May 3 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton and Aditi Sangal, CNN

Updated 11:36 PM ET, Mon May 3, 2021
44 Posts
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3:54 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Average daily Covid-19 cases and deaths in the US are now one-fifth of their respective peaks in January 

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

At their respective peaks in January, average daily Covid-19 cases and deaths in the United States were five times higher than they are now, data from Johns Hopkins University shows. 

Over the past seven days, an average of 669 Covid-19 deaths has been reported each day, according to JHU data. On Jan. 14, the seven-day average was 3,431 deaths per day, more than any other date. 

Average daily deaths topped 3,000 deaths per day for about a month, from Jan. 8 through Feb. 6, JHU data shows. 

The seven-day average of daily deaths has now been below 1,000 deaths per day for more than three weeks, since April 8. Average daily deaths were last lower than the current rate in early July.  

New Covid-19 cases are also about one-fifth of what they were at their peak in January. 

On Jan. 8, the average was 251,057 new cases over seven days, a higher seven-day average than any other date during the pandemic. But over the past seven days, an average of 49,209 new Covid-19 cases have been reported each day, according to JHU data.

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University School of Public Health, said on Friday that the US has reached a “positive turning point” in the pandemic, but noted that “this virus has surprised us on so many turns.”

And globally, the pandemic is far from over. More cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the last two weeks than during the first six months of the pandemic, the director-general of the World Health Organization said Monday

 

3:25 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

India's neighbor Nepal sees a more than 1,200% increase in average Covid-19 cases since mid-April

From CNN's Sugam Pokharel in Atlanta  

A health worker is seen inside the COVID_19 ward while speaking to a patient's relative at Shukraraaj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Kathmandu, on April 26.
A health worker is seen inside the COVID_19 ward while speaking to a patient's relative at Shukraraaj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Kathmandu, on April 26. Prabin Ranabhat/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Nepal has seen a more than 1,200% rise in seven-day average of daily new Covid-19 cases since mid-April, CNN's calculation of data from Johns Hopkins University showed.     

On Monday, the country posted its record high 7,388 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours according to government statistics. On average, the country is reporting 200 new daily cases per million people.     

Nepal's neighbor India, which continues to grapple with a brutal second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, posted a similar rate of average new daily cases per million people at the end of April.

India reported an average of about 206 cases per million residents on April 22, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Nepal’s average per capita infections are around where India’s were less than two weeks ago.    

The tiny South Asian nation had seen case numbers begin to fall in February and into March, with newly identified cases hovering between 50 to 100 each day. But infections erupted in mid-April as India's second wave picked up speed — and daily cases are now in the thousands.         

Nepal, which has identified cases of the variant first identified in India, has limited health care infrastructure and access to life-saving resources, raising fears it is ill-equipped to deal with a massive outbreak like the one ravaging India.   

On Monday, Nepali Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli announced that country will ban all international flights starting at midnight on May 6 to May 14.  

3:01 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Covid-19 vaccine booster doses would not require full US FDA review process, acting commissioner says

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

Any booster dose for a Covid-19 vaccine already given emergency use authorization would not be subject to the same scrutiny as a brand-new vaccine, acting US Food and Drug Administration, Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said Monday.

Manufacturers would be asked to file supplemental information including efficacy data, safety data, and a rationale for a booster dose, but the FDA wouldn’t require the vaccine to get completely re-authorized, Woodcock told SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio Reports with Dr. Marc Siegel.

“If it's just a boost with the same vaccine, or perhaps some small change, but it's a boost for another dose, then they would simply have to submit what's called an efficacy supplement to the agency that would have the clinical data,” she said.

That clinical information would include why a booster is needed, the safety of another dose, and how a booster should be administered. Similar requirements for re-authorization could apply if manufacturers rework their vaccines to be variant-specific.

“They would also have to submit different manufacturing information, and so forth because that would be a different construct,” she said. “But it wouldn't be a whole new process. It would be a modification to the existing EUA vaccine.”

The three coronavirus vaccines being used in the US now have emergency use authorization, or EUA. Woodcock said she expects manufacturers to eventually submit their vaccines for full approval under a Biologics License Application, or BLA.

“I would expect that the firms would be submitting, at some point, an application,” she said. “Obviously they've had other important things to do involving like mass producing vaccines for the country, and the world, but, having these on a standard footing would be good,” Woodcock said.

 

2:59 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

More than 40% of adults in the US are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, CDC data shows

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

People sit in the observation area after receiving a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at the American Museum of Natural History vaccination site in New York, , on Friday, April 30.
People sit in the observation area after receiving a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at the American Museum of Natural History vaccination site in New York, , on Friday, April 30. Gabby Jones/Bloomberg/Getty Images

More than 105.5 million people in the United States are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 — including more than 40% of the adult population and nearly 70% of the senior population — according to data published Monday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The CDC reported that 246,780,203 total doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered, about 79% of the 312,509,575 doses delivered.  

That’s about 1.2 million more doses reported administered since Sunday, for a seven-day average of about 2.3 million doses per day. The average daily rate of vaccinations has been declining for about two weeks. 

Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been given on the day reported. 

 

2:29 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Global Covid-19 spread turns world into a "petri dish," acting US FDA commissioner says

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

The continuing spread of Covid-19 will only fuel the rise of more variants, US Food and Drug Administration Acting Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said Monday.

“With so much virus replication going on in many parts of the world, it's like a giant petri dish. And so they're going to be spitting up variants all the time because there's so much virus replication,” Woodcock told Dr. Marc Siegel on SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio Reports.

