October 31, 2020

U.S. Nears 200,000 Dead; Germany Warns on Europe: Virus Update

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U.S. deaths related to Covid-19 approached 200,000 and the nation’s new cases rose in line with a one-week average. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he expects the U.S. to experience “at least one more cycle” of the virus in the fall and winter.

Germany’s health minister said the trend of cases in Europe is “worrying” as U.K. Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is set to warn on Monday that the U.K. is at a “critical point.”

India’s virus tally is approaching 5.5 million while Indonesia’s capital is adding thousands of beds to house patients as its health system struggles with record infections.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 30.8 million; deaths exceed 958,400Virtual UN is latest blow to New York City’s battered economyFewer people are dying of Covid as doctors gain practice, drugs improveA rash of infections on trading floors threatens Wall Street’s return to workThreat of a lethal autumn looms in Europe after Covid-19 reprieve

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.



a screenshot of a cell phone: Grim Milestone


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Grim Milestone

India’s Cases Near 5.5 Million (2:32 p.m. HK)

India added almost 87,000 cases to its virus tally Monday, pushing the total to nearly 5.5 million cases in the nation that already has the world’s second largest coronavirus outbreak. Deaths rose by 1,130 to cross 87,800, according to the India’s health ministry.

Three vaccine candidates are in different stages of clinical trials in India, the country’s health minister told Parliament over the weekend, adding that the government was giving all necessary support to aid these initiatives.

German Health Minister Says European Trend ‘Worrying’ (1:30 p.m. HK)

Germany’s health system can comfortably cope with the current number of coronavirus infections, but the recent increase in daily cases there and in other European nations is “worrying,” according to Health Minister Jens Spahn.

“It’s not just the dynamic in Germany, but also that in our direct European neighbors like France, Austria and the Netherlands,” Spahn said Monday in an interview with DLF radio. “We are mobile in Europe, and we are in the middle of the continent. Sooner or later there will be spillover into Germany.”

Germany’s tally of new cases ticked back above 2,000 on Friday for the first time since the end of April and there were just over 1,000 additional infections in the 24 hours through Monday morning.

Denmark Will Aid Restaurants, Bars Amid New Virus Restrictions (13:21 p.m. HK)

Denmark’s government is offering help to restaurants and bars hurt by new Covid-19 restrictions after getting parliament’s backing for the aid package.

The government will provide compensation for rent and other fixed costs to firms that lose revenue after opening hours were cut, the business ministry said in a statement late Sunday. Additionally, the government will set aside 100 million kroner ($16 million) for other aid to the industry.

Jakarta Readies More Beds as Virus Overwhelms Health System (12:45 p.m. HK)

Jakarta’s health system is “already overwhelmed,” said Jossep William, coordinator of volunteer department at the task force for handling the pandemic, adding that ambulances haven’t stopped running for days to transport patients. “We can still contain the patient flow for now but if it continues like this, our health system will collapse.”

South Korea to Tighten Social Distancing Rules for Chuseok Holidays (11:29 a.m. HK)

South Korea will strengthen social distancing rules from September 28 to October 11, which will be designated as special quarantine period as the country celebrates Chuseok holidays from September 30 to October 4.

Yoon Tae-ho, a health ministry official, said in a regular briefing that daily cases remain on a downward trend but easing restrictions would risk the virus being spread ahead of the holidays.

Myanmar Locks Down Biggest City as Cases Soar Ahead of Elections (11:25 a.m HK)

Myanmar locked down most of Yangon province, home to its largest city, for two weeks to contain a record surge in coronavirus infections ahead of the general elections scheduled for November.

The strict stay-at-home order from Monday bars more than one member of a family venturing out for shopping and curbs travel from Yangon township to other cities except for essential work.

South Korea Reports Smallest Gain in 5 Weeks (8:46 a.m HK)

South Korea added 70 more coronavirus cases in 24 hours compared with 82 a day earlier, according to data from Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. The number of confirmed cases remained below 100 for a second day, the first time since mid-August.

China Finds Virus in Russian Frozen Squid Packaging (8:03 a.m. HK)

China’s northeastern city of Changchun found coronavirus particles on the packaging of frozen squid tentacles from Russia, the local government said in a statement Sunday.

