U.S. Cases Rise; Trump G-7 May Draw Fewer Leaders: Virus Update
A medical worker wearing protective gear works with a patient in the Covid-19 ICU at the Emilio Ribas Institute of Infectious Disease hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photographer: Jonne Roriz/Bloomberg)

U.S. Cases Rise; Trump G-7 May Draw Fewer Leaders: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) -- New York is targeting “hotspots” as New York City prepares to reopen in less than two weeks. U.S. cases increased 1.7%, faster than the one-week daily average.

Attendance at a June U.S.-hosted meeting of world leaders could shrink because of the outbreak. Siemens Healthineers received U.S. emergency authorization for a coronavirus antibody test.

European Union leaders urged the U.S. to reverse a decision to quit the World Health Organization. Italian cases trended lower as the government starts to allow travel, despite objections over letting people leave the hard-hit region near Milan.

Key Developments:

  • Virus Tracker: Cases top 6 million; deaths over 367,000
  • Indonesia to open malls, entertainment sites as cases rise
  • Texas shows the world how to reopen cautiously, for now
  • Chinese vaccine expected to begin mass output soon
  • Race to the freezer: Europe’s food glut has nowhere to go
  • Pizza chains have windfall on surge in takeout, deliveries
  • Baseball on ESPN: Korea’s major league plays through outbreak

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U.S. Cases Rise; Trump G-7 May Draw Fewer Leaders: Virus Update

U.K., France Mull G-7 as Germany Skips (5 p.m. NY)

The Covid-19 outbreak may deter German Chancellor Angela Merkel from attending a Group of Seven leaders meeting in the U.S., but other leaders are still in talks with the host, President Donald Trump.

Trump spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday with “progress on convening the G-7” among the topics, the White House said. On Friday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Trump “discussed the importance of leaders meeting in the U.S. in person, if possible,” according to Johnson’s office. A Merkel spokesman on Saturday said “she’s unable to confirm her personal participation” given the current state of events.

The meeting was planned for Trump’s Doral resort in Florida, was moved to Camp David then became a video conference because of the pandemic. Trump is pushing the G-7 leaders to travel to the U.S. for an in-person meeting.

U.S. Cases Rise 1.7%, Above Week’s Average (4 p.m. NY)

U.S. cases increased 1.7% from the same time Friday, to 1.76 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The national increase exceeded the average daily increase of 1.3% for the past week and was the biggest percentage rise since May 22. Deaths climbed 1.2% to 103,389.

  • New York reported 1,376 new cases, for a total of 369,660, with 67 deaths -- the same as Friday and the fifth day of fatalities under 75. Deaths totaled 23,848.
  • New Jersey had 910 new cases, pushing the total to 159,608, with 113 new deaths for a total of 11,634, Governor Phil Murphy reported.
  • California reported 2,992 new cases, for a total of 106,878, and added 88 deaths, with the fatality count at 4,156.
  • Pennsylvania reported 680 new cases, for a total of 71,415, and 73 new deaths, to total 5,537, the state health department said.
  • Florida’s cases rose 1.7% to 55,424 and deaths rose to 2,447, the health department said.

Greece Allows More Flights from Mid-June (3:30 p.m. NY)

Greece will allow visitors from more nations, including the U.S. and U.K., to arrive at Athens and Thessaloniki airports starting June 15, the Foreign Ministry said. After July 1, flights can land at all Greek airports.

The government will use the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s list of airports to determine testing for arriving passengers. If travel originates at an airport not on the affected-area list, then visitors are subject to random tests, the Foreign Ministry said. If the journey begins at an airport on the EASA list, then visitors who test negative will self-quarantine for seven days and if positive will be under supervised quarantine for 14 days.

Greece will reopen borders with Albania, Bulgaria and North Macedonia on June 15, the Foreign Ministry said with visitors subject to random tests. Arrivals by sea will begin July 1.

