Global Cases Pass 38 Million; China’s Mass Testing: Virus Update

Global cases of the coronavirus topped 38 million, according to Johns Hopkins University data.Eli Lilly & Co. put its government-sponsored antibody test on hold due to potential safety concerns. The move came less than 24 hours after Johnson & Johnsonpaused its vaccine trial.

China’s eastern port city of Qingdao, which has an outbreak of 12 infections, said it conducted more than 5.6 million tests in less than two days as it aims to test the entire city of 9.5 million people. One of the country’s leading vaccine developers is working on a plan to inoculate students going overseas with shots that are still beingstudied.

Countries across Europewidened curbs to try to regain a grip on the pandemic. The Dutch prime minster ordered a partial lockdown, Italy had the most new cases since March and France reported a surge in patients needing intensive care. Northern Ireland is set to impose a “circuit breaker” lockdown for four weeks, according to a report. Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo tested positive and is in isolation.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases pass 38 million; deaths 1.08 million
  • U.S. Hot Spots: Midwestern states surge toward top of cases
  • Race for virus curehits reality as clinic complications mount
  • Boris Johnson under pressure to order a nationallockdown
  • Even Japan’svending machines are hurt by the pandemic

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.

55,342 in IndiaMost new cases today

+2% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-1 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

5.​3% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), Aug.


China Mass Testing (9:22 a.m HK)

China’s Qingdao said it has taken more than 5.6 million samples in less than two days after the city reported a new cluster of infections on Sunday. While the total number of cases stands at only 12, the government aims to test the entire city of 9.5 million people within five days.

It’s another example of China’s ambitious strategy of mass testing, this time after a small outbreak, and stands in contrast to Europe where cases are surging again. It comes after authorities successfully tested millions of people in Wuhan and Beijing earlier this year.

Northern Ireland to Impose ‘Circuit Breaker’ Lockdown for Four Weeks (8:58 a.m. HK)

Northern Ireland will put in place a “circuit breaker” lockdown for four weeks, with schools closing for two of them, Sky News reported.

Mexico Reports 4,295 New Cases (8:17 a.m. HK)

Mexico reported 4,295 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 825,340, according to data released by the Health Ministry. Deaths rose by 475 to 84,420.

World Bank Approves $12 Billion for Vaccines (7:10 a.m. HK)

The World Bank approved an envelope of $12 billion for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, tests and treatments for their citizens.

The financing is part of an overall World Bank Group package of as much as $160 billion through June 2021 to help developing countries fight the pandemic.

U.K.’s Johnson Under Pressure for Lockdown (6:30 a.m. HK)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing growing pressure to order a national “circuit breaker” lockdown, after the opposition Labour Party and government scientists said the move was needed to get Covid-19 under control.

Labour leader Keir Starmer warned that local restrictions are not working and demanded a lockdown across England lasting two to three weeks, after documents revealed that the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies called for the same action three weeks ago. London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan backed the move, tweeting that a short national lockdown would have “the biggest impact on slowing the spread.”

Texas Hospitalizations Jump (5:26 p.m. NY)

Texas hospitals registered a 4.7% jump in new virus patients in the past 24 hours that pushed the census close to a six-week high. The tally rose to 4,053, the highest since Sept. 3, according to state health department data.

Texas also recorded more than 5,000 new infections for the first time since the end of September. The cumulative caseload surpassed 800,000, the data showed.

In the El Paso area, virus patients occupy almost 18% of hospital beds, above the 15% threshold state officials are using to determine whether restrictions on economic activity can be eased. The next-worst regions are Laredo and Lubbock, where Covid-19 cases account for about 13% of beds.

Eli Lilly Pauses Antibody Trial (2:43 p.m. NY)

Eli Lilly & Co. said enrollment of participants in a clinical trial of its antibody treatment for Covid-19 has been paused due to a potential safety concern.

The independent data safety monitoring board recommended pausing enrollment in the U.S. government-sponsored trial, a company spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. The company didn’t provide any information about what caused the data panel to recommend the pause.

