June 29 coronavirus news

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Julia Hollingsworth, Amy Woodyatt and Adam Renton, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, June 30, 2020
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5:21 a.m. ET, June 29, 2020

A volunteer "sewing squad" has distributed more than 55,000 masks to vulnerable communities

From CNN's Bethany Hines

Auntie Constance Parng coordinates mask deliveries from the Auntie Sewing Squad to First Nations tribes in Canada.
Auntie Constance Parng coordinates mask deliveries from the Auntie Sewing Squad to First Nations tribes in Canada. From Auntie Sewing Squad

Kristina Wong is an actress and comedian known for her one-woman shows. But she traded the stage for a sewing machine and formed a team of volunteers to make masks during the coronavirus pandemic. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, people frantically searched for masks. Material to make them was limited. But Wong had scraps of fabric laying around her home as she sews her own stage props. She learned the basics of sewing helping her mother quilt as a kindergartener and picked up sewing machine skills in her sixth-grade home economics class. 

"I was like 'I can do this. I can sew.' I just sort of refuse to believe that we're powerless in these situations," she said. "I made my first mask on March 20th. I posted on my Facebook page 'If you are immunocompromised or don't have access to masks, I'll make you a mask. Just reimburse me $5 for postage.'"

Hundreds of requests for masks poured in, and Wong soon realized she couldn't do it alone. 

"I was saying 'yes' faster than I could sew."

So, she posted a plea for help.

Soon, others began volunteering and Wong launched a Facebook group called the "Auntie Sewing Squad." It started with just 26 people. Now, it has more than 800 sewers across the United States.

So far, the group has distributed more than 55,000 masks to communities in need. Wong is proud of the group. But she is also frustrated.

"I do refer to our group as a 'sweatshop' because I don't want to romanticize it. While we are enjoying each other's company in this very strange time in history, we shouldn't have to be doing this work. This is absolutely the government's job. We should not have had to turn our homes upside down into sweatshops and pull the sheets off our beds to make masks."

Read the full story:

8:57 a.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Some US states return to previous restrictions hoping to slow surges of coronavirus cases

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

Weeks after most US states began lifting their lockdowns, parts of the country are clamping down on renewed restrictions hoping to slow staggering surges in new case numbers. 

With July 4 approaching, officials are trying not to repeat scenes of Memorial Day, when thousands across the country flocked to beaches, bars and parties while experts cautioned the crowds could lead to spikes in cases down the road. At least 12 states have hit a pause on their reopening plans, hoping to contain the spread. 

Some places directed their bars to close back down, while beaches in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach were ordered off-limits to the public during the upcoming holiday weekend. 

The announcements come after a devastating week for the country, during which many states reported highest single-day spikes and the US also recorded its biggest single-day increase in cases, with 40,173 reported Friday.

But those numbers may just be a glimpse into how widespread infections across the country are, as a survey from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the total numbers of infections could be up to 24 times higher than reported. 

What happens next is unclear. Local and state leaders have vowed they'll do whatever it takes to stay away from a second lockdown. But many have stopped short of taking the option off the table. 

Read the full story:

4:37 a.m. ET, June 29, 2020

UK group warns "significant proportion" of Covid-19 patients will develop PTSD 

From CNN’s Hilary McGann in London

A “significant proportion” of people who were hospitalized with coronavirus “will go on to develop symptoms” of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a report from the United Kingdom’s Covid Trauma Response Working Group. 

Dr. Michael Bloomfield, a trauma expert on the group’s panel, believes PTSD screening should be “mandatory” for discharged Covid-19 patients. 

“We are very concerned about the level of exposure to psychological trauma during the pandemic,” Dr Bloomfield also tweeted. 

Being critically ill is described as a “physically and emotionally overwhelming experience” by the group, who say one-in-five intensive care patients usually experience PTSD post-treatment.

11:09 a.m. ET, June 29, 2020

India's lockdown is scheduled to end tomorrow, but three states are extending restrictions

From CNN's Esha Mitra in New Delhi

Three Indian states are extending lockdown measures past June 30, the date that the country's final stage of nationwide lockdown is set to lift.

The eastern states of West Bengal and Jharkhand have extended their lockdowns until July 31, while the northeastern state of Assam has imposed a total lockdown in its Kamrup metropolitan area until July 12. 

In Jharkhand: The state's Chief Minister Hemant Soren tweeted on Friday that the "struggle is still going on."

"Considering the seriousness of the situation, the state government has decided to extend the lockdown till 31 July. The relaxations in lockdown already issued will remain in place," Soren said.

In Assam: The state announced a "total lockdown" in the Kamrup metropolitan area, meaning all activity will remain closed apart from essential services, including public transport and industrial activity, according to an order issued by the government of Assam on Friday.

In West Bengal: All non-essential activities will remain closed. Academic institutions across the country are scheduled to resume classes in July, but West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that schools and colleges in the state will remain shut until July 31 -- aside from a few examinations, which will be carried out while maintaining social distancing.

"Since Covid is increasing across the country, it is our responsibility to help the country the little bit that we can in reducing cases so let us try to extend the lockdown for a few more days," Banerjee said Wednesday.

