September 4 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Brett McKeehan, Amy Woodyatt, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:11 a.m. ET, September 5, 2020
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7:44 a.m. ET, September 4, 2020

First clinical trial results from Russia's Covid-19 vaccine published in The Lancet medical journal

From CNN's Zahra Ullah and Matthew Chance in Moscow

Employees are seen at Russia's biotech company BIOCAD, which is working on a coronavirus vaccine.
Employees are seen at Russia's biotech company BIOCAD, which is working on a coronavirus vaccine. Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images

The first peer-reviewed results of Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, which is named Sputnik-V, have been published in the medical journal The Lancet on Friday.

Results from the two 42-day trials – which each included 38 healthy adults – “have a good safety profile with no serious adverse events” among participants, The Lancet said in a press release, noting that the vaccine-induced antibody responses in all participants.

Russia faced criticism last month when it announced the world's first approved coronavirus vaccine for public use, even before Phase 3 trials are completed. 

Russia also faced skepticism over how quickly the vaccine was registered and the initial lack of scientific data around the clinical trials. 

Naor Bar-Zeev, deputy director of the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University said in a linked comment that the studies are “encouraging but small,” according to The Lancet. Bar-Zeev was not involved in the Russian study, but peer reviewed it.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) funding the vaccine development said the trial results confirm the "high safety and efficacy" of the vaccine, adding in a statement Friday that the results are "a powerful response to sceptics who unreasonably criticized the Russian vaccine." 

6:53 a.m. ET, September 4, 2020

America's jobs recovery is expected to have cooled off in August

From CNN Business' Anneken Tappe

America's jobs recovery is expected to have slowed further in August as the services sector continues to struggle.

Economists polled by Refintiv predict the US economy added 1.4 million jobs in August, down from 1.8 million jobs added in July and 4.8 million in June.

The unemployment rate is expected to fall to 9.8% in August, which would be the first time since March that it stands below 10%. That would also be below the peak unemployment rate reached during the Great Recession.

Every person who can go back to work is a win for the recovery from the unprecedented jobless crisis the Covid-19 pandemic has brought on. However, America would still be down nearly 11.5 million jobs from February, even with more than 1 million job gains last month.

Read the full story here:

6:26 a.m. ET, September 4, 2020

Czech Republic sets another new daily record for infections

From CNN's Tomas Etzler

An employee has their temperature as they arrive for a shift at the Skoda Auto AS factory, operated by Volkswagen AG, in Kvasiny, Czech Republic, on June 9, 2020.
An employee has their temperature as they arrive for a shift at the Skoda Auto AS factory, operated by Volkswagen AG, in Kvasiny, Czech Republic, on June 9, 2020. Milan Jaros/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Czech Republic has set a new daily record for the second day in a row for new coronavirus infections.

The central European country recorded 680 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, surpassing Wednesday’s record of 650, according to the Ministry of Health.

The Czech Republic has a total of 26,452 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 426 people have died of the virus.

7:13 a.m. ET, September 4, 2020

Key model predicts 410,000 US Covid-19 deaths by January

From CNN's Marcelo Garate

Jeffrey Rhodes, a funeral home director applies makeup for man who died of COVID-19 before his funeral at Ray Williams Funeral Home on August 12, in Tampa, Florida.
Jeffrey Rhodes, a funeral home director applies makeup for man who died of COVID-19 before his funeral at Ray Williams Funeral Home on August 12, in Tampa, Florida. Octavio Jones/Getty Images

A model often cited by top health officials dramatically raised its projections for US Covid-19 deaths Friday morning, predicting over 410,000 deaths by January 1 -- which would mean another 224,000 Americans lost in just the next four months.

The model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation points to declining mask use in some regions from a peak in usage in early August. The scenarios in the model suggest 122,000 of those lives could be saved with near-universal mask use. Conversely, the model warns the death toll could be much higher -- over 620,000 -- if all restrictions are eased.

“If a herd immunity strategy is pursued, meaning no further government intervention is taken from now to Jan 1st, the death toll could increase to 620,000," according to IHME’s briefing.

IHME expects the death rate to reach an unprecedented 3,000 a day by December, due in part to “declining vigilance of the public.”

The IHME model, which is more aggressive in its predictions than others, comes a day after a new CDC ensemble forecast predicted 211,000 US deaths from Covid-19 by September 26.

 Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains:

5:57 a.m. ET, September 4, 2020

No cause for "concern" over Berlusconi health after positive Covid-19 result

From CNN's Valentina DiDonato in Rome

A view of the San Raffaele hospital where former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi is admitted, in Milan, Italy, on Friday, September 4.
A view of the San Raffaele hospital where former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi is admitted, in Milan, Italy, on Friday, September 4. Claudio Furlan/LaPresse via AP

There is no cause for “concern” over the health of Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, his representatives told CNN.

