May 3 coronavirus news

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12:39 a.m. ET, May 3, 2020

Critics said the flu kills more than coronavirus. Here's why that's not a fair comparison

Scientists work on an experimental coronavirus vaccine inside the Cells Culture Room laboratory at the Sinovac Biotech facilities in Beijing, China on April 29.
Scientists work on an experimental coronavirus vaccine inside the Cells Culture Room laboratory at the Sinovac Biotech facilities in Beijing, China on April 29. Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

It's a popular argument heard at protests denouncing state shutdowns, fueled by those who say news outlets are overreacting to coronavirus:

The flu kills more people than coronavirus. Why shut down the economy for this?

Here are several reasons why coronavirus is more dangerous than the flu -- and why extra precautions are needed:

Coronavirus is much more contagious.

A person with the flu infects an average of about 1.28 other people. A person with novel coronavirus infects an average of about 2 to 3 other people.

Coronavirus has killed at a much faster rate.

Between October 2019 and early April 2020, the flu killed up to 331 people a day, according to the preliminary CDC numbers.

From February 6 through April 30, the coronavirus killed an average of more than 739 people per day in the US.

Coronavirus can be spread for many days without symptoms.

With the flu, people typically start feeling sick one to four days after infection, with symptoms often showing up within two days, the CDC says. That means people will know they're sick fairly soon and will likely stay home.

But with coronavirus, symptoms typically appear four or five days after exposure, and the incubation lasts up to 14 days.

You can get a flu vaccine but not a coronavirus vaccine.

Unlike the flu, there's no option to get a vaccine for the coronavirus to protect against infection or to reduce the severity of symptoms. At the earliest, it'll be months before a coronavirus vaccine might become publicly available.

12:24 a.m. ET, May 3, 2020

New Zealand police get over 1,000 reports of people breaking rules on mass gatherings

New Zealand police have received more than 1,200 reports of people breaking restrictions on mass gatherings since the country's Level 3 alert went into effect last week.

Of those, 685 came in the 24-hour period between 6 p.m. local time on May 1 and May 2 , New Zealand police said in a statement.

“Under no circumstances should anyone be having a party under the Alert Level 3 restrictions. Such behavior could waste all the sacrifices made by our team of five million over the last five weeks,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner Scott Fraser. 

Last Monday, New Zealand's toughest Level 4 restrictions were relaxed but the country is still effectively under lockdown under its Level 3 alert.

In the 24 hours between 6 p,m. May 1 and May 2, police took action against 112 people.

Under Level 3, some 400,000 more New Zealanders can head back to work and 75% of the country's economy is operating, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The restrictions also mean that New Zealanders will be able to hold small funerals and buy takeaways.

Ardern said the country has "eliminated" the virus after weeks of lockdown but has urged the public to remain vigilant.

Read more:

12:10 a.m. ET, May 3, 2020

The US reported more than 1,400 coronavirus deaths on Saturday

A FDNY paramedic unloads a patient from an ambulance near the Emergency Room entrance to the Brooklyn Hospital Center on April 23 in New York City.
A FDNY paramedic unloads a patient from an ambulance near the Emergency Room entrance to the Brooklyn Hospital Center on April 23 in New York City. Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

There are at least 1,132,539 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 66,369 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's (JHU) tally of cases in the United States.

On Saturday, JHU reported 29,078 new cases and 1,426 deaths. 

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other U.S. territories, as well as repatriated cases and those in the US military, veterans hospitals and federal prisons.  

CNN has an interactive map tracking coronavirus cases across the country:

11:48 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Japan reports 289 coronavirus cases

A staff member holds a coronavirus test swab at the Yokosuka Emergency Medical Center on April 23 in Yokosuka, Japan.
A staff member holds a coronavirus test swab at the Yokosuka Emergency Medical Center on April 23 in Yokosuka, Japan. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japan's Health Ministry reported 289 new coronavirus cases and 34 deaths on Saturday.

That brings the country's total infections to 15,551, with 712 of those from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

A total of 505 people have died, with 13 of those from the cruise ship.

The capital Tokyo has been hit hardest by the outbreak and has recorded at least 11,691 infections and 141 coronavirus deaths.

On Saturday, there were 160 additional infections and 15 people died in Tokyo, according to the city's metropolitan government.

11:22 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Warren Buffett vows that US will recover from coronavirus

Warren Buffett speaks during the "United State of Women Summit" at the Washington Convention Center on June 14, 2016 in Washington.
Warren Buffett speaks during the "United State of Women Summit" at the Washington Convention Center on June 14, 2016 in Washington. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said he remains convinced that nothing can stop the United States and that America will recover from the Covid-19 pandemic -- just as it did after other crises during the past century.

Buffett, who has long been bullish on the US economy and stock market, spoke at the company's annual shareholder meeting from a virtually empty CHI Health Center in Omaha Saturday. The remarks were webcast by Yahoo Finance.

Buffett discussed prior times of hardship he's lived through, such as the Cuban missile crisis and the Cold War, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Great Recession of 2008. Every time it seemed that the future was bleak, he said, but America eventually recovered.

He conceded that the coronavirus outbreak is a vastly different challenge than those other national emergencies. But he remains upbeat.

"This country, in 231 years, has exceeded anybody's dreams." Buffett said.

Selling airline stakes: But the billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO said the company recently sold its entire stakes in the four airline stocks that company had owned, calling it a mistake to invest in the industry.

Berkshire Hathaway revealed in early April that it trimmed its stakes in Delta and Southwest. But in response to a question from a Berkshire shareholder, Buffett said the company sold all its shares in Delta and Southwest, as well as United and American, because he believes it will take years for air travel to recover.

Read the full story:

11:07 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

South Korea reports 13 new coronavirus cases

Nurses prepare for a shift caring for coronavirus patients at Keimyung University Daegu Dongsan Hospital in Daegu, South Korea on April 29.
Nurses prepare for a shift caring for coronavirus patients at Keimyung University Daegu Dongsan Hospital in Daegu, South Korea on April 29. Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

South Korea reported 13 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, raising the national tally to 10,793.

Among the 13 new cases, five are imported and were picked up by the airport screening process, according to the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A total of 250 people have died from coronavirus in South Korea and 9,183 people have been released from quarantine.

10:58 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

Death toll from coronavirus continues to climb in Brazil

An aerial view of a burial at Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 1.
An aerial view of a burial at Vila Formosa cemetery in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 1. Miguel Schincariol/Getty Images

Brazil's Ministry of Health is reporting 421 deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours.

The total number of coronavirus deaths in Brazil now stands at 6,750.

The health ministry said there are 4,970 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number to 96,559.

Brazil has the most reported cases in Latin America.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the impact of the virus, likening it to "a little flu." 

Bolsonaro is also under pressure to show his Covid-19 test results. A federal judge from Sao Paulo had initially set a deadline of Saturday for the President to submit his results. However the 3rd Federal Regional Tribunal suspended the order that mandated the tests to be presented. An appeal was made on behalf of the Attorney General's office to extend the deadline for five more days for the case to be reviewed. 

10:47 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

China reports no deaths for a fifth straight day

China's National Health Commission (NHC) has reported two new cases of the coronavirus and no deaths for the fifth consecutive day.

One of the new cases was imported from abroad and the other was locally transmitted in northern Shanxi province.

Twelve asymptomatic infections were also reported. China previously did not include those patients not showing symptoms in some of its tallies.

Here's the country breakdown, according to the NHC:

  • Total confirmed infections: 82,877
  • Total deaths: 4,633
  • Total recovered and discharged: 77,713
  • Active cases remaining: 531

10:36 p.m. ET, May 2, 2020

US urges Taliban to reduce violence and focus on Covid-19

US Special Forces Afghanistan (USFOR) is again calling for the Taliban to cease violence and focus on slowing the spread of coronavirus.

This comes a day after a report from the Pentagon revealed a surge in attacks on America's Afghan allies since the reduction in violence agreement was signed in February.

USFOR Spokesman Col. Sonny Leggett called out Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid in a tweet Saturday, saying: "Now is the time to stop the violence."

On Tuesday the top US commander in Afghanistan, General Austin "Scott" Miller warned: "If the Taliban continue to attack, then what they should expect is a response."

Col. Leggett further addressed the Taliban Saturday saying: "This moment is an opportunity for Afghanistan -- for the people of Afghanistan to say clearly to all who will listen that they want peace."

Zabihullah Mujahid responded to Col. Leggett, tweeting: "Path to a resolution lies in the implementation of the #Doha agreement. Do not harm the current environment with pointless & provocative statements. We are committed to our end, honor your own obligations."