May 14 coronavirus news

By Zamira Rahim, Joshua Berlinger and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 8:24 a.m. ET, May 15, 2020
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5:54 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

UK health body approves coronavirus antibody test

From CNN's Max Ramsay and Lindsay Isaac

A lab technician holds a rackpack for Roche’s new coronavirus antibody test at a development lab in Penzberg, Germany, on May 4.
A lab technician holds a rackpack for Roche’s new coronavirus antibody test at a development lab in Penzberg, Germany, on May 4. Peter Kneffel/picture alliance/Getty Images

Britain has approved a coronavirus antibody test developed by pharmaceutical company Roche and is now working towards acquiring enough kits for widespread testing.

UK health officials determined the tests were "highly specific," with an accuracy of 100%, in an independent evaluation, Public Health England (PHE) said in a statement to CNN.

“Last week, scientific experts at PHE Porton Down carried out an independent evaluation of the new Roche SARS-CoV-2 serology assay in record time, concluding that it is a highly specific assay with specificity of 100%,” said Professor John Newton, national coordinator of the UK Coronavirus Testing Programme.
“This is a very positive development because such a highly specific anti-body test is a very reliable marker of past infection,” he said.
“This in turn may indicate some immunity to future infection although the extent to which the presence of anti-bodies indicates immunity remains unclear.”

Scientists believe antibodies provide a degree of immunity from future coronavirus infection, though it has not been determined how long such immunity lasts.

Edward Argar, a UK health minister, said Roche's test “appears to be extremely reliable” and “has the potential to be a game changer” in a television interview with the BBC.

The British government had entered discussions with Roche about acquiring the tests, Argar said. He added that the government was not in a position to roll out the tests yet, but was working on distributing them as quickly as possible.

Roche has previously said its antibody test can provide a result in approximately 18 minutes. It is an in vitro test, using human serum and plasma drawn from a blood sample, and must then be run in a Roche analyser. 

The company's antibody test has also been authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration.

5:02 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

China to expand coronavirus testing to prevent resurgence in cases

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

A medical worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) collects samples from a teacher for nucleic acid testing for the coronavirus at a primary school in Taiyuan, China, on Wednesday, May 13.
A medical worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) collects samples from a teacher for nucleic acid testing for the coronavirus at a primary school in Taiyuan, China, on Wednesday, May 13. Zhang Yuan/China News Service/Getty Images

Health officials in China said Thursday that they will be stepping up coronavirus testing and screening countrywide amid growing concern of a domestic rebound in cases.

“We need to expand Covid-19 testing and screening to quickly find the source of infections and prevent a resurgence in coronavirus cases,” said Song Shuli, a spokesperson for the National Health Commission.

The announcement comes after both Jilin and Liaoning provinces in the northeast of the country reported new locally transmitted cases this week.

Earlier on Thursday, Chinese state media reported that the city of Wuhan, ground zero for the Covid-19 pandemic, had begun a “10-day battle” to test all 11 million of its citizens for coronavirus after the public health authorities identified six locally transmitted cases.

5:08 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

The UK's 4 countries take a divided approach to coronavirus crisis

Analysis from CNN's Luke McGee in London

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives on Downing Street after leaving the House of Commons in London, England, on Wednesday, May 13.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives on Downing Street after leaving the House of Commons in London, England, on Wednesday, May 13. WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/AP

The UK's coronavirus crisis has reignited one of the country's most bitter political debates: Can the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland survive as a union of four nations? 

On Sunday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the country from 10 Downing Street in a recorded message, announcing his plan for the UK to emerge from lockdown.

He called on millions of people to return to work, and gave a rough outline of when schools and shops might reopen over the comings months. He also shifted his government's core message from the simple "Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives" to the more ambiguous "Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives." 

But before Johnson's message was even broadcast, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon delivered her own address. In doing so, she revealed the uncomfortable reality that Johnson has little practical power over the people living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

It was, of course, her right to do so. "For around 20 years, the government of the UK has only really been the government of England in huge areas of policy," says John Denham, a former Labour lawmaker and professorial fellow on English identity at the University of Southampton. 

Since the late 1990s, Westminster has ceded much power to legislative bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, allowing devolved governments to set domestic policy in areas such as health and education. 

So it is little surprise that Sturgeon was confused when Johnson began talking about the opening of schools, among other things, on Sunday night. "Discussing schools, for example, he used year group terms that don't even make sense in Scotland. It wasn't at all clear in the statement what guidance applied to the whole UK and what applied to England specifically," says Nicola McEwen, professor of territorial politics at the University of Edinburgh.

Sources inside Downing Street have told CNN that Johnson himself thought the message was confusing. "Filming was a total nightmare. He was stopping and starting, asking to change bits, complaining about the length, saying it was all too complex," said one government source who was not permitted to speak on the record. 

Read the full analysis:

4:12 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

Russia reports nearly 10,000 new cases of Covid-19

From CNN's Darya Tarasova in Moscow and Nathan Hodge

A woman wears a protective mask and gloves while shopping in a supermarket in Moscow on Wednesday.
A woman wears a protective mask and gloves while shopping in a supermarket in Moscow on Wednesday. Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images

Russia recorded 9,974 new cases of Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, the country’s coronavirus headquarters said in a statement today.

That marks the first time in 12 days that the country has reported fewer than 10,000 new daily cases.

