September 2 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Amy Woodyatt, Meg Wagner and Melissa Macaya, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, September 3, 2020
21 Posts
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7:51 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Pope Francis holds first public audience since March

From CNN's Hada Messia in Rome and Sharon Braithwaite in London

Pope Francis arrives in the San Damaso courtyard, for his first public audience since March, at the Vatican on September 2.
Pope Francis arrives in the San Damaso courtyard, for his first public audience since March, at the Vatican on September 2. Andrew Medichini/AP

Pope Francis has held his first public audience since the start of Covid-19 restrictions, using the event to address the people of Lebanon following the devastating blast in Beirut.

Francis has been holding his regular Wednesday audience online since March.  

"After the repeated tragedies that the people of Lebanon know, we become aware of the extreme danger that threatens the very existence of the country. Lebanon cannot be abandoned to itself," the Pope said.

Pope Francis also called for solidarity in battling Covid-19.

"The current pandemic has highlighted our interdependence: we are all linked to each other, for better or for worse. Therefore, to come out of this crisis better than before, we have to do so together, all of us, in solidarity," he said.

Members of the audience wore masks, as did some of the priests in attendance. 

7:36 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

India reports almost 79,000 new Covid-19 cases, more than 1,000 new deaths in a day

From CNN's Esha Mitra in New Delhi

Health officials at a hospital in Amritsar, India, collect a nasal swab sample to test for Covid-19 on September 2.
Health officials at a hospital in Amritsar, India, collect a nasal swab sample to test for Covid-19 on September 2. Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images

India's health ministry recorded another 78,903 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, bringing the country's total number of cases to 3,770,069.

The ministry also reported 1,045 new deaths from the virus, bringing India's death toll to 66,333.

On Wednesday, India also recorded 801,282 active Covid-19 cases as of Wednesday -- the highest number of active cases reported on a single day.

Meanwhile, the Indian government said in a tweet Wednesday that the country's recovery rate has seen "steady improvement" since lockdown measures were implemented in March and are now at 76.98%.

The country entered its new phase of reopening on Tuesday, which includes the resumption of the country's metro rail services in a "phased manner" from September 7. The reopening allows for gatherings of up to 100 people at sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, and political events outside of hot-spot areas from September 21, with mandatory face-mask wearing and social distancing measures.

7:06 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Left behind because of Covid-19, a tiny dog travels 10,000 miles to rejoin her owners

From CNN's Tamara Hardingham-Gill

Pipsqueak, the Eilbeck family's dachshund.
Pipsqueak, the Eilbeck family's dachshund. Courtesy Zoe Eilbeck

All the best dogs find their way home eventually. Sometimes, like Pipsqueak the wiener dog, they've got to embark on a journey of more than 10,000 miles to get there.

Little Pip was stranded in South Carolina at the height of the pandemic after her owners were forced to abandon their round-the-world sailing trip and fly home to Australia.

With borders closing quickly, Zoe and Guy Eilbeck, and their sons Cam and Max, had less than 48 hours to pack up everything from their 40-foot yacht after docking in Hilton Head Island.

Australia's tough pet import rules meant their loyal dachshund Pip couldn't come with them.

That's OK, they thought. They'd be able to return in no time at all for a tail-wagging reunion before heading back out on the ocean.

So Zoe made a few last-minute phone calls to arrange for Pip to be looked after by a friend, and the family said goodbye for what they hoped would be just six short weeks.

But that's not quite how it worked out.

Read the full story here.

6:31 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

China will resume international flights to and from Beijing starting on Thursday

From CNN's Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

People walk through Beijing Capital International Airport in China, on August 25.
People walk through Beijing Capital International Airport in China, on August 25. Yan Cong/Bloomberg/Getty Images

China will resume international commercial flights to and from Beijing on Thursday, with flights to and from Cambodia, Greece, Denmark, Thailand, Pakistan, Australia, Canada, and Sweden to be resumed in the first stage.

The resumption of international flights will take place in batches, Xu Hejian, Director of Beijing Information Office said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Eligible passengers include residents of the countries listed, as well as Chinese residents abroad. They must submit a negative test sample and pass a temperature check before being allowed to board flights to Beijing, Xu said. 

On their arrival in Beijing, all passengers have to take a nucleic acid test before undergoing a 14-day quarantine at designated locations, Xu added.

China, where the virus was first detected in December last year, has had almost 90,000 recorded cases of coronavirus, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. Despite being the original epicenter of the virus, the country has had just over 4,720 deaths, according to JHU.

5:31 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Coronavirus symptoms can last much longer than initially thought, experts say

From CNN's Madeline Holcombe

Months into the pandemic that has infected more than 6 million Americans, the public and experts alike are learning the impacts of Covid-19 can drag on longer than expected.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that most Americans who have tested positive for coronavirus can return to work or school 10 days after the onset of symptoms, unless the illness requires hospitalization. But new research suggest that the virus and its symptoms are often nowhere near finished by that benchmark.

According to research published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal, patients may need to wait over a month before being retested to know whether they have cleared the virus.

The study also suggests that about one in five negative tests are false negatives, meaning many are still spreading the virus after testing negative without knowing it.

Even once patients do test negative, many report that their symptoms -- from aches to loss of smell to brain fog and affected mood -- can last months longer.

"We think that this long-term damage may in part be due to vascular damage, kind of a footprint that the virus leaves even when it's gone from the body," Dr. William Li told CNN's Chris Cuomo earlier this week, adding that researchers have seen the virus damaging blood vessels that connect the entire body.

