May 15 coronavirus news
The first known Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Bangladesh's refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, the United Nations said on Thursday, citing the Bangladeshi government.
The camps at Cox's Bazar are home to nearly a million Rohingya refugees, many of whom fled across the border to Bangladesh to escape violence in neighboring Myanmar.
One of the confirmed cases was a Rohingya refugee, and the other was a Bangladeshi citizen who lives in the surrounding area of the camps, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement.
Bangladesh currently has at least 18,863 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 283 deaths, a tally from Johns Hopkins University shows.
Government response: The Bangladeshi government suspended most of the services within the densely populated camps in late March, including educational programs and other advocacy work.
Health officials have now begun to treat both patients while isolating and testing other refugees in the camps, the agency said.
Covid in the camps is "a nightmare": “The first positive case of Covid-19 in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh is the realization of a nightmare scenario,” said Daniel P. Sullivan, a senior advocate for human rights with the US-based organization Refugees International.
“In addition, the prevalence of underlying health conditions among refugees and the deteriorating sanitary conditions sure to come with the looming monsoon and flooding season make for a witch’s brew of conditions in which the virus is sure to thrive," Sullivan added.
Sullivan also stressed the importance of the Bangladeshi government’s efforts to ensure open communication as well as more medical resources within the refugee camp to prevent and prepare for further spread.
CNN has reached out to the Bangladeshi government for a comment.
Mike Bowen, executive vice president of Prestige Ameritech, a medical supply company in Texas, said today the US dependence on foreign masks has been a national security issue for years.
“Forgive me for being angry; I'm angry because I've done this for so, so long. And I've been ignored for so long. And I apologize,” Bowen said, fighting back tears.
Bowen made the remarks today before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.
Foreign dependence: Bowen said the issue of US dependence on China for masks is “not some multibillion dollar problem.” The issue, he said, amounts to “people trying to save pennies across the whole United States.”
Bowen said to help end over-reliance on foreign suppliers, the US government should say it is a national security problem. "It requires the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), telling America's hospitals 'you’re dependent on foreign made masks’ and put them in legal liability. They have to protect their patients and staff," he added.
China controls most of the world’s mask supply, Bowen said. China sells a box of masks for $1, he said, while he sells them for about $5. “Their prices are so cheap that they've captured most of the world's mask market,” he said.
“Their masks cost less than the materials. If I take my labor costs totally out, I'm still nowhere near the cost of their products,” Bowen said.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced an “unprecedented” 18 billion euro ($19.4 billion) plan to support the country’s tourism industry.
Under the plan, tourism businesses will be eligible for grants of up to 10,000 euros ($10,800). There are also government-guaranteed loans totaling 6.2 billion euros ($6.7 billion).
“(Tourism in France) is probably facing the worst test in its modern history, even though it is one of the jewels of the French economy,” Philippe said Thursday, adding that French residents would be able to go on domestic summer holidays in July and August.
Philippe said cafés and restaurants in green zones -- where the coronavirus epidemic is not as bad -- would reopen on June 2 as long as the situation doesn’t deteriorate.
For Paris and other areas in red zones, a decision to reopen cafés and restaurants would be made during the week of May 25.
He also thanked the tourism industry for guaranteeing that full refunds would be given for cancellations related to coronavirus.
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro warned that more restrictive social isolation measures would break the country and said there wouldn’t be enough money to pay public sector workers.
This story about lockdown, closing everything, that is not the path,” he told journalists gathered outside the presidential residence, “That is the path to failure, to breaking Brazil.”
Brazil reported its highest daily spike in new cases on Thursday, with nearly 14,000 infections.
Bolsonaro said quarantine measures already introduced by many governors across the country were making the crisis worse. “Brazil is turning into a country of poor people.” He warned, “there won’t be enough money to pay public sector workers.”
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil has risen to nearly 203,000, according to the country’s health ministry.
Brazil has the sixth highest number of coronavirus cases in the world. It stands behind the US, Russia, UK, Spain, and Italy, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil has risen to at least 202,918, according to the country’s health ministry.
For the second day in a row, Brazil recorded its highest daily spike in new cases with 13,944 reported.
There were 844 new deaths registered in the past 24 hours, according to health ministry data. The total number of deaths in Brazil from Covid-19 is now at least 13,993.
What we know: Brazil is currently among the top 10 countries in the world with the highest number of coronavirus cases, ranking sixth, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. It is the country with the most cases and deaths in Latin America.