Saturday, 28 March 2020

Coronavirus update - 27 March, 2020


US Becomes First Country To

Record 100,000 Cases Of 

COVID-19, 5th Congressman 

Tests Positive: Live Updates


Zero Hedge
27 March, 2020

Summary:
  • Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock test positive
  • US stock futures turn lower after 3-day rebound
  • US passes 100k cases
  • Italy reports 919 new deaths
  • Global case total nears 538k
  • US case total nears 86k, with ~1300 deaths
  • Trump signs CARES ACT
  • China border closure begins
  • Rhode Islands national guard to round up travelers
  • 1 in 10 Americans say they know somebody with the virus
  • DC mayor advisor dies
  • New York death toll spikes
  • 5th Congressman tests positive
  • South Africa lockdown begins as country confirms first 2 deaths
  • Netherlands reports ~1k new cases, 112 new deaths
  • Hong Kong reports 65 new cases, largest daily jump
  • Singapore makes standing too close to somebody else illegal
  • Bolivia imposes some of world's toughest restrictions
  • North Korea says 2,280 people still in quarantine
  • All of Russia placed on lockdown
  • Hungary PM announces lockdown plans
  • Israel mobilizes army to enforce lockdowns
  • President Xi, Trump promise to "unite" to fight virus during call
*   *   *
Update (1725ET): NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said a rent freeze would be favorable, but would need help from the state.
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Update (1700ET): The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US has surpassed the 100,000 mark, according to Reuters, which cited data fro Johns Hopkins. The most recent US total was 100,040. Italy is second with 86,498 cases and China is third with 81,340 confirmed cases.
The US is the first country to reach this threshold, and it occurs as the White House Task Force begins its latest daily press conference.

