May 8 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton and Rob Picheta, CNN

Updated 9:28 PM ET, Fri May 8, 2020
22 Posts
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3:42 a.m. ET, May 8, 2020

15 migrant laborers were hit and killed by a train while trying to get home during India's lockdown

From journalist Esha Mitra in New Delhi

The belongings of victims are scattered on the railway track after a train ran over migrant workers sleeping in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India, on May 8.
The belongings of victims are scattered on the railway track after a train ran over migrant workers sleeping in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India, on May 8. Stringer/Reuters

Fifteen migrant laborers in India were run over and killed by a train on Friday as they tried to make their way home during a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, authorities said.

Arun Kumar, the director general of India's Railway Protection Force, said the victims were walking to a station in the state of Maharashtra. They had been sleeping on the tracks before they were hit by a goods train shortly after 5 a.m. Four others who were hit survived, two of whom are in critical condition.

It's common for people to cross train tracks in India even when trains are running, but it's unclear why the laborers were sleeping on them. Kumar said it's possible that the laborers may have walked along railway tracks to avoid the main road in order to get around police checkpoints, as cross border travel is not permitted under the lockdown and they would have been made to turn around. No passengers trains are currently running between states.

The laborers worked in an iron factory in Jalna district of Aurangabad in Maharashtra state, Kumar said. He believes they were likely trying to get on a train that was going to their home state of Madhya Pradesh. 

Lockdown measures differ from state to state in India, but throughout the country thousands of migrant workers found themselves stranded with no job, no income, and no mode of transportation to get home when the restrictions went into effect six weeks ago.

Authorities had organized special trains and buses so that they could get home, but those are only open to laborers who the government has identified and is allowing to return to their homes. There are only a limited number of seats available on these trains because authorities want passengers to maintain adequate distance between each other.

3:25 a.m. ET, May 8, 2020

Coronavirus fight demands same "spirit of national endeavor" as World War II, Boris Johnson says

From CNN's Vacso Cotovio in London

In his speech today marking 75 years since the end of World War II in Europe, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the struggle against the novel coronavirus "demands the same spirit of national endeavor" as the fight against Hitler and Nazi Germany.

"We survived and eventually triumphed thanks to the heroism of countless ordinary people who may be elderly today, but once carried the fate of freedom itself on their shoulders," he said.
"All of us who were born since 1945 are acutely conscious that we owe everything we most value to the generation who won the second world war."

Watch his address:

2:48 a.m. ET, May 8, 2020

What it's like waiting out a pandemic in Antarctica

From CNN's Tamara Hardingham-Gill

While the rest of the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, one continent has managed to remain entirely free of the infection.

Antarctica, the coldest place on Earth, is now considered the "safest place in the world," with no confirmed cases at all.

The region had a close brush with Covid-19 when outbreaks hit the final cruise ships of the season, but the virus didn't reach its frozen shores. And, because it's currently descending into winter, when it's completely cut off, it should stay that way for now.

Although there's no official native population here -- unless you count the many penguins, whales, seals and albatrosses -- around 5,000 people, mostly scientists and researchers, currently reside in its 80 or so bases.

Keri Nelson, an administrative coordinator at Anvers Island's Palmer Station, the most northerly US station in Antarctica, is one of them.

"I really don't think there's a person here right now who isn't grateful to be here, and to be safe," she tells CNN Travel via email.

"Some people are ready to head back home. To help people they love, and to be of use in other ways during this time in history.

"But all of us are very appreciative to be living in a place where this disease (and all of the health and lifestyle implications thereof) are absent."

Read more:

2:29 a.m. ET, May 8, 2020

It's just past 8:30 a.m. in Paris and 4:30 p.m. in Sydney. Here's what you may have missed

A worker cleans around the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday, April 27.
A worker cleans around the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday, April 27. Thibault Camus/AP

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 3.8 million people worldwide and killed at least 269,000. If you're just joining us now, here are the latest developments:

  • Australia unveils plan to reopen: Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a three-step plan today to begin reopening the country. He hopes to have society largely up and running by July, but said that states and territories would follow the plan at their own pace. It will be subject to review every three weeks.
  • A warning for Africa: The World Health Organization said Thursday that as many as 190,000 people in Africa could die of Covid-19 during the first year of the pandemic if containment measures fail. Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa, said Covid-19 would likely not spread as exponentially in Africa as it has in other parts of the world, but it could linger for some time.
  • Fatalities rise in Pakistan: The country's Ministry of Health said Friday it identified 1,764 new infections in 24 hours -- the highest number of cases recorded in a single day there. More than 25,000 Covid-19 patients have been identified in the country.
  • Amazon goes to court: Amazon France is planning to take a case over the shutdown of its distribution centers to the French Supreme Court. A Paris court ruled last month that Amazon had to stop selling anything but essential items while the company reassessed how it was keeping its warehouse employees safe from coronavirus.
7:13 a.m. ET, May 8, 2020

Tokyo Disneyland faces longer closure after Japan extends state of emergency

From CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

Disney's theme parks in Tokyo will remain closed with more than 5,000 park employees working a reduced schedule after Japan extended its state of emergency until the end of May.

