Tag: Update

Japan Debates Travel Push; Astra Plans New Trial: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

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As the coronavirus resurges in Japan, politicians and experts are growing more divided on the impact that a subsidy program encouraging people to travel is having on the spread of Covid-19. AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine looks like it’s headed for an additional global trial as the drugmaker tries to clear up uncertainty and confusion surrounding favorable results in its current study.

New infections in New York reached a seven-month high, while hospitalizations rose to their highest level since June. In Europe, the total number of cases in Germany topped 1 million, and the number of patients in intensive care rose to record levels. Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to do more to rein in the pandemic and called on Europe’s ski resorts to close.

Elsewhere, London will avoid the toughest coronavirus restrictions when England’s partial lockdown ends next week, the number of severely ill French patients in intensive care fell to the lowest level in more than three weeks. Argentines mourning the death of soccer icon Diego Maradona ignored virus restrictions.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 60.8 million; deaths top 1.4 millionBiden warns of ‘long, hard winter’ for virus in somber addressLondon avoids toughest curbs as Tories protestAirline claims that flying is safe stir doubts among expertsThe best and the worst places to be in the coronavirus eraCovid vaccine rush in China raises fears of booming black market

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, histogram: U.S. death toll tops 1,600 a day, highest since mid-May


© Bloomberg
U.S. death toll tops 1,600 a day, highest since mid-May

India’s Zydus Plans Launch of Vaccine by March (11:05 a.m. HK)

Zydus Cadila’s Covid-19 vaccine is likely to enter phase III trials next month and a launch is expected by March if things go according to the plan, The Economic Times reported.

South Korea to Decide on Social Distancing Rules Soon (11 a.m. HK)

South Korea will decide soon whether further tightening of social distancing rules is needed as the nation reported more than 500 daily cases for second day, a health ministry official said.

Debate Erupts Over Japan Travel Campaign (10 a.m. HK)

As the coronavirus resurges in Japan, politicians and experts are growing more divided on the impact that a subsidy program encouraging people to travel is having on the spread of Covid-19.

The popular “Go To Travel” campaign, which discounts trips to boost regions hit hardest by a lack of tourists, is one of the government’s most prized projects for spurring the economy, and has been heavily backed by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

U.K. Moves to Get Vaccine Approved Before EU (8:03 a.m. HK)

Health Secretary Matt Hancock asked the U.K. medical regulator to potentially bypass its European Union counterpart and approve the supply of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid vaccine to speed its deployment.

AstraZeneca Eyes Extra Global Vaccine Trial (8:02 a.m. HK)

AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine looks like it’s headed for an additional global trial as

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Japan Debates Travel Campaign; Astra’s New Trial: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

As the coronavirus resurges in Japan, politicians and experts are growing more divided on the impact that a subsidy program encouraging people to travel is having on the spread of Covid-19. AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine looks like it’s headed for an additional global trial as the drugmaker tries to clear up uncertainty and confusion surrounding favorable results in its current study.

New infections in New York reached a seven-month high, while hospitalizations rose to their highest level since June. In Europe, the total number of cases in Germany topped 1 million, and the number of patients in intensive care rose to record levels. Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to do more to rein in the pandemic and called on Europe’s ski resorts to close.

Elsewhere, London will avoid the toughest coronavirus restrictions when England’s partial lockdown ends next week, the number of severely ill French patients in intensive care fell to the lowest level in more than three weeks. Argentines mourning the death of soccer icon Diego Maradona ignored virus restrictions.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 60.8 million; deaths top 1.4 millionBiden warns of ‘long, hard winter’ for virus in somber addressLondon avoids toughest curbs as Tories protestAirline claims that flying is safe stir doubts among expertsThe best and the worst places to be in the coronavirus eraCovid vaccine rush in China raises fears of booming black market

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, histogram: U.S. death toll tops 1,600 a day, highest since mid-May


© Bloomberg
U.S. death toll tops 1,600 a day, highest since mid-May

Debate Erupts Over Japan Travel Campaign (10 a.m. HK)

As the coronavirus resurges in Japan, politicians and experts are growing more divided on the impact that a subsidy program encouraging people to travel is having on the spread of Covid-19.

