(Bloomberg) — Daily virus cases around the world topped a record 350,000 on Friday, and infections are jumping in European countries including Germany and the Czech Republic.
India continued on a trajectory to overtake the U.S. as the country with the most cases, as infections climbed to 6.91 million. European leaders sounded alarms about an epidemic untamed. Germany recorded 64 new coronavirus deaths, the most since May, while new cases in both the Czech Republic and Hungary hit daily records.
U.S. President Donald Trump says he’d like to see a bigger coronavirus relief package than what Congress is offering. He announced his first in-person event since contracting Covid-19 at the White House on Saturday, and plans to hold a rally in Florida on Monday.
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Czech Republic’s New Virus Cases Jump to Record (3:39 p.m. HK)
The Czech Republic reported 25 coronavirus-related deaths and a record 8,618 new infections on Friday, a jump from around 5,000 cases in each of the previous three days. Earlier this week, the country became the EU’s top Covid-19 hotspot, surpassing Spain in the two-week cumulative number of cases per capita tracked by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
Prime Minister Andrej Babis said on Friday he couldn’t rule out a full country lockdown if existing measures, including a ban on cultural and sports events and limited opening hours for restaurants, fail to stem the surge.
Germany Records Most Virus Deaths Since May (3:35 p.m. HK)
Germany recorded 4,554 new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours through Saturday, the third-straight day the number topped 4,000.
The country also registered 64 new deaths from the virus, the highest since May. The reproduction rate, known as R-0, climbed to 1.34 on Friday from 1.17 a day earlier. The gauge has remained above the key threshold of 1 for a week amid surges in the number of new infections in multiple German cities in recent weeks.
Hungary New Virus Cases Hit Record; Testing Limited (3:27 p.m. HK)
Hungary reported a daily record of 1,374 new coronavirus cases as well as 20 deaths, according to data published on Saturday.
Limited testing though is clouding the extent of the pandemic in Hungary and the number of new cases the country can detect, Beatrix Orosz, the head of a government ministry’s virus-monitoring task force, told Inforadio on Friday. Hungary isn’t planning new restrictive measures in the next three weeks, according to Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Australia’s Victoria Faces Longer Wait To Ease Most Virus Curbs (9:37 a.m. HK)
Australia’s Victoria-state won’t ease virus-related restrictions as quickly as had been planned, after the region reported 14 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours.
The country’s second-most populous state, which has been dealing with a resurgence of community transmission in Melbourne, will announce some easing of measures in the city on Oct. 18, though Premier Daniel Andrews said that’s unlikely to include a major relaxation of current curbs, which include limits on movement and public gatherings. Australia’s New South Wales-state reported two new locally-transmitted cases.
U.S. Debate Commission Cancels Forum on Oct. 15 (9:32 a.m. HK)
The Commission on Public Debates officially canceled the town hall-style debate between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden scheduled for Oct. 15.
The commission’s decision comes after the Trump team rejected its plans to make the debate virtual due to concern about the coronavirus. The Biden campaign has since announced an alternative event for the same night.
India Confirmed Cases Rise to Near 7 Million (8:08 a.m. HK)
India added 70,496 cases for a total of 6.91 million total as of Friday, according to government data, with Covid-19-related deaths increasing to 106,490. But in Mumbai’s biggest slum, the virus has largely been contained.
Video: Trump’s doctor says he’s ‘cautiously optimistic’ (Associated Press)
China Joins WHO’s Global Coronavirus Vaccine Program (8:07 a.m. HK)
China joined the World Health Organization-backed Covax program, the country’s Foreign Ministry said Friday. The statement didn’t disclose how much money the nation will put into the effort that aspires to give lower-income countries the same access to vaccines as wealthier nations.
China’s participation may help repair the country’s image over how it handled the initial outbreak in Wuhan, particularly since the Trump administration has refused to join Covax.
Trump Rally Blamed for Nine Minnesota Cases (6:30 a.m. HK)
Nine Covid-19 cases have been linked to a rally held by President Trump at Bemidji, Minnesota, on Sept. 18, state health department director Kris Ehresmann was quoted as saying by broadcaster KSTP.
Two of the people are hospitalized and one is in intensive care. At least one attendee was infectious while attending the rally, according to St. Paul-based KSTP.
Astra Gains U.S. Support for Antibody Therapy (5:49 p.m. NY)
The U.S. government will invest about $486 million in developing AstraZeneca Plc’s experimental long-acting antibody cocktail, the company said in a statement Friday.
AstraZeneca said it plans to supply up to 100,000 doses of the drug starting toward the end of the year and the U.S. can acquire another one million doses next year through a separate agreement. The experimental treatment will move into phase 3 trials in the next few weeks.