French Cases Inch Higher (2:10 p.m. NY)

France reported 57 new deaths, raising the total to 28,771, based on hospital data, with reporting of nursing-home fatalities delayed to Tuesday. New cases climbed by 1,828, or 0.8%, to 225,898.

FDA Authorizes Siemens Antibody Test (2:10 p.m. NY)

Siemens Healthineers AG received U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for a coronavirus antibody test, used to identify recent or prior infection in humans. The company had expected the test to be available by late May and aims to produce more than 50 million tests a month starting in June.

N.Y. Targets NYC ‘Hotspots’ (2 p.m. NY)

Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state plans to get New York City reopened by focusing on “hotspots” -- neighborhoods where positive cases can be nearly 50% and are largely in minority communities. The city average rate is about 20%.

“We have work to do but we’ll still get it done by June 8,” he said.

Cuomo also signed a law to compensate the families of hundreds of essential workers who have died in the outbreak.

Italy Cases on Declining Trend (12:01 pm NY)

Italy reported 416 new cases, up from 516 a day earlier, confirming a declining trend as the total reached 232,664. Total deaths rose to 33,340. The government confirmed plans to allow travel between regions starting June 3 even as some regional governors opposed letting people from the hard-hit Lombardy region move freely.

N.Y. Daily Deaths Unchanged (11:45 a.m. NY)

New York reported 67 new deaths, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a Saturday press conference. The figure is the same as reported on Friday and the fifth straight day below 75 fatalities. The state reported 1,376 new cases, for a total of 369,660.

U.K. Permits Live Sports Events (11:30 a.m. NY)

The U.K. will allow live sports events, without spectators, and further relax restrictions on physical exercise starting Monday as the country eases lockdown measures.

Horse racing will be allowed behind closed doors, with other sports like soccer, rugby, cricket, golf and snooker to follow, but without fans, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said at a press conference. “British sports recovery has begun,” Dowden said.

England’s Premier League plans to resume matches on June 17, after consulting with the clubs, players and managers, Chief Executive Richard Masters said after the government announcement.

Spain Deaths Rise (11:25 a.m. NY)

The Spanish health ministry said total coronavirus cases increased by 271 to 239,228 in the past 24 hours. Total fatalities rose to 27,125 with 43 new deaths reported in the past seven days.

Somalia Votes in 2021, Despite Outbreak (10:30 a.m. NY)

Somalia will push ahead with elections in early 2021, Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre said after a cabinet meeting, removing doubt that the spread of Covid-19 will delay the vote.

The Horn-of-Africa nation is seeking debt relief as the pandemic adds to its woes, from an insurgency to locusts. It has almost 2,000 cases and a health system ill-equipped to handle the outbreak.

South Africa Allows Domestic Flights (10:20 a.m. NY)

South Africa will permit air travel from four main airports starting Monday as the nation eases lockdown measures. Limited domestic flights will be allowed for business, and passengers must give a reason, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said in a televised briefing on Saturday.

India to Ease Lockdown in Stages (8:52 a.m. NY)

India announced a phased lifting of the nationwide lockdown by allowing malls, restaurants and places of worship to open from June 8, the interior ministry said in a statement.

The country, which had enforced sweeping and strict stay-at-home orders from March 25, will limit the stringent rules to areas that have a large number of active cases. Authorities will decide to open schools and colleges in July, while international air travel will resume in the final phase. The exit plan comes even as India has been unable to flatten its curve despite the restrictions which have left its already troubled economy in deep disrepair.

EU Urges U.S. to Reconsider WHO Decision (8:24 a.m. NY)

The European Union called on the U.S. to reconsider its decision to terminate its relationship with the World Health Organization, which President Donald Trump has accused of being too deferential to China.

“Global cooperation and solidarity through multilateral efforts are the only effective and viable avenues to win this battle the world is facing,” according to a joint statement Saturday from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the bloc’s chief foreign envoy, Josep Borrell. “We urge the U.S. to reconsider its announced decision.”

