Part 3: April
- April 2 – the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world hits 1 million and more than 51,000 are confirmed dead from the disease. In the US, figures show nearly 10 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefit as a result of job losses caused by the disease.
- April 4 – In Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey announces a stay-at-home order through April 30. Attorney General Steve Marshall said the order can be enforced criminally, but he said he hopes it will not come to that. Disobeying the order is a Class C misdemeanor that can carry a $500 penalty.
- April 6 – Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who has been receiving hospital treatment for COVID-19 is moved into intensive care. He went public with his diagnosis 10 days earlier. He is released from the hospital on April 12.
- April 7 – In South Carolina, Governor McMaster issues a “home or work” order. The death toll surpasses 50. President Trump alleges that the WHO mishandled the pandemic and questions why the WHO had recommended “keeping our borders open to China early on,” advice he rejected.
- April 8 – In Minnesota, Governor Walz extends the stay at home order until May 4.
- April 10 – a milestone in the global death toll – it passes 101,000. The 8:00 pm Howl is now sweeping the nation, reports Associated Press. It was started in a Denver neighborhood on March 27.
- April 13 – some countries in Europe begin to scale back their lockdowns. Austria plans to let DIY stores reopen, Italy also plans to reopen some shops and Spain gets ready to allow some construction and factory employees back to work.
- April 14 – President Trump suspends WHO funding pending the administration’s investigation into the way the organization has handled the coronavirus pandemic. He accuses the WHO of “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus”. Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus responds that he regrets the decision, and the WHO is “focused on stopping this virus and saving lives.”
- April 15 – the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, announces that the virus-hit city will begin daily antibody testing for 2,000 essential workers, hoping to expand to 100,000 tests a day in an effort to lay foundations to get people back to work. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel lays out plans to slowly ease some restrictions in the country.
- April 16 – The Trump administration unveils new federal guidelines outlining a three-phased approach to gradually restoring normal commerce and services, with each phase lasting at least 14 days, but only for places with strong testing and seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases. As of April 16, there were 639,664 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., with 30,985 confirmed deaths, a 4.8% mortality rate. An estimated 3.24 million tests had been conducted, indicating about 20% of those tested had coronavirus.
- April 17 – the largest trial yet of drug treatments for COVID-19 begins in the UK. The Recovery Trial will work with 5,000 patients in the National Health Service. Similar, smaller trials are due to start soon elsewhere in Europe.
- April 18 – One World: Together At Home – a star-studded virtual concert curated by Lady Gaga celebrating healthcare workers on the frontline – is broadcast on TV networks and streamed online on Saturday, 18 April. The event raises millions of dollars to support those fighting COVID-19.
- April 20 – new rules relaxing restrictions on farming, banking and public works come into force in India, expected to ease economic impacts of the coronavirus lockdown. Many businesses continue to be restricted. In Europe, Spain and Norway also take limited steps to ease some restrictions.
- April 21 – In Georgia, Governor Kemp announced that many businesses could reopen on April 24, including “gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors”, with restaurants and movie theaters allowed to reopen on April 27. This move has brought widespread condemnation from inside and outside Georgia, with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms saying she will “continue to ask Atlantans to please stay at home.”
- April 23 – Europe’s first human trial of a coronavirus vaccine begins in the UK, led by an Oxford University team. More than 6,000 are expected to take part in the study, which follows a successful trial of a vaccine at Oxford’s Jenner Institute last year for a different coronavirus. The team hopes to demonstrate by the end of May that the vaccine works.
- April 24 – The World Health Organization says there is “currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.”
- April 26 – At this point, COVID-19 has killed more than 200,000 worldwide and has infected more than 2.8 million people, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Around this time publications including the Financial Times and the New York Times report about ‘excess deaths’ – fatalities that are greater than usual for the time of year but are not fully accounted for by COVID-19 deaths.
- April 27 – WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warns that COVID-19 is threatening vaccination programmes: “The tragic reality is that children will die as a result.” 14 campaigns against diseases including polio and measles have been suspended, which would have immunized more than 13 million people.
As of April 30, Our World in Data reported that for the U.S. there were 60,966 total deaths, 1.04 million confirmed cases, and 6.25 million tests completed. The U.S. averaged about 145,200 tests per day between April 1 and April 15 and 199,000 per day from April 16 to April 30.
Most of the timeline above was taken from this link but has been edited for space and relevance.