Cuomo Warns of Major Surge; NYC Plans Checkpoints: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — New York City will have vehicle checkpoints at key bridges and crossings during the Thanksgiving holiday period, and will strictly enforce its coronavirus travel quarantine. Governor Andrew Cuomo warned that the state could face at a least a 20% surge in new infections.


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European executives are losing confidence in the outlook as virus restrictions threaten economic growth. People will probably have to take precautions against Covid-19 for the next year as countries need time to vaccinate their populations, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist said.

The airline industry’s main trade group expects record losses to balloon further in 2021 amid lackluster travel demand, and Deutsche Bank AG may allow most employees to permanently work from home two days a week. Hong Kong will shut bars and clubs after a recent spike in cases.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases pass 59.3 million; deaths 1.4 millionAstra shot that works better in smaller doses raises questionsThe best and the worst places to be in the coronavirus eraU.S. unwinds in-person education with closings in over 30 statesVaccine breakthroughs put Covid protection within reachWorld economy risks buckling into 2021 despite vaccine nearingWhy making a Covid vaccine is only the first hurdle: QuickTake

Subscribe 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.

chart: The euro area is slipping into a second contraction because of virus restrictions

© Bloomberg
The euro area is slipping into a second contraction because of virus restrictions

Ireland Has Fewest Cases in 2 Months (1:05 p.m. NY)

Ireland reported the fewest new coronavirus cases in two months, ahead of a easing of current restrictions. There were 226 newly diagnosed cases on Tuesday, the health ministry said, the least since Sept. 21. The government is expected to decide on loosening the current lockdown later this week, with restrictions due to expire on Dec. 1. Ireland also formally introduced fines for breaches of coronavirus rules Tuesday, including for not wearing masks and for hosting or attending house parties.

French ICU Patients Seen Falling Below 1,500 Mid-December (12:30 p.m. NY)

France’s number of Covid-19 patients in intensive care is forecast to fall below 3,000 by the end of November and below 1,500 by mid-December, according to projections by Institut Pasteur, Les Echos reports. Health authorities on Monday reported 4,454 ICU patients. Close to 11% of the French population has been infected with Covid, while in the Paris region it’s close to 21%, according to the research institute.

N.Y.’s Cuomo Warns of Major Surge (11:55 a.m. NY)

New York state is headed toward a major surge in coronavirus cases, at least a 20% increase over the holiday season, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday.

At the low end, experts say the state could see a 20% increase in cases between now and January, with the positive test rate reaching 12.46%, Cuomo said at a virus briefing on Long Island.

If the state sees more, emergency hospital beds would be needed, he said. “That’s a problem,” Cuomo said, urging New Yorkers to “be smart” and keep guests to a maximum of 10 people this Thanksgiving. “It’s hard, but sometimes hard is smart.”

The testing positivity rate statewide was 2.93% on Monday, with 2,856 hospitalizations, Cuomo said.

N.J. Deaths Spike (11:50 a.m. NY)

New Jersey reported 48 deaths with a lab-confirmed link to the virus, the highest such figure since June 5. For much of July, August, September and October, the state had reported fewer than 10 deaths each day. The new data push the state’s known Covid-19 deaths to above 15,000, while another 1,812 fatalities had an untested but probable link.

“We are in the thick of the Covid second wave,” Governor Phil Murphy said during a bill-signing. He pleaded with New Jerseyans to limit Thursday’s Thanksgiving guests to immediate family and to exclude the most vulnerable: “This is not the year to have grandma and grandpa over.”

Italy Deaths Jump as New Cases Slow (11:45 a.m. NY)

Italy reported the highest number of coronavirus fatalities since the height of the pandemic in the spring, even as data on new contagions hinted that the outbreak is slowing down. Daily deaths climbed to 853 Tuesday, the most since March 28 and up from 630 a day earlier.

New cases fell 28% from a week earlier to 23,232, with a test positivity rate falling to 12.3%, the lowest in a month.

“There is an initial but clear decline in positivity,” said Franco Locatelli, head of Italy’s public health institute, at a press conference. Deaths will only start declining later, he added. Hospitalized patients fell for the first time in two months, dropping by 114 to 38,393.

U.K. Has Fewest New Cases Since Oct. 2 (11:35 a.m. NY)

The U.K. recorded its lowest number of new coronavirus cases in nearly two months on Tuesday, the latest indication that infections are steadily declining.

Restrictions in England are due to be eased next week to make way for a regional approach that will allow many businesses to reopen, and some socializing.

A further 11,299 new cases were reported, the fewest since Oct. 2 and down from a peak of more than 33,000 on Nov. 12.

Some 608 new deaths from coronavirus were reported, which is about level week on week, but it is also the highest daily increase since cases spiked for the second time.

NYC Plans Travel Checkpoints (11:05 a.m. NY)

New York City will have vehicle checkpoints at key bridges and crossings, and will strictly enforce the travel quarantine, Sheriff Joseph Fucito said.

The sheriff’s office will conduct spot checks when out-of-state buses drop riders off at the curb. Test and tracing teams will be on the ground to direct individuals to testing sites and provide education on quarantine, Fucito said.

The 14-day quarantine mandates that travelers quarantine or test out. Violations of self-quarantine will be enforced and may carry fines of $1,000 to $2,000, according to the mayor’s office.

The city will enforce the completion of traveler forms at airports, Penn Station and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. There will be self-test site teams on the premises.

