June 8 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Steve George and Emma Reynolds, CNN

Updated 2:51 a.m. ET, June 9, 2020
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10:16 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

New York City starts reopening today. Here's what that means.

The Grand Central Terminal bridge is illuminated blue and gold Sunday night in honor of New Yorkers' work to flatten the curve of coronavirus cases.
The Grand Central Terminal bridge is illuminated blue and gold Sunday night in honor of New Yorkers' work to flatten the curve of coronavirus cases. Ron Adar/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

After a 78-day lockdown, New York City enters phase one of reopening today, with some nonessential workers allowed to go back to work and retail stores allowed to reopen for pickup.

"This is a triumphant moment for New Yorkers who fought back against the disease," Mayor Bill de Blasio said today on CNN.

The mayor said there’s a sense of discipline and service in the city — a sense of "we’re all in it together and we have to get it right." 

Here are the industries opening in phase one: 

  • Construction
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
  • Retail (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale trade

So what's not opening? Hair salons, offices and indoor seating at bars and restaurants remain off-limits until the next reopening phase. And Broadway shows, museums and large cultural gatherings are still far off.

The 78-day lockdown represents the longest in the country and comes weeks after other parts of the state hit the necessary criteria to reopen.


9:12 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Russia takes first steps to reopen borders

From CNN's Mary Ilyushina in Moscow

Moscow's Domodedovo Airport is nearly empty on May 3.
Moscow's Domodedovo Airport is nearly empty on May 3. Marina Lystseva/TASS/Getty Images/File

Russia is partially reopening its borders for several kinds of trips, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced in a Monday meeting with the country's coronavirus response council.

Russians will be able to travel abroad to care for relatives, undergo medical treatment, to work or study. Foreigners will also be able to enter Russia for medical purposes, Mishustin said, adding that corresponding government decrees have already been signed.

Moscow is also lifting quarantine restrictions starting Tuesday, Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin said in a statement published Monday. The restrictions will be lifted in three stages and the city is expected to return to normal by the end of the month, the mayor added.

Starting Tuesday, Moscow will lift its self-isolation regime, as well as measures meant to ensure it: QR-codes for trips around the city and scheduled walks. Barber shops, beauty salons and veterinary clinics will be allowed to reopen, the statement said. Moscow residents will also be able to visit cemeteries. 

In a week's time - starting on June 16 - Moscow will reopen its museums, zoos, libraries, transport rentals and other agencies. Cafes and restaurants with summer terraces will be allowed to resume services as well.

The third and final stage involves reopening all cafes, bars, gyms, pools as well as most other public spaces and is scheduled for June 23.

The numbers: Russia has officially reported 476,658 cases of coronavirus with 5,971 reported deaths and 230,688 recoveries. 

As of Monday, Moscow has officially reported 2,001 new cases of coronavirus. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Moscow has reported over 197,000 cases in total. 

9:12 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

UK travel quarantine begins as other European countries reopen

From CNN's Ingrid Formanek, Al Goodman, Niahm Kennedy, Stephanie Halasz and Lindsay Isaac

A passenger walks through Heathrow Airport in London on May 22.
A passenger walks through Heathrow Airport in London on May 22. Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images/File

The UK has imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on international passengers arriving in the country, beginning on Monday. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been criticized for not implementing such a restriction at the beginning of the pandemic, with UK airlines jointly bringing legal action against the government. 

There are some exceptions to the quarantine rules. Truck drivers, frontline healthcare workers and elite athletes coming for bio-secure soccer or cricket matches or F1's British Grand Prix in late July will all be exempt.

Everyone else will be required to fill out a form prior to arrival, providing the government with an address at which they plan to isolate for two weeks.

While £1,000 ($1,260) fines will be imposed on those who breach the conditions in the UK, only a fifth of travelers are expected to get spot checks.

Some conditions of the quarantine have further fueled questions over its likely effectiveness. Travelers arriving in the country will be able to go to their destination on public transport, and to leave their accommodation to shop for essentials. 

Elsewhere in Europe: It comes as Spain enters the final phase of de-escalation in the Covid-19 crisis before the government’s plan for a "new normality" sets in. More than half of the country has advanced to Phase 3, with the rest in Phase 2, including Madrid and Barcelona.

Those in regions in Phase 3 can travel within their territories, exercise as much as they like outdoors, attend gatherings of up to 20 people and visit beaches with social distancing.

Restaurants, movie theaters and stores may open at 50% capacity and clubs and bars will be able to operate at a third of capacity, but dancing will not be allowed. 

Bullfighting events, weddings and funerals will be allowed with limits on attendees.

No shared menus, napkin dispensers, or saltshakers will be permitted at bars and restaurants

Ireland today entered Phase Two of its roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions. On Friday, Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar announced an acceleration of the country’s roadmap based on "medical evidence" and "government reports."

