May 14 coronavirus news

By Zamira Rahim, Joshua Berlinger and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 8:24 a.m. ET, May 15, 2020
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10:37 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Expect more cases of syndrome possibly linked to coronavirus in children, doctors warn

From CNN Health's Maggie Fox

Parents, hospitals and clinics should expect to see more cases of a mystifying condition that seems to be affecting children after a bout with Covid-19, doctors said Wednesday.

The condition, called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, appears to be a post-viral syndrome, said Dr. Jeffrey Burns, a critical care specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital who has been coordinating a global group of doctors who compare notes on the condition.

It has affected at least 100 children in the United States, most of them in New York. But doctors in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan and elsewhere have also reported cases.

“This multisystem inflammatory syndrome is not directly caused by the virus,” Burns said. “The leading hypothesis is that it is due to the immune response of the patient.”

Symptoms include: Persistent fever, inflammation and poor function in organs such as the kidneys or heart. Children may also show evidence of blood vessel inflammation, such as red eyes, a bright red tongue and cracked lips.

Not all of the affected children have tested positive for the coronavirus, but reports from Europe and from several cities in the United States show a link.

“There seems to be delayed responses to Covid infections in these kids,” said Dr. Moshe Arditi, a pediatric infectious diseases expert at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Burns believes more cases will turn up as Covid-19 affects more people. It’s a rare condition, but rare consequences of viral infections are seen more often when millions of people are infected.

“We can expect that each of the epicenters will see clusters of these emerging roughly four to six weeks later,” Burns said.

Most children are not seriously affected by the syndrome, Burns said. Most don’t even need treatment in the intensive care unit, he said, although a small number have died. “We do have proven treatments that we can use and are using,” he said. They include blood thinners and immune modulators.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing a Health Alert Network notification to send to doctors across the country, an agency spokesman confirmed. Burns said the World Health Organization is also working to define the syndrome and alert doctors so they will know what to look for and how to treat it.

While the syndrome has features in common with Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome, it’s different, Burns and Arditi both said. It will be important to study, because the response could help explain why children are so much less likely to be severely affected by Covid-19 than adults are.

“Understanding the child’s immune response could be a key to vaccine development and could also be a key to therapy for adults to understand why children are able to fight (Covid-19) off so well,” Burns said. 
10:20 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Italy has approved a $60 billion stimulus package to help battle the financial hit from coronavirus

From CNN's Livia Borghese in Rome

A banner reading "Without government aid, we cannot reopen on May 18. Thousands of employees at risk" is seen at a shop window on Tuesday in Rome.
A banner reading "Without government aid, we cannot reopen on May 18. Thousands of employees at risk" is seen at a shop window on Tuesday in Rome. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

The Italian government has approved a 55 million euros ($60 billion) stimulus package to help the country recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The plan will offer financial assistance directly to families and businesses, while also helping the construction, health care, education, culture, retail, hospitality and tourism industries

A total of $27.6 billion will be allocated to support a worker's layoff fund -- which will be extended longer than the maximum length of nine weeks -- and other employment-related measures, including a $650 bonus for freelancers workers.

The government is also spending $3.5 billion to shore up its national health care system in the event of a second wave of Covid-19 inside the country.

That money will be used to hire 9,600 new nurses and increase ICU capacity by 115%. 

“Some scientists say we will have a second wave -- we will be ready,” health minister Roberto Speranza said.
9:59 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Coronavirus could remain in the air for more than 8 minutes after talking

From CNN Health's John Bonifield

Droplets generated by people talking while infected with the novel coronavirus could linger in the air for several minutes, potentially triggering new infections, according to researchers.

A new estimate by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Pennsylvania finds that talking loudly for one minute in a confined space could generate at least 1,000 "speech droplets" containing Covid-19 particles. 

Those droplets could remain in the air for more than eight minutes, according to the study published Tuesday in the open-access journal PNAS.

According to other research, that could be enough to generate an infection if someone inhaled them.

To conduct the experiment, the researchers had a person repeat the phrase "stay healthy" into a port connected to an enclosure, simulating a closed, stagnant air environment.

The phrase was chosen, the researchers said, because the "th" in the word "healthy" efficiently generates speech droplets.

The researchers then used a laser to watch what happened to the person's speech droplets after exiting the mouth.

Large droplets shrunk as they partially evaporated and hung in the air. 

Based upon the researchers' observations, they concluded, in real life such particles could be inhaled by others and cause new coronavirus infections.

9:32 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Brazil records more than 11,000 coronavirus cases in a single day

From CNN's Shasta Darlington in Sao Paulo and Claudia Dominguez in Atlanta

Members of the military clean at at a health clinic in Sao Goncalo, Brazil on Wednesday.
Members of the military clean at at a health clinic in Sao Goncalo, Brazil on Wednesday. Luis Alvarenga/Getty Images

Brazil's Ministry of Health said Wednesday that it recorded 11,385 new cases of the novel coronavirus in a 24-hour period -- the highest number in a single day in the country since the pandemic began.

Authorities there also reported 749 Covid-19 related fatalities.

The country has recorded 188,794 total cases, the sixth-highest in the world, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

A total of 13,149 people in Brazil have been killed by the virus.

