September 25 coronavirus news

By James Griffiths, Adam Renton, Joshua Berlinger, Melissa Macaya and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 0458 GMT (1258 HKT) September 26, 2020
27 Posts
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9:37 a.m. ET, September 25, 2020

California just became the first US state to surpass 800,000 confirmed coronavirus infections

From CNN's Stella Chan

A health worker in Martinez, California, takes a swab from someone at a Covid-19 testing site on August 4.
A health worker in Martinez, California, takes a swab from someone at a Covid-19 testing site on August 4. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

California is now the first US state to surpass 800,000 cases of Covid-19, according top data from Johns Hopkins University. At least 15,405 people have died.

The most populous state in the nation has now recorded more than 800,273 infections. Texas, the second-most populous state, has identified 747,366 cases and at least 15,510 deaths. The third, Florida, has identified 693,040 cases and at least 13,795 virus-related deaths.

California became the first state to surpass 700,000 cases on August 29.

Here's a look at how California's figures compare to other states:


9:28 a.m. ET, September 25, 2020

What the 1918 flu pandemic can teach us about coronavirus

From CNN's Kristen Rogers

Women wear cloth surgical-style masks to protect against influenza in October 1918.
Women wear cloth surgical-style masks to protect against influenza in October 1918. Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

At this point in the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 32 million infected and more than 980,000 dead worldwide, describing this time as "unprecedented" may sound like nails on a chalkboard.

This pandemic, however, actually isn't without precedent: The last time we dealt with a pandemic so mysterious, uncontained and far-reaching was in 1918, when influenza devastated populations around the globe.

The 1918 flu killed 50 million to 100 million people through 1919. There are eerie parallels between the 1918 flu and the 2020 coronavirus pandemic: a disease with a startling range of symptoms for which there is little treatment, human behavior as a hindrance to public health and cluster outbreaks that have become widespread, to name a few.

For 102 years, influenza scholars and infectious disease experts have attempted to educate the masses in hopes of preventing future pandemics. And yet, here we are.

To be clear, the coronavirus at fault for the current pandemic isn't a flu virus. And yet the 1918 and 2020 pandemics share similarities in terms of their basis on a novel, formidable virus that took the world and every aspect of society by storm. To learn the lessons of the 1918 flu, the missteps we've taken since and our post-pandemic future, CNN spoke with three experts on the subject.

Read more:

8:06 a.m. ET, September 25, 2020

Famed Indian film musician SP Balasubrahmanyam dies from Covid-19

From CNN's Manveena Suri in New Delhi and Amy Woodyatt in London

One of India's most renowned film singers, SP Balasubrahmanyam, has died following hospitalization for Covid-19 and weeks spent on life support, the hospital treating him said in a bulletin Friday.

Balasubrahmanyam had been on life support since August 14 for severe Covid-19 pneumonia and was being closely monitored by health workers in a critical care unit, Anuradha Baskaran, Assistant Director of Medical Services at MGM Healthcare in Chennai, southeastern India, said in a statement.

"In a further setback this morning, despite maximal life support measures and the best efforts of the clinical team, his condition deteriorated further and he suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest," Baskaran said.

Balasubrahmanyam died just after 1 p.m. local time on Friday, Baskaran said, adding that she was announcing the news "with profound grief."

A leading figure in Indian cinema, Balasubrahmanyam, known to fans simply as "SPB" or "Balu," has more than 1,000 credits as a playback singer -- a voice artist who records songs that are later mimed by actors in films -- in languages including Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, English, Bengali and Punjabi.

Read more:

10:30 a.m. ET, September 25, 2020

The Queen's real estate portfolio is getting slammed because of the pandemic. British taxpayers could be on the hook for the shortfall

From CNN Business' Hanna Ziady in London

Queen Elizabeth II attends an event in London on February 25.
Queen Elizabeth II attends an event in London on February 25. Victoria Jones/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is slamming the vast property empire that provides Queen Elizabeth II with a significant chunk of her income. British taxpayers could be making up the shortfall for years to come.

Michael Stevens, the Queen's treasurer, confirmed in a statement on Friday that the size of the Sovereign Grant, one of the royal family's major sources of income, won't be affected by an expected slump in profits from the Crown Estate's investments.

The Sovereign Grant is a lump sum payment from the government that covers official travel, staff costs and palace expenses. The grant is generated from the Crown Estate, a real estate company that boasts a sprawling collection of farmlands and prime central London property. Most earnings from the Crown Estate go into government coffers, but 25% are paid out by the government to the Queen in the form of the Sovereign Grant.

Last week, the Crown Estate reported a record profit of £345 million ($440.2 million) for the year to March 2020, but warned that earnings for the fiscal year to March 2021 will be "significantly down" on that amount due to the impact of the pandemic on its portfolio.

Much of central London was turned into a ghost town earlier this year as the lockdown kept millions of workers, shoppers and tourists away. Activity was beginning to pick up over the summer months but new restrictions introduced this week to combat a second wave of the virus are expected to dent that recovery.

But the Queen won't be taking a pay cut even if income falls at the Crown Estate this year. The way that the grant is calculated means that she will receive her share of £345 million — £86.3 million ($110 million) — in the year to March 2022. Her payout will also remain at that level in future years, even if the Crown Estate's profit remains under pressure, because the law governing the grant does not allow it to fall in absolute terms.

