Deaths, Cases at Grim Levels; Germany Stable: COVID-19 Update

(Bloomberg) — Deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 500,000 worldwide and confirmed cases exceeded 10 million as the World Health Organization reported the most infections for a single day. All indicators point to a pandemic that is far from over.The Australian state of Victoria recorded 75 more infections, raising concerns of a second wave as the nation removes lockdown restrictions. Germany’s infection rate stayed below the key threshold of 1.0 for the fifth day.

Texas is fast becoming the new center of the pandemic in the U.S. Almost three-quarters of Americans in a survey said the Trump administration wasn’t ready to deal with the outbreak when it started. Vice President Mike Pence encouraged people to wear masks, two days after declining to give that specific guidance. Key Developments: Global Tracker: Cases pass 10 million; deaths top 501,000Covid-19 cases hit 10 million as pandemic gains moment Swedish COVID expert says the world still doesn’t understand trump dismisses virus, polls, and recession to tell winning storyReviving Britain’s economy is tough with an aging workforceSubscribe 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.

Thailand to Allow Schools, Bars to Reopen (1:47 p.m. HK)Thailand will allow all schools, nightclubs, and bars to reopen in the country’s fifth stage of reopening, Taweesilp Witsanuyotin, a spokesman for the Covid-19 center, said at a briefing. The nightclubs and bars will be subject to restrictions on the numbers of patrons and closing hours. Thailand plans to extend its state of emergency to manage risks as the country prepares for the latest reopening, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha said on Monday.

German Infection Rate Stays Below Key Threshold (1:35 p.m. HK)Germany’s coronavirus infection rate stayed below the key threshold of 1.0 for the fifth day. The reproduction factor rose to 0.71 on Sunday, from 0.62 the previous day, according to the latest estimate by the country’s health body, the Robert Koch Institute. There were 235 new cases in the 24 hours through Monday morning, down from 422 the previous day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. There were no new fatalities recorded.A jump in the infection rate from around June 20 was driven by local outbreaks, including in two municipalities in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

China Halts Meat Imports From More Plants (1:14 p.m. HK)China suspended meat imports from more plants, including chickens from a JBS unit, beef from a Cargill factory in Canada and pork from a Danish Crown plant, taking the total to 15 by June 28, according to the country’s customs department.Customs will not accept any import application for delivery from the date when the halt started, it said, without providing any reason for the suspension. Earlier, the department stopped meat imports from plants reporting coronavirus infections among their employees.

Ardern Says More Work to Be Done on Travel Bubble (1:01 p.m. HK)New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said more work needs to be done for an agreement on a trans-Tasman bubble for safe travel to Australia. She said in a news conference the cabinet will not move to open the border with Australia until it has reassurances that New Zealanders will be safe. More broadly, she said it is untenable to be opening up the border to Covid-19.

Cases Surge in Australia’s Hot Spot (10:01 a.m. HK)The Australian state of Victoria has recorded 75 more cases in the past 24 hours, health authorities announced, leading to increased concern the nation may be on the cusp of the second wave of cases as it removes lockdown restrictions that have crippled the economy.The surge in cases in Melbourne, the capital of Australia’s second-most-populous state, has been centered around suburbs in the city’s northern and western fringes. Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, who has indicated that some of those areas may need to return to stricter lockdown measures, has blamed some clusters on large family gatherings that have broken social-distancing restrictions.

Beijing Reports Seven New Coronavirus Cases (9:04 a.m. HK)Beijing reported seven new coronavirus infections June 28, bringing total cases linked to a recent outbreak to 318, Beijing Municipal Health Commission said in a statement. The number of infections was down from 14 reported a day earlier. Overall, China reported a total of 12 new cases for June 28.

Houston Official Leading Virus Fight Is in Self-Quarantine (9:01 a.m. HK)The top county executive in the Houston area is in self-quarantine after a staffer tested positive for Covid-19. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo plans to self-isolate at home for 14 days after an employee in her office tested positive, according to a statement. Hidalgo has been one of the most prominent critics of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s aggressive reopening of the second-largest U.S. economy. Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations have spiked since the state reopened eight weeks ago, pushing intensive-care wards to full capacity and sparking concerns about a surge in fatalities as the contagion spreads.

