May 25 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Brett McKeehan, Zamira Rahim, Mike Hayes, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 0210 GMT (1010 HKT) May 26, 2020
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11:47 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

Days after reporting no symptomatic infections for first time in months, China confirms 11 new cases

From Alexandra Lin in Hong Kong

A medical worker collects coronavirus test swabs during the National People's Congress in Beijing, China, on May 24.
A medical worker collects coronavirus test swabs during the National People's Congress in Beijing, China, on May 24. Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

China has reported 11 new imported coronavirus cases, including 10 from Inner Mongolia, an autonomous region bordering Mongolia. The other is in Sichuan province.

China's National Health Commission said the total number of confirmed cases in the country is now 82,985, with 83 still active.

It comes after China reported no new symptomatic coronavirus cases on Saturday for the first time since the global pandemic began.

In addition, 40 new asymptomatic cases were reported today. A total of 396 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation. 

No new deaths were reported, leaving China's death toll at 4,634.

To date, 78,268 confirmed coronavirus patients have recovered and been discharged.

1:56 a.m. ET, May 25, 2020

UK civil service tweet accusing government of being “arrogant and offensive” goes viral 

From CNN's Ivana Kottasova and Nada Bashir in London and Jonny Hallam in Atlanta

The UK Cabinet Office is investigating how an “unauthorised tweet” was sent from the official Civil Service Twitter account that appeared to be critical of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government. 

The tweet – sent just after Johnson gave a televised press briefing – said: “arrogant and offensive. Can you imagine having to work with these truth twisters?”

The tweet went viral before it was deleted, with screenshots shared widely on social media and the post liked by thousands of people.

While it is not confirmed what prompted the tweet, many have speculated that it was directed at Johnson after he defended the actions of his senior adviser, Dominic Cummings.

Cummings has come under fire for allegedly breaching national lockdown regulations after traveling to Durham – more than 250 miles (402 kilometers) from his home in London – on two separate occasions.

During his briefing on Sunday, Johnson said that while he acknowledges why people may feel “offended” by Cummings’ apparent disregard for the government’s emergency restrictions, he believes “most people will understand” his adviser’s actions.

According to a Downing Street spokesperson, Cummings acted “in line with coronavirus guidelines” and traveled to “ensure his young child could be properly cared for” after his wife became infected with suspected coronavirus.

10:52 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

More people hospitalized in France after holiday weekend

From Barbara Wojazer in Paris

The number of coronavirus patients in hospitals across France has increased by seven over 24 hours, to 17,185 -- the first rise since April 15, according to the French Health Agency.

An agency spokesperson told CNN on Sunday that the additional hospitalizations “could be explained by a delay in record keeping due to the public holiday weekend,” which began on Thursday. 

According to the spokesperson, the holiday weekend “could also have led to the prolongation of some hospitalization cases” across the country. 

Meanwhile, agency data shows the number of patients in ICU continues to decrease, with a total of 1,655 now in intensive care in the country – down by 10 since Saturday. 

10:14 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

Brazil's Bolsonaro greets pro-government crowds without a mask

From CNN's Claudia Dominguez in Atlanta

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters upon arrival at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on May 24.
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters upon arrival at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on May 24. Evaristo Sa/AFP/Getty Images

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attended a pro-government rally Sunday in the capital Brasilia, where he greeted supporters without wearing a mask.

Bolsonaro was flanked by a cabinet minister and two conservative lawmakers. 

In a video taken by the Brazilian presidency, Bolsonaro can be seen surrounded by his security team – who were wearing masks – as the President waves to supporters.

Although the President was seen wearing a mask when he arrived at the event, it had been removed by the time he got closer to the crowds. According to CNN Brasil, his in-person appearance was unexpected. 

During the walk, the Chief Minister of the Cabinet of Institutional Security, Gen. Augusto Heleno, can be heard saying: "We will win this war."

"This is a calculated risk and everything will work out," he said.

Brazil cases spike: It came as the US announced it will deny entry to anyone who has been in Brazil in the previous 14 days.

The country now has 363,211 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University -- making it the worst-affected country in the world after the US.

9:46 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

Schools reopen in Australia's New South Wales state

From CNN's Sophie Jeong

Schools in the Australian state of New South Wales will fully reopen Monday, according to a news release from the state's education department.

State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said a return to full-time, face-to-face teaching and learning was both safe and "crucial for the educational progress of every child in NSW from Kindergarten to Year 12.”

