It's 8 a.m. in New York, 1 p.m. in London. Here's the latest on the coronavirus pandemic
The novel coronavirus has infected more than 3.3 million people and killed at least 238,000 worldwide. If you're just joining us now, here are the latest developments.
Some rules are relaxed: Americans are returning to weekend routines after more than 30 states began easing restrictions -- some doing away with stay-at-home orders altogether while others loosen measures to allow businesses such as movie theaters to reopen. But experts have warned a second wave could hit in the fall. The United States has at least 1,104,161 reported cases of coronavirus and 65,068 related deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Spaniards out exercising: In Spain, people took to the streets to run, cycle or walk after seven weeks in confinement. From today, people can exercise near their homes from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Since the strictest lockdown in Europe began on March 14, they have only been allowed out for short trips to the grocery store or pharmacy.
First therapy drug authorized in US: The experimental drug remdesivir has been approved to treat hospitalized patients with severe Covid-19, the US Food and Drug Administration said in a letter on Friday. The FDA issued an emergency-use authorization on Friday, saying the benefits of the drug outweigh its risks.
WHO congratulates Wuhan: The World Health Organization has congratulated the Chinese city of Wuhan for having no severe coronavirus cases left. Wuhan was ground zero for the country's outbreak, and in lockdown from January to April. China's National Health Commission (NHC) has reported only a single new case of the coronavirus and no deaths for the fourth consecutive day.
Countries reopening: Singapore has announced plans to ease restrictions over the coming weeks, with business to resume more fully from June 1. Malaysia will allow most businesses to reopen Monday, but movie theaters and nightclubs will remain closed. India's lockdown, affecting 1.3 billion people, has been extended to May 17 but restrictions have eased in low-risk areas that haven't had new cases in three weeks. Australia is considering easing its lockdown earlier than planned.
White House blocks Fauci: The White House is blocking Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the administration's coronavirus task force, from testifying before the Democratic-led House next week. But it appears Fauci will testify in front of a committee of the Republican-led Senate committee in May. Fauci has repeatedly distanced himself from Trump’s framing of the federal government’s handling of the pandemic to strike a more somber tone.
Big cities were already seeing their populations dip. Then coronavirus hit
From CNN's Catherine E. Shoichet and Athena Jones
The streets of New York -- and many major cities across the US -- are hauntingly empty as the pandemic leaves most of the country on lockdown. This chilling sign of the times brings to mind a big question: After the pandemic passes, will some people choose to leave big-city life behind? That trend was already starting to emerge in parts of the country, even before coronavirus hit. Now the pandemic is changing the way we talk about city life. And some experts say it could change who opts to live in them. "It's hard to think about living in New York when we don't have our existence and our careers there," says Ashley Arcement, a dancer, singer and actor who headed to a friend's house in Florida with her boyfriend, a pianist, after Broadway shut down in March.
Before this, we weren't the kind of people who wanted to live outside the city and commute in. ... Now it's like, will it ever be the same?" Arcement adds.
With Broadway closed, restaurants open only for takeout and many working from home -- if they still have a job -- the city that never sleeps is looking downright dormant. But that wasn't the case a few months ago, when coronavirus started to spread through America's largest and densest city. New York quickly became the epicenter of the country's coronavirus outbreak, spurring stay-at-home orders from officials to keep contagion at bay. While the number of new cases in New York has started decreasing, the death toll continues to climb. More than 12,000 coronavirus deaths have been confirmed in the city. "Why New York? Why are we seeing this level of infection? Well, why cities across the country?" said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at a news briefing last month. "It's about density. It's about the number of people in a small geographic location allowing that virus to spread ... Dense environments are its feeding grounds." On the other side of the country, Joel Kotkin says the situation is notably different. In am opinion piece published in the Los Angeles Times, Kotkin credited that city's sprawling development with slowing the spread of coronavirus. The executive director of the Houston-based Urban Reform Institute, Kotkin says that cities were already in trouble. And in the age of social distancing, he says, dense cities particularly have a lot going against them.
