- Dr. Fauci says it would be "outrageous" if Trump used him in another ad
- Czech Republic launches new COVID restrictions, closes bars
- Florida reports the smallest daily increase in a week
- BoJo unveils new tiered restrictions
- Flanders bars youth indoor sports ages 12 and up
- DB shows Belgium, Netherlands, Franc leading Europe in new cases /per 10k population over past week
- Trump tweets about "China plague" returning to Europe, Asia
- UK adds new localized lockdowns; 100s of bars to close across northern England
- Brussels pushes uniform travel restriction rules
- China uncovers largest cluster in more than two months
- the US and India see new cases decline
- AstraZeneca antibody trial enters final stage
* * *
Update (1830ET): Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN on Monday that it would be "outrageous" if the Trump campaign kept using clips of him in its campaign ads after he asked the campaign to desist.
In a separate interview, he said that by using the clips without his permission, the administration is "in effect harassing me", according to the Daily Beast. Dr. Fauci said yesterday that he didn't approve of the campaign using the clip from a press briefing in a way that he said was misleading.
Dr. Fauci has long prided himself on being "apolitical". He also told CNN that Trump's decision to hold nearly daily campaign rallies until Nov. 3 was like "asking for trouble."
Trump Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh defended the ad in a statement on Monday, saying "these are Dr. Fauci’s own words. The video is from a nationally broadcast television interview in which Dr. Fauci was praising the work of the Trump administration. The words spoken are accurate, and directly from Dr. Fauci’s mouth."
* * *
Update (1620ET): The Czech Republic has as expected announced new restrictions due to COVID-19, including closing bars until Nov. 3.
The Czech Republic's health minister outlines new Covid-19 curbs:— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) October 12, 2020
- Public gatherings now limited to six people
- Bars and restaurants to remain close until November 3
- Schools to shift to distance learning pic.twitter.com/rh499f8Qce
The plans were telegraphed in advance.
* * *
Update (1330ET): Florida just reported the smallest daily tally of new cases and deaths in a week on Monday after the state cleared a weekend backlog.
Another 1,533 cases were confirmed on Monday, the lowest one-day rise since 1,415 on Monday last week. This compares with 5,570 on Sunday, when the state's health department reported 2 days' worth of data. On the fatality side, 48 resident deaths were counted Monday, vs. 180 on Sunday.
The state has a total of 736,024 cases, 46,015 hospitalizations and 15,412 resident deaths, according to the state dashboard
* * *
Update (1215ET): Some more COVID-19 news out of the UK. Universities miniester MIchelle Donelan said some 9,000 students currently have COVID-19 and 68 universities are dealing with outbreaks. The 9,000 came from data supplied by universities and was said to be a cumulative figure over seven days. It compares to a total university student population of about 2 million.
As Merseyside prepares to join the "Tier 3" group of UK hot spots Wednesday, pubs that serve food will be allowed to remain open in while so-called "wet pubs" will be forced to close under the tougher COVID-19 rules coming into effect this week. It's bound to lead to more pubs hastily improvising a "menu" as they seek to stay open.
* * *
Update (1050ET): As expected, UK PM Boris Johnson has announced the new localized lockdown measures from the Commons on Monday, adding that the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has eclipsed the peak from March, while deaths are slowly climbing. He also introduced the new "three-tiered" alert system, which we explained earlier. To simply let the virus rip would lead to thousands of unnecessary deaths, Johnson insisted. And allowing the youth to go about their lives unchecked could risk infecting elderly and vulnerable.
Retail stores and schools will remain open, even in the "very high" risk areas, BoJo said.
As far as the regions impacted, Liverpool city region will be put on the highest alert level.
Since the ocal rules are so hard to follow and to enforce, Johnson says his new tiering system ill simplify things. The medium level (Tier 1) will cover most of England, and require the current rules, including the rule of six and 2200 mandatory closing for pubs. The high alert level (tier 2) will cover most areas under current restrictions. He says people here will not be able to mix with other households indoors. Nottinghamshire, east and west Cheshire and a small area of High Peak will be included in this tier, BoJo said.
The very high alert level (tier 3) will bar mixing of households and all pubs and bars will be closed. Johnson says the government has agreed with the Liverpool city region that it will go into tier 3 in exchange for financial support. Gyms, leisure centre, betting shops and casinos will also be closed in these regions, BoJo said.
Johnson assured the public that "we're getting better at fighting the virus," however, the "weeks and months ahead will be difficult."
* * *
Update (0920ET): Deutsche Bank's latest weekly update on COVID-19 pointed out that the UK recorded more than 100,000 new cases, higher than the 68,103 recorded during the week prior.
France also reported a total of 115,604 cases last week compared to 80,621 a week ago. Italy (29621 vs. 15459), the Netherlands (39059 vs 27673), Belgium (29308 vs 14820) and Germany (24736 vs. 15234) also reported higher cases this past week. Across the other side of Atlantic, the US also saw 340,894 new cases last week as against 311,428 a week ago.
Meanwhile, in Asia, South Korea revised its social distancing alert to its lowest level as the country's second wave has come more under control. See the table below for the latest case numbers.
Notably, the UK has overtaken the US in terms of the crucial 7-day rolling average per 10k, which DB analysts maintained is the best metric to follow.
Meanwhile, officials in Flanders, part of Belgium, decided on Monday that indoor sports for children age 12 and up would be cancelled.
