris Johnson is released from the hospital.
In Britain, where the total number of reported coronavirus deaths surpassed 10,000 this weekend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released from the hospital on Sunday.
It was a major step forward in his recovery from the coronavirus and a welcome relief for a nation whose political leadership has been harder hit by the contagion than that of any other Western country.
Mr. Johnson, who spent three nights in intensive care at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, will convalesce at Chequers, the prime minister’s country house, the government said in a statement. But he will soon be able to sign off on major decisions, including when to ease the country’s lockdown.
His release came a day after Queen Elizabeth II released a recorded Easter message in which she said that the holiday was a time of “light overcoming darkness.”
“We know that coronavirus will not overcome us,” the queen said. “As dark as death can be, particularly for those suffering with grief, light and life are greater. May the living flame of the Easter hope be a steady guide as we face the future.”
The total number of confirmed cases in the country is nearly 79,000, and the virus has also emerged in the country’s prisons. The fiancée of Julian Assange — the WikiLeaks founder, who is being held in Belmarsh prison, a high-security facility in London — appealed for him and others to be released on bail because an inmate at the facility has died from the coronavirus. Mr. Assange and his partner, Stella Moris-Smith Robertson, a legal researcher on his legal team, have two young children together.
Crime has generally fallen in the country since lockdown measures were introduced — a 21 percent drop in the last four weeks compared with the same period last year, officials said on Saturday.
But the home secretary, Priti Patel, said in a daily briefing that fraudsters had been using the pandemic “as a hook for new acquisitive crimes” with losses to victims surpassing 1.8 million pounds, about $2.2 million.
She also said that online sex abusers had been exploiting the fact that an increasing number of young people are online at home, and that calls to a national hotline for victims of domestic abuse had increased 120 percent in one 24-hour period.
Countries weigh the costs and benefits of lifting lockdowns.
As European countries gingerly move to ease their lockdowns, Denmark’s first phase — beginning on Wednesday, when schools and day care centers reopen — will be measured in tape.
Headmasters are scrambling to follow detailed government instructions on hygiene and social distancing to avoid setting off a surge in new cases. They will use tape measure and barriers in playgrounds to partition groups, as up to five children will be allowed to play together without mixing with other groups.
An animated film released by the Danish Health Authority cautioned children that while they’ve all been “really cool” in avoiding the virus, some things will be different when school reopens after four weeks. They may have math class in the playground, the video says, and there won’t be “too many high fives” for now.
A full reopening in Denmark is still months away, but getting children out of their parents’ way will ease the burden on those working from home.
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said last week that she would begin easing restrictions as hospital admissions remain well below full capacity and the number of coronavirus deaths and new admissions appeared to decline. She described the move as “walking a tightrope.”
As the pandemic continued its assault, with more than 1.7 million cases recorded worldwide and at least 108,000 deaths, Iran, the country hit the hardest in the Middle East, began opening some government offices and shops, factories and other businesses this weekend.
President Hassan Rouhani has said that economic and government activity must continue, but on Saturday he warned that people should still observe social distancing. The country has recorded more than 70,000 cases and over 4,300 deaths.
Austria plans to reopen smaller shops after this weekend. The Czech Republic is opening small stores, and people can play tennis and go swimming. And Norway will allow pupils to attend kindergarten.
China has ended its lockdown of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged, but is now concerned about a rise in imported cases.
In Spain, which is preparing to allow some nonessential employees to return to work on Monday, there are also fears of a second wave of infections.
Politicians from the regional governments of Madrid and Catalonia, the two areas most affected by the virus, questioned why factory workers and builders would be allowed to resume work after Easter, even as Spain’s population remains under lockdown until at least April 26.
Isabel Díaz Ayuso, the conservative leader of the Madrid region, who underwent a quarantine after testing positive for the virus, said on Saturday that she would respect the central government’s orders. But she said it would be “unforgivable” if the authorities allowed “another wave right now.”
Egypt arrests villagers who tried to stop the burial of a doctor who died from the virus.
Egyptian police officers on Saturday fired tear gas and arrested 23 people at a village in the Nile Delta where residents tried to prevent the burial of a doctor who had died from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
People amassed on a road leading to the cemetery in Dakhliya governorate where the physician was to be buried. She had died at a quarantine hospital, and villagers said they feared that the body would spread the infection. After the police intervened, an ambulance carrying the body reached the cemetery.
