U.S. Cases Rise 0.7%; Pfizer Trial Shows Progress: Virus Update

A Pfizer Inc. vaccinetrial showed promising safety signs after more than 12,000 people received their second of two doses. JPMorgan Chase & Co. sent some Manhattan traders home after an employeetested positive, highlighting the challenges of New York City’s reopening.

Hong Kong announced a freshvirus stimulus and is lifting some social-distancing restrictions. Thailand will start issuing specialvisas to foreign visitors starting in October, easing a ban that has hit its tourism-reliant economy.

The U.K. government warned that coronavirus tests could soon be furtherrestricted as laboratories struggle to cope with rising demand. A London court ruling in alandmark insurance case could lead to tens of millions of payouts related to Covid-19.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases pass 29.4 million; deaths exceed 931,000
  • JPMorgan case is a test for NYC’sreopening planners
  • AstraZeneca U.S. vaccine trial remainson hold pending review
  • Indonesia became atesting ground for a Chinese vaccine
  • ACarnival cruise ship spread the virus to the world
  • Vaccine trials face theirmoment of truth

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.

Japan Trade Picks Up (8:10 a.m. HK)

Japan’sexports fell in August at the slowest pace in five months as the virus receded in key markets and demand continued to pick up. The value of Japan’s overseas shipments declined 14.8% from a year earlier, easing from a 19.2% drop in July.

Yoshihide Suga, who is set to take over as Japan’sprime minister later Wednesday, faces the challenge of trying to revive the economy after it shrank by a record last quarter. His success will depend a lot on exports, a key driver of Japanese growth.

Positivity Rates Down in U.S. Hot Spots (6:58 a.m. HK)

U.S. areas that were hard hit by the virus over the summer showed improving test-positivity rates, indicating slower community spread. In California, home of the most American cases, the 14-day average rate of positive tests fell to 3.6%, the lowest in state health data going back to April.

Texas’s positive-test rate dropped for a ninth straight day after an overhaul of the methodology by state health officials. The figure dipped to 6.79%, the lowest since June 9, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The previous day’s number was revised up to 6.87%.

Florida’s new daily rate of people testing positive for the first time rose to 4.2% for Monday, from 3.9% on Sunday. Still, it was under 5% for the fourth straight day.

U.S. Minority Children Die at Greater Rate (6 a.m. HK)

The coronavirus is disproportionately killing minority children in the U.S., especially those with other underlying health conditions, according to a federalreport that shows how devastation from Covid-19 among Black and Hispanic adults has carried down to their offspring.

Children are much less likely than adults to contract coronavirus or fall seriously ill because of the infection, health records show, though vulnerability varies based on demographics.

Of around 190,000 deaths attributed to Covid-19 in the U.S., 121 of those who died by July 31 were under the age of 21, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three out of four were of Hispanic, Black, American Indian or Alaskan descent, the agency said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Canada Pushes ‘Prudent’ Fiscal Policy in Pandemic (5:37 p.m. NY)

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland vowed to preserve Canada’s reputation for sound fiscal management as her government considers the next steps to drive the recovery.

In her most extensivecomments on policy since she became finance minister last month, Freeland laid out two economic priorities: fighting Covid-19 and spurring economic growth and job creation, citing the 1.8 million Canadian workers who have lost jobs or are working less since the pandemic struck in March.

U.S. Cases Rise 0.7% (4 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 0.7% as compared with the same time Monday to 6.59 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was in line with the average daily gain of 0.6% over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.5% to 195,275.

  • Florida reported 668,846 cases, up 0.5% from a day earlier, compared with an average 0.4% increase in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 12,787, an increase of 1.1%, or 145.
  • California reported 2,235 new virus cases, a 0.3% increase and less than the 14-day average of 3,730. The state reported 66 additional deaths from Covid-19, bringing the total to 14,451.
  • Alabama experienced a 10% increase in the number of cases from the same time yesterday, bringing the total to 153,551, according to the data from Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg News.

Pfizer Trial Free of Major Safety Issues So Far (2:35 p.m. NY)

Researchers monitoring Pfizer Inc.’s giant trial of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine have reportedno safety problems even after more than 12,000 people received their second of two doses. The trial, now targeted at enrolling 44,000 people, has reached its initial goal of 30,000 subjects, Pfizer executives said. The trial is comparing two shots of the vaccine Pfizer is co-developing with Germany’s BioNTech SE to two doses of a placebo.

AstraZeneca Resumes Vaccine Tests in South Africa (12:20 p.m. NY)

AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford have restarted testing an experimental Covid-19 vaccine in South Africa, according to a researcher overseeing the trial, but tests remain on hold in the U.S. after studies were halted due to concerns about a participant who became ill.

The trial in South Africa resumed Tuesday, according to Shabir Madhi, a professor at the University of the Witwatersrand who is leading the study. The move follows a recommendation in the U.K. to resume tests.

Dutch Cases Gain as Budget Shows Hit (10:25 a.m. NY)

A total of 8,265 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in the Netherlands in the past week, up from the 5,427 cases reported in the seven days before that, the RIVM Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said on Tuesday. In the same period, 27 confirmed Covid-19 patients died.

U.K. Closes Testing Site to Clear Space for Brexit Checks (9:29 a.m. NY)

Boris Johnson’s governmentclosed a coronavirus testing facility so the site can be made available to handle customs checks after the U.K. leaves the European Union’s single market and customs union.

“The regional testing site at Ebbsfleet has ceased operations,” the Cabinet Office said in a statement. “Final decisions on inland sites will not be made until we have established the extent of new infrastructure that will be delivered at ports.”

The relocation of the facility, to a new site at Rochester, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) to the east, comes at a critical time for the government, which has facedshortages in its virus testing as new cases surge.

Sweden Allows Care Home Visits (9:04 a.m. NY)

Starting next month, Swedes will be able to visit elderlycare homes for the first time since April as the spread of Covid infections continues to slow down. State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell described the move as “completely reasonable since transmission has decreased radically recently, and it’s obvious that knowledge and routines have improved greatly.”

Copenhagen, Dublin Face Restrictions (7:37 a.m. NY)

Bars, restaurants and cafes in Denmark’s capital will have to shut at 10 p.m. and customers will need to wear face masks, according to new restrictions being introduced following a fresh spike in coronavirus cases. The tightening will take place from Thursday and will apply for two weeks.

In Dublin, bars that don’t serve food will remain closed, the government said on Tuesday as additional restrictions were laid out. So-called wet bars will be able to reopen elsewhere in the country later this month. In addition, Dubliners shouldn’t have visitors from more than one home come to their houses.

— With assistance by Anand Krishnamoorthy

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