(Bloomberg) — Beijing’s growing outbreak is posing a new test for Chinese President Xi Jinping. Outbreak in the city exceeded 150 in China’s worst flare-up since Wuhan.
Japan is set to lift travel curbs Friday.
President Donald Trump said the coronavirus pandemic will “fade away” even without a vaccine, but researchers are close to developing one anyhow. U.S. states including Texas, Florida and Arizona reported a jump in cases, increasing concerns about a new wave of infections. New York City, once the outbreak’s epicenter, is moving toward additional reopening next week.
- Virus Tracker: Global cases top 8.3 million; deaths exceed 447,500
- Doctors fear Arizona overload; Oregon joins Florida, Texas in confronting resurgence
- Honduran president hospitalized with virus
- Houston-area leader rebuffs governor with stay-home plea
- Where to invest as second wave of virus infections hits markets
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Pompeo for Full Transparency (11:05 a.m. HK)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed about full transparency on virus in a conversation with his China counterpart, according to a readout by the State Department. Pompeo “stressed important American interests and the need for fully-reciprocal dealings between the two nations across commercial, security, and diplomatic interactions,” the State Department said.
Coronavirus Will Fade Away: Trump (10:42 a.m. HK)
The coronavirus pandemic will “fade away” even without a vaccine, but researchers are close to developing one anyhow, Trump said.
“We’re very close to a vaccine and we’re very close to therapeutics, really good therapeutics,” Trump said Wednesday night in a television interview with Fox News. “But even without that, I don’t even like to talk about that, because it’s fading away, it’s going to fade away, but having a vaccine would be really nice and that’s going to happen.”
Trump also told Fox news that “China should have kept it where it was,” referring to Covid-19. “They could have easily stopped it.”
Japan to Lift Domestic Travel Curbs (9:53 a.m. HK)
The Japanese government will lift all domestic travel restrictions Friday as it looks to move into the next phase of reopening, including a restart of events and nightlife.
The new guidelines, which will no longer discourage the movement of people between prefectures, are expected to be announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Thursday evening. Professional sporting events without spectators, as well as indoor events of as many as 1,000 people at 50% capacity, will also be allowed. The scale of indoor events is expected to be expanded July 10.
Australian Employment Declines (9:41 a.m. HK)
Australian unemployment surged in May and another swathe of jobs were lost as ongoing restrictions to stem the spread of the coronavirus kept large parts of the economy shuttered.
The jobless rate advanced to 7.1% from a revised 6.4% in April vs economists’ median estimate of 6.9%, data from the statistics bureau showed in Sydney Thursday. Employment plunged by 227,700 in May after falling an upwardly revised 607,400 in April. The participation rate fell to 62.9%. Economists had penciled in 63.6%.
Beijing Outbreak Tops 150 (9:32 a.m. HK)
A coronavirus outbreak continued to spread in Beijing, with 21 new cases announced Thursday, presenting the biggest challenge yet in China’s efforts to prevent a second wave of infections.
The total number of infections in China’s capital is now more than 150. While the daily count of new infections is slowing from previous days, health officials have warned that the outbreak stemming from the city’s largest wholesale fruit and vegetable market is expected to continue growing.
South Korea Has 59 More Cases (9:19 a.m. HK)
South Korea adds 59 more coronavirus cases in 24 hours, marking a total of 12,257 cases in the country, according to data from the health ministry. One more death was reported, taking the total to 280.
New Zealand Reports One New Case (9:14 a.m. HK)
New case is man who arrived from overseas, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield tells media conference Thursday in Wellington. The man is now in quarantine. This takes the total number of active cases in the country to three.
China Signals Further Reserve Ratio Cut (8:47 a.m. HK)
China’s cabinet signaled that the central bank will act to make more liquidity available to banks so they can lend more, including by cutting the amount of money they have to keep in reserve.
China will reduce the reserve requirement ratio and use its relending policy to keep liquidity ample, state television reported Wednesday, citing a State Council meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang. The council, which is China’s cabinet, also urged financial institutions to support companies by sacrificing 1.5 trillion yuan ($212 billion) in profits this year by offering lower lending rates, deferring loan repayments and cutting fees.
Protester Tests Positive in Melbourne (8:41 am HK)
A third person who attended a Black Lives Matter protest earlier this month in Melbourne has tested positive for Covid-19 as cases continue to rise in the Australian state of Victoria. The demonstrator at the June 6 rally was unlikely to have been contagious at the event, but did work for two days at a clothing store in a shopping center while infectious, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported, citing state Health Minister Jenny Mikakos.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Tests Positive (8:34 a.m. HK)
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chief Executive Officer Antonio Neri tested positive for Covid-19.
“Yesterday I tested positive for Covid-19,” Neri, 53 years old, said in a tweet. “The good news is, I feel much better already and plan to proceed with business as usual while I quarantine from home.”
Mexico Has 770 More Deaths (8:15 a.m. HK)
Mexico reported 4,930 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 159,793, according to data released by the Health Ministry Wednesday night. As many as 770 people died, taking the total number to 19,080.
Arizona Governor Says Cities May Mandate Masks (8:05 a.m. HK)
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, whose state has seen a surge in cases, changed course and gave cities and counties the power to require that people wear masks.
The executive order came after leaders across Arizona pleaded for more authority to address the lax social distancing they have noted since the end of the state’s stay-at-home order on May 15. Ducey, who has rebuffed calls for a statewide mask mandate, said Wednesday that the rising case numbers and hospitalizations are “concerning.”
Brazil Nods to More Easing (7:49 a.m. HK)
Brazil’s central bank left the door open to more monetary easing after cutting its interest rate to a record low, reflecting fresh doubts the economy would quickly recover from the pandemic.
The central bank on Wednesday cut the benchmark Selic by 75 basis points to 2.25% in the eighth straight reduction. Policy makers wrote in an accompanying statement that uncertainty about an expected second-half recovery is “larger than usual.”
U.K. Says Apple Blocking App (7:27 a.m. HK)
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told members of parliament that Apple is attempting to block government-created contact tracing apps so as to promote use of its own, the Telegraph reported, without citing where it obtained the information.
Qantas Announces Cancellations (7:11 a.m. HK)
Qantas Airways Ltd. canceled most international flights until late October after the government indicated Australia’s borders won’t reopen any time soon. The cancellations don’t apply to services between Australia and New Zealand.
London City Airport Reopening (7:01 a.m. HK)
London City Airport will reopen this weekend after almost three months without a single passenger flight, reviving a key travel artery to the U.K. capital’s main financial districts.
Services will initially be confined to the British Isles, starting with the Isle of Man from Sunday and links to Scotland, northern England and Dublin next month.
Honduran President Hospitalized (6 a.m. HK)
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez was hospitalized and diagnosed with pneumonia, a day after he said he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Hernandez is in a military hospital in the capital Tegucigalpa, where he is receiving I.V. treatments and is in “good health,” his doctor Francis Contreras told reporters Wednesday.
The president’s wife is also infected with the virus and is asymptomatic, Contreras said.