May 1 coronavirus news

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10:24 a.m. ET, May 1, 2020

India extends nationwide lockdown for 2 weeks, with some exemptions

From CNN's Swati Gupta in New Delhi

Punjab police personnel patrol a vegetable market during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown on the outskirts of Amritsar, India, on May 1.
Punjab police personnel patrol a vegetable market during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown on the outskirts of Amritsar, India, on May 1. Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images

The Indian government has extended its nationwide lockdown by two more weeks until May 17, but has issued exemptions for certain areas and activities, according to Ministry of Home Affairs.  The current measures were set to expire on May 3. 

Most travel by air, rail, metro and inter-state movement by road will continue to be prohibited and all schools and colleges will remain closed along with theaters, malls and places of worship.

The Ministry of Home Affairs will allow movement of people by air, rail and road only for select purposes. Over the last few days, the government has arranged for transportation for stranded migrant workers, students and tourists to travel back to their homes. 

The government has eased most restrictions in areas the government calls “green zones,” which have not reported new cases of Covid-19 in the previous 3 weeks. 

The classification of certain districts into red or orange zones will be evaluated every week. In orange zones, limited movement of individuals and vehicles will be allowed. In red zones, where most activities have been restricted for the past six weeks, will continue to be so.

Across all zones, industrial activities involved in the manufacturing of essential goods — such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, construction activities, standalone shops and agricultural activities — are permitted. In red zones, e-commerce firms can continue supply of only essential goods. 

The order also prohibits movement of individuals for non-essential services from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. local time during the duration of the lockdown. Local authorities have been asked to issue bans on gatherings of more than four people. 

9:57 a.m. ET, May 1, 2020

McDonald’s will reopen 15 UK restaurants for delivery

From CNN's Chris Liakos

People queue outside a McDonalds restaurant in Hattersley, England, on March 23, after the chain announced it would close its restaurants.
People queue outside a McDonalds restaurant in Hattersley, England, on March 23, after the chain announced it would close its restaurants. Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

McDonald’s will reopen 15 of its restaurants in the UK on May 13 in a limited capacity and with delivery only, McDonald’s UK and Ireland CEO Paul Pomroy said today.

The company plans to introduce new measures to keep its staff safe. Clear screens and floor markings will be introduced in specific areas, and additional protective equipment, including non-medical grade face masks, will be provided. Contactless thermometers will be used on arrival at work for every shift.

McDonald’s will also be introducing social distancing measures for all of its delivery and service partners.

“We will increase how often these procedures are completed and provide all employees with updated training on restaurant cleanliness and sanitization. All restaurants will be deep cleaned before reopening,” said Pomroy.

McDonald’s plans to return with fewer staff and a limited menu. 

8:42 a.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Indian government organizes trains for stranded residents

From CNN's Swati Gupta

Special trains are being organized by the Indian government to ferry stranded migrants, students, tourists and pilgrims across India.

The Ministry of Home Affairs announced in an order today that the Railway Ministry will begin running special trains and ensure safe movement of people.

“The Ministry of Railways will issue detailed guidelines for sale of tickets; for social distancing and other safety measures to be observed at train stations, train platforms and within the trains,” said the Home Ministry. 

Trains sits idle at the New Delhi Junction railway station during lockdown in New Delhi, India, on Monday, April 27.
Trains sits idle at the New Delhi Junction railway station during lockdown in New Delhi, India, on Monday, April 27. Narayan/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Some background: The Indian government had suspended all passenger trains in India in March as the country headed to a nationwide lockdown. In the past two weeks, certain restrictions have been eased. Various states have also arranged buses to transport their residents back home.

8:12 a.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Table for one? Sweden pop-up restaurant to serve solo diners only

From CNN's Stacey Lastoe

The cost of a three-course meal at Bord For En (Table For One), a pop-up restaurant in Sweden opening May 10, is left to the diner's discretion. 

And that is diner, singular, just like the restaurant's name suggests.

Rasmus Persson and Linda Karlsson are responsible for the unique concept. Located in Värmland, roughly 350 kilometers (217 miles) from Stockholm, the restaurant -- a single table and chair -- is situated in a lush meadow.

The promise and premise is no interaction with others. This is an individual experience meant to be enjoyed in isolation. 

There's no waitstaff and nary another guest in site. Throughout its limited run (it will be open through August 1), one person a day will be served so Persson and Karlsson can give their full focus to the guest. 

The couple is not trying to turn tables and won't allow spectators.