The popular “Go To Travel” campaign, which discounts trips to boost regions hit hardest by a lack of tourists, is one of the government’s most prized projects for spurring the economy, and has been heavily backed by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

U.K. Moves to Get Vaccine Approved Before EU (8:03 a.m. HK)

Health Secretary Matt Hancock asked the U.K. medical regulator to potentially bypass its European Union counterpart and approve the supply of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid vaccine to speed its deployment.

AstraZeneca Eyes Extra Global Vaccine Trial (8:02 a.m. HK)

AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine looks like it’s headed for an additional global trial as the drugmaker tries to clear up uncertainty and confusion surrounding favorable results in its current study.

The company wants the new test to confirm the 90% efficacy rate that the shot showed in a portion of an existing trial, Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot said. It’s favoring that option rather than adding an arm to a separate study that’s already underway in the U.S.

California’s Positive-Test Rate Hits 6.1% (6:15 p.m. NY)

California reported 14,640 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total for the state to

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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

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NYC Plans Travel Checkpoints; Airlines See Losses: 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. The city was the original U.S. epicenter of the pandemic.

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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 questionsVaccine breakthroughs put Covid protection within reachWorld economy risks buckling into 2021 despite vaccine nearingThe best and worst places to be in the coronavirus eraWhy 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

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

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Hong Kong and Singapore Postpone Travel Bubble: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

Hong Kong and Singapore will postpone the world’s first quarantine-free travel bubble for two weeks after a surge in infections in Hong Kong.

Europe is risking a third virus wave early next year unless it takes more action now, according to David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s special envoy on Covid-19 preparedness and response.

The U.S. reached a record for daily cases with more than 195,000 infections as states including Ohio and California posted new Covid-19 highs. Russia posted a record for daily deaths and infections.

Global Tracker: Cases reach 57.5 million; deaths 1.3 millionGermany May Extend Lockdown to Slow Virus Before ChristmasPfizer’s Covid vaccine still faces hurdles after FDA filing FridayOne in five U.S. hospitals face staffing crisis within a weekEU could approve BioNTech, Moderna vaccines in DecemberOnly the best London offices thrive in an emerging Covid divideVaccine Tracker: Encouraging breakthroughs offer hope

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: Covid-19 patients more than doubled since Labor Day


© Bloomberg
Covid-19 patients more than doubled since Labor Day

Hong Kong and Singapore Delay Travel Bubble (5:30 p.m. HK)

Hong Kong and Singapore will postpone the world’s first quarantine-free travel bubble for two weeks after a surge in infections in Hong Kong. That’s a setback for their flagship airlines and tourism businesses looking to kickstart a recovery.

Under the current agreement between the two financial hubs, the arrangement is suspended for two weeks if the seven-day moving average of unlinked cases rises to five in either city. The average rose to 3.9 on Saturday from 2.1 a day earlier. The details of the formal re-introduction of the plan will be announced early next month, according to Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development.

U.K. to Ease Restrictions Over Holidays (5 p.m. HK)

The government is preparing to relax the U.K. lockdown to allow “several” families to form a bubble for up to a week over the Christmas period, the Telegraph said on Saturday. The so-called winter plan will outline replacement measures to the current lockdown and will be announced as soon as Monday, the newspaper reported.

Separately, a British hospitality organization warned that the government cutting the job retention bonus will cost the industry 2.1 billion pounds ($2.8 billion) and lead to job cuts, the Telegraph said. U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak will unveil the government’s spending plans for the next year on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted on Saturday that he’s still self-isolating and working from his Downing Street office.

Iran Offers More Support as Lockdown Starts (5 p.m. HK)

The Iranian government will make monthly payments to almost 30 million people over the next four months to support the economy during the coronavirus outbreak, President Hassan Rouhani said. Iran started a two-week lockdown on Saturday, reducing economic activity to essential services and businesses in many areas.

