May 2 coronavirus news

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4:55 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

After 7 weeks in confinement, Spaniards emerge for walks, runs and bike rides

From CNN's Al Goodman in Spain, Helena DeMoura in Atlanta and Claudia Rebaza in London

Runners outside Madrid's Retiro Park, which remains closed, on Saturday morning.
Runners outside Madrid's Retiro Park, which remains closed, on Saturday morning. Credit: Al Goodman/CNN

At 6 a.m. local time in Spain, many people took to the streets to run, cycle or take walks of up to one kilometer after seven weeks in confinement.

Parks remain closed in Madrid, so runners and cyclists outside the capital's Retiro park used the broad avenue as a racetrack, occupying lanes normally used for traffic. Some buses and cars had to honk to get them to move over.

The government has insisted people stick to 2-meter or 6-foot social distancing, especially runners and cyclists who are supposed to exercise alone, but CNN observed numerous people bunched together.

At 10:25 a.m. local time, a Madrid municipal van pulled alongside a cyclist and an officer leaned out of the window to shout:

You were supposed to be home a half hour ago. A half hour ago!"

But the police did not stop to issue a fine and drove off.

From today, people older than 14 can take one-hour walks, accompanied by one person, once a day close to their homes, or do sports like riding a bike alone, within their city. They are allowed to do this from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Several ran in the roads, where there was little traffic, as Spaniards were allowed outside to exercise for the first time in seven weeks.
Several ran in the roads, where there was little traffic, as Spaniards were allowed outside to exercise for the first time in seven weeks. Credit: Al Goodman/CNN

The elderly had their turn a little later, with a special timetable to avoid crowds: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez sent a message via Twitter on Saturday morning asking Spaniards for caution:

"Today we take a new step in the relaxation of confinement but we need to do it with caution and responsibility. The virus is still there. We need to follow the guidelines for hygiene and social distancing," he wrote.

Spain's government moved to further ease the nation's strict confinement rules due to coronavirus earlier this week. Last weekend, children under 14 were allowed to take one-hour walks daily with their parents.

The government has asked its population to wear masks if they cannot observe strict social distancing.

Some runners and cyclists wore masks as they were allowed out for solo exercise in their cities.
Some runners and cyclists wore masks as they were allowed out for solo exercise in their cities. Credit: Al Goodman/CNN

Spain's state of emergency, with the strictest confinement rules in Europe, will continue until May 9. The new "relaxation" measures give most Spaniards more time outside their homes daily than they've had since the lockdown started on March 14, after which only short trips were allowed for food shopping and to the pharmacy.

From Monday, May 4, Spain will start "Phase Zero" of its transition to "new normality" as announced by Prime Minister Sánchez last week. Some stores will be allowed to open for a limited number of clients, by appointment only, and some restaurants will be allowed to open with limited takeaway service.

Cases in Spain have now reached 216,582 with 1,147 new infections. There have been 25,100 deaths in the country with 276 more in the past day -- a slightly smaller increase than yesterday when there were 281 new deaths.

5:49 a.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Coronavirus cases jump by more than 9,500 in Russia, bringing total to 124,054

From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina in Moscow

Russia reported 9,623 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday in its biggest spike to date, according to the country’s coronavirus response center. 

The total number of officially reported cases is 124,054, with 1,222 deaths.

Moscow, the country’s worst-hit city, has also seen a record spike after a few days of relatively steady growth, adding more than 5,000 cases in a day. 

For weeks, Russian independent media and non-governmental organizations have reported anonymous pleas from outraged medical workers who said they had been ordered to the frontlines of a public health crisis without adequate protection, and that bureaucratic foot-dragging was costing lives.

As the situation worsens and case numbers surpass those reported from Iran and China, many have become more outspoken, sometimes risking legal action against them. 

5:48 a.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Princess Charlotte delivers food to isolated people in photos released to mark her fifth birthday

From CNN's Amy Woodyatt

The UK royal family has released new photos of Princess Charlotte, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, delivering food to the vulnerable to mark her fifth birthday. 

