May 10 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brad Lendon, Tara John, Gul Tuysuz, Aditi Sangal and Ed Upright, CNN

Updated 8:02 p.m. ET, May 10, 2021
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1:39 p.m. ET, May 10, 2021

Hundreds break Covid-19 protocols to attend funeral in India's Uttar Pradesh state

From CNN’s Swati Gupta in New Delhi

Hundreds of people attended the funeral of a senior Muslim cleric on Sunday, flouting Covid-19 protocols and a state-wide lockdown in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Qazi Hazrat Abdul Hameed Mohammed Salimul Qadri died Sunday afternoon in Badaun district and as news of his death spread, people started collecting, Praveen Chauhan, a senior police official, told CNN. 

“He was beloved in the community so people came to pay their respects,” said Chauhan.

He added that there was a curfew but the area is such that even with barricades and check points in place people were able to get in. If not for the Covid-19 restrictions, the crowd would have been in hundreds of thousands, he said.

On Sunday, Uttar Pradesh extended its current lockdown until May 17 as India continues to battle the second wave.

Local police have filed a complaint against “unknown people” and are currently investigating the incident. 

No arrests have been made yet.

 

1:34 p.m. ET, May 10, 2021

New York will require vaccinations for in-person students at public universities this fall, governor says

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that students attending classes in person at public colleges in the state's SUNY and CUNY system will be required to be vaccinated.

Cuomo tweeted then announcement earlier today:

Some more context: More than 100 US colleges and universities have said they will require all their students to get vaccinated against Covid-19 before they return to campus for the fall semester, according to a CNN tally.

Earlier this month, the tally indicated that at least 14 universities and colleges were adopting that policy. Since then, dozens of higher education institutions have jumped on the bandwagon, demonstrating the trajectory of vaccine requirements. Some schools have said they will make exemptions for medical, religious or personal reasons.

1:17 p.m. ET, May 10, 2021

DC to lift capacity restrictions on all businesses starting June 11

From CNN’s Nicky Robertson and Ali Main

Allison Shelley/For The Washington Post via Getty Images
Allison Shelley/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday that capacity limits will be lifted at most businesses on May 21, and all businesses including restaurants, bars, and larger sports or entertainment venues on June 11, given rates of infections continue to decrease. Residents will still be required to wear masks indoors.

“Friday, May 21st we will be turning on substantially more activity in the District. We anticipate on three weeks following that on June 11 we will be able to turn up activity in the District all the way," Bowser said at a news conference. 

The mayor said the loosening of these restrictions will be formalized in a Mayor’s Order.  

Bowser stated that residents need to get vaccinated in order to allow reopening. 

“I just want to reiterate how important the following will be for us to continue to reopen our city to get back to life, we need to get people vaccinated,” she said. 

226,566 residents have been fully vaccinated according to data from the DC Department of Health.

When asked whether she might reverse this reopening stance if the course of the pandemic changes, Bowser answered, "do I think that we would have to put in business restrictions at a future date? I hope not. But if we think that our health system was strained by covid, we would have to."

DC Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt echoed the warnings of health officials across the country, urging caution and stressing the immense importance of vaccines, as the District stands poised to reopen. "We still want people to be cautious. If you are not fully vaccinated, your degree of risk is still going to be higher than someone who was fully vaccinated. The more that you want to do without a mask, the more we need people to continue to get vaccinated," she said.

Despite the large-scale lifting of restrictions, Bowser suggested that DC's public health emergency would remain in place for "administrative" reasons, including those having to do with reimbursements from the federal government as the District continues to recover from the pandemic. The current public health emergency expires on May 20.

Bowser also clarified to reporters that the new guidance outlined on Monday would include a lift on restrictions on dancing at wedding venues and live music venues as they open in the coming weeks.

This comes after the mayor faced backlash for a so-called "dancing ban," due to a provision in a previous health order prohibiting "standing and dancing receptions" at wedding venues opened at reduced capacity.

