May 16 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brett McKeehan and Tara John, CNN

Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT) May 18, 2020
38 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
10:38 a.m. ET, May 16, 2020

FDA authorizes first "standalone at-home sample collection kit" for coronavirus

From CNN Health’s Ben Tinker

The US Food and Drug Administration announced Saturday that it has authorized “an at-home sample collection kit that can then be sent to specific laboratories for Covid-19 diagnostic testing.”

In a statement, the FDA said that the kit, manufactured by Everlywell, Inc., received an emergency use authorization “to be used by individuals at home who have been screened using an online questionnaire that is reviewed by a health care provider. This allows an individual to self-collect a nasal sample at home using Everlywell’s authorized kit,” according to the FDA statement.

“The FDA has also authorized two Covid-19 diagnostic tests, performed at specific laboratories, for use with samples collected using the Everlywell Covid-19 Test Home Collection Kit. These tests have been authorized under separate, individual EUAs. Additional tests may be authorized for use with the Everlywell at-home collection kit in the future, provided data are submitted in an EUA request that demonstrate the accuracy of each test when used with the Everlywell at-home collection kit," the statement said.

"The authorization of a COVID-19 at-home collection kit that can be used with multiple tests at multiple labs not only provides increased patient access to tests, but also protects others from potential exposure," said Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "Today's action is also another great example of public-private partnerships in which data from a privately funded study was used by industry to support an EUA request, saving precious time as we continue our fight against this pandemic."

10:21 a.m. ET, May 16, 2020

United Kingdom reports 468 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours

From CNN's Lindsay Isaac

The United Kingdom is reporting another 468 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, brining the total to at least 34,466, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Approximately 1,742,028 people have been tested, of which at least 240,161 are positive. 

The government conducted more than 100,00 tests in the past day.

Read the tweet from the department:

10:49 a.m. ET, May 16, 2020

New trial begins to determine if dogs can sniff out coronavirus

From CNN's Samantha Tapfumaneyi

courtesy Medical Detection Dogs
courtesy Medical Detection Dogs

Trials for specially-trained sniffer dogs that may be able to detect coronavirus in humans, even before symptoms appear, are set to begin in London.

Researchers hope to determine whether the dogs could be used as a potential new “non-invasive, early warning measure to detect coronavirus in the future,” the United Kingdom government said on Saturday. 

The trial will look at whether the six dogs, called "The Super Six," a mixture of labradors and cocker spaniels, can be trained to detect coronavirus from odor samples. Respiratory diseases are known to change body odor, according to the researchers, who hope dogs can detect the virus as they have been able to do with malaria.

“We are delighted that the government has given us the opportunity to demonstrate that dogs can play a role in the fight against Covid-19. They have the potential to help by quickly screening people, which will be vital as the country moves out of lockdown. Hopefully this will prevent a second peak and enable precious NHS resources to be used where most needed," Dr. Claire Guest, the CEO and co-founder of Medical Detection Dogs, said.

The researchers have already trained dogs to detect the odor of many different diseases in humans, such as cancer, malaria and Parkinson’s disease.

“We are sure our dogs will be able to find the odor of Covid-19 and we will then move into a second phase to test them in live situations, following which we hope to work with other agencies to train more dogs for deployment," Guest said.

“We are incredibly proud that a dog’s nose could once again save many lives," she added.
9:59 a.m. ET, May 16, 2020

Spanish prime minister to request state of emergency extension

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio and Claudia Dominguez

Andres Ballesteros/EFE/AFP via Getty Images
Andres Ballesteros/EFE/AFP via Getty Images

The Spanish government will ask the country’s parliament for a month-long extension to the state of emergency in the country, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced on Saturday.

“The Spanish government will ask the Parliament a new extension to the state of emergency, which will have distinct characteristics, in relation to the previous ones, because the situation in Spain has changed,” Sanchez said. “To begin with, it aims to be the last [extension to the] state of emergency and to encompass, until the end of the de-escalation, and because of that we will ask parliament that instead of 15 days, that it is of around a month.”

