Pence Delays Campaign Events; U.S. Cases Rise 1.9%: Virus Update

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U.S. cases jumped the most since May 15 as Florida and Arizona had the largest one-day rise in infections. Vice President Mike Pence postponed campaign events next week in both states, citing Covid-19 concerns, but will meet with the governors.

Miami will close its popular beaches for the July 4 holiday weekend to stem the spread s southern U.S. states wrestle with the coronavirus. Texas ended four straight days of above average new infections.

New York is investigating an outbreak tied to a traveler from Florida who went to a graduation ceremony then tested positive. Brazil is in a deal with the U.K. to locally make a vaccine developed by Oxford University.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases top 9.88 million; deaths pass 495,000
  • Second-generation vaccines are built for impact over speed
  • What a century of disease outbreaks teaches us about Covid-19
  • Virus fatality picture obscured by ultimate lagging indicator
  • U.S.-EU discord imperils rebound in prime transatlantic flights
  • Germany’s billionaire ‘sausage king’ faces virus reckoning

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus.

Myanmar Extends Measures (5:35 p.m. NY)

Myanmar is extending until July 15 virus measures and directives to prevent the spread of the virus from inbound travelers and within the country, according to a statement Saturday by the Central Committee on Covid-19 Control.

The restrictions include a temporary suspension of international flights and a ban on issuing all visas and visa-exemption services. A nightly 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. curfew remains in place, along with the ban of gatherings of more than five people.

Pence Postpones Rallies in Arizona, Florida (4:40 p.m.)

Vice President Mike Pence has postponed Trump re-election events in Arizona and Florida next week as coronavirus cases surge in those states. Pence, who heads the White House coronavirus task force, still plans to meet with governors and health-care teams in both states as well as Texas, a senior campaign official said.

At a briefing on Friday, Pence defended the decision to hold rallies in two hot spots in the past week — in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Arizona. American’s political rights aren’t superseded by the potential health threat of the gathering, Pence said.

“Freedom of speech, the right to peacefully assemble, is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States,” he said. “And we have an election coming up this fall.”

Texas Cases Increase in Line With Average (4:05 p.m.)

Texas reported new cases rose in line with the 4.2% rate of the previous seven days, ending four days of above-average increases. The state, which on Friday closed bars and imposed limits on restaurants as cases spiked, recorded 5,747 new infections, raising the total to 143,731. Deaths climbed by 42, to 2,366.

U.S. Cases Rise the Most Since May 15 (4 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased by 45,450 from the same time Friday, to 2.49 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. It was the biggest percentage jump since May 15. The 1.9% increase was above the average daily rise of 1.5% over the past week.

Fatalities rose 0.5% to 125,340.

  • New York reported 703 new cases, a 0.2% increase, for a total of 391,923, with 13 new deaths, raising the toll to 24,830.
  • New Jersey had 347 cases, a 0.2% rise, pushing the total to 170,873, with 36 deaths for a toll of 13,094.
  • California cases rose 5,972, or 3% to 206,433, with 60 new deaths raising the total to 5,872.
  • Michigan reported 314 new cases, a 0.5% rise, bringing the total to 63,009, with 19 deaths for a total of 5,907.

Brazil in U.K. Vaccine Deal (3:30 p.m. NY)

Brazil reached a deal with the U.K. to locally produce the Covid-19 vaccine that’s been developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca Plc. Brazil will spend $287 million to buy doses and ingredients to make as many as 100 million shots, Health Ministry Executive Secretary Elcio Franco said at a press conference in Brasilia.

The first order, regardless of the final results of the vaccine clinical trials, will cost Brazil $127 million, Franco said. That will include 30.4 million doses delivered in December and January, as well as the technology transfer. Brazil has second-highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths worldwide.

Miami-Dade’s Covid-19 Patients Fall (2:20 p.m. NY)

Miami-Dade County reported 917 patients with Covid-19 admitted to hospitals, a decline of 77 from a day earlier.

The number of Covid-19 patients in intensive-care unit beds rose to 197 from 195, according to a report from the county, which is Florida’s most populous. The number of Covid-19 patients on ventilators fell to 84 from 85 a day earlier.

The county noted the latest report didn’t include hospitalizations from two facilities that reported more than 100 admissions on Friday, suggesting the apparent drop could be due to a distortion.

