August 29 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Brett McKeehan, Emma Reynolds, Fernando Alfonso III and Amir Vera, CNN

Updated 12:02 a.m. ET, August 30, 2020
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1:40 a.m. ET, August 29, 2020

Member of India's Parliament dies after testing positive for Covid-19

From CNN’s Swati Gupta in New Delhi

A member of the Indian Parliament died at a hospital in the southern state of Tamil Nadu Friday evening, after contracting Covid-19.

H. Vasanthakumar was a member of India’s main opposition Congress party and represented Tamil Nadu in Parliament. 

“We are deeply saddened by the untimely demise of Shri H. Vasanthakumar. A staunch Congressman, true leader of the people & beloved MP. He will be sorely missed by all members of the Congress party & his followers. Our prayers are with his family in this time of grief,” the Congress party said on its official Twitter account Friday.

Vasanthakumar is the latest Indian politician to die of Covid-19. Earlier in August, former state cabinet minister and international cricketer Chetan Chauhan died after testing positive. 

“Saddened by the demise of Lok Sabha MP Shri H. Vasanthakumar Ji. His strides in business and social service efforts were noteworthy. During my interactions with him, I always saw his passion towards Tamil Nadu’s progress. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

India is among the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, with the third-highest number of infections and fourth-highest death toll. As of Saturday, it had 3,463,972 confirmed coronavirus cases and 62,550 related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally.

1:05 a.m. ET, August 29, 2020

Paradise islands reopen only to visitors who've had Covid-19

From CNN's Fernanda Wenzel and Rodrigo Pedroso

Turquoise waters, beaches of golden sand, dolphins swimming offshore. The Fernando de Noronha archipelago off the coast of Brazil is one of the most beautiful destinations anywhere in the world

And now it's open to travelers again -- but with an unexpected catch. You can go only if you show you have had Covid-19.

Fernando de Noronha, home to Baia do Sancho, named the world's best beach by Trip Advisor's Traveler's Choice Awards this year, will reopen next week, according to authorities in the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco.

"To land on the archipelago, the tourist will need to present the result of a positive PCR test that is at least 20 days old, or the result of the serological test showing the presence of antibodies against Covid," its administrator, Guilherme Rocha, told a news conference on Thursday.

Read more here:

12:12 a.m. ET, August 29, 2020

Europe's fight against Covid-19 shifts from hospitals to the streets

From CNN's Melissa Bell

At first, the front line of Europe's fight against the Covid-19 pandemic was fought in hospitals by overstretched health care workers. Now, as European countries seek to avoid the long-dreaded second wave, that line has shifted to the streets -- and is being manned by police forces.

In the last week, several European countries have seen record infection rates. Not since the spring have countries like FranceGermanyItaly and Spain seen such a surge in the number of new cases. Countries like Greece and Croatia, largely spared by the first wave, have also seen fast rises in August as tourists, taking advantage of the reopening of Europe's internal borders in June, headed to the beach for their summer holidays.

With authorities determined to avoid a second wave of lockdowns, legislation has been introduced to try and stop the spread of the virus. Nightclubs have been closed in Italy and in Greece, curfews introduced in Spain, Italy and Greece, and face masks made mandatory in an ever-growing number of public, outdoor spaces, in most EU countries: a gradual tightening of regulations that now have to be enforced.

The fight against Covid-19 has become, in these last couple of weeks in Europe, a matter of law and order.

Read more here:

12:01 a.m. ET, August 29, 2020

Are these fast, cheap coronavirus tests the game-changer everyone is waiting for?

From CNN's Andrea Kane

Move over, slowpoke coronavirus tests that take a week or more to return a result -- there's a new generation of rapid tests coming to town and they're poised to transform the landscape.

They are the antigen tests. But are they really all they're cracked up to be?

The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to another antigen test this week, bringing the total to four.