Hungary Posts Record Deaths as Infections Plateau (4:50 p.m. HK)

Hungary reported

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UPDATE 1-South African court rules insurer Santam should pay hotel group’s virus-related claim

(Adds details, comments)

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 17 (Reuters) – A South African court on Tuesday ruled that insurer Santam should pay coronavirus-related claims made by hotel group Ma-Afrika, which it had rejected, according to a written judgement.

Globally, firms like Ma-Afrika, forced to close under coronavirus restrictions, have been fighting the rejection of claims made under business interruption policies. In South Africa, insurers say these policies did not apply to government lockdowns.

Tuesday’s judgement however, following a case brought by the small hotel group and a related restaurant, ordered Santam to pay out on the group’s claims made under an extension of its business interruption policy.

“The applicants have established that they have an existing contractual right to indemnity under the infectious diseases clause to the policies,” the judgement stated.

The judgement said the combined total of business interruption cover for loss of revenue under four policies held by Ma-Afrika’s hotels, and another policy held by the restaurant, stood at 122.43 million rand ($7.94 million).

A spokeswoman for Santam, the country’s largest non-life insurer that has previously indicated it will appeal any decision against it, said the insurer would comment on the news on Wednesday morning.

Other insurers, under pressure from regulators and with their reputations bruised by the dispute, have also been watching the case. It is seen as providing some legal certainty around their obligations in relation to the policies.

Ryan Woolley, CEO of Insurance Claims Africa, a loss adjuster representing over 750 affected firms in South Africa including Ma-Afrika, said the case provided the certainty required to finalise all such disputed claims.

“We believe it is now time for the sector to step up and display the ethical leadership that has been missing from their response to this crisis thus far,” he said in a statement.

Andre Pieterse, chairman and CEO of Ma-Afrika, said the decision would greatly assist his firm and others in his sector to weather the pandemic, and he hoped it bought an end to the litigation.

He also thanked Santam for a payment received under a 1 billion rand initiative the insurer offered to affected clients. The payments were interim relief intended to tide them over while legal battles played out. ($1 = 15.4255 rand) (Reporting by Emma Rumney Editing by Nqobile Dludla and Alexandra Hudson)

Source Article

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Family Vacation’ Fans Want an Update on Mike ‘The Situation’ and Lauren Sorrentino’s Pregnancy Journey

Jersey Shore fans know Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and his wife, Lauren, want to start a family. Many fans were heartbroken when Lauren announced that she had a miscarriage at the end of last year. But being the Sorrentinos, the couple remain optimistic about starting the next chapter in their lives. 

Now, with a new season of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation debuting Nov. 19, many fans think the Sorrentinos might share an update regarding their baby situation. 

Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino and Lauren Sorrentino
Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and Lauren Sorrentino | Raymond Hall/GC Images

The Situations want to start a family 

After Mike was released from his eight-month prison sentence in September 2019, the couple started trying for a baby right away. 

“The night he came home we actually conceived,” Lauren shared on GMA. “When I found out we were pregnant, I felt like this is why we went through all these challenges for years and that this was our time and it was our blessing.”

Mike’s prison sentence wasn’t the only hurdle for the couple. Throughout his time on Jersey Shore, “Big Daddy Sitch” was dealing with substance abuse. Thanks to his wife’s support, Mike was able to work through recovery. He will celebrate five years of sobriety in December. 

Lauren Sorrentino had a miscarriage in November 2019

About six to seven weeks into her pregnancy, Lauren had a miscarriage. As a role model to many Jersey Shore fans, Lauren felt obligated to share her story. 

“It was hard,” she said on GMA. “It was really difficult. I didn’t want to hold this in. I wanted to share it for other people going through it and just be honest so I can kind of heal through the process.” 

In discussing her miscarriage, Lauren added that they were still actively trying for a baby. Mike was extremely encouraging.

“I said, ‘Honey, we’ve been through some rough situations in life, prison, addiction,’” Mike told Entertainment Tonight. “‘What did we do?’ And pretty much what we did was we picked ourselves up, we dusted ourselves off, and went right back to the basics.”