A school in the village has been named after the doctor.
Egypt has reported over 1,900 cases of coronavirus and 146 fatalities, a relatively low toll for a country of 100 million people. But misinformation is rife and the government is struggling to balance public health concerns with a population that is chafing under restrictions that have slashed incomes, particularly among the poor.
The government has blamed any unrest on the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. In a statement on Saturday, the Interior Ministry said the village riot had been caused by rumors spread by the Brotherhood.
But there are growing signs of strain. Last week, a doctor in Sharqiya, also in the Nile Delta, was questioned by the police after he posted a video appealing for personal protective equipment at the hospital where he works.
A video that surfaced last week showed President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi loudly reprimanding construction workers for not wearing masks. “Orders must be followed,” he says in the video. “Why aren’t these people wearing masks?”
Partygoers attack police officers in Germany, and Russia reports its highest daily tally of new cases.
As Germany endured another week in which gatherings of more than two people are banned, the police in Frankfurt were attacked with stones and metal pipes when they moved in to break up a party of about 20 people in the city late Friday.
Six people who were detained and later released are being investigated on charges of attacking an officer and attempted assault, the police said.
As the country enjoyed sunny skies and warm temperatures over Easter weekend, hundreds of officers fanned out across parks and along riverbanks to ensure that rules were being observed to fight the spread of the coronavirus. In most cases, a reminder was all that was needed, officials said.
Germans have been highly restricted in their movements since March 22, and Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet on Wednesday with state governors to discuss whether the measures can be eased. Germany has recorded over 120,000 infections and more than 2,600 deaths, but the country’s health system has been largely able to withstand the strain.
The country’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said in an Easter address to the nation this weekend that the pandemic was not a war, but a chance to reconsider what is important in life and recalibrate how society functions.
“The pandemic has shown us that we are vulnerable,” he said in remarks that were televised on Saturday. “Perhaps we believed for too long that we are invulnerable, that it could continue ever faster and higher. That was delusion. But this crisis has also shown us how strong we are.”
In other parts of the world:
Singapore’s transportation minister said on Saturday that all commuters in the city-state of five million people would soon be required to wear masks when using public transportation. Anyone breaking the rules on social distancing faces a fine of $200.
In Russia, officials on Sunday reported 2,186 new coronavirus cases, the largest daily increase since the start of the outbreak, bringing the national tally of confirmed cases to 15,770. The number of deaths rose by 24 to 130.
Mayor Sergei Sobyanin of Moscow said on Saturday that the city would introduce digital permits this week to control residents’ movement to help enforce a lockdown. He said the permits would contain a code that identifies the holder. Residents will have to request the permits in order to travel by motorcycle, scooter, car or taxi, or via the city’s vast public transit network.
In India, the coronavirus fans anti-Muslim attacks.
Young Muslim men who were passing out food to the poor were assaulted with cricket bats. Other Muslims have been beaten up, nearly lynched, run out of their neighborhoods or attacked in mosques, branded as virus spreaders. In Punjab State, loudspeakers at Sikh temples broadcast messages telling people not to buy milk from Muslim dairy farmers because it was said to be infected with the coronavirus.
A spree of anti-Muslim attacks has broken out across India after the country’s health ministry repeatedly blamed an Islamic seminary for spreading the coronavirus and officials spoke of “human bombs” and “corona jihad.”
Hateful messages have bloomed online. And a wave of apparently fake videos has popped up telling Muslims not to wear masks, not to practice social distancing and not to worry about the virus at all, as if the makers of the videos wanted Muslims to get sick.
In a pandemic, there is always the hunt for blame. President Trump has done it, on numerous occasions calling the coronavirus a “Chinese virus.’’ All over the world people are pointing fingers, driven by their fears and anxieties to go after The Other.
In India, no other group has been demonized more than the country’s 200 million Muslims, minorities in a Hindu-dominated land of 1.3 billion people.
To curb the spread of the coronavirus, India imposed a nationwide 21-day lockdown, and officials indicated this weekend that it will be extended.