* * *
Update (0755ET): Hours after China reported its biggest cluster in two months, President Trump took to twitter to comment on the state of the outbreak in Europe.
Big spike in the China Plague in Europe and other places that the Fake News used to hold up as examples of places that are doing well, in order to make the U.S look bad. Be strong and vigilant, it will run its course. Vaccines and cures are coming fast!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2020
He added that "vaccines and cures" are coming fast, after being censored for declaring himself "cured" - and calling Regeneron's antibody drug a "cure".
Trump's doctor over the weekend declared that Trump was no longer an infection risk, and that the president has mostly cleared the virus.
* * *
Despite this weekend's unprecedented flip flop by the WHO, which, after months of urging compliance, turned around and urged world leaders to stop using lockdowns, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly planning to unveil tough new regional lockdown measures that will force hundreds of pubs in northwestern England to close for at least 4 weeks, beginning at 1700 local time on Wednesday.
BoJo expects to expand restrictions by signaling that six boroughs in Liverpool, with a population of 1.6 million people, could be the first to be placed on the highest level of new restrictions. In adition to pubs, gyms, casinos, bookmakers and social clubs will be shut for at least a month, but perhaps for up to 6 months, as BoJo outlined HMG's post-lockdown COVID-19 policy during a press briefing where he also threatened massive fines for social distancing scofflaws.
Locals leaders aren't exactly thrilled with the government's plans. Manchester faces similar restrictions to Liverpool, but was resisting on Sunday night as council leaders threatened legal action unless the Government increased its financial aid. Liverpool council chiefs were also demanding more money. Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, accused the government of giving support "on the cheap", arguing that the measures would be more generous if they affected London, according to the Telegraph.
Source: The Telegraph
BoJo is expected to use a briefing from the Commons to lay out the UK's new three-tier "local COVID alert levels", dividing hte country into medium, high, and very high-risk categories.
As public health officials focus on ramping up testing and contact tracing, the Army logistics corps has been called up to help with COVID-19 testing and contact tracing in the region through mobile centers staffed by soldiers, and HMG has provided additional money to pay for officials to help enforce the new rules.
Those in the "high risk" tier will continue with pub curfews until 10pm but will be expected to introduce restrictions barring households from mixing indoors, dubbed the "GOBI" approach – Good Outside, Bad Indoors – by officials. The restrictions in the medium tier remain the "rule of six" and 10pm curfews.
Elsewhere in Europe, countries are adopting more travel restrictions, prompting Brussels to propose a common criteria and threshold for deciding on the restrictions which would help EU citizens better understand the rules and how they differ between member states, according to WSJ.
Brussels wants EU members to use a common criteria when deciding whether to open or close their borders. The criteria include the cumulative number of new infections per 100,000 people in a 14-day period and the percentage of positive tests in a seven-day period.
Europe's attempt to save its tourism season was partly successful, but the cost has been a surge in infections across Italy, France, the UK and Spain, which are logging as many new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations - sometimes more - as they did during the first wave back in the spring. Since peaking in mid-August, air travel around the Continent has dropped sharply as numbers have rebounded.
Here's some more news from overnight and Monday morning.
The recent spike in Covid-19 infections in Germany shouldn’t be compared to the spring’s level as testing is now more readily available, the Munich-based ifo institute said on Monday (Source: Bloomberg).
The Czech Republic plans to further tighten social-distancing rules to stem the European Union’s worst coronavirus surge -- without repeating the economic paralysis from this spring. The government will on Monday decide on more steps to limit human contacts after it already banned cultural and sports events, closed some schools and ordered bars and restaurants to close at 8 p.m (Source: Bloomberg).
AstraZeneca said its antibody medicine, similar to products from Regeneron and Eli Lilly, is advancing into its final stage of clinical tests, and will be administered to more than 6,000 people starting in the next few weeks. The drug will be evaluated for its ability to prevent infections for up to a year in some people and as a preemptive medicine once patients have been exposed to the virus in others. Other trials will test its potential as a treatment once patients develop symptoms (Source: Bloomberg).
Belgium’s 14-day average rate rose to 387 cases per 100,000 inhabitants from 349 the previous day. That makes it currently the second-hardest hit country in Europe, behind the Czech Republic. In the capital, where bars were recently shuttered, the 14-day incidence rate surged to 758 per 100,000. More than 10% of tests performed in the past week came back positive, the highest positivity rate since late April (Source: Bloomberg).
India reported 66,732 new cases on Monday, bringing total infections to 7.12 million, while the daily rate of cases appears to be slowing, India is expected to surpass the US as the world's worst hit country as soon as early next month. India's death toll rose to 109,150 (Source: Bloomberg).
The US reported just 44,614 new cases on Sunday, snapping a four-day streak of 50k+ new cases.
China reported a new cluster of cases in the eastern port city of Qingdao, snapping a 2-month streak without local transmission, underscoring the risk of resurgence in countries that have achieved near-eradication of the pathogen. The city in Shandong province said on Sunday that it found three asymptomatic cases linked to a hospital which treats COVID-19 patients coming from abroad.
Expanded testing of hospital patients and staff then found another nine infections. Half of the 12 cases in the cluster were "asymptomatic". The city will likely assume a "warlike" posture as mass testing and shutdowns are imposed until the outbreak has been definitively stamped out (Source: Bloomberg).