Russia has officially reported 252,245 total cases of coronavirus. The country has the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the world after the United States, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

3:46 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

How coronavirus-related stress takes a toll on your body

From CNN's Sandee LaMotte

The constant stress of living in the age of coronavirus is affecting more than your mental health and emotional coping abilities. It's likely taking a toll on your body as well.

"We're living in a sea of stress hormones every day," said stress management expert Dr. Cynthia Ackrill, an editor for "Contentment" magazine, produced by the American Institute of Stress.

"We're not designed for a constant application of these chemicals," Ackrill said. "The stress hormone cortisol just ravages our bodies when it's dumped into our system repeatedly."

Designed to keep you functioning throughout the day, cortisol levels are meant to rise in the morning and decrease as the day lengthens. The hormone's purpose is to maintain blood sugar levels to keep your brain and muscles functioning and suppress non-vital systems like digestion that might drag your energy down.

But when triggered by a stressful occurrence, cortisol levels suddenly spike, and can take hours to dissipate. If that stress is constant, those levels don't drop, leading to cortisol malfunction and a disease-causing boost in inflammation.

"Inflammation is behind diabetes. Inflammation is behind heart disease. It's behind all of the autoimmune diseases. It's behind asthma and allergies, and the list goes on," Ackrill said.

If you're genetically at risk or you already have an inflammatory condition, today's constant stress may well trigger or worsen your symptoms.

Read more:

3:23 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

American pilot dies in plane crash while attempting to deliver Covid-19 tests to remote Indonesian village

From CNN's Leah Asmelash

An American pilot died when her plane malfunctioned while she was on her way to deliver Covid-19 rapid test kits to a remote Indonesian village, officials said.

Joyce Lin, 40, had just taken off Tuesday morning, leaving the airport in Sentani, in Papua province, in a Kodiak aircraft. She was a missionary with the Mission Aviation Fellowship, serving as a pilot and an information technology specialist.

She'd been with the MAF for about three years, according to the organization.

Lin was attempting to fly to Mamit, in the Papua highlands, in an effort to bring test kits to the local clinic. Within minutes of takeoff, she reported an emergency.

The aircraft fell into Lake Sentani, and divers confirmed she did not survive, according to the MAF. She was the only one aboard the plane. The MAF said it is working with local authorities to investigate the incident.

Lin had worked in Indonesia for two years, and joined the MAF after more than a decade of work as a computer specialist.

Read more:

3:00 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

It's just past 9 a.m. in Rome and 5 p.m. in Sydney. Here's what you should know if you're just tuning in

The novel coronavirus has infected more than 4.3 million people worldwide, bringing countries to a standstill. The global death toll is closing in on 300,000.

Here are the latest headlines:

  • Job losses mount in Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday that nearly 600,000 people in the country have lost their jobs as a result of the financial impact of the pandemic. He said the number was "shocking" but somewhat anticipated.
  • Mass evacuations: Indian authorities said they will help bring home a further 30,000 citizens stranded abroad due to the pandemic. Some 8,500 of 14,800 citizens registered to leave in the first phase of the operation have already returned.
  • A spike in Chile: The Chilean health ministry said that 2,660 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in the country on Wednesday -- the highest number in a single day.
  • Covid-19's dire effects: Researchers reported Wednesday that the novel coronavirus can go far beyond the lungs and can attack organs throughout the body, including the heart, liver, brain, kidneys and intestines. The findings could help explain the wide range of symptoms caused by Covid-19 infection.
  • Italy spending billions: The Italian government has unveiled a $60 billion stimulus package to help the country recover from the economic impact of the crisis. Some of the money will go to the country's beleaguered health care sector to help it prepare for a potential second wave.
  • Brazil's epidemic: The country's health ministry said Wednesday that it recorded 11,385 new cases of the virus in a 24-hour period -- the highest spike in a single day. Brazil has recorded more than 190,000 cases, the sixth-highest total in the world.
2:45 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

Fewer than 1,000 Covid-19 patients in Germany are on ventilators

From CNN's Frederik Pleitgen in Berlin

There are now fewer than 1,000 Covid-19 patients breathing with the help of ventilators in Germany, according to the country’s central register of intensive care capacities. 

The data from Germany’s Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine shows that 1,353 Covid-19 patients are currently in intensive care beds, and of those, 924 are on ventilators.

Maintaining sufficient intensive care capacities is a cornerstone of Germany’s strategy to combat the disease. 

Germany has 32,466 intensive care beds to treat Covid-19 patients, according to the country's intensive care register. There are currently 15,000 active cases, authorities in the country say.

A total of more than 174,000 people have contracted the virus in Germany, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, 7,861 of whom have died.

2:42 a.m. ET, May 14, 2020

Nearly 600,000 people in Australia have lost their jobs during the pandemic

People queue outside a benefits payment center in Sydney on March 23.
People queue outside a benefits payment center in Sydney on March 23. Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday that nearly 600,000 people in the country have lost their jobs as a result of the financial impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, a number he called "shocking, although not unanticipated."

"This is a tough day for Australia, a very tough day," Morrison said at a news conference. "We knew there would be hard news as the pandemic wreaks an impact on Australia as it is on countries all around the world. And so it has been the case."

Morrison said that although the rate of infections is decreasing in Australia, the country should prepare for further economic hardship.

"In the months ahead, we can brace ourselves and must brace ourselves for further hard news for Australians to take. But it's important on a day like today that we remember to support each other again," he said. "It is important as a country that we stand firm and we stand together."

Nearly 7,000 people in Australia have been infected by the virus, killing 98, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Last week, Morrison announced a three-step plan to reopen the country if infections continue to trend downward.