China Defends Vaccinations; Cases Up in U.S. South: Virus Update

Chinadefended offering vaccines still in clinical trials to hundreds of thousands of people, given the risk of imported cases. The head of Roche Holding AG warned that widespread shots this year are unlikely, adding to a chorus of caution from industry leaders.

Europe’s outbreak continued to spread. Germany, Greece and the Netherlands hit daily case records, and Spain is weighing acurfew in Madrid. Britain’s Boris Johnson forced the Manchester area, a hot spot in northern England, into the country’s strictest measures.

Amazon.com Inc. will let corporate employeeswork from home through June 2021, the latest company to push back re-opening offices as Covid-19 cases surge again across the U.S.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases top 40.6 million; deaths exceed 1.1 million
  • See the latest on the race for a vaccine with Bloomberg’stracker
  • Singapore to try rapid virus tests for large-scalegatherings
  • U.S. discorddeepens over vaccines, immunity as virus rebounds
  • Voters blame anyone but Modi for India’sfailure to fight virus
  • How do people catch Covid-19? Here’s what experts say:QuickTake

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis teamhere. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

76,258 in FranceMost new cases today

+1% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-0.​9334 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

4.​7% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), Sept.


Czech Virus Cases Hit Record (7:20 a.m. HK)

The Czech Republic recorded 11,984 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, the highest daily number since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Health Ministry data published early on Wednesday. The total number of infections rose to 193,946 in the country of 10.7 million people, of which 116,701 are active cases

Texas Hospitalizations Climb to 8-Week High (6:20 a.m. HK)

Texas hospitals had a 13% increase in virus patients in the past week and are now caring for more cases than any time since Aug. 26, state health department figures showed. Statewide, new cases rose by almost 5,000, bringing the cumulative total to more than 830,000.

Meanwhile, conditions continue to deteriorate in Texas border towns and the rural Panhandle region. El Paso hospitals recorded a 14% surge in virus patients in the past 24 hours, and since the start of this month that census has more than tripled.

In Lubbock, the Covid-19 caseload has expanded by 34% in the past three weeks, and is closing in on 16,000, local health department figures showed.

California Theme Parks Must Wait to Reopen (5:19 p.m. NY)

Walt Disney Co.’s Disneyland and other large theme parks in California mustwait to reopen until their county hits the state’s lowest tier for coronavirus case statistics.

Local counties have to hit the yellow, or tier-four, status for parks to operate, Mark Ghaly, the state’s secretary for health and human services, said in a press conference Tuesday. Smaller parks, such as amusement piers, may reopen when their counties hit the less-stringent orange tier.

Industry leaders have been pressing Governor Gavin Newsom to let them reopen, especially after Florida attractions began operating again in June. Disney called Tuesday’s guidelines “arbitrary” and Legoland said they were “unacceptable.”

San Francisco Moves to Least-Restrictive Tier (3:40 p.m. NY)

California moved San Francisco to its “yellow” tier, the least-restrictive for business. That means the city can reopen non-essential offices at a limited capacity later this month. It also plans to increase capacity for indoor restaurants, museums and places of worship to 50%.

San Francisco is the only county in the Bay Area to move into the yellow tier, and the only major urban area in California to do so. The county has a 0.8% test positivity rate, according to state data, compared with a 3.3% rate statewide.

Hungarian Justice Minister Tests Positive (3:30 p.m. NY)

Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga became the first government member to test positive for coronavirus. Varga said she’s self isolated and is suffering mild symptoms, according to a post published on Facebook Tuesday.

Infections have jumped in recent weeks with Prime Minister Viktor Orban pledging to avoid the lockdown measures that helped the eastern European nation avoid wider contagion earlier in the year.

Cuomo Blames Trump for N.Y. Deaths (2:40 p.m. NY)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo blamed President Donald Trump for coronavirus-related deaths in the state, calling him a liar and“super-spreader.”

Cuomo said Tuesday that Trump has repeatedly lied to the public, including earlier this year when he suggested the virus was a hoax and that it would be gone by Easter.

“I hold Donald Trump responsible for every death in New York state from Covid, because Trump lied,” Cuomo said in a conference call with reporters. More than 220,000 people in the U.S. have died from the virus, including more than 33,000 in New York.

Separately, Cuomo said New York is unable to stopcoronavirus spreaders coming from Connecticut and New Jersey and will try to quell the rise in cases in those states.

Greece Cases Hit New Daily High (12 p.m. NY)

Greece reported 667 cases in the last 24 hours, a new daily high since the beginning of the pandemic. The authorities called Greeks -- and especially those between 18 and 40 years -- to be very careful, wear masks and implement the measures already taken. The new total of confirmed cases stands at 26,469, while 528 people have died during the pandemic.

Italy Cases Jump (12 p.m. NY)

Italy’s coronavirus cases rose again on Tuesday to 10,874, from 9,338 a day earlier, as daily fatalities increased to 89. Patients in intensive care jumped by 73 to 870, compared with the early April peak of more than 4,000.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said during a press conference in Rome that Italy’s strategy will be focused on localized restrictions rather than the national lockdown measures taken at the beginning of the outbreak in March. Lombardy, the region around Milan, is expected to order an 11 p.m. curfew from Thursday. Campania, which includes Naples, will get 100 soldiers to do checks on local Covid-19 measures.

Johnson Forces Manchester Into Strictest Curbs (9:36 a.m. NY)

Boris Johnsonforced Greater Manchester into the U.K.’s strictest restrictions on Tuesday after his noon ultimatum for the region to accept a deal passed without agreement. The move includes the closing of pubs and bars and bans on all mixing of households.

The government’s ultimatum shows how far Britain’s response to the pandemic has fractured along political and geographical lines.

Netherlands Adds Over 55,500 Cases in Week (8:33 a.m. NY)

A total of 55,587 Covid-19 patients were confirmed in the week ending Oct. 20 in the Netherlands, up from 43,903 in the previous week, according to Dutch health agency RIVM. A record 8,182 new cases were reported in the past day, Dutch news agency ANP said, citing RIVM.

Spain Weighs Curfew in Madrid to Contain Virus Outbreak (8:33 a.m. NY)

The Spanish government will look at implementing acurfew for Madrid, following a plea from the regional administration.

“The curfew is a measure that has been applied in other European countries with infection rates comparable or even lower” than Madrid’s, Health Minister Salvador Illa said at a press conference on Tuesday. “It’s a measure that requires a state of emergency, and we’re going to analyze it,” along with other options.

Roche CEO Warns Against Hopes for Speedy Vaccines (7:51 a.m. NY)

Many people’s hopes for a speedy vaccine are still too high, Roche Holding AG Chief Executive Officer Severin Schwanwarned.

It is “completely unrealistic” to expect a Covid-19 vaccine to be widely available by the end of this year, and most people probably won’t have access to a shot until the second half of 2021, Schwan said in an interview with Bloomberg TV anchor Francine Lacqua.

China Defends Giving Experimental Vaccines (7:32 a.m. NY)

China said giving vaccines still in clinical trials to hundreds of thousands of peopleis justified given the risk of Covid-19 returning through its borders and the lack of any significant side effects so far.

The country authorized the emergency use of three vaccines developed by local firms China National Biotec Group Co. and Sinovac Biotech Ltd. in July to frontline workers and border officials. But that has since been widened to include employees of state-owned companies, and the government is also considering offering experimental jabs to students heading overseas to study. Sinovac is allowing members of the public in at least two Chinese cities to register to receive the vaccinations as well.

China is still seeing “enormous pressure” from imported cases, Zheng Zhongwei, a director overseeing coronavirus vaccine development at the National Health Commission, said at a briefing in Beijing.

— With assistance by Kara Wetzel, David Scanlan, and Joe Carroll

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