May 5 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt and Samantha Beech, CNN

Updated 9:02 p.m. ET, May 5, 2020
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9:15 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020

World leaders pledge $8 billion for coronavirus treatments and vaccines

From CNN's Mia Alberti and Sharon Braithwaite

World leaders have pledged a total of $8 billion for the development and deployment of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines against the novel coronavirus.

The donations came flooding in during a virtual pledging conference on Monday, co-hosted by the European Union, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Spain and the UK. The US did not participate.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “Today the world showed extraordinary unity for the common good. Governments and global health organizations joined forces against coronavirus. With such commitment, we are on track for developing, producing and deploying a vaccine for all. However, this is only the beginning. We need to sustain the effort and to stand ready to contribute more. The pledging marathon will continue."

Here's what some of the leaders are promising:

Norway pledged $1 billion in contributions, Switzerland promised $381 million and the Netherlands $209.5 million.

Australia pledged $352 million Australian dollars, which is about $226 million.

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks during a news conference in Rome on March 4.
Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks during a news conference in Rome on March 4. Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte pledged $152.7 million, while South Korea announced a contribution of $50 million and Kuwait promised to donate $40 million.

South Africa said it would pledge $1.3 million and raise a further $61 million from member states of the African Union. Israel promised to invest $60 million in the effort to respond to the pandemic.

Ireland is donating almost $20 million. Luxembourg pledged $5.45 million, Sweden $17 million, Portugal $10.9 million, Croatia $1.09 million, Finland $39.3 million. Bulgaria and Romania pledged $109,000 and $218,000, respectively. 

Serbia announced a contribution of $2.18 million, Slovenia $33.6 million, and the Czech Republic announced a joint pledge with Poland, Hungary and Slovakia of $3.27 million.

Meanwhile, Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, pledged $100 million to the effort.

Other countries such as the UAE, Oman, Turkey, Monaco and China also promised to contribute to the efforts against Covid-19 without mentioning an amount. 

8:57 p.m. ET, May 4, 2020

French hospital reports evidence patient had coronavirus in December

From CNN’s Maggie Fox and Edward Upright

A French first aid worker disinfects an ambulance after it was used to transport a suspected coronavirus patient in Paris on April 3.
A French first aid worker disinfects an ambulance after it was used to transport a suspected coronavirus patient in Paris on April 3. Lucas Barioulet/AFP/Getty Images

Doctors at a Paris hospital claim to have found evidence a patient who got sick in December was infected with the novel coronavirus.

If verified, it may show the virus was circulating in Europe as early as December. The first reports of Covid-19 in France were reported on January 24, in two people who had a history of travel to Wuhan, China.

“Covid-19 was already spreading in France in late December 2019, a month before the official first cases in the country,” the team at Groupe Hospitalier Paris Seine in Saint-Denis wrote.

Yves Cohen and colleagues at the Paris hospital decided to check the records of patients who got sick before the January 24 cases to see if the virus may have been spreading undetected earlier than first thought.

The French team looked at people admitted to the hospital with flu-like illnesses between December 2 and January 16 who were not subsequently diagnosed with influenza. The doctors re-tested samples stored in a freezer for coronavirus.

“One sample was positive, taken from a 42-year-old man born in Algeria, who lived in France for many years and worked as a fishmonger,” the team wrote in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.
“His last trip was in Algeria during August 2019,” they wrote. The man had not been to China, and one of his children had also been sick, the team reported.
“Identifying the first infected patient is of great epidemiological interest as it changes dramatically our knowledge regarding SARS-COV-2 and its spreading in the country. Moreover, the absence of a link with China and the lack of recent travel suggest that the disease was already spreading among the French population at the end of December 2019,” they wrote. 

Remember: This claim has not yet been independently verified.

Europe did not start reporting cases of coronavirus until January. In Italy, the European country hit hardest by the virus, the first two cases were reported on January 31, in two Chinese tourists in Rome. The first known community transmission was recorded in February in Codogno, in northern Italy.