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Global Cases Pass 50 Million; Utah Mask Mandate: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — The pandemic shows no signs of slowing down, with worldwide infections surpassing 50 million. Cases in the U.S. topped 100,000 for a fourth straight day, bringing the nation’s total close to the 10 million mark.U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will speak Monday on his plan to “beat Covid 19,” setting out a more muscular response to the pandemic than he says Donald Trump has made. Biden plans to appoint a 12-member coronavirus task force. Utah, facing overcrowded hospitals, issued a state of emergency and ordered a mask mandate.Japan is facing rising infections in the northern island of Hokkaido. South Korea is expanding nationwide testing of patients and workers at nursing homes and mental hospitals to stave off outbreaks. Melbourne residents emerged from a 16-week lockdown, after 10 days without new cases. Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases surpass 50.3 million; deaths top 1.25 millionBiden launches transition, Covid planAfter crushing Covid, Melbourne emerges wary and more sedateWith U.S. cases at record levels, hospitalizations may be nextVaccine Tracker: Clinical trials restart in hopeful signSubscribe 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.Utah Declares Emergency, Orders Mask Mandate (12:45 p.m. HK)Utah, facing overcrowded hospitals, declared a state of emergency. Governor Gary Herbert ordered a statewide mask mandate, as well as two-week restrictions on casual social gatherings and extracurricular activities. The state plans to increase its testing.India’s Cases Rise to 8.55 Million (12:32 p.m. HK)India reported 45,903 infections on Monday, bringing total cases to 8.55 million. The nation’s daily count has hovered around 45,000 over the past few weeks, after hitting a peak of nearly 100,000 in September. Total deaths rose to 126,611 on Monday.Infections in Japan’s Hokkaido Set to Hit Record (12:18 p.m. HK)Daily coronavirus cases in Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido are set to surpass 200 on Monday, TBS reported, as the country continues to see rising infections.The island, which has a population of 5 million, has seen a surge in cases in recent days as the weather cools. Local authorities have called for bars to close early in the capital Sapporo’s nightlife district, and moved to the third-highest alert level on the region’s own five-point scheme. Hokkaido was home to one of the earliest outbreaks in the country and declared its own state of emergency in February.Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said in his daily briefing Monday that infections are increasing across Japan. On Saturday, 1,302 cases were recorded nationwide, making it one of the worst days for infections in the country so far. Daily cases peaked at 1,595 during the wave in early August.China Finds Virus on Package of Pork (10:47 a.m. HK)An external package of a frozen pork shoulder imported to China from Germany tested “weakly positive” for the coronavirus, authorities said.The pork shoulder arrived in Tianjin on Oct. 19 and was transported to the northern Chinese province of Shandong, where authorities reported the positive results from the packaging on Saturday. A loading worker in Tianjin tested positive on Sunday.China has been vocal in recent months about finding traces of the pathogen on packaging and food, though World Health Organization experts have suggested there’s no evidence the virus can be transported via food packaging.Korea Expands Testing at Nursing Homes (10:36 a.m. HK)South Korea is expanding nationwide testing of all patients and workers at nursing homes and mental hospitals as health authorities look to stave off outbreaks at the high-risk facilities that have previously stymied the country’s efforts to contain the virus spread.Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said it has tested patients and staffers at nearly 8,000 facilities in the greater Seoul and other metropolitan areas, and have detected 38 infections. The agency did not disclose exactly how many have been tested but said previously that more than 180,000 people could be tested, regardless of whether they had symptoms or were in contact with a confirmed case.The Asian nation on Monday reported 126 new cases, down from 143 a day earlier.WHO Chief Congratulates Biden and Harris (7:56 a.m. HK)The director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their U.S. election victory. “My WHO colleagues and I look forward to working with you and your teams,” he said in a tweet. “Crises like the COVID19 pandemic show the importance of global solidarity in protecting lives and livelihoods. Together!”Biden Advisers Met With Warp Speed Drugmakers (5:52 p.m. NY)President-elect Biden’s health-care advisers have held talks with pharmaceutical-industry executives in which they discussed Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. development program for coronavirus vaccines and treatments, according to people familiar with the matter.Biden advisers met with companies that have Covid-19 vaccines or therapies in late-stage clinical trials in September and October, the people said. The purpose was to gather information about the development, manufacturing and distribution of shots to ward off the novel coronavirus and therapies to treat the sick.New York Passes 3,000 Cases for Third Straight Day (5:36 p.m. NY)New York reported 3,428 cases Sunday, the third consecutive day with more than 3,000 infections, the highest levels since early May. Cases in New York, the early epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, have been rising steadily since late September, as the state identified hot spots in Brooklyn and Queens in New York City and counties upstate.Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement that the positive test rate in the current hot spots is 3.7% compared with 2.2% for the rest of the state.U.S. Cases Near 10 Million With No Slowdown in Sight (5:02 p.m. NY)Close to 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the past 10 months, and with the start of winter just a month away, and the public increasingly likely to spend more time cooped up inside, the virus shows few signs of slowing down.Infections are setting sequential daily records and expected to soar further as cold weather grips northern U.S. states, schools and businesses try to reopen, people move their daily activities inside and the holidays spur gatherings, health officials and experts said.Oklahoma Cases Spike (4:46 p.m. NY)Oklahoma added 4,507 new cases on Saturday, more than double the previous daily record, even after a downward revision for duplicate reports, Health Commissioner Lance Frye said in a statement on Sunday. The previous record set last Thursday was 2,101.“We have no reason to believe our revised number is an anomaly, but instead shows community spread is occurring,” Frye said. With intensive care beds more than 90% occupied, he urged Oklahomans to wear masks and observe other precautions. The state has left to localities most decisions to contain the virus’s spread.Iowa Passes 150,000 Cases (3:44 p.m. NY)Iowa reported 2,964 infections Sunday, as cases escalated in recent weeks to a total of 152,802. After taking seven months to reach 100,000 cases, the state has added more than 50,000 in the last four weeks and broke two records for infections last week. More than 900 people are hospitalized for Covid-19, the most of the outbreak by far.Florida Cases Highest Since August (3:11 p.m. NY)Florida’s infections continued a second ascent, as the state reported 6,820 cases Sunday. That is the most since August, when the Sun Belt was recovering from its deadly surge, but far less than July’s peak of roughly 15,000 daily cases. Infections and hospitalizations are rising again in the states worst-hit this summer, which include Texas, California and Arizona.France Cases Slow (2:24 p.m. NY)France reported 38,619 new Covid-19 cases Sunday, a smaller increase than records in previous days.Health authorities said there were 1,814 new hospitalizations in the last 24 hours, 644 fewer than the day before. The number of deaths rose by 270 to 40,439.Authorities said Saturday the number of new cases was underreported last week and they will provide a full update on Monday.Minnesota Hits Record, Reports Nursing Home Deaths (2:08 p.m. NY)Minnesota reported 5,908 cases, a record and the second time this week infections rose above 5,000. As deaths also rise rapidly, the state reported 31 more fatalities, among them 19 in assisted living facilities, the Star Tribune reported.Weekly cases among people in nursing homes rose fourfold from early May to late October in 20 hard-hit states, according to an analysis released Sunday by the Associated Press. Weekly cases among staff nearly quadrupled in that same time, the AP reported.Greece’s Death Toll at a Record (1 p.m. NY)Greece reported 35 additional deaths from Covid-19 on Sunday, a record number for the second straight day.With patients swamping intensive-care units, Greece began a nationwide lockdown on Saturday that’s scheduled to stay in place through November. Cases increased by 1,914 on the day to 56,698.Worldwide Cases Pass 50 Million (11:41 a.m. NY)Confirmed cases worldwide surpassed 50 million, with the U.S. accounting for the biggest number — 9.9 million — followed by India, Brazil, Russia and France, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.More than 1.2 million people have died of causes related to Covid-19.Italy Remains at Record Numbers (11:20 a.m. NY)Italy reported 32,616 new cases on Sunday, some 7,000 fewer than a record number the day before but the fifth consecutive day with more than 30,000. Another 331 deaths were blamed on Covid-19.More Italian regions are considering lockdowns after authorities imposed tighter restrictions on the worst-hit areas, including Milan and Turin.U.K. Cases Stuck at More Than 20,000 ( 11:11 a.m. NY)The U.K. reported more than 20,000 cases for the sixth straight day, though the 20,572 reported Sunday were below the seven-day average of 22,826.With 156 new deaths, the toll was less than half of the weekly average. Reporting has lagged on weekends.Merkel Government Condemns Violent Protest (5:22 p.m. HK)A protest in Leipzig against coronavirus restrictions turned violent on Saturday evening with attacks on police and journalists.The thousands of people who didn’t wear masks or observe social distancing showed “a height of irresponsibility and egotism,” Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht said. “Such a situation cannot be allowed to happen again in the midst of a pandemic.”Italy to Spend Over $3 Billion for Businesses (4:20 p.m. HK)Italy will add over 2.8 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in spending with the latest relief package for businesses hit by the country’s second lockdown, Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri said on Facebook. Activities hurt by the latest restrictions will receive as much as 200% of the benefits they received during the first lockdown.Italians are prohibited from leaving or entering cities in high-risk areas, including Milan, Italy’s financial hub, and northern industrial cities. All non-essential commercial activities are closed in the area.Some of Belgium’s Metrics Improve; Russia Struggles (3:56 p.m. HK)Belgium reported fewer hospital admissions amid a slowing infection rate. There were 199 more fatalities were recorded.Germany enters its second week of “lockdown light” with authorities reporting an increase of 26,615 new cases in the last 24 hours. While that’s below the record 31,480 disclosed on Thursday, it’s notable because numbers at the weekend are depressed by less testing and fewer reports to health authorities.Russia recorded over 20,000 daily coronavirus cases for a third consecutive day. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told state television that coronavirus numbers haven’t stabilized at a certain level and are growing. Moscow earlier requested firms to switch more employees to work remotely and extended remote learning in secondary schools.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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