Portugal’s Virus Cases Slow (8:04 a.m. NY)

Portugal reported 257 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, taking the total to 32,203, after recording more than 300 infections in each of the two previous days, the government said. The increase in new cases has been mostly in the greater Lisbon area and led the government on Friday to delay the planned reopening of malls in that region. The number of cases in intensive care units fell to 63 on Saturday, remaining at the lowest level since March.

Macau’s Economy Shrinks by Almost Half (6:46 a.m. NY)

Macau’s economy posted a deeper contraction in the first quarter as lockdown measures introduced to contain the virus outbreak hit revenue from gambling, hotels, and tourism.

Gross domestic product in Macau plummeted 48.7% in the first three months of 2020, according to the city’s statistics department. That is the fifth straight quarterly decline.

Belgium’s Socialists Propose $41.7 Billion Stimulus (6:14 a.m. NY)

Paul Magnette, the head of Belgium’s Socialist party, proposed a 37.6 billion-euro ($41.7 billion) stimulus package to combat the economic toll of the global pandemic, according to an interview with Le Soir. The aid would target catering, cultural and health-care industries, he said.

Iran Reports Fewer New Cases (6:12 a.m. NY)

Iran’s infection tally rose to 148,950 as the daily number of new cases dropped to 2,282 from 2,819 on Friday, the highest daily number of cases in eight weeks. The virus death toll reached 7,734 with 57 more deaths overnight.

S&P Sees Abu Dhabi, Bahrain Economies Shrinking (5:20 p.m. HK)

Abu Dhabi’s economy will contract 7.5% this year, S&P Global Ratings said, citing lower oil production and the pandemic.

Bahrain’s economy will shrink 5% this year because of low oil prices, although government stimulus measures should provide some support, S&P said. The ratings company expects Bahrain’s economy to rebound in 2021 as oil prices recover and regional activity increases.

Indonesia Gears Up for Post-Holiday Return (5:02 p.m. HK)

Indonesia’s capital Jakarta is anticipating one million vehicles will enter the city as people return from Eid al-Fitr holidays. Traffic, including motorcycles, is projected to peak from Saturday to Monday, according to a Cabinet Secretariat statement. While the figure is lower compared to the 2.8 million vehicles recorded last year, the flow of so many travelers is raising concern as the nation’s coronavirus cases grow.

Indonesia now has the highest coronavirus death toll in Southeast Asia, with 1,573 people succumbing to the disease as of Saturday. New cases have more than doubled in May, with the total reaching 25,773.

Uzbekistan Extends Lockdown (3:36 p.m. HK)

The Uzbek government has decided to extend lockdown restrictions until June 15. Central Asia’s most populous nation has confirmed 3,513 cases of infection of the coronavirus, with 14 deaths and 2,728 recoveries.

Singapore Reports 506 New Cases (3:30 p.m. HK)

Singapore reported 506 new infections as of Saturday, according to a statement from its Health Ministry. A vast majority of the additional infections are of work permit-holders who live in foreign workers’ dormitories, according to the statement. The ministry is expected to provide additional details in the evening, it added.

Chinese Vaccine Expected to Begin Mass Output This Year (3:25 p.m. HK)

A front-running Covid-19 vaccine being developed in China is expected to be available as soon as the end of this year, according to a report published in the official Wechat account of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

The vaccine, jointly developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products and China National Biotec Group Co., has completed phase II testing and may be ready for the market at the end of this year or early next year, said the report.

The production line for the vaccine will be fully disinfected and closed in preparation for output to start Saturday, and will have a manufacturing capacity of 100 million-120 million vaccines each year.

Iran Lifts Restriction on Shopping Hours (2:26 p.m. HK)

Iran has lifted a restriction on the operating hours of shopping malls in the latest step of reopening the economy. Meanwhile, all mosques in the country will be open to worshipers for daily prayers three times a day, President Hassan Rouhani said in a national coronavirus taskforce briefing broadcast on state TV.

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