June 2 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Brett McKeehan and Emma Reynolds, CNN

Updated 9:45 a.m. ET, June 3, 2020
29 Posts
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7:54 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Wuhan tests nearly 9.9 million residents with no new cases found

From Shanshan Wang in Beijing and Isaac Yee in Hong Kong  

Wuhan residents register for coronavirus testing on May 15.
Wuhan residents register for coronavirus testing on May 15. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

Wuhan’s Health Commission announced Tuesday that it had completed coronavirus tests on 9.9 million of its residents with no new confirmed cases found.

"From May 14 to the end of June 1, 9,899,828 people in Wuhan have received nucleic acid tests," Lu Zuxun, of the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, said at a news conference.

Lu said no new cases had been found as a result of the city-wide testing, but 300 asymptomatic infections were discovered. China does not count asymptomatic cases as confirmed cases.

"At present, the proportion of asymptomatic infections in Wuhan is extremely low in the entire population, and no cases of asymptomatic infections infecting other people have been found," he added.

According to Hu Yabo, the deputy mayor of Wuhan, the city spent around $126 million on the testing campaign. 

6:37 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

UK government denies report into impact of Covid-19 on black and minority ethnic communities has been delayed because of US protests  

From CNN’s Sarah Dean and Max Ramsay in London

The UK government has denied British media reports that the publication of its review into how the coronavirus pandemic has affected BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) communities has been delayed because of protests in the United States over the death of George Floyd.

The report, analyzing how different factors -- including ethnicity, gender and obesity -- can impact on people’s health outcomes from Covid-19, had been due for publication by the end of May, according to Public Health England.

It was commissioned by England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty in April, amid fears that the coronavirus pandemic is "disproportionately" affecting black and ethnic minority communities.

"There are a number of reasons for this that have been posited, and it is right that we do thorough research swiftly so that we can better understand it and take action as required," Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said on April 18.

In response to CNN questions about why the report has been delayed, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said in a statement:

Ministers received initial findings yesterday [Monday]. They are being rapidly considered and a report will be published this week."

"It is not true to say this has been delayed due to global events," the spokesperson added. 

UK opposition leader, Labour's Keir Starmer, on Tuesday called on the government to "stop the excuses" and "publish the review," in a post on Twitter.

“BAME communities have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19. We need the findings of this review published and action taken now,” he said.

Labour's Shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities, Marsha De Cordova, urged the government to name a date for publication, saying "its findings could save lives." 

"The government has already delayed the report's release from the end of May. BAME communities across the country need reassurance that this issue is being taken seriously, and not being kicked into the long grass," she said.

"It is unacceptable to delay the release of a report into the unequal suffering of the BAME community on the basis of global events that relate to the suffering of black communities around the world."

At the beginning of May, analysis by the London-based Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) found ethnic minorities in England and Wales were dying from coronavirus at far higher rates than their white peers.

The think tank found that after eliminating age and geography, people from black African backgrounds were 3.7 times as likely to die in hospital from the disease than their white British counterparts. Death rates for those from Pakistani backgrounds were 2.9 times higher than the white British group, while Bangladeshi fatalities were twice as high.

The IFS said the British study highlighted "stark inequalities" between different ethnic groups in England and Wales.

A University College London analysis of National Health Service data about patients with a positive Covid-19 test who died in hospitals in England from March 1 to April 21 found that the average risk of dying in hospital from the virus was around two to three times higher for BAME groups in England, when compared to the general population.

6:39 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Cruise operator to keep journeys on hold until at least October 15

From CNN's Chris Liakos

P&O cruise ships Aurora, left, and Arcadia are pictured at berth in Weymouth Bay, England, on May 17.
P&O cruise ships Aurora, left, and Arcadia are pictured at berth in Weymouth Bay, England, on May 17. Andrew Matthews/PA/Getty Images

P&O Cruises is extending the pause in its operations until October 15, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

"As a business, our operational focus is not: 'When can we resume sailing?' but instead: 'How can we develop a comprehensive restart protocol that will keep everyone on board -- crew and guests -- safe and well, and still give our guests an amazing holiday?'" P&O Cruises President Paul Ludlow said.

The cruise line, which is owned by US firm Carnival, said it is in close coordination with all relevant public health bodies.

6:28 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

UK coronavirus fatalities officially approach 50,000 -- but the true toll is already likely much higher

From CNN's Mick Krever in London

Hospital staff line up outside Southampton General Hospital to pay their respects, as the funeral cortege of hospital porter Mike Brown, who died after testing positive for Covid-19, drives by on May 29, in Southampton, England.
Hospital staff line up outside Southampton General Hospital to pay their respects, as the funeral cortege of hospital porter Mike Brown, who died after testing positive for Covid-19, drives by on May 29, in Southampton, England. Stefan Rousseau/PA Images/Getty Images

The number of deaths in the UK directly attributed to Covid-19 is approaching 50,000, according to official statistics released Tuesday.

There have been 48,321 deaths in the UK, registered between January 1 and May 22, in which Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. That’s according to numbers from England and Wales’ Office for National Statistics, National Records of Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.

When looking more broadly at excess deaths – all deaths this year that surpass the five-year average – mortality has already surpassed that milestone. There have been 56,232 excess deaths in the UK over the past five-year average, from January 1 to May 22.