Read the full story:

5:09 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

It's just past 10 a.m. in London, and 6 p.m. in Seoul. Here's the latest on the pandemic.

Globally, there have been more than 25.7 million reported cases of Covid-19, and more than 850,000 people have died, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Here's the latest on the pandemic.

Night curfew to be imposed in Havana as coronavirus cases surge again: For the first time since the pandemic hit Cuba, Havana residents will face a nightly curfew and will not be allowed to travel to other provinces as Cuban authorities have struggled to control a second wave.The curfew, from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., which starts Tuesday evening local time, will last for at least 15 days, and will increase penalties on those not wearing a mask. 

South Korean pastor apologizes after more than 1,000 Covid-19 cases linked to his church: Jun Kwang-hoon, pastor of the Sarang-jeil Church in South Korea's capital Seoul, apologized to the public following his release from hospital 16 days after testing positive for Covid-19. The church attracted widespread backlash in August when it became the center of a coronavirus outbreak, with more than 1,083 cases linked to the church as of Tuesday, according to the country's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Wednesday, Jun addressed the public wearing a face mask and apologized for the concerns he and his church have caused.

Australia pushed into recession for the first time in nearly 30 years: The pandemic has pushed Australia into its first economic recession in nearly three decades, with the country's GDP contracting 7% in the second quarter compared to the prior one, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said Wednesday. It marks the second straight quarter of declines for Australia --- GDP shrank 0.3% in the first quarter --- and the largest drop since records began in 1959. 

Hong Kong relaxes some Covid-19 restrictions as new cases fall: Hong Kong will relax some Covid-19 restrictions as the city's locally transmitted cases start to drop. Starting on Friday, restaurants will be allowed to extend dine-in services until 10 p.m., instead of the current 9 p.m. rule, while gyms, massage parlors, some sports grounds and playgrounds will also be allowed to reopen.

5:10 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Trump ignores lessons of pandemic failures as election looms

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on August 28 in Londonderry, New Hampshire.
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on August 28 in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The fatal flaw of US President Donald Trump's botched pandemic response has been a yearning for a quick return to normality that is dangerous and unattainable while the coronavirus still lies in wait.

And now he may be making the same mistake again.

When he is not diverting attention from the health crisis by stoking controversy over racial injustice and unrest in US cities, Trump has returned to his aggressive push to get the economy firing on all cylinders. A new demand for a full slate of college football games follows his earlier demands for all kids and students to get back to class.

With more than 184,000 Americans already dead, White House officials are hoping that Trump's dive into cultural warfare following protests and unrest over police brutality will to some extent cover over his liabilities on the pandemic, sources told CNN reporters.

Following last week's Republican National Convention that largely ignored the virus,Trump is making yet another premature declaration of victory over the worst public health disaster in 100 years.

We've done a great job in Covid but we don't get the credit," Trump said on Fox News on Monday.

But the unspoken reality of that approach is that many more Americans will contract Covid-19 before the election, and thousands more will die. That is likely to play into efforts by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to crush Trump's hopes of a second term by lambasting his failures during the pandemic.

Read the full analysis:

4:23 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Scotland and Wales see rise of imported cases in travelers arriving from Greece

From CNN's Sarah Dean in London and Sugam Pokharel in Atlanta

People visit a beach in Athens, Greece, on September 1.
People visit a beach in Athens, Greece, on September 1. Marios Lolos/Xinhua/Sipa

Scotland announced Tuesday that travelers returning from Greece would be required to follow quarantine restrictions, after "a significant rise" in imported cases from the Mediterranean country.

Travelers entering from Greece will be required to self-isolate at home, or another specified address, for 14 days on arrival in Scotland from Thursday, the Scottish government said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, the Welsh government on Tuesday said it has "identified multiple separate clusters linked to the Greek island of Zante/Zakynthos," prompting authorities to ask travelers arriving in Wales from the island to self-isolate for 14 days. 

In a statement, Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said he has "pressed for an early meeting with the UK government and devolved nations tomorrow to consider the latest assessment of risk by the Joint Biosecurity Centre."

Greek reopening: Greece was one of the first European countries to reopen to tourists, as the country managed to keep its coronavirus death toll remarkably low by enforcing a strict lockdown early on.

Last month, the Greek government announced new measures, including a mandatory negative Covid-19 test for visitors entering the country from Spain, Sweden, Belgium, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

It also announced a midnight curfew for bars and restaurants in 16 areas in Greece, including Athens where the majority of the cases were reported. 

The Mediterranean nation has so far registered 10,524 coronavirus cases and 271 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

4:14 a.m. ET, September 2, 2020

Hong Kong relaxes some Covid-19 restrictions as new cases fall

From CNN's Eric Cheung in Hong Kong

Customers dine inside a restaurant in Lei King Wan in Hong Kong, China, on August 28.
Customers dine inside a restaurant in Lei King Wan in Hong Kong, China, on August 28. Roy Liu/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Hong Kong will relax some Covid-19 restrictions as the city's locally transmitted cases start to drop, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said today.

Starting on Friday, restaurants will be allowed to extend dine-in services until 10 p.m., instead of the current 9 p.m. rule, Chan said. 

Gyms, massage parlors, some sports grounds and playgrounds will also be allowed to reopen from Friday.

However, the current ban on gatherings of more than two people will remain in place for another week, she added.

The city clamped down with harsh new restrictions in late July amid a third wave of infections, peaking at 149 cases on July 30.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong reported nine locally transmitted Covid-19 cases, the Centre for Health Protection announced.