Tag: virus

As virus cases rise, Southwest sees slower travel recovery | National News

Southwest said in a regulatory filing that October revenue is down about 65% from a year ago, and that November and December revenue will be off 60% to 65%. It is unclear whether the weakening booking trends is directly related to the surge in virus cases. Other industry officials left little doubt, however.

“Demand is softening, and in the wake of the news, it’s probably not hard to figure out why,” said Nicholas Calio, president of the trade group Airlines for America.

Air travel remains deeply depressed — in the U.S., it’s down about 65% from a year ago. Although that is improvement over April’s 95% decline, Calio told reporters that U.S. airlines are still losing about $180 million a day.

Airlines have added more flights for Thanksgiving, but health officials are warning against big gatherings over the holiday. This week, New York limited private gatherings to 10 people, even for outdoor events.

In the early days of the pandemic, several airlines tried to reassure frightened travelers by blocking some seats to create more space between passengers. As flights have become more crowded in recent months, airlines are losing money by leaving seats empty.

JetBlue is the latest U.S. carrier to abandon seating limits. Southwest will stop blocking middle seats on Dec. 1. The last holdouts — Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines — plan to eliminate their seating limits early next year.

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California, Oregon, Washington issue virus travel advisories

The Week

Texas senator suggests it’s too soon to declare Biden the winner because Puerto Rico is still counting votes

The Senate Republicans who have not conceded publicly that President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 election argue that President Trump has the right to challenge the results in court, or point out that the vote totals haven’t been certified yet, or admit they need his voters to show up in Georgia’s special Senate elections, or privately acknowledge that they would pay a political price for not humoring Trump’s baseless fraud claims. Some say it’s best to let the courts swat down the fraud allegations so people who voted for Trump will feel assured the system worked.But this reason for letting “process run its course” posted by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Thursday is new.> Another example of why it is prudent to let the process run its course: Thousands of Uncounted Votes Found a Week After Election in Puerto Rico https://t.co/YYxMhNSAdi> > — Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) November 12, 2020Puerto Rico, of course, doesn’t get to vote for president (or send members of Congress to Washington), so it wasn’t clear why Cornyn would bring up its uncounted votes. After getting needled for hours on Twitter, he said he wasn’t necessarily referring to the presidential race — though he did not explain what other “process” he had in mind. All other major races have been called and the losers conceded.> Neither the story or my comments are limited to presidential elections. fail https://t.co/RTQNk51ZIt> > — Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) November 13, 2020Cornyn, who won re-election last week, did send more subtle signals that he accepts the results of the election, retweeting two recaps of the Homeland Security Department’s cybersecurity agency affirming that “the Nov. 3 election was the most secure in American history” and “there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”More stories from theweek.com 7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump’s refusal to concede Trump is reportedly ‘very aware’ he lost the election but is putting up a fight as ‘theater’ Obama says he is ‘troubled’ by GOP senators enabling Trump and his false election claims

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Germany Damps Christmas Hopes; U.K. Travel Changes: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — German Health Minister Jens Spahn doused optimism for a significant easing of virus restrictions by Christmas as the number of new cases in the country remains stubbornly high. The U.K. plans to announce changes to its 14-day quarantine rules for travelers.

Japan may introduce more stringent virus restrictions after suffering record infections on Thursday. South Korea reported 191 new cases over the past 24 hours, the biggest gain in 10 weeks, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

California passed 1 million infections as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said almost no part of the country is being spared in the surge. Still, the fatality rate for infected people in the U.S. has declined 30% since April due to improved treatment, according to a study by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation. Total U.S. deaths will nevertheless reach 439,000 by March, topping 2,200 a day in mid-January, the researchers said.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 52.8 million; deaths surpass 1.29 millionTesla’s Musk Says He May Have Covid-19, Calls Tests ‘Bogus’Japan Has Worst Day of Covid Cases Yet Amid Fears of Winter WaveChina comes under pressure to reveal Covid-19 vaccine dataWhite House is leaving stimulus to Congress with Biden entering fraySaving Christmas From Covid Is a Critical Mission for BritainPodcast: What to expect from the virus and the vaccine raceVaccine 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: Second Waves


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Second Waves

German Cases Dent Hopes for December Easing of Restrictions (4 p.m. HK)

German Health Minister Jens Spahn cooled optimism about a potential easing of restrictions next month, saying that infection numbers haven’t come down enough. He also said that the government had never promised that life would be back to normal in December. The country registered a near-record 24,738 new cases through Friday morning. On Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 state premiers will review current measures, which include a ban on non-essential travel and the closure of bars and restaurants.

