August 3 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brad Lendon, Amy Woodyatt, Ed Upright, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:09 a.m. ET, August 4, 2020
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7:58 a.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Eli Lilly moves into late-stage trial of its antibody therapy for Covid-19

From CNN Health’s Jen Christensen

Researchers prepare mammalian cells to produce possible Covid-19 antibodies for testing in a laboratory in May in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Researchers prepare mammalian cells to produce possible Covid-19 antibodies for testing in a laboratory in May in Indianapolis, Indiana. David Morrison/Eli Lilly/AP

Eli Lilly and Company said Monday it is moving into a Phase 3 clinical trial of its antibody treatment for Covid-19.

The Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant said that it plans to recruit 2,400 residents and staff at long-term care facilities for its trial.

Nursing home residents and staff are particularly vulnerable to severe forms of Covid-19. As of July 30, there have been nearly 63,000 deaths in long term care facilities, accounting for at least 44% of total deaths in 43 states, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. That percentage is very likely an undercount.

In June, Lilly became the first company in the US to start testing an antibody therapy in humans. LY-CoV555, as it’s called, was created by Lilly in cooperation with AbCellera, from an antibody first identified in a blood sample taken from one of the first US patients to recover from Covid-19.

With this trial, the company will work with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Covid-19 Prevention Network to administer the therapy to residents and staff at several long-term care facilities that have had a recently diagnosed case of Covid-19.

The hope is that this antibody therapy will provide protection, and possibly ease symptoms for those who do get infected.

What are antibodies? Antibodies are proteins the immune system makes naturally to provide the body protection from a virus or toxin. Unlike with a vaccine -- which stimulates the body to make these protective antibodies over a couple of weeks -- a therapy like this delivers a lab-made antibody that provides protection instantly.

The protection doesn’t last as long as a vaccine would, but if it works, it could be given as a protective treatment every few months.

More about the trial: This trial will determine if a single dose reduces the rate of infection through four weeks. It will also determine if it can reduce complications from Covid-19 for eight weeks.

To help with the trial, Lilly has created custom-made mobile research units to assist long term care facilities conduct these studies. These units will be sent to long-term care facilities throughout the country and will bring a lab, clinical trial supplies and specialized staff on-site, creating an on location infusion clinic.

Lilly has two other ongoing trials in the US with LY-CoV555. The company has finished dosing hospitalized patients in a Phase 1 study, but it continues to follow up with those patients. A Phase 2 study involving people who have been recently diagnosed with Covid-19 is ongoing.

The company says the treatment so far has been “well tolerated” by patients, and there have been no drug-related severe adverse events. How well these therapies work is still to be determined. 

8:20 a.m. ET, August 3, 2020

UK launches half-price meal scheme in bid to boost restaurants and pubs

From Sharon Braithwaite in London

People dine outdoors at a restaurant in Clapham, London, on August 2.
People dine outdoors at a restaurant in Clapham, London, on August 2. Peter Summers/Getty Images

The UK has launched a half-price meal scheme, "Eat Out to Help Out," in an attempt to boost the restaurant and pub industry following the country's Covid-19 lockdown.

In August customers across the country will get up to 50% off on bills -- with a maximum discount of £10 ($13) per person -- when visiting participating restaurants, pubs and cafes Monday through Wednesday, the country's economic and finance ministry said in a statement Monday.

The half-price discount will run through August and applies to all food and non-alcoholic drinks consumed on the premises. The scheme is part of the £30 billion ($39bn) Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs and “aims to protect jobs in the hospitality sector – which has been hit hard by coronavirus,” the statement reads.

Last week, the UK government announced new restrictions in some areas of Northern England "to stop the spread of Covid-19" in response to an increasing number of cases.

People in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, and West Yorkshire are not allowed to meet people they do not live with with inside a private home or garden, (except where they have formed a support bubble) the government said, or socialize with people they do not live with in other indoor public venues, such as pubs, restaurants and cafes.

However, rules still allow people from these neighborhoods to attend these venues with people they live with, or are in a support bubble with.

8:20 a.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Men's Wearhouse-owner Tailored Brands files for bankruptcy

From CNN Business' Mark Thompson

People walk past a Men's Wearhouse store on July 21 in Chicago, Illinois.
People walk past a Men's Wearhouse store on July 21 in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Tailored Brands, the owner of Men Wearhouse and Jos A. Bank, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, becoming the latest US retail casualty of the pandemic.

Tailored Brands said in a statement that it voluntary filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday in the US Bankruptcy Court in Houston due to "the unprecedented impact of COVID-19." 

The company expects its four retail brands to continue to operate during the restructuring process, and said it has reached an agreement with lenders to reduce debt by $630 million.

This follows Tailored Brands decision on July 21 to eliminate about 20% of its corporate workforce and close up to 500 stores as it deals with a "challenging retail environment." 

Lord and Taylor also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday, according to court documents.

6:46 a.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Hong Kong reports drop in Covid-19 cases

From journalists Phoebe Lai and Vanesse Chan in Hong Kong

A medical professional collects a swab sample for a Covid-19 test on July 24 in Hong Kong.
A medical professional collects a swab sample for a Covid-19 test on July 24 in Hong Kong. Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Hong Kong confirmed 80 new cases of Covid-19 in the city on Monday -- the first time in nearly two weeks that cases have dropped below triple digits.

All cases are locally transmitted.

About 56 of the local cases are related to previous cases, while the source of infection of the other 24 is still under investigation.

Health officials warned that though the infections have gone down compared to the last two weeks, it is too early to call the decrease in numbers a trend. 

Two additional deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 37 and total number of confirmed cases in Hong Kong to 3,590.

8:20 a.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Spain suffers 97.7% drop in tourism

From CNN’s Laura Pérez Maestro in Spain

People walk towards a beach in Magaluf, on the Spanish island of Mallorca, on July 16.
People walk towards a beach in Magaluf, on the Spanish island of Mallorca, on July 16. Jaime Reina/AFP/Getty Images

Spain received 204,926 international tourists in June 2020, 97.7% fewer than last year, a study from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics revealed on Monday.

The data also showed that the total spend of international tourists visiting Spain in June decreased 98.6% compared to the same month last year. In comparison to June 2019, the spend per tourist dropped 40.8% to $755 (€651) and the average duration of trips was reduced by one day to 5.7 days.

In June, 920,778 national and international travelers stayed in hotels or similar establishments in Spain, with a total of 1,820,455 overnight stays. Both figures represent less than 10% of the estimated totals for this period a year ago. Four-star hotels are the most visited, followed by three-star establishments.

Virus threatens tourism: Spain's tourism industry has suffered setbacks due to the pandemic. In July, the UK government unexpectedly announced that all people returning from Spain would be required to self-isolate for two weeks due to an increase in coronavirus cases, reversing its previous stance.

Norway also imposed a mandatory 10-day quarantine for all travelers returning from Spain following the spike in coronavirus cases, and French Prime Minister Jean Castex has previously advised French people against traveling to Catalonia.

According to Statista, which provides data on the global digital economy, Spain is one of the countries most vulnerable to Covid-19's impact on tourism, with travel and tourism contributing 14.3% to Spain's GDP last year.

6:04 a.m. ET, August 3, 2020

90-minute coronavirus tests to be rolled out in UK

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London

The British government has procured "millions" of two separate coronavirus tests that will be able to detect the virus in 90 minutes, the UK department of health said Monday.

Both tests will be able to detect Covid-19 and other winter viruses such as flu and respiratory syncytial virus in 90 minutes and will not require a clinical setting, the department said in a statement.

The tests will be rolled out in hospitals, care homes and labs across the UK next week.

“We’re using the most innovative technologies available to tackle coronavirus. Millions of new rapid coronavirus tests will provide on-the-spot results in under 90 minutes, helping us to break chains of transmission quickly,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a statement.

The department of health has said that the tests “will hugely increase testing capacity ahead of winter, delivering fast results that will help to break chains of transmission quickly.”

One test will analyse DNA in nose swabs, and the other will process swab and saliva samples to detect the presence of Covid-19 in 60 to 90 minutes.

5:45 a.m. ET, August 3, 2020

China says Hong Kong's election delay is "reasonable and lawful"

From CNN's Sarah Faidell

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin speaks at a daily briefing on July 24 in Beijing.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin speaks at a daily briefing on July 24 in Beijing. Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Monday that Hong Kong’s legislative council elections are considered local elections in China, adding no foreign entity has “any right to interfere and nothing could justify such interference.”

Here's some background: On Friday Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam used a colonial-era emergency regulation to postpone the September Legislative Council elections by a year due to the growing Covid-19 outbreak in Hong Kong.

Some pro-democracy lawmakers accused the government of wanting to avoid a potential loss following China's imposition of a new national security law on the city.

MOFA spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Monday that the decision was a “legitimate measure to protect Hong Kong residents safety and health” and a way to ensure the elections “can be safe, fair, and just.”

“There are many precedents postponing elections because of disasters such as an epidemic. The Hong Kong SAR government's decision is in line with this common practice, is legitimate, reasonable, and lawful,” Wang said.

5:26 a.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Australia is imposing strict new virus prevention measures in the state of Victoria

From CNN's Helen Regan and Angus Watson

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media at the daily briefing in Melbourne on August 3.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews speaks to the media at the daily briefing in Melbourne on August 3. Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

About 5 million people in Australia's second-most populous city, Melbourne, are contending with some of the harshest restrictions ever imposed on the city after authorities declared a "state of disaster" on Sunday.

Police patrolled deserted streets Sunday night, enforcing an overnight curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. as part of stage-four lockdown measures imposed to battle a widening coronavirus outbreak.

Those restrictions include a curfew in Melbourne for the next six weeks, a ban on wedding gatherings, and schools must go back to online classes. Only one person per household is allowed to leave their homes once a day -- outside of curfew hours -- to pick up essential goods, and they must stay within a five-kilometer (3.1 miles) radius of their home.

On Monday, further businesses restrictions were announced, including the shuttering of nonessential industries.

The state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the largest city, recorded 429 Covid-19 infections on Sunday, down from 671 cases the day before, according to Victoria's Chief Health Officer professor Brett Sutton. Thirteen new deaths were also announced, bringing the state's total to 136, and there have been a total of 11,937 confirmed infections.

Sunday's announcement underscores how quickly early success in containing the virus can unravel.

In May, Australia was held up as a global model for its handling of the outbreak, which started with early measures to bar entry from high-risk countries. Stricter curbs on social gatherings, expanded testing, restaurant and bar closures, followed as cases rose, with some states sealing their borders.

But Covid-19 cases in Victoria have risen suddenly in recent weeks, with many new infections in elderly care homes and among health care workers. Eight of the 13 new deaths on Sunday are linked to known outbreaks in elderly care facilities.

"This six-week period is absolutely critical," said Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews in a daily press briefing on Monday. "This is a very tough day, and there will be many more of those until we get to the end of this."

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4:36 a.m. ET, August 3, 2020

Critics accuse the Philippines government of using the coronavirus lockdown to crack down on dissent

Analysis by CNN's Ben Westcott and Anne Lagamayo

Questioning the world's toughest coronavirus restrictions can be a risky business in the Philippines.

In mid-March, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered parts of the country to go into a quarantine that would eventually last up to 80 days and become one of the world's longest and strictest lockdowns.

Protests against job losses and food shortages during that period were met with a strong police response and mass arrestsIn April, Duterte publicly said police should "shoot ... dead" anyone who violated virus restrictions.

"I will not hesitate. My orders are to the police, the military and the barangays: If they become unruly and they fight you and your lives are endangered, shoot them dead," Duterte said during a speech.

Though restrictions were eased in June, owing to concerns around the econony, coronavirus cases have since risen with the Philippines now reporting the second-highest number of confirmed cases in Southeast Asia.

The country announced its highest single-day jump in new coronavirus infections on Sunday, according to CNN affiliate CNN Philippines, with 5,032 confirmed cases in 24 hours. The Philippines has more than 100,000 coronavirus cases in a population of 106 million.

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