September 16 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Ed Upright and Jack Guy, CNN

Updated 12:51 a.m. ET, September 17, 2020
21 Posts
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7:39 a.m. ET, September 16, 2020

Lilly's coronavirus antibody treatment shows modest signs it may treat infection

From CNN Health’s Maggie Fox

Eli Lilly and Co. says early data from its mid-stage trial of an antibody therapy shows it is safe and may reduce some symptoms of coronavirus disease.

It’s one of several so-called monoclonal antibodies being tested in coronavirus patients. These are lab-engineered immune system particles designed to home in on specific parts of the virus. LY-CoV555 is targeted against the spike protein of the virus -- the part it uses to attach to the cells it infects.

This Phase 2 trial involving about 450 volunteers with coronavirus infections showed nearly everyone had cleared the virus by 11 days – including people given placebo. The highest dose of antibody sped up the process of clearing the virus, Lilly said in a statement. No one needed help breathing using a ventilator, and no one who got placebo or treatment died.

There was a 72% reduction in hospitalization rates among those treated, but only a very few people were hospitalized. Lilly said 1.7% of the patients who got the antibody were hospitalized, compared to 6% of those on placebo. But in terms of numbers, this meant five people out of 302 treated with the antibody were sick enough to need hospitalization, compared to nine people out of 150 given placebos.

“Most study hospitalizations occurred in patients with underlying risk factors (age or BMI), suggesting a more pronounced treatment effect for patients in these higher-risk groups,” Lilly said. 

“LY-CoV555 was well-tolerated, with no drug-related serious adverse events reported,” it added.

“These interim data from the BLAZE-1 trial suggest that LY-CoV555, an antibody specifically directed against SARS-CoV-2, has a direct antiviral effect and may reduce COVID-related hospitalizations,” said Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly's chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories.

“The results reinforce our conviction that neutralizing antibodies can help in the fight against COVID-19.”

The company is recruiting volunteers to try a combination of this monoclonal antibody with another one that targets a different part of the virus.

7:31 a.m. ET, September 16, 2020

Czech Republic sees record coronavirus infections

From Tomas Etzler

People wait in line to get tested for coronavirus disease in Prague, Czech Republic, on Wednesday, September 16.
People wait in line to get tested for coronavirus disease in Prague, Czech Republic, on Wednesday, September 16. Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images

The Czech Republic has recorded its biggest increase in new Covid-19 infections since the begin of the pandemic, the country's ministry of health said Tuesday.

A total of 1,677 cases were recorded, beating the previous record of 1,538 cases from last Saturday.

The total number of infections now stands at 38,896, the ministry said, with 476 deaths.

The reason for the increase is a massive increase in testing, according to the ministry, with authorities testing around 15,000 people a day.

Last Wednesday health minister Adam Vojtech announced that people in the Czech Republic would once again be required to wear masks in enclosed public spaces, citing the “worsening epidemiological situation” in the country.

7:13 a.m. ET, September 16, 2020

The pandemic has dealt a huge blow to the financial stability of minority households, poll finds

From CNN Health’s Andrea Kane

More than half of Latinx, Black and Native American households are facing serious economic hardship during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey conducted on behalf of National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The survey found 72% of Latinx, 60% of Black and 55% of Native American households report the coronavirus outbreak has caused them serious financial problems, including trouble paying their mortgage, paying for utilities, buying food, making car payments or affording medical care. Thirty-seven percent of Asians and 36% of Whites reported similar serious financial problems.

“Billions of dollars have been appropriated by federal and state governments since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, with the aim of broadly protecting Americans who are particularly vulnerable during this time," the researchers wrote.

"Despite these actions, results from this survey show substantial shares of Latino, Black, and Native American households across the U.S. -- populations who are at high risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19 -- have not been protected from financial problems, reporting serious impacts across many areas of their lives."

Sixty-three percent of Latinx, 46% of Native American and 44% of Black households report that an adult in the household has lost their job, lost their business, been furloughed, or had wages or hours reduced since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. Forty-two percent each of White and Asian households reported experiencing the same.

