October 28, 2021

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U.S. Has Its Deadliest Day in More Than Two Weeks: Virus Update

The U.S. had its deadliest day since Aug. 26 while the global fatality count edged closer to the million mark. The University of Oxford said it was resuming trials of the coronavirus vaccine it has been developing with AstraZeneca Plc.

France reported the most cases since lockdown ended four months ago. Florida’s cases rose slightly, while deaths slowed. Canada reported no Covid-related deaths for the first time in six months.

Trump administration aides asked for the right to read and suggest changes to weekly Covid-19 reports from the Centers for Disease Control, Politico reported.

Global Tracker: Cases rise above 28.5 million; deaths exceed 917,100Trump’s stimulus end run fizzles as firms spurn payroll tax haltIn smoky San Francisco, Covid-hit businesses suffer double blowThe University of Illinois shows there’s no foolproof reopening planHow hotels are helping their neighbors fight the pandemicWhy telemedicine may stay even after Covid fades away: QuickTake

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.

Wisconsin Cases Reach Record Pace (3:50 p.m. NY)

The seven-day average of daily new cases in Wisconsin reached 1,043 in state data published Saturday, the highest level since the start of the pandemic.

This week brought three of the state’s four highest daily tallies yet, a surge the data suggest was driven by 18-24 year olds. Twelve newly reported virus-related deaths brought the toll to 1,209.

President Donald Trump are Vice President Mike Pence are scheduled to make separate visits to the battleground state next week as part of their re-election campaign.

Hungary Will Remain Open Despite Outbreak, Orban Says (2:43 p.m. NY)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban plans to keep all business sectors ranging from sports and culture to tourism up and running despite a surge in coronavirus infections.

Authorities reported a record 916 new cases on Saturday, which Orban said will probably rise further in the current “mass infection” phase. The number of deaths can still be contained without a nationwide lockdown by looking after the elderly, Orban told public television in an interview.

However the use of masks in stores will be strictly enforced, and the government may consider other restrictions like limits on the opening hours of bars.

France Reports Most Cases Since Lockdown Ended (2:33 p.m. NY)

France reported more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the largest daily increase since the end of the country’s lockdown in May, a day after Prime Minister Jean Castex warned of a “clear worsening” in the spread of the virus.

Cases rose by 10,561 over 24 hours, according to data from the public health agency published online. The seven-day rolling average stands at 8,029 and has been steadily climbing for almost four weeks.

Deaths rose by 17 to 30,893 on Saturday, the government reported. That’s after health authorities on Friday reported the biggest increase in daily deaths since mid-July, partly due to the inclusion of several days of data from retirement homes.

California Cases, Deaths Rise (2:30 p.m. NY)

California reported 4,107 new virus cases on Saturday, higher than the 14-day average of 4,033, for a total of 750,298, according to the health department’s website. The number of deaths increased by 162, the most since Sept. 4, to 14,251. The two-week average for deaths is 101.

Second Meatpacker Fined After Deadly Outbreak (1:03 p.m. NY)

JBS Foods Inc., the world’s largest meat producer, was issued a $15,615 fine for failing to protect staff from the coronavirus in a Colorado facility where six workers have reportedly died.

The fine from the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, announced late Friday, came one day after U.S. regulators issued a penalty of $13,494 for a similar infraction by Smithfield Foods Inc., the first sanction against a meatpacker connected with a deadly Covid-19 outbreak.

The fine levied against Smithfield drew outrage as inadequate from two senators, a former safety official and a major national union. OSHA said it was the maximum allowed by law.

French P.M. Tests Negative (12:15 p.m. NY)

French Prime Minister Jean Castex tested negative for the coronavirus for a second time on Saturday, seven days after he spent time with the director of the Tour de France cycling race, who had tested positive after their meeting, Agence France-Presse reported. Castex will no longer be in self-isolation as of Saturday afternoon, AFP said, citing the prime minister’s office, after an earlier negative test on Tuesday.

Arizona Cases, Deaths Rise (11:50 a.m. NY)

Arizona on Saturday reported 605 new virus cases, a 0.3% increase to 208,128 that was above the prior seven-day average of 0.2%. The Arizona Department of Health Services recorded 27 new deaths, pushing the toll to 5,315. The state’s daily death tally has remained under 100 for more than two weeks.

U.K. Cases Down Slightly (11:45 a.m. NY)

The U.K. reported 3,497 new coronavirus cases on Sept. 12, a second day with more than 3,000 new cases, as new infections hover at levels not seen since late May. Nine new fatalities were also reported.

Italy Cases, Deaths Slow (11:20 a.m. NY)

Italy reported 1,501 new cases on Saturday, compared with 1,616 the previous day. There were six additional deaths, lower than the 10 deaths reported on Friday. The numbers remain distant from the pandemic’s peak of 6.557 new infections in a day on March 21. Total cases reported since February rose to 286,297.

NHS Workers Demand Pay Hike (11:13 a.m. NY)

National Heath Service staff have protested in London and some other English cities, calling for a 15% pay rise, according to the Press Association. Organizers of the protests said that health care workers would consider a strike if the government didn’t respond to their demands.

Nurses and junior doctors were excluded from a wage increase for public sector workers announced in July because of prior agreements.

New York Cases Steady (11:04 a.m. NY)

New York reported 849 cases, its second straight day with more than 800, but the 0.2% rise was in line with the average daily increase of the previous seven days. Another two deaths were reported.

Florida Cases Rise Slightly, Deaths Slow (10:59 a.m. NY)

Florida reported 661,571 cases Saturday, up 0.5% from a day earlier, compared with an average 0.4% increase in the previous seven days. That amounts to 3,190 new cases, according to the health department report, which includes data through Friday.

Deaths among Florida residents reached 12,600, an increase of 0.8%, or 98, compared with 176 the previous day.

Oxford University Resumes Vaccine Trial (9:23 a.m. NY)

Oxford University said it was resuming U.K. trials of the coronavirus vaccine it’s developing with AstraZeneca Plc. The trials had been placed on hold after one of its participants fell ill.

The university gave the information in a statement on Saturday. It had paused the trials due to an illness in one participant.

Denmark Posts Highest Tally Since April 7 (9:19 a.m. NY)

Police in Denmark said additional restrictions may have to be introduced after the country posted 341 new cases of coronavirus, the highest daily tally since April 7.

U.S. Has Deadliest Day in More Than Two Weeks (8 a.m. NY)

U.S. deaths related to Covid-19 increased by 1,215 on Friday, making it the deadliest day since Aug. 26, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.

Reported virus cases increased by 46,975, a 0.7% rise on the day compared with a 0.6% increase over the previous week.

Second-Wave Oil Glut May Be Near (8 a.m. NY)

Some of the world’s biggest oil traders are gearing up for a possible resurgence of a coronavirus-induced glut of crude and fuels, snapping up giant tankers for months-long charters so that they can be ready to store excess barrels if necessary.

The chartering spree is likely to alarm Saudi Arabia, Russia and their allies as it indicates that the oil traders believe the crude market is moving into a surplus after OPEC+ managed to create a deficit earlier this summer with its output cuts.

Istanbul Limits Gatherings (7:19 a.m. NY)

City officials in Turkey’s most populous city have forbidden boating companies from hosting weddings and similar gatherings, AP reported, after concerts and open-air festivals were banned across the country following a spike in cases.

Philippines Fatalities Surge After Re-Classification (5:39 a.m. NY)

The Philippines recorded a surge in deaths caused by Covid-19, after having to take into account 126 fatalities that had been incorrectly classified, according to data the Health Department released Saturday. The country added 4,935 new Covid cases as of 4 p.m. Saturday, bringing the total to 257,863 cases. The Manila metropolitan area accounts for about half of the country’s cases.

Canada Reports No Covid Deaths (5:29 a.m. NY)

Canada reported no new deaths from Covid-19 for the first time in six months, according to the latest data from its public health agency. The country last reported zero daily fatalities on March 15. Canada is seeing its death toll plateau after fatalities spiked above 200 on several days in April and May. The total death count stands at 9,163 as of Sept. 11, according to the government’s data.

Iran Fatalities Pass 23,000 (5:27 a.m. NY)

Iran’s fatalities surpassed 23,000 on Saturday with 116 additional deaths in the past 24 hours. The number of cases rose by 2,139 overnight to 399,940, the latest data by the Health Ministry showed. Iran recorded an average of 125 deaths and 2,182 new cases per day over the past seven days.

UAE Posts Record Number of Cases (5:18 a.m. NY)

The United Arab Emirates reported 1,007 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, an all-time high for the Gulf nation of almost 10 million people, where daily cases last peaked in late May. Authorities have urged residents to follow social distancing measures and the government has expanded testing.

Belgium’s New Cases Accelerate (5:02 p.m. HK)

Belgium on Saturday reported 969 new coronavirus cases versus 877 the day before, bringing the total to 91,537. Deaths from the virus rose by two to 9,919, while 28 more people were hospitalized.

U.K. May Toughen Self-Isolation Rules (5 p.m. HK)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is considering introducing fines for people who breach self-isolation rules as new cases surge, the Times reported on Saturday, citing an unnamed government source. The change would end the voluntary nature of people self-isolating with symptoms and bring it into line with strict quarantine rules for travelers.

Separately, the Telegraph reported that the events industry is “staring into the abyss” because of the government’s new ban on gatherings of more than six people. Events organizers are seeing mass cancellations and expecting many job losses, the newspaper said.

Italy’s Market Regulator Shuts Offices After Chief Tests Positive (3:40 p.m. HK)

Italy’s financial-market regulator, Consob, closed its office after its head Paolo Savona tested positive for coronavirus. He is asymptomatic and working from home, according to a statement. Offices will remain closed and employees will be smart working until Sept. 18.