Texas’s Positive-Test Rate Soars to Record (8:09 a.m. HK)Texas’s Covid-19 positive-test rate surged to 14.31%, the highest for the second-most-populous U.S. state since the pandemic emerged, underscoring the magnitude of the growing crisis facing America’s Sunbelt. The positivity rate on Saturday surpassed the previous record of 13.86% set on April 13, state health department figures released on Sunday showed. The number has almost tripled since May 31, when Texas posted a 5.44% positive-test rate.

Pence Encourages Mask Wearing (7:46 a.m. HK)U.S. Vice President Mike Pence encouraged people to wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus, two days after declining to give that specific guidance.“Wear a mask, wherever it’s indicated or wherever you’re not able to practice the kind of social distancing that would prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” Pence said at a press briefing with Texas Governor Abbott and federal and state health officials, who are grappling with a surge in coronavirus cases. “Wearing a mask is just a good idea.”During a White House coronavirus task force briefing on Friday, Pence avoided saying whether Americans should wear one. Asked on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” about President Donald Trump’s refusal to say everyone should wear a mask Pence said that “every state has a unique situation” and that “the principle of federalism” has guided their decision making.

South Korea Rules Out Further Extra Budgets (7:45 a.m. HK)South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki ruled out the need for a fourth extra budget this year and said that the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic may have bottomed. South Korea’s economy can still avoid its first annual contraction in more than two decades if stimulus measures including a third supplementary budget submitted to parliament get carried out quickly enough to build on the momentum of improving exports and consumer confidence, Hong said in an interview with Bloomberg on Friday.

California Shuts Bars in L.A., Other Counties (7:22 a.m. HK)Some California residents hoping to celebrate Independence Day in a bar will now have to change their plans. Bars are required to shut in seven counties — including Los Angeles — and they’re recommended to close in eight others, including Sacramento and Santa Barbara, following a surge in coronavirus cases, according to an order by Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday.

Most in Poll Say Trump Unprepared (6:30 a.m. HK)Almost three-quarters of Americans said that, as they look back a few months, the Trump administration wasn’t ready to deal with the outbreak when it started this year, according to a CBS News poll. Some 72% judged the administration “unprepared” against 28% who said it was “prepared,” according to the June 23-26 survey. Almost half, 49%, said the outbreak would get worse this summer. The remainder split between those who think it will get better and those who expect it to stay about the same. The CBS poll said assessments of how President Donald Trump has handled the outbreak continue to slip, to 41% now from 47% in mid-April and 53% in late March.

Brazil Cases Rise 2.3% (6:20 a.m. HK)Brazil had 30,476 new cases in the past 24 hours, a 2.3% rise from the previous day, bringing the national total to 1.34 million, the Health Ministry reported on Sunday. The government registered 522 deaths, raising the toll to 57,622.

San Quentin Prison Cases Surge (5:30 p.m. NY)California’s San Quentin State Prison is seeing an explosion of cases after a botched transfer from another facility, impacting hundreds of incarcerated residents and scores of officers in a potential public health threat to the San Francisco Bay Area. About 816 people in the prison tested positive on Sunday, according to data from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. That means more than 1 in 5 of the prison’s population of 3,507 is infected, and it’s not clear if everyone has been tested. State data show 89 staff members have Covid-19. A spokeswoman didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the rise in cases Sunday.San Quentin had zero known cases through May, but infections jumped after officials transferred 121 people from the California Institution for Men in Chino on May 30. The practice of transferring inmates has been widely criticized for spreading the virus.

WHO Reports Another High for Cases (4:45 p.m. NY)The World Health Organization reported almost 190,000 new cases for the 24-hour period through early Sunday, a week after the previous one-day high.Cases from the Americas accounted for 62% of the 189,077 new infections, followed by 13% from Southeast Asia and 8.8% from Europe, according to the report from the United Nations agency based in Geneva.The U.S. and Brazil, together, represented 49% of all new infections. The WHO report showed 9.84 million cases, a total that lags behind tallies from John Hopkins University, which showed more than 10 million cases on Sunday.U.S. Cases Up 1.7%, Above 7-Day Average (4 p.m. NY)Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased by 42,735 from the same time Saturday to 2.53 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 1.7% increase was above the average daily rise of 1.5% over the past week. The total was less than the 45,450 reported on Saturday but above 40,000 for a third straight day. Fatalities rose 0.3% to 125,709.

