May 28 coronavirus news

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12:39 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Britain to begin lifting lockdown Monday under strict conditions

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac and Lauren Kent

In this screengrab from video, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on Thursday, May 28.
In this screengrab from video, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on Thursday, May 28. Press Association/AP

Britain will begin lifting coronavirus restrictions starting Monday in a phased approach, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. 

Johnson warned that the gradual lifting of restrictions is subject to the country keeping the virus under control.

“I cannot and will not throw away all the gains we have made together. And so the changes we are making are limited and cautious,” he said at a daily government briefing. 

Here are some of the reopening guidelines outlined by Johnson:

  • Up to six people will be allowed to meet outside “as long as they respect social distancing rules,” in gardens and other private outdoor spaces. 
  • People from different households should not meet inside homes, Johnson said.
  • Schools will reopen to more children including nurseries, pre-school, kindergarten and some grades in elementary schools.  
  • Outdoor markets “where social distancing is easier” and car show rooms can open as well.

The restrictions will loosen further as of June 15 when retail and nonessential shops can open their doors, as Britain “begins to re-start it’s economy.”

Latest numbers: The death rate in the UK is falling consistently, currently at 256 in the last day, down from a peak of 943 on April 14, but Johnson emphasized the need for the virus to remain under control.

“I cannot and will not throw away all the gains we have made together. And so the changes we are making are limited and cautious.”

12:41 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Italy sees steady decline of coronavirus patients, deaths and cases

From CNN's Hada Messia, Nicola Ruotolo, and Mia Alberti

Italy reported 70 news deaths from coronavirus in the last 24 hours as the country continues on a downward trajectory of new cases.

A total of 33,142 people have died of Covid-19 in Italy, the Italian Civil Protection Agency said Thursday.

Italy recorded 593 new cases over the last day, bring the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 231,732.

The overall situation in Italy continues to improve as the number of active cases of Covid-19 has dropped to 47,986. The drop of 5.85% is the biggest in weeks, and it's the first time there have been less than 50,000 sickened since March 22.

The total number of patients in intensive care is now at 489 –– a decrease of 16 patents over the last 24 hours.

A total of 150,604 people have recovered from coronavirus, an increase of 3,503. 

12:23 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

English Premier League will resume season on June 17

From CNN's David Close

VISIONHAUS/Getty Images
VISIONHAUS/Getty Images

The English Premier League will resume their season without fans attending starting on June 17, per multiple reports including The Telegraph and Sky Sports. 

When asked about the June date, the Premier League would not confirm nor deny as the prescheduled Thursday meeting with the twenty clubs was still ongoing.

The reports also state that the Wednesday, June 17  date would feature two games with the four teams that have played one less game than the other 16 teams.

Arsenal would face Manchester City and Aston Villa would take on Sheffield United. The full fixture list would commence the weekend of June 19-21. There are 92 remaining fixtures in the 2019-2020 season. 

The Premier League suspended its season back on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

12:23 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

GSK says it will make 1 billion doses of booster for potential Covid-19 vaccines

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

Ha KAGHAT/Belga/Sipa/AP
Ha KAGHAT/Belga/Sipa/AP

Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline says it has plans for next year to manufacture 1 billion doses of its pandemic vaccine adjuvant - a booster that potentially could help make any Covid-19 vaccine stronger and possibly aid in scaling up production.

The London-based company said in a statement on Thursday that its adjuvant has been shown to reduce the amount of vaccine required per dose, which allows more vaccine doses to be produced. 

An adjuvant also is added to some vaccines to enhance the immune response, which creates stronger immunity against infections. 

GSK said it will make the vaccine adjuvant technology available to partners that are developing "promising" Covid-19 vaccine candidates, and that making the adjuvant available to the world's "poorest countries" would be key.

"We believe that more than one vaccine will be needed to address this global pandemic and we are working with partners around the world to do so," Roger Connor, President of GSK Global Vaccines, said in Thursday's statement.

"We believe that our innovative pandemic adjuvant technology has the potential to help improve the efficacy and scale up of multiple COVID-19 vaccines," Connor said.

Some background: In April, GSK and French drugmaker Sanofi announced they will be collaborating to develop a vaccine for Covid-19, with clinical trials expected to begin in the second half of 2020. They are among dozens of companies around the world working to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.

11:30 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Philippines to ease lockdown measures for capital from June 1

From CNN's Sharif Paget

A traveler is seen wearing a protective suit upon arriving at Ninoy Aquino International Airport after a limited number of flights have resumed following relaxed lockdown measures on Friday, May 22, in Manila.
A traveler is seen wearing a protective suit upon arriving at Ninoy Aquino International Airport after a limited number of flights have resumed following relaxed lockdown measures on Friday, May 22, in Manila. Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte approved a recommendation on Thursday to relax Covid-19 lockdown measures in the capital city of Manila from June 1, CNN Philippines reports. 

In a televised address to the nation, Duterte said he approved the recommendation by the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) to scale back quarantine restrictions which have been in place for Manila for over two months.

According to CNN Philippines, Thursday’s decision is also in line with the recommendation by all 17 mayors of Metro Manila to reopen nonessential businesses to help restart the ailing economy.

10:54 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Portugal and the UK in talks to potentially open an “air corridor”

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio

Tourists look out at a plane at Lisbon airport, in Lisbon, Portugal, on Wednesday, March 18.
Tourists look out at a plane at Lisbon airport, in Lisbon, Portugal, on Wednesday, March 18. Stephane le Tellec/Abaca/Sipa/AP

Government officials from the UK and Portugal are in contact to possibly establish a so-called "air corridor" between the two countries.