The images, taken by her mother the Duchess of Cambridge, show Charlotte delivering food parcels to elderly people during the coronavirus pandemic in April.

According to the Kensington Royal account, the photos were taken as the family packed and delivered food to isolated pensioners, and were released Friday ahead of her fifth birthday on Saturday. 

The photos were taken on the Sandringham Estate, the Queen's country estate in rural Norfolk, about 100 miles north of London.

Read more:

5:28 a.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Another wave of coronavirus will likely hit the US in the fall. Here's why

From CNN's Nicole Chavez

There are many aspects of the virus that remain unknown for scientists but older viruses offer some clues. 

People usually get infected by four common coronaviruses that were first identified in the mid-1960s, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And those tend to peak in the winter months. 

Dr. Greg Poland, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic, said that SARS-CoV-2, the technical name for the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, is likely to follow that pattern.

If that happens, a second wave of the virus would return just in time for the start of flu season. The flu has been a constant threat for Americans and devastating in recent years. The CDC estimates there were at least 39 million cases of the flu in the US and at least 24,000 deaths during the 2019-2020 season. 

Poland, the director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, says the combination of a second wave of Covid-19 with flu season could create "a lot of confusion" because of their overlap in symptoms and put a heavy strain on the health care system.

It wouldn't be the first pandemic to come back in force. In 2009, the US experienced a wave of cases of the H1N1 influenza virus, known as swine flu, in the spring. Months later, a second wave was reported in the fall and winter, the CDC says.

The 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed 50 million people globally and about 675,000 Americans, appeared as an initial mild spring wave in the US before a lethal second wave hit the country in September.

Read more on what can be done to prevent this:

5:26 a.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Pope calls for unity among leaders during Saturday mass

From CNN’s Nicola Ruotola in Rome

During a Saturday morning mass in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis prayed that leaders would be “united for the good of the people” despite differences.

“Let us pray today for the rulers,” Pope Francis said, “who have the responsibility to take care of their peoples in these moments of crisis, heads of state, presidents of governments, legislators, mayors, presidents of the regions [governors].” 

He continued: “May the Lord help them and give them strength, because their work is not easy, and when there’s differences between them, make them understand that in times of crisis they must be very united for the good of the people, because unity is greater than conflict.”

5:14 a.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Coronavirus cases rise to 2,307 with 73 deaths in Navajo Nation as weekend curfew continues

From CNN's Alta Spells

A Team Rubicon volunteer holds a Covid-19 test in the emergency room of the Kayenta Health Center on the Navajo reservation in Kayenta, Arizona, on April 23.
A Team Rubicon volunteer holds a Covid-19 test in the emergency room of the Kayenta Health Center on the Navajo reservation in Kayenta, Arizona, on April 23. Carolyn Kaster/AP

The number of cases of Covid-19 reported on the Navajo Nation rose to 2,307, with 166 new cases identified Friday, according to a news release.

Two more deaths were also reported, bringing the total to 73, according to the release from the Navajo Department of Health, the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service. 

We are seeing more positive cases because there is a lot more testing being conducted in each county," said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

On Friday, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an order that shut down businesses and road access to the the city of Gallup to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

President Nez supported Grisham's actions and hopes the state of emergency in Gallup will stop Navajo people from traveling to the town, the news release said. 

The Navajo Nation's 57-hour weekend curfew, which bans members from leaving their homes except for emergencies or to go to work as essential employees, remains in effect.

5:03 a.m. ET, May 2, 2020

More than half of the US goes into first weekend with loosened coronavirus restrictions 

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

People eat in the food court of the recently reopened Penn Square Mall on May 1 in Oklahoma City.
People eat in the food court of the recently reopened Penn Square Mall on May 1 in Oklahoma City. Sue Ogrocki/AP

For the first time in weeks, residents in some states across the US will be able to return to weekend routines after governors began easing restrictions put in place to combat the coronavirus. 

That might mean going to a movie in Georgia, working out with a personal trainer in Colorado or dropping by a dispensary in Nevada. 

