Brazil could reach 1 million cases of Covid-19 in a few weeks, study projects
From journalist Rodrigo Pedroso and CNN's Shasta Darlington in São Paulo
A Brazilian study by the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) projects that Brazil could reach 1 million cases of novel coronavirus and 50,000 deaths by June 20.
The study also predicts that the number of Covid-19 cases in Brazil will double in the next 18 days.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Brazil reports 526,447 cases of coronavirus and 29,937 virus related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
The study projects the peak of the epidemic in Brazil will occur in the middle of June.
UFRGS is a reputable institution in Brazil, as it ranks fourth best in the country, according to 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
Another study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, projects Covid-19 deaths in Brazil will exceed 125,000 by early August, and continue increasing afterwards.
The study comes as parts of Brazil are set to reopen. Rio de Janeiro began opening some nonessential businesses and activities Tuesday after an announcement from Mayor Marcelo Crivella Monday. Crivella said he expects the Brazilian city to “return to normal” in early August.
2:57 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
Federal prison system does not test all inmates for Covid-19
From CNN’s Amanda Watts
The Federal Bureau of Prisons does not test every inmate for Covid-19, but it is their long term goal to do so.
Speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Dr. Jeffery Allen, medical director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said, “We do not yet have the strategy in place to test all inmates.”
“We are not currently recommending that all inmates be tested unless those supplies are available,” he said.
Allen said they are working on “expanding our capabilities for testing,” but right now they only test inmates based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A priority system has been created and they are “testing symptomatic patients, testing exposed patients, testing new intakes — and then going beyond that — testing inmates going out to the community coming back, from the community, being released,” he said.
Allen said they are not currently testing any of their own staff, instead relying “heavily on relationships and community partnerships for the testing of staff.”
He said with the greater availability of testing supplies, “The Bureau is working diligently to expand its own testing strategies for asymptomatic populations — including all new inmates on arrival, test and test out strategies for quarantine, testing close contacts, and a number of other criteria.”
Michael Carvajal, director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said today across the US, they have about 1,400 inmates who are currently positive for Covid-19.
“We have 3,000 recovered. So, what I'm trying to say is that we have — at this point — more folks recovered, both staff and inmates. And I think that that shows that we are beginning to flatten the curve,” he said.
Carvajal added: “Prisons by design are not made for social distancing. They are on the opposite and made to contain people in one area.”
12:33 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
Italy introduces mandatory temperature checks for rail passengers
From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London
Italy has introduced mandatory temperature checks for rail passengers in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus, the country's Transport Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
"In all high speed stations, dedicated entrances are introduced for passengers on high-speed trains and Intercity trains to measure body temperature before boarding. If a body temperature higher than 37.5° C is detected, access on board the train will not be allowed," the statement said.
Civil Protection Agency volunteers will also manage the flow of travelers inside the stations until June 15, the statement said.
Medium and long-distance trains will have a "simplified" on board food service, with meals and drinks delivered to the seat in sealed packaging by staff wearing masks and gloves.
The new regulations come ahead of Italy relaxing some travel restrictions starting on June 3, allowing interregional travel and foreign visitors from the European Union and UK, who will no longer have to go into quarantine.
12:16 p.m. ET, June 2, 2020
New Zealand to ease coronavirus restrictions after 11 days with no reported cases
From CNN’s Philip Wang in Atlanta, Isaac Yee in Hong Kong and Amy Woodyatt in London
With only one active case of novel coronavirus nationwide and none reported over the past 11 days, New Zealand's government is poised to ease coronavirus restrictions as soon as next week.
“If and only if there are no further unexpected cases over the coming days, then we could be in a position to move to alert level one that week,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Tuesday.
The prime minister added that the last remaining restrictions on physical distancing and on mass gatherings would be removed, and that strict border controls would remain to prevent new infections from arriving overseas.
Arden said further details on alert level one will be given out this week.
Some background: New Zealand confirmed its first case of coronavirus on February 28.
By March 25, New Zealand had moved to the strictest level four lockdown, with people told not to leave home except for essential exercise, while maintaining social distancing.
Foreign nationals were banned from entering the country, nonessential businesses were closed, events and gatherings were canceled, schools were closed to all children, public transportation was reserved for essential workers, and discretionary domestic air travel between regions was banned.
"Our strategy of going hard and early has paid off, and in some cases beyond expectation and what modeling and data had predicted," Arden said.
11:48 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020
New coronavirus cases "at an all time low" in New York, governor says
New Covid-19 cases is "at an all time low" in New York State, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference today.
The state reported 58 deaths yesterday, up just slightly from Sunday's total of 54, Cuomo said, saying the number is "just about as low as we have seen it."
WATCH GOV. CUOMO:
11:20 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020
US surgeon general: "Every reason to expect" new Covid-19 clusters following protests
From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard
As protests over the death of George Floyd continue across the United States, there is concern that coronavirus could spread among demonstrators, US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told Politico on Monday.
