(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump cancelled the Republican presidential convention in Jacksonville. “There’s nothing more important than keeping our country safe,” he said. Delegates will still travel to North Carolina for the nomination, he said.
U.S. coronavirus cases surpassed 4 million, doubling over a span of six weeks after infections surged in Sun Belt states. Deaths in California and Florida rose to records on Thursday.
Roche Holding’s chief executive officer said a shortage of Covid-19 tests may last for months. About 400,000 airline workers globally have been fired, furloughed or told they may lose their jobs. South African state schools will close for four weeks as a preacautionary step.
Global Tracker: Cases exceed 15.2 million; deaths pass 624,000Virus slows in some states, but testing czar warns of undercount‘We’re in a world of hurt,’ Sands president says of Las VegasThe pandemic created workplace tribes. Here’s how to unite themUnsung immune cells take over when virus antibodies waneThe keys to speed in race for vaccine, and its perils: QuickTake
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400,000 Airline Jobs Lost, At Risk (5:08 p.m. NY)
About 400,000 airline workers have been fired, furloughed or told they may lose their jobs due to the coronavirus, according to Bloomberg calculations.
British Airways, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Emirates Airline and Qantas Airways Ltd. are among the carriers announcing thousands of dismissals and unpaid leave programs.
Many more are expected in the U.S. after a ban on job cuts -- a condition of a $50 billion government bailout -- is lifted at the end of September. Delta Air Lines Inc., United Airlines Holdings Inc. and American Airlines Group Inc. have already warned about 35,000 employees that their jobs are at risk. The trio’s combined personnel losses could top 100,000 by year-end.
Texas Virus Deaths Surge in Border Towns (4:50 p.m. NY)
Texas posted its third-worst virus death toll as fatalities surged in sparsely populated border regions. Statewide, 173 Covid-19 fatalities were reported, bringing the cumulative tally since the pandemic emerged to 4,521.
In Hidalgo County, home to border towns such as McAllen, there were 33 virus deaths on Wednesday, a 9% increase, state health department data showed. Cameron County reported 11 new fatalities, an 8.7% jump. Combined, those counties account for less than 5% of the Lone Star state’s population but 12% of its Covid-19 deaths thus far.
Hospital networks in both counties are straining. Hidalgo County’s caseload has expanded 12-fold this month, while Cameron’s has almost tripled, state figures showed.
The statewide hospital census published on Thursday included only about 85% of the state’s facilities “due to a transition in reporting to comply with new federal requirements,” the health department said on its website.
U.S. Cases Exceed 4 Million (4 p.m. NY)
Confirmed Covid-19 cases in the U.S. increased 1.7% compared with the same time Wednesday to 4 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The number broke the 2 million mark on June 10, indicating that cases doubled over the past six weeks. The percentage gain in cases was in line the average daily increase of 1.8% over the past week. Deaths rose 0.9% to 143,701.
Florida posted a record 173 new Covid-19 deaths among residents, pushing the cumulative total to 5,518, according to a state Department of Health report Thursday.California reported a record 157 new virus deaths, pushing its total fatalities to 8,027, according to state health data. Infections climbed by 12,040, second only to Wednesday’s tally for the biggest daily jump. The increase brought the total number of cases to 425,616, the highest in the U.S.Arizona reported 2,335 new cases, an increase of 1.6% to a total of 152,944, below the 2% prior seven-day average. Arizona also reported 89 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 3,063.Infections in Illinois, which are down from a peak in May, reached the highest daily total in two months on Thursday after the state reported 1,624 new cases, the highest since May 25. The number of deaths, however, has not seen the same level of increase and has been at or below 25 over the last two weeks.
South Africa Closes Schools (2:48 p.m. NY)
South African state schools are closing for four weeks amid concern that they lack proper protocols and sufficient protective equipment to keep teachers and pupils safe, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised address.
“We have taken a deliberately cautious approach to keep schools closed in a period when the country is expected to experience its greatest increase in infections,” he said. “It is important to ensure that schools do not become sites of transmission.”
California Reports Record Daily Deaths (2:40 p.m. NY)
California reported a record 157 new virus deaths, pushing its total fatalities to 8,027, according to state health data. Infections climbed by 12,040, second only to yesterday’s tally for the biggest daily jump. The increase was above the 14-day daily average of 9,077 and brought the total number of cases to 425,616, the highest in the U.S. The rate of positive tests over the past 14 days inched up to 7.6% from 7.4% the prior day.
