May 11 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Julia Hollingsworth, Zamira Rahim and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 9:20 p.m. ET, May 11, 2020
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8:42 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

Beijing uses smart bracelets to monitors students' temperatures

From CNN's Nectar Gan in Hong Kong

A security guard directs a student near a sign reading "Waiting Zone for Students " during the reopening of school in Beijing, China, on May 11.
A security guard directs a student near a sign reading "Waiting Zone for Students " during the reopening of school in Beijing, China, on May 11. Ng Han Guan/AP

Beijing is rolling out smart bracelets to measure the body temperature of students who have returned to class as schools gradually reopen in the city, according to Chinese state media.

The bracelets are equipped with a sensor that can monitor students’ real-time body temperature and send out an alert if an abnormal temperature is detected, the government-run Beijing Daily reported on Monday.

The readings from the devices can be monitored by teachers on their smartphones after connecting via Bluetooth on a mobile app, the report said. The data can also be shared with parents and municipal and district authorities, it added.

The devices allow students to have their temperature taken without interrupting their studies, helping them to focus their attention on studying and preparing for exams, the report said, citing the Beijing education bureau.

The scheme has so far been rolled out for final-year high school and middle school students in five districts of Beijing, the report said.

4:23 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

China hits back at so-called coronavirus "lies" by US politicians as war of words escalates

From CNN's Nectar Gan in Hong Kong

China has struck back at what it calls "24 lies" by US politicians in the most sweeping and detailed rebuke yet of accusations over its handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

An 11,000-word article posted on the Chinese foreign ministry's website on Saturday gave a point-by-point rebuttal of the 24 "preposterous allegations and lies" that it said were fabricated by US politicians and media outlets to "shift the blame to China for their inadequate response to Covid-19."

The article was also carried Sunday by Xinhua, China's government-run news agency, and shared by its official account on Twitter.

The lengthy refutation is the latest attempt by Beijing to defend its handling of the outbreak, as it comes under international scrutiny over its handling of the virus and faces mounting calls for an independent inquiry.

In recent weeks, the US has doubled down on blaming China for the spread of the virus, accusing it of withholding important information -- especially in the critical early stages of the outbreak -- and questioning its death toll. US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have also claimed, without providing evidence, that the virus originated from a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak was first reported last December.

Read more:

5:07 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

German workers face widespread layoffs due to coronavirus crisis

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

A shop announces that it will close during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bonn, Germany on May 5.
A shop announces that it will close during the COVID-19 pandemic in Bonn, Germany on May 5. Ute Grabowsky/Photothek/Getty Images

A survey published Monday by the German Institute for Economic Research found that widespread layoffs are taking place throughout the country's economy.

The survey found that in April, 58% of the catering industry; 50% of hotels; 43% of travel agencies; and 39% of automotive companies either laid off employees or did not extend temporary contracts.

Higher than average layoffs were also being made in many other sectors but none in pharmaceuticals, the economic institute said.

3:55 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

Travelers from France to be exempt from new UK quarantine measure

From CNN’s Hilary McGann in London

A jet comes in to land at Heathrow Airport on May 10 in London.
A jet comes in to land at Heathrow Airport on May 10 in London. Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Travelers from France will be exempt from a new quarantine period that will be imposed on people entering the UK, according to a joint statement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Johnson announced Sunday that the quarantine period on people flying into Britain would be introduced “soon” to “prevent re-infection from abroad.”

The two countries are linked by train on the world’s longest undersea tunnel, the Channel Tunnel, which opened in 1994.

“Any measures on either side would be taken in a concerted and reciprocal manner,” the two leaders said in a joint statement late Sunday, adding that a working group between both governments will be set up.
3:42 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

US nears 80,000 coronavirus deaths as states start reopening

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

A leading model has upped its US coronavirus death toll projection again as governors continue lifting measures toward a reopening.

The model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington now forecasts more than 137,000 Americans will die by early August.

That rise is largely due to Americans moving around more, IHME director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a news release, adding that in some places the upward trend in movements began before statewide measures were relaxed. Researchers tracked that movement through anonymous cell phone data, according to the release.

"Unless and until we see accelerated testing, contact tracing, isolating people who test positive, and widespread use of masks in public, there is a significant likelihood of new infections," Murray said in the release.

States began setting reopening plans in late April -- with governors in South Carolina and Georgia leading the way with some of the most aggressive plans -- and by this week, nearly every state has begun relaxing restrictions.

