Florida Has Record Deaths Again; Vaccine Progress: Virus Update

Florida Has Record Deaths Again; Vaccine Progress: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — Almost 10,000 people in the U.K. have been given an experimental Covid-19 vaccine

(Bloomberg) — Almost 10,000 people in the U.K. have been given an experimental Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford, a key step toward finding a shot that will help control the pandemic. Johnson & Johnson wants to start Phase 3 trials of its vaccine in September.

The U.S. economy suffered its sharpest downturn on record and the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose for a second straight week. President Donald Trump raised the notion of delaying the next U.S. election scheduled for November.

Mexico’s economy also sank the most on record. Germany reported the highest number of new cases in about six weeks and its economy shrank by a record 10% in the second quarter.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases exceed 17 million; deaths pass 667,700Virus relief talks in Congress stalemated as time runs shortKitchen table beats office for 335,000 bankers working from homeVirus upsurge threatens South Europe’s tourism revivalAs school looms, what we know about kids and Covid-19What you should do about work if you come down with Covid-19

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.

Florida Posts Record Deaths for Third Day (10:40 a.m. NY)

Florida reported a record 253 new Covid-19 deaths among residents Thursday, bringing the cumulative total to 6,586. It was the third straight day of record fatalities.

The state has 461,379 Covid-19 cases, up 2.2% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 2.5% in the previous seven days, according to the health department report, which includes data through Wednesday. The seven-day rolling new cases totaled 71,511, the lowest since July 12.

The new rate of people testing positive for the first time fell to 12% for Wednesday, from 12.3% on Tuesday.

Johnson Warns U.K. Not Out of Woods (10:30 a.m. NY)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Britons the pandemic is far from over, and said there are “signs of a second wave of the pandemic” in European nations.“It is absolutely vital as a country that we continue to keep our focus and our discipline and that we don’t delude ourselves that somehow we’re out of the woods or that this is all over, because it isn’t all over,” he told the BBC.

South Africa Deaths Higher Than Reported, Experts Say (10:10 a.m. NY)

Medical researchers in South Africa found a “huge discrepancy” between the country’s confirmed Covid-19 fatalities and the number of excess natural deaths, providing further evidence that the number of people who have perished from the disease is higher than the government reports.

South Africa has the world’s fifth-worst epidemic, with 471,123 cases. The Health Ministry reported 7,479 Covid-19 deaths to date on Wednesday,

UPS Surges to Record on Delivery Bonanza (9:41 a.m. NY)

United Parcel Service Inc. surged to a record as the courier blew past Wall Street’s expectations, thanks to pandemic-era demand for e-commerce deliveries, health-care equipment and goods from Asia.

Revenue jumped 13% to $20.5 billion in the second quarter, topping the highest analyst estimate and confounding predictions that sales would drop. Adjusted earnings climbed to $2.13 a share, the company said in a statement Thursday. That was about double the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

UPS soared 10% to $136.33 at 9:40 a.m. in New York after climbing as high as $138.79, an intraday record.

Sweden Says Work From Home Even as Data Improves (9:25 a.m. NY)

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said his fellow countrymen should continue to work from home this autumn on the advice of the National Health Agency.

“The crisis is not over yet, far from it,” Lofven said on social media. “It’s important to keep our distance from others and limit the number of physical contacts.”

The number of deaths and infected in Sweden are dropping “faster than anyone had dared to hope,” state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told reporters in Stockholm.

Hydroxychloroquine Use Is Doctor-Patient Prerogative: FDA Head (9:20 a.m. NY)

The head of the FDA said individuals and their doctors should decide together if a patient should take hydroxychloroquine, a drug his own agency has said could have dangerous side effects if used to treat Covid-19.

“A doctor and a patient needs to assess the data that’s out there,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn told NBC News.

Iceland Tightens Restrictions; Poland Weighs Measures (9:07 a.m. NY)

Iceland is limiting large gatherings and introducing mandatory face masks on public transport following a rise in infections.

Poland will decide next month on new steps to tackle its widening epidemic after reporting the biggest one-day rise in new cases, the prime minister said. The European Union’s biggest eastern economy registered 615 new cases, mostly in the southern regions of coal-rich Silesia and Malopolska. The overall number of cases reached 45,031, while deaths rose by 15 to 1,709.

The Portuguese government eased restrictions in 19 parishes of greater Lisbon after a drop in cases there.

Philippines Posts Record Cases, Recoveries (8:51 a.m. NY)

Cases in the Philippines rose by a record on Thursday to 89,374, with recoveries also posting the highest daily increase after an overhaul in data reporting.

Trump Asks If Election Should Be Delayed (8:51 a.m. NY)

U.S. Economy Shrinks Most on Record; Jobless Claims Rise (8:30 a.m. NY)

The U.S. economy suffered its sharpest downturn since at least the 1940s in the second quarter, highlighting how the pandemic has ravaged businesses across the country and left millions of Americans out of work. The number filing for unemployment benefits increased for a second straight week.

Long U.K. Pandemic Brings Europe’s Highest Death Rate (8:06 a.m. NY)

The failure to bring coronavirus under control has given the U.K. the highest cumulative death rate in Europe as of June 12, the Office for National Statistics said on Thursday. Mortality in Britain peaked later than in neighboring countries and remained elevated for longer. The country was one of the latest to implement a lockdown and also among the last to ease restrictions.

Jakarta Extends Social Distancing Measures (7:47 a.m. NY)

Indonesia’s capital delayed a plan to further relax social distancing measures after easing of some curbs last month sparked a resurgence in infections. The city, which has already allowed offices, places of worship, restaurants and shopping malls to reopen with some limits, will extend a so-called transition phase until Aug. 13, Governor Anies Baswedan said at an online briefing in Jakarta Thursday. Offices, which have become a new source of infections, should operate at 50% of their capacity, he said.

