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Coronavirus latest: Queen to address UK as US prepares troops

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Via Financial Times

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Donald Trump, the US president, warned on Saturday that the country was about to confront its deadliest week of the coronavirus crisis, with the military preparing to deploy 1,000 personnel to New York. “There will be a lot of death, unfortunately,” he said. The Pentagon plans to deploy soldiers and medical personnel to New York City and other parts of the country. “They are going to war,” said Mr Trump. “They’re going into a battle they’ve never really trained for.”

The US is considering tariffs on crude imports to protect American energy jobs. “I’ve been against Opec my whole life,” Mr Trump said of the global oil cartel. Oil prices have tumbled in recent weeks, falling to an 18-year low, amid a global drop in consumption triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and a price war launched by Saudi Arabia.

Mr Trump warned that the Minnesota-based company 3M would have “a hell of a price to pay” if it did not do a better job of “taking care” of the US His comments came after it became public this week that 3M had refused to send about 10m N95 respirator masks that were being produced in Singapore for markets in Asia to the US instead — citing legal and humanitarian reasons.

New York’s coronavirus cases topped 10,000 for a second consecutive day, while the daily death toll passed 600. New York state accounts for 45 per cent of all deaths registered in the US.

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said his government is in “constructive discussion” with the US about cross-border supply chains for essential goods following White House efforts to block exports of masks from the US into Canada. He said his government’s message is that “the US will be hurting itself as much as Canada will be hurting if we see an interruption of essential goods and services flow back and forth across the border”.

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The UK suffered its deadliest day as cases passed 40,000. The number of deaths from Covid-19 in UK hospitals rose by 708 to a total of 4,313, the Department of Health reported, the worst daily death toll since the outbreak began. A further 3,735 people have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the UK total to 41,903.

Another 441 people have died in France’s hospitals from coronavirus, although the rate of increase of patients needing intensive care has slowed.

The number of patients in intensive care in Italy has fallen for the first time since the outbreak began, according to official statistics.

Germany recorded 6,082 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours and the number of Covid-19 deaths rose by 141 to 1,158, or 14 per cent, according to official data. That was the lowest increase in deaths in more than two weeks.

Greece has extended the country’s lockdown by another three weeks to curb the spread of coronavirus, a senior government official said on Saturday. “The next two to three weeks will be critical. We will remain under lockdown till April 27,” Nikos Hardalias, undersecretary for civil protection, said on state television.

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