August 2 coronavirus news

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2:32 p.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Hong Kong's 12 days of more than 100 new infections

Hong Kong has seen 115 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, the head of communicable disease branch of the Department of Health Chuang Shuk-kwan said at a news conference Sunday.

Hong Kong has now seen more than 100 new cases for 12 days in a row.

All new infections are locally transmitted cases. Among them, 76 are related to previous cases, while 36 are currently under investigation.

The government reported three new deaths as of Sunday, pushing the death toll to 34.

6:12 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

California firefighters fight flames and a burgeoning pandemic at the same time

From CNN's Paul Vercammen

With temperatures soaring and winds gusting, California firefighters may soon face their first significant battle against wildland blazes, but they will also have to contend with the uncertain terrain caused by the coronavirus.

Under Covid-19 safety procedures, California fire officials will reduce the size of usually bustling base camps -- where hundreds of engines from city, state and federal agencies gather under mutual aid agreements to fight major blazes.

"For every large wildfire we build a base camp, our own mini city, so it's a large quantity of personnel in tight quarters," said Captain Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department. "It's a potential breeding ground for the coronavirus."

5:41 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

You asked, we’re answering: Your top coronavirus questions

CNN readers from around the world have asked more than 90,000 questions about coronavirus. We’re reading as many as we can and answering some of the most popular questions here.

Here are some of the questions we have answered:

  • How long are people contagious with Covid-19? 
  • How can I volunteer to be a vaccine trial participant?
  • What’s so different about coronavirus that made us shut down the economy?
  • How long does coronavirus stay “alive” on surfaces?

You can also send us your coronavirus questions here.

5:26 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Thousands of anti-Netanyahu protesters take to the streets

From CNN's Andrew Carey, Amir Tal and Kareem Khadder in Jerusalem

Thousands of protesters chant slogans and hold signs during a protest against Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his residence in Jerusalem, on August 1.
Thousands of protesters chant slogans and hold signs during a protest against Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his residence in Jerusalem, on August 1. Oded Balilty/AP

Thousands of anti-Netanyahu protesters in Israel staged their biggest demonstration yet on Saturday evening filling streets and a central square close to the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem.

One police commander at the rally told CNN he estimated 17,000 people were present at one stage. Police have yet to officially put a number on the crowd, but other estimates by Israeli media range from 15,000 to over 20,000. 

There were also smaller demonstrations in Tel Aviv, Caesarea, and Haifa, as well as at dozens of major road junctions and bridges across the country.

While previous rallies have been characterized in part by anger over Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on small business, the focus of the rally in Jerusalem was firmly on the corruption charges facing the Prime Minister.  

Black flags, the symbol of the anti-corruption movement, along with Israeli flags were much in evidence, while placards implored the Prime Minister to resign, or demanded he go to prison. At one point, people repeatedly chanted a list of the offenses for which he is on trial: bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Netanyahu denies all charges against him.

One protester told CNN:

He is not capable of leading, he's not capable of managing the country anymore because he's so much much involved in what is going on with his trial ... he's not caring about the people, he's not caring about the citizens."

Israel has recorded 72,283 coronavirus cases and 527 deaths as of Sunday morning.

Protesters light torches during a protest against Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his residence in Jerusalem, on August 1.
Protesters light torches during a protest against Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his residence in Jerusalem, on August 1. Oded Balilty/AP

Despite the seriousness of the messages, the mood at the rally had a strong carnival-type feel. Many people banged makeshift drums and percussion instruments, while others blew horns and trumpets, providing a continuous noisy backdrop to proceedings. The vast majority of participants were young and almost everyone was wearing a mask, although CNN witnessed little if any sign of social distancing being observed. 

Police began telling people to leave the protest site after midnight local time. Around 1:30 a.m., officers moved in to forcibly disperse the few hundred still left.

4:46 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Coronavirus reunites long-lost sisters -- after more than 50 years

From CNN's Lauren M. Johnson

Sisters Doris Crippen, a Covid-19 survivor, left, and Bev Boro, a Dunklau Gardens medication aide, talk about their reunion in Fremont, Nebraska on July 22.
Sisters Doris Crippen, a Covid-19 survivor, left, and Bev Boro, a Dunklau Gardens medication aide, talk about their reunion in Fremont, Nebraska on July 22. Daniel Johnson/Methodist Health System

Two Nebraska sisters who were separated 53 years ago are now reunited thanks to the coronavirus.

Doris Crippen, 73, said she had come down with what she thought was the flu in May. Due to how weak it made her, she ended up falling and breaking her arm, sending her to the emergency room and eventually down memory lane.