The on-going partial shutdown will lead to about 20 billion euros ($24 billion) in lower revenue this month for affected industries, according to Marcel Fratzscher, president of research institute DIW.

“The big concern is that companies have been cutting back on investment and consumers are actually saving more,” despite the government’s stimulus efforts, Fratzscher said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

U.K. to Announce New Travel Quarantine Measures ‘Very Soon’ (3:46 p.m HK)

The U.K. will unveil changes to 14-day travel quarantine measures “very soon,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News. The government is “actively working” on reducing quarantine and self-isolation periods for international travelers, he said.

Separately, the U.K. removed most of Greece from its list of travel corridors following a significant increase in coronavirus cases. The U.A.E., Iceland and Chile were among countries added to travel corridors, while

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Parks and Recreation hires private security to help enforce virus restrictions at parks

LAS CRUCES – The city’s Parks and Recreation Department has temporarily contracted with a private security company to monitor city parks and ensure compliance with COVID-19 health guidance and restrictions.



a police car parked in a parking lot: A car from Security Concepts Inc., a private security company in Las Cruces, patrols Klein Park on Nov. 12, 2020 to help with COVID-19 guideline compliance.


© Damien Willis/Sun-News
A car from Security Concepts Inc., a private security company in Las Cruces, patrols Klein Park on Nov. 12, 2020 to help with COVID-19 guideline compliance.

Two Sun-News reporters have observed a private security car patrolling Klein Park for at least the last week.

When asked, Las Cruces Communications Director Mandy Guss said the parks department had contracted with a private company.

“Our Parks Department did contract some security around a couple parks to help enforce the public health orders — specifically no gatherings larger than five (people),” Guss said in a statement. “Several parks were being monitored over Halloween, and the patrols were kept through the Veterans Day holiday.”

Others are reading: Doña Ana County rapid response watchlist

Guss wasn’t immediately able to questions about which parks were being patrolled.

The car belonged to Security Concepts Inc., a private security company in Las Cruces. Manager Mike Gonzales said the company had been contracted for the last two weeks to patrol several parks and ask people to comply with social distancing and face mask guidance.

Keep up with local coverage. Subscribe to the Sun-News.

Gonzales said the contract was ending soon, unless the city chose to extend it. No other details on the contract, such as its exact length and cost, were immediately available.

All of the city’s parks and trails are open, but the public is asked to follow social distancing and other COVID-conscious health guidelines when visiting. Masks are required, even when exercising, and gatherings of more than five people are prohibited.

Security Concepts doesn’t have the power to issue citations, Gonzales said. He said his officers hadn’t encountered any problems, but that any problem that arose would lead to a call to the Las Cruces police or to the New Mexico State Police. 

Keep reading: Las Cruces COVID-19 survivor who received double lung transplant will be going home

While the Las Cruces Police Department is allowed to enforce the state’s public health orders and the city’s local mask requirements, spokesperson Dan Trujillo told the Sun-News Tuesday that zero citations had been issued for violating face-mask requirements within city limits.

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Michael McDevitt is a city and county government reporter for the Sun-News. He can be reached at 575-202-3205, [email protected] or @MikeMcDTweets on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: Parks and Recreation hires private security to help enforce virus restrictions at parks

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Correction: Virus Outbreak-Business Travel story

Brandon Contreras represents the worst fears of the lucrative business travel industry.

A partner account executive at a U.S. tech firm, Contreras was used to traveling frequently for his company. But nine months into the pandemic, he and thousands of others are working from home and dialing into video conferences instead of boarding planes.

Contreras manages his North American accounts from Sacramento, California and doesn’t expect to travel for work until the middle of next year. Even then, he’s not sure how much he will need to.

“Maybe it’s just the acceptance of the new normal. I have all of the resources necessary to be on the calls, all of the communicative devices to make sure I can do my job,” he said. “There’s an element of face-to-face that’s necessary, but I would be OK without it.”