*   *   *
Update (1640ET): A fifth American Congressman has tested positive for COVID-19: Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Penn.
Kelly is the fourth member of the House, plus Rand Paul in the Senate makes five.
In other news Trump has officially signed the $2 trillion stimulus package, setting off a scramble to put the money in peoples' hands, he also for the first time invoked his authority under the Defense Production Act to order GM to produce more ventilators more quickly, a move that critics and even other conservatives have complained is mostly for show.
In other news, Ireland has decided to follow Britain by imposing a major lockdown.
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Update (1620ET): In other news, as NYC's hospitals fight against a sudden surge in seriously ill COVID-19 patients, Ireland's intensive care units will be at capacity "in a number of days," warned Prime Minister (or Taoiseach as the Irish call him) Leo Varadkar.
Meanwhile, the head of the IMF has said the global economy has entered a recession that could be worse than the 2009 downturn. Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the IMF expects a recovery in 2021, saying it could be a "sizeable rebound", but only if nations succeed in containing the economic fallout.
As more countries impose COVID-19 inspired lockdowns, Bolivia has imposed some of the toughest restrictions in the world. Everyone must stay indoors at all times until April 15, except for one visit a week to the shops between 8 am and noon, with the actual day dependent on the last digit of an individual's national ID number: Monday is 1 or 2, Tuesday is 3 or 4, for example. On the weekends, no one is allowed out at all.
Here's some more on what Rhode Island is doing:
Meanwhile, Trump has signed the CARES ACT.
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Update (1605ET): The relatively small and mostly low-profile state of Rhode Island has just marked a milestone in the enforcement of quarantines in the US to battle the onslaught of COVID-19. Gov. Gina Raimondo declared on Friday after reporting the largest 24-hour jump in new cases that all bars and restaurants would be closed, and that the national guard deployed in the state must go door to door in "coastal" communities (eg most of the state) checking for travelers from New York.
In other words, the governor is ordering the national guard to round up all the rich New Yorkers (and other out-of-staters) who thought they could ride out the quarantine at their summer villas by the beach.
As she said, the 14-day mandatory quarantines on travelers from other states "will be enforced," according to Newport Buzz, which quoted Raimondo at her press conference Friday.
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Update (1320ET): As more stories out of New York City about people surviving COVID-19 emerge, of course it's a city where a significant chunk of the population work in media, or at least hoped to work in media when they first moved to the city and started bartending six nights a week to pay that massive city apartment rent, which they incidentally will no longer be able to afford, it's becoming increasingly clear: young people can still get really sick from COVID-19.
If you have asthma, COVID-19 can really rock your shit, as one recent NYT personal essay suggested. Now, the WHO is once again hoping to emphasize this fact as it tries to convince the world to follow the lockdowns, even though the organization has in turn said the lockdowns were too much, and not enough, it's warning that young people get COVID-19 at rates even higher than the old. 10% to 15% of COVID-19 patients under the age of 50 experience severe or moderate COVID-19 symptoms, the WHO said.
While case numbers are rising, the virus can still be controlled through aggressive measures, including testing, said WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove during the organization's Friday press conference from Geneva. Officials reminded the public that a vaccine is still at least 12-18 months away, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who also chided the US and other countries and individuals and instead advised them all to refrain from using unproven therapies, because they could be harmful and that may cause shortages of the drugs for diseases they were made for Norway and Spain are enrolling patients for Solidarity trials, which now involve more than 45 countries.
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Update (1250ET): A member of DC Mayor Muriel Bowser's legal team died this morning from complications stemming from COVID-19. Mayor Bowser announced the unfortunate news during a Friday press conference and sent her condolences to the family, local media reports.
See a picture of him with the mayor below:
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Update (1240ET): Italy reported 919 deaths for Thursday, bringing the national death toll to 9,134, its highest daily jump since the outbreak began.
It also reported another 6k new cases, bringing the national total to 86,498 from 80,539.
Again, it looks like the pace of new deaths is unequivocally beginning to accelerate once again.
Analysts from Deutsche Bank pointed out that the US is "ahead of the curve"...but not in the way it wants to be.
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Update (1230ET): New York's coronavirus death toll rose to 519 on Friday, up from 385 the previous day, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a press briefing from the Javits Center, which has been converted into a makeshift overflow hospital.
Meanwhile, France has extended its nationwide coronavirus lockdown for another two weeks until April 15, said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Friday.
The number of confirmed cases in the state climbed to 44,635, Cuomo said, up from 37,258.
"This could of course be further extended if the health situation requires it," he said.
France is struggling with a sudden surge in deaths as the virus rages across Europe.
Slovakia, one of the last countries in Europe to detect cases of COVID-19, said on Friday that trucks carrying non-essential goods would not be allowed to enter the country via border crossings from Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, as Slovakia steps up efforts to suppress the outbreak. This marks Slovakia as one of the first states to really crack down on trade, a step that most haven't felt necessary.
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Update (1130ET): Trump is playing the blame game while the rest of the world tries to figure out how the US is going to slow the spread of a virus that already appears to be everywhere
Trump is now blaming the car companies.
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Update (10:55ET): As the US adjusts to its newfound position as the biggest outbreak in the world, VP Mike Pence appeared on CNBC for an interview where he offered some clarifications to Trump's insistence that the country get back to work by Easter (April 12).
Pence said this goal was "aspirational", and that all of the country should observe the 2 week quarantine 'social-distancing' period. Once that period is over, the government will figure out whose ready to go back to work and which areas need more targeted resources after a few weeks have passed.
President Trump’s goal to reopen the country by Easter is “aspirational,” VP Mike Pence says. “There’s going to be areas of the country where we need to continue to lean into mitigation efforts.” https://cnb.cx/2UnJ7mw 
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Update (1020ET): The UK has reported another batch of cases, with its death toll climbing to 759 and 14,579 cases confirmed.
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Update (0920ET): UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, aka the guy who has been reminding everybody in the UK to wash their hands for the past month, has also tested positive for COVID-19.
In hindsight, all those group hugs with BoJo probably weren't a good idea...
Meanwhile, the number of cases in the Netherlands has climbed by 1,172 to 8,603, with 112 new deaths, as the Netherlands joins the group of European countries regularly reporting +~1,000 cases and +~100 deaths a day.
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Update (0720ET): Just days after placing his entire country on a strict lockdown, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
"Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus," Johnson tweeted. "I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus. Together we will beat this."
Johnson was tested on the advice of England's chief medical officer, a spokesman  said.
His symptoms are said to be 'mild' and he will continue to run the country while self-isolating, just as Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has done.
  • UK PM JOHNSON HAS MILD SYMPTOMS AND WILL SELF ISOLATE
  •  UK PM JOHNSON WILL STILL BE IN CHARGE OF UK GOVT HANDLING OF CRISIS
In a twitter message, Johnson seems to be doing okay. "We will get through it," he said in a tweeted video message.
Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.

I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.

Together we will beat this.
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Johnson is the most high-profile politician to have contracted the virus so far...
Infographic: Coronavirus reaction boosts key UK politicians' popularity | StatistaYou will find more infographics at Statista
...But will his diagnosis help bolster his popularity even more?

