November 28, 2021

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U.S. Urged to Stock Antibody Therapy; Houston Plea: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

The U.S. needs a better strategy for the coronavirus response and should start by building reserves of therapeutic antibodies before authorizing their use, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration said.

A top Houston-area county official pleaded with Texas state leaders to let him issue a stay-at-home order. Israel is considering new restrictions after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a resurgence is creating an emergency.

Mexico overtook France with the fifth-deadliest outbreak and the World Health Organization reported a one-day high for global cases Saturday.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 11.3 million; Deaths exceed 531,000World economy that took elevator down faces steep stairs back upNigerian security response to Covid is deadlier than the diseaseMexico overtakes France to have fifth-deadliest virus outbreakAustralian state to give lockdown residents payout, suspend rent

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.

California Infections Increase by 2.1% (2:05 p.m.)

California reported 5,410 new Covid-19 cases, an increase of 2.1% to 260,155. Deaths rose by 18 to 6,331. The numbers may not represent final day-over-day changes as the reporting of test results can be delayed, according to the state Department of Public Health. The data show cumulative infections are disproportionately the highest among Latino residents and the 18-to-49 age group.

Protests Added to Miami-Dade Cases: Mayor (2 p.m. NY)

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said protests over the death of George Floyd contributed to a rise in infections in South Florida, but weren’t the only trigger.

“Our people, our residents, I think they let their guard down and started to socialize,” Gimenez said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “That also had to do with it. So it’s all the above. I’m not saying it’s just that, but it was a contributing factor.”

Gimenez pushed back on President Donald Trump’s characterization in his July 4th remarks that 99% of cases are harmless by noting a rise in deaths of people who contract the virus: “The virus is not harmless. No, absolutely not.”

Houston Needs Stay-Home Order, Chief Says (12:45 p.m. NY)

The hard-hit Houston area needs more restrictions, but the state government has blocked local officials from acting to limit the spread of the virus, Harris County Chief Lina Hidalgo said. The order by Governor Greg Abbott last week to wear face coverings helps, but doesn’t go far enough, she said.

“As long as we’re doing as little as possible and hoping for the best, we’re always going to be chasing this thing,” Hidalgo said on ABC’s “This Week.” “Folks need to stay home and I need the authority to enforce it.”

Phoenix Mayor Faults FEMA on Tests (12:30 p.m. NY)

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said the city opened much too early and needs to do more tests but her pleas to expand community-based evaluations have been rebuffed, including by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We are in a crisis related to testing,” Gallego told ABC’s “This Week.” FEMA said “they’re moving away from that, which feels like they’re declaring victory while we’re still in crisis mode.”

“We had crowded nightclubs handing out free champagne, no masks,” she said.

U.K. Cases Continue to Mount (12:14 p.m. NY)

The Department for Health and Social Care reported that the U.K. had another 516 positive cases on Saturday, down from 624 the day before and taking the total to more than 285,000.

There were 22 new deaths from the virus.

Arizona Cases Rise Less Than Week’s Average (11:45 a.m. NY)

Arizona reported 3,536 new cases, a 3.7% rise, pushing the total to 98,089. The hard-hit state has a 4.1% seven-day average for new infections.

Deaths increased by four, down from 17 on Saturday and a record 88 on Wednesday, putting the total at 1,809. Fatalities among those over age 65 accounted for 73% of all state deaths, according to the Department of Health website.

Florida Cases Rise in Line With Average (10:40 a.m. NY)

Florida reported 200,111 Covid-19 cases on Sunday, up 5.3% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 5.3% in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 3,731, an increase of 0.8%, according to the report, which includes data through Saturday.

Cumulative hospitalizations of Florida residents rose by 1% to 15,895. The new rate of people testing positive rose to 15% for Saturday, from 14.1% a day earlier.

In Miami-Dade County, the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals rose 4.9%, the biggest jump in four days, with a 3.8% one-day jump in patients in intensive-care units.

Too Soon to Say If RNC Florida Events Safe (10:28 a.m. NY)

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn told CNN it’s too soon to tell if it’s safe to host part of the Republican National Convention next month in Florida.

