UK Eyes Sealing London, Australia Tightens Rules: Virus Update – Yahoo Finance UK

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(Bloomberg) —

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering sealing off Greater London and ordering at-risk members of the population to stay at home under a potential scenario designed to avert a second national lockdown, according to news reports.

Australia’s Victoria state tightened restrictions and declared a state of disaster after its outbreak showed no signs of abating. It will put Metropolitan Melbourne under a curfew limiting movement between 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Virus cases slowed in Japan and Germany, while U.S. nationwide deaths exceeded 1,000 for a fifth consecutive day. Israel’s Minister of Jerusalem affairs tested positive for the virus, prompting controls of people he contacted in the Knesset.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Global Cases 17.8 Million; Deaths 682,931U.K. Prime Minister considers sealing off Greater London into avert second wave of virusWhen It Comes to Covid Vaccines, Rich Nations Are First in LineThe virus is the summer house guest from hellUp Against Fierce New Waves, Nations Turn to Sewage and DronesHurricane Isaias heads for Covid-stricken Florida coastJapan acted like the virus had gone. Now it’s spreading everywhereThose stuck-at-home investors who think they can beat the market

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

Israel Minister’s Infection Prompts Concern Over Parliament Contacts (4:00 p.m. HK)

Rafi Peretz, Israel’s Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, said late Saturday on Twitter that he had tested positive for coronavirus and that he is feeling well.

Peretz was in Israel’s parliament on both Tuesday and Wednesday and anyone who was in contact with him was asked to remain at home while the Knesset conducts an epidemiological study, a spokesman said. It wasn’t immediately known if he was in contact with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The study has been completed Minister of Higher and Secondary Education and Water Resources Zeev Elkin tweeted that he had been told by the Health Ministry to enter isolation after meeting Peretz last week. Elkin and two other ministers must quarantine until Aug. 9.

Israel has had more than 72,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, including more than 520 fatalities.

WHO Sees ‘Lengthy’ Pandemic (4:00 p.m. NY)

An emergency committee of the World Health Organization said it expects the Covid-19 pandemic to be of “lengthy duration” and that it remains “a public health emergency of international concern,” the WHO said in a statement Saturday.

“The pandemic is a once-in-a-century health crisis, the effects of which will be felt for decades to come,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was quoted as telling panel on Friday. “Many countries that believed they were past the worst are now grappling with new outbreaks.”

The committee recommended a sustained attack on the virus on all fronts, from testing and tracing to developing treatments to vaccines.

South Africa’s Ramaphosa Urges Caution as Virus Cases Top 500,000 (3:59 p.m. HK)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa urged citizens to remain careful and adapt to measures necessary to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic as confirmed infections in the country breached 500,000.

With 503,290 confirmed Covid-19 cases and more than 8,000 fatalities, South Africa is the worst-hit country on the continent. The stabilization of a daily increase in infections in the province of Gauteng, which includes the economic hub of Johannesburg, the Western Cape and Eastern Cape suggests that prevention measures are having an effect, he said.

Russia New Cases Rise by More Than 5,000; Many Asymptomatic (3:56 p.m. HK)

Russia reported 5,427 new confirmed coronavirus infections in the past day, raising the total to 850,870, according to data from the Russian government’s virus response center.

Almost 29% of new cases are asymptomatic. In the past day 70 people died of the disease, bringing total death toll to 14,128, while 3,649 people recovered, pushing total to 650,173.

Singapore Reports 313 New Infections; Most in Foreign Worker Camps (3:45 p.m. HK)

Ministry of Health has confirms on a preliminary basis, an additional 313 cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore, the vast majority of whom are work permit holders residing in foreign worker dormitories.

Story continues

German New Cases Decline, Infection Rate Edges Higher (2:30 p.m. HK)

Germany recorded 606 new virus cases in the 24 hours through Sunday, down from 864 on Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The reproduction rate, which guages the average number of people infected by one carrier of the disease, held above the key threshold of 1.0 for a ninth day. It rose to 1.13 on Saturday, from 1.06 the previous day, the latest report from the country’s RKI public health institute showed.

The number of infections in Germany now totals 211,005 as cases have advanced steadily since the country eased its lockdown restrictions.

Tokyo Finds 292 New Coronavirus Cases, NHK Says (02: 33 p.m. HK)

Daily new coronavirus cases in Tokyo fell to 292 on Sunday from a record high the previous day, according to public broadcaster NHK.

