U.S. Cases Up 1%; Swedish Premier Defends Strategy: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

U.S. cases rose 1%, below the week’s average, as worldwide deaths topped 400,000. New York City reopens on Monday, but the mayor tamped down expectations for a fast return to normal.

The FDA rescinded authorization to allow reuse of some Chinese respirators. France is planning an aid package for aerospace companies hurt by fallout from lockdowns.

Sweden’s handling of the outbreak drew a rebuke from opposition party leaders. China said developments on the coronavirus were shared in a timely manner, dismissing allegations it hid information.

Key Developments:

Virus Tracker: Cases pass 6.9 million; deaths exceed 401,000Big pharma looks beyond covid with AstraZeneca eyeing GileadTwo dozen state programs offer path to rehire U.S. workersJapan deals may accelerate as virus leads to consolidaitonShuttered diamond miners stuck with gems worth billionsChina denies cover-up, rejects ‘politicization’ of coronavirusAirbnb, vacation-rental sites see surge in summer demand

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus. For a look back at this week’s top stories from QuickTake, click here.

Sweden’s Strategy Rebuked in Debate (5:10 p.m. NY)

Sweden’s prime minister was forced to defend his Covid-19 strategy after opposition parties mounted a scathing attack amid signs the government’s handling of the pandemic was badly flawed.

With more than 4,500 deaths, and Sweden’s chief epidemiologist — who advised keeping most of society open — admitting mistakes, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven became the target during a broadcast debate of party leaders Sunday night. Ulf Kristersson, leader of the main opposition party, said “there have been obvious, fundamental failures.”

Lofven said there’s no reason to abandon the approach but acknowledged room for improvement. “We have far too many fatalities in elderly care.” He also said the government “should have tested more people.” Swedes now face travel restrictions in the European Union due to the country’s high infection rate.

N.Y. Urges Protesters to Get Covid Test (5 p.m. NY)

New York will open 15 coronavirus tests sites for people in the city who joined protests against the death in police custody of George Floyd, and Governor Andrew Cuomo urged demonstrators to get tested. The goal is to do 35,000 tests a day, he said.

“We have tested everything else. We have measured everything else and everything was going fine and then we had this large number of protests,” Cuomo said Sunday. “We don’t know what the effect of those protests are and we are concerned about it. All of the health experts I have spoken to are concerned about it.”

U.S. Cases Rise 1%, Below Week’s Average (4 p.m. NY)

U.S. coronavirus cases rose 1% from the same time Saturday to 1.93 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was below the average daily increase of 1.2% over the past week. Fatalities increased 0.5% to 110,037.

New York had 781 new cases, a 0.2% increase and the fewest since late March, raising the total to 378,097, with 47 deaths, a 0.2% increase, for a total of 24,259, the health department said.New Jersey reported 426 new cases — the fewest since March 21 — for a total of 164,164, with 79 deaths to reach 12,176.California reported 2,796 cases, bringing the total to 128,812, and 67 additional deaths, for a total of 4,626.Illinois had 867 new cases, to total 127,757, with 43 new deaths, bringing the total to 5,904, the state public health department said.Michigan registered 121 new cases, raising the total to 58,870, and 4 new deaths, to reach 5,656.Arkansas’s cases jumped 5.2%, the most among states, bringing the total to 9,101, according to Johns Hopkins data.

France Plans Aerospace Aid (3:30 p.m. NY)

France will offer a plan worth “billions of euros” to rescue its beleaguered aerospace industry, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said Sunday, as companies struggle with fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

The aid package to be presented Tuesday is aimed at European jet manufacturer Airbus SE, engine maker Safran SA, defense group Thales SA, and hundreds of suppliers that have lost business during the pandemic.

Separately, many European nations will probably agree to reopen air travel in the so-called Schengen area from June 15, assuming the crisis continues to abate, Djebbari added. Air France’s flights may rise from 5% of its usual level to 15% from June 15, and to 40% in mid-August, he said.

De Blasio Cautions on Fast Reopening (3 p.m. NY)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio sought to lower expectations for a swift return to business-as-usual after the first phase of reopening starts on Monday. The second phase could begin in two weeks, if all the state-mandated health and safety metrics remain on track.

“I don’t want expectations so high about it being later in June and then the disappointment, if it can’t happen,” de Blasio said. “If I start to see the indicators and thresholds going in the wrong direction, I’m going to be very vocal about it.”

De Blasio said the city also is monitoring the impact of recent protests with thousands of people in close proximity, which could reverse the infection trends. “These are first steps of what will be 18 months of making intense change in this city,” he said, referring to the time left in his term ofo office.