A decision on when to reopen Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea had been expected by the middle of May. But parks operator Oriental Land said Friday that a date will only be announced once the country's state of emergency is lifted. Some 5,400 employees will work four fewer days per month until the parks reopen, the company added.

The news comes as Disney said it will begin a phased reopening of its Shanghai park on Monday with "enhanced safety measures."

The Shanghai park has been closed for three months.

Disney's bottom line has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Profits dropped 91% during the first three months of 2020, the company said. Its operating income on its Parks, Experiences and Products segment fell about $1 billion due to lost revenue, although sales for its second quarter were up 21% to $18 billion.

Read more here.

This post has been updated to correct the number of days that some employees will work.

1:55 a.m. ET, May 8, 2020

Amazon to take shutdown of its distribution centers to French Supreme Court

From CNN's Hadas Gold in London

An Amazon employee is seen at the Amazon logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France, on April 16.
An Amazon employee is seen at the Amazon logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, France, on April 16. Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images

Amazon France is planning to take the case over the shutdown of its distribution centers to the French Supreme Court, the company said in a statement. 

A Paris court ruled last month that Amazon had to stop selling anything but essential items while the company reassessed how it was keeping its warehouse employees safe from coronavirus.

The case stemmed from a complaint brought by a French labor union. Amazon had appealed the decision but lost.  

After the court ruling, Amazon shut its French distribution centers on April 15, saying the move was due to the complexity of its logistics system and what it called confusing instructions from the court with the risk of hefty fines. 

The company yesterday announced the warehouses will remain closed through next Wednesday, but all staff will continue to be paid. 

1:40 a.m. ET, May 8, 2020

Japan's new daily cases drop below 100 for first time in over a month

From CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

Japan's health ministry said 95 new coronavirus patients and six virus-related deaths were identified on Thursday, the first time the daily caseload fell below triple digits since March 31.

The country has been under a state of emergency since last month as it has battled to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, though there are signs things are improving. Of Japan's 47 prefectures, 34 have been advised to prepare to ease their lockdown and social distancing restrictions in the coming days.

A total of 16,259 patients have been identified nationwide, while 570 have died. Of those, 712 cases and 13 fatalities are tied to the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

1:25 a.m. ET, May 8, 2020

Jimmy Glenn, New York bar owner and retired boxer, dies after coronavirus diagnosis

From CNN's Nicole Chavez and Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio

Jimmy Glenn, a former boxing trainer and Times Square bar owner, died on Thursday after fighting the novel coronavirus for weeks, his son told CNN.

He was 89.

Glenn was hospitalized at NYU Langone Medical Center in April after suffering Covid-19 related symptoms and tested positive shortly after being admitted, his son Adam Glenn said.

The former boxer and cornerman was originally from South Carolina but spent most of his life in New York City. He began his boxing career as part of the Police Athletic League and later competed in The Golden Gloves for two years, according to the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame.

Glenn left behind amateur boxing and went on to become a trainer, manager and cut man. In the 1970s, Glenn worked as a cornerman for heavyweight great Floyd Patterson and trained numerous boxers.

He operated the now shuttered Times Square Gym for 18 years, working with fighters who considered him family.

"I would have these people coming up to me saying, you don't know what your dad did for me to help me, to get me off the streets," said Adam Glenn, 39. "He could look into anyone and make you feel like he could be your best self."

More recently, Glenn was a fixture at Jimmy's Corner, the dive bar he owned in Times Square.

The bar is an homage to boxing and a favorite for those looking for beer and whiskey at reasonable prices in the area.

Read more:

1:06 a.m. ET, May 8, 2020

Pakistan sees highest single-day spike in cases

From CNN's Sophia Saifi in Islamabad

Rescue workers spray disinfectant along a road during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventative measure against the spread of the coornavirus in Peshawar on May 6.
Rescue workers spray disinfectant along a road during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventative measure against the spread of the coornavirus in Peshawar on May 6. Abdul Majeed/AFP/Getty Images

Pakistan's Ministry of Health said Friday it identified 1,764 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the highest rise in a single day the country has seen during the pandemic.

In total:

  • 25,837 total cases have been identified
  • 594 patients have died
  • 257,247 coronavirus tests have been conducted