April 25 coronavirus news

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4:25 p.m. ET, April 25, 2020

Illinois reports significant increase in calls to poison control in the last two days

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

Dr. Ngozi Ezike speaks at a press conference on April 25.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike speaks at a press conference on April 25. Pool

There has been a significant increase in calls to poison control in the state of Illinois in the last two days, Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said during a Saturday afternoon press conference.

Such calls included someone using a detergent based solution for a sinus rinse and another person gargling with a bleach and mouthwash mixture to kill germs, Ezike said. 

She urged people to not use cleaning chemicals to try and kill the virus. 

Injecting, ingesting, snorting household cleaners is dangerous. It is not advised and can be deadly," Ezike warned.

This comes after President Donald Trump suggested Thursday the possibility of injecting disinfectants to treat people with coronavirus.

4:21 p.m. ET, April 25, 2020

Some Italian Mafia bosses released from prison and put under house arrest due to coronavirus

From CNN's Livia Borghese and Robert Iddiols

Some imprisoned Mafia bosses have been released from prison and placed under house arrest in Italy due to the coronavirus emergency, anti-mafia prosecutor Federico Cafiero De Raho told CNN on Saturday. Opposition leader Matteo Salvini called the release from prison "crazy."

To prevent the spread of the infection within prison facilities, the Italian government has authorized magistrates to commute prison sentences into home detention if the time yet to serve is no longer than 18 months.

Cafiero De Raho confirmed that three Mafia bosses have been placed under strict isolation detention. They are identified as:

  • Pasquale Zagaria, member of the Neapolitan Camorra
  • Francesco Bonura of the Sicilian mafia "Cosa nostra"
  • Vincenzo Iannazzo of the Calabria mafia "Ndrangheta."
"They are prisoners that, for the roles they had in Mafia organizations, require extra isolation measures in order to avoid being connected to the exterior world," Cafiero De Raho said. "Once they are sent back home, these measures are obviously no longer enforced."

The total number of prisoners in Italy has decreased by 6,500 since February 29, according to the Justice Ministry.

"But the decrease of inmates is not only due to the decree," explains Alessio Scandurra of the prisoner’s rights association Antigone. "The Covid-19 emergency led many magistrates, thanks to the discretion the law allows them, to favor house arrest."

"That is crazy," Salvin, the leader of the opposition League party, said in a Facebook video. "It’s a lack of respect for people, magistrates, journalist, policemen, and victims of the Mafia."

4:17 p.m. ET, April 25, 2020

84 New York transit employees have died from coronavirus

From CNN's Taylor Romine

An empty subway car is seen on March 23, in New York City.
An empty subway car is seen on March 23, in New York City. Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

To date, 84 Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees have died from coronavirus complications, said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye during a Saturday afternoon radio interview on 1010 WINS.

Subway and bus ridership in the city are down 95%, Foye said.

Approximately 6,500 employees have returned to work, about 3,300 are currently quarantined and approximately 3,300 have tested positive for Covid-19. 

Foye said that he has volunteered to get an antibody test through Stony Brook University to see if he can donate plasma. That test will take place sometime next week.

3:07 p.m. ET, April 25, 2020

FDA authorizes 3 more coronavirus antibody tests

From CNN Health’s Arman Azad

A Covid-19 blood test is administered outside of Delmont Medical Care on April 22, in Franklin Square, New York. 
A Covid-19 blood test is administered outside of Delmont Medical Care on April 22, in Franklin Square, New York.  Al Bello/Getty Images

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized three new coronavirus antibody tests, bringing the total number of FDA-authorized tests to seven.

The tests were green-lit under emergency-use authorizations, a lower regulatory standard used when the FDA believes a test’s benefits could outweigh any risks.

Three companies – DiaSorin, Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics and Autobio Diagnostics – received the authorizations. The tests were restricted to use in authorized laboratories, and the FDA cautioned that all three came with risks of false positives and negatives.  

The tests would ideally allow for the detection of past infections – indicating if someone has had the virus, regardless of whether they showed symptoms. But the tests may be less useful for diagnosing recent or current infections.

“A negative result may occur if you are tested early in your illness and your body hasn’t had time to produce antibodies to infection,” the FDA wrote in fact sheets accompanying the tests.

Some context: The agency’s new authorizations come amid growing questions over the role of antibody tests in the coronavirus pandemic.

The FDA has come under congressional scrutiny for allowing manufacturers to distribute antibody tests without authorization, a move that triggered a flood of shoddy tests in the US market. 

And it remains unclear whether antibodies – even when detected by high-quality tests – indicate that someone is immune to re-infection.