Work travel represented 21% of the $8.9 trillion spent on global travel and tourism in 2019, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian recently suggested business travel might settle into a “new normal” that is 10% to 20% lower than it used to be.

“I do think corporate travel is going to come back faster than people suspect. I just don’t know if it will be come back to the full volume,” Bastian told The Associated Press. Right now, Delta’s business travel revenue is down 85%.

Dubai-based MBC Group, which operates 18 television stations, says it’s unlikely employees will travel as often once the pandemic ends because they’ve proven they don’t need to.

“We have managed to deliver projects and negotiate deals very successfully, though remotely,” MBC spokesman Mazen Hayek said. MBC has reduced trips by more than 85%, Hayek said.

Amazon, which told it employees to stop traveling in March, says it has saved nearly $1 billion in travel expenses so far this year. The online shopping giant, with more than 1.1 million employees, is the second-largest employer in the U.S.

At Southwest Airlines, CEO Gary Kelly said while overall passenger revenue is down 70%, business travel — normally more than one-third of Southwest’s traffic — is off 90%.

“I think that’s going to continue for a long time. I’m very confident it will recover and pass 2019 levels, I just don’t know when,” Kelly told the AP.

U.S. hotels relied on business travel for around half their revenue in 2019, or closer to 60% in big cities like Washington, according to Cindy Estis Green, the CEO of hospitality data firm Kalibri Labs.

Peter Belobaba, who teaches airline management at MIT, said business travel is down partly because some people are afraid to fly and partly because companies fear liability if employees contract COVID-19 while traveling for work.

Companies have also reined in travel because times are lean, he said. ExxonMobil cut business travel in February — even before the pandemic’s full

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Southwest report shows rising virus cases are hitting travel

DALLAS — Southwest Airlines cautioned Thursday that the tenuous recovery in air travel could be fading as coronavirus cases spike across the United States.

The nation’s fourth-biggest airline said after a modest rise in leisure-travel bookings from August through October, it now sees a slowdown in what were improving revenue trends for November and December.

Airline stocks surged on Monday after Pfizer reported promising early results from a trial of a coronavirus vaccine. However, the stocks have retreated as new confirmed cases of COVID-19 soared this week, topping 140,000, to set a new record Wednesday.

The report from Dallas carrier added to fears that the spreading virus cases will hurt travel demand heading into Thanksgiving, a key period for airlines.

Southwest said in a regulatory filing that October revenue is down about 65% from a year ago, and that November and December revenue will be off 60% to 65%. It is unclear whether the weakening booking trends is directly related to the surge in virus cases. Other industry officials left little doubt, however.

“Demand is softening, and in the wake of the news, it’s probably not hard to figure out why,” said Nicholas Calio, president of the trade group Airlines for America.

– in the U.S., it’s down about 65% from a year ago. Although that is improvement over April’s 95% decline, Calio told reporters that U.S. airlines are still losing about $180 million a day.

Airlines have added more flights for Thanksgiving, but health officials are warning against big gatherings over the holiday. This week, New York limited private gatherings to 10 people, even for outdoor events.

Travel restrictions designed to stop spreading the virus have upended the airline business. The top nine U.S. carriers have lost $36 billion so far this year, according to Airlines for America. Business travel and international routes have been particularly hard-hit.

Canada, Europe and much of Asia are closed to most Americans. Mexico is a relative bright spot, with travel there from the U.S. down only 41%, to 1.3 million passengers in October. With other nations cut off, the Dominican Republic is now the second-biggest destination for U.S. international travelers, according to the airline trade group.

In midday trading, share of Southwest and United Airlines were down less than 1%, while American and Delta were up less than 1%.

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Emirates Posts $3.8 Billion Loss After Virus Sunk Air Travel

(Bloomberg) — Emirates Group, owner of the world’s largest long-haul carrier, slumped to its first loss in more than 30 years after the coronavirus pandemic reduced demand for air travel to a trickle.



a large passenger jet sitting on top of a runway: Passenger aircraft, operated by Emirates, stand beside the terminal building at Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Monday, May 18, 2020. Emirates Group is considering plans to cut about 30,000 jobs as the operator of the world’s largest long-haul carrier seeks to reduce costs after the coronavirus pandemic grounded air travel.


