June 9 coronavirus news

Helen Regan, Steve George and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 0641 GMT (1441 HKT) June 10, 2020
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12:21 p.m. ET, June 9, 2020

NYC mayor says 1% of people tested citywide were positive for Covid-19, a record low

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

Calling it an “extraordinary” day for the city, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the percentage of people citywide who tested positive for Covid-19 – which needs to be under the threshold of 15% – is at 1%.

The mayor said this is “unbelievably good news.”

All of the city's markers for indicators of the Covid-19 virus are under their thresholds, de Blasio said Tuesday.

People admitted to hospitals for suspected Covid-19 – which needs to be under the threshold 200 – is at 52. The daily number of people in intensive care units – which needs to be under the threshold 375 — is today at 337.

The mayor's update comes one day after New York City began reopening in phase one.

11:15 a.m. ET, June 9, 2020

Masks will still be mandatory in Spain after state of emergency ends

From CNN’s Al Goodman and Ingrid Formanek in Spain

Ander Gillenea/AFP/Getty Images
Ander Gillenea/AFP/Getty Images

Wearing masks will continue to be mandatory even after Spain’s state of emergency is lifted on June 21, and the country enters a period of “new normality.”

The Spanish Cabinet approved today a health safety measures decree that will be implemented immediately following the end of the state of emergency. The decree law will go to the Spanish Parliament tomorrow, where it's expected to be approved.

In it, Covid-19 is declared an “urgent mandatory notifiable disease,” with an emphasis on prevention, containment and coordination to keep the spread of the coronavirus in check.

Spain’s 17 regions must continue reporting relevant health information to Madrid to guarantee the National Health System’s ability to respond to public health emergencies.

PCR tests must be performed on all suspected Covid-19 carriers as urgently as possible, to contain and prevent any possible future outbreaks. Health officials have said that the current time between noticeable symptoms and a diagnosis has been reduced to just two days on average, far quicker than earlier during the height of the pandemic in Spain.

Provisions to guarantee coordination with the national health system and contingency plans for residences housing seniors and people living with disabilities are to be put in place, in order to facilitate early detection of possible cases among those residents and the workers who take care of them, and to have their contact information readily available.

Obligatory use of masks in public spaces will continue, with possible fines up to 100 euros for not complying with the measure. Spain's prime minister said on Sunday that this would apply to everyone six years and older.

Here's what else to expect, according to the decree:

  • In workplaces and in public spaces, social distancing measures, along with the wearing of masks will continue.
  • Airports will have health controls to check international arrivals.
  • A national reserve of personal protective equipment, PPE, such as masks and hand sanitizers must be available at all times to guarantee supply.

The norms outlined in the decree do not have an expiry date. The government’s chief spokesperson and Finance Minister María Jesús Montero said at a press conference Tuesday, that “Although we have better control of the illness, and we’re better prepared as a country, until we have a vaccine, or an effective treatment, the virus will continue being a threat to our security.”

10:53 a.m. ET, June 9, 2020

Human trial begins in China on another potential Covid-19 antibody therapy

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

Doctors dosed a healthy volunteer on Monday with an antibody treatment developed by Eli Lilly and Chinese company Junshi Biosciences to fight Covid-19.

The trial is underway in China. Lilly will start a complementary Phase one study in the United States in the next few days, the company said. 

Scientists will first test to see if this antibody treatment, called JS016, is safe to be used in humans. If so, it will be tested to see if it if effective. 

If this first phase is successful, more trials will run to determine how to use it most effectively. 

The companies will also experiment to see if the antibody could be used on its own or if it would be more effective used in combination with other antibody candidates. JS016 appeared to neutralize the virus in the lab. Lilly and Junshi scientists are testing other potential antibodies in the lab to see which work best. 

This is the second such antibody therapy trial from the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company. Lilly is testing another antibody treatment called LY-COV555 that the company developed with AbCellera.

Junshi Biosciences is leading development in greater China, according to Lilly, and Eli Lilly has exclusive rights to it in the rest of the world.

There are several other companies trying to create antibody therapies to fight Covid-19, including Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which has said it expects to begin clinical trials this month.

Some background: Antibodies are proteins your body makes in the thousands that naturally fight off infection. To make an antibody therapy, scientists have to sort through thousands of antibodies to determine which work best to neutralize a particular threat.