Almost equally as important: did Charles's diagnosis help his image?
*  *  *
Just a few short days ago, the Dow was still trading below 20k, Italy still had a higher COVID-19 case count than the US and New York City hospitals still had a few available beds. Just a few days later, everything has changed. US stocks have rallied back, erasing roughly half of their losses since they dropped from record highs, and New York has cemented its position as the worst outbreak in the country, as the virus spread widely during the month of February, when US officials were still sitting on their hands.
Though one Republican Congressman from Kentucky is threatening to delay a vote until the weekend by throwing up another procedural hurdle, by all accounts, the House is preparing to vote on Friday on a $2 trillion stimulus package that will dole out money to out-of-work Americans. At the same time, President Trump has continued to press for parts of the country to "re-open" in the coming days.
According to Johns Hopkins data, the global case total has passed 537,000, meaning more than half a million people around the world have contracted the virus, while the US reported nearly 86k as of Friday morning after the size of the US outbreak surpassed China's for the first time.
Now, Italy, China and the US together have reported more than half of the cases of the virus around the world.
For the last two weeks, China has reported either no new domestic infections, or just one or two domestic infections. Earlier this week, China shut its borders to foreigners to try and prevent a second wave of the outbreak. China's  travel ban affecting all non-resident foreigners is set to begin at midnight local time, or in roughly six hours.
For 2 weeks, reports new cases infected locally as zero or single digits. Health authority says 1 such case in Zhejiang, 54 cases traveled from abroad. http://www.nhc.gov.cn/xcs/yqfkdt/202003/c521093a01734df3b3fbc156064ba19f.shtml  (Concerns high of 2nd wave from overseas & if asymptomatic cases properly reported.)
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The global death total was nearing 26K as of Friday morning, with more than 1,300 deaths counted across the US. According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll 77% of Americans said their lives had been disrupted by the outbreak, while 41% said that somebody in their own community had been impacted, and one in ten Americans claim to personally know somebody who has been infected. Still, Italy's death toll, at roughly 8,200, remains by far the highest in the world. Iran's official death toll, thought to be only a fraction of the real number, is still only ~2,300, after announcing another 144 new deaths Friday morning.
Africa has seen the virus spread far more slowly than many health officials feared, but as of Friday, COVID-19 had been detected in nearly every country on the continent.
South Africa started its official lockdown as of midnight on Friday: the shutdown will impact roughly 57 million citizens in the country. The country, which boasts the most industrialized economy in Africa, reported its first 2 deaths on Friday as well. With more than 1,000 confirmed cases, SA is also home to the largest outbreak in Africa.
Hong Kong reported 65 new coronavirus infections on Friday, its largest daily increase yet, bringing its total confirmed cases to 518, with 41 of the new cases being 'travel-related'. It's the latest disappointing news as the China-ruled city hopes to prevent a travel-related resurgence. In Singapore, which has also seen a jump in travel-related cases, intentionally standing or sitting too close to someone has been made a crime punishable by up to six months in jail or a fine of nearly $7,000.
Russia reported 196 new cases of coronavirus, a daily record, taking its official total for those infected with the disease to 1,036. the country reported another death over the last 24 hours, bringing its total to 4. A lockdown that had been imposed on Moscow earlier this week has now been expanded to cover the entire country. Russia's Interfax news agency cited Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin as asking all Russians to avoid all "non-essential" trips, and to avoid leaving their homes.
As Israel - which has reported roughly 3k cases and 10 deaths - scrambles to stave off an outbreak, the country has deployed about 500 army soldiers to assist police in enforcing the lockdown.
To reduce the number of social contacts, Hungary is joining the 'lockdown' club, imposing restrictions on citizens leaving their homes between March 28 and April 11, PM Viktor Orban said he will present a plan of action to restart the economy in the first half of April.
In North Korea, the government said late Thursday that about 2,280 citizens and two foreigners remain under coronavirus quarantine after authorities released thousands of people in past weeks who were confirmed to have no symptoms.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Trump participated in a call Thursday evening where they agreed to "unite to fight" the coronavirus, according to Chinese state media. Xi told Trump China "wishes to continue sharing all information and experience with the US" according to state broadcaster CCTV, while Trump tweeted that the two leaders were "working closely together".
Just finished a very good conversation with President Xi of China. Discussed in great detail the CoronaVirus that is ravaging large parts of our Planet. China has been through much & has developed a strong understanding of the Virus. We are working closely together. Much respect!
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Finally, Spain reported 769 deaths on Friday, its largest daily jump in deaths since the beginning of the outbreak. The country also reported 7,871 new cases, with the total climbing to 64,059.
Meanwhile, as US hospitals prepare to face an onslaught of new severe cases and deaths, many while also dealing with shortages of critical equipment like ventilators, as well as personal protective equipment, a Detroit area health system has developed a contingency plan to deny ventilators and intensive care treatment to coronavirus patients with a poor chance of surviving, according to the Washington Post.
In a rare piece of good news, the suburban Washington State hospital that handled the first onslaught of coronavirus patients weeks ago - a crush of seriously ill and dying nursing home residents that signaled the beginning of the national crisis in the US - is now cautiously optimistic that local officials have succeeded in "flattening the curve", as the number of new cases has finally tapered off.

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