Diabetic Olympic hopeful adapts to training in quarantine
From CNN's Cesar Marin
Isolation isn't a new concept for US Olympic hopeful Mandy Marquardt. As a track cyclist she's become inured to the discipline of a sport that demands the toughest of psyches in dealing with hours of solo training. So social distancing hasn't been that daunting for the 28-year-old. But trying to keep her Olympic training at an elite level while being in virtual isolation? That's taken some ingenuity. Due to the pandemic, Marquardt has been forced to give up access to a cycling velodrome track, world-class gym, and all the perks that come with being an Olympic hopeful. In their place she's created a do-it-yourself, at-home Olympic-style training facility, including a bike simulator to measure all vital performance numbers and a makeshift gym that includes everything she needs for her weight workouts. "My dad is full-on German. He's always said, 'Do it or don't do it!' So it's always been in me to find a way to make things happen, and I really love competing, so I knew it was something I wanted to do," she said. And training under quarantine conditions is hardly the biggest challenge Marquardt has ever faced. It's almost a miracle that she's competing at all, especially at the elite level, considering the up-and-coming cyclist was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 16.
Georgia's governor said they could reopen. More than 50 restaurateurs said in a newspaper ad they're not ready
From CNN's Christina Maxouris
Owners of more than 120 of Georgia's most popular restaurants announced this week they would not reopen their doors yet, despite getting a green light to do so from the governor. Gov. Brian Kemp said customers could again go to restaurants for dine-in service starting April 27 as long as eateries put in place measures to limit potential exposure of their staff and guests to coronavirus. The state has so far had more than 27,490 infections and at least 1,169 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. In a full-page advertisement in a local newspaper, more than 50 restaurateurs said they would hunker down for a little longer. "We pledge ourselves to act as custodians of the public's trust," the statement reads. "...Recognizing that each operator faces incredibly difficult decisions on the path ahead, we affirm the fact that public safety is the top priority as we navigate the challenge." About two weeks after putting its stay-at-home order in place, Georgia introduced the nation's most aggressive reopening timeline, despite resistance from local leaders and health officials, as well as a rebuke from President Donald Trump.
Flamingos flock to a locked-down Mumbai
From CNN's Jack Guy and Swati Gupta
The humans may be in lockdown in India, but tens of thousands of flamingos are making the most of the peace and quiet. Huge numbers of the birds have flocked to Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra state in western India, with photos of the flamingos becoming a hit with birdwatchers on social media. The birds traditionally migrate to the area for feeding from September to the end of May, according to Rahul Khot, assistant director at the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). Last year a record 134,000 flamingos were counted in the area, but Khot believes a new record will be set this year. BNHS had already counted 125,000 flamingos before its work was disrupted by India's coronavirus lockdown measures, introduced on March 25, said Khot, who expects the population to surpass the previous record by the end of May. The birds have spread to wetlands where they were previously a rarity, added Khot.
They are being reported from places where they have earlier been reported less in number because there is no human activity there now," he said.
Removing human pressure on the environment allows us to appreciate the importance of the wetlands in Mumbai, he added.
The Kentucky Derby isn't happening, but a turtle race is
From CNN's Alaa Elassar
The Kentucky Derby, hailed as the "Fastest Two Minutes in Sports," is being replaced with something slower. Much... much... slower. This year eight elite turtles will square off instead, after the annual horse race had to be rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Kentucky Turtle Derby, sponsored by bourbon brand Old Forester, whose mint julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, will take place on Saturday at 7 p.m. EST. Fans can watch the race on Old Forester's YouTube channel. "The first time the Kentucky Derby was postponed they raced turtles, so we thought it'd be fun to do something similar and give fans at home a little bit of entertainment this year...And who doesn't love a good turtle race in May?" Campbell Brown, the company's president, told CNN. The Kentucky Derby, America's oldest continuously held major sporting event, is traditionally run on the first Saturday in May in Louisville, Kentucky. The first "Run for the Roses" was held in 1875 and has only been postponed once before. In 1945, wartime restrictions forced it to be pushed back by one month.
After 7 weeks in confinement, Spaniards emerge for walks, runs and bike rides
From CNN's Al Goodman in Spain, Helena DeMoura in Atlanta and Claudia Rebaza in London
At 6 a.m. local time in Spain, many people took to the streets to run, cycle or take walks of up to one kilometer after seven weeks in confinement. Parks remain closed in Madrid, so runners and cyclists outside the capital's Retiro park used the broad avenue as a racetrack, occupying lanes normally used for traffic. Some buses and cars had to honk to get them to move over. The government has insisted people stick to 2-meter or 6-foot social distancing, especially runners and cyclists who are supposed to exercise alone, but CNN observed numerous people bunched together.
