May 6 coronavirus news

By Brad Lendon, Joshua Berlinger, Aditi Sangal, Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 0422 GMT (1222 HKT) May 7, 2021
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3:26 a.m. ET, May 6, 2021

New Zealand deflates travel bubble, suspending quarantine-free travel from Australian state

From CNN’s Angus Watson in Sydney

A general view of Wellington Airport is seen in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 9.
A general view of Wellington Airport is seen in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 9. Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

New Zealand has suspended quarantine-free travel arrangements for flights from the Australian state of New South Wales due to a local outbreak of Covid-19 in its state capital, Sydney.

Quarantine-free flights will be suspended for 48 hours from midnight Thursday New Zealand local time, according to New Zealand’s Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins.

Flights from New Zealand to New South Wales have not yet been affected. 

Thursday’s decision is the first alteration to the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble, which was instituted on April 19. 

Two locally acquired cases of Covid-19 were detected in Sydney on Wednesday, a married couple in their 50s.

Some restrictions were reinstated in Sydney on Thursday, including mandatory mask wearing in indoor public places and a limit of 20 people at private gatherings.

2:45 a.m. ET, May 6, 2021

At least 19 people being evacuated from Nepal climbing camp due to coronavirus

From journalists Kosh Raj Koirala and Asha Thapa in Kathmandu

Mount Dhaulagiri is seen surrounded by clouds in Nepal, on August 22, 2019.
Mount Dhaulagiri is seen surrounded by clouds in Nepal, on August 22, 2019. Mondadori Portfolio/Sipa USA

At least 19 people are being evacuated from a Nepali climbing camp after reports of Covid-19 cases were confirmed there.

Mingma Sherpa, chairman of the Seven Summits Treks, said four climbers tested positive for coronavirus at the base camp of Dhaulagiri, the seventh-highest peak in the world.

Sherpa said 12 other climbers seemed to be in good condition but were being evacuated so they could get tested after developing coughs.

The expedition, which started with 32 foreign climbers and a roughly 40-member support team, is expected to continue on.

Nepal Army spokesperson Brig. Gen. Shantosh Ballave Poudyal Shantosh Ballave Poudya said three people working at Dhaulagiri base camp cleaning up waste have tested positive. One was evacuated Wednesday, and two will be evacuating soon once the weather gets clear.

2:06 a.m. ET, May 6, 2021

Indonesians still travel despite restrictions ahead of religious holiday

From journalist Masrur Jamaluddin in Jakarta

People wait for a bus to take them to their home villages at the Kalideres bus terminal in Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 5.
People wait for a bus to take them to their home villages at the Kalideres bus terminal in Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 5. Tatan Syuflana/AP

Some 18 million people, or 7% of Indonesia’s population, are still planning on traveling for the Eid al-Fitr holiday despite travel bans, according to a poll from the country's state-run news agency, Antara.

Indonesia instituted a travel ban between May 6 and 17 to help stop the spread of Covid-19. The order by the central government limits the distance people can travel during the holiday period and keeps them largely contained to their current city or town.

Roughly 155,000 personnel, including 90,000 police and 11,500 military officers, are being deployed to posts around the country to enforce the travel ban and restrictions around the holidays, Antara reported Wednesday. In Jakarta, more than 4,000 personnel will be stationed around the metropolitan region to enforce rules.

11:56 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Osaka's hospitals have run out of beds for severe Covid-19 patients

From journalist Chie Kobayashi in Tokyo

Hospitals in the Japanese prefecture of Osaka no longer have empty beds available for severe Covid-19 patients, according to government data.

Osaka's bed occupancy rate for severe coronavirus patients hit 103% on Wednesday, per data posted on the Osaka government's website. The bed occupancy rate for mild and moderate cases is 82.4%.

To cope with the rising number of cases, the government opened two waiting centers in April with ventilators for patients who called for ambulances but could not be admitted due to a lack of beds.

Authorities also asked neighboring prefectures to accept patients with severe symptoms to ease Osaka's burden, but so far, only Shiga prefecture has participated. They've only accepted one patient.

Since the latest wave of infections began on March 4, 17 Covid-19 patients have died at home or in hotels, according to the government.

Osaka authorities said 13,992 Covid patients remain at home while 2,958 are waiting to be hospitalized or put in hotel rooms. 

Hotel spaces are offered to those who cannot be hospitalized or those who need to be away from home and their families while infectious. Local health centers provide patients at home and hotels with oxygen meters and have them monitor and report to the health center.

The Osaka government also asked for nurses from around the country to come help with the rising number of cases. So far, more than 40 nurses have answered. The government website continues to have a “nurses wanted” recruitment notice for those who can “work in the red zone of hospitals and capable of dealing with respirators."

The government said they will be paid a higher wage than normal.

11:47 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Philippines rejects Chinese donation of Sinopharm vaccines after President receives unapproved dose

From Yasmin Coles in Manila, Philippines

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday instructed China to take back a donation of 1,000 doses of its Sinopharm vaccine because the company has not filed a formal application to the Philippines Food and Drug Administration to request emergency use authorization. 

Duterte was criticized for getting the jab on Monday despite it not being approved by the Philippines FDA.

Duterte apologized for receiving the unapproved dose at a news conference Wednesday. He also told the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines to withdraw its 1,000-dose donation. 

Two shots of the Sinopharm vaccine carry an 78.1% overall efficacy in protecting patients from Covid-19, according to data provided by Sinopharm to the World Health Organization.

11:49 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Study from Israel shows Pfizer's vaccine works far better with two doses

From CNN Health’s Maggie Fox

The first nationwide study of coronavirus vaccination, done in Israel, shows Pfizer/BioNtech’s vaccine works far better after two doses.

Two shots of the vaccine provided greater than 95% protection from infection, severe illness and death, researchers reported Wednesday in the Lancet medical journal.

With its small population, Israel was able to quickly vaccinate much of its population.

The study found the vaccine provided 95.3% protection against infection and 96.7% protection against death seven days after the second dose.

It was about 92% effective against infections that caused no symptoms.

“By 14 days after vaccination, protections conferred by a second dose increased to 96.5% protection against infection, 98% against hospitalization, and 98.1% against death,” the researchers wrote.

But people who received only one dose of the vaccine were far less protected. One dose alone gave just 57.7% protection against infection, 75.7% against hospitalization, and 77% against death.

The study was funded by the Israel Ministry of Health and Pfizer.

11:34 p.m. ET, May 5, 2021

Walt Disney World will end temperature checks for staff and guests at Walt Disney World Resort

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

Walt Disney World will phase out onsite temperature for staff and guests this month, the company said on their website.

“Since reopening, we have considered guidance from public health authorities, government agencies, and our own team of health and safety experts as we assess and update health and safety measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19," it said.

Park attendance is still being managed via the park reservation system and face coverings are required for cast members and all guests 2 years old and older.

“We will continue to follow the guidance of health and safety leaders going forward and most importantly encourage people to get vaccinated,” the park said.