"We want to avoid the feeling of being watched while you eat your food. We all are facing difficult times and there are people who have lost their jobs, a loved one or even their mind."

Persson and Karlsson devised the Table for One concept several weeks ago when Karlsson's parents showed up at the couple's home as Covid-19 spread around the globe.

They decided rather than let Karlsson's at-risk parents inside the house, it would be prudent to set up a table for them outside in the garden a safe distance away.

Karlsson notes Sweden has issued recommendations, not flat-out restrictions, around social distancing practices.

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8:03 a.m. ET, May 1, 2020

We're all glued to our screens right now. Here's how you can protect your eyes

From CNN's Katie Hunt

With much of the globe now under coronavirus-related restrictions, we have never been so tethered to our screens -- for work, to connect with friends, to unwind or to distract ourselves.

One new estimate suggested that adults are spending more than 13 hours a day using screens, up from 10 hours a day a year ago. 

With children cut off from physically attending school, they are more reliant on laptops and tablets for online lessons and entertainment. 

And with our new routines likely to have a lot more screen time for the foreseeable future, experts say it's important to learn how to protect our eyes from suffering as a result. 

While there is no evidence of long-term eye damage from extended use of smartphones, computer screens or other devices, prolonged use can lead to blurred vision, eye fatigue, dry or irritated eyes and headaches, according to Moorfield Eye Hospital in London. 

Dr. Raj Maturi, the clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and a retina specialist, called these symptoms "digital vision syndrome."

He, along with the doctors at the Moorfield Eye Hospital, recommended a 20-20-20 approach -- for every 20 minutes spent at a screen you must take a break and look 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.

"When you are looking at a close target, your eyes are just training that one muscle at all time, and looking into the distance can relieve it," he said.

Dr Maturi said that looking at bright devices can also make us blink less, which leaves our eyes feeling dry.

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7:53 a.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Judge orders ICE to release detainees from Florida detention centers

From CNN's Carma Hassan

A federal judge ordered ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to release detainees from three South Florida detention centers, saying it is a “cruel and unusual punishment” and a violation of the detainees’ rights to be kept in facilities that don’t practice social distancing and don’t provide them with masks or cleaning supplies.

Immigration rights groups had filed a lawsuit on behalf of 34 detainees seeking release during the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to the court order, ICE has seven days to determine who can be released given their health and immigration status, along with their criminal history.

The facilities concerned are the Krome Detention Center in Miami, the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach, and the Glades County Detention Center in Moore Haven.

According to the order, these are civil detainees, not criminals.

There is record evidence demonstrating that ICE has failed in its duty to protect the safety and general well-being of the Petitioners,” US District Judge Marcia Cooke wrote in the order.

She added that social distancing at Krome “is not only practically impossible, the conditions are becoming worse every day” and at Glades the bunk beds are 12 inches apart.

The judge found that ICE had violated the guidelines set out by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“ICE has failed to provide detainees in some detention centers with masks, soap and other cleaning supplies” which places them “at a heightened risk of not only contracting Covid-19, but also succumbing to the fatal effects of the virus as some of the Petitioners have serious underlying medical illness,” Cooke wrote in the order.

The judge ordered ICE to immediately comply with the CDC’s and their own internal guidelines on providing adequate soap and water and cleaning materials to detainees. 

ICE will also have to provide a report to the court within three days outlining how it will reduce the population of detainees to 75% of capacity at each of the detention centers within two weeks. ICE is also ordered to file weekly reports providing information about the number of detainees released and their health.

CNN has reached out to ICE and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dexter Lee who is representing ICE in the case, according to the court docket.

ICE had argued in the case that the court did not have jurisdiction over the everyday management of the detention facilities.

 

7:48 a.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Just joining us? Here's what you need to know today

Municipal workers spray disinfectant on a street during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown in Chennai, India on May 1.
Municipal workers spray disinfectant on a street during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown in Chennai, India on May 1. Arun Sankar/AFP/Getty Images

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 3.2 million people and killed at least 233,000 worldwide. If you're just joining us now, here are the latest developments.

