May 20 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton and Rob Picheta, CNN

Updated 0122 GMT (0922 HKT) May 21, 2020
27 Posts
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6:00 a.m. ET, May 20, 2020

All 50 US states are now partially reopened, despite warnings from health officials

From CNN's Christina Maxouris 

People eat outside of a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on May 18.
People eat outside of a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on May 18. Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

For the first time since US officials began implementing widespread lockdowns to slow the spread of coronavirus, all 50 states have now partially reopened. 

On Wednesday, Connecticut became the final state to begin lifting restrictions, now allowing retail shops and restaurants to reopen their doors. 

How the states are doing it: Some states, including Georgia and Texas rolled out aggressive reopening plans. Others have taken a more measured approach; for instance, New York, California and Pennsylvania are only reopening parts of their state reporting declines in new cases.

Many cities also remain under stay-at-home orders. In Baltimore, gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited and retail stores remain closed.  

Experts warn the danger isn't over: Health officials say Americans remain at risk of catching the highly transmissible and sometimes deadly virus. 

"The only thing that was keeping this very contagious virus in check was each of us keeping that physical distance," Dr. Leana Wen, the former Baltimore City Health Commissioner, told CNN Tuesday night.

Experts have warned that lifting restrictions prematurely may mean thousands more Americans will die and could cause a second spike in cases in parts of the country.  

The responsibility now lies with individuals to adhere to guidelines, practice safe social distancing and adapt to new habits to keep themselves and those around them safe. 

Read the full story here:

5:41 a.m. ET, May 20, 2020

The pandemic could push 60 million people into extreme poverty, World Bank warns

From CNN’s Sarah Dean in London

People queue along a street to collect food aid from a distribution point at a church in Barcelona, Spain, on May 17.
People queue along a street to collect food aid from a distribution point at a church in Barcelona, Spain, on May 17. Angel Garcia/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The global coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic shutdown could push 60 million people into "extreme poverty," warned David Malpass, President of the World Bank Group, in a press release Tuesday.

The World Bank defines “extreme poverty” as living on less than $1.90 per person per day.

In a press release, the international financial organization said it had set up emergency response operations in 100 countries to respond to the impact of the pandemic.

"To return to growth, our goal must be rapid, flexible responses to tackle the health emergency, provide cash and other expandable support to protect the poor, maintain the private sector, and strengthen economic resilience and recovery," it said in the release.

Threat in Africa: The threat is particularly severe in Africa, warned Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Solomon Dersso, Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

“This health crisis, along with the debt burden of the continent and its already fragile economies, threaten to further drain reserves, cripple nascent job creation schemes and annihilate gains made in social development and efforts to industrialize,” they said in a statement today
“This could throw millions more people into want and poverty, with catastrophic consequences to the human rights of the most vulnerable, including the poor, women and children.”

They called for greater access for Covid-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, and asked creditors of African countries to freeze or relieve those countries' debts.

The spread of coronavirus: The pandemic has reached all 54 African states and infected nearly 88,172 people across the continent as of Tuesday, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The death toll on the continent stood at 2,834, OHCHR said.

5:20 a.m. ET, May 20, 2020

The US has nearly 92,000 deaths from coronavirus

A transporter for Maryland Cremation Services moves the remains of a coronavirus victim onto a stretcher at a morgue in Silver Spring, Maryland, on May 11.
A transporter for Maryland Cremation Services moves the remains of a coronavirus victim onto a stretcher at a morgue in Silver Spring, Maryland, on May 11. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The United States now has at least 1,528,661 cases of coronavirus and 91,938 related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. 

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

New York state remains the hardest hit, with 352,845 cases and 28,558 deaths -- that's 147 deaths per 100,000 residents, the highest rate nationwide. New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts follow next, in that order.

6:17 a.m. ET, May 20, 2020

Chinese advisers hit back at allegations the country is using coronavirus aid for political leverage

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Guo Weimin, spokesman for the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), speaks via video at the media center in Beijing, on Wednesday, May 20.
Guo Weimin, spokesman for the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), speaks via video at the media center in Beijing, on Wednesday, May 20. Thomas Peter/AFP/Getty Images

Accusations that China is using coronavirus aid to boost its geopolitical influence and vie for global leadership are “narrow-minded,” Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)'s spokesman Guo Weimin has said.

“The accusations that China is aggressively publicizing its foreign assistance or even vying for global leadership through providing assistance are narrow minded and simply make no sense at all,” Guo said at a news conference on Wednesday days before the CPPCC national committee’s annual conference.

He added that China is distributing aid for “the purpose of controlling the epidemic as soon as possible, and saving as many lives as possible.”

The CPPCC is China's leading political advisory body.

Guo accused “certain politicians from the US and other countries” of politicizing the coronavirus pandemic and “stigmatizing China” adding that “these politicians are either trying to distract public attention and shift responsibilities to serve the needs of domestic politics or are spreading false information and blaming China out of ideological bias.”

The US leads a group of countries to accuse China of mishandling the coronavirus pandemic in its early stages.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization's member states agreed to conduct an investigation into the global handling of the pandemic.

