Trump Expands Plasma Treatment; Korea on Alert: Virus Update

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U.S. President Donald Trump said a treatment based onblood plasma from recovered Covid-19 patients has received emergency use authorization.

Coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. fell below 1,000 for the first time in five days, while Europe is seeing a resurgence of cases. India infections topped 3 million, and deaths in Mexicosurpassed 60,000.

South Korea is considering raising social-distancing restrictions to the highest level as officials warned of the risk of a “massive nationwide outbreak.” Hong Kong’s chief secretary urged citizens to take part in a free testing service over the next two weeks.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases above 23.3 million; deaths surpass 806,000
  • Trump’splasma push stands to delay clearer reading on science
  • South Koreaconsiders raising social-distancing restrictions
  • A new Europe surgechallenges Italy’s lockdown success
  • Vaccine Tracker: where we are in the race for protection

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis teamhere. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

U.S. to Approve American Air Anti-Virus Surface Coating (7:32 a.m. HK)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to issue an emergency exemption to Texas that will allow American Airlines to use a new surface coating that kills coronaviruses for as long as seven days, Reuters reported, citing unidentified officials familiar with a planned EPA announcement on Monday.

Brazil President Says Time to Return to Normalcy (7:15 a.m. HK)

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro defended the reopening of retail outlets “with responsibility” and said his government had done everything possible to curb the spread of Covid-19, in a video posted on social media Sunday.

Some authorities have destroyed jobs in Brazil, Bolsonaro said, referring to state governors who advocate maintaining social distancing. Bolsonaro spoke on a day in which Brazil reached 114,744 deaths from the coronavirus, including 494 in the last 24 hours.

Trump Says Blood-Plasma Treatment Will Save Lives (5:56 p.m. NY)

President Trump said a treatment involving blood plasma donated by recovered Covid-19 patients will be expanded under an emergency authorization by U.S. regulators on Sunday, saving “countless lives.”

“This is what I’ve been looking to do for a long time,” Trump said at a White House news conference announcing the decision, which he said will “dramatically expand access” to a “powerful therapy.”

He also promised further announcements “very shortly” involving vaccines.

After claiming without evidence that employees at the Food and Drug Administration were delaying coronavirus remedies for political reasons ahead of the November election, Trump said the emergency procedure speeded up the normal approval route by two or three years.

U.K.’s Johnson Pleads for a Return to School (5:32 p.m. NY)

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked parents directly to send their children back to the classroom when schools in England reopen next week, as concern grows among some teachers and union officials that it’s not safe to do so.

“The risk of contracting Covid-19 in school is very small and it is far more damaging for a child’s development and their health and well-being to be away from school any longer,” Johnson said in a statement on Sunday. “It’s vitally important that we get our children back into the classroom to learn and to be with their friends.”

Pupils were sent home in the coronavirus chaos of mid-March, and most haven’t been back since. Without parents back at work, there’s scant hope of emerging from the continent’s deepest economic slump.

Texas Cases, Deaths Slow (5 p.m. NY)

Texas reported its fewest number of new coronavirus cases in seven weeks. The Lone Star state recorded 3,493 new cases on Sunday and 577,537 overall, the Department of State Health Services said on itswebsite. The state recorded 104 deaths, the lowest since Aug. 17, for a total of 11,370.

California Reports Most Cases in Week (2:12 p.m. NY)

California reported 6,777 new virus cases on Sunday, the highest number in a week but still less than the seven-day average of 7,822. There have been 663,669 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state, according to the health department’swebsite. The number of deaths climbed by 146 to 12,134

France Cases Highest Since April (1:53 p.m. NY)

France reported 4,897 new cases, the largest increase since the previous peak in mid-April. Deaths increased by one to 30,513 in the past 24 hours.

Greece Cases Hit Record (12:58 p.m. NY)

Greece reported a record 284 new coronavirus cases on Sunday. The total number reached 8,664, of which around 40% has been reported in August. The death toll reached 242. The nation extended restrictions, including the closure of bars and restaurants on the island of Lesvos from midnight to 7 a.m. starting Monday through Sept. 1.

Mexico Passes 60,000 Fatalities (12:43 p.m. NY)

Mexico, with the world’s third-highest fatalities from Covid-19, crossed the 60,000 milestone for deaths after losing 644 patients on Saturday.

The country trails just the U.S. and Brazil in total deaths and has the world’s seventh-highest number of cases at 556,216 as of Saturday.

Arizona Reports Fewest Cases Since June (11:59 a.m. NY)

Reported cases in Arizona dropped significantly, to an increase of 207, fewer than the nearly 1,000 reported the day before and the lowest increase since June 1. Total cases are now 198,103.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said on Twitter that the state’stransmission rate is at .83, which he said is the second-lowest in the nation. Even so, weekend data reporting often show lower totals than during the week. On July 1, the state reported 4,877 cases, the highest on record.

