U.S. Deaths Still High as Europe Surge Less Fatal: Virus Update

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The U.S. had its fourth day in a row with more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths Friday with the global death toll from the pandemic poised to breach 800,000. In Europe, Germany recorded thehighest number of new infections, but the continent’srenewed virus surge seems to beless deadly than the first wave.

At least41 schools in Berlin, one of the first places in Germany to reopen facilities after the summer holidays, have reported Covid-19 cases, and hundreds of students and teachers are quarantining, the Associated Press reported.

South Koreawill extend Level 2 social-distancing measures, currently in place in Seoul and Busan, to the rest of the country from Sunday. Australia’s Queensland state imposed tougher restrictions in its southeast after a coronavirus flareup at a Brisbane youth detention center.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases approach 23 million; deaths pass 799,400
  • European countries’increased testing and better protection of vulnerable people has cut deaths
  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s vow to getchildren back to school is leading to a sense of dread that the country is walking into another crisis
  • South Koreato extend anti-virus measures to whole country
  • J&J plans hugevaccine study while Pfizer cites rapid enrollment
  • CDC updates guidance for schools to handlesick kids
  • Vaccine Tracker: where we are in the race for protection

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

69,876 in IndiaMost new cases today

-1% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-1.​104 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

5.​4% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), July

American Cases Steady; Deaths Still High (8 a.m. NY)

U.S. cases rose 47,581 on Friday, an 0.9% increase that matches the average daily rise of the previous seven days, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. While overall cases have been dropping in recent weeks, there were 1,102 deaths, the fourth day in a row over 1,000.

Student Travel Company STA Stops Trading in the U.K. (7:25 a.m. EST)

STA Travel UK, known for the adventurous trips it offered backpackers and students, has ceased trading, becomingthe latest tourism company to be hit by the pandemic.

Spanish Region Closes Brothels to Fight Virus (6:18 a.m. EST)

The government of Castilla-La Mancha region ordered the closure of brothels, according to an order published Saturday.

The sprawling central Spanish region is home to four in five of Spanish brothels, ABC newspaper reported, citing data from the Institute for Women.

Spain has announced curbs on smoking and bar opening times and closed nightclubs as part of its latest efforts to clamp down on social interactions that the government says are fueling Covid-19. Governments across Europe have advised against traveling to Spain.

France Delays Recovery Plan (6 a.m. EST)

France said it would delay the presentation of a 100 billion-euro recovery plan until the first week of September as the country grapples with a pickup in Covid-19 infections to levels not seen since April.

The stimulus package is “ready,” Government Spokesman Gabriel Attal said in a statement on Saturday. The plan was due to be released next week, but will now be presented later to allow ministers to focus on ensuring a smooth application of new health measure entering into force in September, including a systematic use of face masks at work.

Germany Posts the Biggest Increase in Virus Cases Since April (4:08 a.m. EST)

German cases rose by 2,034 to 232,082, the most since April, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute, the German government’s monitoring agency. The number of daily cases reached current peaks at the end of March and in early April.

There were seven fatalities linked to virus complications through Saturday morning, taking the total number of deaths to 9,267, Robert Koch said.

Poland’s 900 new coronavirus infections registered Friday is close to a daily record and raises the total to 61,181, the Health Ministry said on Twitter. The biggest number of new cases comes from southern Poland, where the government is considering re-imposing some virus restrictions. Deaths increased by 13, and total 1,951.

Indonesia, Philippines Confirm New Cases (4:16 p.m. HK)

Southeast Asia’s largest economy reported 2,090 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 151,498, according to the Health Ministry data on Saturday. The death toll reached 6,594 with 105,198 people have recovered from the deadly virus.

Authorities in the Philippines said the country’s cases rose 4,933 to 187,249, with the number of deaths now totally 2,966.

Hong Kong’s government said it confirmed 26 new virus cases Friday.