“There is no evidence yet that people who have had Covid-19 will not get a second infection,” the World Health Organization warned in a recent scientific brief.  

 

 

4:52 p.m. ET, April 25, 2020

Massachusetts is seeing a "surge" in coronavirus cases, governor says

From CNN’s Deanna Hackney

Pool via WCVB
Pool via WCVB

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says that the state is currently experiencing a “surge” of Covid-19 cases, but medical facilities are prepared.

Yesterday, Baker said 55% of the total 18,200 hospital beds in the state were available. 

“People did a lot of work to make sure we would have the hospital capacity and the health care capacity that we would need to not just serve people who are dealing with Covid-19, but also to be able to take care of all the other maladies, illnesses, diseases, and issues that people face,” Baker said at a news conference today.

Baker was asked about plans to reopen the state when his executive order expires on May 4. He said that the May 4 date was based on the assumption that Massachusetts would have its surge in early April – which did not happen. 

“Any decisions we make with respect to reopening are going to require two things. Number one, the same thing that’s required almost everywhere else which is some drop in in hospitalization rates and some evidence that we are in fact over the hump with respect to the surge," he said

"The second is putting the rules for engagement or reopening in place, which we'll have a lot more to say about next week,” Baker added. 

3:14 p.m. ET, April 25, 2020

Turkey's coronavirus cases drop for the first time since early April

From CNN's Isil Sariyuce

An assistant doctor and nurses prepare to perform a procedure on a patient infected with Covid-19 at the  Acibadem Altunizade Hospital on April 20, in Istanbul, Turkey.
An assistant doctor and nurses prepare to perform a procedure on a patient infected with Covid-19 at the  Acibadem Altunizade Hospital on April 20, in Istanbul, Turkey. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Turkey’s daily coronavirus cases dipped below 3,000 for the first time since April 3.

There were 2,861 positive cases over the last 24 hours, according to the latest health ministry figures. 

The ministry reported 106 deaths as a result of the virus. Additionally, 1,782 patients remain in the ICU, including 900 of who are intubated, according to the latest figures.

Turkey has 107,773 coronavirus cases.

2:41 p.m. ET, April 25, 2020

Another meat-processing plant is temporarily closing due to coronavirus concerns

From CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian

A meat-processing company is being forced to close its doors over coronavirus concerns.

The Kane County Health Department issued an order for Smithfield Foods in St. Charles, Illinois, to temporarily close so the company can work with the health department to implement mitigation efforts against Covid-19, according to a press release.

The Health Department will provide social distancing education and employee safety training relating to personal protective equipment, the press release said.

CNN has reached out to Smithfield Foods for comment.

This is one of several meat-processing plant closures in the last few weeks due to coronavirus outbreaks.

2:34 p.m. ET, April 25, 2020

Canada won't reopen parts of its economy until there's enough personal protection equipment

From CNN’s Paula Newton

An empty street is seen in Toronto, Canada on April 23.
An empty street is seen in Toronto, Canada on April 23. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

The Canadian government says that despite some success in flattening the curve, and a slower growth rate in new coronavirus cases nearly everywhere in the country, the economy can’t reopen until supplies of personal protective equipment are in place for businesses. 

“I don’t think we should be talking about reopening any parts of the economy if we do not have a strong plan to protect people working,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a press conference Saturday. 

Some Canadian jurisdictions are set to open in the coming weeks but a competitive market for personal protection equipment, described by some government ministers as the "wild west," may slow the return of some economic sectors.

Trudeau also stressed that Canada is not relying on the concept of Covid-19 immunity to reopen the economy.

“It is very clear that the science is not decided on whether or not having had Covid once, prevents you from getting it again,” he said.

Despite that, Canada is creating an immunity task force staffed with leading doctors and scientists to further explore both anti-body testing and the viability of a vaccine.

As of today, Canada had reported at least 44,137 cases of Covid-19 and 2,392 related deaths.

2:10 p.m. ET, April 25, 2020

Atlanta mayor tells people to stay home even though some businesses are open

From CNN's Hollie Silverman

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks onstage during the 2018 Essence Festival on July 7, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks onstage during the 2018 Essence Festival on July 7, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tweeted the latest coronavirus case and death counts Saturday along with a message to nail salon customers.

"If you're getting your nails done right now, please share these noon numbers with your manicurist #StayHomeGeorgia," Bottoms' tweet said.

The mayor has continued to urge people to stay home in the last few days in media interviews and on Twitter despite Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to reopen certain businesses starting Friday.

Read the tweet: