Tag Archives: virus

Annual Sturgis rally expecting 250K, stirring virus concerns

Annual Sturgis rally expecting 250K, stirring virus concernsSturgis is on. The message has been broadcast across social media as South Dakota, which has seen an uptick in coronavirus infections in recent weeks, braces to host hundreds of thousands of bikers for the 80th edition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. More than 250,000 people are expected to rumble through western South Dakota, seeking the freedom of cruising the boundless landscapes in a state that has skipped lockdowns.



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China records highest surge in virus cases since April

China records highest surge in virus cases since AprilChina recorded 61 new coronavirus cases on Monday — the highest daily figure since April — propelled by clusters in three separate regions that have sparked fears of a fresh wave. The bulk of 57 new domestic cases were found in the far northwestern Xinjiang region, according to the National Health Commission, where a sudden outbreak in the regional capital of Urumqi occurred in mid-July. Fourteen domestic cases were also recorded in the northeastern province of Liaoning where a fresh cluster broke out in the city of Dalian last week.



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India surges to 3rd-highest in cases as virus slams US hospitals

India surges to 3rd-highest in cases as virus slams US hospitalsIndia on Monday became the third-highest coronavirus caseload in the world, as officials warned hospitals in the United States were in danger of being overwhelmed by a surge in infections. Despite signs of progress in parts of Europe — where the Louvre in Paris will reopen on Monday — total global infections are fast approaching 11.5 million, with more than 533,000 deaths. India’s major cities including New Delhi and Mumbai are the hardest-hit, and critics say too few tests are being conducted and that many COVID-19 infections are likely to go undiagnosed.



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Brazil expunges virus death toll as data befuddles experts

Brazil expunges virus death toll as data befuddles expertsBrazil’s government has stopped publishing a running total of coronavirus deaths and infections in an extraordinary move that critics call an attempt to hide the true toll of the disease in Latin America’s largest nation. Saturday’s move came after months of criticism from experts that Brazil’s statistics are woefully deficient, and in some cases manipulated, so it may never be possible to understand the depth of the pandemic in the country. Brazil’s last official numbers showed it had recorded over 34,000 deaths related to the coronavirus, the third-highest number in the world, just ahead of Italy.



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Yahoo News/YouGov poll: Most Americans deny Trump virus response is a 'success' — nearly half say Obama would be doing better

Yahoo News/YouGov poll: Most Americans deny Trump virus response is a 'success' — nearly half say Obama would be doing betterThe unfavorable comparison between the current president and his predecessor is one of the clearest signs to date of an emerging dynamic that will define the remainder of Trump’s term and the presidential election.



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Italy to Relax Lockdown in Key Step for Europe’s Virus Fight

