May 25 coronavirus news

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10:13 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020

Japan to lift its state of emergency tonight

From CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki and Kaori Enjoji 

People walk through the Shibuya ward in Tokyo on May 25.
People walk through the Shibuya ward in Tokyo on May 25. Carl Court/Getty Images

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will end the state of emergency across the whole country tonight, he said in a briefing on Monday.

Much of Japan entered the state of emergency on April 7, as the country tried to rein in the coronavirus pandemic.

It has since been lifted across most of the nation and businesses have reopened and social activities have slowly resumed.

The country has recorded 16,550 cases of the virus and 820 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

“We were able to end the outbreak in about one month and a half with Japan’s own way," Abe said Monday, adding that Japan would gradually increase social and economic activities to create a “new life” with the coronavirus.

Abe will have a task force meeting Monday night after which the lifting of the state of emergency will take effect.

Abe also announced he would put together a second supplementary budget on Wednesday, to boost the government's stimulus packages.

The amount provided by the two stimulus efforts comes to over 200 trillion yen ($1.87 trillion).

"The economic revival would be the first priority for my administration," Abe said.

Museums and sports facilities will open in Tokyo from Tuesday, the city's governor Yuriko Koike said, while schools in the capital will reopen with a phased approach.

While taking questions after the briefing Abe also discussed the Tokyo Olympics. He said that the development of a coronavirus vaccine was “significant” for the country being able to host the event in its complete form.

The Games are scheduled to begin on July 23 2021, after being postponed for a year due to the pandemic.

The Japanese leader was also asked about the dispute between the US and China over the origins of Covid-19.

Abe said in response that he believed the coronavirus started in China.

7:11 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020

UK scientific adviser says Boris Johnson "trashed" scientific advice by defending chief aide

From CNN's Lauren Kent and Hilary McGann

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson records a televised message in London, which aired on May 10.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson records a televised message in London, which aired on May 10. No. 10 Downing Street/Getty Images

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has "trashed" the recommendations of scientific advisers by refusing to sack his embattled chief aide Dominic Cummings, according to one of the professors working with the government on Covid-19.

Johnson has stood by Cummings, who is accused of breaking the UK's lockdown restrictions by driving 260 miles across England in March to stay with his parents while his wife was sick with Covid-19 symptoms.

Professor Stephen Reicher, a member of the UK Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), responded on Twitter to Johnson’s defense of Cummings.

“Boris Johnson has trashed all the advice we have given on how to build trust and secure adherence to the measures necessary to control COVID-19,” he tweeted.
“Be open and honest, we said. Trashed. Respect the public, we said. Trashed. Ensure equity, so everyone is treated the same, we said. Trashed. Be consistent we said. Trashed. Make clear 'we are all in it together'. Trashed."
“It is very hard to provide scientific advice to a government which doesn't want to listen to science. I hope, however, that the public will read our papers ... and continue to make up for this bad government with their own good sense.”

 

In an interview with BBC on Sunday, Reicher added: "I'm not particularly concerned what happens to Dominic Cummings -- it's what happens to the rest of us."

"If we undermine the unity between the population and the government, if people lose trust and lose adherence, if they stop complying with the measures which have contained the infection, then all of us will lose out because the infection will spike again and many more people will die."

Reicher's comments have been echoed by his SPI-B colleagues.

"People have to feel that everyone's doing the same thing and pulling their weight in the same way. And once you start to see that crumble, that's a problem," said University College London health psychology professor Robert West, another government adviser.

"But even more problematic, I think, unfortunately, in relation to the prime minister's statement on it, is that in interpreting the rules he seemed to be blurring the boundaries," West said.

"And another very important principle with this kind of behavior change is that the rules have to have very clear boundaries."

"As soon as they start to get leaky, then people start to say, 'Okay I'm sure I must be in this exceptional case.'"

6:46 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020

Russia reports another 8,946 cases 

From CNN's Nathan Hodge

A doctor works in the intensive care unit for Covid-19 patients at Vinogradov City Clinical Hospital in Moscow on May 17.
A doctor works in the intensive care unit for Covid-19 patients at Vinogradov City Clinical Hospital in Moscow on May 17. Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

Russia reported 8,946 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, the country's coronavirus headquarters said in a statement Monday.

The nation has the third-highest number of confirmed cases globally, with 353,427 recorded cases according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

 Officially, Russia has recorded 3,633 deaths caused by the virus.

6:21 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020

US death toll rises to 97,722

From CNN's Alta Spells

At least 97,722 people have died in the US from coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The country has record at least 1,643,499 cases of the disease, the most anywhere in the world.

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

CNN is tracking Covid-19's spread across the US here.

6:14 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020

Germany's active coronavirus cases fall below 10,000

From CNN's Fred Pleitgen and Lauren Kent

The number of active coronavirus cases in Germany has fallen below 10,000, according to the latest data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the national agency for disease control and prevention.

