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Infections Worsen in 31 States; Fauci Sees No Lull: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert, said the virus isn’t taking a summer break, judging from its persistent spread in warmer states. He is scheduled to testify before Congress Tuesday.As many as 31 states have R0 figures above 1, according to the Rt.live website, meaning that each person with the virus infects at least one other. The World Trade Organization said its worst-case scenario for cross-border commerce this year will likely be avoided, depending on whether there’s a second wave of outbreaks.The euro-area economy picked up from its record slump, with private-sector activity in both France and Germany pointing to further signs of a post-lockdown turnaround. England eased more restrictions as deaths continued to fall. Singapore called for an election amid the pandemic, and the Philippines saw a record number of daily infections.Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases pass 9.1 million; deaths top 472,700Beijing outbreak shows Covid-19’s ability to hidePublic-health design hacks to dominate post-lockdownPeople aren’t drinking more during the pandemicPandemic exposes plight of Portugal’s African migrantsSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus.Schoolchildren Don’t Spread Virus: French Study (9:11 a.m. NY)School kids don’t appear to transmit the virus to peers or teachers, a French study found. Scientists at Institut Pasteur studied 1,340 people in Crepy-en-Valois, a town northeast of Paris that suffered an outbreak in February and March, including 510 students from six primary schools. They found three probable cases among kids that didn’t lead to more infections among other pupils or teachers. The study confirms that children appear to show fewer telltale symptoms than adults and be less contagious, providing a justification for reopening schools.Africa’s First Covid Vaccine Trial to Include HIV Patients (8:34 a.m. NY)South Africa will begin a coronavirus vaccine trial on Wednesday, the first such test on the continent, with its 2,000 volunteers planned to include some living with HIV. The trial will begin at three sites in the country’s most populated province, Gauteng, and include 50 volunteers who have HIV, said study leader Shabir Madhi, a professor of vaccinology at the University of the Witwatersrand, in a briefing with reporters.The vaccine, developed by the University of Oxford in partnership with AstraZeneca Plc, is already undergoing human tests in the U.K. with separate studies slated to begin in Brazil and the U.S. Coronavirus cases in South Africa have surged to more than 100,000 with almost 2,000 deaths, while the country’s lockdown was eased on June 1.England’s Pubs and Hotels to Open from July 4 (8:21 a.m. NY)U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave the green light for England’s tourism and hospitality industry to emerge from three months of lockdown. Hotels, pubs, restaurants and cinemas will reopen from July 4. Johnson also announced a halving of the minimum social distance between people to 1 meter, provided they also take mitigating actions like wearing a face covering.“Our long national hibernation is beginning to come to an end,” Johnson said. “A new but cautious optimism is palpable.”The possibility of getting a full vaccine is going to be “very difficult,” the prime minister said in the House of Commons. “In the meantime we will have to remain extremely vigilant and extremely cautious” to avoid future flare-ups, Johnson said.Djokovic Tests Positive After Tournament Halted (8:13 a.m. NY)Novak Djokovic, the world’s leading men’s tennis player, tested positive for Covid-19 days after an exhibition tournament in the Balkans featuring him was cut short. The Adria Tour ended abruptly Sunday after participants including Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria and Borna Coric of Croatia tested positive.“I’m extremely sorry for each individual case of infection,” Djokovic said in a statement. “I hope it won’t complicate anyone’s health situation and that everyone will be fine. Everything we did in the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. Our tournament meant to unite and share a message of solidarity and compassion throughout the region.”Local media criticized the event — and Djokovic himself — for embracing few virus restrictions and for holding parties in Belgrade alongside the tournament.Egypt Eases Curfew Restrictions by Reopening of Cafes, Mosques (7:34 a.m. NY)Egyptian restaurants, cafes, cinemas and sporting clubs will be allowed to reopen starting June 27, with capacity initially capped at 25%, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in a televised press conference on Tuesday. Mosques and churches will also be allowed to reopen, but weekly mass prayers will remain suspended.Serbia Imposes Mask Wearing (7:30 a.m. NY)Serbia reinstated the mandatory wearing of masks amid a resurgence in cases, the nation’s special crisis committee said on Tuesday. Optional for several weeks, masks now must be worn in all indoor places and people without them won’t be allowed onto public transport.Fauci Doesn’t See Covid-19 Summer Lull (6:50 a.m. NY)The coronavirus isn’t taking a summer break judging from its persistent spread in the U.S. Sun Belt, according to America’s top infectious-disease doctor.Covid-19 cases continue to mount in warmer states including Florida, Texas and Arizona, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview. “It doesn’t look like there’s any significant impact right now from the weather,” he said.As many as 31 states have R0 figures above 1, according to the Rt.live website, meaning that each person with the virus infects at least one other. Morgan Stanley estimates R0 for the entire U.S. stands at 1.1 — a rate at which the epidemic would double every 52 days.French Banks Warned Company Debt Creating Systemic Risk (6:26 a.m. NY)Risks in France’s financial system have reached systemic levels and are set to rise further after the coronavirus shuttered the economy and firms loaded up on debt, according to the country’s central bank.The sudden spike in corporate debt exposes firms to a “heightened solvency risk” that could later hurt asset quality and lenders’ profitability, the Bank of France said Tuesday in its twice yearly report on financial risks. In its last report before the crisis, the institution already flagged relatively high corporate debt levels.German Town Locked Down After Slaughterhouse Outbreak (6:21 a.m. NY)The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia reimposed a lockdown on a municipality that’s been hit by a spate of infections at a large meat factory.The measure, announced Tuesday by state premier Armin Laschet, will initially remain in force until the end of June. A total 1,553 workers have so far tested positive at the meat factory near the city of Guetersloh that is operated by Toennies GmbH.European Car Sales Forecast to Plunge (6:18 a.m. NY)European car sales are forecast to drop by a record 25% this year after the pandemic shuttered showrooms, leading to a collapse in demand and threatening one of the region’s biggest industries.Just 9.6 million vehicles are expected to be sold in the European Union, compared with 12.8 million last year, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said Tuesday in its first forecast since January, before the health crisis unfolded in the region.U.K. Cost for Pandemic Job Support Rises (6:02 a.m. NY)The cost of the U.K. government’s programs for supporting jobs accelerated last week, and employers furloughed more workers in a sign of the economy’s struggle to recover from the pandemic crisis.Companies added 100,000 jobs to the furlough plan, taking it to 9.2 million employees, and the price tag climbed to 22.9 billion pounds ($28.5 billion) from 20.8 billion pounds a week earlier. A separate program to support self-employed workers held steady at 2.6 million claims and 7.6 billion pounds.Saudi Binladin Misses Salary Payments (6:00 a.m. NY)Saudi Binladin Group failed to pay thousands of employees as the construction giant reels under the impact of coronavirus and restructures about $15 billion of debt.The conglomerate missed some salary payments in April and May, according to people with knowledge of the matter. It’s not clear yet whether the company, which employs about 100,000 staff, will be able to pay those employees in June, the people said, asking not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.Iran Death Tally Climbs (5:50 p.m. HK)Iran’s death toll from the virus reached 9,863 out of a total of 209,970 known cases. The country recorded 2,445 new infections in the past 24 hours compared with 2,573 a day earlier.Philippines Sees Highest Number of Daily Cases (5:27 p.m. HK)The Philippines recorded its highest number of daily infections on Tuesday as the economy reopened further this week. The Southeast Asian nation reported 1,150 new infections, surpassing the previous record of 1,049 cases on May 29, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.WTO Says Rapid Response Cushioned Trade Downturn (4:55 p.m. HK)The WTO tempered its pessimism about the outlook for cross-border commerce and said global trade could see a 5% to 20% rebound next year, but that outcome remains far from certain, depending on whether there’s a second wave of Covid-19 outbreaks, weaker than expected economic growth or widespread recourse to trade restrictions.England, Wales Deaths Continue to Fall (4:50 p.m. HK)Weekly deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales fell 30% to 1,114 in the week ended June 12, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday. The decline began in April and brings weekly Covid-19 related deaths to their lowest in nine weeks.U.K. Landlord Intu Warns Malls May Close (4:48 p.m. HK)Intu Properties Plc warned that some of the U.K.’s biggest shopping centers may have to close if its survival talks with creditors collapse, putting thousands of jobs at risk just as retailers emerge from lockdown.The landlord has asked banks to waive terms on 600 million pounds ($750 million) of loans until the end of next year. Intu said it will likely fall into administration if a so-called standstill agreement can’t be reached before a Friday deadline, according to a company statement on Tuesday. Such a move could mean malls shutting their doors, at least temporarily.Swedish PM Sees Plunge in Support After Virus Response (4:43 p.m. HK)Support for Stefan Lofven, who heads a minority center-left coalition, fell 10 percentage points from April, according to a DN/Ipsos poll published on Tuesday.The results indicate that Swedes appear to be losing confidence in their prime minister’s ability to steer them out of the Covid-19 crisis. It’s the latest evidence that Sweden’s pandemic response — a soft lockdown that has led to one of the world’s highest Covid death rates — may have backfired.U.K. Economy Shows Signs of Recovery as Factories Expand (4:30 p.m. HK)The U.K. economy started to bounce back from the coronavirus this month, with jump in an early indicator of activity.IHS Markit’s composite Purchasing Managers Index climbed to 47.6 from 30 in May. While that’s still below the critical 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction, the size of the monthly gain was the biggest since the survey began in 1998.Pig Study Looks at Optimal Dose for Experimental Vaccine (4:09 p.m. HK)Two doses of the University of Oxford’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine may be needed for optimal protection against the coronavirus, a study in pigs found.Researchers at England’s Pirbright Institute, working in collaboration with Oxford scientists, said Tuesday that two doses of the so-called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine produced a greater antibody response than a single dose in pigs, which are more physiologically similar to humans than some other animal models and have been used to predict the response in people to vaccines against influenza.Singapore Calls for General Elections Amid Pandemic (4 p.m. HK)Singapore started the process to hold a general election, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong seeking a renewed mandate to govern amid the coronavirus pandemic that has pummeled the country’s economy.Lee said in a speech on Tuesday that he saw President Halimah Yacob to advise her to dissolve parliament and issue the writ of election, setting the stage for the upcoming polls.Euro-Area Economy Moves Toward Slow Recovery (4 p.m. HK)Economic activity in the euro-area picked up from its record slump, but the good news was tempered by a warning that the recovery will be protracted.The June Purchasing Managers Index from IHS Markit showed improvement at the region’s manufacturers and service firms, and confidence at the highest since February. There was also plenty of reason for caution: the headline number still signalled contraction, a decline in new orders and falling employment.Russian Infections Drop to Lowest Since April 30 (3:42 p.m. HK)Russia reported 7,425 new confirmed Covid-19 infections over the past day, the lowest since April 30. That raised the total to 599,705, according to data from the government’s virus response center.Sanofi, Translate Bio in Vaccine Pact (3:14 p.m. HK)French drugmaker Sanofi is strengthening its pact with U.S. vaccine developer Translate Bio Inc. to develop shots for Covid-19 and the flu in a deal that could be valued at as much as $2.3 billion.Sanofi will pay $425 million upfront, partly by acquiring Translate Bio shares at a premium of almost 60%, the companies said Tuesday. The French drugmaker also agreed to pay as much as $1.9 billion on meeting various goals, plus royalties.Top India Aide Sees V-Shaped Recovery (2:41 p.m. HK)India’s top economic adviser said a V-shaped recovery for the economy is possible this year, provided a vaccine is found to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.“The recovery will happen after that uncertainty from the health side is taken care of,” Krishnamurthy Subramanian, the chief economic adviser to the finance minister, said in an interview with Haslinda Amin at the Bloomberg Invest Global virtual conference. “If it so happens that in the latter half of the year we have the vaccine, then one can anticipate V-shape recovery starting in the second half.”Hong Kong Confirms Sixth Coronavirus Death (2:33 p.m. HK)A 72-year-old man linked to the city’s Sha Tin building cluster died early Tuesday morning, according to a statement provided by a Hong Kong Hospital Authority spokesman. The financial hub has been a rare global success story in containing the virus, but said it had 30 new imported cases Monday — the biggest single-day increase in reported infections since April 3.Germany’s Virus Infection Rate Remains High (1:23 p.m. HK)The infection rate remained well above the government’s target of 1. The reproduction factor edged lower to 2.76 on Monday from 2.88 the day before, according to the latest estimate by Germany’s health body, the Robert Koch Institute. The infection rate has been fueled by local outbreaks — including in North Rhine-Westphalia — where more than 1,300 employees at a slaughterhouse were positive.The estimate means that out of 100 people who get infected, a further 276 people are likely to contract Covid-19.Denmark Hit by Mini-Outbreaks as Lockdown Lifted (1:21 p.m. HK)As countries weigh when to reopen, Denmark is seeing smaller virus outbreaks in schools, entertainment parks and nursing homes as it gradually leaves its Covid-19 lockdown.Such outbreaks are to be expected and should be a wakeup call that people can’t return to their old routines, Jan Christensen, a professor at Copenhagen University’s Department of Immunology and Microbiology, told Jyllands-Posten. There was no evidence so far of another wave of cases, he said.Indonesia Getting $1 Billion in Loans for Virus Response (1:04 p.m. HK)Loans have been approved for two projects as part of a global effort to support the Southeast Asian country amid the pandemic, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank said.A $750 million loan will be co-financed with the Asian Development Bank to boost economic aid for businesses, support households and strengthen Indonesia’s health care systems, AIIB said. And an additional $250 million — in partnership with the World Bank — will go to strengthening Indonesia’s immediate health response, including readiness for coronavirus testing, surveillance, prevention and treatment.South Korea Says It Has 46 New Cases (9:16 a.m. HK)The country, which has seen success in containing the virus, reported 46 more cases in 24 hours — bringing its total tally to 12,484 — data from Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention showed. It said 30 of the new cases were imported.Beijing Sees Slight Rebound in New Cases (8:41 a.m. HK)The Chinese capital reported 13 additional local coronavirus infections June 22, up from nine the day before, according to the Beijing Municipal Health Commission. The number of cases in the city’s fresh outbreak has now reached 249.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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