May 5 coronavirus news

By Joshua Berlinger, Brad Lendon, Aditi Sangal and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 0424 GMT (1224 HKT) May 7, 2021
19 Posts
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9:29 a.m. ET, May 5, 2021

CDC summer camp Covid-19 guidance looks "a bit strict," but will likely be reevaluated, Fauci says 

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of NIAID and Chief Medical Advisor to the President, is pictured at a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 15.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of NIAID and Chief Medical Advisor to the President, is pictured at a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 15. Amr Alfiky/Pool/Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on NBC’s Today Wednesday that US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on summer camps are conservative, but they will likely be reevaluated in real time. 

The CDC summer camp guidance says everyone in the facility should wear a mask at all times and keep at least 3 feet of distance between campers. 

“I wouldn’t call them excessive, Savannah, but they certainly are conservative,” Fauci told CBS’s Savannah Guthrie about the guidelines. “I think what you’re going to start to see is really in real time, continually reevaluating that for its practicality, because you’re right, people look at that and they say, well, is that being a little bit too far right now?” 

The CDC makes decisions based on science, Fauci said, and will continually reevaluate the guidance. 

“It looks a bit strict, a bit stringent, but that’s the reason why they keep looking at that and trying to, you know, reevaluate on literally in real time, whether or not that’s the practical way to go,” Fauci said. 

8:52 a.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Authorizing Covid-19 vaccines for 12-to-15-year-olds will be key for the fall, US NIH director says 

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, is pictured in Bethesda, Maryland, on January 26.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, is pictured in Bethesda, Maryland, on January 26. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said on ABC’s Good Morning America Wednesday he’s hopeful the US Food and Drug Administration will greenlight Covid-19 vaccines for 12- to 15-year-olds and it will be important to start vaccinating high school-age people well in advance of the fall.

The FDA will likely authorize Pfizer/BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 by early next week, a federal official told CNN this week.

“Obviously, this is going to be really important for the fall. High school kids in particular are known to be just about as susceptible and just about as good at passing along this virus as other young adults,” Collins said. “It will be really great to be able then to get that immunization schedule going well in advance of September, so I’m certainly hopeful FDA, when they look at all the data, will judge this to be safe and effective and will give a green light.”

Vaccine expert Dr. Paul Offit told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday the US needs to reach 80% herd or community immunity, or the nation could be in store for another surge in the coronavirus pandemic this winter.

To parents who were uncertain about getting their kids vaccinated, Collins said Wednesday that they should look at the data and see that the mRNA vaccines, such as the one made by Pfizer, are remarkably safe and effective. 

“I think parents, yeah, get informed, look at the information, make a decision – probably your teenager wants to be part of that decision,” he said. “And I think the evidence will lead you in the direction of saying yeah, let’s get immunization out there, let’s get this behind us.” 

8:51 a.m. ET, May 5, 2021

CDC director on US vaccination effort: We need to reach people where they are

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is pictured during a hearing at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 15.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is pictured during a hearing at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on April 15. Susan Walsh/Pool/Getty Images

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that “we have to reach the people where they are” now in the US coronavirus vaccination effort.

“We knew that we would have a lot of supply by the end of April, early May, but we also knew this would be the time that we had people who were more hesitant, that people wouldn't be rushing to get the vaccine,” Walensky said. “So we have hard work ahead of us. We know what we need to do. But we really do need to reach people one at a time in the communities and understand why they might be hesitant.” 

Efforts include getting vaccines into more pharmacies, expanding outreach in rural areas and providing resources to community organizations, according to Walensky.

Fewer than 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses were reported administered since Monday as the pace of vaccinations across the US falls, according to data published Tuesday by the CDC.

When asked if a winter surge is possible in the US, Walensky told CNN's John Berman that "we have to be humbled by this virus."

"I think we have variants ahead of us. We have not full immunity in this population yet. So I think anything is possible, which is why I think we should focus on getting people protected and vaccinated now to do as much as we can to prevent that from happening," she added.

8:29 a.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Sri Lanka imposes lockdowns across more areas

From journalist Iqbal Athas in Colombo

Health workers collect swab samples to test people for COVID-19 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Wednesday, May 5.
Health workers collect swab samples to test people for COVID-19 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Wednesday, May 5. Eranga Jayawardena/AP

Sri Lanka has imposed lockdowns across areas in four more districts after seeing a significant increase in Covid-19 cases.

Several areas and villages were put under new restrictions on Wednesday in Colombo, Gampaha, Ratnapura, and Vavuniya districts, according to Sri Lanka's Army Commander General Shavendra Silva, the head of the National Operations Centre for Prevention of COVID-19.

With the latest announcement, lockdowns have now taken place in different areas in 13 of the country's 25 administrative districts. 

Health Ministry officials said that more than 100 areas, both Police Station divisions and Village Level Officer's Divisions, are now under lockdown. 

Sri Lanka reported 1,914 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the country's total number of Covid-19 cases to 115,589,  according to the Operations Centre responsible for preventative operations.

8:04 a.m. ET, May 5, 2021

How has the India Covid-19 crisis affected you and your loved ones?

India's second wave is devastating lives and families, and pushing the healthcare infrastructure beyond its limits.

We want to know how you and your loved ones are affected in this crisis, what resources you are looking for or how you are trying to help. Leave your comments in the box below and we may feature some in our upcoming reporting.

7:58 a.m. ET, May 5, 2021

World has a shot at controlling Covid-19 -- if it comes together, WHO official says 

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

Maria van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization's technical lead on the coronavirus pandemic, is pictured during an interview in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 13, 2020.
Maria van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization's technical lead on the coronavirus pandemic, is pictured during an interview in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 13, 2020. Richard Juilliart/AFP/Getty Images

Maria van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for Covid-19, said that while it’s hard to say whether the state of the pandemic has improved, the world has a shot at controlling Covid-19 if it uses all the tools as available.��

“We can do this,” she said. “We just have to collectively come together from the political level all the way to the individual level to do that.”

Speaking on CNN’s New Day onWednesday, van Kerkhove said:

We really are in a critical period. It’s hard to say, you know, if we’ve improved or not. In some parts of the world we’ve really improved, some countries have shown us that they can control Covid, they can control the spread, they can keep transmission low, they can keep vulnerable populations safe. And in other part of the world, the virus is spreading rapidly.

Van Kerkhove said that while there are virus hotspots in all WHO regions, there have also been positive signs in all of them.

She said that there are several reasons for the increased transmission in some parts of the world, including virus variants, an uneven and unequitable global rollout of vaccines and a lot of fatigue, with governments wanting to open societies.

She said that 17 months into a pandemic, having the "highest number of cases reported each week is not the situation that we need to be in."

"But we do need to learn where we can, we need to course correct where we can and we need to have the hope that with all the tools, the public health tools plus the vaccines, we really have a shot at controlling Covid,” she said.

7:24 a.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Fauci tells adolescents on the fence about the vaccine to "be part of the solution"

From CNN's Christina Maxouris, Ray Sanchez and Theresa Waldrop

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said he hopes children and teens won't hesitate when the US Food and Drug Administration authorizes a coronavirus vaccine for them.

A federal government official told CNN that the FDA is poised to authorize the Pfizer/BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine in children and teens 12 to 15 years old by early next week.

Fauci said administration of the vaccine to these groups could start almost immediately.

"You have the capability of protecting yourself as a young person, 12 to 15, but also knowing that you're not going to pass it on to someone else," Fauci told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday.

1:16 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Italy urges tourists to book their holidays in the country

From CNN's Antonia Mortensen in Milan and Livia Borghese in Rome 

Tourists visiits leaning tower has opened to the public, in Pisa, Italy, on May, 1st, 2021. After months of harsh lockdown, Italy has decided to open museums, arts buildings and theatres. (Photo by Enrico Mattia Del Punta/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Tourists visiits leaning tower has opened to the public, in Pisa, Italy, on May, 1st, 2021. After months of harsh lockdown, Italy has decided to open museums, arts buildings and theatres. (Photo by Enrico Mattia Del Punta/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Enrico Mattia Del Punta/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has urged potential tourists looking for a sunny break to book their holidays in Italy.

He said the country is readying the introduction of Covid passports, which would allow people to travel freely.

"As we prepare for the European certificate, the Italian government has introduced a national green pass that allows people to move across all regions," Draghi said during a meeting of G20 tourism ministers Tuesday. 

The certificate would allow vaccinated travellers and those who have had Covid-19 in the past six months to skip quarantine.

Draghi stressed that tourism makes up 13% of the Italian GDP, saying the country "thrives on tourism."

After months of recording some of the highest infection rates in Europe, Italy has recently seen a decline in the number of new cases and deaths.

6:47 a.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Nepal's army tells retired medical staff to get ready to help

From Kosh Raj Koirala in Kathmandu

Nepalese army officials salute as they pay homage to the bodies of coronavirus victims at a crematorium in Kathmandu, Nepal, on May 1.
Nepalese army officials salute as they pay homage to the bodies of coronavirus victims at a crematorium in Kathmandu, Nepal, on May 1. Bikash Karki/AFP/Getty Images

Nepal’s army has told its retired medical staff to be ready to be recalled for duty to help manage the growing Covid-19 crisis in the country. 

Army Spokesperson Santosh Ballav Poudel told CNN that the decision was made at a meeting held by the Chief of Army Staff Purna Chandra Thapa on Wednesday. 

Nepal’s army has already been drafted to help build the necessary infrastructure for isolation facilities and coordinated the management of the remains of Covid-19 victims. 

Some context: The Covid epidemic is spiralling out of control in Nepal. The Red Cross has warned on Wednesday that the country is heading into the same direction as its neighbor India, which is struggling to contain the virus at a horrific cost.

“What is happening in India right now is a horrifying preview of Nepal’s future if we cannot contain this latest Covid surge that is claiming more lives by the minute," said Dr Netra Prasad Timsina, Nepal Red Cross Chairperson.

The epidemic has already spread even into the highest levels of the government. The Chief Minister of Nepal's Gandaki province Prithvi Subba Gurung tested positive for the virus and is isolating at home, his aide told CNN.