A statement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office said the chief ministers of India’s states had reached a consensus to extend the lockdown for two weeks when it ends on April 15. The statement did not make clear Mr. Modi’s final decision, but some states have already extended the restrictions to the end of the month.
Ultra-Orthodox areas of Jerusalem are closed off to contain the virus.
Israel sealed off large swaths of Jerusalem on Sunday in an effort to contain the coronavirus, with the restrictions primarily affecting densely populated ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods where the outbreak has been spreading most rapidly.
The police set up 100 roadblocks and began enforcing rules barring residents from leaving, except for work considered essential, medical treatment, funerals for immediate family members, and children shuttling between parents under custody arrangements.
Ultra-Orthodox communities have proved fertile ground for the virus, with large families typically living in crowded apartments and with daily life organized around communal rituals. Many ultra-Orthodox Jews distrust state authority and reject smartphones and other sources of news and information, and have been slower to comply with social distancing rules than other Israelis.
Yet health officials insisted that religious identification had nothing to do with the closures and that they were relying only on data about the spread of the virus: the total number of infected in each neighborhood, the percentage of the population that is infected, and the rate of growth of infection in the community over the most recent three days.
China sees a rise in new imported cases amid growing anger over racism against Africans.
China’s health ministry on Sunday reported a jump in new coronavirus infections, most of which were detected in people returning from other countries.
The country recorded 162 new cases on Saturday, including 63 cases of people who have no symptoms. More than 100 of the new cases were imported. Two cases of local transmissions were reported in Heilongjiang, a province in the northeast that borders Russia.
China has barred nearly all foreigners from entering the country over concerns that imported coronavirus cases would set off a new wave of infections. It has drastically reduced the number of international flights, making it increasingly difficult for even Chinese nationals to return home.
As China works to stop new cases from being imported into the country, it is seeing growing displays of xenophobia. The most extreme cases have been reported in the southern city of Guangzhou.
African traders and students say they have faced racial widespread discrimination, including being evicted from apartments and forced to sleep on the streets, after five Nigerians who frequented a Guangzhou restaurant tested positive for the coronavirus.
African governments stepped up their protests against the abuse of African nationals in Guangzhou.
Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the foreign minister of Ghana, summoned the Chinese ambassador and demanded that Beijing address what she called the “inhuman treatment being meted out to Ghanaians and other African nationals.” On Saturday, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairman of the African Union Commission, met with the Chinese ambassador to the African Union to express his concern about the treatment of Africans in Guangzhou.
The State Department also warned travelers that Guangzhou authorities were targeting Africans for mandatory testing and quarantine, regardless of travel history. It advised African Americans and anyone who believed they might draw scrutiny for contact with African nationals to avoid Guangzhou.
As demand for Dutch tulips plummets, 140 million stems are destroyed.
The period from March through May — including the weeks in which International Women’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day fall — is usually the Dutch flower industry’s strongest season. It pulls in 7 billion euros ($7.6 billion), with an average of $30 million in flowers sold daily.
But demand for tulips dropped precipitously as lockdowns were put in place around the globe. As a result, about 400 million flowers, including 140 million tulip stems, were destroyed over the past month, estimates Fred van Tol, the manager of international sales for Royal FloraHolland, a major group of flower and plant producers.
“We had very good quality tulips this year,” said Frank Uittenbogaard, a director of JUB Holland, a 110-year-old family farm, who made the tough decision to destroy his 200,000 tulip stems. “I took my bike and went cycling when they did it, because I couldn’t handle it.”
In the Netherlands — which has recorded more than 25,000 coronavirus cases and over 2,700 deaths — schools, restaurants, bars, museums, sports facilities and gyms are closed until April 28. Most events of more than 30 people have been banned until June 1.
Small shops such as florists and garden shops are allowed to remain open as long as they follow social distancing guidelines. But while growers and distributors that primarily serve the local market are still able to sell flowers and plants domestically, flower businesses that rely on international trade are being hit hard.
North Korea says it will adopt stronger measures.
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has warned that the coronavirus pandemic is undermining his efforts to rebuild the North’s decrepit economy, the North’s state media reported on Sunday.
North Korea has taken some of the most drastic actions against the virus, including sealing its borders with China in late January even though its giant neighbor accounts for nine-tenths of its external trade.
