The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care continues a steady decline in France
From Eva Tapiero in Paris
The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units in France has continued to steadily decline since April 9, data from the French Ministry of Health shows.
There are currently 3,147 Covid-19 patients in ICU in France, down by 283 from the day before, the ministry said on Wednesday.
A total of 23,983 people are hospitalized with coronavirus in France, which is down by 792 from the day before.
5:28 p.m. ET, May 6, 2020
Study finds blood thinners may help patients with severe Covid-19 infections
From CNN's Maggie Fox
Blood thinning drugs may help save some patients worst affected by coronavirus, doctors reported Wednesday.
Their findings could point a way to help the virus-related issue of blood clots throughout the body. The team at Mount Sinai Hospital says it is now running experiments to see which anticoagulants may work best, and at which doses.
“Our findings suggest that systemic anticoagulants may be associated with improved outcomes among patients hospitalized with Covid-19,” they wrote in their report, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Dr. Valentin Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart and physician-in-chief of the Mount Sinai Hospital, and colleagues looked at more than 2,700 patients treated at Mount Sinai in New York City, which has been hit hard by coronavirus. Starting in March, some patients were given anti-clotting drugs based on bedside decisions made by doctors.
The team started taking a systematic look at whether the drugs made a difference. They did, especially for patients who were put on ventilators to help them breathe.
They found 29% of patients on ventilators who were given blood thinners died, compared to 63% of patients on ventilators who were not given blood thinners.
“The patients who received anticoagulants did better than those who didn’t,” Fuster told CNN.
The findings are not clear-cut enough yet to make solid recommendations. The team noted that patients who were already severely ill were more likely to be given the blood thinners.
The researchers did not find that the patients who got blood thinners were significantly more likely to have bleeding problems – one of the risks of the drugs.
1:54 p.m. ET, May 6, 2020
UK coronavirus death toll passes 30,000
From CNN's Milena Veselinovic
At least 30,076 people have died from coronavirus in the UK, the country's Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Wednesday.
"We brushed him and braided his hair with some colored pipe cleaners," Jorja told CNN. "And we put on a unicorn horn but he shook that off!"
Jorja and her 8-year-old sister Journee led Peanut up to the windows of the nursing homes. Staff on the phone helped facilitate conversations with the residents.
"I would talk to them ... and Peanut was acting up so he put on quite a show," Jorja explained. "And of course, my sister was dancing around."
The residents really enjoyed seeing Peanut. Some would follow the girls and their pony from window to window.
Jorja visited three nursing homes with Peanut and has promised to return. She is developing a program for the residents to be able spend more time with Peanut.
There will be grooming, petting and plenty of treats to feed him.
Pet therapy can help seniors combat social isolation and depression by improving their overall mood and quality of life.
1:18 p.m. ET, May 6, 2020
Turkey records highest number of new Covid-19 cases in a week
From CNN's Gul Tuysuz in Istanbul
Turkey has recorded its highest number of new Covid-19 positives since April 30 with 2,253 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to the latest figures by the Turkish health ministry.
Turkey’s new cases have been on a downward trajectory since mid-April and have reached as low 1,614 per day.
The country is entering what the Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has called the second phase in its fight against the pandemic. In a news conference on Wednesday, he called this period a “controlled social life,” which will impose fewer restrictions.
“Even though we have used the word normalization, it is not about going back to normal. It is about forging a new normal,” Turkish Health Minister said.
Turkey is due to start lifting some restrictions on May 11, including reopening hairdressers and barber shops.
1:07 p.m. ET, May 6, 2020
Pope Francis employee tests positive for coronavirus in Vatican City
From CNN's Valentina DiDonato in Rome
The 12th person infected by coronavirus in Vatican City works for Pope Francis, the Holy See Press Office said today.
The person has been working remotely since early March and is now under observation at home, the Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni said.
Vatican City is the seat of the Catholic church and has been a sovereign state in the middle of Rome since 1929. It has 605 residents, all with a Vatican City passport and who are out of Italy's legal jurisdiction.
The 83-year-old Pope, who has a damaged lung from an infection in his 20s, has twice tested negative for coronavirus. He is being distanced from anyone who might be carrying the virus, takes his meals in his private quarters, and uses hand sanitizer before and after meeting any guests, the Vatican press office said last month.
1:02 p.m. ET, May 6, 2020
Spain’s Parliament extends state of emergency for 4th time
From CNN’s Al Goodman and Ingrid Formanek in Spain, Vasco Cotovio in London and Mia Alberti in Lisbon
The Spanish Parliament approved the extension of the country’s state of emergency for a fourth time on Wednesday, continuing severe restrictions on movement and business until at least May 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision, approved by 178 votes against 75 and with 97 abstentions, came after Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez negotiated last-minute votes to secure the extension, despite the main opposition Popular Party, PP, abstaining.
The extension gives the Socialist Party-led minority government the power to continue enforcing restrictions under the state of emergency rules decreed on March 14th.
During the parliamentary debate ahead of the vote, opposition and right-wing parties harshly criticized the socialist minority-led government, accusing Sánchez of holding Spanish citizens "hostage" by curtailing fundamental rights.
“We are limiting two rights, to guarantee another two: public health and life. And to limit the two rights of mobility and of assembly, we need the only constitutional and juridical instrument that allows us to act over them, which is the state of emergency", Sánchez responded.
The Spanish prime minister said he will request 15-day extensions throughout the country’s de-escalation period, expected to last until the end of June.
Most of Spain began "Phase Zero" of the government's de-escalation plan on Monday, by lifting some of the confinement restrictions to additional sectors of the work force to return to their jobs, such as restaurants for take-away service, small stores and hair salons with clients by appointment only.
It is expected that next Monday, some regions will advance to “Phase One” if they show infections rates are low and that their health facilities are able to react quickly to any new outbreaks.
The government says the state of emergency during the de-escalation plan is crucial.
"To ignore the risk of the epidemic and hastily lift the state of emergency would be an absolute, total, and unforgivable mistake that the government will not commit, and which is why it’s requesting the extension”, Sánchez argued ahead of Wednesday’s vote.
The state of emergency was first declared on March 14 and extended for the first time on March 27.
12:50 p.m. ET, May 6, 2020
Moscow will ease some restrictions next week
From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina in Moscow
Moscow will ease restrictions for industrial enterprises, allowing factories and construction companies to reopen starting May 12.
But self-isolation limits will remain in place, the city’s mayor Sergey Sobyanin said in a videoconference chaired by President Vladimir Putin.
Sobyanin said the outbreak in Moscow has generally stabilized and linked recent increased numbers of reported cases, which were at around 5,000 a day, to expanded testing.
“Over the past two weeks, the hospitalization of patients has not increased, the number of patients in serious condition who require hospital care is not growing, it is approximately at the same level,” Sobyanin said.
Sobyanin later said cafes and restaurants will reopen last as they “circulate an unlimited number of people," while factories are “localized collectives” that amount to around 3.5 million workplaces.
During the videoconference, the head of country’s wellbeing agency announced a three-stage plan of reopening, which regions will implement independently.
The first phase would allow people to exercise outside and reopen small shops. The second involves opening up schools and universities as well as larger stores, but with a limited number of people allowed inside at the same time. The third phase means the reopening of parks, all shops, schools, and restaurants.
Russia has officially reported 165,929 cases of coronavirus, with 1,537 deaths and 21,327 recoveries. Moscow accounts for 85,973 cases.