 

2:29 p.m. ET, May 10, 2021

New York City's public libraries will open for limited browsing, mayor says

From CNN's Laura Ly

People walk by the New York Public Library in July 2020.
People walk by the New York Public Library in July 2020. Ron Adar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Public libraries in New York City will reopen for limited browsing for the first time since the pandemic began, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The New York Public Library, the largest public library system in the United States, will add the expanded services beginning Monday, alongside the Brooklyn and Queens public library systems, de Blasio said.

The NYPL will reopen with limited browsing at select locations. It plans to expand services at additional library branches in the coming weeks, with all available branches set to reopen with at least limited services by mid-July, according to their website.

Min Jin Lee, a native New Yorker and author of novels such as “Pachinko” and “Free Food for Millionaires,” joined Mayor de Blasio for the announcement. Lee said she grew up going to the public library in Elmhurst, Queens, and said she “wouldn’t be a writer unless [she] had been there.”

Lee applauded the reopening of public libraries as a place to come together after the pandemic “made us afraid of each other.”

“The pandemic has made us all afraid of getting sick, or dying. But it has also made us afraid of each other because we haven’t had a time to hang out and I can’t think of a better place in New York City in which we can hang out and learn, and really learn more about each other and about ourselves,” Lee said.

Lee also said the rise in violence against the AAPI community makes communal spaces such as libraries more important than ever.

“With the rise of violence and hate incidents against Asians and Asian Americans, more than ever, I think that it’s very important that we learn more about ourselves and each other and to become friends again,” Lee said.

Some more context: New York City has administered 7,048,270 Covid-19 vaccine doses to date – more doses than there are people in the state of Massachusetts, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday. 

De Blasio said that approximately 3 million New York City residents are now fully-vaccinated and about 3.8 million have received at least one dose, but acknowledged that the city’s vaccine supply now exceeds the demand for them.

12:44 p.m. ET, May 10, 2021

Nepal official calls the pandemic an "overwhelming burden" days after saying it was "under control"

From CNN's Nishant Khanal In Kathmandu

Nepal’s caretaker Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli said the Covid-19 pandemic in his country is “turning out to be an overwhelming burden,” in an opinion piece in The Guardian on Monday.

“Nepal’s history is one of hardship and struggle, yet this pandemic is pushing even us to our limits. The number of infections is straining the healthcare system; it has become tough to provide patients with the hospital beds that they need,” he wrote.

He added that the government is making efforts for prevention and treatment but that “due to the constraints of resources and infrastructure, the pandemic is turning out to be an overwhelming burden.”

He wrote in the piece, “I have, therefore, appealed to the international community to help us with vaccines, diagnostic tools, oxygen kits, critical care medicines and equipment, to support our efforts to save lives. Our urgent goal is to stop preventable deaths occurring.”

But on Saturday, Oli told CNN that the Covid-19 situation in Nepal was “under control.”

In the interview, he said the government is taking measures to control the situation. He also said there had been “some mistakes” when asked about large events that were held in the country in recent weeks, though added “this should not be a political issue.” 

Meanwhile, Oli was removed from his post as prime minister on Monday after losing a confidence vote in Parliament.

CNN’s Jake Kwon and Sugam Pokharel contributed reporting to this post. 

12:19 p.m. ET, May 10, 2021

Some international travel from the UK on track to resume on May 17

England is on track to start easing Covid-19 restrictions in mid-May as planned, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a press conference on Monday.

International travel to countries on the so called "green list" will be allowed without quarantining, and indoor hospitality and indoor entertainment can reopen, Johnson outlined. 

Under the “single biggest step” toward normality, as of next Monday, universities will re-open to in-person classes, all remaining outdoor entertainment can reopen and some larger events will be able to take place, including conferences, theatre and concert performances, and sports events, Johnson said.

1:41 p.m. ET, May 10, 2021

WHO classifies Covid-19 variant first identified in India as a variant of concern

From CNN’s Virginia Langmaid

The World Health Organization has classified the B.1.617 Covid-19 variant, which was first identified in India, as a variant of concern, the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19 said during a news briefing on Monday.

A “variant of concern” label indicates that the identified variant may show, among other indicators, evidence of increased transmissibility or evidence of increased severity.

“There is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility of B.1.617,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Covid-19 technical lead.

Quantifying the risk posed by the variant will require real-world data in addition to greater genomic surveillance, WHO officials said.

“Even though there is increased transmissibility demonstrated by some preliminary studies, we need much more information about this virus variant in this lineage and all of the sublineages,” Van Kerkhove said Monday. “We need more targeted sequencing to be done, and to be shared in India and elsewhere so that we know how much of this virus is circulating.”

WHO said it will be releasing more information on the variant in its Situation Report on Tuesday.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on its website currently classifies the B.1.617 variant as a “variant of interest.” CNN has reached out to the CDC to see if it has any immediate plans to reclassify B.1.617 as a “variant of concern” in the United States.

 

11:33 a.m. ET, May 10, 2021

Parents urged to catch kids up on other shots ahead of Covid-19 vaccine rollout

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

With Covid-19 vaccinations possibly on the horizon for children ages 12 to 15 in the United States, pediatricians are concerned about the challenge of getting children up-to-date on their childhood vaccines and balancing that with scheduling potential Covid-19 shots.

"We have seen throughout the pandemic that there has been a decline in routine immunizations, and that does concern me greatly as a pediatrician because I know that many children have missed other important vaccines for diseases like measles or whooping cough – which, like Covid-19, can be deadly," Dr. Lisa Costello, a pediatrician at WVU Medicine Children's Hospital and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on State Government Affairs, told CNN on Friday.

Parents are urged to get their children caught up on immunizations since, Costello said, eventually younger children could soon also be eligible to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Signs first emerged around the spring of last year that childhood vaccinations have plunged since the pandemic began. One study published in May 2020 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of childhood vaccines administered in Michigan dropped by as much as 22%.

"It's been documented over the past year that routine childhood immunizations have declined because people weren't going for well child exams. People were avoiding health settings when not absolutely necessary, and so those rates dipped," Jill Rosenthal, senior program director at the National Academy for State Health Policy, told CNN on Friday.

Now, "they're getting back to normal for some populations of kids, and some populations of kids are still a bit behind. So, there's a real concerted effort right now to catch kids up on those routine immunizations, but there's also a blackout period that no one can have other vaccines at the same time that they're getting the Covid-19 vaccine," Rosenthal said.

"So, it's an interesting dilemma of how states and providers are going to think about trying to catch kids up at the same time that the Covid-19 vaccine is becoming available (for children ages 12 to 15) – and particularly right now because a lot of the catch up routine immunizations happen as a result of school requirements," Rosenthal said. "Summer, maybe early fall, is a time where you see concerted efforts to make sure kids are fully immunized."

It's recommended to wait two weeks after getting the Covid-19 vaccine before getting other immunizations, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

"We do not yet know whether we will be able to co-administer vaccines – meaning you may have to get the Covid-19 vaccine solo, not with other vaccines," Costello said.

The Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, which is being considered for authorization in children and teens ages 12 to 15, is administered as two doses, three weeks apart. 

"Then you have to wait two weeks after that," Costello said. "So, it's really important that parents now are choosing to get their children caught up on other vaccines that they may have had to miss, even if they're under age 12."

Costello added that she has treated children of various ages for Covid-19 in the hospital – from a two-month-old baby having trouble breathing, the infant's small chest slowly expanding up and down – to a 17-year-old teen needing oxygen support. She hopes that the potential roll out of Covid-19 vaccines for children can help curb the risk of young people getting sick.

Costello said, "It's going to be important that they are vaccinated – to help protect themselves, but also to protect their families and their loved ones and their communities."

11:31 a.m. ET, May 10, 2021

Go There: CNN is in Africa, where some countries are facing dwindling vaccine supplies

Some countries in Africa have been relying on a vaccine-sharing initiative to help vaccinate the population.

However, supplies are beginning to run out and the World Health Organization says it could open a door to a new wave of Covid-19 infections. 

CNN’s David McKenzie was live from Johannesburg with the latest.

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