There were some positive trends: virus hospitalizations, which had been at a record, fell 4.8%, while the number of intensive-care patients dropped 3.9%.
Florida Rules Out New Restrictions (1:45 p.m. NY)
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said there was no need to impose new restrictions despite the record number of virus fatalities reported Thursday.
“When the state reports that, that’s not saying those deaths occurred last night,” said DeSantis, a Republican. “Sometimes those can go back months.”
He said measures already in place, like local mask requirements and social distancing, were helping contain the outbreak. “We’re not going to restrict businesses,” he said.
WHO Set to Study Virus Origin in China (1:30 p.m. NY)
China is showing readiness to organize the World Health Organization’s long-delayed study of the virus’s animal origins, said Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program. The WHO’s advance team is set to travel to Beijing soon.
It’s not too late for the three worst-hit countries -- the U.S., Brazil and India -- to get the spread under control, according to Covid-19 lead technical officer Maria Van Kerkhove. Countries should consider restrictions and closures on bars and nightclubs, though blanket shutdowns aren’t necessary, she said.
Cuomo Says NYC Must Lure Residents Back (12:50 p.m. NY)
The coronavirus has driven people and businesses from New York City, and “we have to get them back,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.
Top restaurants, cultural institutions and Broadway remain closed, and increases in crime, homelessness and graffiti are “aggravating factors,” said Cuomo, a Democrat.
In March and April, New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S. On Thursday, the state reported 811 new cases, or a positive rate of 1.16%, and 13 deaths.
U.S. Cases May Be 200,000 Daily (12:25 p.m. NY)
U.S. testing czar Admiral Brett Giroir told Fox News “it is really impossible to track and trace 67,000 new cases a day, which probably means we have about 200,000 cases a day that are actually there.”
He also said most Sun Belt states “are seeing the tide turn” after soaring cases and rising deaths in recent weeks.
Confirmed cases in the U.S. have topped 70,000 four times in the last week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.
Arizona Infection Rate Declines (12:01 p.m. NY)
Arizona reported a positivity rate of 26.7% Thursday, a decrease from 30.5% on Wednesday. While the infection rate and case numbers remain high, public-health experts say the state may have reached a peak.
The state Department of Health Services reported 2,335 new cases, an increase of 1.6% to a total of 152,944, below the 2% prior seven-day average. Arizona also reported 89 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 3,063.
Florida Posts a Record 173 Deaths (10:40 a.m. NY)
Florida posted a record 173 new Covid-19 deaths among residents, pushing the cumulative total to 5,518, according to a state Department of Health report Thursday.
The state had a cumulative 389,868 Covid-19 cases, up 2.7% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 3.3% in the previous seven days, according to the report, which includes data through Wednesday. Cumulative hospitalizations of Florida residents rose by 401, or 1.8%, to 22,644.
The new rate of people testing positive for the first time increased to 12.3% for Wednesday, from 10.5% on Tuesday.
South African Cases Surpass 400,000 (10:25 a.m. NY)
The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in South Africa doubled over the past 17 days to surpass 400,000. More than 13,000 cases were reported for a second consecutive day on Thursday, bringing the cumulative total to 408,052 -- the world’s fifth highest. The government is keeping a close eye on the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, which appears set to follow a trend of surging infections seen in the Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape regions, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told lawmakers.
Houston-Area Virus ICU Use Drops (10:17 a.m. NY)
The number of Covid-19 patients requiring intensive-care unit beds in the Houston area dropped 16% to 733, the lowest in almost three weeks, according to the SouthEast Texas Regional Advisory Council.
Virus patients accounted for 39% of the region’s ICU beds as of late Wednesday, down from 45% a day earlier, the council said on its website. The tally covered Harris County, which includes Houston, and eight surrounding counties.
AMC Delays Reopening U.S. Theatres Again (9:33 a.m. NY)
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the world’s largest cinema chain, delayed the reopening of its U.S. theaters to mid- to late August after Hollywood studios again pushed back their biggest movies. It had planned to reopen them July 30, hoping to catch at least some of the traditional summer-movie season with a few major releases.
