August 2 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Ivana Kottasová, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 12:06 a.m. ET, August 3, 2020
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11:12 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Birx says that reopening schools in areas with Covid-19 increases should be done cautiously

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

In areas with widespread case increases, the cases need to be stopped first before there can be talks about reopening schools safely, according to Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus task force coordinator. 

“I certainly would endorse what Dr. Redfield is saying,” she said on CNN on Sunday. “In the areas where we have this widespread case increase, we need to stop the cases and then we can talk about safely reopening.” 

“If you have high caseload and active community spread, just like we are asking people not to go to bars, not to have household parties, not to create large spreading events, we are asking people to distance learn at this moment so we can get this epidemic under control,” she added.  

As coordinator for the task force, Brix said that she works with Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and looks at the data every single day and that she would do “what the CDC guidelines have recommended, and certainly the director.” 

 

10:52 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Large indoor gatherings across New Jersey are not a "widespread problem," state police say

From CNN’s Anna Sturla

The New Jersey State Police does not consider large indoor gatherings to be a "widespread problem," press officer Major Brian Polite told CNN.

"With that being said, any indoor home gathering must fall within the guidelines set forth in the executive order and any violations of such will result in enforcement," Polite said.

Some context: The police statement comes after Airbnb removed or suspended 35 listings across New Jersey in order to crack down on "party houses," according to a statement from Airbnb.

One house party in late July had 700 people, taking more than five hours to be broken up by police, officials said.

11:42 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Arkansas governor says there is no correlation between Covid-19 spike and lifting of restrictions

From CNN’s Chandler Thornton

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks with CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday, August 2.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks with CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday, August 2. CNN

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told CNN the state will not shut down bars and restaurants despite the recent spike in cases.

When asked Sunday if the state's high number of new cases and deaths could have been prevented had there been restrictions imposed earlier, Hutchinson said the "economy and people cannot be shut down for that long." 

The governor said bars and restaurants would remain open at "limited capacity" because "so far we have not seen any correlation between an increase in cases and lifting of restrictions."

"We're going to be dealing with this for some time and so you can't shut down the economy," Hutchinson said, adding that he's issued a mask mandate and "of course the most important about that is that people comply with it."

More context: The state of Arkansas reported a 10% positivity rate for new coronavirus cases Friday and currently has 43,173 total cases and 458 deaths.

11:33 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Birx warns that the US is "in a new phase" of Covid-19 pandemic

From CNN's Veronica Stracqualursi

Dr. Deborah Birx speaks after a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on June 26 in Washington, DC.
Dr. Deborah Birx speaks after a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing on June 26 in Washington, DC. Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Dr. Deborah Birx said the US is in a new phase in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, saying that the virus is more widespread than when it first took hold in the country earlier this year.

"What we are seeing today is different from March and April. It is extraordinarily widespread. It's into the rural as equal urban areas," Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, told CNN on Sunday.

Birx's comments come as the US has reported more coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country.

More context: As of Sunday, the US had reported more than 4.6 million cases of Covid-19 and at least 154,449 Americans have died, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University. 

Read more here.

11:31 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Philippines surpasses 100,000 coronavirus cases

From CNN’s Susanna Capelouto

Police authorities facilitate the processing of thousands of Covid-19 tests on July 26 in Manila, Philippines.
Police authorities facilitate the processing of thousands of Covid-19 tests on July 26 in Manila, Philippines. Jes Aznar/Getty Images

Covid-19 infections hit a milestone in the Philippines on Sunday with 103,185 recorded cases of the disease. 

Health officials reported a record 5,032 new daily cases, which pushed the Philippines over 100,000.

The total number of deaths from coronavirus in the Philippines is 2,059. 

According to Johns Hopkins University, the Philippines have the second highest case count in southeast Asia, following Indonesia.

9:28 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Birx says Americans who are vacationing in Covid-19 hot spots should "assume you're infected"

White House Coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx participates in a roundtable discussion at the American Red Cross national headquarters on July 30, in Washington, DC.
White House Coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx participates in a roundtable discussion at the American Red Cross national headquarters on July 30, in Washington, DC. Evan Vucci/AP

White House Coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said that Americans who have gone on vacation recently to a Covid-19 hotspot should "assume you're infected."

Birx told CNN that over the last three weeks she has traveled to 14 states.

"I can tell you across America right now, people are on the move," she said.

She added that anyone who has "chosen to go on vacation into a hot spot" should "assume you're infected."

9:15 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Bollywood star discharged from hospital after recovering from coronavirus

From Rishabh Pratap in Delhi

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan attends a commercial event in Mumbai, India, in 2018.
Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan attends a commercial event in Mumbai, India, in 2018. Punit Paranjpe/AFP/Getty Images

India's Bollywood star, Amitabh Bachchan, says he tested negative for Covid-19 on Sunday and is back home. 

"I have tested Covid negative, have been discharged. I am back home in solitary quarantine," the actor tweeted.

He said “the excellent care and nursing at Nanavati (hospital) made it possible for me to see this day.”

Bachchan along with his son, Abhishek Bachchan, tested positive for coronavirus on July 1 while his daughter-in-law, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, and granddaughter tested positive the next day.

While the other three are back home, Abhishek is still in Mumbai's Nanavati Hospital.

Abhishek Bachchan tweeted, “I, unfortunately, due to some comorbidities remain Covid-19 positive and remain in hospital. Again, thank you for your continued wishes and prayers for my family.”

He said he was very humbled and indebted by the good wishes and added, “I’ll beat this and come back healthier! Promise.”

8:38 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

India's minister of home affairs says he has tested positive for coronavirus

From Rishabh Pratap in Delhi

India's Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah attends a meeting in Kolkata, India, in 2018.
India's Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah attends a meeting in Kolkata, India, in 2018. Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images

India's Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah has tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday.

"After getting the initial symptoms of the coronavirus, I got the test done and was found positive," Shah said in a tweet.

He said he has been admitted to a Delhi hospital after doctors' advice.

According to the minister’s office, Shah was last with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 29 at the prime minister’s residence in New Delhi for a union cabinet meeting.

8:25 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

2 passengers on a KLM flight arrested after refusing to wear face masks

From CNN’s Arnaud Siad in London

Dutch airline KLM planes are parked on the tarmac of the Schiphol Airport on March 18 on the outskirts of Amsterdam.
Dutch airline KLM planes are parked on the tarmac of the Schiphol Airport on March 18 on the outskirts of Amsterdam. Remko de Waal/ANP/AFP/Getty Images

Two passengers on board a KLM flight from Amsterdam to Ibiza were arrested after refusing to wear mandatory face masks during the flight, KLM spokesperson Paul Weber told CNN on Sunday.

The two passengers, described as “unruly” and “having drunk too much,” were refusing to wear masks on a KLM flight to the Spanish island on Friday, Weber said. They were also “troubling other passengers physically and verbally," he added.

The KLM spokesperson said the captain of the flight decided to arrest them onboard, shortly before landing in Ibiza. Local authorities arrested the two passengers on arrival.

Some context: According to its website, KLM is currently requiring passengers to wear a face mask from the first boarding call until they have gone through the arrival gate at their destination.