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U.S. Cases Surge Past 70,000; Italy Tops Record: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — U.S. cases exceeded 70,000 for the first day since late July, as infections surge less than two weeks before a presidential election in which the coronavirus pandemic is a central issue. Universal masking in the U.S. could save some 130,000 lives by the end of February, Covid-19 trackers at the University of Washington projected.Italy again reached a daily record and will impose curfews, along with Luxembourg and France, as Europe wrestles with record infections. In Spain, the number of infections is likely around 3 million, some three times higher than official data show, the prime minister said.White House economic director Larry Kudlow said “the ball’s not moving much right now” on negotiations over an additional round of federal stimulus.Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases pass 41.9 million; deaths exceed 1.1 millionCovid-19 deaths are increasing in the U.S. after months of declineGovernments around Europe began to deploy curfews more widelyEurope facing dearth of medical staff in test of virus readinessSweden’s lax Covid policy is no slam dunk for industrial sectorECB seen preparing more aid as spreading virus derails economySubscribe 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.Denmark Tightens Restrictions (1:03 p.m. NY)Denmark will limit public gatherings to 10 people and expand the mandatory use of face masks after registering its highest ever daily tally of coronavirus cases.The new measures, some of which will take effect from Monday, are the toughest since Denmark enforced one of Europe’s swiftest lockdowns back in March. A spike in new cases has spread across the Nordic region, where strategies to fight the pandemic have varied from country to country.Belgium’s Walloon Region Widens Curfew (1:01 p.m. NY)Belgium’s French-speaking southern region of Wallonia widened the existing national curfew that begins at midnight, ordering residents to stay inside from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. for one month starting tomorrow. Authorities in the Brussels capital district will discuss a similar extension tomorrow.Brussels and the five Walloon provinces have 14-day incidence rates that are twice as high as those of the Flemish provinces in the north of Belgium, ranging from 1,173 per 100,000 inhabitants in Luxembourg to 1,909 per 100,000 in Liege.WHO Sees World at Critical Juncture in Pandemic (12:49 p.m. NY)The northern hemisphere is at a critical juncture in the pandemic, and some countries are on a dangerous track, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhahnom Ghebreyesus said at a briefing.“Too many countries are seeing an exponential increase in cases,” putting hospital capacities at risk, he said. He urged leaders to take quick action to contain the virus’s spread.Separately, the international and Chinese teams that will study the zoonotic origins of the virus will meet virtually before the end of the month, said Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program.New Jersey ICU Cases Rise (11:59 a.m. NY)New Jersey’s intensive-care hospitalizations broke 200 for the first time since July 4. The 212 people in such units were more than double those a month ago. In all, New Jersey hospitals had 874 patients, the most since July 14.The most densely populated U.S. state has logged 14,484 lab-confirmed Covid-19 deaths, and another 1,789 fatalities had likely virus links, according to New Jersey health department data.Virus Spread Slows Across England (11:50 a.m. NY)The spread of coronavirus is slowing across England, as Boris Johnson imposes tighter restrictions on parts of the north and Midlands in order to rein it in further.The rate of growth in the virus, or R rate, is about 1.2 to 1.4 across the U.K. — down from 1.3 to 1.5 a week earlier, according to estimates released on Friday by the government’s scientific advisers, who said the rate of spread has declined across six of England’s seven regions.Masks in U.S. Could Save 130,000 Lives Before Vaccine (11:44 a.m. NY)Universal masking in the U.S. could save some 130,000 lives by the end of February, according to projections by some of the nation’s top Covid-19 trackers at the University of Washington.The analysis, which appeared Friday in the journal Nature Medicine, models the impact of different levels of social distancing on the trajectory of the pandemic from this fall to the end of February 2021.White House officials and public health leaders said they don’t expect a vaccine to be widely available until March or April, which means wearing masks and other non-pharmaceutical measures will likely be the only option to reduce the spread of the virus until the end of February.Kudlow Says Stimulus Talks ‘Difficult’ (11:29 a.m. NY)White House economic director Larry Kudlow said “the ball’s not moving much right now” on negotiations over an additional round of federal stimulus, even as coronavirus cases spike in parts of the country raising the prospect of further shutdowns.