The state reported another 15 deaths, down from 68 the day before, in a week that peaked at 105 fatalities. Total deaths are now 4,771.

U.K. Doctors Call Pupils’ Death Risk ‘Small’ (11:40 a.m. NY)

The U.K.’s chief medical officers said that primary and secondary aged school children face an “exceptionally small risk” of dying from Covid-19, lending support the government’s efforts to re-open schools. For children aged 5 to 14, only 14 of 14 million risked dying from the virus, far fewer than from most seasonal flu infections, they said in astatement Sunday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government wants schools to reopen in the coming weeks and is facing some push back from teachers. The medical officers also said that teachers are not at an increased risk of dying from Covid-19 compared with the general population. International studies show that teachers are more at risking of contracting the virus from other staff, than from pupils, the statement said.

Keeping schools shut risked increasing inequality, which can “reduce the life chances of children” and that home-based schooling has done anything to reduce those disparities, they said.

Biden Not Tested (11:39 a.m. NY)

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden hasn’t been tested for coronavirus, a top aide said on Sunday, as the campaign enters its busiest period.

“We have put the strictest protocols in place, and moving forward, should he need to be tested, he certainly would be,” Kate Bedingfield, deputy manager for Biden’s presidential campaign, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

She also said Biden hasn’t had the virus, although it’s not clear how this would be known without a test. President Donald Trump is receiving regular tests.

U.K. Cases Again Above 1,000 (11:37 a.m. NY)

New cases reported in the U.K. stayed above 1,000 for a fourth day, even as they dropped from a two-month high reported Saturday. The U.K. added 1,041 cases, bringing the total to 325,642, and reported another six deaths linked to Covid-19.

Italy Spike Continues (11:22 a.m. NY)

Italy reported 1,210 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, an increase from 1,071 the day before. That extends a series of increases since Aug. 17. There were seven deaths compared with three the day before.

Florida Cases, Deaths Slow (11:08 a.m NY)

Florida reported 600,571 cases on Sunday, up 0.5% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 0.7% in the previous seven days. Deaths among Florida residents reached 10,325, an increase of 51, less than the 106 reported the previous day, according to the state health department report, which includes data through Saturday.

New York Reports New Low for Hospitalizations (10:48 a.m NY)

New York reported that virus-related hospitalizations had dropped to 472 and intensive care patients to 110, both the lowest since mid-March. It also marked the 16th straight day of positive-test results under 1%.

The state reported 572 new cases, a 0.1% rise in line with the average daily increase of the previous week. Another five deaths were reported but none in New York City.

Swedish Leader Says Crisis Changed Society Forever (10:20 a.m. NY)

The prime minister of Sweden, which opted against strict lockdowns and many other restrictions, says now is the time tobuild something better amid the country’s worst pandemic in 50 years.

Speaking from his party’s retreat in Bommersvik Stefan Lofven, the leader of the Social Democrats said, “the coronavirus has shown that the welfare state we are so proud of has clear shortcomings.” The crisis, he said, is “a reminder that the society affected by the pandemic was not a perfect society, therefore we will not go back to how everything was before.”

The Nordic nation has seen an increased rate of infections in the first half of August after it declined rapidly during the prior month. But the country has so far chosen to avoid stricter lockdowns or even the use of face masks.

Former Ukrainian Premier Tymoshenko Sick (8:39 a.m. EST)

Yulia Tymoshenko, a Ukrainian opposition politician and former prime minister, has been hospitalized with coronavirus, her spokeswoman Maryna Soroka said on Facebook.

Tymoshenko’s condition is “serious,” Soroka said.

U.S. Deaths Under 1,000 (8:00 a.m. EST)

U.S. confirmed virus cases increased by 45,855 on Saturday, matching the 0.8% daily average increase over the previous week, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.

Virus-related deaths rose by 998, the first time in five days the data showed fewer than 1,000 deaths.

U.K. Proposes New Fines for Illegal Raves, Gatherings (4:42 a.m. EST)

British authorities are threatening the organizers of raves, unlicensed music events, or illegal gatherings of 30 or more people with fines of 10,000 pounds, just before the country starts the last holiday weekend of the summer.

People who attend such events may be fined 100 pounds, which can rise to as much as 3,200 pounds,the Home Office said.

Nations Continue to Report Rises (4:22 a.m. EST)

Poland registered 581 new coronavirus infections on Sunday, increasing the total to 61,762, the health ministry said on Twitter. The biggest number of new cases comes from southern Poland, where the government has been considering re-imposing some virus restrictions. Deaths increased by four, and now total 1,955.

Germany said new cases fell to 781 Saturday from 2,034 a day earlier as testing slowed during the weekend.

— With assistance by Ian Fisher

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