NY Imposes New COVID-19 Restrictions As Cases Surge; Sweden Bars Alcohol Sales After 10: Live Updates

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 - 01:58 PM


  • Illinois sees new record hospitalizations
  • 2 more White House COVID infections reported
  • NJ reports another 3k cases
  • NY tightens restrictions after reporting nearly 5k new cases
  • Italy reports most new deaths since April
  • UK deaths top 50k
  • NYC on cusp of shutdown
  • Brazil restarts Sinovac trial
  • US reports another daily record in cases
  • Russia says Sputnik 5 92% effective
  • Tokyo reports another 300+ new cases, most since August
  • Texas tops 1 million cases
  • California, midwest states tighten restrictions
  • EU strikes deal for 300 million doses of Pfizer vaccine
  • Iran reports new record jump in deaths
  • Hungary makes masks mandatory in public spaces
  • Germany reports most new deaths since mid-April
  • Bulgaria reports daily record

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Update (1400ET): Two more COVID-19 infections have been tied to the outbreak at the White House, as WH aide Brian Jack tests positive, along with another staffer.

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Update (1337ET): Illinois and New York are reporting some more disappointing numbers on Wednesday, with Illinois reported a new record 5,042 hospitalizations and New York reporting a sharp rise in new cases, reporting 4,820 new cases, for a positivity rate of 2.93% (of 164,300 tests run).

In response to the rising numbers, Gov. Cuomo announced some new measures, including one ordering bars and restaurants to close at 2200, following in the footsteps of New Jersey's crackdown on nightlife, and limiting indoor gatherings to 10 people, starting Friday.

In New Jersey, meanwhile, another 3k+ new cases were confirmed, amid reporting, since retracted, that Gov. Murphy had decided to close the state's schools (upon further reporting, the reporter said his earlier story had been "premature").

Circling back to New York, the number of new cases reported daily has quadrupled over the past month. It's the latest example of a governor tightening restrictions in response to the COVID second wave. In NYC, which has been particularly hard hit, Mayor de Basio has warned that he's on the cusp of closing schools.

Meanwhile, in Sweden, PM Stefan Lofven has decided to bar all alcohol sales after 2200 after announcing that cases are "pointing in the wrong direction" and warned that Sweden could find itself in the same situation as the spring, when it bucked the trend of imposing a national lockdown.

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Update (1100ET): The latest numbers out of NYC indicate that cases are swiftly climbing there again as well. The latest numbers show that the positivity rate in the city has climbed to 2.5% on Wednesday, closer to the 3% threshold that the mayor set to trigger new city school closures (despite evidence showing schools aren't a major contributor to infection rates in the community) and other new restrictions.

The 7-day average of confirmed new cases is also on the rise.

Mayor de Blasio's communications team has warned that the city is on the cusp of triggering the new restrictions.

Moving from 'Little Italy' to, well, Italy, health authorities reported 623 new deaths Wednesday, the most since April, while hospitalizations reached 29,444 - up 811 on the day - the highest level yet since the start of the pandemic. Italy also saw total confirmed cases top 1 million.

In the UK, 595 new COVID deaths were reported, bringing the total north of 50k.

Finally, in Iran, officials reported that the number of new cases and deaths remained at or near record highs.

Brazil also announced earlier that it had restarted the trial of the SinoVac vaccine, though details were notably scant.

* * *

In the US, yesterday's string of record numbers out of Illinois and certain other western states remains the biggest story, as more governors move to tighten restrictions (Maryland's GOP Gov Larry Hogan and California Gov Gavin Newsom, to name a couple), in the face of rising hospitalizations and deaths.

Meanwhile, in Europe, Germany reported the most new deaths in a single day since mid-April, while Bulgaria reported a record jump as an outbreak flares in the southern European state. Hungary, meanwhile, just made mask wearing mandatory in public spaces, part of new restrictions to curb a spike in deaths.

In California, Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state's secretary of health and human services, said ICU admissions related to COVID have spiked 32% over the past two weeks. Three California counties - San Diego, Sacramento and Stanislaus - home to about 5.5 million people must reverse their reopening plans and go back to the most restrictive category of rules as a result, the Dr. said, Reuters reported. Texas, meanwhile, just became the first state to top 1 million confirmed cases.