Italy to Relax Lockdown in Key Step for Europe’s Virus Fight(Bloomberg) — Italy will present a plan this week to ease its rigid lockdown, joining Germany, France and Austria in pursuing a gradual return to normality as coronavirus infection rates fall and pressure mounts to reopen businesses.Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte aims to roll out a detailed restart program beginning on May 4, saying in a post on Facebook that the process will take time in order to mitigate risks of re-igniting the spread of the disease. On Tuesday, the nation reported an almost equal number of virus recoveries and infections for the first time.“Now, we must loosen restrictions,” Conte later told lawmakers in Italy’s Senate. “We must do everything possible to preserve the industrial sector. The country’s engines must restart.”Italy’s commitment to relax containment measures is an important marker in Europe’s battle with the pandemic. The original center of the continent’s outbreak suffered the most deaths after the U.S. and has the third-most cases in the world.With more than 100,000 fatalities in the region, Europe’s leaders are seeking to strike a balance between saving lives and securing jobs. The first steps to loosen curbs in Austria, Denmark and Norway are putting pressure on others to follow suit, despite the lack of treatments or a cure.Italy recorded 2,729 new cases of the disease, compared with 2,256 a day earlier, the first increase in five days, according to the civil protection agency on Tuesday. Against that, the number of recovered patients hit 2,723 over the past 24 hours, a daily record.Italy’s current restrictions — in force since mid-March — shutter all non-essential businesses, ban movements within the country, and all but confine people to their homes except for buying food, going to work and seeking medical help.Conte is juggling caution from scientific and public-health advisers, who insist the decline in new cases is still slow and relaxed restrictions could trigger a new outbreak, with demands from businesses and regional governors to restart the economy.Similar pressures are playing out in capitals across Europe, and leaders are pleading for patience.Because of contagion risks, Munich canceled its famed Oktoberfest for the first time since World War II, and Spain won’t hold the traditional running-of-the-bulls festival in Pamplona in July, the latest signs that disruptions will linger for months to come.“We agreed that the risk is simply too great” to hold the traditional beer and folk festival in Munich, Bavarian Premier Markus Soeder said. “We are living in different times, and living with corona means living carefully.” The move deals a $ 1.3 billion blow to the local economy, according to the city’s mayor.Germany, which had the smallest rise in new cases this month in the 24 hours through Tuesday morning, started to allow small stores and some other retailers to reopen on Monday and will weigh next steps on April 30. France will unveil plans within two weeks to progressively lift restrictions amid falling numbers of patients in hospitals and in intensive care, and Spain plans to loosen rules for children.The European Union cautioned against complacency. Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said containment efforts that end too quickly and aren’t coordinated across the bloc could threaten the sacrifices made by citizens and medical staff.As part of efforts to develop a vaccine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will host an online event on May 4 to generate funding pledges and mobilize investment necessary for research into effective treatments, she told the European Parliament’s health committee.The pressures facing policy makers are evident in Austria. Despite being one of the first European nations to ease restrictions, the economy may take as long as three years to recover, according to a group of leading economists. Unemployment and state-wage support have skyrocketed, with almost every third worker receiving some form of subsidy due to the pandemic.After allowing small shops and hardware stores to open from April 14, Austria will let all other retailers resume operations in May and will begin to reopen schools, restaurants and places of worship May 15.Conte said that his cabinet is working with various experts to coordinate the so-called “phase 2,” when Italians will have to adapt to the lingering threat of the virus, such as maintaining social-distancing guidelines and wearing masks in public.The plan could include a full reopening of stores on May 11 or more likely May 18, La Repubblica reported. Full movement for citizens would only come after that, the newspaper said.The lockdown is crippling an already fragile and debt-ridden economy. In an attempt to obtain some relief, Conte will make another push for so-called coronabonds, or joint debt issuance, at a virtual gathering of European Union leaders on Thursday.Italy’s easing plan will be laid out at the national level but will take into account regional differences, according to the country’s leader.“I would like to be able to say: we will open everything. Immediately. Tomorrow morning,” Conte said in a post on Facebook. “But a decision like that would be irresponsible” and could “jeopardize all the efforts we’ve made until now.”(Updates with new Italian’ cases and recoveries from second paragraph)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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China calls virus lawsuit brought by US state 'very absurd'

China calls virus lawsuit brought by US state 'very absurd'China on Wednesday slammed a lawsuit brought against it by the U.S. state of Missouri over the coronavirus pandemic as “very absurd.” Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the legal action has “no factual and legal basis at all” and repeated China’s defense of its response to the outbreak, which has largely subsided in the country where it was first detected. The ministry and other Chinese government departments have strenuously denied accusations that officials delayed reporting on the extent of the outbreak in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, despite reports that worries over political stability were placed above public health concerns.



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Mexico can't stop drug cartels from handing out virus aid

Mexico can't stop drug cartels from handing out virus aidMexico’s president acknowledged Monday that drug cartels have been handing out aid packages during the coronavirus pandemic, and called on them to stop. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said such handouts have occurred “in several places,” but said the government can’t stop the practice. “It is something that happens, it cannot be avoided,” López Obrador said.



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New Zealand could pull off bold goal of eliminating virus

New Zealand could pull off bold goal of eliminating virusWhile most countries are working on ways to contain the coronavirus, New Zealand has set itself a much more ambitious goal: eliminating it altogether. The virus “doesn’t have superpowers,” said Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccine expert at the University of Auckland. If any place could be described as socially distant it would be New Zealand, surrounded by stormy seas, with Antarctica to the south.



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New York passes virus 'high point' as Trump, governors feud

New York passes virus 'high point' as Trump, governors feudThe state of New York, epicenter of America’s coronavirus infections, appeared to have passed the peak of the outbreak Sunday, as President Donald Trump bumped heads with governors over the pace of ending lockdowns. While some governors warned that the administration has failed to adequately boost testing, thousands of Americans were flouting stay-at-home orders to protest their states’ prolonged closures. In Washington state, an early US virus hotspot, more than 2,000 people — many of them ignoring social distancing guidelines — congregated at the capitol to demand the governor re-open the state’s shuttered economy.



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Sunlight destroys virus quickly, new govt. tests find, but experts say pandemic could last through summer

Sunlight destroys virus quickly, new govt. tests find, but experts say pandemic could last through summerPreliminary results from government lab experiments show that the coronavirus does not survive long under high-temperature, high-humidity conditions, and is quickly destroyed by sunlight, providing evidence from controlled tests of what scientists believed — but had not yet proved — to be true.



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Virus hit 'like a bomb' as toll rises in Ecuador's business capital

Virus hit 'like a bomb' as toll rises in Ecuador's business capitalEcuador’s economic capital Guayaquil is reeling from the most aggressive outbreak of COVID-19 in Latin America after the pandemic hit the city “like a bomb,” its mayor said. Cynthia Viteri has emerged from her own bout with the virus to battle the worst crisis the port city of nearly 3 million people has known in modern times. Mortuaries, funeral homes and hospital services are overwhelmed, and Viteri said the actual death toll from the virus is likely much higher than the official national figure of 369.



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‘The Worst Is Over’: Cuomo Looks at Life After Virus as New York Death Toll Tops 10,000

‘The Worst Is Over’: Cuomo Looks at Life After Virus as New York Death Toll Tops 10,000More than 10,000 New Yorkers have died due to the coronavirus, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday as he tried to assure his state that “the worst is over” in the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States. “I believe the worst is over if we continue to be smart. I believe we can start on the path to normalcy,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany after noting the death toll reflects a “horrific level of pain and grief and sorrow.” “The terrible news is as terrible as it gets, and the worst news I’ve had to deliver to the people of this state as governor of New York, and the worst news I’ve had to live with on a personal level,” he added.On Easter Sunday, 671 more people died from the virus, bringing the total fatalities across the state to 10,056 and the number of infected individuals to 190,288—accounting for almost 35 percent of the total reported cases in the U.S. Cuomo Says Coronavirus Is ‘More Dangerous’ Than We Thought as N.Y. Cases Jump OvernightDespite the devastating new milestone, Cuomo declared that the most horrific phase of the deadly pandemic has passed in New York. Overnight, the daily number of new deaths had dropped, the number of newly hospitalized patients is at the lowest the Empire State has seen in two weeks, and the number of patients on ventilators has also decreased, the governor said. He added that the continued high death toll is a result of patients succumbing to the virus after falling sick weeks ago, and he praised the “heroic efforts of health-care workers, police officers, transportation workers who showed up to drive those trains and buses every day” in helping the state to flatten the curve so quickly. “The curve continues to flatten,” Cuomo said, later warning that “the worst is over, and can be over unless we do something reckless.”“You can turn those numbers in two or three days by being reckless,” he added. “The number is down because we brought the number down… a lot of pain and suffering did that.”Cuomo said officials are already preparing a “gradual phased process” to reopen the state but it will rely on widespread and “aggressive” antibody and diagnostic testing. Comparing re-starting economic activity in the state to “opening a valve,” Cuomo said his administration is determined to “do it carefully, do it slowly, and do it intelligently.”“None of this has been done before,” Cuomo said. “Also, you look around the world, you see warning signs from countries that have reopened.”Cuomo: New York Saw ‘Deadliest Day’ in Coronavirus Pandemic But ‘We’re Flattening the Curve’The Empire State is also pushing for testing that will ultimately allow residents who have already had the virus—or are immune to it—to return to public life sooner. Ideally, Cuomo said every New Yorker would take an antibody or diagnostic test before returning to work, or entering a nursing home or hospital. The New York State Department of Health has developed a COVID-19 antibody test, and state officials are working with the FDA to get it approved; however, New York currently has the capacity to do only 300 tests per day.In addition to requesting “millions” more tests, Cuomo called on the Trump administration to use the Defense Production Act to compel companies to make tests because he doesn’t think the private sector will do it on its own. He added that even with testing, the United States won’t be able to move past the virus until a vaccine is developed in the next year to 18 months. “You’re going to need federal support and you’re going to need legislation that attends to the need,” he said, adding that he plans to speak to governors in neighboring states to develop coordinated reopening plans. “This is a time for smart, competent, effective government… the optimum is a geographically coordinated plan.”Cuomo and five other governors announced their plans for a coordinated effort in a Monday press conference, stating that New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Delaware—also known as the “COVID corridor”—plan to weigh the public health risks together before allowing companies to resume operations. By working with their neighboring states, Cuomo said, they hope to minimize the resurgence of the virus that easily crosses state boundaries. “I think this regional compact is premised on the idea that you’re not going to have a healthy economy if you have an unhealthy population, so we’ve got to do both,” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said on Monday. The decision to work together came only hours after President Donald Trump tweeted that only he has the power to “open up” the United States. Despite stressing that he is not “interested in political opinions,” in regard to opening back up for business, Cuomo did comment during his Monday morning press conference on the possibility that Trump may fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.New York Has Seen Worst of Coronavirus but Testing Is Major Roadblock to Reopening“As you’re walking through these uncharted waters, I think he’s been extraordinary,” Cuomo said after previously stating he is only “interested in what the experts say” about the outbreak. “As crazy as things get in this world… I can’t imagine that would ever happen.”But before officials can devote their attention to testing, New York still needs to combat the continued surge and relieve hospitals, makeshift morgues, and funeral homes that continue to be overwhelmed by the pandemic’s effects.Cuomo said Thursday that “about 2,000 people per day are walking in [to hospitals] and are being diagnosed with COVID,” putting already overwhelmed and understaffed hospitals in duress. According to one NYU Langone doctor, while New York state officials are now looking for life after the virus, medical workers on the frontlines of this highly infectious virus are still trying to help patients with limited protective equipment. “New York may be seeing a plateau, but hospitals are still seeing crazy numbers of patients,” the doctor told The Daily Beast on Monday after Cuomo’s press conference. “We’re just struggling to keep out heads above water every day, and while the worst may be over for the state—I can’t say health-care workers are anywhere near a reprieve from the madness.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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China vows improvements for Africans after virus discrimination claims