Authorities reminded residents to be cautious in importing frozen seafood. Meanwhile China reported 12 new cases for September 20, all of which were imported.

Brazil Cases, Deaths Slow (6:25 a.m. HK)

Brazil reported 16,389 cases, a 0.4% rise compared with the average 0.7% daily increase over the previous seven days. Cases during the week that ended Saturday were up after declining the week before. Total cases are now 4,544,629, the Health Ministry reported.

Another 363 fatalities were reported, fewer than the 739 reported the previous day, for a total of 136,895.

Wisconsin Passes 100,000 Cases (5:27 p.m. NY)

Wisconsin surpassed 100,000 cases, reflecting an increase in infections around the Midwest. The state reported 1,665 new cases on Sunday for a total of 101,227, though the increase dropped to less than 2,000 for the first time in four days. One more person died, for a total of 1,242.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, running on what he says is President Donald Trump’s failure to contain Covid-19, released a statement calling the number a “grim milestone.” Wisconsin is a key swing state in the November election.

Texas Approaches 15,000 Deaths (5:24 p.m. NY)

Texas recorded 45 new deaths on Sunday for a total of 14,893. Cases climbed by 2,241 to 688,534, the Department of State Health Services said on its website.

U.K., London Face Warnings on Virus Spread (5 p.m. NY)

Britain is at a “critical point” in the coronavirus pandemic and data on cases are heading in the “wrong direction,” Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty is expected to warn on Monday, as concern mounts that a second lockdown may be needed.

Expectations are running high that local restrictions elsewhere in the U.K. could be extended to London. Mayor Sadiq Khan will recommend tightened rules for the capital on Monday, LBC radio reported.

Asked if London office workers could be asked to work from home again this week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Times Radio: “Well, I wouldn’t rule it out.”



a group of people in a store: British Government Considers New Lockdown Measures To Curb 'Second Wave'


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British Government Considers New Lockdown Measures To Curb ‘Second Wave’

People sit at a temporary outdoor seating area in Soho, London on Sept. 19.

Photographer: Hollie Adams/Getty Images

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is set to extend the Treasury’s loan program to support businesses, which has already backed 53 billion pounds of

borrowings through state guarantees, the Financial Times reported.

Australian Leader Optimistic on Jobs (4:50 p.m. NY)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he expects to see jobs bounce back as Victoria, Australia’s worst-hit state, prepares to start reopening.

New virus cases in Victoria fell to 14 on Sunday, the state’s health department said on Twitter. That’s the lowest in more than three months. The 14-day rolling average declined to 36.2 in metropolitan Melbourne, comfortably below the 50 level the local administration has set as the benchmark for a slight easing of restrictions on Sept. 28.

California’s Infection Curve Rises (2:15 p.m. NY)

New cases in California topped 4,000 for the second straight day, while the number of new deaths fell below the 14-day average, according to the health department’s website.

There were 4,265 new coronavirus cases, more than the 14-day average of 3,304. Deaths increased by 75, compared with an average of 91, raising the state’s toll to 14,987.



a man standing next to a car in a parking lot: Mend Urgent Care Performs On-Site COVID-19 Testing At University Prep Value High School


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Mend Urgent Care Performs On-Site COVID-19 Testing At University Prep Value High School

Healthcare workers perform Covid-19 testing for students and faculty at University Prep Value High School in Los Angeles on Sept. 18.

Photographer: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Lebanon Weighs Lockdown as Cases Surge (2:15 p.m. NY)

Lebanon hit a third consecutive day of record virus cases as Health Minister Hamad Hassan proposes a two-week lockdown, Associated Press reported.

Political gridlock after the devastating Beirut port explosion on Aug. 31, a previous lockdown and a shrinking economy are likely to make any solution more difficult.

Lebanon reported 1,006 new cases Sunday, for a total of 29,303.

France’s Pace of Infection Picks Up (1:37 p.m. NY)

France’s daily coronavirus cases rose by 10,569 on Sunday, after surging to more than 13,000 twice in the highest daily increases since the national lockdown ended in May on Saturday.