"I remain concerned about the public health consequences both of individual and institutional racism [and] people out protesting in a way that is harmful to themselves and to their communities," Adams said in a phone call with Politico’s Sarah Owermohle.
"Based on the way the disease spreads, there is every reason to expect that we will see new clusters and potentially new outbreaks moving forward," Adams said.
Many protesters nationwide have worn masks while marching — and in his interview with Politico, Adams praised Colorado Gov. Jared Polis' administration for making masks available for protesters in that state and for encouraging Covid-19 testing.
"You understand the anger, you hope that we can find ways that really can help people channel their anger into meaningful steps forward," Adams told Politico. "There is going to be a lot to do after this, even to try and get the communities of color back to where they need to be for people to be able to recover from Covid, and for people to be able to recover from the shutdown and to be able to prosper."
9:46 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020
WHO warns Covid-19 could fuel a rise in harmful antibiotic resistance around the world
From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard
The World Health Organization has raised alarm about the risk of using antibiotics to treat Covid-19, fueling a rise in antimicrobial resistance around the world.
Antimicrobial resistance occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses evolve in a way that makes them no longer affected by antibiotics or other medicines -- leading to infections that can no longer be treated with the medications commonly used today.
The overuse of antibiotics, or using them unnecessarily, can lead to harmful antimicrobial resistance.
WHO noted in a news release on Monday that new global data shows that bacterial infections across nations already are increasingly resistant to the medications used to the treat them -- and warned that the use of antibiotics during the coronavirus pandemic could drive this trend even more.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an increased use of antibiotics, which ultimately will lead to higher bacterial resistance rates that will impact the burden of disease and deaths during the pandemic and beyond," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a media briefing in Geneva on Monday.
WHO last week released clinical guidance for doctors not to use antibiotic therapy or prophylaxis among patients with mild or moderate Covid-19 unless there is a clear clinical indication to do so.
"In the current Clinical Management of COVID-19, Interim Guidance, WHO has outlined the appropriate use of antibiotic therapy for medical professionals to treat patients. Therefore, both tackling antimicrobial resistance, while also saving lives," Tedros said.
Tedros added that a "record number" of countries are continuing to monitor and report cases of antimicrobial resistance, and "as we gather more evidence, it’s clear that the world is losing its ability to use critically important antimicrobial medicines all over the world."
Additionally, using antibiotics appropriately can become a complex balancing act.
"On the demand side, in some countries there is an overuse of antibiotics and antimicrobial agents in both humans and animals. However, in many low- and middle-income countries these lifesaving medicines are out of reach for those that need them, leading to needless suffering and death," Tedros said.
"On the supply side, there is essentially very little market incentive to developing new antibiotics and antimicrobial agents, which has led to multiple market failures of very promising tools in the past few years," Tedros said. "As well as finding new models to incentivize sustainable innovation, as seen with the Covid-19 Solidarity Trial, we must find ways to accelerate viable candidates."
9:41 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020
Iran records highest coronavirus daily increase in 2 months
From CNN’s Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran and Nada AlTaher in Abu Dhabi
Iran has recorded more than 3,000 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest in two months, the Ministry of Health's spokesperson Kianoush Jahanpour said Tuesday.
According to Johns Hopkins, the last time Iran recorded a 3,000 case hike in 24 hours was on April 1.
“The number of positive cases detected in several provinces is increasing. It is reported that social distancing and wearing facial masks is not being observed in crowded areas,” Jahanpour said in a televised statement Monday.
If social distancing and hygiene standards are not observed, a new wave of infections will emerge, the spokesperson warned.
Jahanpour said that 975,936 coronavirus tests have been conducted so far in the country.
On April 11, Iran reopened "low and medium-risk" businesses like bazaars and shopping centers across the country except for Tehran, and on April 18, allowed low-risk businesses to operate in the capital, semi-official Tasnim news agency reported earlier.
9:04 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020
Hong Kong extends social distancing regulations over fears of a new local outbreak
From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong
Health officials in Hong Kong have extended a ban on group gatherings of more than eight people for another two weeks following the discovery of several new locally transmitted coronavirus cases.
“We need to maintain gathering restrictions for another 14 days from June 5 to June 18,” Professor Sophia Chan, the secretary for food and health, said at a news conference on Tuesday.
She said people in Hong Kong “must not let their guard down” after new community cases with unknown sources were discovered.
Chan warned that “in the future, we expect there will be sporadic local cases or even mini-outbreaks,” adding that the government will continue to monitor the situation and try to balance public health considerations with social and economic needs.
Dr. Chuang Shuk Kwan of the Center for Health Protection confirmed six new confirmed coronavirus cases in the city on Tuesday, including four new local cases linked to a cluster of cases at a housing estate in Sha Tin.
The new cases bring Hong Kong’s total number of cases to at least 1,094, including four deaths.
The latest extension of the eight-person gathering ban will cover key upcoming protest anniversaries including the one year anniversary “2 million man march” on June 16th.
Chan also announced that the government will extend “Compulsory Quarantine of Persons Arriving at Hong Kong from Foreign Places Regulation” for another three months until the September 18.