The prime minister said with this, that right of free circulation would remain “limited” for a few more weeks and that certain regions could exit the state of emergency earlier than others. 

Sanchez also said the phased easing of restrictions would carry on in half the country until the beginning of summer, while the rest of the country would finish one or two weeks afterwards, if there isn’t an increase in the number of cases. 

On tourism: The prime minister also addressed the economic situation, specifically the tourism sector, which according to Sanchez, accounts for 12.3% of the country’s GDP and employs 2.6 million people.

“This sector depends on the more than 80 million visitors that we receive every year and consequently Spain needs tourism and without tourism we cannot talk about an economic reactivation,” Sanchez said, explaining that Spain should not rush to open up to tourists. “We need to fully overcome the health emergency as soon as possible to then relaunch our attractive touristic offer."

9:32 a.m. ET, May 16, 2020

Trump says he has not made a final decision on World Health Organization funding

From CNN's Alison Main

 Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
 Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump has not made a final decision on the restoration of funding to the World Health Organization, according to a tweet he sent Saturday morning.

This came in response to a report from Fox News that the administration was going to restore some funding to the WHO.

Fox obtained a five-page draft letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Friday that says the administration will "agree to pay up to what China pays in assessed contributions" to the WHO. A senior administration official told Fox that the President had agreed to the plan in the letter. 

Trump said the plan detailed in the report "is just one of numerous concepts being considered under which we would pay 10% of what we have been paying over many years, matching much lower China payments," adding that all funds to the WHO are still frozen.

Some context: Trump said Thursday that the White House will likely be making an announcement related to the WHO next week, after his administration sought to cast blame on the organization for not acting quick enough to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

In April, Trump announced he was halting funding to the WHO while a review would be conducted.

Read Trump's tweet:

9:14 a.m. ET, May 16, 2020

Mass gatherings are making their way back into US life but may not look the way we remember

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe

The entrance to Disney World in Orlando on March 16.
The entrance to Disney World in Orlando on March 16. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Gatherings of large groups are beginning to happen again in the US but they may not look the way they once did and experts question if the public is ready for them at all.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said teams may open their facilities as soon as Tuesday — so long as it is permitted in their state and teams follow staffing restrictions. Players and coaches, however, won't start to return until next month.

In North Dakota, large gatherings like concerts, weddings, carnivals and graduations will soon be allowed to resume, with adherence to new guidelines, Gov. Doug Burgum announced Friday. Those guidelines include contactless payment, two seats in between patrons and disinfection between uses of equipment.

Florida amusement parks, like Walt Disney World, may soon be opening their doors as well. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order allowing counties to enter phase one of reopening and parks to submit re-opening proposals.

As those reopening plans continue, the 12 forecasting models tracked by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are predicting an increase in deaths in the coming weeks that could bring the nationwide death toll to 100,000 by June 1.

Currently, more than 1.4 million coronavirus cases and 87,000 deaths have been reported in the US.

8:46 a.m. ET, May 16, 2020

It's Saturday morning in the US. Here's what you should know.

From CNN's Elise Hammond

The Grand Canal in Venice, Italy, on May 13.
The Grand Canal in Venice, Italy, on May 13. Antonio Calanni/AP

It about 9:00 a.m. ET in the US. If you are just waking up, here are some of the top coronavirus headlines to get you caught up:

