6 English football players and staff test positive for coronavirus
From CNN's Kevin Dotson in Atlanta
Six English Premier League players and members of club staff have tested positive for Covid-19 in the league's latest round of testing, the Premier League said in a statement Tuesday. At least 748 tests were performed on Premier League players and club staff. There were six positive results across three clubs, according to the statement. Those who tested positive will self-isolate for a period of seven days. The Premier League did not provide any specific details as to clubs or individuals, citing legal and operational requirements.
About the sport: All 20 English Premier League clubs on Monday voted unanimously to return to small-group training beginning from today. The protocol is widely reported to include training in groups of no more than five players, getting changed at home and driving to the training ground on their own. The Premier League told CNN the hypothetical start date for the resumption of play is June 12 is the earliest.
More than 42,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the UK
From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio
More than 42,000 people have died from coronavirus in the United Kingdom, according to data released by England’s office of national statistics and numbers published by NHS England. According to the provisional data, at least 42,402 people have died from the disease since the outbreak started in the United Kingdom. The latest numbers from England’s Office of National Statistics, comprising data collected by institutions across the four UK nations, indicate that there were 41,020 deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned in the death certificate up until May 8. In addition to these deaths, between May 8 and May 18 inclusive, 1,382 people died after testing positive for Covid-19 in hospitals in England. The number is considerably higher than that reported by the UK Government’s Department of Health and Social Care of 34,796.
More about these figures: The total people figure number does not include deaths from the novel coronavirus in hospitals in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales between May 2 and May 11, nor does it include people who may have died from COVID-19 in care homes during that same period, in any of the four UK nations. When added to deaths in hospitals in England between May 8 and May 18 inclusive, which currently stand at 1,382, the total stands at 42,402 deaths. The number of Covid-19 deaths in hospitals in England between May 14 and May 18 is still provisional. Data from the ONS includes all deaths where Covid-19 is mentioned in the death certificate and differs from the numbers published by the Department of Health and Social Care, which include only deaths occurring among those who have tested positive for Covid-19.
WHO chief affirms commitment to “transparency, accountability and continuous improvement”
From CNN's Amanda Watts
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus affirmed his commitment to “transparency, accountability and continuous improvement,” as he addressed the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA). Speaking on Tuesday at the virtual summit, Tedros said, “WHO's focus now is fighting the pandemic, with every tool at our disposal.” On Monday, Tedros said he would “initiate an independent evaluation” of WHO’s response to the global pandemic. “As always, WHO remains fully committed to transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement. We want accountability, more than anyone,” he said. “Checking and learning our lessons is in WHO's DNA,” Tedros said Tuesday. “I hope the recommendations of the independent committee will be taken seriously by all member states.” “At the end of the day what matters is life - that should be at the center of everything we do and everything we say,” Tedros added. During the Tuesday speech, Tedros wore an unusually casual short-sleeved blue and teal button-down shirt to honor a Tongan choir of nurses who were supposed to perform at the WHA, before it was moved to a virtual event.
Covid-19 lockdowns drop global carbon emissions to the lowest level in 15 years
From CNN's Scottie Andrew
An international study of global carbon emissions found that daily emissions declined 17% between January and early April, compared to average levels in 2019, and could decline anywhere between 4.4% to 8% by the year's end. Emissions haven't been this low since 2006. The study, which appeared today in the journal Nature Climate Change, centered on 69 countries, all 50 US states and 30 Chinese provinces, which account for 85% of the world population and 97% of all global carbon dioxide emissions.
By the numbers: By the end of April, carbon emissions are estimated to have declined by 1,048 metric tons, according to the researchers -- that's roughly 2,312,649 pounds. The decline is largest in China, where the pandemic began, where emissions dropped 533,500-plus pounds. In the US, carbon emissions declined by 456,350-plus pounds. China and the US are the two largest carbon emitters globally. By the end of the year, emissions will have declined somewhere between 4.4% and 8%, the researchers predict. It's the most significant decline in over a decade, but it's the result of forced changes, not the restructuring of global economies and energy. According to United Nations Environment projections, to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, we need to reduce emissions by 7.6% every single year between now and 2030.