N.Y. Reports Cluster at Graduation Ceremony (2 p.m. NY)

New York is investigating potential Covid-19 exposure in Westchester County after an individual recently in Florida attended a high school graduation ceremony then tested positive. Since then, four people at the event tested positive and are in self-isolation, the state said.

The state Health Department urged anyone at the Horace Greeley High School drive-in graduation ceremony June 20 at Chappaqua Train Station to get tested. Florida has reported record new cases for two days in a row.

“The pandemic is far from over and we need to stay vigilant,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “We’re prepared to do the aggressive testing and contact tracing required to slow and ultimately control any potential clusters of new cases like the one in Westchester County.”

Greece Sets Entry Requirement (1:40 p.m. NY)

Greece will require all arriving international travelers to fill in a passenger location form at least 48 hours before check-in, the Civil Aviation Authority said Saturday. The requirement is being introduced ahead of the resumption of inbound flights to all Greek airports starting Wednesday. The measure is in effect until Aug. 31 and is part of efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the Authority said.

Ireland’s Cases Most in 2 Weeks (1:30 p.m. NY)

Ireland reported the most new cases since June 13, amid increasing worries about the virus spreading to younger people. 10 of the new cases are people under age 35, the health ministry said in a statement, while a further eight are between 35 and 54.

“This is now a real concern and a worrying trend,” chief medical officer Tony Holohan said. Some recent cases have had “large numbers of close contacts,” he added. Overall, Ireland has 25,437 cases and 1,734 deaths.

Texas Town Imposes Covid Curfew (1 p.m. NY)

After a month of protest-related curfews, a town outside of Houston is imposing a curfew starting Saturday to stem the rapidly rising number of Covid-19 cases. The curfew in Galena Park will run from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., Mayor Esmeralda Moya tweeted.

“It is crucial to continue to practice good hygiene, stay home as much as possible, avoid unnecessary trips, gatherings, and wear a face-covering at all times when you leave your home,” Moya said in a statement reported by KHOU-TV. The town has 10,000 residents.

Peru to Ease Quarantine Measures (12:50 p.m. NY)

Peru will lift quarantine measures for most of the country starting Wednesday, easing one of the world’s strictest lockdowns as it faces a severe economic slide. The state of emergency will remain in effect until July 31, according to a government decree late Friday.

Children and the elderly continue to face restrictions and borders will remain closed. Severe lockdown measures imposed in mid-March included soldiers on the streets to enforce stay-at-home measures.

But the virus spread, leaving Peru with the almost 9,000 deaths and more than 272,000 cases as of Friday, highest caseload in Latin America after Brazil and the sixth-highest in the world. The International Monetary Fund forecasts the economy will contract 13.9% this year, the steepest drop among major economies in the region.

Italy Cases Cross 240,000 (12:30 p.m. NY)

Italy registered 175 new cases on Saturday, down from 259 on Friday, the health ministry said. The agency reported eight deaths in the past 24 hours, compared with 30 on Friday, leaving total fatalities at 34,716. Total infections reached 240,136.

Lombardy, the hard-hit recgion that includes Milan, reported 77 cases, or 44% of the new national cases.

Arizona Cases Rise by a Record (11:40 a.m. NY)

Arizona’s new cases increased by a record 3,591 to 70,051, a 5.4% jump that matched the rate of change on Friday, the state reported Friday.

The number of deaths rose by 44 to 1,579.

Florida Cases Jump 7.8% (10:55 a.m. NY)

Florida reported 132,545 cases on Saturday, up 7.8% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 4.6% in the previous seven days. Deaths reached 3,390, an increase of 0.7%, according to the report, which includes data through Friday.

The state reported 9,585 new cases, a record for one day.

New York Reports 13 Deaths (9:46 a.m. NY)

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state had just 13 deaths in the past 24 hours and 703, or less than 1%, of 73,262 tests conducted were positive.

“Today’s numbers show a continued, steady decline in our hospitalization and death rates, and proves that a response based on science, not politics, is the only way to defeat this virus,” Cuomo said in a statement. “While this is good news, New Yorkers cannot become complacent.”

— With assistance by Steve Geimann, Joao Lima, Paul Tugwell, and Peter Flanagan

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