“We’re going to keep trying,” Mike added. “We can’t wait until that happens, and we’re very excited to start that chapter, and we’re moving forward.”

Many fans are hopeful that they’ll learn good news about the Sorrentino’s baby situation in the forthcoming season of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation

Will Mike ‘The Situation’ and Lauren Sorrentino announce a pregnancy on ‘Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’? 

Jersey Shore: Family Vacation has truly turned into a family gathering. A majority of the roommates are in committed relationships, married, or married with kids. According to the promos, season 4 will include the cast’s significant others — including “Laurens.”

With season 4 of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation debuting Nov. 19, many fans are hopeful the Sorrentinos will share even more about their pregnancy journey. 

“I have a feeling this story will be picked back up in the new season,” a fan said on Reddit. 

“I’m sure they

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COVID-19 travel update: Which countries can Americans visit?

Dozens of countries in Europe and Asia remain off-limits for American travelers as the world continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, local, state and federal officials in the U.S. are urging Americans to stay as close to home as possible, because travel increases risk.

Yet many other countries do remain open, with and without quarantine, to Americans who can meet certain conditions.

Many, such as Albania, are off the beaten path for most Americans. Others, such as Mexico, are more familiar.

Mexico requires no test and no quarantine for those traveling by air. Under a pact the two countries have been renewing monthly, U.S. travelers are forbidden from traveling by land across the border for nonessential reasons, but no such ban applies to those who fly.

The U.S.’ other neighbor, Canada, has banned most foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, from entering its territory. There are exceptions for some students and people with Canadian family, but otherwise, the ban on nonessential travel is firm.

Regarding Europe: If you aren’t familiar with the term “Schengen countries,” you should be. The term refers to 26 European Union nations that are acting collectively when it comes to allowing travelers to safely cross their borders without spreading COVID-19. Many have been tightening internal restrictions in recent days in hopes of thwarting a new surge of cases. Americans currently are not allowed in; residents of Canada, New Zealand and Japan are. The list is reviewed every two weeks.

In the Asia-Pacific region too, many doors are closed. American tourists are not allowed to visit Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines. The same goes for Australia and New Zealand.

What to consider before you go

Before you make plans to go abroad, bear in mind that travel increases your risk of infection and the chance that you might unknowingly pass infection to others, worsening a catastrophe that has already claimed more than 1.3 million lives. Since March, local, state and national health officials have all urged Americans to stay close to home — preferably within their neighborhoods — and defer any nonessential travel.

Masked passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight on June 3

Masked passengers fill a Southwest Airlines flight from Burbank to Las Vegas on June 3, with middle seats left open.

(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

The U.S. State Department has detailed nation-by-nation information on COVID-19 conditions abroad. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has information on COVID-19 cases and deaths (with countries assessed at four levels of risk), and the World Health Organization maintains an updated dashboard. For another perspective, you can also check which countries the British government believes are safe to visit. (As of late October, more than 50 countries were on that list, but the U.S. was not one of them.)

Travelers should remember that restrictions may depend not only on the destination but also on airports you pass through on the way to your destination. Temperature testing, mask requirements and social distancing are the rule globally, not the exception. Also, if

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With Covid Under Control, Travel Recovers in China: NEF Update

(Bloomberg) — In China, the travel and transportation industries are showing signs of life as the coronavirus pandemic heads toward the end of its first year.



Narendra Modi holding a phone


© Bloomberg
Narendra Modi

Jean Liu, president of Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing Inc., said in a panel at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum. That business fell “off a cliff” when the pandemic started in January and February. But Liu gradually saw a recovery in April, and Didi is now racking up 60 million rides every day. “Right now we are fully back,” she said.



a person posing for the camera: Jean Liu, president of Didi Chuxing, speaks during a panel discussion at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing, China, on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. The New Economy Forum, organized by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, aims to bring together leaders from public and private sectors to find solutions to the world's greatest challenges.