U.S. Jobless Claims Rise for First Time Since March (9:32 a.m. NY)
U.S. jobless claims rose last week for the first time since March, the clearest sign yet of a pause in the economic recovery as cases surge in much of the country and force businesses to close once again.
Emirates Offers to Pay Medical Costs (8:54 a.m. NY)
Emirates has come up with a unique way to boost confidence in air travel. The Dubai-based carrier on Thursday offered to cover the medical expenses of its passengers should they be diagnosed with Covid-19 while away from home. Emirates specializes in the type of long-distance flights that have been hit hardest by national lockdowns and fears about contracting the disease. The company will pay expenses of up to 150,000 euros ($174,000) and quarantine costs of 100 euros a day for 14 days.
U.K. Funds Mass Vaccine-Making Center (8:50 a.m. NY)
The U.K. government announced an additional 100 million pounds ($127 million) for a facility to scale up production of any successful Covid-19 vaccine. The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Centre, which will be based in Essex, east of London, will be able to produce millions of doses a month when it opens in December 2021. Another site west of the capital is already under construction. Officials say it will be able to produce enough doses for the whole U.K. population by next year.
More Than 10,000 Health Workers in Africa Infected: WHO (8:18 a.m. NY)
More than 10,000 health workers have been infected in Africa, a sign of the challenges facing medical staff on the front lines of the outbreak, according to a report from the World Health Organization. The data are based on the 40 countries in Africa that have reported infection rates. There are now more than 750,000 cases of Covid-19 on the continent and more than 15,000 deaths. South Africa is among the worst-hit countries in the world.
The WHO cited inadequate access to personal protective equipment. Health workers may also be exposed to patients who don’t show signs of the disease and are being treated for a range of other things.
Reopening Too Early Won’t Help Economy: BOE’s Haskel (8:11 a.m. NY)
Reopening the U.K. economy too early would worsen the damage from Covid-19, according to Bank of England policy maker Jonathan Haskel, citing the U.S. experience as an example. The economy risks “getting stuck” as the fear of infection lingers after the lockdown lifts, with demand likely to remain weak due to the combined concerns about health and unemployment, he said on a webinar Thursday.
U.S. Cases Increase 1.8%; Alaska Up 4.4% (7:30 a.m. NY)
Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 1.8% in the past 24 hours, to 3.97 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News.
The national increase matched the average daily increase over the past week. California had the largest number of confirmed cases at 421,286, a 2.9% advance from the same time the previous day. Infections in Alaska rose 4.4% to 2,131.
Texas had 169 deaths in the last 24 hours, the most for any state.
Lloyd’s to Offer Vaccine Delivery Insurance: FT (7:11 a.m. NY)
Lloyd’s of London will start offering cover for the delivery of potential Covid-19 vaccines, the Financial Times reported.
Parsyl, a cargo insurance specialist, teamed up with Lloyd’s for insurance to cover the costs of delivery and use data analysis to ensure supply chains are more robust, the newspaper said. The move is aimed at transporting vaccines safely to low-income countries.
Daimler Sees Profit After Weathering Crisis (6:16 a.m. NY)
Daimler AG came through the worst of the coronavirus crisis better than feared and sees enough signs of recovery in auto demand to forecast a profit this year.
The Mercedes-Benz maker demonstrated that traditional carmakers might weather the storm as well as Tesla Inc., which remained profitable through the pandemic. Daimler anticipates earnings before interest and taxes and free cash flow to be positive in 2020, the Stuttgart, Germany-based manufacturer said Thursday.
Others have fared less well. Ford Motor Co. forecast a second-quarter operating loss of more than $5 billion. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV withdrew its guidance in May after a worse-than-expected first-quarter loss, saying it may raise more money. Nissan Motor Co. reported its first loss in a decade because of the virus.
U.K. Manufacturers Turn a Corner (6 a.m. NY)
The worst is over for U.K. manufacturers after a torrid quarter, according to the latest survey from the Confederation of British Industry.
Indexes of expected orders and output over the next three months turned positive and sentiment recovered sharply, with optimists and pessimists now in roughly equal balance. However, manufacturers expect to continue cutting jobs and investment.
The figures provide further evidence that activity is picking up as the lockdown imposed in March to stop the spread of coronavirus is gradually eased. Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics indicated that many of the more than 9 million workers idled on government income support during the crisis are now returning to work.
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