5:14 a.m. ET, May 20, 2020

Russia surges past 300,000 coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina in Moscow

Medical workers move a coronavirus patient at the Filatov City Clinical Hospital in Moscow, Russia, Friday, May 15.  
Medical workers move a coronavirus patient at the Filatov City Clinical Hospital in Moscow, Russia, Friday, May 15.   Pavel Golovkin/AP

Russia reported 8,764 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the country's total to 308,705, according to the Russian coronavirus response headquarters.

It also recorded 135 deaths in the past day -- the highest daily increase so far. The national death toll stands at 2,972.

Russia is the second-worst hit country in the world, following the United States. Its numbers have surged in recent weeks, going from a few thousand cases per day in April to 10,000 cases per day in May.

The US is sending ventilators and other aid to Russia, which are expected to ship today, according to an administration spokesperson.

4:45 a.m. ET, May 20, 2020

Spain makes face masks mandatory in public spaces where people can't social distance

From CNN's Max Ramsay in London and Al Goodman and Ingrid Formanek in Spain

A woman wears a face mask on May 10 in Madrid, Spain.
A woman wears a face mask on May 10 in Madrid, Spain. Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

People in Spain are now required to wear face masks in public spaces when a minimum two-meter (about 6.5 feet) distance can't be guaranteed, the Health Ministry announced in a decree today.

The rule applies to all people over the age of six, in both indoor and outdoor spaces. People who have respiratory problems or disabilities incompatible with masks are exempt.

"Any type of mask" is allowed as long as it covers the nose and mouth, though the ministry recommended "hygienic and surgical” masks. 

Emergency order: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and other government ministers will meet today to vote on extending the national state of emergency by two weeks.

The state of emergency, with strict movement restrictions, started March 14 and has so far been extended four times, for a total of 10 weeks. 

It has apparently helped curb the virus -- Spain has seen its daily new cases and deaths begin to slow -- but it has also attracted criticism from some quarters.

For weeks, some people banged pots from their windows in the evenings as a form of protest -- this escalated to marching on the streets last week to demand the government end restrictions on movement.

4:26 a.m. ET, May 20, 2020

It's 2 p.m. in New Delhi and 5:30 p.m. in Seoul. Here's the latest on the pandemic

If you're just joining us, here are the latest developments regarding the global coronavirus pandemic.

  • India cases surge: The country recorded 5,611 new coronavirus cases today -- its biggest one-day jump since the pandemic started. Daily case numbers have been climbing steadily all month, and surged this past weekend, with 10,000 new cases within two days.
  • Bracing for the cyclone: India and Bangladesh are preparing for Cyclone Amphan, which is expected to make landfall today. But evacuation efforts are being complicated by the pandemic, with authorities struggling to keep people safe from both the storm and the virus.
  • South Korea cluster: Nearly 200 coronavirus cases in South Korea have been linked to a nightclub cluster in the capital Seoul. Tens of thousands of people have been tested in relation to the cluster, which is concentrated in the entertainment district Itaewon.
  • Rolls-Royce slashes jobs: The aircraft engine maker is cutting at least 9,000 jobs due to the devastating impact of the pandemic on the aviation industry. That's more than 17% of the company's global workforce.
3:56 a.m. ET, May 20, 2020

Rolls-Royce is cutting at least 9,000 jobs as the coronavirus slams aviation

From CNN's Mark Thompson

An engine is on view at the Rolls Royce factory in Derby, England, on November 30, 2016.
An engine is on view at the Rolls Royce factory in Derby, England, on November 30, 2016. Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce is cutting at least 9,000 jobs because of the collapse in demand for air travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are proposing a major reorganization of our business to adapt to the new level of demand we are seeing from customers," the company said in a statement on Wednesday. "As a result, we expect the loss of at least 9,000 roles from our global workforce of 52,000."

Rolls-Royce has not yet revealed where the job cuts will fall, but its civil aerospace business will bear the brunt of the restructuring. It said it will take several years for the commercial aerospace market to return to the levels seen just a few months ago.

"Governments across the world are doing what they can to assist businesses in the short-term, but we must respond to market conditions for the medium-term until the world of aviation is flying again at scale, and governments cannot replace sustainable customer demand that is simply not there," CEO Warren East said in a statement.
3:28 a.m. ET, May 20, 2020

Evidence suggests the longer you are exposed to the virus, the higher your risk of infection

From CNN's Eric Levenson

By now, you've likely heard the main pieces of advice to avoid the coronavirus: wear a mask, wash your hands, avoid gatherings.

But there's one more aspect to infection that has received less attention. Growing evidence suggests that Covid-19 infection, like with other illnesses, is related to prolonged time exposed to the virus. The longer you stay in an environment that may contain the virus, the higher the risk of getting sick.

Erin Bromage, a comparative immunologist and professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, summed it up with a short and sweet equation:

Successful Infection = Exposure to Virus x Time.

The main idea is that people get infected when they are exposed to a certain amount of viral particles. That viral threshold can be reached by an infected person's sneeze or cough, which releases a large number of viral particles into the air. But an infected person talking or even just breathing still releases some virus into the air, and over a long period of time in an enclosed space, that could still infect others.

"The longer time you spend in that environment -- so minutes or hours in there -- the more virus you breathe in, the more it can build up and then establish infection," Bromage said.

Read more here: