August 11 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, August 12, 2020
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8:14 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Russia names coronavirus vaccine "Sputnik-V," says 20 countries have requested more than a billion doses

From CNN's Zahra Ullah in Moscow

Twenty countries around the world have requested more than a billion doses of Russia's newly-approved coronavirus vaccine, according to the head of the Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

The vaccine has been named "Sputnik-V" -- a reference to the surprise 1957 launch of the world's first satellite by the Soviet Union.

"We’ve seen considerable interest in the Russian vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute abroad. Moreover, we have received preliminary applications for over 1 billion doses of the vaccine from 20 countries," RDIF head Kirill Dmitriev said Tuesday.
"Along with our foreign partners, we are already prepared to manufacture over 500 million doses of vaccine per year in five countries, and the plan is to ramp-up production capacity even higher."
He added: "So far, countries in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia have displayed the greatest interest in the vaccine, and we are about to finalize a number of contracts for the purchase of the vaccine."

The Russian vaccine is yet to pass the crucial Phase 3 testing stage. Phase 3 trials, typically involving thousands of participants, assess a drug's safety and effectiveness.

Dmitriev said those trials would take place abroad.

"We have already reached agreements on conducting the relevant trials of the Gamaleya vaccine with partners from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and a number of other countries," he said.

The Gamaleya vaccine is the first in the world to be approved but there are widespread concerns that essential corners may have been cut in its development.

Critics say the country's push for a vaccine is partly due to political pressure from the Kremlin, which is keen to portray Russia as a global scientific force.

On Tuesday, Dmitriev hit out at criticisms of the vaccine and the lack of testing and trials.

"Coordinated and carefully-orchestrated media attacks on the Russian vaccine have attempted to discredit and conceal the correctness of Russia’s approach to the drug’s development," he said.

Russia has released no scientific data on its testing, and CNN is unable to verify the vaccine's claimed safety or effectiveness.

6:27 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

New Zealand reinstates some lockdown restrictions after recording first locally-transmitted coronavirus case in 102 days

From CNN's Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, left, and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield, right, attend a news conference on August 11 in Wellington, New Zealand.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, left, and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield, right, attend a news conference on August 11 in Wellington, New Zealand. TVNZ

New Zealand has recorded four new locally transmitted coronavirus cases, breaking its 102-day streak without a local infection.

All four of the cases were found within one household in South Auckland according to New Zealand’s Director-General of Health Dr. Ashley Bloomfield. He added that none of the new cases had recently travelled outside of New Zealand.

"We have been preparing for that time, and that time is now," said Dr Bloomfield, adding that the "health system is well prepared" for such an outbreak.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that Auckland, the country's most populous city, would temporarily be placed under level three pandemic restrictions for three days, beginning at midday on Wednesday.

"In line with our precautionary approach we will be asking Aucklanders to take swift actions with us. As of 12 noon tomorrow, Wednesday August 12, we will be moving Auckland to level 3 restrictions," Ardern said Tuesday.

She added that the lockdown would allow health officials to conduct urgent contact tracing and assess the situation.

Under the new restrictions businesses including restaurants, bars and non-essential shops will close. People will only be allowed to leave their homes to conduct essential activities such as picking up supplies from grocery stores. Gatherings over 10 people will also be restricted and schools will be closed for three days.

Outside Auckland, the rest of New Zealand will go into level two restrictions.

Under these rules groups of no more than 100 people can gather in one place. Social distancing must also be practiced at hospitality businesses, while public venues such as museums, libraries and pools can open if they comply with public health measures and ensure one meter physical distancing and record keeping.  

The new restrictions will last for at least three days, until midnight on Friday.

6:16 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Hong Kong records 33 coronavirus cases -- its lowest count since mid-July

From Vanesse Chan in Hong Kong

A medical worker hands out Covid-19 test kits to local residents on August 7 in Hong Kong, China.
A medical worker hands out Covid-19 test kits to local residents on August 7 in Hong Kong, China. Photo by Qin Louyue/China News Service/Getty Images

Hong Kong reported 33 cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, its lowest number of new infections since July 15.

The tally is composed of 32 local infections and one imported case from India, according to information given at Hong Kong's daily health briefing.

Among the local cases, 17 are related to previous infections, of which 10 were transmitted within families. The others were work-related, including two new cases in Kwong Wah Hospital.

Three deaths were also recorded, bringing Hong Kong's death toll to 58. The total number of cases stands at 4,181.

Hong Kong officials have scrambled in recent weeks to suppress a third wave of the virus in the city.

Dr. Chuang of the health department's Communicable Disease Branch said she has noticed an overall decreasing trend but added that the daily number may fluctuate.

Although we have 33 cases today, we still have around 50 preliminary positive cases," she said. 
"I hope the trend will continue with all efforts from the community as well as from the government. But still, there are a lot of unknown cases in our community," she added.
6:13 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

This 21-year-old thought he had overcome a mild case of Covid-19. Then he went into organ failure

From CNN's Christina Maxouris

Spencer Rollyson speaks with CNN ON
Spencer Rollyson speaks with CNN ON CNN

Spencer Rollyson says he didn't think much of it when he experienced mild coronavirus symptoms in May. Weeks later, the disease almost took his life.

I never thought, at 21, I would be on the verge of death," he said.

Initially, the infection seemed just like the flu or a cold, he said, and the symptoms lasted for a few days.

"About a week and a half, two weeks later, I started feeling bad," he said.

Rollyson said he went to the emergency room with a 103.4-degree fever and doctors conducted several tests including chest X-rays and CT scans to find the root of the problem. Everything came back clear, he says, but within 48 hours Rollyson was in the ICU.

"That's when everything started shutting down," he said. "In two days, my body rapidly declined."

Read more here.

8:18 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Putin says Russia has registered "world first" coronavirus vaccine

From CNN's Zahra Ullah in Moscow

A lab technician works on production of the 'Medgamal' Covid-19 vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology on August 6 in Moscow, Russia.
A lab technician works on production of the 'Medgamal' Covid-19 vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology on August 6 in Moscow, Russia. Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Russia has approved a coronavirus vaccine developed by the Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute for use, President Vladimir Putin said on Russian state TV on Tuesday.

Speaking in a live teleconference with his cabinet ministers, Putin said the vaccine had gone through all the necessary checks.

"A vaccine against coronavirus has been registered for the first time in the world this morning," Putin said, adding: "I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity."
"So we're the first to have registered. I hope our foreign colleagues' work will move as well, and a lot of products will appear on an international market that could be used," Putin said.

The Russian President revealed that one of his daughters has taken the vaccine; he said she had a slightly higher temperature following the injections, but that she now feels better.

"I know this very well too, as one of my daughters has been inoculated with the vaccine," he said.
"I think that this way she participated in the experiment. After the first injection her temperature was 38 [degrees Celsius], the next day 37-something and that's it. After the second injection the temperature also got a bit higher but that's it, then it went back down. Now she feels well."

Reports about Russia's vaccine have come amid concerns about its safety, effectiveness and allegations that the country has cut essential corners in its development. 

Russian officials told CNN previously that crucial Phase 3 trials would take place after state registration of the vaccine. 

Russia has released no scientific data on its vaccine testing and CNN is unable to verify its claimed safety or effectiveness.  

Critics say the country's push for a vaccine comes amid political pressure from the Kremlin, which is keen to portray Russia as a global scientific force.

4:48 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Coronavirus has led to a resurgence of "little wine holes" in Italy

From CNN's Marianna Cerini

Buchette del Vino
Buchette del Vino

Bars and restaurants around the world are having to rethink the way they interact with customers during the pandemic. In the Italian city of Florence, some are looking to the past: using centuries-old wine windows to dole out food and drinks.

Rising just above ground level, blink and you might miss these tiny openings, called "buchette del vino," (literally "little wine holes") in Italian. The small windows were used to sell wine-to-go during the Renaissance period, and were intended to be cheaper, direct-to-consumer alternatives to taverns and other drinking dens -- not to mention a discreet way for merchants to avoid paying taxes on the alcoholic libations they were peddling.

Those merchants were Florence's elites, many of whom had the foot-tall windows built into street-facing walls of their palatial residences, usually next to the main entrance. Back in the 1500s, a number of the city's aristocrats were also major wine producers in the surrounding countryside. The "buchette" allowed them to trade (or rather, have servants do it for them) their spirits straight from their in-house cellars to basically anyone, with a reduced need for physical contact.

In May, as Italy eased its two-months-long lockdown, several F&B businesses in Florence, who happened to be based in premises with existing buchette, decided to reopen them, capitalizing on the design's minimal-contact aspect. Wine, Aperol spritzes, ice creams and sandwiches have since been served through the holes, at a safe distance.

Read more:

3:18 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

At least 66 NFL players have opted out of the upcoming season because of the pandemic

From CNN's Calum Trenaman and Jill Martin

More than 60 NFL players have opted out of the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Players had until 4 p.m. ET on Thursday to decide and after the deadline passed, a spokesperson for the NFL told CNN that out of 2,880 players, 66 players chose to opt out.

That figure could be higher -- both NBC's Pro Football Talk and CBS reported the figure was 67 players.

The New England Patriots are the team most affected, with eight players opting out of the 2020 season -- prompting much ribald "tanking for Trevor" comment.

Highly-rated Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is expected to be drafted first overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, and some fans have jokingly suggested that the team's performance this upcoming season might be reflected in a desire to gain that number one pick.

The Patriots have lost starters like linebacker Dont'a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung, who have both won three Super Bowls with the team.

Read more:

2:29 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Their father's death spurred them to ask people to spend 60 seconds each week to mourn those lost to Covid-19

From CNN's Samantha Waldenberg

Every Friday, Carolyn Freyer-Jones encourages her family and friends to participate in #thefridayminute to honor her father Hugh and others who have died from the coronavirus pandemic.

The idea came out of a discussion with her brother about how sometime down the road, there may be a national day of mourning for those who have lost a loved one to Covid-19.

"Let's not wait. Let's not wait for a national day of mourning in the future when we all get a day off and it's after hundreds of thousands of lives are gone, homes lost, jobs and businesses gone." Carolyn Freyer-Jones recalls telling her brother. "Let's create something now that we can share and that can be shared with everyone, that people everywhere can do right now."

At noon eastern time, she wants people to take a minute to reflect and pray, and even send love and support to families who have been affected by coronavirus this year.

"The minute is a way to remind ourselves that we are all connected regardless of situation or circumstance. My father is everyone's father, or husband, or grandfather, or friend," Carolyn Freyer-Jones told CNN.

During this minute and several times throughout the past few weeks, Carolyn has been thinking about her own father, who she said died from coronavirus complications on his 86th birthday.

Read more:

1:45 a.m. ET, August 11, 2020

Nearly 5.1 million coronavirus cases have been identified in the US since the pandemic began

At least 5,094,400 coronavirus cases and 163,463 virus-related deaths have been identified in the United States since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.

On Monday, Johns Hopkins reported 49,536 new cases of Covid-19 and 525 reported deaths.

The figures 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: