October 9 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Brad Lendon and Eliza Mackintosh, CNN

Updated 2:18 a.m. ET, October 10, 2020
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6:11 a.m. ET, October 9, 2020

Madrid court rejects lockdown order, but millions confused about whether they can leave the capital

From CNN's Laura Pérez Maestro and Al Goodman in Madrid

People walk through the Puerta del Sol in Madrid on October 9.
People walk through the Puerta del Sol in Madrid on October 9. Joaquin Corchero/Europa Press via AP

A Madrid court has rejected new lockdown laws imposed on the capital by the Spanish government, leaving millions of residents wondering whether they are clear to travel for a national holiday this weekend.

The court said that the restrictions, which banned residents from leaving the capital and nine suburbs last Friday, interfered with "citizens' fundamental rights without the legal mandate."

Spain's left-wing national government and Madrid's centre-right regional administration have been at loggerheads over pandemic response, and the lockdown measures are the latest political battleground.

Madrid had already introduced less stringent restrictions in and around the capital to try to contain a surging outbreak of the virus. But Spain's health minister Salvador Illa called those measures "insufficient."

In its ruling, the court's sided with Isabel Diaz Ayuso, Madrid's regional government president, who said the lockdown measures introduced by the health ministry would "ravage the region’s economy." 

Following the cancelation of the government's order, Madrid's nearly 5 million residents now find themselves free of restrictions ahead of a bank holiday weekend. But many are confused about whether they are allowed to leave the capital for coastal towns and second homes.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called for a cabinet meeting on Friday to discuss the possibility of a state of emergency for Madrid, a spokeswoman for the government told CNN. Sanchez gave Díaz Ayuso an ultimatum on Thursday to agree to some of the measures imposed by the government. 

5:41 a.m. ET, October 9, 2020

Bars to close in four more French cities subject to tighter Covid-19 restrictions 

From CNN's Pierre Bairin in Paris and Lindsay Isaac in London

Tighter restrictions are set to come into effect in four more French cities as the country reported a record 18,746 new infections on Thursday. 

Lille, Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne are now under "maximum alert" along with Marseille and Paris, and all bars, gyms and sports centers are to close on Saturday, the health minister Olivier Veran ordered on Thursday.  

A “maximum alert” is established when the incidence rate of the virus is over 250 cases per 100,000 people, when the incidence rate for people aged 65 or over is more than 100, and when more than 30% of ICU beds are being used by coronavirus patients. 

Thursday marked a second day in a row where the number of new cases surpassed 18,000. The positivity rate amongst people getting tested is now at 9.8%, up from 7.6% on October 1. In Paris, the regional health agency told CNN today that the proportion of Covid patients in ICU remains at around 40% -- above the 30% mark.

Infection levels in Toulouse and Montpellier are also "worrying" and they could be the next cities to come under new restrictions, Veran said.

5:33 a.m. ET, October 9, 2020

Russia reports record daily increase in coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic

From CNN’s Mary Ilyushina in Moscow

Medical workers put on protective gear at a temporary medical facility established for COVID-19 patients at Moscow City Clinical Hospital in Moscow, on October 8.
Medical workers put on protective gear at a temporary medical facility established for COVID-19 patients at Moscow City Clinical Hospital in Moscow, on October 8. Evgeny Odinokov/Sputnik via AP

Russia reported 12,126 new cases of Covid-19 on Friday, the highest daily increase recorded since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the data from the country's coronavirus response headquarters.

"Over the past 24 hours there have been 12,126 confirmed cases of new coronavirus infection Covid-19 in 85 regions, including 3,272 (27%) active cases without clinical manifestations,” the statement from health officials said.

In total, Russia has reported 1,272,238 coronavirus cases as of October 9.

Russia’s deputy prime minister Tatyana Golikova has previously said that May 11 was the peak of the pandemic, with 11,656 officially reported cases on that day.

2:48 a.m. ET, October 9, 2020

Hong Kong reports 18 new cases as officials say they are studying legal framework for mandatory testing

Isaac Yee in Hong Kong

Inside Ta Kok Tsui Sports Centre, one of Hong Kong's makeshift centers for COVID-19 testing, on September 14.
Inside Ta Kok Tsui Sports Centre, one of Hong Kong's makeshift centers for COVID-19 testing, on September 14. Tommy Walker/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Hong Kong reported 18 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday -- the highest single-day increase in cases since mid-August.

