India Near 8 Million Cases; Europe Wave Resurgence: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — India’s confirmed cases reached just under 8 million as virus infections spread across the country. Europe’s resurgent coronavirus outbreak intensified, with Italy’s new cases reaching a record and France reporting the most deaths since April as stricter measures are weighed on the continent.

Japan passes a bill to offer a free vaccine. In a rare admission, U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged that coronavirus cases are rising in “certain areas” of the Midwest. Covid-19 hospitalizations have risen at least 10% in the past week in 32 states and the nation’s capital as the month-old viral surge increasingly weighs on America’s health-care system.

Pfizer Inc. CEO Albert Bourla said the company may know by the end of October whether its vaccine is effective. Russia has begun production of a second vaccine that hasn’t completed trials.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 43.9 million; deaths exceed 1.16 millionEast Europe fights for its life against virus it thought crushedCity locked down for three months has bleak lesson for the worldCan you get Covid twice? What reinfection cases mean: QuickTakeSlow Covid recovery stalks health industry as new cases surgeEuropean governments running out of options to avoid lockdownsVaccine Tracker: Vaccine trials restart, providing hope

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.

chart, histogram: Seven-day average of U.S. death toll is at 800 again

© Bloomberg
Seven-day average of U.S. death toll is at 800 again

India Virus Cases Reach Almost 8 Million (12:22 p.m. HK)

India’s total confirmed virus cases reached 7.99 million on Wednesday, according to government data. The nation added 43,893 cases in a day. Coronavirus-related deaths rose to 120,010.

India trails only the U.S. as the nation with the most number of cases. The U.S. has 8.77 million cases, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.

Iran’s Parliament Speaker Tests Positive (11.26 a.m. HK)

Iranian parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf has tested positive for coronavirus and is currently in self-isolation, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Earlier this month, IRNA reported the country’s nuclear energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi as well as Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, a deputy president and top aide to President Hassan Rouhani, had also tested positive for the virus.

Trump Says Midwest ‘Heated Up’ With Cases (10:41 a.m. HK)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday night acknowledged that coronavirus cases are rising in “certain areas” of the Midwest, a rare admission during the final week of the presidential campaign.

“Certain areas that are heated up right now,” Trump said at a rally in Omaha, Nebraska. “They’ll go down. They’ll go down very quickly. They’ll be down within two weeks, they’re figuring.”

Trump has routinely downplayed the virus while making his closing argument to voters, who have rated his pandemic response poorly, according to opinion polls. The president said again on Tuesday that the country is “turning that corner.”

South Korea’s Moon Says Virus Contained, Seeks to Revive Economy (9:34 a.m. HK)

Video: Health panel proposes colon cancer tests start at 45, not 50 (Associated Press)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said his country has contained the coronavirus as he sought a budget increase in order help the pandemic-hit economy recover. Speaking in parliament on Wednesday, Moon called for strengthening the government’s fiscal role next year by increasing the budget by 8.5%.

South Korea has seen some of the lowest death figures from Covid-19 of any advanced economy, with 461 as of Wednesday. There were 103 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours versus 88 a day earlier, according to data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

Japan Passes Bill to Offer Free Vaccine (9:19 a.m. HK)

The Japanese government approved a bill on Tuesday that would make any potential coronavirus vaccine free for residents and compensate for the cost of any serious side effect, according to Kyodo.

A budget of 671.4 billion yen ($6.4 billion) has been earmarked for the effort. The island nation has agreements with companies like AstraZeneca Plc, Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. for doses of their vaccines pending safety and efficacy results from clinical trials.

Mexico Cases Rise, 643 More Deaths (9:13 a.m. HK)

Mexico reported 5,942 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 901,268, according to data released by the Health Ministry Tuesday night. Deaths rose 643 to 89,814. The ministry said 33% of general hospital beds were occupied and 26% of beds with ventilators were occupied.

China’s Xinjiang Reports 22 Local Virus Cases Tuesday (8:48 a.m. HK)

The Chinese province had 22 confirmed coronavirus cases Tuesday, according to statement from the National Health Commission. China has tested nearly three million people in Xinjiang to tackle a small cluster of coronavirus cases, in the latest example of the country’s aggressive approach to bringing new outbreaks under control.

While new infections in China have mostly remained below 100 a day since mid-August, with most of them imported from overseas, the nation continues to see small flare-ups. There were 42 confirmed cases in China Tuesday.

Singapore Expands Isolate-at-Home List (8:06 a.m. HK)

Singapore will allow travelers from more countries to spend their mandatory 14-day isolation period upon arrival in the city at their place of residence from November, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

Travelers from Estonia, Fiji, Finland, Japan, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Turkey who arrive in the city-state from November 4 will be able to isolate at their place of residence.

UN Cancels In-person Meetings After Covid Cases (7:55 a.m. HK)

The United Nations has canceled all in-person meetings for this week after a member nation reported five cases among its staff, the AP reported.

General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir did not identify the country, according to the report. Diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because there had not been a public announcement, said it was the African nation of Niger, which is a member of the General Assembly and serving a two-year term on the 15-member Security Council, the report said.

El Paso Hospitals Fill With Virus Patients (5:30 p.m. NY)

More than 40% of the hospital beds in El Paso, Texas, are occupied by virus patients as the worsening outbreak in the state’s biggest hot spot tested the region’s health-care infrastructure.

Statewide, hospitalizations have risen in seven of the past eight days and are now at levels not seen since late August. Texas hospitals housed 5,512 virus patients as of Tuesday, a 65% increase since the start of the month.

California’s Theme Parks Staying Closed (5 p.m. NY)

California Governor Gavin Newsom said he is hesitant to allow theme parks, including Disneyland, to reopen as coronavirus cases surge again across the world.

Walt Disney Co. and other theme park operators have been pushing the state for permission to resume operations, particularly after Florida parks started operating again in June. But Newsom said Tuesday that other states and countries that have been more permissive about letting businesses reopen are now enduring another wave of infections.

Chicago, Denver Impose New Limits (4:36 p.m. NY)

Chicago and Denver are among cities tightening rules to try to stem new outbreak.

Illinois will suspend indoor restaurant and bar service in Chicago starting Friday, according to Governor J.B. Pritzker. The region that includes Chicago “is now averaging more than twice as many Covid-related hospital admissions per day as it was a month ago, with a positivity rate that has almost doubled since the beginning of October,” Pritzker said in an emailed statement.

In Denver, Mayor Michael Hancock ordered most businesses to limit capacity to 25%, effective immediately. Denver reported a one-day record of 327 news cases Sunday. The Colorado capital could reimpose stay-at-home-orders, officials said.

France Reports Most Deaths Since April (3:16 p.m. NY)

France reported the most Covid-19 deaths since April on as President Emmanuel Macron readies new measures to control the coronavirus.

Fatalities linked to the virus jumped by 523 to 35,541, health authorities reported. That’s the biggest increase since April 22, before the end of France’s lockdown in May, with the data including several days of deaths from nursing homes.

a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: On The Virus Second Wave Frontline With France's Civil Protection Ambulance Service

© Bloomberg
On The Virus Second Wave Frontline With France’s Civil Protection Ambulance Service

Civil Protection (FNPC) crew prepare to move a patient from their ambulance in Paris on Oct. 24.

Photographer: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg

Macron will hold a televised address Wednesday evening to announce new initiatives to tackle the second wave of the virus, his office said. Prime Minister Jean Castex plans to present “vital” new measures to both houses of parliament on Thursday.

Italy’s Cases Hit Record (1 p.m. NY)

Italy’s coronavirus cases reached a new daily record on Tuesday, rising to 21,994, compared with 17,012 the previous day. About 174,000 tests were carried out, and 221 deaths related to Covid-19 were reported, bringing the total to 37,70. Patients in intensive-care units rose by 127, to 1,411. Hospitalizations reached 15,366 , compared with April peak of 29,000

U.K. New Deaths Highest Since May (12:30 p.m. NY)

The U.K. reported the most new deaths from coronavirus since the end of May, as public health officials warned the number of deaths will continue to rise.

Some 367 new deaths were reported within 28 days of a positive test, compared with 102 on the day before. The number of deaths is often higher in the two days following a weekend, but Tuesday’s figure is the highest since the country experienced a second rise in the number of cases.

Merkel to Push for Tougher Curbs (8:56 a.m. NY)

Germany is heading for harsher restrictions on movement and contact. Chancellor Angela Merkel will propose measures such as closing restaurants and banning major events to the country’s 16 state premiers on Wednesday.

Unlike the previous lockdown in the spring, every effort will be made to keep Europe’s biggest economy running and schools and daycare centers will stay open unless they are in regions with exceptionally high infection rates. German media reported the plans earlier on Tuesday.

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