May 11 coronavirus news

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9:57 p.m. ET, May 10, 2020

Coronavirus infections on the rise in Germany days after restrictions eased

From CNN's Jonny Hallam and Chandler Thornton in Atlanta

A doctor conducts a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing site in Berlin, Germany, on April 30.
A doctor conducts a coronavirus test at a drive-thru testing site in Berlin, Germany, on April 30. John Macdougall/AFP via Getty Images

Germany's 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 Robert Koch Institute. 

Prior to Saturday, Germany's reproduction rate was below 1, the institute reported. 

The reproduction rate refers to how many people each person infected with coronavirus will infect on average.

The background: The increase in reproduction rate indicates a rise in infections across Germany, a few days after Chancellor Angela Merkel announced an easing of lockdown measures.

On Wednesday last week, Merkel announced a gradual reopening of all shops and schools, as well as the resumption of the Bundesliga soccer league, although there will be no spectators.

The Robert Koch Institute said there is still a "degree of uncertainty" with these estimates but the increase in reproduction rate "makes it necessary to observe the development very closely over the coming days."

Germany has reported more than 171,000 coronavirus cases, including over 7,500 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

9:35 p.m. ET, May 10, 2020

India to partially resume passenger train services amid nationwide lockdown

From CNN’s Rishabh Pratap in New Delhi

Empty trains sit parked at a station in Kolkata, India, on March 28 during the nationwide lockdown.
Empty trains sit parked at a station in Kolkata, India, on March 28 during the nationwide lockdown. Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP via Getty Images

Indian Railways announced passenger services will partially resume in the country starting Tuesday. The railways will start with special trains on 15 selected routes, including the New Delhi-Mumbai route, according to the Railways Ministry. 

Indian Railways will then start additional special services on other routes, based on availability. Priority will be given to 20,000 coaches for Covid-19 care centers and then up to 300 trains every day to bring home stranded migrant workers across the country, the statement added. 

Only passengers with valid confirmed tickets -- which can be purchased on Monday afternoon -- will be allowed to enter the railway stations and it will be mandatory for the passengers to wear a face cover and undergo screening at departure. Only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to board the train. 

The background: Indian railways stopped passenger services for the first time in 167 years on March 24 after a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus was announced. The lockdown is scheduled to continue to at least May 17.

9:20 p.m. ET, May 10, 2020

Sen. Lamar Alexander will self-quarantine after staffer tests positive

From CNN’s Manu Raju

Sen. Lamar Alexander gives his opening statement during a Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on new coronavirus tests on Capitol Hill on May 7, in Washington.
Sen. Lamar Alexander gives his opening statement during a Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on new coronavirus tests on Capitol Hill on May 7, in Washington. Andrew Harnik/Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee, will self-quarantine after a staff member in his office tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a statement from Alexander’s chief of staff, David Cleary.

“Senator Alexander has no symptoms and tested negative for Covid-19 on Thursday afternoon, May 7. After discussing this with the Senate’s attending physician, Senator Alexander, out of an abundance of caution, has decided not to return to Washington, D.C., and will self-quarantine in Tennessee for 14 days. Almost all of the senator’s Washington, D.C., staff are working from home, and there is no need for any other staff member to self-quarantine,” Cleary said in the statement.

“The senator will be working remotely and will chair the Senate Health Committee hearing on Tuesday morning by video conference where the witnesses will be Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Robert Redfield, Dr. Brett Giroir and Dr. Stephen Hahn," Cleary said.

Cleary said the staffer is “recovering at home and is doing well.”

8:55 p.m. ET, May 10, 2020

Trump expressed concerns that aides contracting coronavirus would undercut message the outbreak is waning

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images
Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images

In conversations on the weekend, US President Donald Trump has expressed concern that aides contracting coronavirus would undercut his message that the outbreak is waning and states should begin reopening, according to a person who spoke to him.

Trump voiced frustration that two White House staffers tested positive for coronavirus and has asked why his valets weren’t ordered to wear masks before this week, according to the person.

Trump believes an economic rebound will come only when governors decide to lift restrictions and is concerned at any signs the virus is resurgent.

At the same time, he’s told people he doesn’t want to be near anyone who hasn’t been tested and has bristled when coming into contact with some people at the White House, according to the person who spoke to him.

8:56 p.m. ET, May 10, 2020

Pence will not self-quarantine, plans to be at the White House Monday

From CNN's From Jeremy Diamond and Kevin Liptak

US Vice President Mike Pence plans to be at the White House on Monday, a Pence spokesman said on Sunday.
US Vice President Mike Pence plans to be at the White House on Monday, a Pence spokesman said on Sunday. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

US Vice President Mike Pence is not planning to enter self-quarantine after his press secretary tested positive for coronavirus Friday, and he plans to be at the White House on Monday, a Pence spokesman said on Sunday.

Devin O'Malley, the vice president's spokesman, said Pence "will continue to follow the advice of the White House Medical Unit and is not in quarantine."