FDA Warns on Chinese Respirators (2:35 p.m. NY)

Chinese respirators used by health-care professionals in treating coronavirus patients should not be decontaminated for reuse, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said, reversing a decision that had allowed the action when such devices were in short supply.

The FDA said tests by a unit of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found variations in the design and performance of the Chinese respirators that make them unsuitable for decontamination.

The FDA is revising emergency use authorizations to reflect which devices can be reued, said Anand Shah, deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs. The agency was responding to safety concerns about decontaminating certain respirators.

France Hospitalizations Decline (2:30 p.m. NY)

France reported the number of patients hospitalized continued to decline, falling by 18 to 12,461, official statistics showed. Confirmed cases rose by 343 to 191,382. Deaths rose by 13 to 29,155, based on hospital data, with reporting of nursing-home fatalities delayed to Tuesday.

N.Y. Lights Up Landmarks (1:45 p.m. NY)

New York landmarks from One World Trade Center and Rockefeller Center to Niagara Falls will be lit in blue and gold to mark progress in fighting the coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

“A lot of people have suffered to get here, but what we have done together was extraordinary,” Cuomo said. “Forget flattening the curve of the virus — we bent the curve — and New Yorkers should be proud of their accomplishment.”

Poland Cases Rise at Twice the Daily Average (1 p.m. NY)

Poland registered 575 new cases on Sunday, one fewer than the record set a day earlier and about twice the previous daily average.

The worst outbreak continued to be the coal-rich industrial region, Silesia, which had 325 cases, according to Health Ministry data. Poland has 26,561 total infections and 1,157 deaths, less than several of its western European partners.

The country shut its borders in March and quickly introduced lockdown measures to slow the outbreak. A presidential election was postponed from May 10 to June 28.

N.Y. Positive Tests Near 1% (12:15 p.m. NY)

New York reported 43 deaths in the past day, slightly higher than the previous day, and the fewest positive tests in almost three months, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The state did 60,435 tests Saturday — the most for any U.S. state, he said — and 781 were positive, or 1.3%, the lowest total since March 16. “That is very, very good news,” Cuomo said. The rate of positive tests is approaching 1%, down from 50% at the end of March.

Cuomo confirmed New York City, having met all the metrics, will start phase one of reopening on Monday: “We’re going to have a big day.”

Italy’s New Deaths Rise 0.2% (12:05 p.m. NY)

Italy had 197 new cases Sunday, down from 270 a day earlier. Daily deaths fell to 53 from 72 on Saturday for a total of 33,899. Total cases rose to 234,998.

Poll: Fewer Worry About Getting Covid (11:30 a.m. NY)

A combined 63% of voters are “very” or “somewhat” worried that they or someone in their family might catch Covid-19, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted May 28 to June 2. The total is down from 73% in an April survey.

When asked when the U.S. will return to normal, 35% said in the next year, up from 26% in the April poll, and 22% said in the next few months, down from 45%. The poll found 17% saying the restart will take more than a year, up from 6% two months ago.

The poll found 55% disapproved of President Donald Trump’s handling of the outbreak, up from 52% in April, with 43% approving, up 1 percentage point.

Spain Adds Cases, 72 Deaths (11:30 a.m. NY)

Spain’s cases climbed to 241,550 on Sunday, with 102 new infections in the last 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry. Total fatalities increased to 27,136, with 72 deaths reported in the past week.

U.K. Has Fewest Deaths Since Lockdown (10:34 a.m. NY)

The U.K. reported an additional 77 deaths, the lowest figure since lockdown was declared on March 23. No new deaths were reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland, despite concern that the disease is spreading in Northwestern England. Total deaths rose to 40,542 out of 286,194 cases.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seeking to stem the loss of support for his government’s response to the crisis. Health Secretary Matt Hancock insisted there will be no “trade off” between the economy and health in a response to reports in the Sunday Times newspaper that Johnson wants to speed the lifting of the U.K.’s lockdown to stop a massive increase in unemployment.

Spain Aids Regional Health Care (10:20 a.m. NY)

Spain has targeted 9 billion euros ($10.2 billion) for regional governments’ health-care response to the pandemic. The measure, which transfers cash in September and November, will be approved on June 16, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Sunday.

Sanchez also said rules for the “new normal,” once the lockdown is lifted on June 21, will be approved next week. Face masks will still be compulsory in public transport and indoor spaces for people older than 6 years and if needed, special licenses will be granted to produce drugs and protection equipment.

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