Unclear trend: It's not clear how long or severe the coronavirus pandemic will be, which makes it difficult to predict how emissions will be affected long-term. And, because the changes driving reduced emissions haven't fundamentally changed the economy or the energy much of the world relies on, the declines are likely to be temporary. Plus, 2020 is still on track to be one of the top five hottest years on record.
Germany says over 20,000 health care workers contracted coronavirus
From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin
More than 20,400 health care workers in Germany have contracted coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak, the country's center for disease control said Tuesday. Out of the infected workers, 61 have died and an estimated 19,100 have recovered from it, according to the Robert Koch Institute. Around 11% of the total coronavirus infections in Germany have been among the group, official data shows. More than 8,000 people have now died of Covid-19 in Germany as of Tuesday, according to the institute. Bavaria, Germany’s largest federal state, remains the worst-hit area, with 26% of Covid-19 infections in the country and 29% of the overall death tally.
Wuhan officials said they tested more than 1 million people in a week
From Isaac Yee in Hong Kong
The central Chinese city of Wuhan conducted more than 467,000 coronavirus tests on Monday, authorities said today. Wuhan started conducting city-wide coronavirus testing on its citizens last week after health officials detected several new locally transmitted cases despite a strict 76-day lockdown that was intended to eliminate Covid-19 from the city where the virus is thought to have first emerged. Wuhan has now conducted over 1.3 million coronavirus tests since May 12, the city's Municipal Health Commission said.
The latest numbers: China reported six new cases of novel coronavirus Monday, including three locally transmitted cases, the National Health Commission said Tuesday. The three locally transmitted cases include two infections in Jilin province, and one infection in Wuhan, Hubei province, authorities said. In addition, 17 new asymptomatic cases have been reported, it said. The total number of reported cases in the country is now more than 84,000, according to a Johns Hopkins tally.
Prestigious medical journal rejects Trump's virus report allegation
From CNN's Vasco Cotovio
One of the world's most prestigious medical journals, the Lancet, has responded to US President Donald Trump's recent letter to the World Health Organization. In a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, threatening to permanently withdraw funding and cancel US membership, Trump also name-checked The Lancet as a warning of the virus in early December. In a statement today, the Lancet said it did not publish a report about the new virus in December. "The Lancet published no report in December, 2019, referring to a virus or outbreak in Wuhan or anywhere else in China," the statement read. "The allegations leveled against WHO in President Trump’s letter are serious and damaging to efforts to strengthen international cooperation to control this pandemic. It is essential that any review of the global response is based on a factually accurate account of what took place in December and January," the Lancet added.
Trump threatened to pull funding from WHO. Here's how health officials have responded to the letter.
From Max Ramsay in London
A resolution sponsored by the EU, among others, calling for a global inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic response has been adopted with no objections at the WHO’s World Health Assembly today. The part of the resolution that had been considered contentious called for “a stepwise process of impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” at “the earliest appropriate moment”, with the purpose “to review experience gained and lessons learned from the WHO-coordinated international health response to Covid-19”.
About Trump's letter to WHO: Meanwhile, President Trump on Monday redoubled his criticism of the WHO, threatening to permanently withdraw funding and cancel US membership even as it deals with a devastating global pandemic. In a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Trump said he would permanently halt financial contributions if the WHO does not "commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days." Trump temporarily suspended funding to the organization last month. The World Health Organization today acknowledged receipt of the letter from Trump.
"We are considering the contents of the letter,” a WHO statement sent to CNN said. China called on the US to "stop the blame game" on Tuesday, while the EU said "it is not the time for finger-pointing". Leaders of several countries, including France and Germany, also stressed the importance of the WHO's work in battling the pandemic during the World Health Assembly meeting.