If things keep going the way they're going, half of California's counties might need to tighten restrictions over th next week or so, the doctor said.

The US reported another record jump in new cases on Tuesday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins and the COVID Tracking Project.

In total, the states reported 1.2 million tests and 131k confirmed new cases, the latest in what has become a string of new daily national records this week. What's more, there are 62k people currently hospitalized with COVID-19, a new record high, surpassing the numbers from April. Deaths came in at 1,347, topping the 1,000/day mark yet again, and bringing the 7-day average for deaths to its highest level since the summer.

Meanwhile, two days after Pfizer announced the initial headline number from its Phase 3 study purporting to show the vaccine is 90% effective at reducing infection, Russia's sovereign wealth fund, which essentially financed the development of Sputnik 5, Russia's first-in-the-world vaccine, has just confirmed that its preliminary Phase 3 trial data show Sputnik 5 (which relies on a different technology than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine) is 92% effective. That's two whole percentage points more effective than its western rival.

Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective at protecting people from COVID-19 according to interim trial results, the country's sovereign wealth fund said on Wednesday, as Moscow tries to keep pace with Western drugmakers in the race for a shot. The initial results are only the second to be published from a late-stage human trial in the global effort to produce vaccines that could halt a pandemic that has killed more than 1.2 million people and ravaged the world economy. Russia registered its COVID-19 vaccine for public use in August, the first country to do so, though the approval came before the start of the large-scale trial in September.

Notably, the Russian vaccine is 2 percentage points more effective than the American vaccine.

Post-registration trials for Russia's second vaccine are set to begin Nov. 15.

Here's a roundup of other COVID-19 headlines from overnight and Wednesday morning:

Tokyo confirmed 317 cases of coronavirus Wednesday, the biggest daily total since Aug. 20, pushing the total number of cases in the capital city to 33,377 (Source: Bloomberg).

Malaysia reports 822 new coronavirus cases, raising the total to 42,872, as the Southeast Asian country also recorded two new deaths, taking its total official death toll to 302 (Source: Nikkei).

A total of 462 people, a daily record, die from the new coronavirus over the past 24 hours, Iran's health ministry's spokeswoman tells state TV. The number of cases rose by 11,780, also a daily high (Source: Bloomberg).

The Philippine health ministry on Wednesday recorded 1,672 new coronavirus infections and 49 additional deaths. In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases have increased to 401,416 while deaths have reached 7,710 (Source: Nikkei).

Germany recorded 26,547 new cases in 24 hours, up from 6,522 the previous day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That brought the total to 715,693. While it’s a large daily jump, new infections have fluctuated significantly in recent weeks. Fatalities rose by 373 to 11,781, the biggest daily increase since mid-April (Source: Bloomberg).

The EU has struck a deal to buy up to 300 million doses of the vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, following the publication of the first headline results in the US trials. Pfizer said deliveries were expected to begin by the end of the year, subject to the vaccine receiving regulatory approval from the European Medicines Agency, of course. "Today’s finalised supply agreement with the European Commission represents the largest initial order of vaccine doses for Pfizer and BioNTech to date and a major step toward our shared goal of making a Covid-19 vaccine available to vulnerable populations," Albert Bourla, chief executive of Pfizer, said in a statement on Wednesday. The two-dose vaccine will be made in Germany and Belgium, and member states that opted into the deal would place orders separately, the company said (Source: FT).

In Bulgaria, a record-high 4,390 daily cases were reported, with the numbers of hospitalized and patients in intensive care units also at their highest. The total number of positive cases in the Balkan country doubled in the past two weeks. Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, who was treated at home for two weeks and tested negative on Tuesday, has repeatedly rejected the option of a complete lockdown (Source: Bloomberg).

Hungary is making masks mandatory in many public spaces in bigger cities as of Wednesday as part of fresh restrictions designed to curb a spike in virus deaths. Further rules were needed to avoid hospitals being overwhelmed, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in an interview on state television late Tuesday. The government will review the impact of the measures in two weeks, he said (Source: Bloomberg).

Indonesia reports 3,770 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, taking its total number of cases to 448,118, according to the country's COVID-19 task force. It also reports 75 more deaths, taking total fatalities to 14,836 (Source: Nikkei).