July 9 coronavirus news

18 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
7:04 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Man executed for killing two government health workers at virus checkpoint in China

From CNN’s Shanshan Wang and Steven Jiang in Beijing

A 23-year-old man was executed in China on Thursday for fatally stabbing two epidemic prevention and control workers in February, according to a statement from the country’s Supreme People’s Court. 

This is the first known death penalty case in China related to Covid-19 containment measures.   

“The Supreme People's Court concluded that Ma Jianguo deliberately and illegally deprived others of life, and his action constituted intentional homicide,” the court statement read. 

“His crime caused great harm and its consequences are extremely serious,” it added.  

Ma stabbed the government workers at a health checkpoint in a village in the southwestern province of Yunnan on February 6, when a fellow passenger in his car tried to remove roadblocks set up by local authorities and got into a dispute with staff on duty. 

He was sentenced to death on March 1. Ma, who was previously imprisoned for assault, committed his latest crime within five years of release, resulting in harsher punishment, according to the court. 

6:37 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Hong Kong reimposes some restrictions as it reports 42 new virus cases

From Jadyn Shum and Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

A worker sprays disinfectant at a residential block in Hong Kong on July 8.
A worker sprays disinfectant at a residential block in Hong Kong on July 8. Li Zhihua/China News Service/Getty Images

Hong Kong reported 42 new coronavirus cases Thursday, including 34 locally transmitted infections, as the city reimposed some restrictions in response to the rising case count.

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) announced the tightening of social distancing measures to deal with the fresh outbreak.

Health officials said that from midnight on Friday, restaurants would not be allowed to operate at more than 60% capacity and no more than eight people will be allowed per table, while at clubs and pubs people will not be allowed to gather in groups of more than four. 

The new restrictions will remain in place until July 24.

Of the 34 locally transmitted infections, 23 were linked to elderly care homes, nine were linked to previous cases and three were linked to taxi drivers and their families according to Dr. Chuang Shuk-kwan of the CHP. 

Chuang added that the health officials are exploring options with telecommunications companies in the city to search for passengers who took taxis with infected drivers.

“Fluctuations of cases in Hong Kong are within expectations,” said Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan, who added that the virus will not disappear before a vaccine is made available.

6:16 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Hospital at heart of Italy's Covid-19 outbreak has first day with no positive cases

From CNN’s Valentina Di Donato in Rome

A member of the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital staff works near a patient in the hospital's Covid-19 division, on April 3, in Bergamo, Italy.
A member of the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital staff works near a patient in the hospital's Covid-19 division, on April 3, in Bergamo, Italy. Piero Cruciatti/AFP/Getty Images

The main hospital in the city of Bergamo, which was at the heart of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Italy, has had the first day without any Covid-19 patients since February 23, a spokesperson for the Papa Giovanni XXIII told CNN Thursday.

Italy was one of the first countries in Europe to report coronavirus cases and became one of the hardest hit, with its current death toll standing at almost 35,000. 

5:43 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Melbourne tower will remain in "hard lockdown," with residents unable to leave for any reason

From Angus Watson in Sydney

Lines of healthcare professionals are seen entering the North Melbourne Public Housing tower complex in Melbourne, Australia, on July 8.
Lines of healthcare professionals are seen entering the North Melbourne Public Housing tower complex in Melbourne, Australia, on July 8. Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

A Melbourne apartment block that has been identified as an epicenter of the city's new coronavirus outbreak will remain in a "hard lockdown."

The building at 33 Alfred Road in North Melbourne and eight other public housing towers have been subject to strict restrictions since Saturday, with a total of 3,000 residents unable to leave their homes for any reason.

33 Alfred Road is the only block that will remain under the hardest measures, the Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said Thursday.

“We’ll continue to support these Victorians with food, back to school resources, and any other kind of assistance they might need as they stay home and stay safe," a statement from Andrews' office said. A police presence will remain at all towers, to assist in managing the restrictions.

Health authorities have now tested all residents of the nine towers. Of the 2,515 tests conducted, 158 came back positive.

5:16 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Chinese Foreign Minister says Pompeo is creating "fake news" to smear Beijing over virus response

From journalist Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian is pictured at a media briefing in Beijing, on April 8.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian is pictured at a media briefing in Beijing, on April 8. Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

China's Foreign Ministry has accused US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of “making up all sorts of fake news” to smear China and damage the country's international relations.

For some time Pompeo kept making up all sorts of fake news to attack and smear China and try to poison relations between China and other countries,” foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Thursday.

