U.S. Deaths Top 200,000; Trump Assails China: Virus Update

The U.S. death toll from the novel exceeded 200,000, a grim milestone that comes eight months after the pathogen was first confirmed on American soil.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions that are likely to last six months and urged residents to work from home where possible. U.S. President Donald Trump assailed for the pandemic in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. China’s Xi Jinping pushed back.

Iran reported its biggest spike in daily cases since the pandemic began, France’s infections jumped after a weekend lull and Swedish authorities are weighing whether to tighten restrictions in Stockholm following an uptick.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases top 31.4 million; deaths exceed 967,000
  • CDC urges changes to holiday celebrations to curb virus
  • Airlines plead for mandatory virus tests to prop up demand
  • Saudi Arabia floats plan to delay G-20 summit until December
  • Pfizer’s vaccine trial plan may beat rivals to early look

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.

Japan Mulls Accepting Foreign Visitors: Asahi (7:22 a.m. HK)

Japan is considering accepting some foreign visitors from all countries as soon as the beginning of Oct., Asahi said, citing multiple unidentified government officials. Visitors would include businessmen and those who plan to stay for more than three months, as well as foreign exchange students. Tourists won’t be eligible.

NYC Sees Uptick in Cases in Queens, Brooklyn: NY1 (7:12 a.m. HK)

New York City is seeing an uptick in cases in four areas in Queens and Brooklyn, NY1’s Gloria Pazmino reported in a tweet, citing officials. The four areas saw a large increase in infections from the week ending Aug. 1 to the week ending Sept. 19.

Texas Hospitalizations Rise for Second Day (6:13 a.m. HK)

Texas added 17,820 cases to its tally of confirmed infections, bringing the total to 716,207. After seeing daily new cases dwindle to less than 5,000, it was the second consecutive day the state reported a big jump, though it attributed the majority of the increase to “older cases” that were recently reported.

Hospitalizations climbed to 3,207, the second straight day of increases. A two-day rise hasn’t happened since cases began falling from the peak in July, when more than 10,000 people were in the hospital with the virus. Deaths rose by 77 to 14,994.

Goldman Halts London Office Return Plan (4:30 p.m. NY)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is reversing course in London after Prime Minister Boris Johnson appealed to Britons to work from home to help tame a resurgent coronavirus.

The Wall Street bank is encouraging its London employees to go back to working remotely if possible, though its Plumtree Court office will remain open for those who need it, according to a memo. The change comes just as the bank was preparing to welcome a bigger share of its staffers back into London and New York offices after months of lockdowns left its central hubs largely empty. Goldman had returned about 20% of staff back to Plumtree Court.

U.S. Cases Rise 0.7% (4 p.m. NY)

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. increased 0.7% as compared with the same time Monday to 6.88 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was in line with the average daily gain of 0.6% over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.3% to 200,284.

France Has 10,000 New Cases (2:35 p.m. NY)

France reported 10,008 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, in line with the pace of infections picking up again, after a post-weekend lull on Monday. Confirmed cases rose by 10,008 in 24 hours, France’s public health agency said. The seven-day rolling average of new infections, which smooths out reporting spikes, stood at about 10,500, after climbing above 10,000 for the first time on Sunday.

Smartphone Tracking Planned for First Vaccine (1:45 p.m. NY)

Americans who get the first Covid-19 vaccines will be closely monitored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through daily text messages and emails, according to a federal advisory group.

Essential workers who are expected to be the first recipients will get daily text messages on their smartphones asking about side effects in the first week after they get the shot, and then they’ll be contacted weekly for six weeks, said Tom Shimabukuro, a CDC immunization expert, at a meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Those workers could total about 20 million people, he said.

CDC Recommends Changes to Holiday Celebrations (11:50 a.m. NY)

New guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the upcoming holiday season warns that hosts and attendees at holiday celebrations will need to take steps to limit the risk of contracting and spreading the novel coronavirus.

Virtual gatherings or those that involve one’s immediate household are low risk, the agency said in a posting Monday. If people do gather in person for Christmas and other holidays, the CDC recommends doing so outdoors and keeping groups small.

Airlines Plead for Mandatory Tests to Lift Demand (9:36 a.m. NY)

Universal coronavirus tests for departing passengers offer the only realistic hope of reviving demand for flights in the absence of a vaccine, the International Air Transport Association said. The 100% adoption of rapid antigen tests, which should be available next month, would remove any need for quarantines that are currently “killing” the market, IATA chief Alexandre de Juniac said on a media call Tuesday.

Imperial Cites ‘Promising’ Trial Results (8:11 a.m. NY)

Imperial College London plans to expand its Covid-19 vaccine trial to 20,000 people by year-end from 400 currently, according to a professor there who is leading development of a shot.

“So far, human volunteers seem to be responding well to our vaccine, but it will only be rolled out further if we are certain that it is both safe and effective,” Robin Shattock told a European Parliament hearing on Tuesday. “If trials continue to show promising results, our international trials will commence later this year, with potential approval by mid-2021.”

U.K.’s Johnson Imposes Restrictions (7:47 a.m. NY)

Boris Johnson told Britons to work from home when possible and ordered pubs and restaurants to close early as he sought to stamp out a resurgence of coronavirus in the weeks ahead.

Under the new measures for England, which are likely to last six months, face coverings will become mandatory for passengers traveling in taxis and workers in the hospitality and retail sectors, with tougher fines for people failing to wear masks. Similar steps are being taken in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in England and Wales rose for the first time since April, increasing 27% to 99 in the seven days through Sept. 11 from a week earlier, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday. Death registrations may have been lower in the previous week due to the bank holiday, the government agency said.

Iran Has Record Jump in Cases (6:59 a.m. NY)

Iran recorded its biggest spike in daily cases since the pandemic began, with 3,712 new infections, surpassing 3,574 cases reported on June 4, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state TV. The death toll rose by 178 overnight, almost unchanged from 177 a day earlier.

— With assistance by Mark Schoifet, and Susan Warren

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