© Photographer: Takaaki Iwabu/Bloomberg
Jean Liu, president of Didi Chuxing, speaks during a panel discussion at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing, China, on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019. The New Economy Forum, organized by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, aims to bring together leaders from public and private sectors to find solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

Liu said she is most proud of the initiative her company came up with to shuttle healthcare workers around the city when there was no public transportation. Around 140,000 drivers volunteered, she said.

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Neil Shen, founding and managing partner at Sequoia Capital China, sees travel in China picking up again by the second quarter of next year. “The good thing is Covid is well under control,” he said. “We see travel coming back pretty quickly.” —Isabelle Lee

The New Economy Forum is being organized by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

‘15-Minute Cities’ Can Speed the Urban Comeback (10:00 a.m.)

Covid-19 has devastated communities across the globe, but as with disease outbreaks of the past, cities can not only survive but see themselves transformed for the better.

“In every crisis there is also an opportunity,” Lord Mayor Hazel Chu of Dublin said in a panel at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum. Dublin, Chu said, has been rolling out a series of transportation improvements in light of the pandemic to help people move around. Among the ideas the city is pursuing is the establishment of a “15-minute city,” in which the needs of all residents can be met within a walking or biking system.

But it’s critical to prevent the 15-minute concept from becoming a “bubble” for wealthy citizens, Chu said: The Covid crisis is also exposing the deep inequalities inside cities, and accelerated the need for healthier buildings, more efficient public transit to prevent crowding, and better integration among communities of different socioeconomic backgrounds.  

Harvard University economist Edward Glaeser emphasized that urban density is not an impediment to pandemic resistance: The beauty of cities, he said, is that they allow large numbers of people to share spaces and resources. But cities will need better protocols and public health practices to help people protect themselves. “They don’t work if people are terrified of being next to each other,” he said. — Linda Poon

India’s Modi Seeks Funding to Build Smart Cities (9 a.m.)

The second day of the four-day

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UPDATE 5-Biden aide says no U.S.-wide COVID lockdown planned as West Coast states advise against travel

(Adds New Mexico health order; updates latest national tallies)



A health care professional walks past an ambulance during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri


© Reuters
A health care professional walks past an ambulance during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

By Doina Chiacu and Sharon Bernstein

WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden’s top coronavirus adviser said on Friday there were no plans for a wholesale nationwide lockdown to curb the surging COVID-19 pandemic, while three U.S. West Coast states jointly called for a halt in non-essential travel.

The warning against unnecessary transit came as the daily increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States rose to a record of over 177,000 on Friday, the fourth straight day a new all-time high has been set, according to a Reuters tally of figures from U.S. public health agencies.

California, Oregon and Washington urged residents to avoid venturing out of state, citing concerns raised by health experts that the coming holiday travel season would accelerate already alarming spikes in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown took the additional step of ordering social gatherings limited to no more than six people, effective immediately, a restriction she said she was prepared to enforce.

“I am not asking you, I am telling you, to stop your social gatherings … and your house parties and to limit your social interactions to six and under, not more than one household,” Brown said.

Similarly, New Mexico’s acting health secretary, Billy Jiminez, extended through the end of November a three-week-old ban on gatherings of more than five people who do not live in the same household, along with a directive advising state residents to stay “in their homes for all but the most essential activities and services.”

That order also requires face coverings be worn in public and mandates the closure of workplaces not defined as “essential businesses,” such as grocery stores, farms, childcare centers, banks, “big-box” retailers, factories and healthcare facilities.

The dire situation has prompted a growing list of state and local governments to re-impose restrictions they eased during a summertime ebb in COVID-19 outbreaks.

The governors of six states in the Northeast, the region hit hardest in the early months of the pandemic, plan an emergency meeting this weekend to coordinate responses, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The country’s patchwork of measures will likely remain intact after Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20 following his election defeat of Republican President Donald Trump, the head of the Democrat’s coronavirus advisory board said.

“We’re not in a place where we’re saying shut the whole country down,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general, told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“Right now the way we should be thinking about this is more like a series of restrictions that we dial up or down depending on how bad a spread is taking place in a specific region,” he said.

Murthy’s comments were a sharp rebuttal to Trump’s repeated campaign assertions that Biden was intent

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