  • Countries reopening: Italy's government has approved a decree that will lift travel restrictions to and from the country from June 3. After that is lifted, people will be allowed to move from one region to another.
  • Tourism: Venice, Italy, is getting ready to welcome back tourists, but the city probably won't see many travelers until the borders are reopened and international travel is allowed. Every year, as many as 30 million tourists from all over the world descend on Venice, pumping up to $2.5 billion into the local economy, according to the Italian tourism ministry.
  • Surrogacy babies: Dozens of babies born to Ukrainian surrogate mothers are trapped in lockdown and unable to join their adoptive parents abroad as the country's borders remain closed. In total, around 100 babies are stranded in reproduction clinics across the country.
  • The World Health Organization said an "urgent need" remains to collect additional data on the multi-organ inflammatory syndrome that is affecting children's clinical presentations, severity, outcomes and epidemiology. Cases of the syndrome have been reported in several countries and states in the US and could be Covid-19 related.
  • New cases: Mexico reported an additional 2,437 coronavirus cases on Friday, the highest day-to-day increase for the country. Additionally, Russia reported 9,200 new cases on Saturday, pushing its overall total to at least 272,043 confirmed cases.
  • Spain: Health authorities reported the lowest daily increase in coronavirus deaths since mid-March on Saturday, as the number of new cases continues to slow.
5:31 p.m. ET, May 16, 2020

Madrid regional government chief criticizes delay in re-opening city

From CNN’s Laura Perez Maestro in Madrid, Claudia Dominguez in Atlanta and Vasco Cotovio in London

Isabel Diaz Ayuso has criticized the government for not re-opening Madrid.
Isabel Diaz Ayuso has criticized the government for not re-opening Madrid. Community of Madrid via Getty Images

The president of the Madrid regional government has criticized the Spanish government's decision to delay the easing of anti-coronavirus restrictions in the country’s capital, she said in a statement on Saturday. 

Isabel Diaz Ayuso, elected from the Popular Party (PP), said the Socialist government’s decision to postpone Madrid’s re-opening a "political attack towards the community of Madrid,” calling the decision arbitrary and saying that no reason was given for the postponement. 

She also announced that a formal request will be sent to the Ministry of Health “to know the criteria used to deny Madrid from starting the next phase,” assuring that Madrid complies with all criteria needed to reopen the city. 

The Spanish government, led by the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), has been at odds with opposition parliamentarians and regional governments over the de-escalation strategy in recent weeks. 

Madrid remains the region most affected by the novel coronavirus in Spain with 8,826 deaths and a total of 66,210 diagnosed cases. 

10:38 a.m. ET, May 16, 2020

Spain reports lowest daily deaths from Covid-19 since mid-March

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio and Claudia Rebaza in London and Claudia Dominguez in Atlanta

 People walk on Paseo de la Castellana, a major street in Madrid which has been pedestrianized.
 People walk on Paseo de la Castellana, a major street in Madrid which has been pedestrianized. Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

Spanish health authorities reported the lowest daily increase in coronavirus deaths since mid-March on Saturday, as the number of new cases continues to slow down.

According to data from the Spanish Health Ministry, 27,563 have now died from Covid-19 in the country, an increase of 104 in the past 24 hours. It is the lowest daily increase since March 17.

"While it is painful that people continue to die from coronavirus, the numbers are favorable," Dr. Fernando Simon, Spain’s Director for Health Emergencies, said of the number of new deaths at the daily coronavirus briefing. 

The number of coronavirus cases rose to 230,698, an increase of 539 in the past 24 hours. It showed an increase of 0.2% on the previous day, continuing the deceleration trend seen in the past few weeks.

“Until now, we haven’t currently detected an active outbreak in any of the regions,” Simon said of the infections, while cautioning that Spaniards need to remain vigilant.

Simon made the remarks as the Spanish Health Ministry announced its testing capacity had increased by 18% in the past seven days, having conducted nearly 2 million tests since the outbreak began. In addition, more than 1 million rapid antibody tests have also been carried out.

Its health ministry also reported a total of 50,723 health workers have been infected with the virus since the start of the outbreak in the country, 268 more cases since Friday.

While the Spanish government has not given an official number of deaths among health workers, the General Council of Official Medical Colleges, the Spanish doctors’ professional body (CGCOM), reported 48 doctors have died victims of Covid-19 in the country.