Tokyo Cases Above 200 for Third Day: NHK (3:16 p.m. HK)

Tokyo confirmed 256 new Covid-19 cases Saturday, state-run NHK broadcaster reported, citing government data. It’s the third straight day that cases have topped 200, though the daily caseload has declined from a peak of 472 on Aug. 1.

Virus Cases Reported At 41 Schools in Berlin: AP (2:26 p.m. HK)

At least 41 schools in Berlin have reported that students or teachers have become infected with Covid-19, less than two weeks after schools in Germany’s capital reopened, the AP reports. Hundreds of students and teachers are in quarantine, the Daily Berliner Zeitung newspaper reported.

Berlin was one of the first places in Germany to reopen its schools after the summer holidays.

Europe Virus Surge Looks Less Deadly Than Initial Wave (2:05 p.m. HK)

Europe’s renewed surge in Covid-19 cases appears to beless deadly than the original wave several months ago, data show. Increased testing is catching the disease earlier, and in contrast to spikes in March and April -- when the pandemic ripped through nursing homes -- authorities are doing a better job of protecting the elderly and other vulnerable people, according to scientists.

However, others caution that as infections in most European countries began climbing only a few days or weeks ago, deaths could rise again too given the lag between infection and death.

Indonesia, Sinovac Ink Deal for Covid-19 Vaccine (1:55 p.m. HK)

Indonesia, which is suffering the second-worst outbreak in Southeast Asia,signed an agreement with China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. for 50 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine concentrate that will allow state-owned PT Bio Farma to produce doses locally.

Sinovac will ship the concentrate in five stages between November and March, vaccine maker Bio Farma said in a statement Saturday. Beijing-based Sinovac also granted priority access for bulk supply to Indonesia until the end of 2021.

PPP Data Show Loans Reaching Small Businesses (12:41 p.m. HK)

The Trump administration released new details on the biggest coronavirus-relief initiative that show more than 98% of loans approved after July 6 were for less than $150,000 -- suggesting the program wasreaching smaller businesses before it closed earlier this month.

The Paycheck Protection Program had been criticized for not being quick enough in serving independent contractors, truly small firms and minority-owned companies. The new data show the most loan approvals in July and August were for personal-services firms, general freight and trucking companies and beauty salons.

As of Aug. 8, when the program closed, the Small Business Administration reported approving more than 5.2 million PPP loans totaling $525 billion, with almost $134 billion in remaining funding that will be returned to the Treasury unless Congress votes to re-purpose it.

One Dies, 32 Contract Covid After Maine Wedding (12:38 p.m. HK)

One woman has died and 32 have tested positive for Covid-19 after attending a wedding in the state of Maine that broke rules limiting the number of guests, The Boston Globe reports. The Big Moose Inn received a citation for exceeding the 50-person limit on indoor gatherings.

South Korea to Extend Social-Distancing Rules Nationwide (10:30 a.m. HK)

South Koreawill extend Level 2 social-distancing measures in place in Seoul and Busan to the rest of the country from Sunday, Health Minister Park Neung-Hoo said Saturday. Level 2 restrictions forbid indoor gatherings of 50 or more people, with limits placed on events such as weddings and places like water parks.

Authorities said Saturday that 332 more coronavirus cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours, the second straight day above 300. South Korea has had more than 17,000 cases since the pandemic began.

New Zealand Finds 6 New Cases in Auckland Cluster (10:14 a.m. HK)

New Zealand reported six new confirmed coronavirus cases as the cluster of infections in Auckland grows. The country’s total confirmed cases rose to 1,321 as of Saturday, according to the ministry of health’s website. Four of the new infections are connected to previous cases in the 92-strong Auckland cluster.

Mitsubishi UFJ to Launch Coronavirus Bonds: Nikkei (9:55 a.m. HK)

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.will issue as much as 150 billion yen ($1.42 billion) worth of corporate bonds for individual investors by the middle of next month, the Nikkei newspaper reported Saturday. Funds from the issuance will be used for loans to small and mid-sized companies struggling with falling sales due to the pandemic, and to hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.