Redhill Biopharma Starts Trial (7:05 a.m. NY)

Redhill Biopharma initiated a global Phase 2/3 clinical study of opaganib as a treatment for patients hospitalized with severe infection. The trial will include as many as 270 patients at sites across Europe, Latin America and other regions.

Mexican Economy’s Record Plunge (7 a.m. NY)

Mexico’s economy sank the most on record in the second quarter, putting the pace of the recovery in doubt and posing a dire challenge to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Gross domestic product in the three months through June fell 17.3% compared to the previous quarter, according to preliminary data. The result, the worst in data going back to 1993, came in slightly worse than the median estimate for a 17% drop from economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Brazil Eases Entry Rules for Foreigners (6:51 a.m. NY)

Brazil eased rules for foreigners entering the country by air, according to a decision published in the official gazette.

Visitors planning to stay for as long as 90 days must present proof of health insurance for the entire period of the trip. Entry by land or waterways remain restricted.

J&J Phase 3 Vaccine Trial (5:37 p.m. HK)

Johnson & Johnson wants to start Phase 3 Trials of its Covid-19 vaccine in September, the company said in a statement. The drugmaker’s experimental vaccine protected a handful of primates with a single shot in an early study, prompting the company to start trials in humans this month.

A study published in Nature showed that its candidate elicits a strong immune response that protects against infection.

Astra Gives Shots to Almost 10,000 in U.K. (5:12 p.m. HK)

Almost 10,000 people in the U.K. have been given an experimental vaccine from AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford, a key step toward finding a shot that will help control the pandemic.

AstraZeneca is also well on its way to administering shots to 5,000 volunteers in a late-stage trial in Brazil and may scale up the size of its studies there, Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg TV. Subjects are being enrolled in South Africa, and a test in the U.S. is about to begin.

U.K. Lengthens Self-Isolation Period (5 p.m. HK)

The U.K. lengthened the self-isolation period for coronavirus patients to 10 days from seven as health authorities seek to prevent a renewed surge in cases of the disease.

The change in guidance was issued on Thursday by England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and is effective immediately. It is based on evidence that people can still be infectious 7-9 days after first showing symptoms.

Japan Sees Economy Shrinking 4.5% (4:51 p.m. HK)

Japan’s government sees its pandemic-hit economy shrinking around 4.5% this fiscal year, according to mid-year projections released Thursday by the Cabinet Office.

Gross domestic product should rebound next fiscal year, growing about 3.4% in price-adjusted terms, it said. Inflation is forecast to remain lackluster, with the overall consumer price index dropping 0.3% in the 12 months through March, before eking out a 0.5% gain the year after.

German Economy Plunged Into Record Slump (4pm HK)

Germany’s economy plunged into a record slump in the second quarter, when virus restrictions slammed businesses and households across Europe, destroying jobs and prompting an unprecedented policy response.

Output fell 10.1%, the most since the quarterly series began in 1970, with declines in exports, consumer spending and investment. While survey indicators signal a recent return to growth, higher unemployment remains a risk, which would threaten the recovery.

Oil Trading Bonanza Saves Shell and Total (3:04 p.m. HK)

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SE were saved from what many feared would be the worst quarter ever for the energy industry, thanks to their mammoth trading operations. Investors had already been warned that the coronavirus pandemic had hammered almost all parts of the energy giants’ businesses — from forecourts, to upstream, to the long-term value of assets. But that was offset by gains from buying and selling oil, the companies said on Thursday.

Pandemic Hits Europe’s Manufacturers (2:45 p.m. HK)

Europe’s biggest manufacturers reported plunging sales after the coronavirus pandemic shuttered factories. In one of the busiest days for corporate earnings this year, Airbus SE said it will slow production of wide-body jets after burning through an added 4.4 billion euros ($5.2 billion) in the second quarter. Safran SA, which builds plane engines, reported a drop in revenue. With its reliance on defense, BAE Systems Plc bucked the downbeat trend in aerospace, reporting better-than-expected sales.

Tokyo Finds 367 New Cases (2:39 p.m. HK)

Thursday’s count was one infection higher than the city’s previous record. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike wants bars and karaoke parlors to limit their hours to 10 p.m. to help stem a recent surge.

Germany Posts Most Cases in About 6 Weeks (1:45 p.m. HK)

Germany recorded the highest number of new coronavirus cases in about six weeks, while the country’s infection rate remained just above the key threshold of 1.0. There were 839 new cases in the 24 hours through Thursday morning, bringing the total to 208,546, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That compares with 595 the previous day and almost 7,000 at the peak of the pandemic in late March.

There were 4 fatalities, increasing the total to 9,135. The rise in cases this week is “very concerning,” Germany’s Robert Koch Institute said in its latest report, warning that a further worsening of the situation must be avoided.

Danish Companies Steer Clear of Aid, Report Says (1:41 p.m. HK)

Danish firms have been reluctant to tap a government aid package that provides funds to cover fixed costs for those hurt by virus-induced lockdown, the Berlingske newspaper reported. So far they have only tapped 3.1 billion kroner ($500 million) of the 65.3 billion kroner allotted, the report said, citing government data.

Hong Kong Relaxes Dine-In Ban (1:36 p.m. HK)

Hong Kong will relax its dine-in ban and allow breakfast and lunch services at restaurants starting Friday, after scenes of senior citizens and construction workers eating meals on pavements sparked a public outcry.

Still, the financial hub reported 145 locally-transmitted cases, a daily record since the pandemic began.

Italy Extends Emergency Decree Period (1:31 p.m. HK)

The government extended the duration of the Covid-19 emergency decree to Oct. 15 — from July 31 — according to an emailed statement.

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