“It’s very difficult,” Kudlow said Friday during an interview with Bloomberg Television, adding that there are still a number of issues dividing the White House and Democrats. “The clock is ticking, as you know.”Italy Tops Record Again (11:17 a.m. NY)Italy reported a 19% increase in daily virus cases Friday to a record of 19,143. The country registered 91 deaths, down from 136 Thursday.Patients in intensive care units surpassed 1,000, reaching 1,049, compared with an early April peak of more than 4,000.Milan, the hardest-hit area, started a night-time curfew Thursday. Italy’s government may enact a national curfew as early as 9 p.m., possibly within seven days, if current virus trends are unchecked, Corriere della Sera reported Friday.Poland’s ‘Deep Lockdown’ Scenario Brushed Off by Economists (10:53 a.m. NY)Poland faces a “deep lockdown” if the coronavirus pandemic continues to spiral out of control, according to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.Morawiecki issued the stern warning on Friday as he announced new limits on gatherings, closures of bars and restaurants, mandatory online classes for some elementary school students and movement restrictions. The moves come after Poland registered a record number of Covid-19 cases in four of the last seven days.Financial markets, however, were little moved despite the spike in infections and the new restrictions, signaling belief that Poland wouldn’t reintroduce the type of lockdown measures that hobbled the economy in the second quarter.Luxembourg Imposes Curfew (10:48 a.m. NY)Luxembourg will become the latest European country to introduce a curfew to cope with a record rise in infections. People are expected to stay at home between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. for one month as soon as lawmakers approve the new restrictions.“This was not an easy decision,” Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said.He said that new measures were urgently needed because the virus has spread everywhere, affecting every age and all categories of people. All professional sport competitions, except for soccer, will be halted. Groups of people being invited at homes or meeting in restaurants and cafes will be limited to a maximum of four, Bettel said at a press conference Friday.Second Wave May be Worse Than First, Paris Hospitals Head Says (10:28 a.m. NY)Whatever perceptions that a new coronavirus wave would either not happen or be less severe, “the reality is the opposite, the second wave may be worse than the first,” Martin Hirsch, the head of Paris hospital operator AP-HP, said on RTL radio on Friday.Some regions of France are expecting a new peak that will be worse than what they experienced in April, he said.In the Paris region, hospitals are admitting 70 to 90 new Covid-19 patients in intensive care every day, from 40 two weeks ago, according to Hirsch. He said half of ICU patients are younger than 62.Geneva Limits Gatherings (10:08 a.m. NY)Geneva plans to limit public and private gatherings to five people to slow the spread of the virus. The new measures come into effect at midnight Sunday and will be in place until Nov. 30.Geneva has seen cases and hospitalizations spike in recent days. At least 228 people are hospitalized in Geneva due to Covid-19. Just a week ago, only 94 people were hospitalized because of the virus, according to government figures.Restaurants and bars must close by 11 p.m. under the rules. Close contact sports and amateur choirs will be temporarily banned.English Rugby Match Canceled (10:06 a.m. NY)A high-profile rugby match between England’s national men’s team and the Barbarians, scheduled for Sunday, was canceled because several players broke Covid protocols by leaving their hotel bubble without telling anyone.“We are all incredibly frustrated and disappointed that the actions of a number of Barbarians players mean we no longer feel it is safe for the game to go ahead,” said Bill Sweeney, chief executive officer of England’s Rugby Football Union.It would have been England’s first match since March 7.U.S. to Provide 125 Million Masks to Schools (9:01 a.m. NY)The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it’s on track to distribute the masks to support school re-openings. “These masks support students, teachers, and staff in public and private schools, with an emphasis on low-income or other high-needs students and schools providing in-person instruction,” the department said in a statement.Dutch Daily Tally Exceeds 10,000 for First Time (8:42 a.m. NY)A record 10,007 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in the Netherlands, Dutch news agency ANP reported, citing health agency RIVM. The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units stood at 472, an increase of nine from the day before, according to numbers released by LCPS, a hospital logistics group.U.S. Cases Surge Past 70,000 (8:13 a.m. NY)The U.S. added 70,919 cases on Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. The rolling 7-day average for new cases was more than 61,000 as of yesterday, the highest since early August.Spain’s 3 Million Cases (7:31 a.m. NY)Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the steeper case count was based on serology tests, which measure the antibody response.