“Lilly is supportive of the decision by the independent DSMB to cautiously ensure the safety of the patients participating in this study,” said spokeswoman Kathryn Beiser.

France ICU Patients Rise Most Since Early April (2:40 p.m. NY)

France reported the number of Covid patients in intensive-care units increased by 94 to 1,642 on Tuesday, the biggest jump since April 6 and reaching the highest level since the final week of May.

New confirmed cases rose by 12,993, climbing from a day earlier. The seven-day rolling average of new infections, which smooths out daily variations, rose for an 11th day to 17,387, the highest it’s been since the start of the outbreak.

Coronavirus deaths in France increased by 117 to 32,942, the biggest increase in 11 days, partially on the inclusion of several days of nursing home data.

Dutch PM Orders Partial Lockdown (2 p.m. NY)

Saying measures needed to stop the virus “will hurt,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced what he called a partial lockdown on Tuesday evening, with sales of alcohol to be banned after 8 p.m. and bars, restaurants and coffee shops to be closed altogether. Citizens are being urged to avoid public transportation where possible.

“The facts don’t lie, we have to be stricter for ourselves, and stricter on our own behavior,” Rutte said at a televised news conference. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge warned that a total lockdown could be the next step if the new measures don’t work.

Facebook to Block Ads Discouraging Vaccines (12:45 p.m. NY)

Facebook Inc. willreject ads that discourage people from getting vaccines, citing a new policy meant to prevent “harm” to public health efforts.

Facebook already forbids ads that promote vaccine hoaxes or misinformation about vaccines. The company will also put educational material about the flu shot in users’ feeds.

Italy Cases Highest Since March (11:50 a.m. NY)

Italy’s coronavirus cases jumped again on Tuesday to 5,901, the most since March 28, compared with 4,619 the previous day. There were 112,544 tests carried out, and 41 deaths related to Covid-19 were reported, bringing the total to 36,246.

Patients in intensive care units rose by 62 to to 514.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte imposed a series of new curbs on nightlife, social events and amateur sports as the pandemic intensifies throughout the country, albeit at a slower pace than in other major European nations.

Soccer Star Ronaldo Tests Positive (10:34 a.m. NY)

The Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has been dismissed from national squad work after testing positive for Covid-19.

The player is currently in isolation and showing no symptoms, Portugal’s soccer federation says in astatement Tuesday afternoon. Portugal is due to play against Sweden on Oct. 15 in Lisbon, as part of the Nations League tournament.

The federation said Ronaldo, 35, is “doing well, without symptoms, and in isolation.”

Juventus Football Club SpA, where Ronaldo plays, saw shares fall as much as 6.9% in Milan trading after the news.

J&J Trial Pause Overshadows Outlook (8:21 a.m. NY)

The drugmaker was forced topause its late-stage study of a coronavirus vaccine, overshadowing an improved financial outlook for the year. The temporary halt -- the second time that a front-runner developer has suspended a trial -- could contribute to concern about the rapid pace of coronavirus vaccine research. J&J said adverse events are an expected part of drug studies and that it is investigating.

Chief Financial Officer Joseph Wolk said J&J was notified about the participant at one of its trial sites becoming ill 36 hours ago, and immediately approached the independent Data Safety Monitoring Board to conduct an analysis. It also temporarily paused dosing other participants.

Wolk said the company didn’t know whether the trial participant had been given the vaccine or was given a placebo. “We need to let the independent board do their research,” he said in an interview.

China Looking at Giving Students Vaccines (7:26 a.m. NY)

One of China’s leading vaccine developers is working on a plan to inoculate students going overseas with Covid-19 shots that are yet to get regulatory approval, according to people familiar with the matter, as the country pushes scientific boundaries in the race for a viable immunization.

China National Biotec Group Co., or CNBG, a subsidiary of state-owned Sinopharm Group Co., is in talks with the Chinese government about giving students headed abroad to study its experimental vaccines, said the people, who asked not to be identified as they’re not authorized to speak publicly. Various government agencies are still working on the plan and no final decision has been made, the people said.

— With assistance by Tom Redmond

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