The survey also found that among households with savings, 46% of Latinx, and 41% of both Black and Native Americans households said they had used up all or most of their savings as a result of the pandemic. In comparison, 25% of White and 23% of Asian households reported using up all or most of their savings.

This poll was conducted between July 1 and August 3, 2020, in a representative sample of more than 3,400 US adults 18 and older. It includes responses from 1,750 non-Hispanic whites, 666 non-Hispanic Blacks, 648 Latinos, 224 non-Hispanic Asians and 101 Native Americans.

It is the first of five reports being released on the effect of the pandemic across different sectors of the US population.

6:52 a.m. ET, September 16, 2020

Russia to sell 100 million doses of Sputnik-V vaccine to Indian company

From CNN's Zahra Ullah and Matthew Chance in Moscow

A nurse prepares to inoculate a volunteer with Russia's new coronavirus vaccine in post-registration trials at a Moscow clinic on September 10.
A nurse prepares to inoculate a volunteer with Russia's new coronavirus vaccine in post-registration trials at a Moscow clinic on September 10. Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images

Russia's sovereign wealth fund says it will supply 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine Sputnik-V to Indian pharmaceutical company Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. once it receives regulatory approval in India. 

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has agreed to cooperate with the Indian firm on clinical trials and distribution of the vaccine, it announced in a statement Wednesday.

The announcement comes as India topped 5 million coronavirus cases Wednesday after reporting 90,123 new cases in the past 24 hours. 

Last week, CNN was the first to report a deal to supply India with millions of doses of its Sputnik vaccine was expected to be announced. 

“Upon regulatory approval in India, RDIF shall supply to Dr. Reddy’s 100 million doses of the vaccine,” the RDIF statement said, adding that “subject to completion of successful trials and registration of the vaccine by regulatory authorities in India" deliveries could potentially begin in late 2020.

“India is amongst [the] most severely impacted countries from Covid-19 and we believe our human adenovirus dual vector platform will provide a safe and scientifically validated option to India in the battle against Covid-19,” RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said in a press release. 

6:29 a.m. ET, September 16, 2020

France has closed scores of schools this month

From CNN's Pierre Bairin

A woman walks in front of a closed primary school in the southern French city of Marseille on September 4.
A woman walks in front of a closed primary school in the southern French city of Marseille on September 4. Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

France has already closed 81 schools and 2,100 classes due to Covid-19 cases since the start of the school term this month, according to education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.

In addition, Blanquer said about 1,200 new infections among students had been recorded since last week.

"These are numbers that remain low," Blanquer told French TV channel LCI on Wednesday.

Blanquer said the 81 closed schools represented only 0.13% of total schools in the country.

France recorded more than 10,000 new virus cases for the first time since the start of the pandemic over the weekend.

This week, the cities of Marseille and Bordeaux have tightened coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings in a bid to curb rising numbers of cases.

The move comes after French Prime Minister Jean Castex addressed the nation on Friday, asking local authorities to present new measures and emphasizing that Marseille, Bordeaux and the Guadeloupe were particularly affected areas.

6:06 a.m. ET, September 16, 2020

Madrid to bring in new restrictions as infections rise

From CNN's Laura Perez Maestro and Ingrid Formanek

Authorities in the Spanish capital of Madrid will announce new coronavirus restrictions on Friday as the country responds to an uptick in the number of cases.

Spain has now recorded more than 30,000 deaths since the start of the outbreak, with more than 600,000 total cases.

Madrid accounts for approximately a third of all new infections, according to data from Spain's health ministry.

The president of the city’s regional government, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, has suggested that migrant populations are partly to blame.

“(The outbreaks are partly) due to the way of life of Madrid's immigrants and the population density of these districts,” she said Tuesday.

“It is a way of life in Madrid.”

5:42 a.m. ET, September 16, 2020

Chinese vaccine developer says "hundreds of thousands" of people have had Covid-19 shots

From journalist Eric Cheung in Hong Kong and CNN's Beijing Bureau

China's state-owned pharmaceutical company SinoPharm said that "hundreds of thousands" of people in the country have received Covid-19 vaccinations under an emergency use program.