China vows improvements for Africans after virus discrimination claimsUnder strong international pressure, China on Sunday vowed to improve the treatment of Africans in the southern city of Guangzhou following accusations of discrimination linked to the coronavirus pandemic, and said it rejected all “racist and discriminatory” remarks. Africans in the industrial centre of 15 million say they have become targets of suspicion and subjected to forced evictions, arbitrary quarantines and mass coronavirus testing, particularly as Beijing steps up its fight against imported infections. The African Union expressed its “extreme concern” about the situation on Saturday, calling on Beijing to take immediate corrective measures.



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Spain to keep social distancing on beaches to fight virus

Spain to keep social distancing on beaches to fight virusSpain, one of Europe’s top sunshine destinations, said Sunday it will maintain social distancing rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus once a nationwide lockdown ends, even on the beaches. The government on March 14 imposed a strict nationwide lockdown to fight the pandemic, and two days later it closed its land borders, with only Spanish citizens and residents able to enter the country. In an interview published Sunday in top-selling daily newspaper El Pais, Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said the government did not know when the borders would be reopened, saying it will depend on how “the health crisis evolves”.



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Asia virus latest: China imported cases rise, World Bank warning

Asia virus latest: China imported cases rise, World Bank warningChina recorded its highest daily toll of imported virus cases, confirming 97 new infections. The World Bank said South Asia is on course for its worst economic performance in 40 years because of coronavirus — with decades of progress against poverty at risk. The number of coronavirus cases has risen in Mumbai’s Dharavi district, one of Asia’s biggest slums and made famous by the 2008 Oscar-winning film “Slumdog Millionaire”.



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Virus cases, deaths rise in India's biggest slum

Virus cases, deaths rise in India's biggest slumCoronavirus cases in Mumbai’s densely populated Dharavi slum — one of Asia’s biggest — have risen to 43 including four deaths, officials said Sunday, as they ramp up testing in a race to contain its spread. Since the first virus death in early April, Indian authorities have stepped up measures to close off areas where cases have emerged in Dharavi, which is home to around a million people. Testing sites have also been set up in recent days to pick up asymptomatic carriers of the virus, Khabale-Patil said, adding that “as a result more positive cases have emerged”.



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Iran's virus, sanctions-hit economy slowly reopens

Iran's virus, sanctions-hit economy slowly reopensIran allowed small businesses outside the capital to reopen Saturday, arguing the sanctions-hit economy in the country with the deadliest coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East cannot stay in lockdown. Iranians in several provinces reported a significant increase in cars on the roads as people went back to work, as some said the government’s relaxation of measures was sending mixed messages.



