May 24 coronavirus news

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8:35 p.m. ET, May 23, 2020

Early results from convalescent plasma study are encouraging, researchers say

From CNN's Arman Azad

Convalescent plasma from a recovered coronavirus patient is seen at Central Seattle Donor Center of Bloodworks Northwest in Seattle, Washington.
Convalescent plasma from a recovered coronavirus patient is seen at Central Seattle Donor Center of Bloodworks Northwest in Seattle, Washington. Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

Hospitalized Covid-19 patients appear to fare better when they receive infusions of antibody-filled convalescent plasma, according to a study released on Friday.

The study hasn’t been peer reviewed or published in an academic journal, but researchers said the findings are a good sign for the plasma therapy, which is derived from the blood of recovered Covid-19 patients.

We are encouraged that our initial assessment offers evidence in support of convalescent plasma as an effective intervention," said Dr. Nicole Bouvier, an associate professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and a co-author on the study, in a statement.

Researchers are "remaining mindful that additional studies are needed to confirm these findings and draw more definitive conclusions in different populations," she said.

The new study was small. It compared 39 patients who received convalescent plasma with "matched controls" – patients who didn’t receive plasma but were similar to those who did.

It wasn't a traditional clinical trial because patients weren’t randomly assigned to a treatment group or a control group. Instead, the controls were picked after-the-fact using an algorithm.

Still, patients who received plasma saw improved survival. As of May 1, about 13% of patients who received the treatment had died, compared to 24% of those who didn’t.

The researchers said larger studies were needed, but they noted that the mortality benefit was limited to patients who didn’t need a breathing tube.

"We did not observe significant benefit of convalescent plasma in intubated patients, consistent with past literature demonstrating that passive antibody transfer therapies are most efficacious early in disease," they wrote.

8:27 p.m. ET, May 23, 2020

UK police say they spoke with father of Dominic Cummings, contradicting Downing Street statement 

From CNN's Nada Bashir

Number 10 Downing Street special advisor Dominic Cummings arrives at his home in London on May 23 after allegations he broke coronavirus lockdown rules.
Number 10 Downing Street special advisor Dominic Cummings arrives at his home in London on May 23 after allegations he broke coronavirus lockdown rules. Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

British police have confirmed that an officer made contact with the father of Dominic Cummings – a senior adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson – regarding his trip to Durham during the nationwide lockdown, the Press Association reported Saturday. 

This information contradicts an earlier statement from Downing Street, which asserted that the police made no contact with Cummings or his family. 

An officer spoke with the father of Cummings, who said that his son had traveled to the northeast of England and was "self-isolating in part of the property," according to Durham Police, the PA reported Saturday. 

This comes after Downing Street issued a statement regarding Cummings' trip to Durham, asserting that "at no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported."

Cummings has come under fire for reportedly traveling to Durham – more than 250 miles from his home in London – on two occasions, despite national lockdown regulations. 

Downing Street has denied these reports, featured in the Mirror and Guardian newspapers, saying they contain "false allegations" and "inaccurate stories" about Cummings. 

"His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally," according to a statement from Downing Street.

8:19 p.m. ET, May 23, 2020

43rd member of the NYPD dies of Covid-19 complications

From CNN's Laura Ly

The New York Police Department has lost a 43rd member to complications of Covid-19, according to the NYPD's daily coronavirus report.

Doris Kirkland died Friday after having served as a school safety agent for over 30 years, the NYPD said.

To date, 5,739 members of the NYPD have tested positive for coronavirus, 5,598 of whom have returned to work full-time after recovering, the report said.

On Saturday, 2.6%, or 926 members, of the NYPD's uniformed workforce were out sick – down from a high of 19.8%. A total of 80 uniformed members and 19 civilian members are still out sick diagnosed with coronavirus, the NYPD said.

8:40 p.m. ET, May 23, 2020

Chile reports more than 3,500 new Covid-19 cases in a single day

From CNN's Ana Cucalon

A health worker opens the window of a field clinic where patients suspected of having the coronavirus are treated in Santiago, Chile.
A health worker opens the window of a field clinic where patients suspected of having the coronavirus are treated in Santiago, Chile. Esteban Felix/AP

Chile's Ministry of Health reported 3,536 new cases of the novel coronavirus in a single day, bringing the country's total to 65,393, as of Saturday afternoon.

Forty three new deaths brought the country's total fatalities to 673.

After Brazil and Peru, Chile has one of the highest number of confirmed cases in Latin America.