Trump Postpones G-7 Meeting; India Eases Lockdown: Virus Update

Trump Postpones G-7 Meeting; India Eases Lockdown: Virus Update
Trump Postpones G-7 Meeting; India Eases Lockdown: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump said he will host a meeting of Group of Seven leaders in autumn, postponing a plan to hold the event in June. Brazil has the world’s fourth-highest death toll, overtaking France, as the outbreak spreads in Latin America’s biggest economy.

India announced a phased lifting of its nationwide lockdown by allowing malls, restaurants and places of worship to open, even as cases surge. U.S. infections rose faster than the one-week daily average.

The U.K.’s scientific advisers urged caution in the pace of lifting the country’s lockdown.

Key Developments:

  • Virus Tracker: Cases top 6 million; deaths over 369,000
  • Indonesia to open malls, entertainment sites as cases rise
  • China factories are humming but not everyone is buying
  • India to exit lockdown in phases as infections surge
  • South Korea’s baseball plays through outbreak

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus. For a look back at this week’s top stories from QuickTake, click here.

Hong Kong Reports First Local Case in 17 Days: Local Media (10:45 a.m. HK)

A 34-year-old woman tested preliminary positive on Saturday evening and is in a critical condition in intensive care, Cable TV and other local media reported. She has no recent travel history.

If confirmed at the health department’s daily briefing at 4:30 p.m., that would be the first local case after the city had no new community transmission for the past 16 days.

South Korea’s Numbers (10:25 a.m. HK)

South Korea reported one new coronavirus-related death for a total of 270. The country reported 27 new cases in 24 hours for a total of 11,468.

Trump Postpones, Expands G-7 Meeting (9:18 a.m. HK)

President Donald Trump said he’s planning to host an expanded Group of Seven leaders meeting in the autumn, postponing efforts to hold the event in June at Camp David.

Trump, speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, said he would extend an invitation to leaders from Russia, Australia, India and South Korea as well the current participants. The coronavirus and relations with China are likely to be major topics.

The move to invite Russia will be controversial. Russia was suspended from what was then the Group of Eight major economies in 2014 after its annexation of Crimea. Trump has mused before about bringing Moscow back into the fold.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated this weekend that she was hesitant to travel to the U.S. in June for a physical G-7 meeting, one that Trump saw as a sign of normalization after the coronavirus pandemic shut down major economies.

Mylan’s Pakistan Partner to Sell Covid-19 Drug (8:27 a.m. HK)

Pakistan’s AGP Ltd., a partner of Mylan NV, plans to sell the Covid-19 treatment remdesivir, which has been shown to improve recovery of coronavirus patients, within one to two months in the Asian nation.

AGP plans to seek permission from the country’s drug authority to import the medicine, Chief Executive Officer Nusrat Munshi said in an interview. It has a similar arrangement for the Hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi, which it will import from Mylan. AGP is Mylan’s exclusive distributor in Pakistan.

U.K. Scientists Urge Cautious Opening (7:15 a.m. HK)

The U.K. government came under pressure from its own scientific advisers to show caution in easing the pace in lifting the lockdown, and from senior scientists and academics concerned about the public’s wellbeing.

Speaking at the daily briefing, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam said the easing must go “painstakingly” slowly.

John Edmunds and Jeremy Farrar, members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, told Sky News that an “untested” system to track and trace the virus exacerbated the risk of wider contagion. A group of more than 20 scientists and senior academics wrote to the Observer newspaper, flagging similar concerns and noting that the medical needs of those with other diseases are being neglected.

Brazil Passes France to Rank Fourth in Deaths (6:40 a.m. HK)

Brazil reported a 3.4% rise in new deaths on Saturday, to 28,834. It surpassed France and now has the fourth-most fatalities worldwide. The Latin American nation’s toll trails the U.S., U.K. and Italy. France has 28,774 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins data.

New cases increased 7.2% to 498,440, trailing only the U.S.

NYC Subway to Be Ready: Cuomo (6 a.m. HK)

The New York subway system will be prepared when the city reopens on June 8, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, although transit officials have yet to provide detailed plans to reduce risks to public health.