Germany and neighbors agree to gradually remove border restrictions
From Nadine Schmidt in Berlin
German chancellor Angela Merkel and the central European leaders on Tuesday agreed on gradually reopening border crossings and lifting controls as soon as the coronavirus pandemic allows. The announcement came after Merkel and the Prime Ministers of the Visegrad nations — Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia — spoke today, according to a statement by the German Chancellor's spokesperson Steffen Seibert. The leaders ''had an intensive exchange of views on the respective measures for further containment of the Covid-19 pandemic'," the statement said, adding that ''they agreed it was in their interest to gradually remove existing border restrictions and controls as soon as the pandemic situation allows.'' In a subsequent bilateral meeting between Merkel and Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, the two leaders confirmed they want to reduce restrictions on people and businesses in border regions as soon as infection rates allow. The two countries share a 817-kilometer (or 506-mile) border.
Nearly 10,000 people with coronavirus died in care homes in England and Wales
From Sharon Braithwaite in London
Almost 10,000 people with Covid-19 died in care homes in England and Wales in care homes in England and Wales up to May 8, the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Tuesday in a report. A total of 37,375 deaths involving Covid-19 were registered in England and Wales between December 28, 2019, and May 8, 2020, it added. In England, the number of deaths involving Covid-19 in care homes -- which were registered by May 8 -- was 9,495, while in Wales the number of deaths was 480, the report said. These figures are provisional and may not show a complete picture of the number of coronavirus deaths in England and Wales. There have been more than 22,000 excess deaths among care home residents in England and Wales as a direct or indirect result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from the London School of Economics (LSE). The ONS registered a decrease in deaths occurring in private homes and hospitals, but the percentage of deaths in care homes increased by 42.4% in the week ending May 8, the ONS said. For the second week running, all regions in England and Wales showed a decrease in the percentage of deaths involving coronavirus, the ONS added. CORRECTION: This post has been updated with care home death totals through May 8.
70 schools in France closed due to spike in suspected coronavirus cases
From CNN's Sophie Stuber, Pierre Buet & Pierre Bairin in Paris
Seventy schools in France have closed after a spike in suspected coronavirus infections, the French Education Ministry told CNN Tuesday, adding that there have not been any confirmed cases in schools since they re-opened. The schools "had to close their doors" after suspected Covid-19 cases appeared in the wider community, a ministry press officer told CNN. "For example, if you take the city of Sens, 25 of the 70 schools we [talked] about are in the same city, because there was one case of [Covid-19] in that city," the ministry said. This comes as the country navigates the tricky process of restarting its economy and easing its lockdown without causing a spike in new infections. Some 40,000 schools have re-opened since last week, France's Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer told RTL radio station Monday. Of the 1.4 million students who have returned to the classroom, 186,000 are middle schoolers in "green zones," which are French districts where the government has decided the epidemic no longer warrants restrictions to free movement.
Australia says it does not want a trade war with China, as relations deteriorate
Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said Tuesday that his country is not interested in a trade war with China after China announced crippling tariffs on Australian barley exports – a trade that is worth close to $600 million a year. The tariffs are the latest development in the deteriorating relationship between Canberra and Beijing, which began when Australia called for an international inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic. Even though the two sides say barley tariffs and the coronavirus inquiry aren’t linked, some are questioning whether Beijing’s latest move is economic payback. "Australia is not interested in a trade war. We don't conduct our trade policy on a tit-for-tat basis. We operate according to the trade rules that we strongly support as a country and we will continue to do that. We acknowledge that China has a right to use anti-dumping laws and rules. We use those laws and rules at times as well. But it is a case where China, we are thinking in this case, has made errors of both facts and law in the application of those rules," Birmingham said. Australia's Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said Tuesday that Australia reserves its right to go to the World Trade Organization to mediate in the decision.
Russia's Prime Minister released from hospital after coronavirus treatment, state media reports
From CNN's Nathan Hodge
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, who had stepped away from his post after being diagnosed with coronavirus, has been discharged from hospital and resumed his official duties, Russian state news agencies reported Tuesday. Mishustin had held an online meeting and was preparing for a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti said, citing Mishustin's press secretary. Putin has been holding video conference meetings with cabinet members and other top officials in his government during the pandemic. There are 299,941 confirmed cases of the virus in Russia and 2,837 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University figures.