The company's general counsel Zhou Song said SinoPharm has provided emergency vaccinations to high-risk groups, including medical professionals, diplomats deployed to high-risk areas, and workers for state-owned enterprises who participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, according to a statement on its website.

"(The vaccines) have been applied ... hundreds of thousands of times, and there was not a single case that demonstrated significant negative effects, nor was anyone infected," Zhou said.

In the statement, SinoPharm said it is currently developing two Covid-19 vaccines, and both vaccines are now in Phase 3 clinical trial. 

The company also claimed that 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines can be produced by the end of this year.

Zhou said that "the vaccines were proven effective" because none of those who traveled to high-risk places after receiving the injections were infected with Covid-19.

He added that individuals receiving the vaccine will have to get two doses to generate antibodies, with the second shot coming two to four weeks after the first shot.

Wu Guizhen, chief biosecurity expert of China's CDC, told China's state-run broadcaster CGTN on Monday that Covid-19 vaccines will be ready by November.

"The public can start taking the vaccine around November or December as the performance of Phase III trials goes well," said Wu. 

4:48 a.m. ET, September 16, 2020

CDC study finds coronavirus rarely kills children, but minorities at higher risk

From CNN's Andrea Kane

Children and teens from minority groups are disproportionately hit by coronavirus, just as older adults are, according to the findings of a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Children from ethnic and racial minorities, those with underlying health conditions and those between the ages of 18 and 20 are more likely to die, a CDC-led research team wrote in a study published Tuesday in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The report also showed just how unusual it is for children and young adults to die from coronavirus. Among the 190,000 deaths tallied in the country, only 0.08% -- or 121 -- were reported in those under 21. The most updated report from the CDC shows 377 children, teens and young adults aged up to 24 have died from coronavirus.

The researchers asked 50 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands to submit information on coronavirus deaths in those under 21, between February 12 and July 31. Forty-seven jurisdictions responded.

Minorities at higher risk: Among the approximately 6.5 million Covid-19 cases in the country, the researchers found a total of 391,814 cases of Covid-19 and MIS-C in those under 21. While people under 21 make up 26% of the US population, they make up only 8% of all reported cases.

Hispanics, Blacks and American Indian/Alaska Natives were disproportionately affected. A total of 44% of the 121 who died were Hispanic children, 29% were Black children, 4% were American Indian/Alaska Natives and 4% were Asian or Pacific Islander. While these groups represent 41% of the US population under the age of 21, they accounted for approximately 75% of deaths in that age range. Fourteen percent of the deaths were in white children.

Read the full story:

4:04 a.m. ET, September 16, 2020

Israel reports highest daily surge in Covid-19 cases as Netanyahu returns from Washington

From CNN’s Oren Liebermann

A member of the Magen David Adom (Red Shield of David) national emergency medical service performs a swab sample test for Covid-19 in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights, on September 10.
A member of the Magen David Adom (Red Shield of David) national emergency medical service performs a swab sample test for Covid-19 in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights, on September 10. Jalaa Marey/AFP/Getty Images

Israel recorded a new daily highest spike in coronavirus cases on Tuesday with 5,523 new diagnoses, according to Ministry of Health data -- an increase of more than 10% on the previous high set just one day earlier.

Cases are climbing throughout the country just two days before a second general lockdown is set to begin. The number of serious cases also rose to 535 on Tuesday, with 138 patients now on ventilators.

US visit: The new daily high came on the day Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington, DC signing normalization agreements at the White House with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Netanyahu, who has repeatedly stressed the importance of wearing masks and social distancing, appeared to do neither at the White House, where administration officials did not require masks and many of the hundreds of attendees went without them.

Schools close early: In light of the surging cases, Netanyahu announced that schools would close on Thursday, one day earlier than planned.

The former director of public health at the Ministry of Health, who resigned her position after blaming the government for failing to heed the advice of health experts, said in her resignation letter that the reopening of schools was one of the key sources of spreading coronavirus infections throughout the country.

Israel’s second general lockdown is scheduled to start Friday afternoon and last for a period of three weeks.