April 28 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Emma Reynolds and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 3:31 a.m. ET, April 29, 2020
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11:40 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Russia will "face a new and grueling phase of the pandemic," Putin says

From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina 

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a teleconference meeting on the spread of COVID-19 throughout Russia in Moscow on April 13.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a teleconference meeting on the spread of COVID-19 throughout Russia in Moscow on April 13. Alexey Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP/Getty Images

Russia will "face a new and grueling phase of the pandemic," President Vladimir Putin said in a televised statement Tuesday.

“The daily increase in cases has relatively stabilized, but this mustn’t calm us down, the situation is still very serious,” Putin said. “The peak is not behind us, we are about to face a new and grueling phase of the pandemic… the deadly threat of the virus remains.”

Putin said Russia will extend its self-isolation guidelines through May 11.

The beginning of May in Russia is marked by long public holidays for Labor Day and Victory Day, with a few working days in between that will be made non-working days this year, Putin added.

After May 11, the country might start to gradually ease restrictions, Putin said. He ordered the government to prepare a plan for that by May 5.

“We can’t talk about it as a simultaneous cancellation of restrictions, we must prepare for a tough road ahead,” Putin said. “We need to account for all risks and show sensibility, so we are not thrown back to lose everything we have so far achieved." 

In his address, Putin acknowledged “deficit of some items,” including medical equipment, and ordered his government to increase production rates.

11:12 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

France cancels its 2019-2020 football season

From Fanny Bobille

Kylian Mbappé of Paris Saint-Germain (left) is challenged by Lukasz Piszczek (right) of Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Champions League in Paris, France on March 11.
Kylian Mbappé of Paris Saint-Germain (left) is challenged by Lukasz Piszczek (right) of Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Champions League in Paris, France on March 11. UEFA/Getty Images

Professional sports will not continue the 2019-2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Tuesday.

"The 2019-2020 season of professional sports, especially football, will not be able to resume," Philippe told the French National Assembly.

9:58 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

France details how it will begin easing lockdown restrictions on May 11

From CNN's Benjamin Berteau and Pierre Bairin

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe makes a statement to present his plan to exit from the lockdown situation at the National Assembly in Paris, on Tuesday, April 28.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe makes a statement to present his plan to exit from the lockdown situation at the National Assembly in Paris, on Tuesday, April 28. David Niviere/Abaca/Sipa/AP

France will begin to ease lockdown restrictions on May 11, after the country's prime minister said they will have enough masks to meet the need.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Tuesday:

“We are proposing a very gradual reopening of kindergartens and elementary schools from May 11, everywhere on the territory and on a voluntary basis. In a second step, we can consider reopening the colleges (intermediary schools), starting with 6th and 7th grade (11-12 year-olds). We will make a decision in early June for high schools.”

After an initial easing of lockdown measures on May 11, there will be a second monitoring phase from May 11 to June 2, Philippe added. France will make a decision on the opening of bars, cafes and restaurants at the end of May.

The prime minister said there are three strategies to fight the crisis: Protect, test and isolate.

“We have to progress with prudence," Philippe said. “Confinement was an efficient instrument,” adding that confinement "prevented 62,000 deaths" in the country.

9:37 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Portugal will end state of emergency this week

from CNN's Vasco Cotovio

A woman holds a Portuguese flag and a red carnation, a symbol of the 1974 Portuguese Revolution, in Lisbon on Saturday, April 25.
A woman holds a Portuguese flag and a red carnation, a symbol of the 1974 Portuguese Revolution, in Lisbon on Saturday, April 25. Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images

Portugal will end its current state of emergency on Saturday, the country’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa announced on Tuesday.

“It is expected that it won’t be necessary in the future to again resort to the state of emergency – if it is, it will be weighted," Rebelo de Sousa told journalists during a press conference on Tuesday.

“The Portuguese need to be aware that containment is still important, that controlling the situation is still important and that’s why we’re taking small steps and evaluating them constantly as well,” he added.

9:06 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Scottish government recommends wearing face coverings in public places

from CNN's Milena Veselinovic

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pauses for a minute's silence to honour UK key workers, including Britain's NHS (National Health Service) staff, health and social care workers, who have died during the coronavirus outbreak, outside At Andrew's House in Edinburgh on Tuesday, April 28.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pauses for a minute's silence to honour UK key workers, including Britain's NHS (National Health Service) staff, health and social care workers, who have died during the coronavirus outbreak, outside At Andrew's House in Edinburgh on Tuesday, April 28. Jane Barlow/Pool/Getty Images

Scotland's government is recommending that people wear face coverings in situations where maintaining social distancing is difficult, such as on public transportation or inside food shops, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday. 

Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, Sturgeon acknowledged that evidence on the benefits of face coverings was not "overwhelming," but said there may be "some benefit" to wearing them in enclosed spaces. 

The Scottish government said this in a statement:

"The evidence on the use of face coverings is limited, but there may be some benefit in wearing a facial covering when you leave the house and enter enclosed spaces, especially where physical distancing is more difficult and where there is a risk of close contact with multiple people you do not usually meet. Examples include, traveling on public transport or entering a food shop where it is not always possible to maintain a 2 meter distance from another customer. There is no evidence to suggest there might be a benefit outdoors, unless in an unavoidable crowded situation, where there may be some benefit."

Sturgeon added that wearing a face covering does not mean that other social distancing rules don't apply, and cautioned against people feeling "invincible" because they are wearing a mask. 