Typically, drug developers will pick one and then clone it until there are enough monoclonal antibodies to put in a medicine.

Antibody treatments are currently used to treat some cancers, eye problems, chronic and infectious disease. The treatments can be used to treat symptoms or potentially as a protective medicine to prevent infection in vulnerable populations like the elderly or in health care workers. 

11:06 a.m. ET, June 9, 2020

WHO says "there's much unknown" about asymptomatic cases after an official suggested they're "rare"

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

A screengrab taken from a video released by the World Health Organization shows WHO Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove speaking at a virtual news briefing on COVID-19 from the WHO headquarters in Geneva, on Monday, April 6.
A screengrab taken from a video released by the World Health Organization shows WHO Technical Lead Maria Van Kerkhove speaking at a virtual news briefing on COVID-19 from the WHO headquarters in Geneva, on Monday, April 6. AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization today addressed confusion surrounding an official's comments on Monday suggesting the spread of Covid-19 by asymptomatic people "appears to be rare."

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead for coronavirus response and head of its emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, said yesterday that "it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual." 

But then today, during the live Q&A, she clarified that "this is a major unknown."

"We do know that some people who are asymptomatic or some people who do not have symptoms can transmit the virus on — so what we need to better understand is how many people in the population don’t have symptoms," Van Kerkhove said. 

She explained further:

"What I was referring to yesterday in the press conference were very few studies who tried to look at asymptomatic cases over time. … And that’s a very small subset of studies, and so I was responding to a question at the press conference. I wasn’t stating a policy," Van Kerkhove said. "Because this is a major unknown, because there are so many unknowns around this, some modeling groups had tried to estimate what is the proportion of asymptomatic people who may transmit."

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, also said during the live Q&A that there is still much to learn about the possible asymptomatic spread of the coronavirus.

"Whatever proportion of disease is transmitting from asymptomatic individuals, as Maria said, that is unknown," Ryan said. "There’s much to be answered about this, there’s much unknown."

Ryan added that the virus, a pathogen that is present in the upper respiratory tract, transmits through droplets — such as when someone coughs or sneezes, but some research also suggests it can spread through speaking as well.

Previously, on Monday, Van Kerkhove said that what appear to be asymptomatic cases of Covid-19 often turn out to be cases of mild disease.

"When we actually go back and we say how many of them were truly asymptomatic, we find out that many have really mild disease," Van Kerkhove said on Monday. 

Remember: A truly asymptomatic person does not have symptoms and does not go on to develop symptoms of Covid-19. Whereas, the term paucisymptomatic refers to having atypical or very mild symptoms and pre-symptomatic refers to the early stages of an illness, before symptoms have developed.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates in planning scenarios that 40% of coronavirus transmission is occurring before people feel sick.

10:08 a.m. ET, June 9, 2020

UN warns people in North Korea are starving during pandemic

From CNN's Anna Kam in Hong Kong 

UN Special Rapporteur Tomás Ojea Quintana speaks at a press conference in Geneva in March.
UN Special Rapporteur Tomás Ojea Quintana speaks at a press conference in Geneva in March. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images/File

A UN human rights expert says that some people in North Korea are "starving," according to a press statement that was acquired by CNN. 

Tomás Ojea Quintana, the UN Special Rapporteur, explains that due to Covid-19 response, North Korea has shut its borders with China and this has "exacerbated the food crisis, devastating cross-border trade and sapping income from merchants."

Quintana encourages the UN Security Council to "reconsider sanctions" on North Korea due to the food crisis occurring in the communist country. 

Quintana urges government and international action to ensure food supplies in North Korea to prevent starvation.

"A UN independent expert is alarmed that widespread food shortages and malnutrition in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have been exacerbated by COVID-19 measures and has called for urgent Government and international action to ensure food supplies," the statement said. 
10:12 a.m. ET, June 9, 2020

Global airline industry expected to lose $84 billion in 2020

From CNN's Eoin McSweeney

Grounded airplanes are seen in Alice Springs, Australia, on May 15.
Grounded airplanes are seen in Alice Springs, Australia, on May 15. Steve Strike/Getty Images

The global airline industry will lose $84 billion in 2020 and then an additional $15 billion in 2021, according to a new forecast for the International Air Transport Association.

