June 2 coronavirus news

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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. 

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

India reports 8,171 new coronavirus cases as lockdown begins to ease

From CNN's Swati Gupta and Vedika Sud in New Delhi

Hindu devotees offer evening prayers in the River Ganges in Prayagraj, India, on June 1.
Hindu devotees offer evening prayers in the River Ganges in Prayagraj, India, on June 1. Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

India reported 8,171 coronavirus cases and 204 more deaths on Monday, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The total confirmed cases in the country stands at 198,706, including 5,598 deaths.

The update comes as multiple states and territories across India began lifting some coronavirus-related lockdown measures as part of the country's phased reopening plan.

As of Monday:

  • The curfew prohibiting the movement of people between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. will be shortened to 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. nationwide.
  • The federal government will now allow states and union territories to lift restrictions on the interstate and intrastate movement of people and goods, if those jurisdictions so choose.
  • However, so-called "containment zones" -- where outbreaks of Covid-19 are more severe -- must remain under lockdown until June 30.

The official first phase of the plan, dubbed "Unlock 1," doesn't actually begin until June 8. During this phase, places of worship, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and other hospitality services can reopen.

2:25 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

The US reported more than 21,100 new coronavirus cases on Monday

A total of 1,811,172 cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in the US -- and at least 105,167 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally

Johns Hopkins reported 21,118 new cases and 784 deaths on Monday.

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

For the latest figures, see CNN's interactive map:

2:01 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Pregnant woman and inmate die from coronavirus in LA

From CNN's Sarah Moon

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. 
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Los Angeles County saw two firsts on Monday.

A pregnant woman and a person incarcerated in a jail facility died from the coronavirus, health officials confirmed in a press conference.

They are the first known coronavirus-related deaths of each kind in the county.

The pregnant woman who died had significant underlying health conditions, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said. The baby passed away as well, Ferrer added.

There are 228 pregnant women in the county that have tested positive for the virus. 79% of them were symptomatic, according to Dr. Ferrer.

The incarcerated person who died was receiving care at a hospital before passing away, Ferrer said. 

There are a total of 55,968 cases and 2,384 deaths in Los Angeles County, which has a population of approximately 10 million people.

1:37 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

FDA expands the kinds of companies that can make hand sanitizer, even if it means potential exposure to impurities

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

A restaurant employee with a hand sanitizer dispenser in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 29.
A restaurant employee with a hand sanitizer dispenser in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 29. Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

The US Food and Drug Administration will expand the kinds of companies that can make hand sanitizer while demand continues to outpace supply during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The agency issued temporary guidance Monday that will allow some ethanol producers to make hand sanitizers -- even if that means allowing in some small amounts of impurities, the agency said on its website.

In April, the FDA tightened restrictions on the use of ethanol in hand sanitizer.  

Why it's significant: Some small hospitals are having a hard time buying supplies and consumers can only buy hand sanitizer in small quantities -- if they can find it at all -- the FDA said. Since good hand hygiene is key to preventing the spread of Covid-19, the FDA said it is working with the ethanol industry to make sure that harmful impurities aren’t introduced into the hand sanitizer during manufacturing.

What's the concern: The process to make ethanol requires fermentation and distillation. Neither process should taint the final hand sanitizer product, but if it is made in the same plant as one that makes fuel or technical-grade ethanol, the hand sanitizer could become contaminated with gasoline or benzene. Exposure to either could potentially cause cancer.

The FDA said that in looking at the data, it believes some level of certain impurities can be tolerated for a relatively short period.

What the FDA says: During the pandemic, there needs to be a “proper level of flexibility” in the rules.

“As with everything we do, the FDA is committed to ensuring that we appropriately balance risk and benefit,” the agency wrote on its website.
12:42 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

US air travel is bouncing back ... sort of

From CNN's Gregory Wallace

Air travel is nowhere near pre-pandemic levels. But it began bouncing back in May. 

The number of people passing through airport security checkpoints in the United States nearly doubled over the course of the month.

The Transportation Security Administration says it screened nearly 949,000 passengers over the past weekend. By comparison, it scanned 476,000 people over the first weekend in May.

American Airlines said more people traveled this past weekend than over Memorial Day, the start of the summer travel season. 

Although the increases are significant, the pandemic has dealt an unprecedented blow to the industry. During the busiest day in May, only 14% of travelers flew compared to the equivalent day in 2019.

Read the full story:

12:00 a.m. ET, June 2, 2020

Social distancing and masks reduce risk of getting Covid-19, review finds

From CNN's Katie Hunt

Stay 6 feet apart. And, while you're at it, wear a face covering. 

The "most comprehensive study to date" found that physical distance and perhaps the use of a mask were the best ways to prevent coronavirus transmission.

The study, published in the Lancet medical journal Monday, found people should stay at least three feet apart -- and more if possible.

The review of various published studies, paid for by the World Health Organization, had three main findings:

  • Physical distancing: The chance of transmission at a distance of less than 1 meter (3.3 feet) was 12.8%, while that fell to 2.6% at a distance of more than 1 meter (3.3 feet). It added that distances of 2 meters (6.6 feet) could be more effective. It said that the certainty of the evidence was "moderate." 
  • Face masks: The chance of transmission without a face mask or respirator (like an N95 mask) was 17.4%, while that fell to 3.1% when a mask was worn. However, the certainty of the evidence was "low."
  • Eye protection: The chance of transmission without eye protection was put at 16%, compared to 5.5% with some form of eye protection like a face shield, visor, goggles or glasses. However, the certainty of the evidence was "low."

Read the full story:

11:36 p.m. ET, June 1, 2020

Of Tokyo's 13 new coronavirus cases, more than half are people in their 20s

From CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

A television screen in a Tokyo hotel displays a news conference held by Gov. Yuriko Koike on Friday, May 29.
A television screen in a Tokyo hotel displays a news conference held by Gov. Yuriko Koike on Friday, May 29. Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Japan reported 37 new coronavirus cases and two deaths on Monday, its Health Ministry said.

The total number of recorded infections in the country has now reached 17,642, including 712 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. At least 907 people have died, with 13 from the cruise ship.

In the capital Tokyo, 13 fresh coronavirus cases were reported Monday, and no deaths. Gov. Yuriko Koike said more than half of the new cases in the city are people in their 20s, and many of the infections came from the night entertainment business.

Tokyo moved into step 2 of its recovery plan this week, which eases restrictions for shopping malls and sports facilities. Night clubs, bars and karaoke are still shut, however, and restaurants have been requested to close by 10 p.m.

The southern city of Kitakyushu, which has seen a sizable community spread over the past 10 days, recorded 16 new infections on Monday.