May 13 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton and Zamira Rahim, CNN

Updated 9:26 p.m. ET, May 13, 2020
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6:46 a.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Russia suspends use of ventilator model that caught fire in coronavirus hospitals

From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina in Moscow

Emergency personnel work at the site of a fire at the St. George Hospital in St. Petersburg on May 12.
Emergency personnel work at the site of a fire at the St. George Hospital in St. Petersburg on May 12. Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images 

Russia has suspended the use and circulation of Aventa-M ventilators produced after April 1 2020, following two deadly fires in coronavirus hospitals, the country’s Federal Service for Supervision in Healthcare Roszdravnadzor said in a statement Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a fire in St. Petersburg claimed the lives of five patients and forced the evacuation of 150 people. Three days earlier a similar incident killed one patient in Moscow. Both hospitals used Aventa-M ventilators, Roszdravnadzor said. 

Aventa-M is a flagship ventilator produced by KRET, which is part of state-owned defense producer Rostec.

KRET has been designated by the Russian authorities as the main supplier of ventilators in the country. According to a government contract, KRET is supplying 6,711 ventilators in total this year to Russia’s regional hospitals. In April, the company said it would increase its production capacity from 10 ventilators to 100 ventilators a day. 

Aventa-M ventilators were also part of a shipment of medical supplies sent by Russia to the US in early April.

A FEMA spokesperson told CNN the ventilators had never been deployed and the shipment was returned by New York and New Jersey.

“They were held in reserve in case the situations in NY and NJ worsened," a FEMA spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday.
"The ventilators have not been deployed to hospitals. Out of an abundance of caution, the states are returning the ventilators to FEMA. The conclusion(s) of the investigation being conducted by the Russian authorities into the fire in St. Petersburg will help inform our decision regarding any future use of the ventilators."
7:54 a.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Beijing's schools and universities will reopen in June

From CNN's Isaac Yee

Schools and universities in Beijing will reopen in June, according to Beijing Municipal Health Commission Spokesperson Li Yi.

Middle school students in certain grades will be allowed to resume classes on June 1. A start date for elementary school students in the first to third grade is yet to be confirmed but those in the fourth and fifth grade will be allowed to resume classes on June 8.

The health commission said that schools would work hard to prevent and control the spread of Covid-19 in their institutions.

Universities in the Chinese capital will be allowed to reopen on a voluntary basis, as long as their campuses have implemented epidemic control measures.

6:48 a.m. ET, May 13, 2020

UK expected to fall into "significant recession" this year, finance minister says

From CNN's Max Ramsay

Chancellor Rishi Sunak makes a statement in the House of Commons in London on May 12.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak makes a statement in the House of Commons in London on May 12. House of Commons/PA Images/Getty Images

Britain is likely to face a "significant recession" this year due to the pandemic, finance minister Rishi Sunak said.

The British economy contracted by 2% in the first quarter of 2020, according to UK GDP figures published on Wednesday.

“A recession is technically defined as two quarters in succession of negative GDP,” Sunak told British media.
“We have had one and that is on the basis of only several days really of significant disruption from coronavirus. So yes, it is now very likely the UK will face a significant recession this year."
6:21 a.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Locally transmitted cases confirmed in Hong Kong for the first time in 22 days

From CNN's Isaac Yee

Pedestrians and vehicles make their way along a street in the Kwun Tong district of Hong Kong on May 6.
Pedestrians and vehicles make their way along a street in the Kwun Tong district of Hong Kong on May 6. Paul Yeung/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Hong Kong officials confirmed that two new locally transmitted coronavirus cases have been recorded in the city, for the first time in 22 days.

"After 22 days of no locally transmitted coronavirus, we have the first today, we are all very concerned," Dr. Chui Tak-yi of Hong Kong's Food and Health Bureau told a news conference Wednesday.

The two cases are a 66-year old grandmother and her five-year old granddaughter who do not live together.

Health officials are tracing their close contacts. The pair's neighbors, along with the students and teachers at the five-year-old's tutorial center, will be tested for Covid-19, said Dr. Chuang Shuk Kwan of the Hong Kong Department of Health.

Chuang warned that the new cases showed an “invisible transmission chain,” and added that officials would not rule out the possibility of future locally-transmitted cases and a community outbreak.

Officials also confirmed one new imported case from Pakistan. The individual initially tested negative upon arrival in Hong Kong on May 8 but subsequently tested positive on Wednesday while in quarantine.

Hong Kong now has 1,051 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus including four deaths.

6:42 a.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Amazon France will keep distribution centers closed until May 18

From CNN's Pierre Bairin

An Amazon logistics center is pictured in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, on April 16.
An Amazon logistics center is pictured in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, on April 16. Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images

Amazon France has said it is extending the closure of its distribution centers in the country through May 18.

The online retail company closed the centers on April 15, after a French court ordered Amazon France to stop all non-essential deliveries during the pandemic. The ruling was upheld by the Versailles court of appeal on April 24.