Brazil’s Cases at Slowest Pace Since May (5:29 p.m. NY)
Brazil reported 27,444 new cases and may end up with the lowest weekly number of infections since late May. If the trend holds, it would be the third consecutive week of declining reported cases.
Weekly deaths may fall to the lowest since early May after the government reported 682 additional virus-related fatalities on Friday, increasing the toll to 149,639, according to the Health Ministry’s website.
Trump to Head to Florida Monday for Rally (5:04 p.m. NY)
Trump plans to travel to Florida on Monday for his first campaign-trail rally since his hospitalization for Covid-19, his campaign said in an email.
Florida is viewed as a must-win for the president, and Trump has consistently polled behind challenger Joe Biden in the state. Florida is tied for third in the electoral-college vote count, with New York and behind California and Texas.
Canada’s Largest Province Imposes Restrictions (4:39 p.m. NY)
Ontario is forcing businesses to close or reduce operations in three major cities after Covid-19 cases hit a record high on the eve of the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.
Canada’s largest province ordered indoor businesses including bars, gyms, casinos, movie theaters and restaurant dining rooms to close for 28 days, starting Saturday at 12:01 a.m. The measure applies to Toronto, Ottawa and Peel, a suburban region west of Toronto.
Pelosi Warns Trump Might Follow U.K. in Rushed Vaccine (3:55 p.m. NY)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday she is worried that President Donald Trump would rush to green-light a Covid-19 vaccine based on decisions in the U.K. rather than wait for the Food and Drug Administration.
Pelosi told reporters she is concerned that the U.K. does not have the same strict vaccine protocols as the FDA and that Prime Minister Boris Johnson may rush a vaccine.
Trump to Hold First In-Person Event Since Illness on Saturday (3:49 p.m. NY)
President Donald Trump on Saturday plans to host his first in-person event at the White House since being hospitalized with Covid-19, amid questions about the stage of his recovery. At the event, Trump will discuss law and order, according to a White House official.
Daily Worldwide Cases Hit Record (3:28 p.m. NY)
Global cases of Covid-19 reached a daily record of 350,766, the World Health Organization reported on Friday.
Cases are flaring around Europe and rising again in the U.S. Meanwhile, the number of infections in India is catching up with the U.S. “There are no new answers,” said Michael Ryan, the WHO emergencies chief. “The majority of people in the world are still susceptible to this disease.”
Fauci Calls White House Ceremony a ‘Super-Spreader Event’ (3 p.m. NY)
Anthony Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious-disease expert, said that a gathering in the White House Rose Garden last month was a “super-spreader event” for the novel coronavirus.
President Trump held a ceremony in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26 to honor Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Few guests wore masks and attendees mingled and sat in close proximity to one another both indoors and outdoors. Subsequently, the president and several top staffers, as well as senators and military officials, have tested positive.
Trump Says He Wants More Aid Than Either Party Is Offering (2:01 p.m. NY)
President Trump said he wants an even bigger stimulus than what Democrats have offered so far, seeming to undercut his own negotiators, who had prepared a $1.8 trillion offer to make to House Speaker Pelosi.
“I would like to see a bigger stimulus package, frankly, than either the Democrats or the Republicans are offering,” Trump said on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program, saying he’s going in the “exact opposite” direction from his earlier stances.
France New Cases Top 20,000, Rise to Record (2 p.m. NY)
France reported a record 20,339 new coronavirus cases on Friday, with the weekly pace of infections rising for a seventh day. The seven-day rolling average of new infections, which smooths out daily variations, jumped to 14,618, the highest since the start of the outbreak.
While cases have jumped, deaths have increased at a slower pace, remaining near an average 70 a day this month.
Ireland Cases Surge (1:34 p.m. NY)
Ireland reported the most new cases since April for the second time in a week, as authorities warned the profile of the virus continues to deteriorate. There were 617 new cases, the most since April 26, with five deaths. The cases were spread across every county in the nation.
Italy Cases Spike Again (11:10 a.m. NY)
Italy’s new cases surged for a fourth day, reaching 5,372, the most since late March. That’s well above the previous seven-day average of 2,999. Daily testing hit a record and the positivity rate kept climbing to 4.1%, the highest since April.
Lombardy, the epicenter of the outbreak earlier this year, reported a 44% increase in new cases to 983. Patients in intensive care units rose by 29 to 387, still about a 10th of the April peak. Another 28 deaths were reported.
Merkel Says Germany Faces Watershed in Virus Fight (9:10 a.m. NY)
Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Germany faces a crucial moment that can determine whether it regains or loses control of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Now are the days and weeks that will determine how Germany heads into the winter,” Merkel said Friday after talks with mayors of the country’s 11 biggest cities, adding that they agreed to thresholds that would trigger tighter restrictions.
Merkel will speak with city officials again in two weeks to determine how effective the measures have been. Germany recorded more than 4,000 new coronavirus cases for a second straight day on Friday.
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