“They’re disinfecting trains like never before but they have another week of work to do and they will be ready,” he told reporters Saturday. Mayor Bill de Blasio was less sure on Friday, saying the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that oversees subways and buses hasn’t provided enough information.

City officials expect 200,000 to 400,000 workers back in construction, manufacturing, wholesale and curbside retail jobs when reopening begins.

Cuomo said the state plans to get New York City reopened by focusing on “hotspots” — neighborhoods where positive cases can be nearly 50% and are largely in minority communities. The city average rate is about 20%.

New York reported 67 new deaths, Cuomo said. The figure is the same as reported on Friday and the fifth straight day below 75 fatalities. The state reported 1,376 new cases, for a total of 369,660.

U.S. Cases Rise 1.7%, Above Week’s Average (4 p.m. NY)

U.S. cases increased 1.7% from the same time Friday, to 1.76 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The national increase exceeded the average daily increase of 1.3% for the past week and was the biggest percentage rise since May 22. Deaths climbed 1.2% to 103,389.

  • New York reported 1,376 new cases, for a total of 369,660, with 67 deaths — the same as Friday and the fifth day of fatalities under 75. Deaths totaled 23,848.
  • New Jersey had 910 new cases, pushing the total to 159,608, with 113 new deaths for a total of 11,634, Governor Phil Murphy reported.
  • California reported 2,992 new cases, for a total of 106,878, and added 88 deaths, with the fatality count at 4,156.
  • Pennsylvania reported 680 new cases, for a total of 71,415, and 73 new deaths, to total 5,537, the state health department said.
  • Florida’s cases rose 1.7% to 55,424 and deaths rose to 2,447, the health department said.

Greece Allows More Flights from Mid-June (3:30 p.m. NY)

Greece will allow visitors from more nations, including the U.S. and U.K., to arrive at Athens and Thessaloniki airports starting June 15, the Foreign Ministry said. After July 1, flights can land at all Greek airports.

The government will use the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s list of airports to determine testing for arriving passengers. If travel originates at an airport not on the affected-area list, then visitors are subject to random tests, the Foreign Ministry said. If the journey begins at an airport on the EASA list, then visitors who test negative will self-quarantine for seven days and if positive will be under supervised quarantine for 14 days.

Greece will reopen borders with Albania, Bulgaria and North Macedonia on June 15, the Foreign Ministry said with visitors subject to random tests. Arrivals by sea will begin July 1.

French Cases Inch Higher (2:10 p.m. NY)

France reported 57 new deaths, raising the total to 28,771, based on hospital data, with reporting of nursing-home fatalities delayed to Tuesday. New cases climbed by 1,828, or 0.8%, to 225,898.

FDA Authorizes Siemens Antibody Test (2:10 p.m. NY)

Siemens Healthineers AG received U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for a coronavirus antibody test, used to identify recent or prior infection in humans. The company had expected the test to be available by late May and aims to produce more than 50 million tests a month starting in June.

Italy Cases on Declining Trend (12:01 pm NY)

Italy reported 416 new cases, up from 516 a day earlier, confirming a declining trend as the total reached 232,664. Total deaths rose to 33,340. The government confirmed plans to allow travel between regions starting June 3 even as some regional governors opposed letting people from the hard-hit Lombardy region move freely.

India to Ease Lockdown in Stages (8:52 a.m. NY)

India announced a phased lifting of the nationwide lockdown by allowing malls, restaurants and places of worship to open from June 8, the interior ministry said in a statement.

The country, which had enforced sweeping and strict stay-at-home orders from March 25, will limit the stringent rules to areas that have a large number of active cases. Authorities will decide to open schools and colleges in July, while international air travel will resume in the final phase. The exit plan comes even as India has been unable to flatten its curve despite the restrictions which have left its already troubled economy in deep disrepair.

EU Urges U.S. to Reconsider WHO Decision (8:24 a.m. NY)

The European Union called on the U.S. to reconsider its decision to terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization, which President Donald Trump has accused of being too deferential to China.

“Global cooperation and solidarity through multilateral efforts are the only effective and viable avenues to win this battle the world is facing,” according to a joint statement Saturday from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the bloc’s chief foreign envoy, Josep Borrell. “We urge the U.S. to reconsider its announced decision.”

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