(Bloomberg) — U.S. new cases topped 89,000, setting a daily record, as the outbreak intensifies ahead of next week’s presidential election. Global infections surpassed 45 million, with Europe also grappling to control a renewed surge in the disease across the continent.
German cases exceeded 500,000 after a gain of more than 19,000 through early Friday, confirming a trend that Chancellor Angela Merkel has characterized as a “dramatic situation.” France’s economy staged a record rebound in the third quarter, but that recovery now risks being derailed by new government restrictions. Poland is set to announce new measures to curtail its outbreak and Ukraine reported records in both deaths and infections.
In the U.S., infections are again on the rise in New York and New Jersey, while Midwest states are suffering a record outbreak. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease doctor, predicted it could take until the end of 2021 at least for U.S. social life to return to normal even with an effective vaccine.
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Sweden Earmarks More Cash for Testing (2:50 p.m. HK)
Sweden’s government has underestimated the cost of testing and tracing Covid-19 patients and the money that’s been earmarked for the purpose is now running out, TV4 reports.
The government will allocate an extra 3 billion kronor ($336 million) to pay for testing through the end of the year, bringing the total cost for testing and infection tracing this year to almost 10 billion kronor, according to the report.
Poland to Announce Restrictions on Friday (2:45 p.m. HK)
Poland’s health-care system is “stretched to its limits,” Michal Dworczyk, chief of staff in Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s office, says in interview with public radio 1.
Morawiecki has asked biggest state-run companies to build temporary hospitals in order to add more than 3,000 beds to treat Covid-19 patients.
Swiss Re Adds $500 Million to Reserves (2:31 p.m. HK)
Swiss Re added another $500 million in reserves for future claims as it warned about the high uncertainty that remains because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The re-insurer reported a net loss of $691 million for the first nine months of the year, driven by the increase in reserves it had to take for future claims, as the virus resurges and the threat of more lockdowns looms.
Lonza, AstraZeneca to Manufacture Antibody Combination (2:19 p.m. HK)
Lonza and AstraZeneca agreed to manufacture a combination of two long-acting antibodies for Covid-19 treatment called AZD7442, according to an SGX filing.
AZD7442 is currently in Phase 1 clinical studies and AstraZeneca plans to advance it into Phase 3 trials in coming weeks. Lonza will manufacture drug substance for AZD7442 at facilities in Portsmouth, U.S. Operations are expected to start in the first half of next year.
Slovakia to Test Whole Population for Virus (1:19 p.m. HK)
Slovakia, the European nation that protected its population better than any other from Covid-19 at the start of the global pandemic, is now trying to do one better — by testing its entire population for the virus.
The country of 5.5 million people is preparing to launch a two-stage process using cheap antibody tests to help stop the resurgence in new cases that’s sweeping across the continent.
U.S. New Cases Top 89,000 in Record (1:15 p.m. HK)
Confirmed new cases of the coronavirus topped 89,000 in the U.S. as the outbreak deepened ahead of next week’s presidential election.
Cases rose again in New York and New Jersey, the early epicenters, and set records across the Midwest.
Fighting a surge, Pueblo, Colorado, population 112,000, imposed a two-week overnight curfew as the city’s largest hospital grapples with a three-fold increase in Covid-19 patients. South Dakota, one of the states hardest hit as Covid-19 moved to the Midwest, reported 19 deaths, its most since the beginning of the pandemic.
India Adds 48,648 New Coronavirus Cases (12:07 p.m. HK)
Total confirmed cases stand at 8.09 million, according to government data. Deaths rise to 121,090 as of Oct. 30.
Japan’s Hokkaido Sees Record New Cases (11:49 a.m. HK)
Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido is set to report more than 60 new coronavirus infections Friday — a daily record, according to TV Asahi. In recent weeks, many of Japan’s northern prefectures have reported records in infected patients, though most numbered less than 50 per day. Hokkaido raised its alert level earlier this week.
Myanmar Infections Double Over Three Weeks (11:09 a.m. HK)
Infections in Myanmar topped 50,000, doubling over the past three weeks as the country is seeing more than 1,000 new cases a day, according to the Ministry of Health and Sports.
The ministry warned people to avoid paying homage to the elderly during the 5-days long Lighting festival holidays
Mexico Reports 5,948 New Covid-19 Cases, 464 Deaths (9:19 a.m. HK)
Mexico reported 5,948 new cases, bringing the total to 912,811, according to data released by the Health Ministry Thursday. Deaths rose 464 to 90,773.
Some 33% of the nation’s general hospital beds are occupied, while 27% of beds with ventilators are occupied, ministry said.
South Korea’s New Coronavirus Cases Ease to 114 (8:49 a.m. HK)
South Korea reported 114 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, down from 125 a day earlier, according to data from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
Of the new cases, 93 were locally infected with 47 cases in Seoul and 23 in Gyeonggi province. The nation now has a total of 26,385 confirmed cases, while deaths stand at 463.
U.S. Landlords Denied Injunction Against Evictions (8:00 a.m. HK)
A U.S. federal judge ruled against landlord groups who were seeking to block the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s national moratorium on evictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. District Judge J.P. Boulee in Atlanta on Thursday rejected a motion for a preliminary injunction brought by a nonprofit called the New Civil Liberties Alliance on behalf of a Virginia landlord. The group was joined by the National Apartment Association, which represents some 85,000 landlords responsible for 10 million rental units.
Tokyo to Boost Testing Capacity Six Times, NHK Says (6:59 a.m. HK)
The Tokyo government is set to boost the daily coronavirus testing capacity to about 60,000 tests from current 10,200 as the flu season begins, NHK reported.
The government will deploy antigen tests in addition to PCR tests to raise the capacity by year end.
Merkel Tells EU They Should Have Acted Sooner (4:27 p.m. NY)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered a wake-up call to fellow leaders in the 27-nation European Union by saying they all failed to step in to control the pandemic, according to officials familiar with her comments.
Speaking by video conference, Merkel said that political realities stopped them from imposing restrictions earlier, and that they would have to draw lessons from the current situation and act faster in the future, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because the meeting is private.
Countries in the EU, where more than 210,000 people have died from the disease and nearly 6.5 million have been infected, have begun to impose new lockdowns in an effort to stem the crisis. Germany, the EU’s largest economy, will impose a one-month partial shutdown starting Monday, while France will enter a nationwide lockdown from Friday.
South Dakota Breaks Fatality Record (3:55 p.m. NY)
South Dakota, one of the states hardest hit as Covid-19 moved to the Midwest, reported 19 deaths, its most since the beginning of the pandemic. New York, with a population of 19.5 million, also reported 19 deaths on Thursday. South Dakota’s population is just under 900,000. The state added another 1,000 cases, for a total 43,000.
North Dakota also set a record number of cases, 1,223, since the start of the outbreak, as the capital of Bismarck was beginning its first mask mandate, having followed the cities of Fargo and Minot. The state does not mandate masks or enforce other social distancing rules.
New York Nears 2,500 Daily Cases (3:20 p.m. NY)
The number of daily positive coronavirus cases in New York continues to rise, nearing the 2,500-mark on Thursday, despite Governor Andrew Cuomo’s crackdown and optimism.
Of the more than 168,000 tests conducted statewide on Wednesday, 1.48%, or 2,499 were positive, the highest it’s been since mid-May. The statewide testing positivity rate was 1.25% without hot spot areas.
The number of positive tests in the hotspot areas was 3.24%, including parts of Queens, Brooklyn, and Rockland and Orange Counties. The state also is monitoring increases near the state’s border with Pennsylvania.
Daily death totals are also on the rise, with 19 deaths on Wednesday, the highest since June. There were 1,085 hospitalizations.
New Jersey Positivity, Hospitalizations at 5-Month Highs (1:54 p.m.)
New Jersey’s Covid-19 testing positivity rate and hospitalizations hit their highest since May as Governor Phil Murphy pleaded with residents to help “beat back the second wave.”
About 33,000 tests are performed each day in the state. On Sunday, the positivity rate hit 6.54%, highest since May 19, according to the latest state data.
“That has become very concerning,” Murphy said. On Wednesday, 1,072 patients were hospitalized, the most since May 30.
Death Rate Higher in Wealthy Countries, Study Shows (1:25 p.m. NY)
The death rate for Covid-19 is higher in high-income countries, which tend to have older populations, an Imperial College London research team found in a study.
Wealthy countries had an estimated infection fatality rate of 1.15%, compared with 0.23% for low-income countries, the team found. The study analyzed 10 surveys of antibody levels within populations, an indicator of the prevalence of the virus.
Return to Normal Will Take At Least A Year, Fauci Says (1:16 p.m. NY)
Even with an effective vaccine, it could take until the end of 2021 at least for social life in the U.S. to return to normal, Fauci said on a Facebook live event.
The earliest a vaccine might be available is the end of December or early January, he said. “I can foresee that even with a really good vaccine mask wearing will continue well into the third or fourth quarter of 2021,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Midwest Surge at Record (1:11 p.m. NY)
The Covid-19 surge in the Midwest rose to a record, led by new highs in Kansas, Iowa and South Dakota as the region’s outbreak spread toward both coasts. Iowa joins Wisconsin among Midwest states with bad outbreaks that could be pivotal on Election Day.
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