New Zealand Delays Elections; Australia Deaths: Virus Update

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New Zealand delayed its national election by four weeks over concerns its coronavirus outbreak could disrupt the campaign and balloting. Australia had its deadliest day, and the state of Victoria extended a state of emergency.

U.S. fatalities exceeded 1,000 for the fifth consecutive day, though cases slowed. Italy and Spain told nightclubs to close. France’s public health agency warned that all of the country’s Covid-19 indicators are trending upward.

South Korea warned of another mass infection after reporting the highest number of cases since early March. China and Russia have plans to jointly conduct vaccine clinical trials, a top Chinese virus expert said.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Global cases top 21.5 million; deaths pass 773,000
  • First into the virus slump, China is proving the fastest out
  • Russia’s new Sputnik launch raises risks in dash for Covid shots
  • India’s virus testing system is ‘like flipping a coin’
  • Vaccine Tracker: Where we are in the race for Covid-19 protection

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.

Australia Has Deadliest Day With 25 Fatalities in Victoria (7:32 a.m.)

Australia had its deadliest day in the pandemic, with 25 fatalities in the state of Victoria. The nation’s second-most populous state, which has imposed a lockdown and nighttime curfew in its capital Melbourne, on Monday also reported 282 new cases in the past 24 hours, down from daily tallies in the 700s in late July.

Victoria is isolated from the rest of the nation as other states have closed their borders — threatening to deepen and prolong the economic recession. On Sunday, Victoria’s government announced it will extend a state of emergency until mid-September.

Spain to Shut Famed Nightclubs After Links to Outbreaks (7:17 a.m. HK)

Spain will start shutting nightspots this week after they were blamed for spikes in the coronavirus cases that triggered new travel warnings, dealing another body blow to the country’s $175 billion tourism industry.

From Ibiza to the crowded urban nightspots of Madrid, some 25,000 discos and clubs were emerging only feebly from one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns that ended in June. Suspending operations again was one of 11 measures the country’s regional governments agreed to take to curb the fastest virus growth rate among Europe’s major economies.

Texas Hospitalizations Down (6:50 a.m. HK)

Coronavirus patients in Texas hospitals fell to 6,267, the lowest in seven weeks. Another 143 deaths were reported, to just under a total of 10,000 fatalities. The state added 6,204 new cases, fewer than the previous day, for a total of 535,042.

New Zealand Postpones Election (6:23 a.m. HK)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has delayed the general election by four weeks until Oct. 17 as a community outbreak of Covid-19 worsens.

Ardern said Monday she delayed the election from Sept. 19 after consultation with other political parties, to provide certainty to voters.

A fresh outbreak of the virus in Auckland has seen the largest city locked down since Aug. 12 with people urged to stay home and consumer-facing businesses shut — denting consumer confidence while making political campaigning and fund-raising impossible. The city, home to almost one third of the nation’s 5 million citizens, is a key battleground for Ardern as her Labour Party seeks a second term.

Brazil Cases, Deaths Down (5:50 p.m. NY)

Brazil reported 23,101 cases, down from 41,576 the previous day, for a total of 3,340,197. Another 620 deaths, down from 709 the day before, were added in the nation hit worst by the pandemic after the U.S. Total deaths are now 107,852.

Virus Clusters Spread at University of North Carolina (5:15 p.m. NY)

A new cluster of Covid-19 cases has broken out at a University of North Carolina residence, the fourth in the last three days, the Daily Tar Heel reported on Sunday.

A university spokesman said it would not say how many students were infected, according to the student newspaper. The university defines as five or more cases in “close proximity.”

Another Georgia High School Closes (2:58 p.m.)

A third high school in a Georgia county hit by a Covid-19 outbreak said it would close after 25 students tested positive and 500 were quarantined, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The school district expects more of the 1,800 students to be quarantined once testing is completed.

California ICU Trend Reaches Seven-Week High (2:05 p.m. NY)

California added 7,873 new cases — compared with the 14-day average of 8,029 — bringing the total to 621,562. Deaths rose by 77 to 11,224.

While the number of hospital patients fell to the lowest level since the end of June, the percentage of those in ICU increased to 31.8% based on a five-day average, the highest since late June, according to data on the state’s health department’s website.

France Headed for Masks in Offices (1:48 p.m. NY)

France reported 3,015 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, marking the second straight day with more than 3,000 new infections. One additional death was reported.

“The situation is worrying: All indicators continue to increase and the transmission of the virus is on the rise,” the French public health agency said in a statement.

French Labor Minister Elisabeth Borne will propose Tuesday that masks be required in businesses by September in places where people work together in an enclosed space, she said in an interview with Journal du Dimanche.

Italy Closes Nightclubs, Widens Mask Orders (1:30 p.m. NY)

The Italian government ordered nightclubs to close and broadened rules on wearing protective masks after talks Sunday with regional leaders.

N.J. Governor Backs Biden Mask Plan (10 a.m. NY)

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said on Sunday he supports Joe Biden’s suggestion that each state should require its people to wear face masks to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus that continues to ravage the U.S.

U.K. Cases Pass 1,000 Again (9:55 a.m. NY)

U.K. cases increased by more than 1,000 for the sixth consecutive day and five more people died of Covid-19, according to figures from the Department of Health and Social Care.

The latest daily figure for deaths, which includes all those who tested positive for coronavirus in the U.K. and then died within 28 days of that test, rose from three reported Saturday, according to the department. The number of new cases was up from 1,012 Saturday.

U.S. Rise in Cases Below 7-Day Average (8 a.m. NY)

U.S. cases increased by 47,813, a 0.9% rise on the day. That’s lower than the 1% increase over the previous week, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg. It was the smallest increase since Tuesday.

Deaths related to Covid-19 rose by 1,046 nationwide, the fifth-consecutive day with more than 1,000, though almost 300 fewer than the previous day, according to the data.

Netherlands Tightens Travel Guidelines (6 a.m. NY)

The Netherlands raised its travel advisory level to orange for three Spanish regions, including Madrid and the Balearic Islands, as well as for Paris and Brussels.

China, Russia Plan Joint Tests: Chinese Scientist (4:35 a.m. NY)

Zhong Nanshan, a top virus expert in China, said at a meeting on Sunday that China and Russia have plans to jointly conduct vaccine clinical trials, without giving further details. The meeting, held in China’s Guangdong province, is about virus cooperation between the two countries and attended by virus experts from both sides, according to local reports.

Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin’s drugmaker Petrovax is starting a phase III trial in Russia of Chinese company CanSino Biologics Inc.’s Ad5-nCoV vaccine candidate, it said on its website Saturday. Petrovax plans to produce the vaccine at its facilities in the Moscow Region once it’s registered in Russia.

Russia Gets Saudi Arabia to Test Vaccine (3:15 a.m. NY)

Russia reached an agreement in principle to conduct clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to the head of its sovereign wealth fund.

— With assistance by Ian Fisher

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