The drop comes after new cases in Japan’s capital extended a record for three straight days with 472 infections found on Saturday. The recent surge has prompted Tokyo to set tighter rules on bars, restaurants and karaoke shops, which have been asked to shorten business hours from Aug. 3 until the end of the month, the first such restrictions since Tokyo lifted all limits in June.

China to Help Hong Kong Boost Virus Tests (01:23 p.m.)

China is sending mainland technicians and medical experts to Hong Kong to help the city boost testing for coronavirus and build a makeshift “cabin hospital” for Covid-19 patients amid a worsening outbreak in the territory.

More than 60 laboratory technicians from Guangdong province will be sent to Hong Kong at the request of its government, China’s National Health Commission said in a statement on its website on Saturday, adding that authorities are ready to provide more mainland resources and support “at any time.”

Hong Kong reported 125 coronavirus cases for Saturday, taking the city’s total to 3,397, the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health said in a statement. The authority urged the public to practice social distancing and “avoid all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong.”

Australia’s Victoria Tightens Lockdown (01:16 p.m. HK)

Australia’s Victoria state tightened restrictions and declared a state of disaster after its outbreak showed no signs of abating three weeks after capital Melbourne was put under lockdown.

State Premier Daniel Andrews announced 671 new cases in the past 24 hours with seven deaths. More than 380 people were in hospital, with 38 in intensive care.

Andrews said he would declare a state of disaster from 6 p.m. tonight, which would give police added powers. Metropolitan Melbourne would be under a curfew limiting movement between 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. The new restrictions will be in force for six weeks.

Vietnam to Test 1.1 Million People in City at Center of Outbreak (12:55 p.m. HK)

Vietnam will test all residents of Danang, the city at the center of a coronavirus outbreak with 1.1 million people, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported, as the risk of a widening spread increases.

There were two more confirmed cases linked to the Danang outbreak, the health ministry said on Sunday, while another two were imported infections. More than 800,000 people had traveled to the coastal city since July 1, and returned to their home provinces and cities, according to the government, while about 41,000 people had visited three hospitals there where most of the infections occurred.

Vietnam has reported 174 new virus patients, mostly from Danang, since July 25 when the first locally-transmitted case was confirmed after more than three months. The Southeast Asian nation now has 590 virus cases, including 214 under treatment and three deaths.

Philippines Pushes Back on Call for Second Manila Lockdown (11:57 a.m. HK)

The Philippine health department rejected a call by medical frontline workers to reimpose a two-week lockdown in Metro Manila and nearby areas, pointing to concerns following the nation’s worst economic slump in three decades.

“The economy cannot be at a standstill and employment and livelihood are at the minds of millions of Filipinos right now,” the Department of Health said in a statement.

Groups of medical staff on Saturday appealed to the government to reintroduce the so-called enhanced community quarantine in the capital and nearby provinces for the two-week period to ease a rise in infections and allow health-care workers time to recover from exhaustion. They also called for a comprehensive policy to fight the pandemic and a central body that will oversee its implementation.

Singapore, Malaysia to Roll Out ‘Green Lane’ Arrangement (09:23 a.m. HK)

Singapore and Malaysia have finalized key details of a so-called green lane arrangement for business travel and for periodic commuters. The city state will start accepting applications for both categories from August 10 through its SafeTravel website, according to a Singapore government statement.

The reciprocal green lane program will allow short-term essential business and official travel between both countries for as many as 14 days through air and land checkpoints for sponsored travelers. Commuters from Malaysia to Singapore will be only allowed through land crossings and must agree to spend at least 90 days for work after entry.

London Lockdown Weighed: Reports (6:40 a.m. HK)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering sealing off Greater London and ordering at-risk members of the population to stay at home under a potential scenario designed to avert a second national lockdown, according to news reports.

Possible measures include locking down the capital if infection rates spike and tightening quarantine rules on those flying into the U.K., The Sunday Telegraph reported. There would be travel curbs in and out of the M25 highway encircling Greater London and a ban on overnight stays, according to the Sunday Times.

Elderly people and those considered to have an increased risk from Covid-19 could be asked to stay at home, and “harder” local lockdowns could be ordered than the restrictions already imposed on parts of northern England.

