May 5 coronavirus news

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

Updated 0424 GMT (1224 HKT) May 7, 2021
22 Posts
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10:07 a.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Indian university projection estimates 50 million Covid-19 cases by mid-June

From CNN's Aditi Sangal and Swati Gupta

A medical worker observes patients inside a Covid-19 ward that was set up inside a sports stadium in New Delhi on May 2.
A medical worker observes patients inside a Covid-19 ward that was set up inside a sports stadium in New Delhi on May 2. Getty Images

India could see more than 403,000 Covid-19 total deaths and nearly 50 million total cases by June 11 this year, according to a projection model from the Indian Institute of Science.

In the event that the Indian government imposes a 15-day lockdown, India could bring the number of deaths down to fewer than 300,000 in the same time frame, and will see a total of fewer than 30 million cases since the pandemic started. That number falls further in case of a 21-day and 30-day lockdown.

A model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington from May 1 predicts more than 1 million deaths by the end of July. IHME expects 674 million people will be vaccinated by August 1, and that 91,100 lives will be saved by vaccination.

While a number of states are expected to go into "complete lockdown" in the coming days, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in April that a national lockdown should be the last resort. 

“In today’s situation, we have to save the country from lockdown. I would request states to use a lockdown as their last option. We have to try hard to avoid lockdowns and focus only on micro containment zones," Modi said.

The Indian Institute of Science's modeling is led by the institute’s Profs. Sashikumaar Ganesan and Deepak Subramani, and has an Indian Council of Medical Research approved mobile infection testing and reporting laboratory, a contact tracing app, a test kit and an affordable rapid test-PCR kit.

The Indian Government does not aggregate its own projection of Covid-19 in the country. 

10:23 a.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Kids ages 12 to 15 could be getting vaccinated in less than two weeks, CDC director says 

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on CNN’s New Day Wednesday that 12- to 15-year-olds could be getting vaccinated against Covid-19 in less than two weeks. 

The US Food and Drug Administration 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.

Walensky explained that soon after the FDA makes its authorization, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet and make a recommendation based on the data.

The vaccine is already in pharmacies, she said, “so soon after ACIP I think you’ll be able to take your 14-year-old and bring them in to get vaccinated.” 

When asked by CNN’s John Berman if the time frame for this to happen was a couple of weeks, Walensky responded, “if not a bit sooner.” 

Vaccine advisers to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have scheduled an emergency meeting for Wednesday, May 12, according to a schedule posted on the CDC website. ACIP has not posted an agenda for the meeting, and the CDC did not immediately answer queries from CNN about whether the meeting was called in anticipation of an FDA decision.

Watch:

9:21 a.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Mask guidelines reflect varying Covid-19 infection rates across US, CDC director says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky responded to criticism over the latest CDC guidance on outdoor mask-wearing for fully vaccinated individuals, saying its recommendations have to cover a wide swath of the population.

"We at CDC have to put guidance out for individuals and for populations. We have to do it for all regions of the country, whether they have high or low rates of vaccination. ... As we have more and more people vaccinated and less disease, we will continue to put out further iterations. And we are cautious for that reason, because there are still some places, some communities that have less than 20% vaccination and still a lot of disease," Walensky said to CNN's John Berman.

Walensky underscored that the CDC guidelines are recommendations.

"For the most part, if you're vaccinated, we've recommended you can do almost anything," Walensky said, but added that people should continue to wear masks indoors and in public places.

One town that is not adhering to CDC guidelines on outdoor masking is Brookline, Massachusetts, which has continued to implement more restrictive requirements that include an outdoor mask mandate.

"This is going to be community by community. And some communities may be more conservative," Walensky said.

For summer camps, children should continue to wear masks if involved in crowded sports or activities, she said.

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.