Shakespeare's Globe theater at risk of permanent closure due to Covid-19 lockdown
From CNN's Amy Woodyatt in London
William Shakespeare's Globe theater, the famous London playhouse where the playwright's shows were performed, faces permanent closure as a result of coronavirus lockdown measures, the theater and UK politicians have warned. Lawmakers on Monday warned the UK government that the historic theater -- which has been closed since March due to coronavirus restrictions -- was faced with "insolvency and closure" as a result of the pandemic's impact on its finances. The original Globe theater was built by Shakespeare's company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, in 1599, but was destroyed by a fire in 1613. A replica of the playhouse was built in 1997, just meters from the original site on the banks of the River Thames, with historical records used for guidance. The theater is almost identical in appearance to the original, but with modern features such as a concrete theater pit and roof-based sprinklers.
The biologist whose advice went viral tells us what to do next
From CNN's Aditi Sangal
Stop worrying about those runners and cyclists without a mask, whom you scoff at as you walk outside. Worry instead about the loud talkers in crowded indoor spaces. That's according to Erin Bromage, a University of Massachusetts Dartmouth associate professor of biology, who started a blog about the ways in which coronavirus spreads, to keep his family and friends informed about the virus. It turns out other people liked his smart, practical way of explaining the virus and risky behavior too -- his latest post, "The Risks — Know Them — Avoid Them," went viral and gained more than 13 million views in about a week.
European Union backs WHO after Trump's latest funding threat
From CNN’s James Frater in London
The European Union has spoken out in support of the World Health Organization after US President Donald Trump threatened to permanently pull funding to the agency. "The European Union backs the WHO in its efforts to contain and mitigate the Covid-19 outbreak and has already provided additional funding to support these efforts," a spokesperson for the European Commission Virginie Battu-Henriksson said Tuesday. Trump on Monday threatened to permanently pull US funding from the WHO if it does not "commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days." The EU spokesperson stressed that "global cooperation and solidarity through multilateral efforts" was "the only effective and viable option to win" the battle against the pandemic. "This is the time for solidarity, it is not the time for finger-pointing or undermining multilateral cooperation, especially today as we are waiting for the approval ... of a resolution which has been presented by the European Union and its member states at the World Health Assembly," Battu-Henriksson said.
Germany's coronavirus death toll surpasses 8,000
From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin
More than 8,000 people have now died of Covid-19 in Germany, according to the country's center for disease control. Data released Tuesday showed 72 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 8,007, according to the Robert Koch Institute. The institute also recorded an increase of 513 new infections, taking the total number of cases in the country to more than 175,000. Bavaria, Germany’s largest federal state, remains the worst-hit area, with 26% of Covid-19 infections in the country and 29% of the overall death tally. On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron announced a new Franco-German fund worth 500 billion EUR as part of the European Union’s coronavirus recovery plan.
This YouTube star is self-isolating on a desert island
From CNN's Jessica Vincent
It's 5.30 a.m. on Yemen's remote island of Socotra, a 3,625 square kilometer desert paradise 60 miles east of the Horn of Africa. The sun barely reaches over the island's towering sand dunes and rocky cliffs, but Eva zu Beck is out of her tent and at the water's edge. Armed with a snorkel mask and a long piece of wood topped with a fierce-looking metal hook, she dives into the calm Indian Ocean in search of her breakfast: Socotran lobster. Remote island life has become the new normal for the 29-year-old, an adventure YouTuber and travel documentary host from Poland. While the rest of the world stays inside, Zu Beck, who grew her social media following to over 1 million with her travel vlogs on off-the-beaten-path destinations including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Syria, has spent the last two months wild camping on deserted white-sand beaches, fishing for grouper in the open ocean and climbing 10 story-high sand dunes as she waits out the pandemic on one of the world's most isolated islands. The only catch? She has no idea when she'll be able to leave.