© Bloomberg
Passenger aircraft, operated by Emirates, stand beside the terminal building at Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Monday, May 18, 2020. Emirates Group is considering plans to cut about 30,000 jobs as the operator of the world’s largest long-haul carrier seeks to reduce costs after the coronavirus pandemic grounded air travel.

The 14.1 billion dirham ($3.8 billion) loss for the state-owned company came alongside a 24% reduction in headcount over the six months through September, Emirates said in a statement on Thursday. Revenue fell 74% as an increase in cargo traffic wasn’t enough to offset the decline of commercial flights.

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“We began our current financial year amid a global lockdown when air-passenger traffic was at a literal standstill,” said Chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. “We expect a steep recovery in travel demand once a Covid-19 vaccine is available, and we are readying ourselves to serve that rebound.”

Emirates Airline was particularly hard hit by the pandemic because its business model is built around the biggest category of jets — Airbus SE A380s and Boeing Co. 777s — carrying passengers between all corners of the globe. Long-haul travel is widely expected by the industry to be the slowest to recover from the crisis as passengers shy away from lengthy journeys and virus hotspots.

The Dubai-based carrier, which started resuming regular passenger flights on May 21 after suspending most trips for almost two months, has recovered about a sixth of its pre-pandemic network.

Read More: Emirates Starts Thousands of Job Cuts to Offset Virus Slump

The Emirates Group, which also includes ground-handling firm Dnata, cut about 26,000 jobs over the six-month period, bringing the total to just over 81,000. This was to adapt to “expected capacity and business activities in the foreseeable future,” the company said.

While the group’s cash position fell to 20.7 billion dirhams from 25.6 billion dirhams six months earlier, Emirates has recieved support from Dubai’s government, which has put about 7.3 billion dirhams into the company since March.

(Updates with CEO comment in third paragraph)

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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Emirates Posts $3.8 Billion Loss After Virus Hammered Air Travel

(Bloomberg) — Emirates Group, owner of the world’s largest long-haul carrier, slumped to a first-half loss of 14.1 billion dirhams ($3.8 billion) after the coronavirus pandemic reduced demand for air travel to a trickle.



a large passenger jet sitting on top of a runway: Passenger aircraft, operated by Emirates, stand beside the terminal building at Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Monday, May 18, 2020. Emirates Group is considering plans to cut about 30,000 jobs as the operator of the world’s largest long-haul carrier seeks to reduce costs after the coronavirus pandemic grounded air travel.


© Bloomberg
Passenger aircraft, operated by Emirates, stand beside the terminal building at Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Monday, May 18, 2020. Emirates Group is considering plans to cut about 30,000 jobs as the operator of the world’s largest long-haul carrier seeks to reduce costs after the coronavirus pandemic grounded air travel.

The loss for the state-owned company compared with profit of 1.2 billion dirhams in the same period last year, Emirates said in a statement on Thursday. Revenue fell 74% as an increase in cargo traffic wasn’t enough to offset the decline of commercial flights.

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Emirates was particularly hard hit by the pandemic because its business model is built around the biggest category of jets — Airbus SE A380s and Boeing Co. 777s — carrying passengers between all corners of the globe. Long-haul travel is widely expected by the industry to be the slowest to recover from the crisis as passengers shy away from lengthy journeys and virus hotspots.

The Dubai-based carrier, which started resuming regular passenger flights on May 21 after suspending most trips for almost two months, has recovered almost a sixth of its pre-pandemic network.

Read More: Emirates Got $2 Billion from Dubai to Survive Crisis Months

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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The Latest: Texas 1st state to surpass 1 million virus cases

The body of a person who died from COVID-19 is interred as mourner look on, at the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. The cemetery is struggling to keep up with the coronavirus pandemic ravaging Iran, with double the usual number of bodies arriving each day and grave diggers excavating thousands of new plots.

The body of a person who died from COVID-19 is interred as mourner look on, at the Behesht-e-Zahra cemetery on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. The cemetery is struggling to keep up with the coronavirus pandemic ravaging Iran, with double the usual number of bodies arriving each day and grave diggers excavating thousands of new plots.

AP

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas has become the first U.S. state with more than 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases.