Schools will need to maintain safety precautions, including no assemblies and excursions, Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said.

As of Saturday, New South Wales had 3,087 confirmed cases of Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

9:44 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

Coronavirus cases spike in US capital

From CNN's Nicky Robertson

A healthcare worker administers a coronavirus test at a drive-through testing facility at George Washington University in Washington, DC, last month.
A healthcare worker administers a coronavirus test at a drive-through testing facility at George Washington University in Washington, DC, last month. Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA/AP

There has been a spike in coronavirus cases in Washington, DC, according to data from the DC Department of Health.The increase could pose a setback for the criteria Mayor Muriel Bowser is using to decide when the city will begin stage one of its reopening.

Until this weekend, Washington had 11 days of declining community spread of the coronavirus. The city said 14 days of decline were needed as one of the measurements necessary before moving to stage one of reopening. Sunday would have been the 13th day of decline -- but instead there was a small spike over the last two days.

Since the spike was small, the DC Department of Health said Sunday it would consider this a reset back to day 11 of the decline because the number of cases was fewer than the department’s calculation of the standard deviation for the number of cases.

"We don't have to go to day zero," Director of the DC Department of Health, Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, said in a news conference call.

Bowser said last week that Washington could begin stage one of its reopening on Friday, May 29, barring any spikes in cases.

With this increase in cases, DC could still have 14 days of decline before potentially reopening this Friday. Nesbitt would not comment on whether this reset affects when Washington could begin reopening.

There are two other factors for reopening: A less than 20% positivity rate and hospital capacity less than 80%. As of Sunday, the positivity rate is 19%, and the hospital capacity is 74%.  

9:40 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

The White House has announced new travel restrictions on Brazil

From CNN's Jason Hoffman

President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a proclamation suspending entry to the US for any individual who has been in Brazil within the 14 days immediately prior to their arrival. 

"I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Federative Republic of Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States," the proclamation reads in part.

The policy is aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus. As of Sunday evening, Brazil had more than 347,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, the second-most of any country, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

"Today's action will help ensure foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Sunday. "These new restrictions do not apply to the flow of commerce between the United States and Brazil."

Some context: Coronavirus has yet to peak in Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest and worst-affected city, but the health care system is already beginning to break down.

As the crisis deepens and the number of deaths continues to rise, President Jair Bolsonaro is urging businesses to reopen. He opposes many governors who are stressing social distancing measures to slow the spread.

Far from hospitals, Brazil's indigenous people are dying at an alarming rate. The death toll is double that of the rest of Brazil's population, according to the advocacy group Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil.

9:38 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

More than 1,500 new coronavirus cases reported in New York state

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

New York state reported an additional 1,589 Covid-19 cases over 24 hours, bringing the statewide total to 361,515, according to a news release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Earlier Sunday, Cuomo said intubations and hospitalizations were down.

New coronavirus cases are up slightly on the rolling average but generally, “all part of the decline," Cuomo said.

9:35 p.m. ET, May 24, 2020

FDA commissioner issues Memorial Day warning: "Coronavirus is not yet contained"

From CNN's Devan Cole

A sign on a boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey, on May 24, suggesting visitors wear masks.
A sign on a boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey, on May 24, suggesting visitors wear masks. Mark Makela/Getty Images

The commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration on Sunday urged Americans observing Memorial Day weekend to follow federal guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, saying the deadly virus "is not yet contained."

"With the country starting to open up this holiday weekend, I again remind everyone that the coronavirus is not yet contained. It is up to every individual to protect themselves and their community. Social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks protect us all," Dr. Stephen Hahn wrote in a tweet.

Some context: The commissioner's Memorial Day warning comes as some states begin to reopen, allowing people to go to beaches, cookouts and bars as they observe one of the more popular holidays taking place amid the pandemic. But as social activities increase, health experts like Hahn warn the US is not out of the woods.

"Even as states and some state officials rush to reopen it's on us to make smart and safe decisions," Dr. Seema Yasmin, a former disease detective at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told CNN Saturday night.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told the public last week that going outside was fine, with cautious measures.

"Go out, wear a mask, stay 6 feet away from anyone so you can have the physical distancing," he told a CNN coronavirus town hall. "Go for a run. Go for a walk. Go fishing. As long as you're not in a crowd and you're not in a situation where you can physically transmit the virus."