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Asia virus latest: Japan proposes state of emergency, Singapore quarantines dorms

Asia virus latest: Japan proposes state of emergency, Singapore quarantines dormsJapan’s prime minister proposed a state of emergency for several major regions seeing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, as well as a stimulus package worth $ 1 trillion to cushion the impact on the world’s third-biggest economy. The official declaration of the state of emergency would likely come as soon as Tuesday, Shinzo Abe told reporters, as the country grapples with a recent spike in coronavirus cases, especially in the capital Tokyo.



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U.S. Deaths Top 10,000; Possible Plateau in N.Y.: Virus Update

U.S. Deaths Top 10,000; Possible Plateau in N.Y.: Virus Update(Bloomberg) — More signs emerged that the crisis may be easing in some areas, sending stocks soaring. Italy, France, Germany and Spain reported lower numbers of new cases. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo said deaths were showing indications of hitting a plateau. U.K. deaths slowed for a second day, even as they passed the grim milestone of 5,000. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalized Sunday after 10 days in isolation, was moved to an intensive-care unit.JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said he expects a major economic downturn and stress similar to the crisis that almost brought down the U.S. financial system in 2008.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he’ll propose a state of emergency in some prefectures.Key Developments:Global cases top 1.3 million; deaths exceed 73,000: Johns HopkinsU.S. deaths surpass 10,000: Johns HopkinsTrump, Biden spoke by phone about the outbreakMilken Conference postponed a second time to OctoberDenmark, Austria began to relax measuresNew York state lockdown extended to April 29Denmark Joins Austria in Easing Curbs (4:38 p.m. NY)Denmark joined Austria in announcing a gradual relaxation of measures imposed to slow the coronavirus’s spread. The country will press ahead with a “cautious reopening” starting with kindergartens and primary schools on April 15 if the virus numbers remain stable, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said. The government will also start talks with business leaders on gradually moving employees back into offices.Austria said earlier that it would take its first steps toward restarting its economy. The two countries were among the first in Europe to shut down public life in response to the outbreak. Wisconsin Governor Delays Tuesday Primary (3:15 p.m. NY)Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers suspended in-person voting just hours before the state’s primary was scheduled to begin, though the order could be subject to a court challenge.Although 15 states and Puerto Rico have already postponed their primaries amid the coronavirus pandemic, Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature has rejected requests by Evers, a Democrat, to delay the state’s in-person voting on Tuesday.Evers’s executive order delays in-person voting until June 9 unless the legislature acts to change it.French Cases Leveling Off (1:50 p.m. NY)France reported a continued leveling-off of cases, signaling that confinement measures are starting to contain the crisis.The country had 3,912 new confirmed cases on Monday, fewer than it reported in five out of the past seven days, according to figures presented by Health Minister Olivier Veran. Deaths from the virus rose by 833 to 8,911, Veran said.“The pressure is still very great on hospitals, enormous — the confinement has to continue,” Veran said. Still, he said there was some reason for optimism. “We can see that the confinement has a palpable effect in France, we’re starting to feel it.”Read more hereWHO May Announce Move This Week to Accelerate Vaccine (1:30 p.m. NY)A new program to accelerate vaccine development and production may be announced this week, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing in Geneva.“The difficulty for governments right now is that lockdowns are proving effective in dampening the flames of the epidemic in those countries, but those lockdowns are also causing great economic hardship,” said Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s health emergencies program. Still, he said it would probably be “very inadvisable” to lift a lockdown completely all at once.“Once you raise the lockdown, you have to have an alternative method to suppress the virus — active case finding, testing, isolation, tracking of contacts and strong community education,” Ryan said.N.Y. Deaths May Signal Possible Plateau (1:10 p.m. NY)New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said deaths from the coronavirus pandemic were showing signs of hitting a plateau in the state that has become the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.The challenge, he cautioned Monday, is to maintain the social distancing that has finally pointed New York toward a possible peak in fatalities. For a second day in a row, the percentage increase in the death toll was less than 10%, a turnabout from numbers about twice as large barely a week ago.The peak of the outbreak could fall on the earlier side of the state’s models showing that it could take anywhere from a week to 30 days for the situation to hit its worse.“I get that people are cooped up,” Cuomo said in his daily press briefing. “But, we get reckless, we change and we’re not compliant on social distancing, you’ll see those numbers go up again.”He doubled the fine for social-distancing violations to $ 1,000.Italy’s New Virus Infections Lowest in Almost Three Weeks (12:20 p.m. NY)Italy reported the lowest number of new coronavirus infections in nearly three weeks, prompting debate over how and when the country should start emerging from a nationwide lockdown.Civil protection authorities reported 3,599 new cases of the disease on Monday, compared with 4,316 a day earlier. Italy registered 636 new deaths linked to the virus, compared with 525 the day before. That brings the total number of fatalities to 16,523.Italy, once the epicenter for Europe, now has fewer cases than Spain and the U.S.California to Send Ventilators to National Stockpile (12:16 p.m. NY)California, which has yet to see its hospitals overrun by patients, plans to loan 500 state-owned ventilators to the national stockpile.“We’re aggressively preparing for a surge — but we can’t turn our backs on Americans whose lives depend on having a ventilator now,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.With the New York area experiencing a supply shortage, other states are stepping in to assist. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said this weekend that Oregon offered to send 140 ventilators to his state.Merkel Says Too Soon to Ease Lockdown (11:43 a.m. NY)It’s too early for Germany to set a date for easing its lockdown, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, holding her first press conference since returning from 12 days of self-confinement after being exposed to Covid-19.She reiterated her support for the use of the European Stability Mechanism and the European Commission’s proposal for job protection, and said the continent will need a plan for reconstruction after the pandemic subsides.At least three tests showed she was free of the virus.Philippines Likely to Extend Lockdown (11:43 a.m. NY)Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he’s inclined to extend a lockdown of more than half the country’s population on its main island until April 30 to further stem the coronavirus outbreak.Duterte, in an address late Monday, also said he’s considering tweaking this year’s 4.1 trillion-peso ($ 80.8 billion) budget to allocate more funds to virus response, as some 200 billion pesos set aside for cash grants to poor families won’t be enough.Israel Cuts Rates for First Time Since 2015 (9:33 a.m. NY)The Bank of Israel shifted course by cutting interest rates and adding new market-based tools. After playing down the potential for cheaper borrowing costs, the monetary committee on Monday reduced the key rate back down to the all-time low of 0.1% from 0.25%.Hong Kong Extends Ban on Nonresident Entry (9:22 a.m. NY)The city’s airport will also continue to halt all transit services until further notice, according to a government statement. The original rules were set to expire by April 7.Germany Plans ‘Limitless’ Aid Program for Small Companies (8:44 a.m. NY)German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government announced a new “limitless” aid program for small- and medium-sized companies. The program for loan guarantees is the latest measure introduced by the government, which says Europe’s largest economy might contract even more this year than the 5% drop caused by the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009.Inovio Begins Phase 1 Human Trial of Vaccine (8:41 a.m. NY)Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. began a phase 1 human trial of its Covid-19 vaccine, INO-4800. Animal studies show promising immune responses, the company said.Glaxo to Develop Covid-19 Drugs in $ 250 Million Partnership (8:14 a.m.)U.K. pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline Plc is joining dozens of companies in the hunt for therapies to treat the illness caused by the coronavirus, signing a partnership with Vir Biotechnology Inc. and agreeing to invest $ 250 million in the U.S. company.South Africa’s Economy May Shrink as Much as 4%, Central Bank Says (8:09 a.m. NY)South Africa’s economy could contract by 2% to 4% this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and measures to curb its spread, according to the Reserve Bank. The monetary policy committee projected in March that the economy will contract by 0.2%.U.K. PM Johnson Had ‘Comfortable Night’ and Is in ‘Good Spirits’ (8:07 a.m. NY)Prime Minister Johnson is in “good spirits” after spending a “comfortable” night in St. Thomas’s hospital in central London, his spokesman, James Slack, said on Monday. Johnson went to the hospital on Sunday as a “precaution,” he said.Mass Layoffs Push Canada’s Consumer Confidence to All-Time Low (8:00 a.m. NY)The Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index, a composite gauge based on a telephone survey of households, declined sharply for a third week as extensive lock downs triggered mass layoffs. The aggregate index dropped to 42.7 last week, the lowest reading since polling began in 2008.Romania to Extend State of Emergency Until Mid-May (7:53 a.m. NY)Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said that he plans to extend the state of emergency over the crisis by another month because “we haven’t reached the peak of the epidemic, so it’s not time to relax.”Netherlands Has Slowest Death Growth in Week (7:40 a.m. NY)The Netherlands reported 101 new fatalities, the smallest increase since March 30. Total reported cases rose 5% to 18,803. An additional 260 patients were admitted to hospitals, according to the RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.China to Strengthen Transport Control Measures Along Borders (7:15 a.m. NY)China will tighten quarantines in border areas, following a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases found in people who arrived through a land border has surpassed those that came by air.Dimon Sees ‘Bad Recession’ and Echoes of 2008 Crisis Ahead (7:11 a.m. NY)“At a minimum, we assume that it will include a bad recession combined with some kind of financial stress similar to the global financial crisis of 2008,” the CEO said Monday in his annual letter to shareholders. “Our bank cannot be immune to the effects of this kind of stress.”Nigeria to Borrow $ 6.9 Billion to Offset Virus Impact on Economy (7:03 a.m. NY)The government plans to raise as much as $ 6.9 billion from multilateral lenders to offset the impact of the pandemic. The state will seek $ 3.4 billion from the International Monetary Fund, $ 2.5 billion from the World Bank and a further $ 1 billion from the African Development Bank, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed told reporters Monday.French Firms Have Requested Guarantees for EU20 Billion of Loans (6:58 p.m. NY)French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said 100,000 companies requested government loan guarantees for a total of 20 billion euros ($ 21.6 billion). In addition, more than 500,000 small companies have requested aid from France’s solidarity fund.Redhill Announces First Covid-19 Patient Treated With Opaganib (6:19 a.m. NY)RedHill Biopharma said the first patient with a confirmed coronavirus diagnosis was dosed with opaganib in Israel, and additional patients are expected to be treated in the coming days. Pre-clinical data demonstrated anti-viral effects in other viruses, anti-inflammatory activities and the potential to reduce lung inflammation, the company said.Hungary Announces Virus Stimulus Plan of Up to 20% of GDP (6:17 a.m. NY)Hungary’s government will pay some-private sector wages, offer loan guarantees and boost spending on infrastructure and pensions as part of a major fiscal stimulus plan aimed at averting a recession and mass unemployment as the coronavirus pummels the economy. The package, valued at 18% to 20% of gross domestic product including planned stimulus from the central bank, will also see the 2020 budget deficit rise to 2.7% of GDP from 1%, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Monday.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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Brazil minister offends China with 'racist' virus tweet

Brazil minister offends China with 'racist' virus tweetChina demanded an explanation from Brazil Monday after the far-right government’s education minister linked the coronavirus pandemic to the Asian country’s “plan for world domination,” in a tweet imitating a Chinese accent. In the latest incident to strain ties between Brasilia and Beijing, Education Minister Abraham Weintraub insinuated China was behind the global health crisis. “Geopolitically, who will come out stronger from this global crisis?” he wrote on Twitter Saturday.



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Virus raises specter of gravest attacks in modern US times

Virus raises specter of gravest attacks in modern US timesAmerica’s surgeon general raised the specter of the gravest attacks against the nation in modern times to steel an anxious country Sunday for the impending and immeasurable sorrow he said would touch untold numbers of families in the age of the coronavirus. The blunt assessments show just how much has changed in the weeks since President Donald Trump’s predictions that the virus would soon pass, and his suggestions that much of the economy could be up and running by Easter, April 12. The nation’s top doctor, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, said Americans should brace for levels of tragedy reminiscent of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbor.



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Politics aside, US relies on China supplies to fight virus

Politics aside, US relies on China supplies to fight virusUS politicians have voiced fury over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus crisis but they face a harsh truth — the United States desperately needs China’s supplies. China before the crisis produced nearly half of the face masks imported into the United States — which in normal times cost less than a dollar but have disappeared from shelves amid growing calls for ordinary Americans wear them when outside. As China appears to have contained its own outbreak of SARS-CoV-1, which has infected more than one million people worldwide since first emerging late last year in Wuhan, it is now the first resort for protective gear sought across the world.



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China sends medical aid to Pakistan to combat virus outbreak

China sends medical aid to Pakistan to combat virus outbreakChina sent a plane loaded with medical personnel and supplies Saturday to help Pakistan fight the spread of the coronavirus in one of the world’s most populous nations. In Iran, which is battling the worst outbreak in the region, state TV said Saturday another 139 people had died from the virus. China has sought to portray itself as a global leader in the fight against the outbreak, which began a few months ago in its Wuhan province.



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Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths as British PM tests positive

Italy, Spain suffer record virus deaths as British PM tests positiveItaly on Friday recorded the most daily deaths of any country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and Spain had its deadliest day, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first major world leader to test positive. Italy reported 969 new deaths, Spain 769 and France 299 as Europe reeled from a crisis that led the United States on Friday to finalise an unprecedented $ 2 trillion stimulus package. In other grim milestones, AFP tallies showed more than 26,000 deaths worldwide, and a total of 300,000 cases now recorded in Europe, after the United States overtook China as the country with the most infections.



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India to go under total virus lockdown, says PM Modi

India to go under total virus lockdown, says PM ModiIndia’s 1.3 billion people will go under “total lockdown” for 21 days to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday, sparking panic buying with shoppers clearing out shelves. “From 12 midnight today (1830 GMT Tuesday), the entire country will be in lockdown, total lockdown,” Modi said in a national television address to the world’s second most-populous nation. “To save India, to save its every citizen, you, your family… every street, every neighbourhood is being put under lockdown.”



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Iran rejects 'foreign' help as virus death toll nears 2,000

Iran rejects 'foreign' help as virus death toll nears 2,000A senior Iranian official Tuesday ruled out “foreign” help on the ground to deal with the coronavirus epidemic after an offer from a France-based medical charity, as the country’s death toll from the illness neared 2,000. “Due to Iran’s national mobilisation against the virus and the full use of the medical capacity of the armed forces, it is not necessary for now for hospital beds to be set up by foreign forces, and their presence is ruled out,” Alireza Vahabzadeh, advisor to Iran’s health minister, said on Twitter. Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour earlier said a record 1,762 new cases have been confirmed in Iran over the past 24 hours and 24,811 people are now known to have been infected with the new coronavirus.



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Divisions among Hong Kong expats over virus response

Divisions among Hong Kong expats over virus responseAs Hong Kong suffers a new spike in coronavirus infections, anger and recrimination have broken out among the city’s expatriates over whether enough of their well-heeled community is taking the outbreak seriously enough. Ahead of the city’s decision on Monday to ban non-residents from entering for two weeks, officials had reported the number of cases had more than doubled to 318 infections after locals and foreign residents flooded back once the pandemic spread to Europe and North America. The vast majority of new infections have been among Hong Kongers, many students fleeing schools and universities overseas.



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Virus whistleblower doctor punished 'inappropriately': Chinese probe

Virus whistleblower doctor punished 'inappropriately': Chinese probePolice in China’s virus epicentre Wuhan acted “inappropriately” by punishing a doctor who blew the whistle on the outbreak that has now killed more than 9,000 worldwide, a Chinese government investigation found Thursday. Li Wenliang, one of a group of doctors in Wuhan who shared posts on social media warning of a SARS-like virus spreading in the city in December, was reprimanded by police for sharing the information and made to sign a statement agreeing not to commit any more “law-breaking actions.” Li’s death from the virus in February prompted a national outpouring of grief as well as anger at the government’s handling of the crisis, and bold demands for freedom of speech.



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Iran furloughs imprisoned US Navy vet amid virus concerns

Iran furloughs imprisoned US Navy vet amid virus concernsIran has granted a medical furlough to a U.S. Navy veteran who has been imprisoned in Iran for more than a year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Thursday. Michael White of Imperial Beach, California, is now in the custody of the Swiss Embassy and must remain in Iran as a condition of his furlough, which was granted as Iran works to curb the spread of coronavirus. The U.S. government will seek his full release, Pompeo said, and he called on Iran to free other Americans who remain jailed there.



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Iran to call dead medical staff 'martrys' as virus kills 291

Iran to call dead medical staff 'martrys' as virus kills 291Iran will recognize doctors and nurses who die combating the new coronavirus as “martyrs” like slain soldiers, the country’s supreme leader announced Tuesday as the outbreak killed 54 more people and pushed the nation’s death toll to 291. The decision by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei comes amid a propaganda campaign already trying to link the fight against the virus to Iran’s long, bloody 1980s war with Iraq. The rising casualty figures each day in Iran suggest the fight against the new coronavirus is far from over, even as more people die from drinking methanol in the false belief it kills the virus.



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