Deaths, Cases at Grim Levels; Germany Stable: Virus Update

Deaths, Cases at Grim Levels; Germany Stable: Virus Update
Deaths, Cases at Grim Levels; Germany Stable: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — Deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 500,000 worldwide and confirmed cases exceeded 10 million as the World Health Organization reported the most infections for a single day. All indicators point to a pandemic that is far from over.

The Australian state of Victoria recorded 75 more infections, raising concerns of a second wave as the nation removes lockdown restrictions. Germany’s infection rate stayed below the key threshold of 1.0 for a fifth day.

Texas is fast becoming the new center of the pandemic in the U.S. Almost three-quarters of Americans in a survey said the Trump administration wasn’t ready to deal with the outbreak when it started. Vice President Mike Pence encouraged people to wear masks, two days after declining to give that specific guidance.

Key Developments:

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Thailand to Allow Schools, Bars to Reopen (1:47 p.m. HK)

Thailand will allow all schools, nightclubs and bars to reopen in the country’s fifth stage of reopening, Taweesilp Witsanuyotin, a spokesman for the Covid-19 center, said at a briefing. The nightclubs and bars will be subject to restrictions on the numbers of patrons and closing hours.

Thailand plans to extend its state of emergency to manage risks as the country prepares for the latest reopening, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha said on Monday.

German Infection Rate Stays Below Key Threshold (1:35 p.m. HK)

Germany’s coronavirus infection rate stayed below the key threshold of 1.0 for a fifth day. The reproduction factor rose to 0.71 on Sunday, from 0.62 the previous day, according to the latest estimate by the country’s health body, the Robert Koch Institute.

There were 235 new cases in the 24 hours through Monday morning, down from 422 the previous day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. There were no new fatalities recorded.

A jump in the infection rate from around June 20 was driven by local outbreaks, including in two municipalities in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

China Halts Meat Imports From More Plants (1:14 p.m. HK)

China suspended meat imports from more plants, including chickens from a JBS unit, beef from a Cargill factory in Canada and pork from a Danish Crown plant, taking the total to 15 by June 28, according to the country’s customs department.

Customs will not accept any import application for delivery from the date when the halt started, it said, without providing any reason for the suspension. Earlier, the department stopped meat imports from plants reporting coronavirus infections among their employees.

Ardern Says More Work to Be Done on Travel Bubble (1:01 p.m. HK)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said more work needs to be done for an agreement on a trans-Tasman bubble for safe travel to Australia. She said in a news conference the cabinet will not move to open the border with Australia until it has reassurances that New Zealanders will be safe. More broadly, she said it is untenable to be opening up the border to Covid-19.

Cases Surge in Australia’s Hot Spot (10:01 a.m. HK)

The Australian state of Victoria has recorded 75 more cases in the past 24 hours, health authorities announced, leading to increased concern the nation may be on the cusp of a second wave of cases as it removes lockdown restrictions that have crippled the economy.

The surge in cases in Melbourne, the capital of Australia’s second-most-populous state, have been centered around suburbs in the city’s northern and western fringes. Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, who has indicated that some of those areas may need to return to stricter lockdown measures, has blamed some clusters on large family gatherings that have broken social-distancing restrictions.

Beijing Reports Seven New Coronavirus Cases (9:04 a.m. HK)

Beijing reported seven new coronavirus infections June 28, bringing total cases linked to a recent outbreak to 318, Beijing Municipal Health Commission said in a statement. The number of infections was down from 14 reported a day earlier. Overall, China reported a total of 12 new cases for June 28.

Houston Official Leading Virus Fight Is in Self-Quarantine (9:01 a.m. HK)

The top county executive in the Houston area is in self-quarantine after a staffer tested positive for Covid-19. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo plans to self-isolate at home for 14 days after an employee in her office tested positive, according to a statement.

Hidalgo has been one of the most-prominent critics of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s aggressive reopening of the second-largest U.S. economy. Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations have spiked since the state reopened eight weeks ago, pushing intensive-care wards to full capacity and sparking concerns about a surge in fatalities as the contagion spreads.