The new cases come after Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan revealed that the government is studying “the legality of mandatory testing,” saying that it is not desirable when people are not willing to take coronavirus tests. 

Chan added that “testing can help us identify transmission chains and silent carriers in the community, and the more tests we do the better we will be able to grasp the overall situation in the community.”

Of the 18 new cases, 14 were locally transmitted while four were imported according to Dr. Constance Chan of the Center for Health Protection. The 18 new cases represent the highest number of cases since the city recorded 19 cases on August 17.

“In the last week there were a total of 12 cases with unknown sources, so the trend and the numbers are indeed very worrying,” said Chan.

Chan warned: “We don’t think the situation is looking good, because of the number of increased confirmed cases, not only local cases but also unlinked cases, it shows that there is still silent community commission chains."

Hong Kong has confirmed a total of 5,162 cases of the coronavirus and 105 deaths.

1:59 a.m. ET, October 9, 2020

China officially joins COVAX vaccine initiative 

From CNN’s Steven Jiang in Beijing and CNN Health’s Shelby Erdman

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying Artyom Ivanov\TASS via Getty Images

China has signed an agreement officially joining the COVAX initiative led by the World Health Organization, which aims to provide worldwide access to effective Covid-19 vaccines. 

“This is an important step China has taken to uphold the concept of a shared community of health for all and to honor its commitment to turn COVID-19 vaccines into a global public good,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Friday. 
“We are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hope more capable countries will also join and support COVAX. China will also strengthen vaccine cooperation with relevant countries through the COVAX network,” she added.

Through the COVAX Facility coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, more than 75 ‘high-income’ countries have committed funding to provide at least part of the cost for procuring the vaccine for poorer nations. 

The United States -- which has severed its relationship with the WHO -- and Russia have not joined the program. Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and 27 countries represented by the European Commission are members.

2:35 a.m. ET, October 9, 2020

India's drug authority denies permission for phase III trials for Sputnik-V vaccine

From CNN’s Esha Mitra in New Delhi 

The Russian coronavirus vaccine Gam-COVID-Vac, trade-named Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology is pictured during the vaccination of medical workers, in Krasnodar, Russia.
The Russian coronavirus vaccine Gam-COVID-Vac, trade-named Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology is pictured during the vaccination of medical workers, in Krasnodar, Russia. Georgiy Zimarev/Sputnik via AP

India's drug authority has denied permission for Phase III trials for Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine.

The drug authority has asked Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd, the Indian pharmaceutical company that has partnered with the Russian fund, to conduct Phase II trials of the vaccine in the country first. 

"The safety & immunogenicity data in overseas Phase I/II studies is small and there is no data available on Indian subjects," the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) that looks into proposals for drug trials said on October 5. 

The Russian Direct Investment Fund announced last month that it would supply 100 million doses of Sputnik-V vaccine to Dr Reddy's, and cooperate with the firm for clinical trials and distribution.

After "detailed deliberation" the SEC has asked Dr Reddy's to resubmit a protocol for consideration by the committee to conduct phase II trials first.

India has reported more than 6.9 million cases of coronavirus, including more than 106,000 deaths.

At a press conference last month, the health minister said Covaxin, the indigenous vaccine being developed by Bharat Biotech and National Institute of Virology Pune, and the Serum Institute of India's collaboration with Oxford University and Codagenix USA respectively, are the vaccines at the most advanced stages.

1:14 a.m. ET, October 9, 2020

FDA emergency authorizations should be “guided by science,” medical societies urged 

From CNN Health’s Shelby Lin Erdman

Food And Drug Administration in White Oak, Maryland.
Food And Drug Administration in White Oak, Maryland. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

A group of American medical societies urged the US Food and Drug Administration to use “established scientific standards” in granting any emergency use authorizations or approval of Covid-19 therapies or vaccines, according to a statement issued this week.

“While the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 continue to highlight needs for new and proven tools to combat the spread and effects of this novel coronavirus, the development, evaluation and use of treatment strategies must be guided by science,” the statement said.