At 10:25 a.m. local time, a Madrid municipal van pulled alongside a cyclist and an officer leaned out of the window to shout: You were supposed to be home a half hour ago. A half hour ago!”
But the police did not stop to issue a fine and drove off. From today, people older than 14 can take one-hour walks, accompanied by one person, once a day close to their homes, or do sports like riding a bike alone, within their city. They are allowed to do this from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Several ran in the roads, where there was little traffic, as Spaniards were allowed outside to exercise for the first time in seven weeks. Credit: Al Goodman/CNN The elderly had their turn a little later, with a special timetable to avoid crowds: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez sent a message via Twitter on Saturday morning asking Spaniards for caution: “Today we take a new step in the relaxation of confinement but we need to do it with caution and responsibility. The virus is still there. We need to follow the guidelines for hygiene and social distancing," he wrote. Spain's government moved to further ease the nation's strict confinement rules due to coronavirus earlier this week. Last weekend, children under 14 were allowed to take one-hour walks daily with their parents. The government has asked its population to wear masks if they cannot observe strict social distancing. Some runners and cyclists wore masks as they were allowed out for solo exercise in their cities. Credit: Al Goodman/CNN Spain's state of emergency, with the strictest confinement rules in Europe, will continue until May 9. The new "relaxation" measures give most Spaniards more time outside their homes daily than they've had since the lockdown started on March 14, after which only short trips were allowed for food shopping and to the pharmacy. From Monday, May 4, Spain will start “Phase Zero” of its transition to “new normality” as announced by Prime Minister Sánchez last week. Some stores will be allowed to open for a limited number of clients, by appointment only, and some restaurants will be allowed to open with limited takeaway service. Cases in Spain have now reached 216,582 with 1,147 new infections. There have been 25,100 deaths in the country with 276 more in the past day -- a slightly smaller increase than yesterday when there were 281 new deaths.
Coronavirus cases jump by more than 9,500 in Russia, bringing total to 124,054
From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina in Moscow
Russia reported 9,623 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday in its biggest spike to date, according to the country’s coronavirus response center. The total number of officially reported cases is 124,054, with 1,222 deaths. Moscow, the country’s worst-hit city, has also seen a record spike after a few days of relatively steady growth, adding more than 5,000 cases in a day. For weeks, Russian independent media and non-governmental organizations have reported anonymous pleas from outraged medical workers who said they had been ordered to the frontlines of a public health crisis without adequate protection, and that bureaucratic foot-dragging was costing lives. As the situation worsens and case numbers surpass those reported from Iran and China, many have become more outspoken, sometimes risking legal action against them.
Princess Charlotte delivers food to isolated people in photos released to mark her fifth birthday
From CNN's Amy Woodyatt
The UK royal family has released new photos of Princess Charlotte, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, delivering food to the vulnerable to mark her fifth birthday. The images, taken by her mother the Duchess of Cambridge, show Charlotte delivering food parcels to elderly people during the coronavirus pandemic in April. According to the Kensington Royal account, the photos were taken as the family packed and delivered food to isolated pensioners, and were released Friday ahead of her fifth birthday on Saturday. The photos were taken on the Sandringham Estate, the Queen's country estate in rural Norfolk, about 100 miles north of London.
Another wave of coronavirus will likely hit the US in the fall. Here's why
From CNN's Nicole Chavez
There are many aspects of the virus that remain unknown for scientists but older viruses offer some clues. People usually get infected by four common coronaviruses that were first identified in the mid-1960s, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And those tend to peak in the winter months. Dr. Greg Poland, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic, said that SARS-CoV-2, the technical name for the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, is likely to follow that pattern. If that happens, a second wave of the virus would return just in time for the start of flu season. The flu has been a constant threat for Americans and devastating in recent years. The CDC estimates there were at least 39 million cases of the flu in the US and at least 24,000 deaths during the 2019-2020 season. Poland, the director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, says the combination of a second wave of Covid-19 with flu season could create "a lot of confusion" because of their overlap in symptoms and put a heavy strain on the health care system. It wouldn't be the first pandemic to come back in force. In 2009, the US experienced a wave of cases of the H1N1 influenza virus, known as swine flu, in the spring. Months later, a second wave was reported in the fall and winter, the CDC says. The 1918 influenza pandemic, which killed 50 million people globally and about 675,000 Americans, appeared as an initial mild spring wave in the US before a lethal second wave hit the country in September.
