June 2 coronavirus news

By Helen Regan, Brett McKeehan and Emma Reynolds, CNN

Updated 9:45 a.m. ET, June 3, 2020
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6:20 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Formula One to start 2020 season with back-to-back races in Austria in July after virus delays

From CNN’s Aleks Klosok

The Red Bull Ring race track is pictured in Spielberg, Austria in April.
The Red Bull Ring race track is pictured in Spielberg, Austria in April. Erwin Scheriau/APA/AFP/Getty Images

Austria will open the 2020 Formula One season with back-to-back races on Sunday 5 and Sunday 12 July after it was delayed because of the coronavirus, Formula One announced on Tuesday.

The first eight races of the revamped calendar will take place in Europe over a 10-week period at six track locations.

After the two Austrian events, a third race will follow in Hungary on Sunday 19 July before two back-to-back races in Britain in early August, and others in Spain, Belgium and Italy.

All eight races will take place without spectators in attendance. Organizers say they will operate under the strongest safety procedures.

In a statement, Formula One said it expected to finalize the details of the wider calendar in the coming weeks; the plan is to run a total of 15-18 races before the season ends in December.

Delayed start: The 2020 season had been due to begin in Australia on Sunday 15 March, but the race was called off hours before the first practice session amid Covid-19 fears.

Motorsport’s governing body, the International Automobile Federation (FIA), announced last Thursday that Formula One's 10 teams would be limited to a maximum of 80 people each at the races.

5:57 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

The pandemic left an adventurer and his 24 dogs stranded in Alaska

What to do when you're stranded in Alaska by a global pandemic and are trying to get back home to Norway -- with 24 dogs in tow.

It's been quite a three months for dog musher Thomas Waerner, who tells CNN Sport it's an experience he'll remember until the day he dies.

The 47-year-old won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in March, but canceled flights and travel restrictions have prevented him from returning home to his family. 

But the intrepid adventurer has come up with an innovative escape plan. 

He's booked his passage on a historic aircraft destined for a Norwegian museum, with his team of dogs for company. 

"Winning the race and then going back on the plane ... I think this was one of the cool things that happen in life," Waerner told CNN Sport in a phone interview.

Read more:

5:49 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Indonesia pulls out of annual pilgrimage to Mecca over coronavirus concerns

From CNN's Sandi Sidhu

Muslim worshippers circumambulate the sacred Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in April.
Muslim worshippers circumambulate the sacred Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in April. AFP/Getty Images

Indonesia's Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi announced the government's decision not to send pilgrims to Mecca in 2020 due to virus concerns. 

"The government has decided to not send Hajj pilgrims in 2020/1441 Hijriah," Razi said, during a virtual news conference on the annual Islamic pilgrimage reported by state-run Antara News Agency. 

"This is a bitter and tough decision to take. We have made all-out efforts, but on the other hand, we are accountable for the protection of Hajj pilgrims," he stated.

"Saudi Arabia is yet to give Hajj access to any country in the world. Hence, the government is left with little time to prepare the services and protection for Hajj pilgrims," Razi added.

Indonesia's Antara News reported that Indonesia was offered the highest quota for this year’s Hajj and planned to send 221,000 pilgrims to Mecca. 

The decision was taken on the basis of a comprehensive study conducted by a team of the ministry and after consultation with the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

5:06 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

New Delhi launches app for residents to check availability of hospital beds

From CNN's Esha Mitra in New Delhi

Medical staff worker at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi on May 25.
Medical staff worker at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi on May 25. Pankaj Nangia/India Today Group/Getty Images

New Delhi residents can check the number of beds available in the city's hospitals on a new mobile app, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a news conference on Tuesday.

"On the one hand we say that we have enough beds, but on the other hand we get messages from people saying they went from hospital to hospital but could not find a bed, so there is a gap in information," Kejriwal said. 

This gap will be bridged by the "Delhi Corona" app and a supporting website, which would allow citizens to determine which hospitals have empty beds, he added.

"We are four steps ahead of coronavirus, in Delhi even though the number of cases are rising, we are prepared for it. If someone is sick at your house, we have beds, ICUs etcetera," Kejriwal said, acknowledging that the primary issue in cities with a high number of cases was a lack of healthcare infrastructure. 

Although the Indian capital has reported more than 20,000 coronavirus cases, only 2,600 Covid-19 patients are currently admitted to hospitals in the city, Kejriwal said. Of more than 6,700 beds available in the city, 4,100 are currently empty, he added. 

4:47 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Spain saw a sharp fall in new jobless claims last month

From CNN's Max Ramsay in London and Al Goodman in Madrid

A bricklayer works at a construction site in Seville, Spain on May 8.
A bricklayer works at a construction site in Seville, Spain on May 8. Marcelo del Pozo/Getty Images

Spain recorded a steep decrease in new unemployment claims in May, as the country emerged from coronavirus confinement measures that shuttered businesses across the nation and put hundreds of thousands of people out of work.

There were 26,573 new jobless claims in May, far fewer than the increases of 282,891 in April and 302,265 in March, according to data released by Spain’s Labor Ministry today.

