May 19 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton and Tara John, CNN

Updated 9:20 p.m. ET, May 19, 2020
21 Posts
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1:41 a.m. ET, May 19, 2020

Navajo Nation reports 69 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Leslie Perrot 

The Navajo Nation reported 69 new coronavirus cases and two additional deaths on Monday, according to a news release from the Navajo Nation president and vice president.  

That brings the total number of positive coronavirus cases for the Navajo Nation to 4,071, including 142 deaths.

The background: The Navajo Nation has surpassed New York and New Jersey for the highest per-capita coronavirus infection rate in the United States -- another sign of Covid-19's disproportionate impact on minority communities.

The nation has one of the strictest stay-at-home orders in the country, mandating that residents not leave their homes unless there is an emergency or they are essential workers.

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1:22 a.m. ET, May 19, 2020

Seychelles bans cruise ships through 2021 to prevent Covid-19 spread

From CNN's Lilit Marcus

The Seychelles is taking the bold step of banning all cruise ship tourism through the end of 2021 as a measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The East Africa island nation's largest newspaper, the Seychelles Nation, reports that Didier Dogley, the country's Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, made the decision.

According to the World Bank, tourism is the second biggest industry in the Seychelles after commercial fishing.

The Seychelles is a popular destination for celebrities, who have enjoyed the country's private villas and bright-blue waters over the years.

Prince William and Kate Middleton honeymooned there after their wedding in 2011, as did George and Amal Clooney in 2014. 

It's unclear whether the Seychelles will continue to allow travelers to come into the country by air. 

However, losing cruise ships likely means the economy will take a huge hit. Dogley has announced some benefits to help hotels, resorts, tour operators and other businesses who will be affected by the decision, including soft loans and government guarantees.

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1:32 a.m. ET, May 19, 2020

India coronavirus cases surpass 100,000

From CNN's Swati Gupta in New Delhi 

A municipal worker sprays disinfectant in an alley where a patient had tested positive for the coronavirus in Siliguri, India on May 18.
A municipal worker sprays disinfectant in an alley where a patient had tested positive for the coronavirus in Siliguri, India on May 18. Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images

India's Ministry of Health and Welfare has confirmed that more than 100,000 people have tested positive for novel coronavirus nationwide. 

The total number of confirmed cases stands at 101,139, including 3,163 deaths, according to the ministry.

Some 2,404,267 tests for the virus have been carried out in the country, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research.

1:27 a.m. ET, May 19, 2020

US hands out $11 billion to states and territories to help with testing

From CNN Health’s Maggie Fox

Private First Class Armon Ramirez from the Texas National Guard is given hand sanitizer after testing people for Covid-19 in the parking lot of Memorial Swimming Pool on May 18, in El Paso, Texas.
Private First Class Armon Ramirez from the Texas National Guard is given hand sanitizer after testing people for Covid-19 in the parking lot of Memorial Swimming Pool on May 18, in El Paso, Texas. Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

The United States Health and Human Services Department said Monday it is delivering $11 billion in new funding to states and territories to help them test people for coronavirus.

Most of the money will be distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while the Indian Health Service (IHS) will allocate $750 million to IHS, tribal, and urban Indian health programs. The money comes out of the $484 billion coronavirus relief bill. 

“This funding from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act will provide critical support to develop, purchase, administer, process, and analyze COVID-19 tests, conduct surveillance, trace contacts, and related activities,” HHS said in a statement.
“These funds, along with the previous funding support CDC and IHS provided, will help states, tribes, and territories with their efforts to re-open America.”

HHS said each governor would submit plans for Covid-19 testing. It’s been promising details of how the $11 billion would be split for a week.

“Readily accessible testing is a critical component of a four-pronged public health strategy – including rigorous contact tracing, isolation of confirmed cases, and quarantine. As communities move toward a blended mitigation and containment strategy, I encourage all Americans to continue to embrace powerful public health measures – social distancing, hand washing and face coverings,” CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said in a statement.

The background: The US has struggled with testing capacity, in part because the first test created by the CDC didn't work.

According to data collated by Johns Hopkins University, the US has conducted more than 11.8 million coronavirus tests.

12:43 a.m. ET, May 19, 2020

Amid coronavirus, India and Bangladesh brace for strongest storm ever recorded in Bay of Bengal

From CNN's Ben Westcott, Brandon Miller and Manveena Suri

Millions of people in India and Bangladesh are in the path of a super cyclone which is due to make landfall in less than 36 hours, bringing damaging winds and heavy rain to a region already struggling with the coronavirus pandemic.

Super Cyclone Amphan became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal on Monday night, after intensifying with sustained wind speeds of up to 270 kph (165 mph), according to data from the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center. 

Amphan has weakened slightly since, but the storm is still the equivalent of a strong Category 4 Atlantic hurricane, or a super typhoon in the West Pacific, with winds speeds up to 240 kph (150 mph). 

The Bay of Bengal, in the northeastern part of the Indian Ocean, is positioned between India to the west and northwest, Bangladesh to the north, and Myanmar to the east.

The super cyclone is due to make landfall on the India-Bangladesh border on Wednesday evening, near the Indian city of Kolkata, which is home to more than 14 million people.

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12:33 a.m. ET, May 19, 2020

More than 1,000 ICE detainees in the US have tested positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Priscilla Alvarez

More than 1,000 immigrants in United States' Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the agency’s latest statistics.

To date, the agency has tested 2,172 detainees and 1,073 have tested positive.

Over recent weeks, the number of cases in custody has gradually climbed. ICE has said that it’s working to release detainees it deems are vulnerable to the virus. 

“Of this medical risk population, ICE has released over 900 individuals after evaluating their immigration history, criminal record, potential threat to public safety, flight risk, and national security concerns," according to a statement on ICE’s website.

There were 27,908 detainees in custody as of May 9. 

12:04 a.m. ET, May 19, 2020

US reports more than 21,500 new cases

At least 21,551 new coronavirus cases and 785 Covid-19-related deaths were reported in the United States on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

That brings the total number of infections reported in the country to at least 1,508,308, including at least 90,347 fatalities.

The totals includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.

CNN is tracking US coronavirus cases here:

11:53 p.m. ET, May 18, 2020

China reports 6 new cases of Covid-19

From CNN's Eric Cheung in Hong Kong 

China recorded six new cases of coronavirus on Monday, including three locally-transmitted infections, the country's National Health Commission said Tuesday.

The locally transmitted cases include two infections in Jilin province, and one new patient in Wuhan, Hubei province, authorities said.

In addition, 17 new asymptomatic cases were also recorded, the NHC said.

The total number of officially reported cases in mainland China now stands at 82,960. Some 78,241 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital, the NHC added. 

There are 85 active cases in the country, the NHC said.

Testing drive: Wuhan -- ground zero for the pandemic -- started conducting citywide coronavirus testing on its residents last week after health officials detected several new locally transmitted cases. As of Monday, the city had tested 854,606 people since May 12, according to the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission.

11:47 p.m. ET, May 18, 2020

Trump threatens to permanently pull funding from WHO and "reconsider" US membership

From CNN's Paul LeBlanc

US President Donald Trump late Monday threatened to permanently pull US funding from the World Health Organization if it does not "commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days."

In a letter to WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Trump said, "It is clear the repeated missteps by you and your organization in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the world. The only way forward for the World Health Organization is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China.

"My administration has already started discussions with you on how to reform the organization. But action is needed quickly. We do not have time to waste."

The strongly-worded letter alleges that the WHO "consistently ignored credible reports of the coronavirus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier," and "repeatedly made claims about the coronavirus that were either grossly inaccurate or misleading."

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