Pope calls for unity among leaders during Saturday mass
From CNN’s Nicola Ruotola in Rome
During a Saturday morning mass in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis prayed that leaders would be “united for the good of the people” despite differences. “Let us pray today for the rulers,” Pope Francis said, “who have the responsibility to take care of their peoples in these moments of crisis, heads of state, presidents of governments, legislators, mayors, presidents of the regions [governors].” He continued: “May the Lord help them and give them strength, because their work is not easy, and when there’s differences between them, make them understand that in times of crisis they must be very united for the good of the people, because unity is greater than conflict.”
Coronavirus cases rise to 2,307 with 73 deaths in Navajo Nation as weekend curfew continues
From CNN's Alta Spells
The number of cases of Covid-19 reported on the Navajo Nation rose to 2,307, with 166 new cases identified Friday, according to a news release. Two more deaths were also reported, bringing the total to 73, according to the release from the Navajo Department of Health, the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service.
We are seeing more positive cases because there is a lot more testing being conducted in each county," said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.
On Friday, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an order that shut down businesses and road access to the the city of Gallup to help stop the spread of Covid-19. President Nez supported Grisham's actions and hopes the state of emergency in Gallup will stop Navajo people from traveling to the town, the news release said. The Navajo Nation's 57-hour weekend curfew, which bans members from leaving their homes except for emergencies or to go to work as essential employees, remains in effect.
More than half of the US goes into first weekend with loosened coronavirus restrictions
From CNN's Christina Maxouris
For the first time in weeks, residents in some states across the US will be able to return to weekend routines after governors began easing restrictions put in place to combat the coronavirus. That might mean going to a movie in Georgia, working out with a personal trainer in Colorado or dropping by a dispensary in Nevada. More than 30 states have begun easing social distancing restrictions -- some doing away with stay-at-home orders altogether while others loosen measures to allow some businesses to reopen.
More measures will be wiped out starting Monday. Gyms and fitness centers will reopen in Arkansas on May 4 while hair salons will follow May 6. In Northern California's Yuba and Sutter counties, restaurants, tattoo parlors and shopping malls will all be allowed to open Monday which will also be the first workday for many offices in Colorado, with operations limited to 50% capacity. In Montana, bars and breweries will also be allowed to provide some in-establishment services starting Monday. The changes come even as experts warned Friday that prematurely lifting measures could be deadly. "You're making a big mistake. It's going to cost lives," Dr. Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician and disaster preparedness specialist at Columbia University Medical Center, told CNN Friday.
FDA issues emergency-use authorization for experimental drug to treat patients with severe Covid-19
From CNN's Arman Azad and Nicole Chavez
The experimental drug remdesivir has been approved to treat hospitalized patients with severe Covid-19, the US Food and Drug Administration said in a letter on Friday. Remdesivir is the first authorized therapy drug for Covid-19 in the United States, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said on Friday.
This is an important clinical advance that showed a statistically significant reduction in time to recovery for patients with Covid-19 and is the first authorized therapy for Covid-19." Hahn said.
The FDA issued an emergency-use authorization on Friday, saying the benefits of the drug outweigh its risks in patients. An emergency-use authorization is a lower regulatory bar than full FDA approval. Denise Hinton, the FDA's chief scientist, said in the authorization letter that there is "no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the emergency use of remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19." The FDA limited its authorization of the drug to people with suspected or laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 and severe disease, which includes low blood oxygen levels, the need for oxygen therapy or the need for a ventilator or other intensive breathing support. Possible side-effects of remdesivir include increased levels of liver enzymes -- which may be a sign of inflammation or damage to cells in the liver -- and infusion-related reactions like low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, sweating and shivering, the FDA said.
How a Lebanese city was pushed over the edge
From CNN's Tamara Qiblawi and Ghazi Balkiz
A large bag of the thistly gundelia plant arrives at Um Ahmad's door as it does nearly every day. Wearing a double layered headscarf, she settles into a blue armchair. She has until the afternoon to trim the spines off the wild plant for her customers to cook. "We work on the akoub (gundelia) so that we can live," says Um Ahmad, using a pseudonym. When visitors walk into her dark, cavernous room to meet her, she doesn't even look up. A drama series blasts from an old TV.
