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Global coronavirus infections surpassed 35 million as focus remained on the health of Donald Trump while Europe faced rising infections.
Stocks climbed on the possibility the U.S. president may be discharged from the hospital as early as Monday. But Trump’s condition remains clouded, with the president’s effort to show strength contradicted by conflicting accounts from doctors.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of a “very tough” winter. France plans to shut down bars in the Paris region, according to a report, while Italy’s prime minister said citizens may have to give up some liberties to combat Covid-19. New York City will close schools and non-essential businesses in nine hotspots.
Table of Contents
- Global Tracker: Cases pass 35.1 million; deaths exceed 1.03 million
- Trump recuperates amid questions about his health and campaign
- St. Barts is still possible—where to travel in the Caribbean now
- Modi’s key reforms stall as pandemic upends India’s economy
- After vaccine sprint would come distribution slog: QuickTake
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.
Philippines Lets Malls, Businesses Reopen Further (2:02 p.m. HK)
The Philippines has allowed malls and several businesses to reopen further even as the Southeast Asian nation recorded more coronavirus deaths last month.
The task force against the virus outbreak has approved economic managers’ recommendation to reopen more industries and public transport, President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman Harry Roque said at a briefing. Essential shops in malls, miners and money exchanges are now allowed to operate at full capacity, he said.
The Philippines is pushing to revive its economy despite having the worst outbreak in Southeast Asia, with more than 322,000 cases as of Sunday. Coronavirus deaths rose by over 1,900 in September, the highest monthly increase since the start of the pandemic.
‘New Normality’ to Last Into 2021: Germany’s Scholz (1:54 p.m. HK)
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said “it will take time” to return to life as it was before the pandemic, even if more effective therapies and a vaccine are made available.
“We will be dealing with this ‘new normality’ and with the virus into next year,” Scholz said in an interview with ARD state television late Sunday. “It’s not gone, and it’s a great danger for everyone around the world.”
Germany recorded 1,546 new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours through Monday morning, compared to 1,653 the day before. The country’s estimated infection rate rose for the second day on Sunday, to 1.23 from 1.1 the previous day, and has been predominantly above the key threshold of 1.0 since the second week in September.
Conte Sees Tighter Italy Rules: Corriere (1:51 p.m. HK)
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned that Italians may have to give up some liberties to combat the renewed spread of the coronavirus, as his government prepares to introduce new rules on use of masks and limits to gatherings, Corriere della Sera reported.
The government is expected to require citizens to again use masks in all outdoor settings; several regions have already reintroduced the requirement. The current decree governing safety rules expires Wednesday.
Sri Lanka Closes Schools, Urges Against Travel (12:45 p.m. HK)
Sri Lankan authorities closed schools and asked people to avoid non-essential travel over the next 72 hours to contain the spread of the coronavirus following the detection of the first case of community infection in several months.
The South Asian island nation, which has so far recorded some 3,400 cases and 13 deaths, imposed an indefinite curfew Sunday on two northwestern provincial towns in the suburbs of Colombo. Sri Lanka had lifted its nationwide lockdown on June 28.
U.K. May Launch Three-Tier Lockdown: Guardian (12:39 p.m. HK)
The U.K. government is examining plans to introduce a new three-tier lockdown system for England if it fails to bring the Covid-19 outbreak under control, the Guardian reported, citing the government’s draft documents.
The most serious case of alert level 3 includes closure of hospitality, leisure businesses and no social contact outside of households. An unidentified government official told the aGuardian the draft wasn’t finalized and would need approval from ministers. The prime minister’s office declined to comment.
Singapore May Lift Gathering Restriction: ST (12:35 p.m. HK)
Singapore may see more easing of measures to control the pandemic, including the limit of five people for social gatherings, the Straits Times reported, citing Health Minister Gan Kim Yong in parliament. The city may allow larger groups to meet if everyone can work together and keep their guard up, according to the newspaper, citing the minister who was responding to questions on further loosening virus rules.
India’s Cases Slow to Less Than 80,000 a Day (12:09 p.m. HK)
India’s Covid-19 cases slowed to less than 80,000 for a third day in a row, though the South Asian nation is still expected to surpass the U.S. in coming weeks to become the world’s worst-affected country.
India recorded 74,442 new infections for Monday, bringing its total to 6.62 million. India’s death toll rose to 102,685, after topping 100,000 over the weekend, a milestone reached only by the U.S. and Brazil.
Japan to Offer Vaccine for Free to All Residents (9:48 a.m. HK)
Japan’s Health Sciences Council on Friday approved a proposal from the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry to provide free coronavirus vaccinations for all Japanese residents, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun. The health ministry plans to submit a bill to revise the country’s immunization law this month.
Trump Has No Public Events Scheduled for Monday (8:54 a.m. HK)
Trump doesn’t have public events scheduled for Monday, according to a daily guidance and press schedule released by the White House. Trump unexpectedly left the hospital where he’s being treated for Covid-19 to greet supporters on Sunday, waving to them from his motorcade in a bid to demonstrate strength while yearning to return to the campaign trail.
Biden Tests Negative for Coronavirus (7:40 a.m. HK)
Biden tested negative for the coronavirus on Sunday, marking the second time he has been screened and cleared in three days, his campaign announced.
The former vice president’s campaign scrambled to get him and his wife tested on Friday morning after Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the virus. All four had attended Tuesday’s debate in Cleveland and while they remained distanced, neither of the candidates wore masks on stage.