New York, the early center of the U.S. outbreak, reported a seven-day average of 1,476 new cases, and a seven-day positive test rate of 3.17%, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

South Africa Lines Up Vaccines Through Covax (10:20 a.m. NY)

South Africa has paid 500 million rand ($33 million) to the Covax program, which strives to supply low- and middle-income countries with proven Covid-19 vaccines to ensure equitable access around the world, according to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni.

Mboweni said he will find a further 4.5 billion rand from the budget to make sure South Africa has an adequate supply and is at “the front of the queue” when vaccines become available. There may also be scope to help some neighbors, he said.

The global Covax alliance has raised more than $2 billion and secured deals for roughly 700 million doses so far.

Spain Lines Up Vaccine Doses for 80 Million: Minister (9:21 a.m. NY)

Spain can count on having enough Covid-19 vaccine to immunize 80 million people using a total of 140 million doses, Health Minister Salvador Illa said. The country will be split into 18 population groups, with most elderly residents and health workers in nursing homes immunized first. The program will begin in January.

London Should Go Into Tier 2 Next Week, Mayor Says (9:03 a.m. NY)

London should be placed on the second tier of coronavirus restrictions when England’s national lockdown ends next week, Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a tweet. Many bars, businesses, restaurants clubs and cultural venues might not recover if they were forced to close under the highest level of measures, he said.

Deutsche Bank Considers Permanent Work-From-Home Policy (9 a.m. NY)

Deutsche Bank AG is weighing a new policy that would allow most employees to permanently work from home two days a week as the lender draws lessons from the coronavirus pandemic.

Early Mutation May Have Made Pandemic Harder to Stop: NYT (9 a.m. NY)

The coronavirus picked up random alterations to its genetic sequence as it swept across the world, the New York Times reported. One mutation early on made a difference, multiple new findings suggest, helping the virus spread more easily and making the pandemic harder to stop, the newspaper said.

The mutation, known as 614G, was first spotted in eastern China in January and then spread quickly throughout Europe and New York City, according to the report.

Dutch Weekly Cases Decline at Slower Pace (8:07 a.m. NY)

The decline in the number of new Covid-19 cases in the Netherlands slowed last week from the previous seven days, according to health agency RIVM on Tuesday. In the week ending Nov. 24, 36,931 new patients were confirmed, a 2% drop from the prior seven days, when the weekly tally fell by 14%.

A key advisory body to the government is recommending not to lift restrictions in December, news agency ANP reported earlier on Tuesday, citing people it didn’t identify.

Covid Risk From Using Cash is Low: BOE Study (7:49 a.m. NY)

The risk of catching Covid-19 through using banknotes is low, according to research by the Bank of England that suggests the aversion to using cash during the pandemic is unnecessary. The central bank considered a plausible worst-case scenario of an infected person coughing or sneezing onto a note and found that the level of virus on the surface began to drop rapidly after an hour.

Putin Can’t Take Russia’s ‘Safe’ Vaccine, Kremlin Says (7:10 a.m. NY)

President Vladimir Putin told fellow world leaders last week that both of Russia’s Covid-19 vaccines, including one he championed as the world’s first inoculation against the disease, are safe and effective. That doesn’t mean he’s taken a jab.

“We have not yet begun widespread vaccination and the head of state can’t take part in vaccination as a volunteer. It’s impossible,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Tuesday, in response to a question on whether Putin had been inoculated. “The president can’t use an uncertified vaccine.”

EU Commission Confirms Vaccine Deal With Moderna (7:06 a.m. NY)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed an advance purchase agreement with Moderna Inc. for 160 million doses of the company’s vaccine in development. The agreement on behalf of all 27 EU countries marks the commission’s sixth such accord with drug companies. The EU’s executive arm is working on one more deal with a pharmaceutical company, the president said in a statement.

Airlines See Losses Swelling to $157 Billion (7 a.m. NY)

Record airline losses from the coronavirus outbreak will balloon further next year as anticipated vaccination programs take time to revive travel demand, according to the industry’s main trade group.

The International Air Transport Association on Tuesday predicted carriers will lose almost $39 billion in 2021, more than double the forecast in June. That’s on top of a $118.5 billion deficit in the current 12 months, up 40% from the prior outlook after a new wave of lockdowns wiped out a resurgence in flights.

Iran Reports Its Highest Daily Cases (6:48 p.m. HK)

Iran reported its highest number of daily infections to date, with 13,721 in the past 24 hours. The new record marks a 10.1% increase from Monday and brings the total to 880,542. The total death count reached 45,738 with 483 more fatalities overnight, just shy of a record 486 reported last week.

European Business Mood Turns Sour (6:36 a.m. NY)

European executives are losing confidence in the outlook as new virus restrictions threaten to drag the economy into another slump.

Days after Danone and Thyssenkrupp AG announced thousands of job cuts, reports pointed to a souring mood across Europe’s corporate world. Germany’s Ifo Institute said a gauge of business expectations fell more than economists forecast in November, while a French sentiment measure also plunged.

Covid Precautions Will Be Needed for the Next Year: WHO (5:47 p.m. HK)

People around the world will probably need to take precautions against Covid-19 for the next year as countries need time to vaccinate their populations broadly, World Health Organization Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said.

“For the next year or so we are going to have to keep in place some of the measures or restrictions, you might call them, that we have gotten used to this year,” Swaminathan said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Vaccinating high-risk populations will be the priority for 2021, she said, with countries able to vaccinate the general population rapidly by the end of next year. “It’s going to be a gradual process.”

(A previous version corrected a reference to the number of guests recommended in the New York item)

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