I get paid 10,000 liras for five kilograms of this," she mumbles, peeling the stems of the spiny plant with a small curved knife.
Because the Lebanese lira is in free-fall, her payment is worth just over $2. "The akoub doesn't even come every day," says Um Ahmad, never meeting her guests' eyes. Outside, the city roils with violent demonstrations, known as the "hunger protest." These started just as Lebanon was loosening its coronavirus lockdown, and beginning to contend with poor living conditions exacerbated by the near shutdown of the economy. Nightly confrontations between demonstrators and the Lebanese army have rocked Tripoli over the last week, turning it into the epicenter of the country's renewed uprising against its political elite. Protests against Lebanon's political class, which has ruled the country since its civil war and is widely accused of corruption, engulfed its main urban centers in late 2019. At the time, tens of thousands of Tripoli's protesters flocked onto the streets. The city was dubbed "the bride of the revolution," both because of its energetic protests and because it was believed to have borne the brunt of political corruption. Tripoli is the poorest city in Lebanon, despite being home to some of its most high-profile billionaires. A slum stretches across the banks of the city's Abu Ali river, just minutes from pockets of extravagant wealth. The income disparity was always stark, but these days, Tripoli's locals say it is unbearable.
A pastor is memorializing each of the thousands of Covid-19 victims in his state with a white flag
From CNN's Paul P. Murphy
Every morning around 10:30, Patrick Collins counts out hundreds of white flags to be planted on the front lawn of his Old Greenwich, Connecticut, church -- one flag for each Covid-19 victim in the state from the previous day. "My hope is that everyone, whoever sees it, takes it as an opportunity to reflect on wherever they are at in this moment in time," Collins, the pastor of the First Congregational Church, told CNN. "To take it as a somber reminder that we are in this and we're all in this together and we're all in experiencing this loss together." The church now has thousands of flags on the lawn as Connecticut's death toll has risen. Collins hopes it sends a message to the families and friends of Covid-19 victims who can't gather for funerals to remember their loved ones. "The victims are not forgotten," he says. "They are more than a number. Your grandfather, your grandmother, your mother. They are more than a statistic and we won't forget them through this." While some parishioners have gotten the virus, Collins says, no one from the church has died. A number of parishioners have had family members die from Covid-19. As of Friday afternoon, Connecticut has the sixth-highest death toll in the US from Covid-19, with 2,257 victims.
Critics said the flu kills more than coronavirus. Here's why that's not a fair comparison
From CNN's Holly Yan and Jessi Esparza
It's a popular argument heard at protests denouncing state shutdowns, fueled by those who say news outlets are overreacting to coronavirus: The flu kills more people than coronavirus. Why shut down the economy for this?
Here are several reasons why coronavirus is more dangerous than the flu -- and why extra precautions are needed: Coronavirus is much more contagious. A person with the flu infects an average of about 1.28 other people. A person with novel coronavirus infects an average of about 2 to 3 other people. Coronavirus has killed at a much faster rate. Between October 2019 to early April 2020, the flu killed up to 331 people a day, according to the preliminary CDC numbers. From February 6 through April 30, the coronavirus killed an average of more than 739 people per day in the US.
Coronavirus can be spread for many days without symptoms. With the flu, people typically start feeling sick one to four days after infection, with symptoms often showing up within two days, the CDC says. That means people will know they're sick fairly soon and will likely stay home. But with coronavirus, symptoms typically appear four or five days after exposure, and the incubation lasts up to 14 days.
You can get a flu vaccine but not a coronavirus vaccine. Unlike the flu, there's no option to get a vaccine for the coronavirus to protect against infection or to reduce the severity of symptoms. At the earliest, it'll be months before a coronavirus vaccine might become publicly available.
The Boy Scouts are inviting families across the US to participate in a virtual camp-in
From CNN's Allen Kim
Get some graham crackers and marshmallows ready for some s'mores. With families isolating at home, the Boy Scouts are inviting kids across America to participate in a virtual camp-in. The event starts at 11 a.m. E.T. today, and is open for anyone to participate, regardless of whether they're enrolled in Boy Scouts. Hosted live on Facebook, the event will feature tutorials on campsite construction, wilderness survival tips and more. There will also be a virtual 5K benefiting the Feeding America foundation. NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock will participate in a Q&A session, followed later in the day by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak talking about STEM activities. There will even be cooking demonstrations by "MasterChef Junior" finalist Evan Robinson, and chefs Dean Fearing and Jeff Philbin. The night will end with a campfire session.