Read more:

3:14 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

Shanghai Disneyland reopens with timed entry and social distancing

From CNN's David Culver and Lilit Marcus

Performers dressed as Disney characters welcome visitors during the reopening of Disneyland Shanghai on May 11 in Shanghai, China.
Performers dressed as Disney characters welcome visitors during the reopening of Disneyland Shanghai on May 11 in Shanghai, China. Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

After three and a half months of closure following the initial outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirusShanghai Disneyland has reopened its doors to visitors.

However, not everything at the theme park looks the same as it did before.

Normally, the park has a capacity of 80,000 people and 12,000 cast members -- Disney parlance for employees. But for reopening day on May 11, the cast members far outnumbered the guests, who were at less than the recommended 30% capacity.

Visitors to Shanghai Disneyland are now required to wear masks, have their temperatures taken and socially distance.

However, that did little to dampen the excitement of the Disney superfans who gathered to enjoy the park on its reopening day.

Read more about the park's reopening here:

2:53 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

A city in northeastern China is going into "wartime mode" to deal with new coronavirus cases

From journalist Alexandra Lin in Hong Kong

The mayor of Shulan in China's northeastern Jilin province announced the city will go into "wartime mode" in response to an uptick in local cases of Covid-19 over the weekend.

The city has reported 14 confirmed cases in the past two days, according to the Jilin Health Commission website.

Mayor Jin Hua said Monday that the city will adopt strict containment measures. Clinics and pharmacies will stop selling fever medication, as all suspected or confirmed coronavirus patients will be sent to designated hospitals.

The deputy secretary of the Jilin provincial government said authorities have screened a total of 2,005 people, while 290 people have been quarantined as a result of contact tracing.

Experts from China’s National Health Commission and the Chinese Center for Disease Control arrived in Shulan on Sunday to guide the epidemic prevention and control work.

2:38 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

The world's second-oldest airline just filed for bankruptcy because of the coronavirus pandemic

From CNN's Maija Ehlinger in Atlanta and CNN's Natalie Gallón in Mexico City

Aircraft of Colombian airline Avianca are seen on the tarmac at El Dorado International Airport in Bogota on August 28, 2019.
Aircraft of Colombian airline Avianca are seen on the tarmac at El Dorado International Airport in Bogota on August 28, 2019. Juan Barreto/AFP/Getty Images

Colombian carrier Avianca, the world's second-oldest airline, filed for bankruptcy due to the "unforeseeable impact of the Covid-19 pandemic," according to a statement released on its website on Sunday. 

The decision to file for bankruptcy was made with the intention to "protect and preserve operations" during the continuing pandemic.

According to the statement, Avianca directly employs 21,000 people throughout Latin America. Nearly 90% of countries where Avianca operates are under total or partial travel restrictions, according to additional information on the Avianca website. 

“Avianca is facing the most challenging crisis in our 100-year history as we navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Anko van der Werff, the company's CEO.

According to Van der Werff, Avianca is the second-oldest continuously running airline in the world. 

2:21 a.m. ET, May 11, 2020

It's just past 8:20 a.m. in Berlin and 3:20 p.m. in Seoul. Here's what you may have missed

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 4.1 million people and killed at least 282,700 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. If you're just joining us, here is the latest on the pandemic:

  • Germany on alert: The coronavirus reproduction rate is estimated to have risen over the crucial value of 1, reaching 1.13, according to the country's disease and control center. The increase indicates a rise in infections, a few days after Chancellor Angela Merkel announced an easing of lockdown measures.
  • New Zealand to ease restrictions: PM Jacinda Ardern said authorities will begin to lift lockdown measures in several phases, but warned that while her country "may have won a few battles," it has not "won the war," against the virus.
  • Small spikes in China: Fresh lockdown measures were announced for the city of Shulan in northeastern Jilin province over the weekend after 11 cases were reported. Five local transmissions were reported in Wuhan, ground zero for the pandemic. The city reported its first new case in more than a month yesterday, raising concerns that new cases could be coming.
  • Potential second wave in South Korea: At least 85 coronavirus patients in South Korea are believed to have contracted the virus in nightclubs in recent weeks, prompting authorities to order the businesses shuttered. Of 35 new cases reported Monday, all 29 locally transmitted infections were related to clubs in Itaewon, a popular nightlife district in Seoul.
  • World's second-oldest airline grounded: Colombia-based airline Avianca Holdings has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US Southern District of New York. The "voluntary petition" was filed as a result of the "unforeseeable impact of the Covid-19 pandemic," according to a statement released on their website.