In a sign of modest economic improvement, the construction and manufacturing sectors recorded slight declines in jobless claims in May.

There are now a total of 3,857,776 unemployed in Spain. However, this doesn’t include another 3.7 million people using the government’s "ERTE" temporary furlough scheme, during the coronavirus crisis, and who are not counted among the unemployed.

ERTE is a legal mechanism allowing temporary layoffs during extraordinary events, such as the Covid-19 crisis.

4:26 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

New church coronavirus clusters emerge in South Korea

From CNN's Jake Kwon in Seoul

A medical worker collects a sample at a coronavirus testing station in Seoul, South Korea, on May 29.
A medical worker collects a sample at a coronavirus testing station in Seoul, South Korea, on May 29. SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg/Getty Images

South Korea reported 38 new coronavirus cases and one death on Monday, health ministry official Sohn Young-rae said in a news briefing.

Of those, 36 were locally transmitted cases in the capital Seoul.

A cluster of cases came from a group of small churches in Incheon, where 45 people who attended services have now tested positive for Covid-19.

Sohn said the virus spread at the churches because congregations were praying and singing hymns in a small space without wearing a mask.

South Korea has recorded at least 11,541 total cases and 272 deaths nationwide.

5:07 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern fears protesters are risking another outbreak

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is pictured during a news conference in Wellington, New Zealand on May 27.
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is pictured during a news conference in Wellington, New Zealand on May 27. Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today she was "horrified" by George Floyd's death in the US and welcomed peaceful solidarity protests in her country, but noted that protesters flouted coronavirus social distancing restrictions.

"I think I stand with everyone else in being horrified in what we've seen but at the same time, we need to show that and express that solidarity in a way that makes sure we're looking after one another as well," Ardern said in a news briefing.

Ardern said that as a nation, "where we see racism, where we see intolerance, where we see hatred, that we call it out," but also noted the risk of coronavirus infection remains.

"I utterly understand the sentiment, but we are in a global pandemic and I would hate for there to be an outbreak caused by someone who felt really moved to go and share their view and their opinion to then become ill. That's exactly what we're trying to prevent," she said.


3:42 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Singapore to build new dormitories with better facilities for migrant workers, government says

From CNN’s Sophie Jeong

Migrant workers are seen at a quarantined dormitory building in Singapore on May 20.
Migrant workers are seen at a quarantined dormitory building in Singapore on May 20. Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images

Singapore, which has been dealing with an outbreak of coronavirus infections among its migrant workers, is building new dormitories with improved standards.

By the end of this year, the country plans to create additional space to house about 60,000 workers, the Ministry of National Development and the Ministry of Manpower said in a joint media release.

Longer term, proposed new purpose-built dormitories are to house up to 100,000 workers to replace short to medium-term housing.

“We aim to make dormitory living and design more resilient to public health risks including pandemics, with improved living standards that are benchmarked both domestically and internationally,” the ministries said in the release. “We will take on board lessons learnt from the current COVID pandemic.”

To start, an improved set of standards will be piloted at new quick-build dormitories. Those standards include six or more square meters (64 or more square feet) per resident, 10 or fewer beds per room and at least one toilet, bathroom and sink to five beds, according to the ministries. 

Making up a significant portion of the Singaporean workforce, 1.4 million migrant workers live in the city-state -- mostly employed in construction, manual labor and housekeeping. Of these, about 200,000 live in 43 dormitories, according to Minister of Manpower Josephine Teo.

Each dorm room houses about 10 to 20 residents. They share toilet and shower facilities, eat in common areas, and sleep just feet away from each other. It's nearly impossible to conduct social distancing.

As of Monday, Singapore confirmed 408 new coronavirus cases -- all of whom were among work permit holders staying in dormitories. This brings the country’s total cases to 35,292, of which 33,027 (93.6%) are dorm residents. 

3:02 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Hong Kong outbreak linked to food warehouse

From Angus Watson in Sydney and Vanesse Chan in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has reported a new cluster of locally transmitted coronavirus cases -- the first in more than two weeks.

The cluster consists of nine new cases, the city's leader Carrie Lam said today.

Three of the new patients have been identified as workers at the same food logistics warehouse. The other six came into contact with one of those workers.

What happened: Sunday's positive diagnosis of a 34-year-old woman who works at the Kerry Logistics warehouse in the New Territories neighborhood of Kwai Chung led to the eight further positive tests, including her husband, four neighbors, two of her colleagues and a paramedic who assisted her, according to Hong Kong's Centre For Health Protection.

The warehouse serves consumer brands, including Marks & Spencer.  

"I am very worried about this outbreak in the community, not because the number involved nine confirmed patients ... because this particular cluster reflects some characteristics which we might not have seen before," Lam said today.

The concern: The woman had no recent travel history and it is unknown where she contracted the coronavirus, making this cluster the first locally transmitted cases in 16 days. 

Hong Kong now has 1,094 total coronavirus cases, with four known deaths.

CNN has reached out to Marks & Spencer to comment on measures to combat the apparent outbreak.

Earlier this year, the British company was forced to close all its Hong Kong stores and its corporate office in the city after three employees tested positive.