Italy reported 1,616 new cases on Friday, compared with 1,597 the previous day and slightly higher than the previous seven-day average of 1,454. Ten deaths were reported, in line with Thursday’s numbers. While Lombardy, the original epicenter, still accounts for a large part of the infected, summer travel resulted in the region around Rome recording the highest number of hospitalized patients.

German Daily Infections Drop; Hungary Posts Record Cases (3:31 p.m. HK)

Germany’s daily cases fell, while the infection rate rose to the critical threshold of one.

There were 1,586 new cases in the 24 hours through Saturday morning, taking the total to 259,735, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That’s slightly less than Friday’s increase of 1,716. At the peak of the pandemic, in the spring, Germany registered almost 7,000 new infections.

The reproduction number — the average number of people infected by one person with the virus – rose to 1.0 on from 0.9 the previous day, according to the latest report from the RKI public health institute. The number has been at or above the key threshold of one for most of the past week.

Hungary reported a record 916 additional cases Saturday, bringing the total so far to 11,825. Prime Minister Viktor Orban reiterated in a Facebook video Saturday that Hungary’s hospitals have enough capacity to deal with the wave of infections and that his priority is to keep the economy functioning. He again vowed stronger penalties for those breaking social distancing rules.

Czech Sets Another Record in New Cases (3:25 p.m. HK)

The Czech Republic, one of Europe’s most successful in containing the initial outbreak, posted another record number of new cases on Friday, 1,447, raising the total number of people with Covid-19 to 12,260. The number of hospitalized patients remains relatively low, at 264, according to the Health Ministry.

Switzerland has become the latest European country to tighten entry restrictions for people traveling from the Czech Republic, requiring a 10-day quarantine upon arrival. The Czech ratio of new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people was about six times higher than in neighboring Germany in the past seven days.

India Posts Another Daily Global Record on New Cases (1:34 p.m. HK)

India, the latest epicenter of the pandemic, reported 97,570 new cases, another daily global record, while deaths surpassed 1,000 for an 11th consecutive day.

The epidemic is surging across the South Asian nation at a record pace, as it moves beyond the cities to the country’s vast hinterlands. India now has the world’s second-largest number of infections after the U.S., with a total of 4.66 million. India also has the highest death toll after U.S. and Brazil, with fatalities surpassing 77,000.

Trump Aides Sought to Meddle With CDC’s Virus Reports: Politico (12:26 p.m. HK)

U.S. health department spokesperson Michael Caputo and his aides asked for the right to read and suggest changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly Covid-19 reports, Politico reported, citing emails and three people familiar with the matter.

Communications aides from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services complained to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other officials that the agency’s reports would undermine President Donald Trump’s optimistic messaging about the pandemic, according to the report.

CDC employees pushed back against changes but have increasingly agreed to allow political appointees review the virus reports, and have agreed to amend language in some cases, Politico said.

Trump has come under criticism for intentionally downplaying the severity of the virus publicly after saying in an interview with journalist Bob Woodward that he knew how dangerous it was. The U.S. president has defended his comments, saying he didn’t want to cause panic or price spikes.

Indonesia President Cautions Against Social Distancing Rules (12:14 p.m. HK)

Indonesia’s coronavirus cases rose by over 3,000 cases for a fifth consecutive day, the second time that has happened this month, with the highest daily infections reached on Thursday, official data showed.

President Joko Widodo called on Jakarta’s administration to analyze the potential impact of re-imposing large-scale social distancing measures as the capital accounted for about 25% of the nation’s confirmed infections, The Jakarta Post reported Friday.

“We need to calculate how pulling the emergency brake will affect people’s activities,” he was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post. The Indonesian capital is planning to re-impose social distancing rules for two weeks from Monday, Governor Anies Baswedan was cited as saying by Kompas.com.

China Reports Six New Cases; South Korea Confirms 136 (08:52 a.m. HK)

China reported six new coronavirus cases on Friday, all of which were imported cases, according to the National Health Commission. Outstanding Covid-19 cases in the country totaled 154 as of yesterday, the commission said.

South Korea confirmed 136 new cases, taking the total to 22,055.

Australia’s Victoria Marks Third Day of Virus Case Declines (08:33 a.m. HK)

The Australian state of Victoria reported another drop in cases and deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours as the regional government sticks by one of the world’s most stringent lock-downs.

The Victoria State Government recorded 37 new cases and six deaths from Friday across the country’s second-most populous state, down from 43 new cases and nine deaths the day before, the department of Health and Human Services announced on Twitter Saturday.

The tally is the third day in a row of declines after the state reported 76 new cases on Wednesday, down from a peak of 687 on August 4. That 76 level was the same as last Saturday, which Premier Daniel Andrews said at the time was “still a significant challenge.”

Japan Moves to Relax Virus Restrictions for Events From Sept. 19 (08:32 a.m. HK)

Japan is preparing to relax restrictions on attendance for a number of events including professional sports games, according to Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura.

For professional baseball games and soccer matches, the government is considering eliminating the current restriction of no more than 5,000 attendees and replacing it with an up to 50% capacity rule, the Yomiuri reported on Saturday.

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