To ensure the potential therapies are effective, drug makers must first ensure their safety and efficacy, said the group, which includes the Infectious Disease Society of America, the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society, the HIV Medicine Association, the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

The statement follows applications Wednesday for an EUA for monoclonal antibody therapies to treat Covid-19 by Regeneron, the biotechnology company that supplied an antibody therapy to President Donald Trump last week after he was diagnosed with the coronavirus, and the Eli Lilly and Company.

Both companies released only preliminary data from clinical trial results for their therapies, and Eli Lilly’s Phase 2 study involved less than 300 participants. 

“Promising results among small numbers of patients to approaches that include antibody therapies are not a substitute for the rigorous scientific review that is essential to ensuring the safety and effectiveness of medicines,” the statement said. 
“Relying on such limited data can put patients at risk of adverse events, and an EUA can reduce the ability to conduct the clinical trials that are needed to assess the safety and efficacy of antibody treatments.”

The group is urging the FDA “to apply its highest standards and act with appropriate deliberation” before granting an EUA for either of the antibody therapies.

Trump credited the Regeneron treatment for a quick recovery from the virus and promised to make the therapy available to all sick Americans with Covid-19 for free.

1:09 a.m. ET, October 9, 2020

Nurse who has seen "hundreds of people suffocating to death" moved to tears after Trump downplayed coronavirus

From CNN's Kelsie Smith

Cristina Hops posts a video to TikTok reacting to Donald Trump coronavirus statement.
Cristina Hops posts a video to TikTok reacting to Donald Trump coronavirus statement. Cristina Hops/Tik Tok

One nurse has a message for US President Donald Trump: The coronavirus pandemic is still something people should care about.

Cristina Hops, who works on the frontlines helping patients fighting coronavirus, said she was upset after reading the President's tweet on Monday, in which he told Americans "don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life."

"When I read that and I got home, I was just so angry about it that I felt like I needed to say something," Hops, who is based in Seattle, Washington, told CNN.

So, she made a TikTok video, to share her emotions with the world. "I have seen hundreds of people suffocating to death and for him to say do not be afraid of Covid is astounding," she says in the video, while tearing up. "How dare he undermine all of the work that we have done as nurses and health care providers?"

Her message resonated -- and the video quickly garnered more than 300,000 views on TikTok, as of Thursday evening. It's been shared across social media platforms, with people lauding the nurse for speaking her mind.

In her experience as a health care worker, Hops said she has seen how a surge in coronavirus cases can drastically impact a community. She was sent to Miami, Florida, over the summer for five weeks to help a hospital with its influx of cases. 

"The hospital that I was working at was completely overrun," she told CNN. "It's not possible to give everybody the care that they need and deserve when the hospital is that full."

Read the full story here.

1:11 a.m. ET, October 9, 2020

Bill Gates sees monoclonal antibodies like the treatment Trump got as the best way to treat Covid-19 infections

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Bill Gates speaks with CNN on Thursday, October 8, 2020.
Bill Gates speaks with CNN on Thursday, October 8, 2020. CNN

Monoclonal antibody treatments like the one President Donald Trump got may be the most effective approach for treating coronavirus infections, Microsoft founder Bill Gates said Thursday.

Last Friday, Trump was given an antibody cocktail produced by biotechnology company Regeneron which included a pair of monoclonal antibodies that target the spike protein the virus uses to drill into healthy cells. Trump left the hospital and returned to the White House Monday.

Regeneron and pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co. have applied to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for their monoclonal antibody products.

Early data from clinical trials of Eli Lilly and Co’s monoclonal antibody indicates a 60% reduction in hospitalization rates, Gates said. He said Lilly hopes to be able to treat patients with very low doses of the lab-engineered immune system proteins.

Gates said monoclonal treatments may end up being far cheaper than the formulations now used to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions -- treatments than can run hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, Gates predicted. 

“That’s always been the most promising therapeutic category,” Gates told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “The early data looks quite good.”

“If everything goes well, the cost of this intervention could be only a few hundred dollars or even under $100,” Gates said.

Gates, who has spun his fortune into a major medical and public health philanthropy, said the Bill & Melinda gates Foundation had invested in manufacturing monoclonals.

Trump has said he thought the Regeneron treatment he was given last week had cured him. 

“The word cure is a bit of an overpromise,” Gates said, laughing. “That makes it sound like it works for everyone and the whole concern about this disease will go away, and that’s the last thing we want people to think about."