"In the event of a reduction in the Crown Estate's profits, the Sovereign Grant is set at the same level as the previous year," a Treasury spokesperson told CNN Business. "The Sovereign Grant funds the official business of the Monarchy, and does not provide a private income to any member of the royal family," the spokesperson said.

Read more:

7:21 a.m. ET, September 25, 2020

Tokyo 2020 organizers want fewer people to travel to the Olympics

From CNN’s Aleks Klosok in London and Yoko Wakatsuki in Tokyo

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games logo is pictured in Tokyo, Japan, on September 18.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games logo is pictured in Tokyo, Japan, on September 18. Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

Tokyo 2020 Olympic organizers are proposing to cut the number of officials at next year’s postponed Summer Games by 10-15% as part of a wider package of proposals aimed at reducing costs and streamlining the event for a post Covid-19 world.

More than 50 simplification measures were proposed by the IOC Coordination Commission at a virtual news conference Friday between the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 officials.

These are some of the proposed measures:

  • Reduce invitations for both the opening and closing ceremonies
  • Remove team welcome ceremonies at the Olympic Village
  • Shorten the opening period for training venues
  • Give fewer officials access to official bus services

Although the length of the 121-day torch relay will not be shortened, the number of staff present and use of official vehicles will be reviewed.

7:04 a.m. ET, September 25, 2020

Cases of Covid-19 surge in parts of the Middle East that previously had staved off major outbreaks

From CNN's Tamara Qiblawi in Beirut 

Coronavirus cases are surging in some Middle Eastern countries that had previously recorded some of the lowest numbers of pandemic cases in the world. 

The last week has seen a series of record new cases in Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.

Israel: Israel, which is tightening lockdown restrictions Friday, identified a record number of cases in a day Thursday.

Lebanon: Lebanon also hit a new record of 1,027 daily cases Thursday. Authorities in the capital of Beirut have recently shied away from putting a lockdown in place to slow the spread of the virus. A proactive and strict lockdown during the pandemic’s first wave in Lebanon kept an outbreak at bay, but it tipped the already fragile economy over the edge, causing poverty rates to soar and the Lebanese pound to tank. 

The United Arab Emirates: The UAE recorded its highest daily total of new cases this week, but has loosened some of its restrictions on entry permits to the country. 

Bahrain: The island kingdom of Bahrain has the highest number of active virus cases per million people in the Arab world, according to a tweet by the American University of Beirut’s Global Health Institute. Lebanon ranks second with 2,628 active cases per million.

Saudi Arabia: The spread of confirmed virus cases in Saudi Arabia has slowed significantly over the last month. The kingdom has identified between 483 and 643 new daily cases in the last two weeks. At the peak of Saudi Arabia's outbreak, authorities had been recording nearly 5,000 new cases each day.

Qatar and Egypt have also seen a dramatic drop in new virus cases.

6:44 a.m. ET, September 25, 2020

Poland sees record increase in coronavirus cases

From Artur Osinski

Ambulance medics wearing protective suits are seen in Krakow, Poland on September 21.
Ambulance medics wearing protective suits are seen in Krakow, Poland on September 21. Artur Widak/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Poland has recorded 1,587 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, a new record for the number of cases identified in a day.

A total of 84,396 people in the country have been infected by the novel coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to the Polish Ministry of Health.

Twenty-three new deaths were recorded in the past day, bringing the death toll to 2,392.

6:07 a.m. ET, September 25, 2020

Watch: UK considers Covid-19 vaccine trials that deliberately expose volunteers to virus

The UK government is considering holding human challenge trials in its efforts to find a coronavirus vaccine.

The move could save months, but means exposing healthy individuals to a virus for which there is currently no known cure. 

CNN’s Cyril Vanier reports on the trials, and the government’s latest financial measures to support the economy through winter.


6:22 a.m. ET, September 25, 2020

Russia sees highest daily rise in infections since June

From CNN’s Zahra Ullah and Anna Chernova in Moscow 

Medical workers await patients at a hospital complex where people are treated for Covid-19 in New Moscow, Russia, on September 14.
Medical workers await patients at a hospital complex where people are treated for Covid-19 in New Moscow, Russia, on September 14. Maxim Shipenkov/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Authorities in Russia said Friday another 7,212 new novel coronavirus infections had been identified throughout the country -- the highest daily number since June 23.

More than 1.1 million people in Russia have been infected since the pandemic began, killing at least 20,056. Public health officials said 108 Covid-19-related deaths were recorded Thursday.

A spike in Moscow: While cases are on the rise throughout the country, Moscow appears to be among the hardest hit. Another 1,560 new cases were announced on Friday, a steep jump from the 1,050 identified the day before.

Mayor Sergey Sobyanin is recommending businesses reinstate work-from-home arrangements. He also asked residents over 65 and those with chronic illnesses to avoid going outside, starting next week. 

“Doctors have learned to diagnose and treat this disease. Nevertheless, according to doctors, the overlapping of two diseases, the common cold and the coronavirus, is very dangerous and can have dire consequences," Sobyanin said.