Originally scheduled to be held in Charlotte, the nominating convention — including Trump’s acceptance speech — was partially moved to Jacksonville, after North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, disagreed with hosting the Aug. 24-27 event at full scale out of concern of the virus spread.

Second Spanish Lockdown Declared (10 a.m. NY)

A lockdown has been ordered for a region of Galicia in northwestern Spain, restricting travel in and out of A Marina for about 70,000 residents. The five-day measure was ordered after cases started to rise from two different outbreaks.

Spain put an agricultural region with more than 200,000 residents under indefinite lockdown on Saturday. The number of cases in the Segria region of 210,000 has soared 20% in the past two weeks to 3,312. Four of nine outbreaks currently being monitored by authorities are associated with companies harvesting and processing fruit and vegetables.

New York Cases Rise 0.1% (9:20 a.m. NY)

The number of new cases in New York rose 0.1%, less than the seven-day average. Fewer than 1% of tests conducted were positive.

On Monday, New York City officially kicks off “Phase Three” of reopening, paving the way for legions of beauty businesses — nail salons, tanning studios and tattoo parlors — to open their doors to customers for the first time in months.

Greece Curbs Travel From Serbia (9:14 a.m.)

Greece decided to suspend access for Serbian citizens from all points of entry based on the analysis of the latest epidemiological data, according to Alternate Government Spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni. All except essential travel will be banned from July 6 to July 15.

U.K. to Boost Spending on Jobs, Health (8:46 a.m. NY)

The U.K. will plow 800 million pounds ($1 billion) into job centers in an effort to cope with a surge in unemployment in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The head of England’s National Health Service set the U.K. government a challenge to fix the country’s social-care system within a year. Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC on Sunday that about 30% of U.K. deaths from Covid-19 had been in care homes.

The Observer on Sunday reported that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering Resolution Foundation proposals to issue 500 pound-vouchers for all adults and 250-pound vouchers for children to spend in the sectors of the economy worst-hit by the virus.

Tokyo Elects Governor in Virus-Clouded Vote (7:47 a.m. NY)

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike declared victory in an election for a second term, as the city tries to keep a fresh surge of Covid-19 in check and maintain hopes of hosting the Olympics in 2021.

Koike, the first woman elected to govern the 14 million-strong city, prevailed over 21 challengers on Sunday to win another four-year term, national public broadcaster NHK and other local media projected, based on exit polling. She had gained support over the past few months for her management of the disease, which bolstered her popularity ahead of the election.

Philippine Cases Jump as Economy Reopens (7:30 a.m. NY)

Cases in the Philippines rose by a record on Sunday, which the Health Department attributed to increased contact among the population amid an easing of community quarantine measures.

The Southeast Asian nation reported 2,434 new infections, bringing total cases to 44,254. The previous daily record was 1,531 cases on July 3, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Health Department said the numbers are subject to change. More than 1,200 people have died.

Iran Has Highest Fatalities in Day (6:05 a.m. NY)

In Iran, the number of fatalities rose to 163 on Sunday, one more than the previous highest daily toll set a week ago. The death count reached 11,571 from a total of 240,438 known infections, with 2,560 new cases reported overnight.

Ghana’s President Isolating After Exposure (6:02 a.m. NY)

Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo will isolate for 14 days starting July 4 after being exposed to a Covid-19 case, the Information Ministry said in a statement late Saturday. He tested negative on that day, it added.

Ghana has reported 20,085 cases, including 122 deaths, according to the West African nation’s health service.

Netanyahu Says Israel in State of Emergency (6 a.m. NY)

Israel is in a state of emergency due to a resurgent coronavirus outbreak, and additional steps are needed to stem the spread, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

The cabinet will reconvene within the coming day to decide on new restrictions and will present a plan within the next few days to address the economic challenges the pandemic is posing, he said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting.

Parliament “cannot behave as though it’s business as usual,” Netanyahu said.

Deadliest Day in Indonesia (5:12 p.m. HK)

Indonesia reported 82 deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, the highest single-day spike in fatalities, taking the total to 3,171, the health ministry said. The country with the most infections in Southeast Asia also reported 1,607 news cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 63,749.

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