"Additionally, Vice President Pence has tested negative every single day and plans to be at the White House tomorrow," O'Malley said in a statement.

Separately, an official said Pence’s schedule will probably be on the lighter side for the next few days but he’s not doing a full self-isolation.

This official also said there is extreme sensitivity inside the White House now at the current state of affairs -- officials recognize the contradiction in telling states to reopen while the White House enhances protocols to prevent spread of the virus.

What others are doing:

  • Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and US Surgeon General Jerome Adams have been tested for Covid-19 and the results were negative, according to government spokespeople, so they are not planning to self-quarantine as of now.
  • Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday came in contact with a family member who has tested positive for the virus, according to a US official. Gilday was tested Friday and although he is negative at this time, he will quarantine for several days, the official said.
8:55 p.m. ET, May 10, 2020

People flying into the UK will have to quarantine, prime minister says

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad and Simon Cullen 

A British Airways plane lands at London Heathrow Airport on May 10.
A British Airways plane lands at London Heathrow Airport on May 10. Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

The United Kingdom will “soon” introduce a quarantine period on people coming into the country by air, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Sunday.

“To prevent re-infection from abroad, I’m serving notice that it will soon be the time – with transmission significantly lower -- to impose quarantine on people coming into this country by air," Johnson said during a taped address to the nation.

Some context: In a statement to CNN on Saturday, the chief executive of the UK Airport Operators Association, Karen Dee, warned that the introduction of a quarantine period could have a "devastating impact" on the UK aviation industry. 

“Quarantine would not only have a devastating impact on the UK aviation industry, but also on the wider economy ... if the government believes quarantine is medically necessary, then it should be applied on a selective basis following the science, there should be a clear exit strategy and the economic impact on key sectors should be mitigated," Dee told CNN. 

Dee continued: “Airports have done their utmost to stay open through this crisis to provide vital services to communities -- from facilitating freight and repatriations to air ambulance, police, Royal Mail and HM Coastguard services -- but cannot survive a further protracted period without passengers that would be the result of quarantine measures. If quarantine is a necessary tool for fighting Covid-19, then the Government should act decisively to protect the hundreds of thousands of airport-related and travel-related jobs across the UK."

8:52 p.m. ET, May 10, 2020

Lebanon reverses decision to ease virus measures after increase in cases

From CNN’s Ghazi Balkiz and Jonny Hallam

Lebanese people exercise on an empty road by the Dbayeh seaside promenade in Beirut on May 8.
Lebanese people exercise on an empty road by the Dbayeh seaside promenade in Beirut on May 8. Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images

The Lebanese Ministry of Interior is reversing its decision to relax the daily curfew "due to the failure of many citizens to adhere to the measures of prevention and public safety, and because of selfishness, recklessness and indifference to their health and the health of their societies," the ministry said on its website Sunday.

The country's curfew will now start two hours earlier, and no one will be allowed out of their home between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily, the ministry said.

If some citizens continue to disregard preventive measures such as social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding crowds, “all public and private departments, institutions, companies and commercial stores will be closed ... except for health and security services. And citizens will be completely prevented from going out onto the streets,” the statement added.

CNN staff in Lebanon have observed that people in public have recently become lax about social distancing and wearing masks.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Ministry of Public Health on Sunday affirmed the need “to adhere to domestic quarantine for those who were required to do so by the medical teams of the Ministry, especially those coming from abroad and those who were in contact with infected people, even if they do not show symptoms of the disease.”

If infection numbers “remain high, I will ask the cabinet to lock down the country for 48 hours," said Hamad Hassan, the Lebanese minister of public health, in a television interview Saturday.

8:48 p.m. ET, May 10, 2020

London Chamber of Commerce says it would be "foolish" for non-essential employees to return to work

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry advises businesses in London to keep their employees at home, CEO Richard Burge tweeted Sunday, following UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s address to the nation.

Earlier Sunday in a taped address, Johnson called on employees across the United Kingdom to return to work if it's not possible to work from home, as he laid out his vision for gradually restarting the economy.

9:18 p.m. ET, May 10, 2020

New alert system will help guide UK on social distancing measures, prime minister says

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad and Nada Bashir

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new system would be run by a “new joint biosecurity center.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new system would be run by a “new joint biosecurity center.” Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street via AP

The United Kingdom is introducing a new Covid-19 alert system to help keep the rate of infection low, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Sunday.

During a taped address to the nation, Johnson said the new system would be run by a “new joint biosecurity center” and will determine “how tough we have to be in our social distancing measures” in the weeks and months ahead. 

Under the new system, level 1 would indicate that “the disease is no longer present in the UK,” while level 5 indicates a “critical” level, with the National Health Service unable to cope. 

“The lower the level, the fewer the measures; the higher the level, the tougher and stricter we will have to be,” Johnson outlined.

According to the prime minister, the country has been at level 4 during the lockdown period, but can now begin to take the steps needed to move to level 3.