Irish people may now move freely within their county. People living on the border of two counties may cross 20km over the border. Citizens may meet in groups of 6 people indoors and outdoors, while keeping to a social distance of 2 meters. All retail has reopened, with staggered opening hours and social distancing measures in place. Groups of up to 15 may attend sports training and up to 25 may attend funerals. Libraries have reopened. Playgrounds may reopen and outdoor summer camps for children in groups of 15 can take place. Working from home is encouraged where possible.

Phase Three is scheduled for June 29, when restaurants will reopen and all domestic travel restrictions lifted.

As of Monday, Denmark is allowing gatherings of up to 50 people, up from 10, Danish Health Ministry Press Officer Solveig Røigaard-Petersen told CNN.

According to the Danish Statens Serum Institut, a research institute to prevent and control infectious diseases, 11,940 people in Denmark have contracted coronavirus, with 589 dead in the country. 

9:07 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

US restrictions averted about 60 million coronavirus infections through early April, study says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Coronavirus tests are administered at a drive-thru testing site in Jericho, New York, on April 6.
Coronavirus tests are administered at a drive-thru testing site in Jericho, New York, on April 6. Al Bello/Getty Images

If large-scale shutdown policies — such as ordering people to stay home and closing schools — were not implemented after the coronavirus pandemic made its way to the United States, there would be roughly 60 million more coronavirus infections across the nation, a new modeling study suggests.

The study, published Monday in the scientific journal Nature, involved a modeling technique typically used for estimating economic growth to measure the effect of shutdown policies across six countries: China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France and the United States.

Those estimates suggest that, without certain policies in place from the beginning of the pandemic in January through early April, there would be roughly:

  • 285 million more total infections in China
  • 38 million more total infections in South Korea
  • 49 million more total infections in Italy
  • 54 million more total infections in Iran
  • 45 million more total infections in France
  • 60 million more total infections in the United States 

Overall, the study suggests that emergency Covid-19 policies prevented more than 500 million total coronavirus infections across all six countries. 

The study period ended on April 6, but keeping shutdown orders in place after that time has likely led to even more coronavirus infections being avoided — even though maintaining such measures has been difficult, the study's lead author, Solomon Hsiang, a professor and director of the Global Policy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, said in a press release on Monday.

"The last several months have been extraordinarily difficult, but through our individual sacrifices, people everywhere have each contributed to one of humanity’s greatest collective achievements," Hsiang said in the press release.

"I don’t think any human endeavor has ever saved so many lives in such a short period of time. There have been huge personal costs to staying home and canceling events, but the data show that each day made a profound difference," Hsiang added. "By using science and cooperating, we changed the course of history."

The study, conducted by researchers at UC Berkeley, included data across the six countries on daily infection rates, changes in coronavirus case definitions and the timing of 1,717 policy deployments — including travel restrictions, social distancing measures and stay-at-home lockdowns — from the earliest available dates this year through April 6.

The researchers analyzed that data to estimate how the daily growth rate of infections could have changed over time within a specific location if there were different combinations of large-scale policies enacted. The data showed that, excluding Iran, the growth rate of infections was around 38% per day on average before policies slowed the spread. 

The researchers found that, across all six countries total, shutdown interventions prevented or delayed roughly 530 million total infections — which, based on testing procedures and how cases were defined, translates to about 62 million confirmed cases. 

The researchers did not estimate how many deaths might have been prevented.

"Our analysis focuses on confirmed infections, but other outcomes, such as hospitalizations or deaths, are also of policy interest. Future work on these outcomes may require additional modeling approaches because they are relatively more context- and state-dependent," the researchers wrote in the study.

Remember: The study had some limitations, including that available data on infections and measures across the countries were limited and the study can only suggest estimations about what could have happened.

"Our empirical results indicate that large-scale anti-contagion policies are slowing the COVID-19 pandemic," the researchers wrote in the study. "Because infection rates in the countries we study would have initially followed rapid exponential growth had no policies been applied, our results suggest that these policies have provided large health benefits." 

7:44 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

AstraZeneca and Gilead reportedly talked about coronavirus mega merger

From CNN's Charles Riley

AstraZeneca has approached rival drugmaker Gilead about a potential merger, according to a Bloomberg report. 

Neither company responded to requests for comment on Monday, but if the transaction were to take place, it would unite two of the leading players in the fight against coronavirus in the biggest health care deal on record.

AstraZeneca has secured production capacity to make 2 billion doses of a potential vaccine, while the experimental Gilead drug remdesivir has been approved by the US government to treat hospitalized patients with severe Covid-19.

Shares in AstraZeneca dropped by more than 2% in London -- even as the FTSE 100 index rose -- after Bloomberg reported that the UK-based company had made a preliminary approach last month to US firm Gilead. The two companies have a combined stock market value of nearly $140 billion.