The court ordered the corporation to limit its sales to technology, DIY, pet-related items, medical, hygiene, and grocery products until it resolved issues with workers’ groups about measures the company put in place to protect workers against coronavirus. The court added that a fine of 100,000 euros would apply to each item sold from a non-approved category.

“The potential penalty outlined by the Versailles Court of Appeal means that even a rate of 0.1% of handling or shipping items that are not included in the judgement could lead to a fine of more than a billion euros per week," Amazon said in a statement.

Amazon had earlier blamed the ruling on labor unions, which brought the complaint accusing the online delivery giant of endangering the lives of workers by not instituting enough safety precautions to protect against the virus.

Amazon said on Wednesday that it was continuing to talk with workers’ representatives and had received their request to include an independent expert in the negotiations.

5:05 a.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Russia reports over 10,000 new cases for 11th consecutive day

From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina in Moscow

Medical workers are seen at a hospital that treats Covid-19 patients in Khimki, Russia, on May 12.
Medical workers are seen at a hospital that treats Covid-19 patients in Khimki, Russia, on May 12. Sergei Bobylev/TASS/Getty Images

Russia reported 10,028 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing its total to 242,271, according to data released by the country’s virus response headquarters.

The country has recorded 2,212 Covid-19 related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Russia has recorded the second-highest number of cases worldwide, after the United States. It has now reported over 10,000 cases per day for 11 consecutive days. 

4:40 a.m. ET, May 13, 2020

Brits would be taking a chance by booking summer holidays now, minister says

From CNN's Max Ramsay in London

British Airways planes are seen parked on May 5 at Gatwick airport in London.
British Airways planes are seen parked on May 5 at Gatwick airport in London. Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

British holidaymakers may not necessarily be able to travel abroad this summer, the UK transport minister said today.

Asked in a BBC television interview whether people should book flights in the summer, for instance in July, Grant Shapps said:

“I’m saying, right now you can’t travel abroad. If you are booking it you are clearly by very nature taking a chance of where the direction of this virus goes and therefore where the travel advice is in the future.”

Asked about confusion over the UK’s new measures to ease the nationwide lockdown, Shapps said the government had to make a decision on rules to start lifting restrictions.

“There has to be a line drawn where we say this is OK and this isn’t in order to gradually release things and this is where the line is at the moment,” he said.

4:30 a.m. ET, May 13, 2020

It's just past 9:30 a.m. in London and 1:30 p.m. in Karachi. Here's what you may have missed

More than 4.2 million people have been infected by Covid-19 worldwide, including at least 291,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. If you're just joining us, here are the latest developments from around the globe:

  • Virus hits British business: The UK economy shrank by 2% in the first quarter of 2020, with GDP contracting by 5.8% in March alone -- the biggest monthly fall since the data series began in 1997, the Office for National Statistics said.
  • Pakistan's highest spike: More than 2,250 new coronavirus infections were recorded on Tuesday -- the highest spike in daily infections yet. The total number of confirmed cases in Pakistan officially stands at over 34,000.
  • South Korea nightclub cluster grows: Nearly 120 cases have been linked to an outbreak in Seoul's Itaewon nightlife district. With fears of a second wave, authorities have tested more than 20,000 people in relation to the outbreak.
  • Chinese province tightens restrictions: Six more people have become infected with coronavirus in northeastern China, prompting authorities to implement tighter lockdown measures in parts of Jilin province, which borders North Korea.
  • Smoking danger: Smokers and former smokers, including e-cigarette users, have a significantly greater risk of developing severe cases of Covid-19 and dying from the illness than their non-smoking counterparts, according to a new study.
  • Russia cases surge: The country is reporting the second highest number of infections in the world, with more than 232,000 officially confirmed. Tuesday was the 10th consecutive day that Russia reported more than 10,000 new cases.
  • US death toll could rise substantially: A key coronavirus model often cited by the White House has again raised its coronavirus death projection, now predicting there could be 147,000 deaths in the United States by August 4.
4:20 a.m. ET, May 13, 2020

One of the world's largest tourism businesses warns it may cut 8,000 jobs worldwide

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin 

Shareholders arrive to attend the annual general meeting of tourism group TUI in Hanover, Germany, on February 9, 2016.
Shareholders arrive to attend the annual general meeting of tourism group TUI in Hanover, Germany, on February 9, 2016. Julian Stratenschulte/DPA/AFP/Getty Images

TUI Group -- one of the world's largest tourism operators -- is making significant cuts following a severe loss over the last few months, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Germany-headquartered travel group announced today that it will gradually resume its travel activities after suspending the vast majority of operations in March due to the coronavirus.

However, as many as 8,000 jobs worldwide could be cut or not filled at all in order to reduce administrative costs by up to 30%, a statement posted on the company website reads.

The statement said TUI's hotels in the German regions of Sylt and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania will reopen in the coming days, while hotels and clubs in European destinations are also ready to welcome tourists.

TUI is devising a 10-point catalog for increased hygiene, and protection measures are currently being implemented. 

"The safety and well-being of our guests and employees around the world continue to have top priority. Summer holidays in Europe can now gradually be made possible again -- responsibly and with clear rules,'' CEO Fritz Joussen said.