Biden is planning to travel to Florida on Monday for campaign stops and a town hall moderated by NBC News.
Brazil Reports Fewest Cases Since May (6:26 a.m. HK)
Brazil reported 8,456 cases, the fewest since mid-May. That compares with almost 70,000 cases reported on July 29. Reporting over the weekend tends to be low, but the nation — which has the third most cases after the U.S. and India — just ended a week with the fewest cases since mid-June. Total cases are now 4,915,289, according to the Health Ministry.
Another 365 people died, for a total of 146,352 fatalities.
President Drives By Supporters Outside Hospital (5:42 p.m. NY)
President Donald Trump briefly left his hospital in a car to greet supporters gathered outside, after posting a video on Twitter saying he was about to make surprise visit.
“We’re going to pay a little surprise to some of the great patriots that we have out on the street,” he said in the video. “I’m about to make a little surprise visit so perhaps I will get there before you get to see me.”
Trump also said he’s learned “a lot” about Covid-19 by going through it.
U.K. to Vaccinate Less Than Half of Population, FT Says (5:31 p.m. NY)
Less than half the U.K.’s population can expect to be vaccinated against Covid-19, the Financial Times reported, citing the head of the government’s vaccine task force. People deemed at risk, such as those over 50 and health workers, will be the focus of the government’s vaccination efforts, Kate Bingham told the newspaper. She said the government was aiming to vaccinate about 30 million people, out of the country’s population of about 67 million.
U.K. Cases Soar After Reporting Issue (4:56 p.m. NY)
The U.K. reported almost 23,000 new cases, a number it called “artificially high” after a reporting error that has since been resolved. It recorded 22,961 cases on Sunday evening, almost twice Saturday’s tally and four times as many as Friday.
“An issue was identified overnight on Friday 2 October in the automated process that transfers positive cases data” to Public Health England. Figures for this weekend include 15,841 additional cases with specimen dates between Sept. 25 and Oct. 2, the government said on its website.
France to Close Paris Bars as Cases Spike: AFP (4:46 p.m. NY)
The French government is planning to shut down bars in the Paris region and impose other new restrictions in the area as the country struggles to contain a spike of new coronavirus cases and avoid a second nationwide lockdown, according to Agence France Presse.
Paris and its inner suburbs will be declared a maximum alert zone on Monday, then the measures will go into effect Tuesday to last 15 days, AFP reported late on Sunday, citing a statement from France’s Prime Minister’s Office.
Trump Doctor Sows Confusion With Reversals on President’s Vitals (4 p.m. NY)
President Trump’s physician admitted to giving a misleading statement about the president receiving oxygen, the latest in a series of contradictory and confusing accounts about Trump’s coronavirus infection.
White House physician Sean Conley told reporters Sunday that Trump had received supplemental oxygen on Friday, after saying the previous day that the president hadn’t been treated with oxygen on Friday. He said he gave the misleading information initially to “reflect the upbeat attitude” of Trump and his doctors.
Ireland Health Officials Push for Strictest Lockdown (3:46 p.m. NY)
Ireland should move to a level 5 lockdown, national health authorities have recommended, broadcaster RTE reported Sunday. That’s the highest level of shutdown, with most stores closed, household visits banned and limits placed on how far people can leave their homes. Most of the country is now at level 2, with Dublin at Level 3.
While the government is set to consider the recommendation in coming days, there may be a reluctance to make such a drastic step because of the potential impact on the economy.
Unsafe to Hold Supreme Court Hearings: Schumer (2:22 p.m. NY)
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it won’t be safe for the Senate to move ahead with Supreme Court hearings for Amy Coney Barrett given the virus outbreak that has sickened three Republican senators.
While acknowledging that Democrats can’t block the hearings, he said they plan to use “every tool in the toolbox” to try to delay a final confirmation vote for President Donald Trump’s nominee.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the hearings would go forward as scheduled Oct. 12 and senators could attend remotely.
Trump Doctors Add Steroid Used in Severe Patients (2:03 p.m. NY)
President Trump’s doctors added a steroid called dexamethasone to his treatment, a drug that’s typically used in more severe Covid-19 patients.
Dexamethasone can control the inflammatory and immune effects of the virus. Considered a potential breakthrough for patients whose Covid-19 cases have gotten significantly worse, one study found that it helped significantly reduce the likelihood of death in those who need oxygen support or are on a ventilator.
Covid-19 is a two-phase infection, and often the most life-threatening symptoms come not from the virus itself, but when the immune system spirals out of control. The infection can persist for a week to 10 days before worsening.
NYC Plans to Shut Businesses, Schools in Hot Spots (1 p.m. NY)
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he plans to close businesses and schools in nine neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens where there’s been a surge in coronavirus infections.
Indoor and outdoor dining will also be closed in these areas. Houses of worship will stay opened with restrictions, he said. The state would have to approve the mayor’s plan.
New York to Take Over Enforcement as Cases Rise (12:07 p.m. NY)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state will directly take over enforcement in 20 hot spots that are rapidly driving infections to the highest levels since lockdown. That enforcement will include local businesses and schools, including private ones, he said.
Most of the hot spots are in New York City, in Brooklyn and Queens. Cuomo said the Orthodox Jewish communities in many of these hot spots have been cooperating with efforts to lower the numbers.
Cuomo reported 1,222 new cases on Sunday, the sixths consecutive day of infections of 1,000 or more.
— With assistance by Jeff Sutherland, Lisa Du, and Anusha Ondaatjie