8:21 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

125,000 birthday cards sent to war veteran who raised millions for UK's health service

From CNN's Simon Cullen

More than 125,000 birthday cards have been sent to 99-year-old Captain Tom Moore, the British war veteran who walked 100 laps of his garden to raise money for the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

Captain Moore turns 100 on Thursday.

He has raised £29 million — about $36 million — for the NHS so far, according to his Just Giving page.

At the Bedford School, attended by Captain Moore’s grandson Benjie Ingram-Moore, volunteers have been opening the “phenomenal” number of birthday cards being sent to honor his birthday.

“The volume of cards that have been sent to grandad is just astonishing,” Benjie Ingram-Moore said, who has been managing the social media for his grandfather’s fundraising effort.

“So many of the cards are truly heartfelt with thousands from young children who have taken the time to use their artistic talent and write a personal message.”

7:48 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Just joining us? Here are the key updates you've missed

The novel coronavirus has now infected more than 3 million people and killed at least 211,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. If you're just joining us, here are the latest developments:

  • One billion infections predicted: The International Rescue Committee (IRC) estimates that there could be up to one billion coronavirus infections and 3.2 million deaths in crisis-affected countries unless swift action is taken to curb its spread. 
  • US deaths forecast: Dr. Chris Murray, director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Help Metrics and Evaluation, said the institute's scientific model had increased its predicted US coronavirus death toll from 60,000 to 74,000. More than 56,000 people have died in the US, more than a quarter of deaths worldwide.
  • States are reopening: Texas is partially reopening from Friday, and New York's first phase of reopening could begin after May 15 in some areas. Other states are already taking their first steps toward reopening. President Donald Trump announced a "blueprint" on how states should handle coronavirus,
  • Olympics could be canceled: Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said that if the pandemic is not over by next summer, the Games -- already delayed to 2021 -- will be canceled, according to an interview published Tuesday in Nikkan Sports. But Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya said that Mori’s comments “were his own thoughts.”
  • Higher deaths in UK: The number of coronavirus deaths in England and Wales up to April 17 is 54% higher than the UK government’s daily updates for the corresponding period, according to new figures from the Office of National Statistics.
  • Two million Australians download app:coronavirus contact tracing app has been downloaded more than 2 million times since it was launched in Australia on Sunday. The COVIDSafe app is voluntary and designed to help health authorities trace people who may have come into contact with someone who has Covid-19.
  • "No vaccine until end of 2021:" A vaccine won’t be ready until the end of next year under the “most optimistic of scenarios," according to Pasi Penttinen from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). “Vaccine development is a hugely complicated and expensive process,” he told Sky News.
  • Countries easing lockdowns: New Zealand is "not out of the woods," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, as it entered its first day of transitioning to Level 3 from the toughest restrictions of Level 4. Austria's lockdown won't be extended when it ends on Thursday, and Australia's iconic Bondi Beach reopened. Hong Kong will start loosening some measures and public services will resume Monday after the city reported no new confirmed cases for the fourth time in eight days.
7:24 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

"Unfair and irresponsible" to label Chinese products "faulty," says China after India cancels testing kit order

From CNN's Swati Gupta and Manveena Suri

Hours after India announced it had canceled orders for coronavirus rapid testing kits from China because they were "faulty," the Chinese Embassy in the capital New Delhi responded saying this was "unfair and irresponsible."

In a press release issued Monday, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said it had canceled an order from Chinese firm Wondfo to exclusively supply rapid testing kits to India at $8 a kit. 

Reports from various states last week indicated there were discrepancies in the results. The kits were ruled faulty after the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted field tests with them. 

“Based on scientific assessment of their performance, the order in question (Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech) along with an order in respect of another make (Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics) found under-performing have been canceled. It needs to be stressed that ICMR has not made any payment whatsoever in respect of these supplies,” said the release from India’s Health Ministry.

Ji Rong, the spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in India, said in a statement: "We are deeply concerned with the evaluation results and the decision made by Indian Council of Medical Research. China attaches great importance to the quality of exported medical products."

The statement added that both Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics had issued statements on the matter, stressing their test kits had obtained their certification from the National Medical Products Administration of China and meet international quality standards and have been exported to countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

The statement said there were "strict requirements for the storage, transportation and use of Covid-19 antibody rapid test kits" and that any operation "not carried out by professionals in accordance with the product specifications will lead to the testing accuracy variations."

In a news conference on Monday, a senior health ministry official said that India continues to have sufficient kits in place.

7:15 a.m. ET, April 28, 2020

Lewis Hamilton says he misses Formula 1 racing "every day"

By CNN's Ben Morse

Lewis Hamilton poses for a photo ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia on Thursday, March 12, in Melbourne.
Lewis Hamilton poses for a photo ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia on Thursday, March 12, in Melbourne. Charles Coates/Getty Images

Six-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton says that the lack of racing this season has left him feeling a "big void." 

The French Grand Prix -- originally scheduled for the end of June -- became the 10th race of the 2020 season to be affected by Covid-19, after organizers confirmed it would not go ahead.

"I miss racing every day. This is the first time since I was 8 that I haven't started a season," the 35-year-old said on social media. "When you live and breathe something you love, when it's gone there's definitely a big void. But there's always positives to take from these times."

F1 CEO Chase Carey said in a statement on Monday that the racing series is aiming to have its first race in Austria on the July 3-5 weekend without fans in attendance. 

Carey outlined plans that are being drawn up to have a truncated 2020 season, with races in Europe, before heading to Asia, then the Americas and finally the Middle East.

Read the full story here.