The nation’s second-most populous state has recorded 1.01 million coronavirus cases and 19,337 deaths since the pandemic began in early March, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Texas registered 10,865 confirmed cases on Tuesday, setting a new daily record in a state led by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. There are 6,170 people hospitalized with the coronavirus and 94 new deaths on Tuesday, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Texas had recently surpassed California, the most populous state, with the most cases. The true number of infections is likely higher because many people haven’t been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

Coronavirus cases are surging in the Laredo and El Paso areas. Another 1,292 cases and nine deaths were reported in El Paso County on Tuesday, bringing the death total to 682.

Nationwide, there were 1 million coronavirus cases in the first 10 days of November.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Texas becomes first US state with more than 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases

— Business travel might never look the same in the wake of coronavirus

— During the early days of the coronavirus, top World Health Organization scientists described some countries’ approaches as “an unfortunate laboratory to study the virus” and a “macabre” opportunity to see what worked, recordings obtained by The Associated Press show. Yet in public, the U.N. health agency lauded governments for their responses.

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Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

BERLIN — German pharmaceutical company BioNTech says it could start shipping the first coronavirus vaccines ordered by the European Union by the end of the year if the data proves the vaccines are safe and effective.

Mainz-based BioNTech, which is developing the vaccine with U.S. company Pfizer, says “deliveries are anticipated to start by the end of 2020, subject to clinical success and regulatory authorization.”

The two companies said this week, based on early and incomplete test results, their COVID-19 vaccine may be 90% effective.

The European Union announced Tuesday that it has finalized an agreement with BioNTech to buy 200 million doses of vaccine, with an option of 100 million more. The vaccine uses mRNA technology to train the immune system to recognize and attack the virus.

BioNTech said the vaccine supply for the EU is being manufactured at its site in Germany and Pfizer’s plant in Belgium. Assuming positive data and availability of the necessary

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Singapore-Hong Kong Detail Travel Bubble Schedule: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — A travel bubble linking Singapore and Hong Kong will begin operating on Nov. 22. The bubble, which was announced last month, will let travelers move between the two regions with testing replacing quarantine.

Japan recorded the second-highest number of cases since the summer surge, while South Korea saw its biggest gain in infections in almost three weeks. India added more than 44,000 cases, while Mongolia returned to lockdown for three days after two people were infected. Meanwhile, Taiwan approved a visit without quarantine from a small group of U.S. tech company officials, the first easing of its strict controls.

The coronavirus is also roaring back in U.S. cities after months of crisis centered in more rural areas, with hospitalization in the country reaching a record. Cities from Newark to San Francisco announced new restrictions to help cope with the surge, as cases in the U.S. top 1 million in the first 10 days of November alone.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases near 51.4 million; deaths top 1.27 millionU.S. Hot Spots: Covid back in cities after months as rural problemBrazil’s halting of China’s vaccine baffles local researchersNeed to keep Pfizer’s shot in deep-freeze presents challengeWhere things stand in the race for a vaccine: QuickTakeVaccine 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, histogram: Resurgent Virus


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Resurgent Virus

Celltrion Hopes to Submit Covid Drug Application by Year-End (12:42 p.m. HK)

Shares in South Korea’s Celltrion jumped after Chairman Seo Jung-Jin said the company plans to apply for sales approval for the firm’s Covid-19 drug as early as the end of the year after completing a phase 2 clinical trial. Seo says he hopes authorities grant fast-track approval for the drug.

Singapore-Hong Kong Travel Bubble to Begin Nov. 22 (10:03 a.m. HK)

A travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong will begin on Nov. 22, authorities announced, with daily service by Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. and Singapore Airlines Ltd. from Dec. 7. The bubble will be limited to 200 passengers per flight, and will completely replace the need for quarantine. Singapore Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung said it was the first bubble of its type in the world, and may be used as a template for other countries, if successful.

Here’s the flight schedule for the travel bubble.

Hong Kong to Exempt Some Arrivals From Quarantine (9:55 a.m. HK)

Hong Kong will exempt some of its residents arriving from Guangdong from a 14-day quarantine beginning Nov. 23, the Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said at a briefing.

Mongolia in Three-Day Lockdown; Taiwan Eases (9:50 a.m. HK)

Mongolia returned to lockdown for three days on Wednesday, after two people were diagnosed with Covid-19. The country will ban flights into the country as well as all travel in and out of the capital Ulaanbaatar. Nearly all of Mongolia’s 374 confirmed cases since March have been detected in

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