It was thanks to such steps that the North was able to maintain a “very stable” anti-epidemic situation, the Political Bureau of Mr. Kim’s ruling Workers’ Party reported.
Outside analysts fear that North Korea remains deeply vulnerable to the epidemic because of its underequipped public health system, and that the country might be hiding an outbreak.
In a meeting with Mr. Kim on Saturday, the Political Bureau did not repeat the country’s claim that it had no confirmed coronavirus cases. But it warned that the pandemic ravaging the world could create “some obstacles to our struggle and progress” in Mr. Kim’s large construction projects and other efforts to rebuild the economy, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said on Sunday.
The meeting ended with officials adopting a resolution to step up anti-epidemic efforts, the news agency said.
The resolution also said the country would improve its national defense capability. The North Korean military resumed live-fire training of its artillery, rockets and short-range missile units last month.
Despite the calls for stricter disease-control measures, photos in North Korean media showed that most of the senior officials around Mr. Kim in the Political Bureau meeting did not wear masks. That meant that those officials had tested negative for the coronavirus before being allowed to be near Mr. Kim, outside analysts said.
The World Health Organization has confirmed that some testing is taking place in the North.
Japan’s leader, urging citizens to stay home, pets a dog in a video.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan took to social media on Sunday to urge people across the country to stay home as confirmed coronavirus cases rose by a record number for the fourth day running.
In a video posted on Twitter, Mr. Abe pets a dog, sips tea, reads and listlessly clicks a remote control while appearing to watch television. Adding a little pep to the video, Gen Hoshino, a popular Japanese singer, strums an acoustic guitar on a split screen and sings a few words of encouragement to people staying at home.
By early afternoon, the video had received more than 220,000 likes as well as a number of scathing parodies, including a video that switched Mr. Hoshino’s clip for one showing an apocalyptic scene from a zombie movie.
The video was posted as Japan was in its first weekend on emergency footing. Mr. Abe declared a national emergency on Tuesday, calling on seven of the country’s prefectures, including its largest metropolitan areas, to reduce social contact by 80 percent.
On Saturday, Mr. Abe said he had asked the country’s remaining prefectures to request that residents avoid going out at night and work remotely if possible. The country had nearly 7,500 confirmed cases as of Sunday, and more than 100 coronavirus-related deaths.
A Times examination reveals the extent of President Trump’s slow response to the virus.
Throughout January, as President Trump repeatedly played down the seriousness of the virus and focused on other issues, an array of figures inside his government — from top White House advisers to experts deep in the cabinet departments and intelligence agencies — identified the threat, sounded alarms and made clear the need for aggressive action.
Dozens of interviews and a review of emails and other records by The New York Times revealed many previously unreported details of the roots and extent of Mr. Trump’s halting response. Read the full investigation.
The country now has more than 530,000 confirmed cases, by far the world’s largest count, and more than 20,600 deaths, surpassing Italy’s as the world’s heaviest toll. More than 16 million Americans have lost their jobs.
Here’s what else is happening in the United States:
The U.S. surpassed Italy in the total number of confirmed deaths from the coronavirus this weekend. Government projections obtained by The New York Times found that without any mitigation, the death toll from the virus could have reached 300,000 — and that it could reach 200,000 if the Trump administration lifts 30-day stay-at-home orders. Read the latest updates for the United States.
Christians in the United States celebrated Easter by gathering virtually on Sunday, largely following stay-at-home orders and guidance from health officials. A handful of lone pastors in states like Louisiana and Mississippi planned to hold in-person services in defiance of restrictions on large gatherings, citing their religious freedoms. President Trump said in a tweet that he would watch the online service of First Baptist Dallas, led by Robert Jeffress, one of his prominent supporters.
The largest states are split on when and how to reopen. The governors of Texas and Florida, both Republicans, have started talking about reopening businesses and schools, echoing signals from Mr. Trump. But the leaders of California and New York, both Democrats, are sounding more cautious notes.
Top officials in New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak with more than 180,000 cases, appear to disagree over whether New York City schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year. Read the latest updates for the New York region.
Citing the virus, the Trump administration said it would issue visa penalties on countries that refuse to accept people the U.S. aims to deport.