Mitsubishi UFJ said it will be the first bank to issue coronavirus bonds for individual investors, the paper reported.

Argentina Extends Price Freeze for TV, Internet, Mobile (9:25 a.m. HK)

Argentina is extending aprice freeze for TV, Internet and mobile service until the end of the year, amid an economic contraction deepened by lockdown measures to curb Covid-19.

“As we face the restrictions the pandemic imposes on us, nobody should have to give up part of their income to cover price hikes on those services,” President Alberto Fernandez said in a tweet.

FDA May Update Authorizations for Gilead Drug: Reuters (8:51 a.m. HK)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administrationcould update its emergency use authorization for Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir drug to include patients hospitalized with moderate Covid-19 cases, despite mixed trial results, the company’s top research executive said Friday, according to Reuters.

The FDA in May approved remdesivir on an emergency basis for patients hospitalized with severe virus cases. Company data Friday showed a five-day course of the drug modestly helped less severely ill Covid-19 patients, but a 10-day course did not show a benefit, Reuters reported.

Australia’s Victoria State Cases Under 200 for 2nd Day (7:55 a.m. HK)

Australia’s Victoria state reported 182 new cases of coronavirus, the second consecutive day of additional infections under 200 as the Melbourne lockdown continues. There were 13 more deaths, the department of health and human services said in a tweet Saturday. The state recorded 179 new cases the previous day, which took the tally in Victoria to 17,852.

Queensland imposed tougher restrictions in the southeast of the state after a coronavirus flareup at a youth detention center in Brisbane, the state capital. In Brisbane and surrounding areas, including Ipswich and Moreton Bay, gatherings in homes and outdoors will be limited to 10 people, State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a tweet Saturday. The limit is 30 across the rest of Queensland.

New South Wales, the country’s most-populous state, reported nine new Covid-19 cases.

Venezuela Offers 500 Volunteers to Test Russian Covid-19 Vaccine (7:45 a.m. HK)

Health Minister Carlos Alvarado said on state television that Venezuela offered Russia 500 volunteers for the testing phase of its Sputnik V vaccine.

“Venezuela is going to contribute 500 volunteers for this phase, which is very important for the massive application,” Alvarado said, adding that Venezuela and Russia will study the possibility of jointly producing the vaccine

New Antibody Tests Offer Better Snapshot of Immunity (7:30 a.m. HK)

A new crop of Covid-19 antibody tests measures the level of protection someone has built up against the deadly virus and may help determine which vaccines are most effective.

Siemens Healthineers AG is the first big company to gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for a test that gauges the concentration of long-lasting antibodies flowing through a person’s blood. Swiss giant Roche Holding AG is following up with its own version.

Biden Says Would Shut Down U.S. If Scientists Say So (6:45 a.m. HK)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says he wouldshut down the country in order to halt the spread of the coronavirus if scientists recommended that to him.

“I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists,” Biden says in excerpt of interview with ABC to be aired Sunday.

“I will be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving, until we control the virus.”

Hydroxychloroquine Shouldn’t Be Used for Covid-19: ISDA (6:10 a.m. HK)

Hospitals should drop using the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine altogether to treat Covid-19 patients, even if it’s in a clinical trial, according to new medical guidelines.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America revised its Covid-19 treatmentguidelines Friday, toughening its stance against the use of the anti-malarial drug that’s been widely touted by President Donald Trump as a way to deal with the pandemic.

IDSA now recommends not to use hydroxychloroquine either by itself or along with the antibiotic azithromycin for patients with the coronavirus, even in hospitals. The society previously called for limited use of hydroxychloroquine in trials.

— With assistance by Jennifer Ryan, Charles Penty, Gaspard Sebag, Heather Burke, and Ian Fisher

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