Brazil Deaths, Cases Slow (6:35 a.m. HK)

Brazil reported 45,392 new cases, down from 52,383 the previous day. Total cases, in the nation hit worst by outbreak after the U.S., are 2.6 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. Another 1,088 deaths were reported, down from 1,212 the day before, for a total of 92,475.

Isaias Down to Tropical Storm for Now (4:48 p.m. NY)

Hurricane Isaias weakened to a tropical storm, but is expected to regain hurricane strength overnight while approaching Florida’s southeastern coast, the National Hurricane Center said in a statement.

The storm edged closer to Florida on Saturday, adding to woes for a state grappling with record cases of Covid-19, and potentially causing $3 billion in economic losses if it rakes the eastern seaboard. Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency and Covid testing sites will be shut until Wednesday. Virus statistics are likely to vary in Florida over the next few days.

“For those living on the East Coast, prepare now,” DeSantis said on Twitter on Friday. “Have 7 days of food, water, medicine & other supplies in case you lose power.”

Texas Reports Almost 10,000 New Cases; U.S. Cases Rise 1.5% (04:30 p.m. NY)

The U.S. added 66,545 new virus cases Friday, a 1.5% increase compared to the daily average rise of 1.6% of the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. Total cases were 4,561,511. Another 1,353 deaths were reported, the fifth consecutive day of fatalities over 1,000. The daily increase was 0.9%, above the 7-day average of 0.8%. Total deaths have reached 153,415, the most of any country.

Texas reported 9,539 daily new cases on Saturday, boosting the state’s total to 430,485 confirmed cases. Deaths rose by 268 to 6,837, the Department of State Health Services said on its website.California’s confirmed cases surpassed 500,000 with an additional 6,542 infections, fewer than the rolling 14-day average, according to the state health department’s website. Deaths increased by 219 on Friday to 9,224, a 2.4% rise from the previous day. California now has 500,130 confirmed cases of Covid-19. The number of diagnostic test results reached 7,886,587, an increase of 75,546 tests since Thursday. The rate of positive tests over the last 14 days is 7.3%.Florida reported 179 deaths among residents, ending four consecutive days of record-high fatalities. Total deaths among residents are now 7,022. The state, which is preparing for Hurricane Isaias, reported another 9,642 cases, a 2% rise that is less than the 2.3% average increase over the previous week. Total cases are now 480,028.Arizona reported 2,992 cases, a 1.7% increase compared with an average daily rise of 1.5% in the previous seven days. Total cases, at a time when the state has doubled testing, are 177,002. The state reported 53 new fatalities, below the 68 counted the day before, for a total of 3,747. Arizona’s rate of positive tests dropped again, to 12.6%, down from 15.7% reported Friday and 21.3% the day before.

Democrat Tests Positive, Blasts Republicans (2:30 p.m. NY)

Democratic Representative Raul Grijalva said he’s infected with the coronavirus, days after a Capitol Hill hearing where a Republican House member in attendance later tested positive for Covid-19.

“While I cannot blame anyone directly for this, this week has shown that there are some Members of Congress who fail to take this crisis seriously,” said the Arizona Democrat. “Numerous Republican members routinely strut around the Capitol without a mask to selfishly make a political statement at the expense of their colleagues, staff, and their families.”

Grijalva said in a statement he isn’t exhibiting symptoms and has been self-isolating at his home in Washington since Wednesday upon learning that Texas Republican Representative Louie Gohmert tested positive.

White House, Democrats at Odds on Job Aid (1:44 p.m. NY)

Talks between Congressional Democrats and Trump administration left key questions unanswered on extending unemployment insurance and other pandemic relief.

“There’s still a lot of work to do” to strike a deal, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin after the three-hour meeting Saturday. An impasse continues, he said, on whether to do a short-term extension deal for enhanced unemployment benefits or to push forward with efforts for a comprehensive deal sought by Democrats.

New York to Decide on Schools Next Week (12:28 p.m. NY)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would make a decision on school reopening in the coming week, based mostly on the overall infection rate. He said New York City missed a Friday deadline to submit reopening plans.

“An initial decision at this point is schools should plan on reopening,” Cuomo said in a call with reporters Saturday.

But he cautioned that one variable will be the comfort level of parents — and he said not all parents are in favor of opening. “So you open a school, you will have partial attendance, which will serve no one,” he said.

New York reported 753 new virus cases, in line with the 0.2% average increase of the previous seven days. The state reported four new deaths.

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