May 18 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Melissa Mahtani, Melissa Macaya and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 8:03 PM ET, Tue May 18, 2021
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9:34 a.m. ET, May 18, 2021

15 US states reported no Covid-19 deaths Monday, Johns Hopkins University data shows

From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

Fifteen states reported no Covid-19 deaths on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Those states are:

  1. Alabama
  2. Colorado
  3. Delaware
  4. Georgia
  5. Hawaii
  6. Idaho
  7. Iowa
  8. Minnesota
  9. Montana
  10. North Dakota
  11. Ohio
  12. Oklahoma
  13. Vermont
  14. Wisconsin
  15. Wyoming

Data reported by states may be delayed. However, six of those states reported an average of less than 1 Covid-19 death per day for the past seven days: Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Vermont and Wyoming.

Overall, there were 392 Covid-19 deaths reported in the United States on Monday, for a seven-day average of 587 deaths per day, JHU data shows.

 

10:12 a.m. ET, May 18, 2021

Nearly 60% of adults in the US have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, CDC data shows

From CNN’s Deidre McPhillips

A doctor prepares a Covid-19 vaccine dose at a clinic in Norwalk, California, on May 8. 
A doctor prepares a Covid-19 vaccine dose at a clinic in Norwalk, California, on May 8.  Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

About 158 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine and nearly 124 million people are fully vaccinated, according to data published Monday night by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Nearly 60% of adults in the US have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, and more than 47% of adults are fully vaccinated. Among seniors, nearly 85% have received at least one dose and about 73% are fully vaccinated.

Overall, 274,411,901 total doses have been reported administered and about 80% of the 344,503,595 total doses have been delivered. 

That’s about 1.5 million more doses reported administered since Sunday, for a seven-day average of about 1.8 million doses per day. The average daily pace of doses administered has been falling for about a week.

Note: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not be reported on the day they were administered. 

8:26 a.m. ET, May 18, 2021

Delhi government announces compensation for families of Covid-19 victims

From CNN's Manveena Suri

The Delhi government announced it will provide compensation to families who have lost a member to Covid-19.

At a virtual news conference, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “Every family that has had a death due to Covid-19 among them, will be given Rs 50,000 ($684) each as ex-gratia.”

For families that have suffered the loss of a breadwinner, an additional monthly pension of Rs 2500 ($34) will be provided.

“If husband dies, the pension will be given to the wife. If the wife dies, it will be given to the husband. If an unmarried person dies, the pension will be given to his or her parents,” Kejriwal said.

In the case of a child losing both parents to Covid-19 or where one parent has previously passed away and the other dies of Covid-19, the child will be given a monthly pension of Rs 2,500 ($34) until the age of 25.

They will also be provided with free education, added Kejriwal.

In recent weeks, the union territory of Delhi, which includes the capital of New Delhi, has faced the brunt of India’s current second wave.

However, since May 7, when it reported 19,832 new cases, Delhi has seen a decrease in daily new infections, according to figures released by the Delhi health department.

Delhi reported 4,524 new cases on Monday, bringing the total to 1,398,391.

The total death toll stands at 21,846, with 340 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours.

8:26 a.m. ET, May 18, 2021

It’s reasonable for US businesses to keep mask mandates in some cases, Fauci says 

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Good Morning America Tuesday that it is “perfectly reasonable and understandable” for businesses to keep mask mandates in some circumstances, as they can’t tell who is or is not vaccinated. But the inconsistency is causing some confusion, he said.

Fauci said the science that prompted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to change its mask guidance related to evidence of the effectiveness of the vaccines in protecting against infection and also that the chances of a breakthrough case transmitting the virus is very low. 

“The problem and the issue is that we don’t have any way of knowing who is vaccinated and is not vaccinated,” Fauci said. “And I think that’s where the confusion arises, because there are some establishments who’re saying well, ‘I’m going to have people coming into my establishment, my store, what have you, some are going to be vaccinated and some are not, I’m not going to know the difference. Some might be infected and might actually have a risk of infecting someone else.'"