Still, the seven-day average, which smooths out reporting spikes, rose above 10,000 for the first time, indicating a significantly higher pace of infections than a week ago. The authorities have been calling on the population to step up social distancing measures as the number of clusters has increased in past weeks.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire became on Friday the country’s most senior official to become infected. Le Maire is doing well, Industry Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said during an interview on RTL radio on Sunday. The government is monitoring the economic situation and doesn’t rule out nationalizing a company if necessary, she said.



a group of people standing in front of a fence: France Sees Surge In Coronavirus Cases


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France Sees Surge In Coronavirus Cases

People line up at the Hotel de Ville to be tested for Covid-19 in Paris on Sept. 14.

Photographer: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

Irish Cases Surge as Dublin Locks Down (12:49 p.m. NY)

Ireland recorded 396 new cases on Sunday, the highest since mid May, with about two thirds of the infections in Dublin.

The news came as the Irish capital experienced a first weekend of new curbs – travel in and out of the region was restricted, and indoor dining at bars and restaurants halted. Still, mild weather over the weekend drew many to the outdoor cafes and bars that popped up in city streets.

Arizona Cases, Deaths Fall (12:20 p.m. NY)

Arizona’s new cases continued to slow after a two-day spike last week. The state reported 469 cases, a 0.2% rise compared with an average 0.4% daily increase in the previous seven days. Total cases are now 214,018.

Another nine deaths were reported, the fewest in almost a week. Total deaths are 5,476, the state’s department of health services reported.

Gottlieb Warns of ‘At Least’ One More Surge in 2020 (12:05 p.m. NY)

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he expects the U.S. to experience “at least one more cycle” of the virus in the fall and winter. He cited rising cases in the South and Midwest, despite slowdowns in New York, Miami and Houston.

Gottlieb also said he doesn’t believe there will be a vaccine available for general inoculation until the end of second quarter or the third-quarter in 2021, contradicting President Donald Trump’s earlier comment that all Americans could get vaccinated by April.



a man sitting at a desk in front of a laptop: FDA And CDC Heads Testify To House Commerce Subcommittee On Seasonal Influenza Preparedness And Response


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FDA And CDC Heads Testify To House Commerce Subcommittee On Seasonal Influenza Preparedness And Response

Scott Gottlieb

Photographer: Toya Sarno Jordan/Bloomberg

“Hopefully this virus will start to dissipate in the summer” next year, Gottlieb said on CBS on Sunday morning, so that the timing of vaccine availability “isn’t going to make that much of a difference because the virus won’t be transferring as readily by then.”

Florida Deaths Fall (11:47 a.m. NY)

Florida reported 683,754 virus cases, a 0.4% rise equal to the average daily increase of the previous seven days. That amounted to 2,521 new cases, according health department data through Saturday.

The positive-test rate continued to rise, ticking up slightly to 4.6%, from 4.5% the previous day and 4.1% on Friday. The state reported only nine fatalities among residents, compared with 67 the previous day.

Italy Cases Slow Slightly (11:33 a.m. NY)

Italy reported 1,587 new coronavirus cases on Sunday down from 1,638 the previous day. There were 15 additional deaths bringing the total number of people that have died from the virus in Italy since the beginning of the pandemic to 35,707.

The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care at hospitals rose by 7 to 222, according to Health Ministry data. That compares with a peak of more than 4,000 ICU patients in April.

U.K. Cases Above Seven-Day Average (11:10 a.m. NY)

The U.K. reported 3,899 more Covid-19 cases in the past day, after two days of infections exceeding 4,000. Still, it’s above the average of 3,600 reported over the previous seven days. Another 18 people died, bringing the death toll to 41,777.

Curbs on socializing are set to come into effect in areas of Northern England on Tuesday, while Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warned further restrictions will probably be needed “soon” in the British capital, where infection rates are the highest in the country after the northwest.



Sadiq Khan wearing a suit and tie: Inside The South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival


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Inside The South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival

Sadiq Khan

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

New York Cases, Deaths Even (11 a.m. NY)

New York reported 862 new cases, a 0.2% rise equal to the average daily increase of the previous seven days. The transmission rate remained less than one, below the point at which the virus is considered to be increasing. Two more fatalities were reported, the same as the previous day.

U.S. Cases Steady as Deaths Approach 200,000 (7:28 a.m. NY)

The U.S. added 41,206 new cases, a 0.6% rise that equals the average daily increase in the previous seven days, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. Another 693 people died of virus-related illness, bringing the toll to 199,258 on Sunday morning.

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