(Bloomberg) -- Europe’s leaders are ramping up efforts to force tougher local restrictions amid a surge in coronavirus cases across the region. Germany’s infections topped 4,000 for a second straight day.
China joined a World Health Organization-backed vaccine effort, stepping in to fill a void in global health leadership after U.S. President Donald Trump spurned the program. Trump -- who’s back in the Oval Office -- is able to return to public engagements on Saturday, his doctor said.
India continued on a trajectory to overtake the U.S. as the country with the most cases, as infections neared 7 million. Outbreaks from New Jersey to North Dakota strained health care in parts of the U.S., less than a month before the general election.
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Czech Republic Reports Third Day of Record Infections (3:03 p.m. HK)
The Czech Republic reported a third consecutive record number of people newly infected with coronavirus as the government announced stricter measures to contain the outbreak. The country registered 5,394 new cases on Thursday. The country’s 14-day cumulative number of Covid-19 cases per capita is now the highest in the EU, followed by Spain, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
U.K. Recovery Runs Out of Steam Amid Virus Surge (2:57 p.m. HK)
The U.K.’s recovery hit the buffers in August as the economy grew at less than half the anticipated pace. Gross domestic product rose 2.1% from July, compared to economist forecasts for 4.6%, even as the government stepped up efforts revive the beleaguered hospitality industry.
The figures will come as a concern to officials since August was when virus curbs on activity were at their lowest and government support for the hospitality industry peaked. Swathes of the country are now back under restrictions as cases surge.
German Infections Above 4,000 for Second Day (1:51 p.m. HK)
Germany recorded more than 4,000 new cases for a second day, as major cities including the capital Berlin experience a surge in infections fueled by social gatherings and returning travelers.
The number of cases rose by 4,804 in the 24 hours through Friday morning, the most since April 10, after a gain of 4,010 on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
“Crowds of people -- especially indoors -- should be avoided if possible and celebrations should be limited to the closest circle of family and friends,” the country’s RKI public health institute said in its latest situation report.
Thailand in Talks With Russia, China Vaccine Developers (12:51 p.m. HK)
Thailand is in talks with several Chinese, Russian and U.K. vaccine developers to secure viable inoculations against the coronavirus as soon as they became available -- a key element in the country’s effort to reopen its tourism-reliant economy.
The Southeast Asian nation also expects to reach agreements with the University of Oxford and Covax, a World Health Organization-backed initiative, by the end of October, according to Nakorn Premsri, director of Thailand’s National Vaccine Institute.
India Confirmed Cases Rise to Near 7 Million (12:04 p.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.
1,000 Newcastle Students Test Positive: Telegraph (11:56 a.m. HK)
Newcastle University said 1,003 of its 28,000 students tested positive for Covid-19 this month and 12 staff members were also found to have the virus, the Telegraph reported, citing the university. The “overwhelming” majority of cases were from social and residential settings, a university spokeswoman told the newspaper.
China Joins WHO’s Global Coronavirus Vaccine Program (9:01 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.
White House Open to Bigger Stimulus Bill (5:55 a.m. HK)
The White House shifted tack on Thursday, signaling that the administration is again leaning toward a large-scale stimulus bill after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed back on the idea of individual measures for parts of the economy hit by the Covid-19 crisis.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Pelosi in a 40-minute call that Trump wants agreement on a comprehensive stimulus package, her spokesman said.
Texas Hospitalizations Jump to Four-Week High (5:22 a.m. HK)
Texas virus hospitalizations rose for a fourth straight day to 3,556, the highest since Sept. 10, according to state health department data. It’s the longest stretch of daily increases since July, when the state’s outbreak was at its worst.
Despite the surge in raw numbers, the share of hospitalizations attributable to the pandemic was at 7.2% in data released Thursday. That figure has been less than 15% -- Governor Greg Abbott’s declared threshold for reopening parts of the economy -- for almost two months.
Brazil, Argentina Add New Cases, Deaths (5:05 a.m. HK)
Brazil added 27,750 cases, bringing the total to 5,028,444. The number of deaths reached 148,957 after adding 729 new fatalities, the Heath Ministry said. The country has four vaccines against Covid-19 that are in the final stage before applying for registration, it added.
In Argentina, 15,454 new cases were reported, for a total of 856,369. The number of new deaths rose by 485 to 22,710, the government said.
Suicide Spike in Japan Shows Covid Mental Health Toll (5 a.m. HK)
Suicides rose in Japan in August due to an increase in women and school-aged children taking their own lives, a first glimpse into the consequences of the mental health strain brought about by Covid-19 around the globe.
Spain Weighs State of Emergency for Madrid (4:49 p.m. NY)
President Pedro Sanchez is calling for an extraordinary meeting with ministers on Friday to decree a 15-day state of emergency in Madrid, daily El Pais reported.
North Dakota Sets Record (3:40 p.m. NY)
North Dakota’s new infections remained at a record with 531 new cases. The state, which is also without a mask-wearing requirement, had the most cases per capita in the U.S. in the past week, putting healthcare there under severe strain.
“We’ve got some numbers that are still going in the wrong direction,” Governor Doug Burgum told reporters, according to the Bismarck Tribune.
State data show only 13% of 1,831 beds available. The newspaper reported there were only 25 open intensive-case beds.
NYC Will Close More Public Schools (2:25 p.m. NY)
New York City is closing an additional 61 public schools, bringing to 169 the number shut to combat Covid-19 hot spots, Mayor Bill de Blasio said as opposition to community restrictions intensified in Orthodox Jewish areas.
The earliest reopening would be Oct. 21, he said. Closings are now affecting about 10% of the city’s public schools.
New Jersey Cases, Positive-Tests Spike (1:39 p.m. NY)
New Jersey recorded 1,301 new cases, the most since May 19. It hadn’t exceeded 1,000 new cases in a single day since May 29. The statewide positivity rate is 3.69%, and the number of people hospitalized hit the highest since Aug. 5.
Trump Wants Emergency Use of Drug ‘Immediately’ (1:33 p.m. NY)
Trump says he wants emergency use authorization signed “immediately” for the Covid-19 treatment that he received.
“We’re going to get it to you soon,” Trump said in recorded video posted on Twitter. “It’s totally safe.”
Trump didn’t name specific drugs in his video. On Wednesday, he called Regeneron’s antibody cocktail a “cure” that was “key” to his recovery.
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