An official from the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign affairs said talks between the two countries began following last week’s announcement by the British government that all international arrivals to the UK would be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

“Portugal took note of that decision,” the official said, adding that they were looking at ways to guarantee that travelers from Portugal into Britain are exempt from the quarantine period. “[We] are confident that it will be possible to reach an agreement that ensures the converging interests of both countries, with the view in particular of the coming summer period.”

The official also highlighted comments made by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the Liaison Committee of the British Parliament on Wednesday where the Prime Minister said he was open to bilateral agreements for quarantine exemption with “safe countries.”

11:03 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

People from two households in Scotland can meet in groups of 8 from Friday

From Niamh Kennedy

Homes in the village of Minard in Argyll and Bute, Scotland on Monday, May 18.
Homes in the village of Minard in Argyll and Bute, Scotland on Monday, May 18. Press Association/AP

People in Scotland may meet with people from one other household from Friday but the group must not exceed 8 people in total, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced Thursday as part of the country’s advance into its so-called ‘Phase One’ easing of lockdown measures.

Sturgeon said that households do not have to meet with the same other household all the time during Phase One but should avoid meeting with more than one different household a day.

According to Sturgeon, Scottish people “should still be meeting far fewer people than [they] would in normal times.” She advised them not to share items with other households and to maintain social distance at all times.

As part of the Phase One easing of measures, Scotland will allow certain non-contact sports to resume and people will be able to sunbathe in parks. However, the Scottish government strongly advised against traveling further than 5 miles for leisure or recreation purposes.

“Crowds of people, even if they are trying to socially distance, bring more risk than we judge to be acceptable or safe at this point,” Sturgeon said.

Under Phase One garden centers, drive-through and takeaway food establishments will reopen. The construction industry may resume site preparation ahead of a return to the majority of outdoor work. Household waste and recycling centers will reopen to the public from Monday, June 1.

Teachers will also be allowed to re-enter schools on June 1 to begin preparations for schools reopening on August 11. Childcare services and outdoor nurseries will reopen from Wednesday, June 3 with limits placed on the number of children that can be cared for.

Despite the continual decline in Scottish cases, Sturgeon admitted she was “nervous” that “the limited changes we are making to these rules might lead to greater change in reality." She asked Scots to respect the parameters set out by the government.

“Make sure things still feel different to normal because they should still feel different to normal,” Sturgeon said.

9:40 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Coronavirus could put nearly 14 million at risk of hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean, the UN says

from CNN's Claudia Rebaza in London

Children eat breakfast during food distribution in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 24.
Children eat breakfast during food distribution in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 24. Buda Mendes/Getty Images

The United Nation's World Food Programme (WFP) estimates 13.7 million people could experience severe food insecurity due to the effects of coronavirus this year.

As job availability and economies decline, the WFP estimates the amount of people currently experiencing food insecurity- 3.4 million- could quadruple in 2020.

Migrants are particularly at risk, the WFP says. In Colombia, Ecuador and Peru severe food insecurity among extremely vulnerable Venezuelan migrants could jump from 540,000 to more than 1 million. 

The WFP also says children not receiving their provided lunches due to school closures and the approaching hurricane season could also have an affect on the amount of people who go hungry.

9:01 a.m. ET, May 28, 2020

"The next thing I knew he just spat at me": London transport workers fear deadly Covid-19 assaults

From CNN's Sebastian Shukla

“For once in my 16 years I think I have seen the public actually appreciate frontline workers," said Spencer Suckling, a London bus driver.
“For once in my 16 years I think I have seen the public actually appreciate frontline workers," said Spencer Suckling, a London bus driver. Sebastian Shukla/CNN

Spencer Suckling has been driving one of London's famous red buses for 16 years. In that time, he’s dealt with rude passengers, stressed commuters and speeding motorists.

But the Covid-19 pandemic has brought new dangers for transport workers in the British capital.

Suckling was spat at by a moped driver during an altercation with the man two weeks ago in south London. The moped was speeding and Suckling pointed that out to the driver.

“The next thing I knew he just spat at me through my open window. Right on my face. He didn’t just cough. He physically spat at me.” Suckling told CNN.
“I got all the splatter and spray down my face.”

Suckling kept his cool. He sounded the alarm on his bus. British Transport Police officers were not far away but the moped driver fled before they could catch him.

“I was extremely shocked and alarmed. With what is going on, I was a little worried and scared. Before I even thought ‘oh that is disgusting’ my first thought was Covid-19,” he said. He spent seven days in isolation after the incident.

In the past two weeks London’s Metropolitan Police force has arrested six people for assaults on the city’s bus drivers alone.

Yet transport workers have not only caught Covid-19, but have died from it. The virus has killed more than 40 workers in the city, according to the Transport for London transit authority.

Belly Mujinga, a railway ticket office worker, was also spat at and coughed on by a man claiming he had coronavirus, while working at London's Victoria train station. She died 14 days later.

Thankfully, Suckling had no symptoms and is now back at work, doing the job he takes great pride in. And despite this incident, he has not lost faith in the public in these unprecedented times.

“For once in my 16 years I think I have seen the public actually appreciate frontline workers, especially bus drivers. A lot of appreciation, at last, for what the bus driver does,” he said.

As the UK starts to move out of lockdown from next week, these bus drivers will be key to keeping London moving in the weeks and months ahead.