The association said the demand for air cargo and travel will rise sharply in 2021 — but passenger travel will still be nearly 30% lower than in 2019. 

“By comparison, airlines lost $31 billion with the global financial crisis and the oil price spike in 2008-2009. So there's no comparable to the dimension of this crisis," Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO, said in a press conference. 

 

8:53 a.m. ET, June 9, 2020

UK Department of Health will study coronavirus prevalence in schools

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy

A student's temperature is taken at a school in London on June 4.
A student's temperature is taken at a school in London on June 4. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched a study into the prevalence of Covid-19 in schools.

The study will “assess and monitor the prevalence of Covid-19 among preschool, primary and secondary school pupils and teachers” the DHSC said in a press release.

The voluntary study conducted in conjunction with Public Health England (PHE) will gather data from 100 English schools, including 15 London schools, targeting around 200 staff and students in each school.

At least 40% of schools selected for the study will receive swab tests and antibody tests before the start of the summer holidays. Only a small proportion of the total selected schools will receive antibody tests.

According to the DHSC “generally children have been shown to be asymptomatic” to the virus, saying that this study will help to cement their understanding of the rates of transmission amongst minors.

Purpose of the study: Secretary for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said that the study would help the government to “better understand how common asymptomatic and mild cases of Covid-19 are so that we can support parents, pupils and teachers”.

Results for this study set be released in the summer will “play an important role in informing wider surveillance planned for educational settings in the autumn term” according to PHE Paediatric Infectious Diseases Consultant Dr. Shamez Ladhani.

8:32 a.m. ET, June 9, 2020

Delhi could have 550,000 cases by July 31, deputy chief minister says

From  Rishabh Madhavendra Pratap in New Delhi

A medical worker handles a sample collected for coronavirus testing inside a mobile clinic in New Delhi, India, on June 8.
A medical worker handles a sample collected for coronavirus testing inside a mobile clinic in New Delhi, India, on June 8. Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

Delhi's Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in India forecast on Tuesday that as the number of virus cases in Delhi doubles, the nation's capital should expect the number to grow to almost 550,000 cases by July 31.

"We will need 80,000 additional beds in hospitals," Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said after attending the DDMA meeting.

DDMA met on Tuesday to discuss the Covid-19 situation in India’s national capital.

As of Tuesday morning, Delhi reported a total of 29,943 positive Covid-19 cases including 874 deaths as per India's health ministry.

8:17 a.m. ET, June 9, 2020

Tanzania's president claims the country is free from coronavirus 

From CNN's Bethlehem Feleke in Nairobi

Tanzanian President John Magufuli is pictured delivering a speech in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in November 2015.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli is pictured delivering a speech in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in November 2015. Daniel Hayduk/AFP/Getty Images

Tanzanian President John Magufuli claims his country has eradicated coronavirus "by the grace of God," but urged people to continue taking precautions, in a speech at a church congregation in the capital city of Dodoma on Sunday.

The president attributed the result to citizens' prayers and the efforts of local health officials and frontline healthcare workers. 

Last week, the president said hospitals in the country's largest city, Dar es Salaam, had only four Covid-19 patients remaining.

Tanzania has not released any data on coronavirus cases since April 29. At the last count, there were 509 reported cases and 21 deaths in Tanzania, according to Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How Tanzania tackled the virus: Regional World Health Organization (WHO) officials have expressed concern over Tanzania's lackluster implementation of social distancing and its decision to keep places of worship open.

In May, the US Embassy in Tanzania issued a health alert warning that the risk of contracting Covid-19 was "extremely high" as hospitals in Dar es Salaam were "overwhelmed."

Early on in the pandemic, Magufuli dismissed the seriousness of coronavirus in Tanzania, urging his citizens to "pray coronavirus away," believing that the "satanic virus can't live in the body of Jesus Christ." He blamed the growing number of positive cases on faulty test kits that he claimed were registering animals and fruit as positive. 

Tanzania has eased coronavirus restrictions as universities, high schools, and international travel have all reopened. Primary and secondary schools remain closed. 

On Sunday, Magufuli celebrated churchgoers for not wearing masks, claiming that was a sign the country had overcome coronavirus and people were no longer afraid.