  • Two more years: The coronavirus is likely to keep spreading for at least another 18 months to two years — until 60% to 70% of the
  • population has been infected, pandemic experts predicted in a report released Thursday. They said a worst-case scenario could include a second wave of coronavirus infections in the US over the fall and winter.
  • Potential vaccines in the works: Biotech company Moderna and Switzerland-based Lonza Ltd. said on Friday that they were collaborating on manufacturing up to 1 billion doses of a potential Covid-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273. Others are also working on vaccines. Officials say more than a half-dozen vaccine programs are in the clinical trial phase and more than 80 are in preliminary phases.
  • Countries reopening: China’s hardest-hit Hubei province, home to the city of Wuhan, will relax its emergency response on Saturday after the vice governor said it had "basically curbed the spread of the epidemic." India is lifting its nationwide lockdown on 1.3 billion people on Sunday. Australia is meeting next week to discuss easing its lockdown. In the US, more than half of all states will partially reopen by the end of the week, despite experts warning it could raise the risk of a second wave.
  • Airline woes: German airline Lufthansa plans to reduce its fleet by around 100 aircraft, leaving the German airline with 10,000 excess staff. The General Secretary of the British Airline Pilots' Association warned that the UK aviation industry is about to experience a “tsunami of job losses" as Ryanair announced plans to cut up to 3,000 jobs as it seeks to slash costs and British Airways announced plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs.
  • Inequalities made worse: The rate of coronavirus deaths among British black Africans in hospital is 3.7 times higher than among the UK’s white population, according to analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) that highlights “stark inequalities” between ethnic groups. In New York, unemployment claims were up 6,900% among Asian Americans — by far the largest percentage increase experienced by any one racial or ethnic group. 
7:35 a.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Spain’s deficit will reach $126 billion

From Al Goodman and Isabel Tejera in Spain and Claudia Rebaza in London.

Workers are seen amid closed stalls at a market in Barcelona, Spain, on April 23.
Workers are seen amid closed stalls at a market in Barcelona, Spain, on April 23. Manuel Medir/Getty Images

Spain’s public deficit will balloon to about $126 billion this year, or 10.3% of GDP, more than triple last year’s deficit, the government announced Friday.

The public deficit, as a percent of gross domestic product, impacts Spain’s capacity to get financing.

The International Monetary Fund predicts Spain’s economy will shrink by 8% in 2020, before recovering and growing 4.3% in 2021.

The numbers are part of Spain’s updated outlook for 2020 submitted to the European Commission.

These are prudent predictions,” said Finance Minister Maria Jesus Montero, at a televised news conference.

Spain’s jobless rate is expected to increase to 19% by the end of this year, up from 14% now, the government said.

Spain has the world’s second-highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases after the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University, and its state of emergency home confinement order is in its 7th week. The rate of infections has now slowed.

IAG, the owner of British Airways, said Friday that two other airlines in the company, Spain’s Iberia and Vueling, have received $1.1 billion in Spanish state-backed loans, according to a news release sent to CNN. 

Spain’s tourism sector has been the most affected by the restrictions, said Economy Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Nadia Calviño at the news conference.

The recovery of this doesn’t depend just on Spain but on the international context and on the countries that are the origin for tourists to our country,” Calviño said.

Tourism accounts for 12.3% of Spain’s GDP and 2.6 million jobs, or 12.7% of total unemployment, according to Tourism Ministry figures. The industry is at a standstill due to coronavirus.

7:16 a.m. ET, May 1, 2020

Unemployment claims from Asian Americans have spiked 6,900% in New York. Here's why

From CNN's Shannon Liao

Across New York, Chinese restaurants have shut down and Asian American workers have filed for unemployment benefits at extraordinary rates. In the state, about 147,000 self-identified Asian workers have filed initial unemployment claims in the last four weeks alone, up from just 2,100 during the same period last year. 

That's a 6,900% increase — by far the largest percentage increase experienced by any one racial or ethnic group. 

In contrast, claims were up 1,840% for white workers, 1,260% for black workers, and 2,100% for Hispanic and Latino workers in New York.

New York stands out from other states in that in early April, it started releasing detailed demographic breakdowns of unemployment claimants every week. Not surprisingly, claims are skyrocketing for every group in the state, reflecting the sharp economic downturn that nationwide has left 30 million Americans filing first-time unemployment claims since mid-March.

But even so, the increase for Asian Americans is an oddity: It's so large, it's disproportionate to the size of their labor force. Asian workers make up about 9% of New York state's population and work force, but now account for 12.5% of initial claims over the last four weeks. A year ago, they made up just 3.7% of claims during the same time period. 

For the other groups, claims are either roughly in line — or well below — the size of their populations. White workers, for example, make up 65% of New York's labor force, but only 51% of recent claims.

What's the cause? Academics and members of the community point to several potential factors ranging from xenophobia to Asian Americans working in industries hard hit by the pandemic, including food and services. Many Asian workers also say they began social distancing earlier in the crisis than others — a factor that led some to close down businesses even before official lockdowns. 

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