“Under those circumstances, it’s perfectly reasonable and understandable for the owner of that establishment to say, you know, we’re going to keep the mask mandate up,” he continued. “And that’s what we’re seeing and I think that’s causing the confusion, because some are maintaining a mask mandate and others are not.”

8:12 a.m. ET, May 18, 2021

India's Prime Minister vows to ramp up Covid-19 vaccination supplies

From CNN's Esha Mitra and Jessie Yeung 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pictured during a public meeting in Sivasagar district of India's Assam state, on January 23.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pictured during a public meeting in Sivasagar district of India's Assam state, on January 23. Biju Boro/AFP/Getty Images

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged an increase in Covid-19 vaccines on Tuesday as several states flagged shortages in supplies and the country reels from its second wave of the virus.

“Efforts are being made to increase the supply of Corona vaccines on a very large scale,” Modi said, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office.

Individual states became more vocal about upcoming vaccine shortages after the national rollout was expanded to all over-18s on May 1. Before the second wave hit India in late April, vaccines were only available to people aged 45 and above.

However, Modi said Tuesday that attempts were being made to speed up the vaccination schedule to states in the coming days.

It was the second time Modi has spoken on the Covid-19 crisis this month, after remaining silent on the matter for three weeks. He asked for oxygen plants to be installed in hospitals in every district in the country and asked states where infections are decreasing to continue to be vigilant.

Officials “informed (Modi) about the efforts being undertaken to augment the medical infrastructure and capacity building in rural areas,” and Modi asked officials to make relief material easily accessible to rural areas, according to the Prime Minister's office.

Modi said that "“(t)he fight is to save every single life.” 

On Monday, India was hit by the strongest storm on record to reach its west coast, hampering authorities' response to Covid-19 in some of the country's hardest hit regions. Though daily cases have been declining in the last week, Covid-related deaths continue to reach record highs and the crisis is far from over.

7:48 a.m. ET, May 18, 2021

Israeli airstrike damages Gaza's main Covid-19 testing lab

From CNN's Ibrahim Dahman, Kareem Khadder and Mick Krever

An Israeli airstrike damaged one of Gaza's main coronavirus testing centers on Monday, the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza said.

Video showed the windows of the Al-Rimal Martyrs’ Clinic blown out following the strike. At least two floors of the building were destroyed, according to a CNN journalist on the scene. The Qatari Red Crescent reported damage to its office inside the building.

The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health in the West Bank condemned the strike and said that its local administrative office was also damaged.

A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces told CNN on Tuesday the strike was targeting Hamas’ internal security forces in a nearby building. 

6:45 a.m. ET, May 18, 2021

Taiwan records 245 new cases as island's worst Covid outbreak worsens

From CNN’s Beijing bureau

Military officers disinfect a subway station in Taipei, Taiwan on Tuesday, May 18.
Military officers disinfect a subway station in Taipei, Taiwan on Tuesday, May 18. Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Taiwan reported 245 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, a day after the democratically-ruled island off the coast of China saw its highest single daily rise of infections since the start of the pandemic.

Of the 245 cases, 240 were locally transmitted and 5 were imported, the island's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said in a press conference Tuesday. The locally transmitted cases are concentrated in the capital Taipei, where many are linked to hostess teahouses, and the surrounding New Taipei City, the CECC said.

Taiwan also reported two more coronavirus related deaths on Tuesday, raising the overall death toll to 14.

Widely praised as a success story for its handling of Covid-19, Taiwan is now fighting its biggest outbreak yet.

In response, Taiwanese authorities have imposed new social distancing measures, closing bars, clubs and gyms around the island, restricting indoor gatherings in Taipei and New Taipei City. On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health announced that all schools in Taiwan would be suspended for 10 days starting Wednesday in an attempt to stem the surge in cases.

Since the onset of the pandemic Taiwan has reported a total of 2,260 Covid-19 cases, of which 1,086 were imported and 1,121 were locally transmitted.

Read more about Taiwan's battle with Covid-19 here.

5:39 a.m. ET, May 18, 2021

Japanese doctors call for Tokyo 2020 Games to be canceled amid worsening outbreak

From journalist Mai Nishiyama

A protester holds a placard during a demonstration against the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, May 17, in Tokyo, Japan.
A protester holds a placard during a demonstration against the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, May 17, in Tokyo, Japan. Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

With just two months until the Tokyo 2020 Games begin, a major Japanese doctors' group is calling for the delayed event to be canceled over fears that the influx of people will exacerbate an already worsening outbreak in the country.

The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association warned that the country's healthcare system could not cope with the medical needs of thousands of athletes, coaches and press on top of the existing surge in Covid-19 cases.

"The most important priority now is to fight against COVID-19 and to secure people's lives and livelihoods. The virus is spreading with the movement of people. Japan will bear a big responsibility if the hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games contributes to the spread of COVID-19 and increases the number of sufferers and deaths," the association said in a letter sent to Japan's Prime Minister, the minister for the Olympic games, Tokyo's governor and the Japanese Olympic committee chairman.

The association is at least the second group of Japanese doctors to demand that the Olympics and Paralympics be cancelled, as opposition to the Games mounts.

Last week, members of a national doctors' union presented a written request to Japan’s Health Ministry calling for the Prime Minister to cancel the Games. “It’s tough for the athletes but someone has to say that the Games should be canceled. We made the request (to the government) as we think medical workers have to speak up,” said Naoto Ueyama, the head of the union, in a press conference on Thursday. 

A petition calling for the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics which garnered 350,000 signatures in nine days was submitted to organizers on Friday and protests were held in Tokyo Monday night.

However, Olympic officials maintain the Games, scheduled for July, can be held, with World Athletics president Seb Coe saying he is confident the Tokyo Olympics can be held in a safe way.

"Should we have the Games? Yes, we should. Can we have them safely and secure? I believe we can," Coe, a four-time Olympic medalist and president of World Athletics since 2015, told CNN Sport on Monday.

4:39 a.m. ET, May 18, 2021

India lashed by strongest cyclone to ever hit west coast as it reels from Covid disaster

From CNN's Jessie Yeung and Esha Mitra

A truck loaded with oxygen cylinders is stuck beside trees that fell due to the impact of Cyclone Tauktae in Gujarat state, India on May 17.
A truck loaded with oxygen cylinders is stuck beside trees that fell due to the impact of Cyclone Tauktae in Gujarat state, India on May 17. Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images

India was slammed on Monday by the strongest storm on record to reach its west coast, hampering authorities' response to the Covid-19 crisis in some of the country's hardest hit regions.

Tropical Cyclone Tauktae, a storm with wind speeds equivalent to a high-end Category 3 hurricane that formed in the Arabian Sea, made landfall Monday night local time in Gujarat. It strengthened slightly as it hit the western state with maximum sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour (125 mph), according to the United States' Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

By Tuesday morning, it had weakened from an "extremely severe cyclonic storm" to a "severe cyclonic storm," according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

Photos and videos show highways turned into rivers by the heavy rain, and trees and power lines toppled by ferocious winds. The cyclone has killed at least 26 people across the coastal states of Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, according to state authorities.

This comes as India reels from its second wave of coronavirus, which has infected millions and killed tens of thousands since it began in mid-March. Though daily case figures began declining over the past week, Covid-related deaths continue to break record highs and the crisis is far from over -- especially in rural areas with fewer resources and medical supplies.

Covid patients were among the hundreds of thousands evacuated from low-lying areas this week as the region braced for the cyclone's arrival. In Mumbai, 580 patients from makeshift care centers were moved to various hospitals on Friday and Saturday, according to the city's municipal corporation.

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