6:20 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Formula One to start 2020 season with back-to-back races in Austria in July after virus delays

From CNN’s Aleks Klosok

The Red Bull Ring race track is pictured in Spielberg, Austria in April.
The Red Bull Ring race track is pictured in Spielberg, Austria in April. Erwin Scheriau/APA/AFP/Getty Images

Austria will open the 2020 Formula One season with back-to-back races on Sunday 5 and Sunday 12 July after it was delayed because of the coronavirus, Formula One announced on Tuesday.

The first eight races of the revamped calendar will take place in Europe over a 10-week period at six track locations.

After the two Austrian events, a third race will follow in Hungary on Sunday 19 July before two back-to-back races in Britain in early August, and others in Spain, Belgium and Italy.

All eight races will take place without spectators in attendance. Organizers say they will operate under the strongest safety procedures.

In a statement, Formula One said it expected to finalize the details of the wider calendar in the coming weeks; the plan is to run a total of 15-18 races before the season ends in December.

Delayed start: The 2020 season had been due to begin in Australia on Sunday 15 March, but the race was called off hours before the first practice session amid Covid-19 fears.

Motorsport’s governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), announced last Thursday that Formula One's 10 teams would be limited to a maximum of 80 people each at the races.

5:57 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

The pandemic left an adventurer and his 24 dogs stranded in Alaska

What to do when you're stranded in Alaska by a global pandemic and are trying to get back home to Norway -- with 24 dogs in tow.

It's been quite a three months for dog musher Thomas Waerner, who tells CNN Sport it's an experience he'll remember until the day he dies.

The 47-year-old won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in March, but canceled flights and travel restrictions have prevented him from returning home to his family. 

But the intrepid adventurer has come up with an innovative escape plan. 

He's booked his passage on a historic aircraft destined for a Norwegian museum, with his team of dogs for company. 

"Winning the race and then going back on the plane ... I think this was one of the cool things that happen in life," Waerner told CNN Sport in a phone interview.

Read more:

5:49 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Indonesia pulls out of annual pilgrimage to Mecca over coronavirus concerns

From CNN's Sandi Sidhu

Muslim worshippers circumambulate the sacred Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in April.
Muslim worshippers circumambulate the sacred Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in April. AFP/Getty Images

Indonesia's Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi announced the government's decision not to send pilgrims to Mecca in 2020 due to virus concerns. 

"The government has decided to not send Hajj pilgrims in 2020/1441 Hijriah," Razi said, during a virtual news conference on the annual Islamic pilgrimage reported by state-run Antara News Agency. 

"This is a bitter and tough decision to take. We have made all-out efforts, but on the other hand, we are accountable for the protection of Hajj pilgrims," he stated.

"Saudi Arabia is yet to give Hajj access to any country in the world. Hence, the government is left with little time to prepare the services and protection for Hajj pilgrims," Razi added.

Indonesia's Antara News reported that Indonesia was offered the highest quota for this year’s Hajj and planned to send 221,000 pilgrims to Mecca. 

The decision was taken on the basis of a comprehensive study conducted by a team of the ministry and after consultation with the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

5:06 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

New Delhi launches app for residents to check availability of hospital beds

From CNN's Esha Mitra in New Delhi

Medical staff worker at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi on May 25.
Medical staff worker at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi on May 25. Pankaj Nangia/India Today Group/Getty Images

New Delhi residents can check the number of beds available in the city's hospitals on a new mobile app, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"On the one hand we say that we have enough beds, but on the other hand we get messages from people saying they went from hospital to hospital but could not find a bed, so there is a gap in information," Kejriwal said. 

This gap will be bridged by the "Delhi Corona" app and a supporting website, which would allow citizens to determine which hospitals have empty beds, he added.

"We are four steps ahead of coronavirus, in Delhi even though the number of cases are rising, we are prepared for it. If someone is sick at your house, we have beds, ICUs etcetera," Kejriwal said, acknowledging that the primary issue in cities with a high number of cases was a lack of healthcare infrastructure. 

Although the Indian capital has reported more than 20,000 coronavirus cases, only 2,600 Covid-19 patients are currently admitted to hospitals in the city, Kejriwal said. Of more than 6,700 beds available in the city, 4,100 are currently empty, he added. 

4:47 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Spain saw a sharp fall in new jobless claims last month

From CNN's Max Ramsay in London and Al Goodman in Madrid

A bricklayer works at a construction site in Seville, Spain on May 8.
A bricklayer works at a construction site in Seville, Spain on May 8. Marcelo del Pozo/Getty Images

Spain recorded a steep decrease in new unemployment claims in May, as the country emerged from coronavirus confinement measures that shuttered businesses across the nation and put hundreds of thousands of people out of work.

There were 26,573 new jobless claims in May, far fewer than the increases of 282,891 in April and 302,265 in March, according to data released by Spain’s Labor Ministry today.

In a sign of modest economic improvement, the construction and manufacturing sectors recorded slight declines in jobless claims in May.

There are now a total of 3,857,776 unemployed in Spain. However, this doesn’t include another 3.7 million people using the government’s "ERTE" temporary furlough scheme, during the coronavirus crisis, and who are not counted among the unemployed.

ERTE is a legal mechanism allowing temporary layoffs during extraordinary events, such as the Covid-19 crisis.