More than 30 states have begun easing social distancing restrictions -- some doing away with stay-at-home orders altogether while others loosen measures to allow some businesses to reopen.

More measures will be wiped out starting Monday. Gyms and fitness centers will reopen in Arkansas on May 4 while hair salons will follow May 6. In Northern California's Yuba and Sutter counties, restaurants, tattoo parlors and shopping malls will all be allowed to open Monday which will also be the first workday for many offices in Colorado, with operations limited to 50% capacity.

In Montana, bars and breweries will also be allowed to provide some in-establishment services starting Monday. 

The changes come even as experts warned Friday that prematurely lifting measures could be deadly. 

"You're making a big mistake. It's going to cost lives," Dr. Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician and disaster preparedness specialist at Columbia University Medical Center, told CNN Friday.

Read more:

4:43 a.m. ET, May 2, 2020

FDA issues emergency-use authorization for experimental drug to treat patients with severe Covid-19

From CNN's Arman Azad and Nicole Chavez

Vials of the drug Remdesivir are seen at the University Hospital Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany, on April 8.
Vials of the drug Remdesivir are seen at the University Hospital Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany, on April 8. Ulrich Perrey/AFP/Getty Images

The experimental drug remdesivir has been approved to treat hospitalized patients with severe Covid-19, the US Food and Drug Administration said in a letter on Friday. 

Remdesivir is the first authorized therapy drug for Covid-19 in the United States, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said on Friday. 

This is an important clinical advance that showed a statistically significant reduction in time to recovery for patients with Covid-19 and is the first authorized therapy for Covid-19." Hahn said.

The FDA issued an emergency-use authorization on Friday, saying the benefits of the drug outweigh its risks in patients. An emergency-use authorization is a lower regulatory bar than full FDA approval. 

Denise Hinton, the FDA's chief scientist, said in the authorization letter that there is "no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the emergency use of remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19."

The FDA limited its authorization of the drug to people with suspected or laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 and severe disease, which includes low blood oxygen levels, the need for oxygen therapy or the need for a ventilator or other intensive breathing support. 

Possible side-effects of remdesivir include increased levels of liver enzymes -- which may be a sign of inflammation or damage to cells in the liver -- and infusion-related reactions like low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, sweating and shivering, the FDA said.

Read more:

4:40 a.m. ET, May 2, 2020

How a Lebanese city was pushed over the edge

From CNN's Tamara Qiblawi and Ghazi Balkiz

A large bag of the thistly gundelia plant arrives at Um Ahmad's door as it does nearly every day. Wearing a double layered headscarf, she settles into a blue armchair. She has until the afternoon to trim the spines off the wild plant for her customers to cook.

"We work on the akoub (gundelia) so that we can live," says Um Ahmad, using a pseudonym. 

When visitors walk into her dark, cavernous room to meet her, she doesn't even look up. A drama series blasts from an old TV.

I get paid 10,000 liras for five kilograms of this," she mumbles, peeling the stems of the spiny plant with a small curved knife.

Because the Lebanese lira is in free-fall, her payment is worth just over $2.

"The akoub doesn't even come every day," says Um Ahmad, never meeting her guests' eyes.

Outside, the city roils with violent demonstrations, known as the "hunger protest." These started just as Lebanon was loosening its coronavirus lockdown, and beginning to contend with poor living conditions exacerbated by the near shutdown of the economy. 

Nightly confrontations between demonstrators and the Lebanese army have rocked Tripoli over the last week, turning it into the epicenter of the country's renewed uprising against its political elite. 

Protests against Lebanon's political class, which has ruled the country since its civil war and is widely accused of corruption, engulfed its main urban centers in late 2019. At the time, tens of thousands of Tripoli's protesters flocked onto the streets. The city was dubbed "the bride of the revolution," both because of its energetic protests and because it was believed to have borne the brunt of political corruption. 

Tripoli is the poorest city in Lebanon, despite being home to some of its most high-profile billionaires. A slum stretches across the banks of the city's Abu Ali river, just minutes from pockets of extravagant wealth. The income disparity was always stark, but these days, Tripoli's locals say it is unbearable.

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