World

Global deaths surpass 1 m as developed economies struggle to contain the virus

Bloomberg September 29 | Updated on September 29, 2020 Published on September 29, 2020

In the US, signs are emerging that the country may face more deaths as winter approaches

Global confirmed deaths hit 1 million as major developed and emerging economies are struggling to contain the coronavirus almost 10 months after it first emerged.

In the US, warning signs are emerging that the country faces more deaths and serious illnesses as winter approaches. President Donald Trump told Americans to expect more coronavirus cases in the weeks ahead as the US deploys millions of rapid tests to states.

Germany could face more than 19,000 new cases a day by Christmas, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, while France marked the lowest daily increase since August. Moscow has started to reopen temporary hospital wards as infections in the Russian capital soar.

The world officially recorded 1 million deaths from Covid-19, though health experts say the real tally might be almost double. The viruss rapid spread and ability to transmit in people who show no signs of the disease have enabled it to outrun measures to accurately quantify cases through widespread diagnostic testing.

The US has by far the most recorded deaths, topping 200,000, with Brazil and India together accounting for over 200,000 more. Worldwide, the growth in the number of daily deaths has eased since spiking in March and April, helped by improved medical care and ways to treat the disease. But as resurgences flare in Europe and North America ahead of winter and the flu season, Covid-19 fatalities may rise again.

Estimates of a higher death toll, would rank it among the top five causes for deaths globally based on historical figures.

Tokyo inflation stays negative for a second month in September, highlighting the challenge facing the Bank of Japan and new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in trying to restore price momentum amid the pandemic.

Tokyo consumer prices, excluding fresh food, declined 0.2 per cent, after dropping 0.3 per cent in August, the ministry of internal affairs reported on Tuesday. Economists had forecast a 0.3 per cent drop. Prices in the capital are a leading indicator of the national trend.

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Canada’s largest provinces are bringing in new limits on activity after a spike in cases, threatening to short-circuit an economic recovery.

Quebec will force public places including bars, museums, cinemas and restaurant dining rooms to close from October 1 to October 28 in three regions, including greater Montreal and greater Quebec City. Schools and stores will remain open. The province has about 5,000 active cases, a 71 per cent jump from the beginning of August.

Ontario, the largest province, reported 700 new cases on Monday, the most ever in a day, though its also testing far more people than it was in spring. A group of hospitals called on Premier Doug Fords government to revert to stricter stage two measures in Toronto and Ottawa, which would mean restricting or closing indoor businesses such as gyms, movie theaters and restaurants.

California, home of the most US cases, is seeing signs that infections may be starting to rise again, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday. While the number of Californians hospitalized continues to fall, the state has seen upticks of virus reproductive rates in three regions, which include the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco, he said.

You can see that trend line where in the last few weeks the r-effective is beginning to march back up, Newsom said during a press conference. This is, again, what science predicted if we go back to our original form, if were not cautious, if were not vigilant, if were not wearing our masks.

Still, the state has seen marked improvement after a summer surge, with its average rate of positive tests over the past 14 days falling to a new low of 2.8 per cent. Newsom said he expects a number of counties will be allowed to move into less-restrictive tiers for businesses this week.

US rapid tests

President Donald Trump announced plans to distribute millions of Abbott Laboratoriess 15-minute Covid-19 tests in the coming weeks, a move aimed at expanding access and helping reopen schools.

The federal government expects to ship 150 million of the Abbott rapid tests, based on states populations, Trump said at a press conference at the White House. The administration will encourage states -- which have ultimate discretion over how to deploy the tests – to use about 100 million to screen teachers, check symptomatic children to see if they have contracted the virus, or conduct baseline surveillance.

Coronavirus cases in the US increased 0.4 per cent as compared with the same time Sunday to 7.13 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was less than the 0.6 per cent average daily gain over the past week. There were 204,881 confirmed deaths, up from 204,618 a day ago.

France reported 4,070 new cases, the fewest since mid-August. The seven-day rolling average of new infections fell to 12,083 from 12,258 on Sunday. Virus-related deaths rose by 81 to 31,808.

The decline comes as the strictest new measures to close bars early in many cities came into force. Health Minister Olivier Veran has said hospital admissions and deaths linked to Covid-19 will inevitably follow the countrys increase in cases. .

The World Health Organization and non-profits including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation say they will help provide access to 120 million antigen tests to 133 low- and middle-income countries that can give results in 15 minutes.

Abbott Laboratories and SD BioSensor are producing the tests, reserving a fifth of their production to countries most in need. Distribution will begin in October, and the tests will cost $5 each or less. The Global Fund is also participating, though further funding is needed.

New York is seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases, particularly in Brooklyn, and Orange and Rockland Counties, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday. Of the 52,000 tests done on September 27, 834, or 1.5 per cent, were positive, he said on a call with reporters. The number of tests coming back positive throughout August and the first week of September were at or below 1 per cent.

Eleven New Yorkers died as a result of the virus, and 543 people hospitalised. Some 2.6 per cent of tests in Brooklyn were positive, and 3 per cent were positive in the Mid-Hudson region, he said. Brooklyn is a major contributor in the number of cases, Cuomo said.

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Published on September 29, 2020
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