 “We just have to be on our guard," she added.  

Woodcock said variants may easily evade some current antibody treatments like Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab, but vaccines so far appear to protect well against variants. Monoclonal antibodies are lab-engineered immune system proteins that work against specific targets. Vaccines elicit a broad immune response.

“We've already seen that with the variants in the United States, with bamlanivimab, and that it's no longer effective against a number of the variants circulating in the United States,” Woocock said.

“This was expected with the monoclonals because they're just monoclonal, of course. And so they have an exquisite specificity and they're vulnerable to this type of shift. The vaccine is more robust because you're having a human response, a polyclonal response."

Woodcock said increased viral surveillance is important in understanding what needs to be done to combat variants.

1:56 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

President Biden predicts some normalcy in the US "by the end of the summer"

From CNN's Betsy Klein

President Biden touted vaccination progress on Monday and predicted a return to some normalcy "by the end of the summer."

“I think by the end of the summer, we’ll be in a very different position than we are now,” he said when asked to predict a timeline for a return to normalcy, citing his administration’s work to ramp up vaccine production and commitment to scaling it up to help other countries “once we take care of all Americans.”

He also addressed vaccine hesitancy, citing some promising statistics.  

“What's happening now is all the talk about how people were not going to get shots and were not going to be involved, we were told that was most likely to be among people who are 65 years of age. But now, people over 65 years of age over 80% have now been vaccinated, and 66%, fully vaccinated. And there's virtually no difference between white, Black, Hispanic, and Asian-American,” he said.

He touted ongoing efforts to expand vaccine access and steps toward promoting vaccine equity.

“What we've done, under some criticism, is we have expanded access to vaccinations to familiar places — 40,000 drugstores now, also all of the community health centers that are available all across the nation, mobile units going out, and it's getting better and better and better,” he said.

Watch the moment:

12:35 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

Indian Navy deploys its medical personnel to Covid-19 facilities

From CNN's Swati Gupta in New Delhi

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with the chief of the Naval staff Monday to discuss initiatives taken by the Navy to help with the second wave of Covid-19.

The Navy has deployed its medical personnel to hospitals across the country.

"Naval Personnel are being provided Battle Field Nursing Assistant Training to augment medical personnel deployed in Covid hospitals," read the statement.

The Navy is also assisting in the transport of "oxygen containers as well as other supplies from Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Singapore to India."

India is struggling to contain the second wave that began in April and has left hospitals struggling with shortages of basic medical supplies like oxygen and ventilators.

12:33 p.m. ET, May 3, 2021

New York governor announces he's lifting more Covid-19 restrictions. Here's a look at the changes. 

From CNN's Brian Vitagliano

Grand Central station in Manhattan, New York on April 27, 2021.
Grand Central station in Manhattan, New York on April 27, 2021. Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that MTA subway service will return to a 24/7 schedule beginning May 17, coinciding with a curfew lift.

“Subway trains have never been cleaner than they are now,” Cuomo said Monday.

Beginning May 19, most Covid-19 capacity restrictions will end across the tri-state area, including retail, food services and gyms, according to Cuomo.

Restaurants, museums, theaters, Broadway, retail and shops are all included in the lifting of capacity restrictions.

In New York State, outdoor food and beverage curfew lifted on May 17, Cuomo said.

Indoor food and beverage curfews will be lifted on May 31.

Outdoor large stadiums will go to 33% capacity on May 19, according to Cuomo.

Also in New York State, the governor said they will keep the six-foot social distancing requirement. “Our capacity is subject to the six feet guidelines," Cuomo noted.

Gatherings of events in New York State may occur in excess of six-foot distance if all people present proof of full vaccination or a recent negative PCR test.

“This is a major reopening of economic and social activity and it is coordinated regionally, which is smart,” Cuomo said.

The governor thanked Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy for their continued efforts in reopening.

The statewide positivity rate for New York stands at 1.94%, with 37 deaths reported Monday according to the governor. At least 7 million New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, according to Cuomo.

“You follow the science and you follow the data and you disregard the politics, which drove the Covid response in this nation last year.” 

Note: These numbers were released by the state's public health agency and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.

11:55 a.m. ET, May 3, 2021

More global Covid-19 cases reported in last 2 weeks than first 6 months of the pandemic, WHO says

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

A health worker wearing personal protective equipment holds the hand of a patient at the Doctor Ernesto Che Guevara Public Hospital where patients infected with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, are being treated on April 30, 2021 in Maricá, Brazil. 
A health worker wearing personal protective equipment holds the hand of a patient at the Doctor Ernesto Che Guevara Public Hospital where patients infected with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, are being treated on April 30, 2021 in Maricá, Brazil.  Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Globally, there have been more cases of Covid-19 reported in the last two weeks than during the first six months of the pandemic, the director-general of the World Health Organization said during a news briefing in Geneva on Monday. 

“More cases of Covid-19 have been reported globally in the past two weeks than during the first six months of the pandemic,” WHO’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “India and Brazil account for more than half of last week’s cases. But there are many other countries all over the world that face a very fragile situation.” 

WHO is providing equipment and supplies, such as oxygen concentrators, to India as well as providing advice on how to provide care at home for people who are unable to find hospital beds for patients. 

The WHO Foundation is also raising funds to support the need for oxygen and related supplies globally, he said.  

Tedros called upon everyone to continue following WHO and national advice around public health safety measures. 

“What’s happening in India and Brazil could happen elsewhere unless we all take these public health precautions that WHO has been calling for since the beginning of the pandemic,” Tedros said. “Vaccines are part of the answer, but they are not the only answer.”