May 29 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 9:49 p.m. ET, May 29, 2020
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9:53 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Brazil hits record high for new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Rodrigo Pedroso and Taylor Barnes

Brazil reported 26,417 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, a record high for the country, bringing the nationwide total to 438,238, according to the Brazilian Health Ministry.

The country also recorded 1,156 new coronavirus-related deaths over the past 24 hours, according to its health ministry, raising the overall death toll to 26,754.

Thursday is the third day in a row that Brazil has recorded more than 1,000 deaths in a day.

9:51 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Sao Paulo announces gradual reopening plans despite growing number of coronavirus cases 

From CNN's Shasta Darlington in Sao Paulo

View of an almost empty hall at Guarulhos International Airport in Guarulhos, near Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 26.
View of an almost empty hall at Guarulhos International Airport in Guarulhos, near Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 26. Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images

The mayor of Sao Paulo announced new guidelines on Thursday to gradually reopen the city, despite high levels of infections and deaths related to Covid-19. 

Mayor Bruno Covas said during a news conference today that several sectors in the city will be allowed to submit health and sanitary reopening plans to officials starting on Monday.

Once these plans are approved by the city government, they can reopen.

Among the businesses allowed to submit reopening plans are offices, retail stores, car dealerships, real estate agencies and shopping malls. Food courts and gyms are excluded. There is no outlook yet for the reopening of schools or parks.

This comes as experts warn Latin America is the new global epicenter of the pandemic. Brazil surpassed Russia over the weekend in the number of coronavirus infections and is now the second highest in the world.

ICU beds in Sao Paulo are at a 92% occupancy, the mayor said on Thursday. He added more ICU beds have been brought in and more are on their way, but the number of ICU bed occupied is slightly higher than it was two weeks ago.

On Wednesday, Sao Paulo reported 129 new deaths and 3,096 new confirmed cases, which accounts for 15% of all the new cases in Brazil. The city has recorded a total number of 54,948 Covid-19 cases.

10:51 p.m. ET, May 28, 2020

Spain to start easing lockdown restrictions

From CNN's Al Goodman, Mia Alberti and Claudia Rebaza

A couple wearing face masks walks at the Retiro Park in Madrid on May 26.
A couple wearing face masks walks at the Retiro Park in Madrid on May 26. Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

Spain will start easing lockdown restrictions starting Monday, the country's Health Minister and a top aide announced Thursday. 

"From Monday, around 70% of the Spanish population, or 32 million people will be in phase two. Around 30% of the population or 15 million people will be in phase one and 45,000 people will be in phase three," Spain’s Health Minister Salvador Illa said at a news conference.

At the start of this week, just over half of the population was still on the more restrictive phase one.

Parts of the regions of Castilla, Valencia, Catalonia, Murcia, Andalucia and Castilla and Leon will move to phase two, which allows meetings of up to 15 people who don't live together, some restaurant service indoors, and the opening of stores, cinemas and museums but with occupancy limits.

Four small islands in Spain's Balearic and Canary Islands with small populations and low infection risk will advance to phase three, with further restrictions on movement and gatherings eased.

"The data is good, we are in a good way, but I have to insist: it's very important to know this is a very complex phase and to maintain an attitude of individual responsibility because a mistake can put at risk everything we've done so far," Illa added.  

The Madrid region, which includes Spain’s capital and surrounding cities, will remain in phase one without any changes, the health officials explained.

"All of this evolution is due to the effort made by the population and the health system to control this epidemic," said Dr. Fernando Simón, Spain’s director of the Center for Health Emergencies.

Simón also told reporters that "small re-emergences" have been identified very quickly and are being closely monitored by local authorities to "avoid a new outbreak and maintain this favorable tendency."