DeSantis Cites Socializing for Cases (3:15 p.m. NY)Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said people in the 18-to-44 age group account for most of the rise in positive Covid-19 tests, with the 24-to-34-year-old “by far” the leading group for new infections.“It’s basically socializing,” DeSantis said at a Pensacola news conference as he dismissed suggestions the rise reflected opening the economy too soon. “Most of this is not because of people going to work, it’s because they’re being social,” DeSantis said young people, who are at lower risk from the disease, should avoid gathering in large groups and then visiting restaurants or other venues where the infection can spread.

South Africa Issues Johannesburg-Area Warning (2:30 p.m.)Infections in Gauteng province, South Africa’s economic hub that includes Johannesburg and Pretoria, will rise to the highest in the nation as more people return to work, the Health Ministry warned. Cluster outbreaks are expected at mines and factories and around public transport such as taxis and buses.“We are extremely concerned that fatigue seems to have set in and South Africans are letting down their guard at a time when the spread of infection is surging,” the ministry said in a statement Sunday. Cumulative infections rose to 138,134 with 6,334 new cases in the latest daily report. Another 43 people died of virus-related illness, bringing the toll to 2,456.

Arizona Cases Rise 5.5% (12:42 p.m. NY)Arizona’s new cases increased by 3,858 to 73,908, a 5.5% increase that exceeded the prior week’s average of 4.4%, the state reported Sunday. Daily infections have exceeded the weekly average for four straight days. The number of deaths rose by 9 to 1,588.

Italy Daily Deaths Stable (12:30 p.m. NY)Italy registered 174 new cases on Sunday, down from 175 on Saturday, the health ministry said. The agency reported 22 deaths in the past 24 hours, compared with eight on Saturday, bringing the total to 34,738. Since the pandemic began, Italy has reported 240,310 cases. Lombardy in northern Italy, near Milan, reported 97 new cases, or 56% of the national number.

Cuomo Fears Imported Infections (12:05 p.m. NY)New York had the fewest daily deaths since the pandemic began in March, five on Saturday, as Governor Andrew Cuomo said he is now “afraid of the spread” from other states.“We are one country and people travel and I’m afraid the infection rate in the other states will come back to New York and raise that rate again,” Cuomo said on NBC”s “Meet the Press.”The governor said New York has plans to reopen schools, and the state will assess the infection rate and “what the disease is doing” before making a decision on a date. “If this continues across the country,” Cuomo said, “kids are going to be home for a long time.”

Portugal Has Larger Increase in Cases (11:50 a.m. NY)Portugal reported 457 new cases on Sunday, up from 323 on Saturday and the biggest daily increase since May 8, taking the total to 41,646, the government said. Daily cases have ranged from 192 to 457 in June. The additional cases are mostly in the greater Lisbon region, where authorities have tightened restrictions in 19 parishes and increased testing after new clusters were identified. The total number of hospitalized patients rose by 16 to 458, while the total number of deaths rose by 3 to 1,564.

Florida Cases Jump 6.4% (10:40 a.m. NY)Florida reported a total of 141,075 Covid-19 cases as of Sunday, up 6.4% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 5.1% in the previous seven days. The total number of new cases was 8,530 compared with the record 9,585 set Saturday. Deaths among Florida residents reached 3,419, an increase of 0.9%, according to the report, which includes data through Saturday.

Pelosi Backs Mask Mandate (10 a.m. NY)House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed having the government mandate the wearing of face masks or coverings to control the coronavirus, and she urged President Donald Trump to set a national example, noting “real men wear masks.” “Be an example to the country and wear the mask,” Pelosi said on ABC’s “This Week.” “It’s not about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting others and their families.”Pelosi said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention avoided demanding or requiring face coverings as part of U..S. guidelines because they didn’t want to offend the president.

Arkansas Pauses Next Phase of Reopening (9:30 a.m. NY)Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinison said the state has slowed the process of reopening its economy as new cases surface, and won’t move to the next phase until getting the current wave of infections under control.“We are in effect on pause. We continue to move our economy, and that’s important to be able to go into the future, both handling the virus and living life.”

U.S. Cases to Keep Rising for Weeks: Frieden (9:16 a.m. NY)Former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tom Frieden told Fox News that cases in the U.S. are going to continue rising for weeks. He dismissed the idea that surge is just a result of more testing.“We’re all sick and tired of staying home,” he said. “But you know what? The virus is not tired of making us sick.”Some states reopened too soon, an approach that will backfire, he added. “We are moving too fast,” Frieden said. “This is going to continue to get worse for weeks.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.

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