Compared to the most commonly used type of coronavirus test in the country -- molecular diagnostic tests, also called PCR tests -- antigen tests don't need complicated chemicals, viral transport media or RNA extraction kits. They don't necessarily require appointments at specialized labs, highly trained technicians, or certain machines.

And they can provide an answer in minutes, rather than hours or days.

Read more here:

12:00 a.m. ET, August 29, 2020

Plasma therapy is no surefire cure for Covid-19

Opinion by John P. Moore and Melissa Cushing

Editor's note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are the authors'. View more opinion on CNN.

The US Food and Drug Administration's shocking decision this week to allow the use of Covid-19 convalescent plasma to treat sick patients was by all appearances motivated by a desire to appease President Donald Trump rather than on any serious consideration of the science.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn left the medical community aghast when he said, at a news conference on Sunday, that 35 of 100 people sick with Covid-19 "would have been saved because of the administration of plasma."

Researchers and doctors were confused by Hahn's comments. We were, even after combing through the preliminary manuscripts from the Mayo Clinic on the efficacy of using plasma from Covid-19 patients, from which this claim was reportedly drawn.

The manuscripts, by the way, have not been peer-reviewed and do not describe a randomized clinical trial that proves Covid-19 convalescent plasma, or CCP, is effective. One of them presents pooled data drawn from CCP studies in multiple countries including China, Iran, Iraq and Mexico. In short, we need much more information than we now have.

Read more here:

12:00 a.m. ET, August 29, 2020

France reports its highest number of daily new coronavirus cases since March

From Pierre Buet and Alexander Durie in Paris

As coronavirus cases in France continue to climb, President Emmanuel Macron said authorities are doing everything "to prevent, obviously, a national reconfinement."

On Friday, French health authorities said the coronavirus epidemic is "growing exponentially." They reported 7,379 new daily cases -- the biggest increase since late March.

There has only been one day with more cases recorded in 24 hours, on March 31st, which was during the height of the epidemic in France. 

The daily increase in cases has tripled in less than a week, according to French health authorities.

Macron said he had learned enough about coronavirus over the past eight months to not "totally exclude” reconfinement.

"Nothing can be theoretically excluded, but we are put ourselves in a situation where we can do everything we can to prevent it," he said.

On Thursday, France declared 19 more areas around the country as coronavirus “red zones”, bringing its total to 21.

12:00 a.m. ET, August 29, 2020

Doctors find possible case of Covid-19 reinfection in US

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

A 25-year-old Nevada man appears to be the first documented case of Covid-19 reinfection in the United States.

Genetic tests indicate the patient was infected with two different varieties of the virus, a team at the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine and the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory reported.

The patient was first diagnosed with coronavirus in April after he had a sore throat, cough, headache, nausea and diarrhea, the researchers wrote in a pre-print study posted Thursday. He got better around April 27, and he tested negative for the virus twice afterwards.

He continued to feel well for about a month. Then, on May 31, he sought care for fever, headache, dizziness, cough, nausea and diarrhea. Five days later, he was hospitalized and required ongoing oxygen support. He was tested again for Covid-19 and the results were positive.

The Nevada researchers examined genetic material from both coronavirus specimens collected from the man. Their analysis suggests he had two distinct viral infections.

Read more here:

12:00 a.m. ET, August 29, 2020

Mexico reports more than 5,800 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours

From journalist Karol Suarez in Mexico City

There were 5,824 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Mexico on Friday, the health ministry said, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in the country to 585,738.

Mexico reported another 552 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, according to the government. The country's death toll now stands at 63,146.

Mexico has the third-highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world -- behind only the US and Brazil -- according to Johns Hopkins University, and is ranked third in Latin America for total number of confirmed cases. Only Brazil and Peru have more infections in the region.

12:00 a.m. ET, August 29, 2020

There are more than 5.9 million coronavirus cases in the US

There are at least 5,912,016 cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 181,704 people have died from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University's tally of cases.

So far on Friday, Johns Hopkins has recorded 44,231 new cases and 880 reported deaths. 

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