Via Zerohedge

Summary:

  • Iran reports 138 deaths on Wednesday
  • Hong Kong closes bars, karaoke lounges, beauty salons and other public areas as new cases jump
  • Japan closes borders to travelers from 73 countries, including UK and US
  • US case total nears 200k
  • Italian finance minister says government agrees with business lobby’s projection for 6% GDP contraction
  • Spanish cases top 100k
  • UK pubs hatch plan to become grocers
  • Chinese provinces report 56 ‘asymptomatic’ cases

*   *   *

Just as the rate of new infections finally appears to have plateaued in Italy, Spain and France are reporting enough new cases to steal the spotlight. On Wednesday, the big story was Spain: Health Officials in Madrid reported.

Once again, health officials reported a “record” number of new deaths after 864 people died on Tuesday. It marked the fifth straight day of Spanish authorities reporting 800 or more deaths. So far, 9,053 people have died after contracting the virus.

According to the Spanish government, 102,136 Spaniards have contracted the coronavirus in Spain, after another 8% jump on Tuesday. OF the confirmed cases 22,647 people have reportedly recovered.

Meanwhile, global cases have reached 754,948 as of Wednesday morning, according to the WHO. The global death toll has hit 36,571.

Here’s a quick breakdown of global hotspots:

  • US total cases 188,639 (prev. 188,530), death toll 4,059 (prev. 4,053).
  • ITALY total cases (prev. 105,792), death toll (prev. 12,428).
  • SPAIN total cases 102,136 (prev. 95,923), death toll 9,053 (prev. 8,464).
  • CHINA total cases 81,554 (prev. 81,518), death toll 3,312 (prev. 3,305).
  • GERMANY total cases 72,383 (prev. 71,808), death toll 788 (prev. 775).
  • FRANCE total cases (prev. 52,128), death toll (prev. 3,523).
  • UK total cases (prev. 25,150), death toll (prev. 1,789).
  • SWITZERLAND total cases (prev. 16,605), death toll (prev. 433).
  • NETHERLANDS total cases (prev. 12,595), death toll (prev. 1,039).
  • SOUTH KOREA total cases 9,887 (prev. 9,786), death toll 165 (prev. 162).
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Boris Johnson has been granted what one critic described as “eye watering” new powers to lead his country through the pandemic. But the private sector also appears to be dreaming up impressive new initiatives, including providing pubs with the means to set up a click-and-collect service for foodstuffs like bread, eggs and milk, in effect transforming them into neighborhood grocers. Those living nearby can simply place an order online, then pop round the shop to pick up their goods.

Italian Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri said Wednesday that estimates of a fall in GDP of at least 6% by Confindustria, Italy’s business lobby, would likely be confirmed by Rome’s own forecasts set to be published later this month. If this rate of growth comes to pass, it would exceed the 5.5 % contraction the country suffered in 2009.

As we noted yesterday, health officials in Beijing have ordered local officials to begin reporting ‘asymptomatic’ cases that apparently left out of China’s numbers. Beijing announced ~1,500 such cases as of yesterday. On Wednesday, health officials in Liaoning Province were the first out the gate, reporting 52 such cases on Tuesday. Hunan Province followed by reporting 4 such infections, all of which were “imported”, according to Nikkei.

Across the world in Asia, Japan announced that it will close its borders to foreigners from 73 different countries, including the US and UK, and require all other arrivals to isolate themselves for two weeks in its latest measures to control the coronavirus as several Asian countries and territories see a resurgence in cases. Similarly, Hong Kong on Wednesday ordered karaoke lounges, beauty salons, massage parlors, nightclubs and mahjong clubs to temporarily close after officials announced a nearly fourfold increase in cases to 766 over the past two weeks.

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Authorities in Iran reported 138 new deaths on Wednesday as the official Iranian death toll surpassed 3,000. Authorities were encouraging people to stay at home on the last day of Persian New Year celebrations, known as Nowruz, on Wednesday while they look into using new technologies to track cases and help combat the outbreak.