The 83-year-old former PM and media magnate was admitted to hospital Thursday with mild coronavirus symptoms and subsequently tested positive.

Berlusconi was prime minister four times for a total of nine years, and has been the subject of multiple corruption, fraud and bribery trials.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

“Berlusconi, after the appearance of some symptoms, was admitted to the San Raffale hospital in Milan as a precaution. The clinical picture does not cause concern,” Berlusconi’s spokesperson told CNN.

5:29 a.m. ET, September 4, 2020

South Korea extends strict social distancing measures for another week in the greater Seoul area

From CNN's Yoonjung Seo in Seoul

Customers wearing face masks collect their orders as chairs and tables are stacked together as part of social distancing efforts inside a cafe in Seoul, on August 31.
Customers wearing face masks collect their orders as chairs and tables are stacked together as part of social distancing efforts inside a cafe in Seoul, on August 31. Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

South Korea is extending its strict social distancing measures for the greater Seoul Metropolitan area for one more week until September 13, the country's Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said in a briefing today.

"The government feels it's necessary to extend these measures until the new daily numbers visibly drop so that our epidemiological investigation and medical system capacity can handle the situation," Park explained.

The current restrictions were due to expire this Sunday.

All kindergartens and schools except some high school classes in the greater Seoul Metropolitan area will continue to hold online classes for two more weeks until September 20, the Education Ministry's Vice Minister Park Baek-beom said in a separate briefing.

All restaurants and bakeries will continue to stop eat-in services between 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time, and gyms and indoor sporting facilities will be closed for one more week due to this decision.

The rest of South Korea, where level-two social distancing measures are implemented, will maintain the restrictions for two more weeks from September 9 until September 20, Park said. However, local authorities can adjust the duration of restrictions.

What level-two social distancing means: Indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people and outdoor gatherings to 100. Churches nationwide will be strongly advised to hold online services by local authorities, Park added.

South Korea reported 198 new coronavirus cases from Thursday, of which 189 are local cases, and nine are imported, according to the press release by the South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) on Friday. South Korea currently has 20,842 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 331 deaths from the virus.

5:27 a.m. ET, September 4, 2020

It's the worst disaster of the pandemic. But WHO chief says our lack of concern shows "moral bankruptcy"

From CNN's Emma Reynolds

They are among the greatest victims of coronavirus, yet elderly people continue to be dismissed, despite growing evidence of the devastating effects the pandemic has had on them.

Earlier this week, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had heard people describing high Covid-19 death rates among older people as "fine."

No, when the elderly are dying it's not fine. It's a moral bankruptcy," he told a news conference. "Every life, whether it's young or old, is precious and we have to do everything to save it."

WHO figures from last week show that almost 88% of all deaths in Europe were among people aged 65 and over. And almost half of all deaths linked to Covid-19 globally have taken place in care homes, according to the Long-Term Care Covid (LTCcovid) network at the London School of Economics.

But despite vast numbers of elderly people dying of coronavirus -- and a significant drop in the quality of life of many of those forced to self-isolate -- the global response to the risks they face in the era of Covid-19 has often been chilling.

Read the full story:

4:24 a.m. ET, September 4, 2020

US lawmakers want e-cigarettes banned from college campuses this fall due to coronavirus

From CNN's Faith Karimi and Steve Almasy

United States lawmakers are reiterating a call for universities and college campuses to prohibit tobacco use this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

In a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Democratic lawmakers urged the federal health agency to review its Covid-19 guidelines and recommend no smoking, vaping or chewing tobacco in schools. 

The letter cites a study suggesting that young people who've used e-cigarettes can be five times more likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19. Stanford University researchers published the report last month in the Journal of Adolescent Health. 

"Following the Stanford study, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) announced that it was banning tobacco use on campus in the fall ... In making that decision, UNLV took into account that if someone is smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco, they cannot be complying with requirements to wear a mask," Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi and Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin wrote in the letter.

With the public health risk posed by coronavirus, they said, the CDC should "act quickly and forcefully."

Read the full story:

4:02 a.m. ET, September 4, 2020

New Zealand reports first Covid-19 death in more than three months

From CNN's Chandler Thornton and Julia Hollingsworth

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

New Zealand reported its first Covid-19 death in more than three months on Friday, according to its health ministry.

The ministry reported the man in his 50s was linked to the August Auckland cluster.

New Zealand's last reported death from the virus was on May 28. The country's death toll from Covid-19 now stands at 23.

"It’s with a very heavy heart we acknowledge that COVID-19 has taken the life of someone in our community. Our thoughts are with this person’s family and whānau," the NZ government tweeted.