June 19 coronavirus news

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1:18 a.m. ET, June 19, 2020

India lifts export ban on hydroxychloroquine 

From CNN's Sugam Pokharel in Atlanta

India has lifted a ban on the export of hydroxychloroquine -- the anti-malaria drug that was being studied as possible therapy for coronavirus, according to India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry. 

“(The earlier order) has been amended to change the export policy of hydroxychloroquine API and its formulations from "Prohibited" to "Free" with immediate effect,” the notification said. 

In March India had banned the export of the drug with some exceptions, followed by a blanket ban in April. 

The announcement comes after the US Food and Drug Administration revoked its emergency use authorization for use of the drug to treat Covid-19 patients this week, saying there was no reason to believe the drug is effective against the virus, and that it “increased the risk of side effects, including heart problems.”  

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said the hydroxychloroquine arm of the agency's Covid-19 Solidarity Trial will end because the drug did not help coronavirus patients.

 

1:17 a.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Tulsa county health commissioners should shut down Trump rally, health expert urges

From CNN's Shelby Lin Erdman

County health commissioners in Tulsa, Oklahoma, should shut down President Donald Trump’s planned rally in the city Saturday, a leading health expert warned.

“The risk is real,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at George Washington University, told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

"Tulsa just had a record number of cases. In the last week the number of Covid-19 cases in Tulsa is up 111%,” Reiner said, drawing a comparison to other events that might pose a danger to the public.

“Look, if a club owner tried to over pack their venue with people, the fire marshal would shut it down,” he said. 
“It’s unsafe to have this event in Tulsa right now and the county health commissioners should shut it down. I think it's possible they will. It's not safe to do it.”

The Trump campaign said masks will be available for those attending the event, but people won’t be required to wear them. Also, social distancing will be next to impossible in a packed arena. Both measures are recommended by health experts as a means of controlling the spread of the deadly virus.

1:17 a.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Spike in coronavirus cases "a tragedy," Florida infectious disease expert says

From CNN’s Shelby Lin Erdman

Florida is set to become a new center of coronavirus spread and that’s a tragedy, an infectious disease specialist from Florida International University said Thursday. 

“We have just spent so much time and effort and suffering hammering down the original outbreak that it’s really a tragedy to see the numbers start to go back up,” Dr. Aileen Marty told CNN’s Erin Burnett.

“We have public health measures that can be used to get it back down without having a lockdown if the community cooperates,” Marty said.

Those measures include wearing a mask in public and maintaining social distancing.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, though, has said the spike in cases in Florida is a result of increased testing and clusters of the illness in places such as prisons and long-term care facilities.

Marty said those communities are a very small part of the overall picture of the disease in the state.

“If it's any reflection of what's going on it's a very small part of the picture and the reality remains that there are more hospitalizations happening here right now so we know this is a real increase in cases,” she said.

1:17 a.m. ET, June 19, 2020

Mexico sees highest single-day increase in new coronavirus cases

From CNN's Matt Rivers in Mexico City

Mexico has it's highest single-day increase in confirmed coronavirus cases after reporting more than 5,000 new infections on Thursday, according to the Mexican Health Ministry.

The ministry recorded 5,662 new cases, bringing the country's total to 165,455.

Mexico also reported 667 new deaths from the virus, bringing its total to 19,747.