What's behind the move? Bloomberg cautioned that AstraZeneca did not specify any financial terms for a deal. Its report also said that Gilead discussed the idea with advisers, but the companies were not in formal discussions. 

Analysts said the rationale for the potential deal was not immediately obvious. According to UBS, AstraZeneca and its smaller rival have little in common when it comes to products and strategy. Still, Gilead does have something AstraZeneca does not — plenty of cash.

Read the full story here:

9:24 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Coronavirus cases nearing 2 million in US with at least 110,514 deaths

People are tested for coronavirus in Arlington, Virginia, on May 26.
People are tested for coronavirus in Arlington, Virginia, on May 26. Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Coronavirus cases in the US are nearing 2 million, and at least 110,514 people have died of the virus, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

There are at least 1,942,363 cases of coronavirus across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases -- the highest figure of any country in the world.

New York has the highest number of cases of any state at 378,097 and the most deaths, at 30,374.

There are now more than 7 million cases worldwide and 400,000 deaths globally.

Coronavirus cases are rising faster than ever -- at a rate of more than 100,000 day -- propelled by a steep increase in case numbers in South and Latin America and the Caribbean.

7:20 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Armenian PM returns to work after coronavirus

Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan is pictured in Berlin, Germany, on February 13.
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan is pictured in Berlin, Germany, on February 13. Omer Messinger/EPA/Shutterstock

Armenia's Prime Minister has returned to work after being diagnosed with coronavirus, his press officer has told CNN.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan started working from home early last week 

"The Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, his spouse, Anna Hakobyan, and three of their children have been tested negative for the coronavirus in a double testing. The PM will be back on his full duties starting from today," Mane Gevorgyan, the Prime Minister's press officer, said in a text message.

Pashinyan is one of several senior politicians to be diagnosed with the virus. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent time in intensive care suffering from Covid-19, while Kentucky senator Rand Paul tested positive for the virus in March.

Iran's Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar and Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi both tested positive for the virus, and an adviser to the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei died after contracting it.

Justin Trudeau's wife Sophie was also diagnosed with the virus, forcing the Canadian Prime Minister to isolate for two weeks.

Britain's Prince Charles and Monaco's Prince Albert also contracted Covid-19.

6:57 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Top health officials monitor nationwide protests, fearing coronavirus may spread

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

A crowd of protesters walk from the Capitol building to the White House during a protest against police brutality and racism, on June 6, in Washington, DC.
A crowd of protesters walk from the Capitol building to the White House during a protest against police brutality and racism, on June 6, in Washington, DC. Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

Health officials have raised concern about the spread of coronavirus, as thousands of people brave the pandemic to participate in national protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Sunday it was closely monitoring demonstrations taking place across the US, and warned that such gatherings could spur coronavirus transmission. Some states are already seeing upward trends of new cases.

For three months, the country passed one grim milestone after the other, hitting 100,000 coronavirus deaths in late May. Public health officials have said that without the lockdowns most states put in place, the death toll could have been significantly higher. 

As those lockdowns were lifted and other measures were loosened, the CDC and other top health officials urged Americans to use face coverings when they go out, and always maintain a distance. 

But large protests make it hard to keep to the recommended social distancing guidelines and "may put others at risk," CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund said in a statement.

"It is too early to know what, if any, effect these events will have on the federal Covid-19 response. Every local situation is different. State and local officials will make decisions to protect public health and safety based on circumstances on the ground," she said.

Earlier this month, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said protesters should be evaluated and tested for the virus.

"I do think there is a potential, unfortunately, for this to be a seeding event," he said -- especially in metropolitan areas where there has been significant transmission.

Read the full story here:

9:14 a.m. ET, June 8, 2020

Compulsory quarantine on entry relaxed for bosses at 480 listed companies in Hong Kong

From Alexandra Lin in Hong Kong 

A pedestrian walks past a stock ticker at the Exchange Square complex, which houses the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, in Hong Kong on May 29.
A pedestrian walks past a stock ticker at the Exchange Square complex, which houses the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, in Hong Kong on May 29. Lam Yik/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Directors and executives of around 480 listed companies can apply for exemption from the 14-day compulsory quarantine when arriving in Hong Kong from mainland China, according to a government statement issued on Monday morning. 

Companies can start to apply for the exemption from Monday.

Companies that are listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and included in the Hang Seng Index, Hang Seng China Enterprises Index or Hang Seng Composite LargeCap, MidCap or SmallCap Index, can nominate a maximum of two persons each for the exemption.

But visits must be for performing duties related to the essential operation of the companies, such as board meetings, business review meetings or meetings with clients, or executing legal documents, the statement said. 

Directors and executives will also be subject to 14-day medical surveillance upon arrival, which requires them to wear masks, check their body temperature daily, and report any symptoms or health concerns to the Hong Kong health department.