Zhao’s comments come after Pompeo said on Wednesday that “Beijing claimed for months that it reported the outbreak of the virus to the WHO. Now we know that’s not true, too.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington on July 8.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington on July 8. Tom Brenner/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Pompeo also said China's ruling Communist Party "has an enormous credibility problem, They failed to tell the world the truth about this virus, and now hundreds of thousands of peoples all across the world are dead.”

Zhao said that China informed WHO of the latest information about the virus outbreak at the earliest possible opportunity.

He also urged Pompeo to “correct his mistakes," and "stop spreading political viruses before he becomes a laughing stock of the international community.”

4:45 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

China recorded fewer than 10 cases for the 9th consecutive day yesterday

From journalist Vanesse Chan in Hong Kong

China recorded nine new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the country's National Health Commission (NHC) said.

This was the ninth consecutive day in which mainland China only record a single-digit number of cases.

Out of the new cases, three were reported in Liaoning, three in Shanghai, two in Guangdong and one in Sichuan, according to the NHC. 

There were no new cases reported in Beijing on Wednesday for the third day in row. The Chinese capital was forced into a partial lockdown last month when a cluster of new cases linked to a wholesale food market emerged.

Six new asymptomatic cases were also registered in the country, the NHC said. A total of 112 asymptomatic patients are still under medical observation.

4:20 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Just 30 of this Australian state's 165 fresh Covid-19 cases have been linked to known outbreaks

From CNN's Angus Watson and Sophie Jeong

Authorities take food to residents in a locked-down public housing estate in Melbourne, Australia, on July 9.
Authorities take food to residents in a locked-down public housing estate in Melbourne, Australia, on July 9. William West/AFP/Getty Images

The Australian state of Victoria recorded 165 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the state's health department announced today.

Of the new cases, 30 have been linked to known outbreaks -- while 135 remain under investigation, the department said.

The announcement came just hours after Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city and the state capital, went into lockdown. The state border with neighbouring New South Wales has also been shut to stop the virus from spreading further.

Victoria has had 3,098 Covid-19 cases with 22 related deaths since the pandemic began.

New South Wales recorded 13 new cases on Wednesday, the state's Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Thursday.

3:32 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

Coronavirus spikes again in rush to reopen. But lockdowns are more complex second time around

From CNN's Emma Reynolds

From English pubs to the Spanish seaside, local lockdowns are cropping up all over the world as countries ease restrictions only to encounter new coronavirus outbreaks.

After months of closures, governments are eager to reopen schools and businesses to allow people to get on with their lives. But fresh clusters of infection have forced leaders to reimpose restrictions in some hotspots -- even as rules are eased elsewhere in the same country.

Beijing re-entered a partial lockdown in mid-June after a new coronavirus outbreak linked to a food market in the Chinese capital, while at least 24 states in the US are pausing or rolling back their reopenings as cases accelerate, amid fears that earlier restrictions were relaxed too fast.

The threshold for imposing new lockdowns -- as well as their size and scope -- varies dramatically between countries, from a single building in Italy, to several Rwandan villages, to a community of 200,000 in Spain's northeast and a coastal area of 70,000 in its northwest, to the whole of Israel.

There are hopes this approach could minimize the economic damage of large-scale shutdowns. In Portugal, for example, 19 boroughs on the outskirts of Lisbon have shut down, while the capital's downtown area has continued its reopening, along with the rest of the country.

Read more:

2:55 a.m. ET, July 9, 2020

US FDA warns of more hand sanitizer products with potentially dangerous methanol contamination

From CNN Health’s Shelby Lin Erdman

A large bottle of hand sanitizer near a pool in Spring Township, Pennsylvania, on June 13.
A large bottle of hand sanitizer near a pool in Spring Township, Pennsylvania, on June 13. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle/Getty Images

The US Food and Drug Administration has added more types of hand sanitizer to its growing list of products that are either confirmed or potentially contaminated with toxic methanol.

More than two dozen hand sanitizer products sold by Mexico-based 4E Global -- many carrying the Blumen label -- contain high levels of methanol and have been recommended for recall, the agency said.

The FDA said it has seen an increase in products containing ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, that tested positive for potentially poisonous methanol contamination.

Methanol can be life-threatening if ingested and toxic if absorbed through the skin. States have also reported cases of blindness, hospitalizations and deaths in adults and children after drinking hand sanitizer products tainted with methanol, the FDA said.

Methanol, or wood alcohol as it’s often known, is used in antifreeze and fuel production. Exposure can also cause nausea, headaches, dizziness, agitation, amnesia, coma and seizures, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC advises people to frequently wash their hands with soap and water to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus. If soap and water are not available, the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol.

The FDA is urging consumers to check their hand sanitizers to find out if they are on the list of bad products posted on the agency's website and to report any adverse events or quality problems.