9:08 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Coronavirus may "never go away," WHO official says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

WHO health emergencies program director Michael Ryan speaks during a coronavirus news briefing in Geneva on March 11.
WHO health emergencies program director Michael Ryan speaks during a coronavirus news briefing in Geneva on March 11. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The novel coronavirus may never go away and may just join the mix of viruses that kill people around the world every year, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization health emergencies program, said Wednesday.

"This virus just may become another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away. HIV hasn’t gone away," Ryan said.

"I’m not comparing the two diseases but I think it is important that we’re realistic. I don’t think anyone can predict when or if this disease will disappear," Ryan added.

With a vaccine, "we may have a shot at eliminating this virus but that vaccine will have to be available, it will have to be highly effective, it will have to be made available to everyone and we’ll have to use it," Ryan said. "This disease may settle into a long-term problem or it may not be."

Yet the future of coronavirus does not have to be all doom and gloom, according to WHO infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove.

"The trajectory of this outbreak is in our hands," Van Kerkhove said during Wednesday's briefing.

"The global community has come together to work in solidarity," Van Kerkhove said. "We have seen countries bring this virus under control. We have seen countries use public health measures."

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus echoed Van Kerkhove's sentiments on Wednesday and added, "We should all contribute to stop this pandemic."

9:04 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Children in Turkey allowed out for the first time in more than a month

From CNN's Gul Tuysuz

Children play in a park on May 13 in Ankara, Turkey.
Children play in a park on May 13 in Ankara, Turkey. Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

Children under the age of 14 were allowed to go outside on the street on Wednesday for the first time since the Turkish government announced a lockdown for the age group in early April.

The children were allowed out for four hours, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. local time.

Turkey has opted for an age-specific lockdown prohibiting people over the age 65 and below the age of 20 from leaving their homes. People in the 15 to 20 age group will be allowed out on Friday.

Turkey started slowly lifting some restrictions on Monday.

9:24 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Europe "will not just go back to business as usual soon," top EU leader says

From CNN’s Niamh Kennedy in Dublin and James Frater in London

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wears a face mask during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels on May 13.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wears a face mask during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels on May 13. Aris Oikonomou/AFP/Getty Images

The European Commission president on Wednesday outlined a plan to fund European recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, while warning that "we will not just go back to business as usual soon."

“We have had economic slowdowns before but we have never had an economic shutdown like the last three months,” President Ursula Von der Leyen said during an address to the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday.

The recovery instrument will be focused on those member states who have been most affected and where needs are the greatest, the European Union’s top leader said, adding that the money for the recovery plan will be on top of the existing EU budget and will also be managed through rules of the budget.

That will give European lawmakers full scrutiny over how the money is managed and spent. Parliamentarians expressed concern last week over using rules where the Parliament would only “be informed” of decisions made on the recovery funds.

Von der Leyen did not mention exact numbers, but said she wants to present an “ambitious” relaunch plan for Europe.

In the plan presented by the EU leader, recovery will be financed across three pillars:

  • The bulk of the money will be spent in the first pillar which will, “focus on supporting Member States to recover, repair and come out stronger from the crisis”
  • Pillar two is for “kick-starting the economy.” The aim, the Commission hopes, is to make Europe more strategically resilient in key industries such as in the pharmaceutical sector.
  • The third pillar will bolster areas that have been critical to the bloc’s response such as the RescEU fund which has delivered humanitarian aid to EU member states as well as countries like the Central African Republic.

Hear more:

8:48 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Belgium to open museums and some school classes on May 18

From CNN’s Mia Alberti in Lisbon

Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes after a news conference on Wednesday, May 13, in Brussels.
Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes after a news conference on Wednesday, May 13, in Brussels. Eric Lalmand/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Belgium will move forward with the second phase of its reopening plan on May 18, when some school classes for primary and secondary students will resume and museums will be reopened under certain conditions, the prime minister announced Wednesday.

"We have decided that by May 18, museums and cultural facilities, such as historic buildings, will be able to open their doors again if they set up an online or telephone ticketing system and if they take the necessary steps to avoid the effects of crowds inside their establishment," Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes said.

Wilmes also announced that some other services, such as hairdressers or beauticians, could also reopen but only through appointments and the mandatory use of masks for both the customers and staff. Local authorities might also choose to reopen markets with a maximum of 50 food stalls.

Most shops opened across Belgium on Monday.

Sporting events have been suspended until July 11. There is still no reopening date for restaurants and bars.

8:42 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro tests negative for coronavirus

From CNN’s Shasta Darlington in Sao Paulo

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro attends a news conference in Brasilia on May 7.
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro attends a news conference in Brasilia on May 7. Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested negative for coronavirus in three separate exams that were released to the public on Wednesday afternoon. 

Supreme Court Justice Ricardo Lewandowski released the test results.

The three tests were administered between March 12 and March 17 after Bolsonaro returned from a bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump in Florida and many in his entourage tested positive. 

The release of the exams brings an end to a prolonged standoff in which Bolsonaro had refused to make tests public despite repeated legal rulings. The first request came from Brazilian newspaper Estado de S. Paulo and made its way up in the courts.  

In the three tests released on Wednesday, Bolsonaro uses code names, but the ID numbers match his.

Bolsonaro handed over the tests to the Supreme Court.