It turned out she had coronavirus and had to spend almost 30 days in the hospital recovering, Crippen said. After she was released, Crippen went to Fremont Methodist Health's Dunklau Gardens to get rehab on her arm.

It was there that she encountered a wonderful surprise.

Bev Boro, 53, has been a medication aide at Dunklau Gardens in Fremont for 22 years and when she came across Crippen's name on a patient board she immediately recognized it.

The two women have the same father but different mothers, and they have not seen each other in 53 years, when Boro was a baby. Crippen lived with her mother, but Boro and four of their 14 siblings were separated by the state and put up for adoption when she was 6 months old.

Read the full story here.

4:08 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

20,000 more Americans could die from Covid-19 in the next 21 days, CDC forecasts

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

Local leaders and public health experts have urged residents not to let their guard down.
Local leaders and public health experts have urged residents not to let their guard down. Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The US has reported more deaths linked to coronavirus than anywhere else in the world and updated models show 20,000 more Americans could die in just the next three weeks.

The ensemble forecast, published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects more than 173,000 American deaths by August 22. At least 154,447 Americans have died since the beginning of the pandemic.

Across the country, local leaders and public health experts have urged residents not to let their guard down as social gatherings, especially among younger groups, are fueling the spread of the virus. While some states across the South seem to be nearing their peak, experts say others, including in the Midwest, are raising new concern.

The CDC says new deaths are likely to increase in Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Tennessee and Washington. Some of these states previously reported progress in their coronavirus numbers but are now raising their alarm again.

3:06 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

India reports more than 54,000 coronavirus cases

From journalist Rishabh M Pratap in New Delhi

People get their nasal swab samples taken at a mobile testing centre in Hyderabad, India, on July 31.
People get their nasal swab samples taken at a mobile testing centre in Hyderabad, India, on July 31. Mahesh Kumar A./AP

India has surpassed 1.7 million confirmed coronavirus cases, after reporting 54,730 new infections on Sunday.

The country has recorded a total of 1,750,723 cases of Covid-19, including 37,364 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

India now has 567,730 active cases, while more than 1,145,000 patients have recovered, according to the ministry.

In India, patients with mild and moderate symptoms are considered no longer active after 10 days of symptom onset if they meet certain conditions. A test to confirm that they no longer have the virus is not required. Severe cases can only be discharged after one negative coronavirus test.

2:39 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

US reports more than 58,000 new Covid-19 cases

Medical staff treat a patient in the Covid-19 intensive care unit at a hospital in Houston, on July 28.
Medical staff treat a patient in the Covid-19 intensive care unit at a hospital in Houston, on July 28. Go Nakamura/Getty Images

A total of 58,406 new coronavirus cases and 1,133 deaths were recorded across the United States on Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The number of confirmed cases in the US now stands at 4,620,444, including at least 154,447 related fatalities.

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:

2:02 a.m. ET, August 2, 2020

Australia imposes curfew in second-largest city

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday, August 2.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday, August 2. Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

A "state of disaster" has been declared in Australia’s second most populous state, after health authorities recorded 671 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday. 

The new cases bring Victoria state's total confirmed cases to 11,557, including 123 deaths. Australia has seen more than 17,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.

In a news conference Sunday, Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews declared a state of disaster from 6 p.m. Sunday, local time (4 a.m. ET), and announced strict new stage four lockdown measures in metropolitan Melbourne.

What are the new rules? From Sunday evening, Melbourne's metro area will be placed under a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., meaning people will not be allowed to leave their house during those hours. The only reasons to leave will be for work, medical care and caregiving.

Under the new rules, only one person per household will be allowed to leave their homes once a day to pick up essential goods and they must stay within a 5 km (3 mile) radius of their home. 

“We have 760 mystery cases, they are active cases where we cannot trace back the source of that person's infection,” Andrews said. “Those mysteries and that community transmission is in many respects our biggest challenge and the reason why we need to move to a different set of rules.” 

Andrews also announced that residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for one hour of exercise each day.

Outside of Melbourne's metro area, Victoria will be placed under stage three restrictions starting at midnight on Wednesday. That will mean cafes, bars and restaurants must close and all schools will return to online learning.

All new restrictions will be in effect for six weeks from the date they are imposed.

Elsewhere in Australia: New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday “strongly recommended” that people wear masks in enclosed spaces where there is no social-distancing, at places of worship, and in areas with high community transmission.

NSW recorded 12 new cases on Sunday.