There are 9,113 active cases in Germany, which has recorded a total of 178,570 cases.

Among the total number of confirmed cases, 161,200 people have recovered, while 8,257 have died.

6:00 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020

Brazil's indigenous people are dying from Covid-19 at an alarming rate, report says

From CNN's Shasta Darlington, Jose Brito, and Flora Charner

Members of the Parque das Tribos community mourn beside the coffin of Chief Messias, 53, of the Kokama tribe, who died from coronavirus, in Manaus, Brazil, on May 14.
Members of the Parque das Tribos community mourn beside the coffin of Chief Messias, 53, of the Kokama tribe, who died from coronavirus, in Manaus, Brazil, on May 14. Michael Dantas/AFP/Getty Images

Far from hospitals and often lacking access to basic infrastructure, Brazil's indigenous people are dying from Covid-19 at an alarming rate -- and there's little help in sight.

The mortality rate is double that of the rest of Brazil's population, according to advocacy group Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), which tracks the number of cases and deaths among the country's 900,000 indigenous people.

APIB has recorded more than 980 official cases of coronavirus and at least 125 deaths, which suggests a mortality rate of 12.6% -- compared to the national rate of 6.4%.

While the Health Ministry's Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health has reported only 695 cases of coronavirus in indigenous communities and 34 deaths, the group monitors a smaller group of people -- only those living in traditional villages and registered at local health clinics, and not indigenous people who have moved to towns and cities.

Indigenous people who have moved to larger towns or urban areas to study or work can end up in precarious living conditions with few public services, increasing their vulnerability to health issues.

Meanwhile, those living in remote areas may not have basic sanitation and health facilities -- a 15-year-old Yanomami boy from a remote village in the Amazon was one of the first indigenous Brazilians to die of Covid-19, in April.

Read more here:

5:50 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020

Austrian president apologizes for breaking Covid-19 curfew

President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen speaks at the Austrian Consulate in Kraków, Poland, on January 28.
President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen speaks at the Austrian Consulate in Kraków, Poland, on January 28. Filip Radwanski/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Austria's president Alexander Van der Bellen has apologized after breaking the country's coronavirus curfew.

Van der Bellen remained at a restaurant on Saturday night after the 11 p.m. curfew time put in place by the Austrian government, according to the AFP news agency which cited Austria's Kurier newspaper.

"I went out for the first time since the lockdown with two friends and my wife," Van der Bellen said Sunday on Twitter, in reference to the Kurier report.

"We then lost track of time while chatting. I'm sincerely sorry. It was a mistake."

Restaurants in Austria were allowed to reopen from May 15 but have to observe a number of social distancing restrictions and the 11 p.m. closing time.

The restaurant Van der Bellen visited could be fined for the curfew breach. The Austrian president said he would "take responsibility" if the owner incurred any losses from a fine.

5:27 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020

Church of England bishops condemn Boris Johnson for refusing to sack chief adviser

Dominic Cummings returns to his home in London on May 24.
Dominic Cummings returns to his home in London on May 24. Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Several Church of England bishops have criticized UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson after he refused to sack his chief aide Dominic Cummings, who is accused of breaking lockdown restrictions multiple times.

Cummings drove 260 miles across England in March to stay with his parents while his wife was sick with Covid-19 symptoms.

His movements, during a time when most of the UK was in lockdown, have sparked a political scandal in Britain. Johnson claimed on Sunday that his chief aide acted "responsibly, legally and with integrity."

The prime minister's decision to stand by Cummings has opened up a rare public rift between the UK government and the Church of England.

"Unless very soon we see clear repentance, including the sacking of Cummings, I no longer know how we can trust what ministers say sufficiently for [the Church of England] to work together with them on the pandemic," Bishop of Manchester David Walker said on Twitter on Sunday evening.

Bishop of Bristol Vivienne Faul accused Johnson of having "no respect for the people."

"The bonds of peace and our common life... have been dangerously undermined this evening," she added.

"I find myself deeply worried by the [prime minister's] judgement call on this one," said Bishop of Reading Olivia Graham.

"Not from a political perspective but a moral one. His response lacks both integrity and respect and he has just made his task of leading us through this crisis much, much harder."

The bishops of Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Ripon and Truro also voiced dismay on Twitter over Johnson's decision to retain Cummings.

4:17 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020

Rapid Covid-19 saliva test to be available in Europe mid-June

From Pierre Bairin in Paris

Production has begun on a rapid saliva-based coronavirus test that delivers readings in under an hour, it was announced today.

The French consortium, formed by biotechnology company SKILLCELL, laboratory CNRS SYS2DIAG and digital company VOGO, said in a press release that the test would be available from mid-June for European markets.

The test -- named “EasyCov” -- is performed by healthcare professionals and involves collecting less than 1 millilitre of saliva from under a patient’s tongue. 

Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration authorized a Covid-19 saliva test in which a patient can collect a saliva sample at home but would need to mail it to a lab and wait for the results to be processed.