(Bloomberg) — Russia registered its first coronavirus vaccine, President Vladimir Putin said during a televised meeting with the government. The vaccine’s registration is conditional and trials will continue while production gets underway, said Health Minister Mikhail Murashko.
Hong Kong reported the fewest cases since the start of the financial hub’s latest outbreak, while infections continued to rise in India and Germany. In the U.K., employment fell the most since 2009, highlighting an economic shock that’s expected to escalate.
In the U.S., which accounts for a quarter of all cases, hard-hit states including New York, California and Texas reported falling hospitalizations. Coronavirus infections breached 20 million cases globally, after doubling in six weeks. It took six months to reach 10 million.
- Global Tracker: Global cases top 20 million; deaths pass 736,000
- Trump end run around Congress fails to jolt stalled relief talks
- Merck bets on one-shot vaccine in race with faster rivals
- Nursing home outbreaks lift Hong Kong, Australia death rates
- Moderna wants to transform the body into vaccine-making machine
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Putin Says Russia Registered First Vaccine (4:37 p.m. HK)
Russia registered its first coronavirus vaccine, President Vladimir Putin said during a televised meeting with the government. The vaccine’s registration is conditional and trials will continue while production gets underway, said Health Minister Mikhail Murashko.
Hong Kong Infections Start to Slow (4:36 p.m. HK)
Hong Kong’s worst outbreak is showing signs of coming under control as the city reported the lowest number of new local infections since its resurgence began over a month ago.
The Asian financial hub reported 32 new local cases on Tuesday, a marked drop from the high double-digit tallies of the past week. New infections have sustained a decline since the peak of 145 local cases on July 30 and have stayed below a hundred daily since Aug. 3.
Heathrow Airport Says U.K. Quarantine Strangling Economy (3:03 p.m. HK)
London’s Heathrow blamed the U.K. government for July traffic figures that show scant evidence of a recovery in demand at what’s normally Europe’s busiest travel hub. The imposition of a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from countries with high infection rates means Britain is effectively cut off from markets including the U.S., Canada and Singapore, Heathrow said in a statement on Tuesday.
Chief Executive Officer John Holland-Kaye said the quarantine policy “continues to strangle the U.K. economy,” with tens of thousands of jobs being lost. He repeated calls for the government to adopt testing at the airport to free up travel while guarding against a new wave of the pandemic.
Namibia Auctions Mackerel to Fight Virus (2:42 p.m. HK)
Namibia plans to auction the right to catch horse mackerel and hake off its coast to foreign fishing vessels to urgently raise money to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s fisheries ministry on Monday announced plans to sell 60% of its so-called Governmental Objective Fish Quota. Along with tourism, beef and mining, fishing is one of Namibia main sources of foreign exchange.
U.K. Employment Drops Most Since 2009 at Height of Lockdown (2:34 p.m. HK)
U.K. employment fell by the most since the global financial crisis at the height of the nation’s coronavirus lockdown, in a taste of a mounting labor-market crisis.
The number of Britons with jobs tumbled by 220,000 in April to June, the period that saw restrictions at their most severe. The Office for National Statistics said early indicators for July suggest that the number of employees on payrolls is down around 730,000 compared with March.
The figures highlight an economic shock that’s expected to escalate as government support for wages is gradually withdrawn from this month. They also heap pressure on Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to extend the furlough programs that have so far kept the worst of the economic crisis at bay.
China Finds Virus on Imported Seafood Packaging (2:30 p.m. HK)
Three packaging samples of imported frozen seafood tested positive for Covid-19 in Yantai, a northern city of China’s Shandong province, the city government said on its official Weibo account.
Three different companies imported the seafood on the same vessel through the port in Dalian, which has recently experienced a flareup in cases. The post didn’t say where the imported seafood came from or how many people have been in contact.
Indonesia Kicks Off Phase-3 Sinovac’s Vaccine Testing (2:17 p.m. HK)
Indonesia began its third and final phase of a Covid-19 vaccine trial made by Sinovac Biotech Ltd. on Tuesday and expects domestic production to start within the next six months, President Joko Widodo said in Bandung.
As many as 1,620 volunteers participated in the trial in the capital of West Java Province. State-owned pharmaceutical company PT Bio Farma aims to produce 250 million doses of the Chinese-developed vaccine by the end of the year.
Switzerland, Molecular Sign Pact for Covid-19 Drug (1:20 p.m. HK)
The Swiss federal government signed a pact for priority access to the first 200,000 doses of Molecular Partners AG’s therapeutic agent against the coronavirus, as well as a right to be supplied with up to 3 million further doses, according to a statement. Clinical trials are planned for autumn.
German New Virus Cases Back Above 1,000 (1:11 p.m. HK)
Germany recorded 1,220 new infections in the 24 hours through Tuesday morning, up from 385 on Monday and above the 1,000 mark for the third time in less than a week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The infection rate — the average number of people infected by one person with the virus — eased to 1.09 on Monday, from 1.26 the previous day, the latest report from the country’s RKI public health institute showed.
The institute said the recent trend in cases remains “very worrying” and urged citizens to respect hygiene and distancing rules.
Casinos Gain as China Resumes Macau Tourist Visas (10:35 a.m. HK)
Casino stocks rallied after China said it will resume issuing tourist visas for visitors to Macau, paving the way for the mass return of Chinese punters to the world’s largest gaming hub after months of losses.
Zhuhai city in neighboring Guangdong province will begin issuing tourist visas, including both individual and group tours, for mainland residents to travel to Macau again on Aug. 12, said Macau’s Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Ao Ieong U on Monday.
Philippines’ Duterte Accepts Russia Vaccine Offer (9:33 a.m. HK)
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted Russia’s offer of its coronavirus vaccine, volunteering to take the first shot as a gesture of trust and gratitude.
“When the vaccine arrives, I will have myself injected in public. Experiment on me first, that’s fine with me,” Duterte said in a briefing. The Philippines is ready to assist Russia in clinical trials and local production, he said.
Russia is racing to allow civilian use of the vaccine developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute and the Russian Direct Investment Fund. While it has been touted as safe by its developers, the data hasn’t been published and the speed at which Russia is moving has raised questions in other countries.
U.K. Sends Contact Tracers Door-to-Door to Track Virus (7:14 a.m. HK)
The U.K. government is overhauling England’s much-criticized program of testing and tracing the movements of coronavirus patients in an attempt to get a grip on the outbreak ahead of a potential surge in infections.
The centralized army of officials tasked with finding people who’ve come into contact with Covid-19 patients will be replaced by locally-based teams who can knock on doors in their neighborhoods, the government announced.
Texas Hospitalizations Lowest Since Early July (6:45 a.m. HK)
Texas’s virus hospitalizations dropped almost 2% on Sunday to 7,304, the lowest since July 1, according to state health department data. The tally has receded by 33% since peaking on July 22.
The state recorded 4,455 new cases, though the figure left out data from one of the hardest-hit regions, Nueces County, because Corpus Christi officials were dealing with a backlog of test results, according to a notice on the health department’s website.
The statewide positivity rate climbed to a new record — 20.99% — but questions have been raised about the handling of more than 1 million test results classified as “pending assignment” and how that may have skewed the calculations. The health department didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Trump May Bar Citizens With Covid From Returning: NYT (6:20 a.m. HK)
President Donald Trump is considering rules that would permit border officials to temporarily block American citizens from returning to the U.S. from abroad if authorities believe they may have Covid-19, the New York Times reported.
A draft memo said the prohibition would apply “only in the rarest of circumstances,” and it’s unclear when it might be approved or announced, the Times reported. A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security declined to comment to the news outlet, while a CDC spokesman said he would seek to gather more information.
U.K. Boosts Emergency Care Funding Before Winter (5:30 p.m. NY)
Boris Johnson’s government said it allocated 300 million pounds ($392 million) of funding to shore up hospital emergency services in England ahead of a potential winter resurgence in the coronavirus pandemic.
The funding, from an already announced 1.5 billion pound boost to capital spending, will be used to upgrade accident and emergency facilities, including widening waiting areas and increasing the number of treatment cubicles, the government said in an emailed statement. That’s intended to ensure social-distancing measures can be maintained, it said.
California Governor Sees ‘Encouraging’ Signs (5:15 p.m. NY)
Governor Gavin Newsom said trends point to “encouraging signs” in California’s virus outbreak, even as the state recovers from several data glitches that caused it to undercount new infections for more than a week. Hospitalizations have dropped 19% in the last 14 days, while the number of people in intensive care fell 13% over the same period, Newsom said at a news briefing.
Late Sunday, the director of the Department of Public Health, Sonia Angell, abruptly resigned from her post, without publicly stating a reason. Newsom wouldn’t discuss the reasons for her departure in detail or confirm that it was the result of the data problems.
U.S. Cases Rise 0.9%, Less Than Average (4 p.m. NY)
Confirmed virus cases in the U.S. rose 0.9% as compared to the same time Sunday to 5.07 million, according to data from collected from Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was lower than the average daily gain of 1.1% over the past week. Deaths rose by 545 to 163,252.
California reported 7,751 new cases, a 1.4% increase and higher than the seven-day average of 7,240. Hawaii experienced a 4.5% increase in cases, bringing the total to 3,498.