Nationwide: India issued a nationwide lockdown till June 30 in containment zones with a high number of cases. Directives are yet to be issued on whether the restrictions in these zones will be extended.

India has reported more than 548,000 coronavirus cases, including over 16,000 deaths, according to the country's health ministry.

3:57 a.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Asian markets fall sharply as US coronavirus cases trigger concerns about a global recovery

From CNN Business' Laura He in Hong Kong

A woman walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm on June 29 in Tokyo.
A woman walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm on June 29 in Tokyo. Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Asian markets fell sharply Monday as the number of coronavirus cases around the world crossed more than 10 million, with at least half a million deaths. 

Japan's Nikkei 225 (N225) declined 2%. South Korea's Kospi (KOSPI) dropped 1.6%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index (HSI) lost 1.2%, while China's Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) shed 0.8% after trading for the first time since an extended holiday.

US stocks futures, meanwhile, were muted following sharp declines Friday. Dow (INDU) futures inched up 15 points, or nearly 0.1%. Futures for the S&P 500 (SPX) were up 0.1%, while Nasdaq (COMP) futures were down 0.2%. 

On Friday, the Dow tumbled more than 700 points as some states were forced to pause their reopening amid rising Covid-19 cases. Upticks have been reported in 36 states, including Florida, which some experts have cautioned could be the next epicenter for infections. Officials there and across the United States are also warning of an increase in cases among younger people.

"The rebound of the infection rate, especially in the US, shows that the road to full recovery is going to be long and that it will require medical solutions, such as a vaccine," Tai Hui, chief Asia market strategist for JP Morgan Asset Management wrote in a Monday note.

The situation in the US could also prompt concerns in Europe, as European governments are considering opening borders more during the summer holiday season, he added.

"We expect market sentiment to turn cautious in the near term, with investors hedging risks from the pandemic and ongoing tensions between the US and China," Hui said.

3:43 a.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Iran's President says the country is living through the toughest years in its history

From CNN's Ramin Mostaghim in Tehran and Mostafa Salem

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a televised statement on Sunday, June 28.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a televised statement on Sunday, June 28. WANA Pool

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised statement on Sunday that this year has been the toughest in the nation's history because of United States sanctions and the spread of coronavirus.   

“From the enemy's economic war and the coronavirus pandemic, this year is the most difficult year in our country’s history," Rouhani said during his cabinet’s meeting.
“For 140 years we have not experienced such a disease”, Rouhani added.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in Iran surpassed 220,000 with deaths crossing the 10,000 mark over the past week, according to data from the Iranian health ministry.

Rouhani added that face masks are set to become mandatory starting next week in areas at risk of increased coronavirus infections. 

Despite a decrease in Iran's number of reported cases in April, infections started increasing once again in May and June. 

3:23 a.m. ET, June 29, 2020

Indian state of Maharashtra reports more than 5,000 new cases for third consecutive day

From CNN's Esha Mitra, New Delhi

The Indian state of Maharashtra reported 5,493 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday -- the third consecutive day that the state has reported more than 5,000 new cases.

That brings the state's total number of reported cases to 164,626, including 7,429 deaths. Some 86,575 patients have recovered. The state currently has 70,622 active cases, according to the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. 

Mumbai -- Maharashtra's capital -- crossed the 75,000 mark on Sunday evening. The city has the second-highest number of cases in the country after Delhi.

11:09 a.m. ET, June 29, 2020

400,000 people under new lockdown in China's Hebei province

From CNN's Shawn Deng in Beijing and Isaac Yee in Hong Kong.

Some 400,000 residents in Anxin County in China's Hebei province near Beijing have been placed under new lockdown measures amid a small increase in coronavirus cases.

Under the new lockdown measures, “all villages, communities and buildings will be fully closed off,” according to an Anxin County government statement posted on the Weibo microblogging site.

The statement adds that families are only permitted to send one family member out of their house each day to purchase supplies, and that all non-locally registered vehicles are not permitted to enter the area. 

Hebei’s Provincial Health Commission said that ever since Beijing's Xinfadi market cluster was discovered on June 11, Xiong’an New District -- where Anxin County is located -- has reported 13 locally transmitted cases and six asymptomatic cases.

The Anxin local government announcement also mentions that they have implemented the new lockdown because the pandemic prevention and control situation in the county is “still serious.”

Anxin, a relatively rural and sparsely populated county, is located around 90 miles (145 km) south of China’s capital Beijing, which had seen a spike in coronavirus cases linked to the Xinfadi market in the past two weeks. Officials have since said the outbreak in Beijing has been “basically contained.” 

China reported 12 new cases of the virus on Sunday, including seven local infections in Beijing and five imported cases across Sichuan, Liaoning and Shanghai.

2:19 a.m. ET, June 29, 2020

US reports more than 38,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

At least 38,845 new coronavirus cases and 264 deaths were reported in the United States on Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

A total of 2,548,996 Covid-19 cases have now been recorded in the US, including at least 125,804 virus-related fatalities, according to JHU's tally.

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

CNN is tracking US coronavirus cases here: