Virus Outbreak: News and Analysis From September 20, 2020 – Bloomberg

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The U.K. government will introduce fines of as much as 10,000 pounds ($12,917) for those violating self-isolation rules as part of efforts to contain the latest surge in coronavirus cases, the Telegraph reported.

The increase in India’s new infections continued, with 92,605 cases added in the past 24 hours. That’s taken the nation’s total to 5.4 million, second only to the 6.8 million in the U.S. Hong Kong reported 23 fresh cases, of which 19 were imported. Singapore’s tally rose by 18.

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. said Sunday that a Cathay Dragon service between Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong will be
suspended until Oct. 3 after some connecting passengers on a flight from India were found infected. Data from South Korea showed new cases fell below 100 for the first time since mid-August.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases reach about 30.8 million; deaths exceed 957,000
  • Fewer people are dying of Covid as doctors gain practice, drugs improve
  • A rash of infections on
    trading floors threatens Wall Street’s return to work
  • The virus is
    putting Britain’s next industrial revolution on ice
  • Threat of
    lethal autumn looms in Europe after Covid-19 reprieve

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.

Grim Milestone

The U.S. is nearing 200,000 Covid-19 fatalities

Source: Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg

New Zealand Opposition Slams Government’s Virus Response (12:46 p.m. HK)

The main opposition National Party
kicked off its election campaign, accusing the Labour Party-led government of making mistakes in its coronavirus response and failing to deliver on policy promises. National Party leader Judith Collins attacked the government over the fresh outbreaks of coronavirus in the community, saying if the contact tracing and testing program had been up to scratch, Auckland’s Covid-19 resurgence would have been stamped out by now. Collins faces a tough battle to replace charismatic Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Oct. 17 election.

Australia’s Morrison Expects Jobs Rebound (10:30 a.m. HK)

New virus cases in Victoria — the country’s worst-hit state — fell to 14 on Sunday, the lowest in more than three months. The 14-day rolling average declined to 36.2 in metropolitan Melbourne, comfortably below the 50 level the local administration has set as the benchmark for a slight easing of restrictions on Sept. 28.

With the country in its first recession in almost three decades and interest rates already at a record low, the budget will include “a range of measures” to help revive the economy, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“There will be hundreds of thousands of more jobs come back in between now and Christmas,” Morrison
told the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday. “Victoria will bounce back and that will add to the level of jobs growth.”

Cathay Flight Suspended After Infections Found (9:20 a.m. HK)

Cathay Pacific said in a statement that five passengers from India who were on a Cathay Dragon flight between Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong on Sept. 18 tested positive for Covid-19, even after they submitted negative nucleic acid tests before their trip. The passengers were earlier on an India Express flight.

Hong Kong authorities will bar Cathay Dragon passenger flights from Kuala Lumpur for two weeks, leading the airline to suspend the service until Oct. 3, according to the statement. The carrier had been scheduled to operate three flights a week on that route, it said.

South Korea Cases Decline (8:49 a.m. HK)

The country reported 82 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, below 100 for the first time since Aug. 12. Total infections reached 22,975. Level 2 social-distancing rules should remain in force in regions outside the Seoul metropolitan area where restrictions will end Sunday unless the government announces an extension, Yonhap reported, citing Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun.

U.K. Penalties for Rule Violations (5:52 a.m. HK)

Telegraph reported that fines for those who refuse to self-isolate after being asked to do so start at 1,000 pounds and can go up to 10,000 pounds for repeat offenders. Police will be ordered to patrol areas with the highest infection to make sure people are complying with the new laws, the paper reported.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also considering several proposals to ease the latest surge. Under consideration is a three-week national shutdown of pubs, bars and restaurants, The Telegraph said. Johnson is also considering raising the 100 pound fine for breaking the rule of six to as much as 1,000 pounds for first-time offenders. Announcement of new curbs could come as early as Tuesday.

Brazil Cases Steady (5:48 p.m. NY)

Brazil reported 33,057 cases, a 0.7% rise in line with the average daily increase in the previous seven days. Total cases are 4,528,240. The nation reported 739 more deaths, for a total of 136,532.

California Cases, Deaths Rise (2:25 p.m. NY)

California’s latest numbers climbed above the 14-day averages for both new cases and deaths, according to the health department’s
website. The state reported 4,304 new coronavirus cases, versus the 14-day average of 3,350. The number of deaths increased by 100, compared with a 91 average. There have been 14,912 fatalities in all.

Mend Urgent Care Performs On-Site COVID-19 Testing At University Prep Value High School

Healthcare workers perform Covid-19 testing for students and faculty at University Prep Value High School in Los Angeles on Sept. 18.

Photographer: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

France Hits Another Record Since Lockdown (2:15 p.m. NY)

France’s daily coronavirus cases surged to the highest since the national lockdown ended in May. Another 13,498 cases were reported on Saturday, the second straight day over 13,000.

The higher numbers reflect to some degree increased testing, now five times the level performed in May to over one million a week. But the pace of infections is at its highest since the start of the outbreak, based on rolling 7-day data that smooths out reporting spikes.

Authorities have been calling on the population to step up social distancing measures as the number of clusters has been increasing in past weeks, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire became on Friday the country’s most senior official to become infected.

Italy Deaths Return to July Level (11:50 a.m. NY)

Italy reported 24 new coronavirus deaths Saturday, more than doubling the 10 recorded the day before to levels not seen since July.

While new cases declined by almost 300 to 1,638, the number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care at hospitals rose by seven to 215, according to health authorities. That compares with a peak of more than 4,000 ICU patients in April.

U.K. Cases Exceed 4,000 for Second Day (11:25 a.m. NY)

The U.K. reported 4,422 more cases on Saturday, the second consecutive day with the most new infections since May 8. Another 27 people died within 28 days of testing positive.

U.K. cases have surged in the last two weeks, prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to warn that tighter restrictions on public life
may be needed.

British Government Considers New Lockdown Measures To Curb 'Second Wave'

Temporary outdoor seating areas in Soho, London on Sept. 19.

Photographer: Hollie Adams/Getty Images

The country is facing a “perfect storm” after easing controls over the summer, former government adviser Neil Ferguson told the BBC on Saturday. The government needs to resume some nationwide measures “sooner rather than later” to prevent a new surge leading to more deaths, said Ferguson, an Imperial College London professor whose modeling led to the U.K. lockdown in March.

Scottish Leader Seeks Emergency Meeting (9:04 a.m. NY)

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon repeated her request for Prime Minister Johnson to call an emergency cabinet meeting for the four nations of the U.K. in the next 48 hours, as 350 new cases were recorded in Scotland, up from 203 the previous day. Three people died. In a post on Twitter, Sturgeon urged people to stick to social distancing guidelines and be “extra careful.”

— With assistance by Sam Nagarajan, Angeline Benoit, Virginia Van Natta, Rachel Gamarski, Hooyeon Kim, Elffie Chew, Emily Cadman, and Vrishti Beniwal

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Virus Outbreak: News and Analysis From September 20, 2020 – Bloomberg

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