With so many restaurants and schools closed and other sources of demand disrupted, many of the largest farms in the country are destroying tens of millions of pounds of fresh food that they haven’t been able to sell or donate to food banks, which can absorb only so much perishable food.
Montreal police open a criminal investigation into deaths at a nursing home.
The police in Montreal said on Saturday night that they had opened a criminal investigation into a private residence for older people after 31 people had died there since March 13, at least five of them from confirmed cases of Covid-19.
Quebec’s premier, François Legault, said that the government had learned of the deaths at the 150-bed Résidence Herron, in a suburb west of Montreal, on Friday, and that he believed they amounted to “gross negligence.”
“This is terrible what happened,” Mr. Legault said, adding that when officials from the regional health authority had arrived at the residence on March 29 to investigate, “almost all the staff was gone.”
At that point, he said, the authority dispatched a team of health workers to care for the residents, and it has now taken over the running of the residence.
An investigation by Montreal Gazette, a local newspaper, said that residents had been discovered unfed and wearing clothing covered with feces.
Mr. Legault said that it was “unacceptable” how older people were being cared for in Quebec, and that staff shortages and insufficient salaries had been an ongoing issue at privately run residences. “I am not proud to see what is happening,” he said.
Résidence Herron is owned by a Quebec real estate company called Katasa, which owns six other retirement residences. The company was not immediately available for comment on Saturday. But it previously said it had been doing its best under challenging circumstances.
Quebec has been hit hard by the coronavirus. As of Saturday, it had 12,292 confirmed cases and 289 deaths. More than 90 percent of those who have died were 70 or older.
Quebec’s minister of health, Danielle McCann, has ordered checks of private residences for older people across the province.
Australians take out the trash in style.
In Australia, where coronavirus infections have risen past 6,200 and large states are on lockdown and enduring an unprecedented economic crisis, residents have found joy in simply taking out the trash.
Bin Isolation Outing, a public Facebook group, which started last month and has grown to over 600,000 members, encourages Australians to get creative with their garbage disposal.
“So basically the bin goes out more than us so let’s dress up for the occasion,” a description of the group said. “Fancy dress, makeup, tutu … be creative!”
Thousands of photos have been uploaded. There’s no shortage of Easter bunnies, dinosaurs and other recognizable faces like Snow White and Peppa Pig, all taking out the trash. Even some pets have been added to the mix.
Guam is the center of the U.S. Navy’s coronavirus outbreak.
Strapped by the same problems facing health care workers around the world, including a limited supply of personal protective equipment, hospital beds and ventilators, Guam’s government is contending with how it can protect its people and simultaneously help the crew of infected sailors on the Theodore Roosevelt carrier, which arrived in Guam on March 27. The outbreak on the ship ended up creating a moral crisis for the military.
As an American territory roughly 7,200 miles from the continental United States, Guam in many ways represents the edge of the United States empire, one that happens to be on the front lines of the American deterrence strategy against China.
The island, at 212 square miles, is home to Joint Region Marianas, a military command made up of Andersen Air Force Base on the northern part of the island that supports stealth-bomber rotations, and Naval Base Guam to the south, where four attack submarines are stationed to counter Chinese military expansion in the South China Sea. It is also now home to the Theodore Roosevelt carrier, which is not likely to redeploy anytime soon.
“They’re the ones that are out there, protecting our waters,” Lourdes Leon Guerrero, the island’s governor, said of the Navy. With about two dozen Guam residents serving aboard the carrier, finding space was the “least we could do.”
Local residents and Theodore Roosevelt sailors and their loved ones described a complicated situation in which the island is providing logistical support to the Navy while also trying to protect the local population from the coronavirus, which could quickly overwhelm Guam’s fragile health care system.
Reporting was contributed by Elisabetta Povoledo, Mark Landler, Austin Ramzy, Tiffany May, Melissa Eddy, Jeffrey Gettleman, Kai Schultz, Suhasini Raj, David M. Halbfinger, Declan Walsh, Nina Siegal, Andrew Higgins, Ivan Nechepurenko, Raphael Minder, Martin Selsoe Sorensen, Gillian Wong, Yonette Joseph, Tess Felder, Iliana Magra, Ben Dooley, Choe Sang-Hun, Dan Bilefsky, Derrick Taylor and Courtney Mabeus.