Having recovered from Covid-19, first responders return to front lines with a new grasp of the enemy
From CNN's Dugald McConnell and Brian Todd
The first wave of emergency medical technicians who contracted Covid-19 and survived are now returning to the job, armed with a first-hand understanding of the disease and a new empathy for the patients. "I was able to be more in touch with my patients who called, because I knew exactly how they were feeling," said firefighter/EMT Shantice Samuels, who has just returned to work in Washington, DC, after recovering from a case herself. "The toughest symptom for me was the shortness of breath, and the body aches," she told CNN affiliate WJLA. "When they're talking to people, the questions they ask put them in better tune with what's going on," said Assistant Fire Chief John Donnelly of the District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department, who has also recovered. "The other thing that they're able to do is provide assurance to somebody and say, I've survived this, you can relax, we're going to get you help, these are the things that are going to happen next." It also provides first responders with a stark reminder of the danger of getting infected, said Capt. Chris Warner, who tested positive with a scratchy throat and a splitting headache, but has since gone back to work with the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue in Virginia. "It was a sobering moment," Warner said. "You know the possibility is there, but for someone to say your test came back positive ... was definitely unnerving."
Malaysian police are using movement control laws to round up undocumented immigrants
From CNN's Sandi Sidhu
Police in Malaysia are conducting operations to round up "illegal immigrants" to prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to state-run media agency Bernama. The nationwide Movement of Control Order (MCO) was put in place by the government in March to stop Malaysians from traveling abroad. It also banned social, religious and educational gatherings. Malaysia does not formally recognize refugees and regards them as illegal immigrants. Malaysian police, immigration officials and the Armed Forces are now working to identify these immigrants and detain them in one place during the MCO. “We cannot allow them to move freely while the MCO is still enforced as it will be difficult for us to track them down if they leave identified locations," police inspector-general Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador told Bernama. They rounded up hundreds of undocumented immigrants across the capital Kuala Lumpur on Friday, Bernama reported. “It is up to the government to take further action against them once MCO is lifted,” Abdul Hamid said, according to the Bernama report.
The World Health Organization congratulates Wuhan for clearing coronavirus cases
From CNN's Anna Kam
Dr. Maria van Kerkhove, the technical lead for the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, has congratulated the Chinese city of Wuhan for having no severe coronavirus cases left. Wuhan was ground zero for the country's coronavirus outbreak, and was placed under lockdown in January. The lockdown only lifted in April.
“It is welcome news to hear that there are no severe cases from Wuhan. That city has had the hardest hit early on," van Kerkhove said. "Nothing but admiration and thanks for the tireless efforts of the people of Wuhan."
She also praised residents who followed emergency measures and stayed at home. "We take our hats off to you and thank you for your commitment and service and sharing with us in the world what you have been able to do," she said.
He came home from hospital to die. His son found a way to keep him alive
From CNN's Tara John
When Suryakant "Suri" Nathwani left hospital, the 81-year-old grabbed his son's hand and pleaded to be allowed to die at home.
"He said, 'Please promise me one thing: If I'm going to go, I'm going to go here. Do not take me back there,'" his son Raj Nathwani said.
Death was not an outcome Raj, 55, was willing to accept -- but he knew his father's chances of surviving coronavirus were not in his favor. Raj, who had himself recovered from a heart attack last November, was prepared for the pandemic weeks before the UK lockdown began on March 23. He had been in self-isolation alongside his 80-year-old mother and his father, who has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), since March 11, because the entire household was considered to be at high risk from coronavirus. But his father's condition began to deteriorate on March 25. Suri's daily 10-minute walk outside the family home turned into a 45-minute stagger. His lung condition was flaring up. He looked fatigued, listless and -- although he did not display the high temperature or persistent cough, which the NHS considered the main symptoms of the virus -- Raj suspected his father had Covid-19. Raj said he was left with two choices: "Do I keep him (in the hospital) and risk never seeing him again, or do I bring him home and spend all my energy making it comfortable for him?" He chose the latter, even at the risk of spreading the infection through the entire household.