“We have to put in place the measures needed with the least economic impact,” Sanchez said. “We must at all cost avoid going back to home confinements as we did in spring,” he added. “The next few weeks and months, now that we enter the winter, will be difficult, very difficult.”Deaths Rise in England (7:28 a.m. NY)The mortality rate from Covid-19 rose in England in September for the first time since April, according to data compiled by the Office for National Statistics.Still, the virus was not one of the 10 leading causes of death registered in September in England or Wales. New Covid infections are running at about 35,200 a day in England, the ONS estimated in a separate report.Czech Republic Forces Out Top Health Official (6:52 a.m. NY)Prime Minister Andrej Babis said his health minister, Roman Prymula, will leave the government after a newspaper reported he visited a restaurant hours after the government ordered a partial shutdown of the economy to stem an explosion in new cases of Covid-19.Iran Cases Surpass 6,000 (6:43 a.m. NY)The number of cases reported overnight in Iran surpassed 6,000 for the first time on Friday, as the country broke its own record for new infections for the third time in a week. The Health Ministry reported 6,134 new cases, a 9.2% increase from the last record, along with 335 deaths, bringing the total to 556,891 infections and 31,985 fatalities. All of Iran’s provinces have been marked as high or on red alert for the virus.Poland Toughens Curbs (5:45 a.m. NY)Poland announced a raft of new measures to control the spread of the virus. Older students from elementary schools will be moved to online learning, restaurants will be only be able to sell food for takeout or delivery and people over 70 have been asked to stay home.A deep economic lockdown may be needed if the Covid infection curve doesn’t flatten, said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.Belgium Bans Amateur Sports (4 p.m. HK)The Belgian government said professional sport competitions will take place behind closed doors for at least a month and issued a ban on amateur sport events for adults to reduce social contacts.Amusement parks will have to close and attendance at cultural events and in cinemas will be limited to a maximum of 200, with no more exceptions allowed for the largest venues.Belgium’s 14-day virus incidence rate has now surpassed the threshold of 1,000 per 100,000 and the number of Covid-19 patients treated in intensive care units rose by 48 to 573. Belgian hospitals have been told to delay all non-urgent surgery and reserve as many as 1,200 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients, with a further 7,200 beds available outside ICU.Record Cases in Hungary, Bulgaria (3:21 p.m. HK)Hungary registered record-high new coronavirus cases and deaths according to data published Friday, at 2,066 and 47. Bulgaria also reported a new daily record of 1,595 new cases.Hungary has made wearing a mask obligatory at outdoors events from Oct. 23.Bulgaria, where the new weekly cases and deaths doubled last week, will seek to have medicine students involved in the COVID treatment to help front-line doctors, health care Minister Kostadin Angelov said Thursday.Swedish Central Bank Reveals Grim View of Latest Covid Trend (02:36 p.m. HK)The Riksbank governor, Stefan Ingves, fears the economic outlook is deteriorating amid signs the coronavirus pandemic is tightening its grip across Europe, and ensnaring Sweden again too.“If you look at our forecasts, it will take a few years before GDP is back” at pre-crisis levels, Ingves said in an interview in Stockholm. “And those forecasts were done before the rather bleak situation that we are seeing in Europe today, so there’s reason to believe that the risks at the moment are skewed more to the downside.”Singapore, Germany to Start Green Lane for Business Travel (12:14 p.m. HK)Singapore and Germany have agreed to start a reciprocal green lane that allows for travel for business or official reasons, according to a joint statement.Residents of Singapore and Germany will have to follow coronavirus prevention and public health measures agreed by both countries, it says. This reciprocal green lane could serve as a model for future similar arrangements between Singapore and other countries in Europe.Operational details including health protocols and application processes will be announced in due course.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.



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