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Indiana, Massachusetts Prepare ‘Stay At Home’ Orders, South Africa Weighs ’21-Day’ Lockdown: Live Updates

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.


  • Japan PM Abe says world “not ready” to hold Olympics
  • Angela Merkel tests negative for COVID-19
  • Australia and Canada pull athletes from the games
  • NY case total tops 20k
  • Hong Kong bars all foreigners for 14 days
  • Spain reports 26% jump in deaths on Sunday
  • Indiana, Mass. reportedly preparing stay-home orders
  • New Jersey reports nearly 1,000 case jump
  • UK preparing to close “non-essential” shops
  • Dems hold stimulus bill hostage with last-minute demands
  • India ban on international flights begins
  • Largest 2-day jump in global cases reported over the weekend
  • Spain follows Italy by extending quarantine
  • 1 in 3 Americans begin Monday under lockdown
  • India shutters domestic transit even as ‘official’ cases remain low
  • Trump sends National Guard troops to New York, California & Washington
  • Fed delivers latest bazooka blast with another massive monetary stimulus
  • Senate holds second stimulus vote
  • Amazon doubles workers overtime pay

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Update 1220ET): As Chuck Schumer promises that Senate Democrats are ‘close’ to striking a deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the stimulus bill, the UK just reported another 14 deaths, with the total climbing to 303, up from 289 earlier.

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Update (1200ET): heading into the lunchtime hours, as thousands of traders get up from their couch to go fix themselves a sandwich, there’s some more breaking news about the growing number of lockdown orders.

First, rumor has it that South Africa is preparing to announce a 21-day lockdown. In the US, reports claim Indiana and Massachusetts are joining the list of states who have declared mandatory lockdowns. That would add13.6 million more Americans to the lockdown total.

New Jersey health officials just released their latest update on the number of positive tests, and the total has increased by nearly 1,000 overnight, to 2,844 from 1,914.

A joint statement released by the Bank of England and British banks said the country’s banks are in a strong financial position heading into the crisis and that “banks are here to help the public.”

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Update (1130ET): After heading into isolation over the weekend, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly tested negative for VOID-19, sparing Europe’s largest economy from the challenge of confronting the outbreak without the country’s its longtime leader.

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled the latest update on confirmed cases in the state Monday morning, revealing that the number of confirmed cases in the state had climbed to 20,875 cases, up from 5,707 compared with the day before, and 157 deaths, up from 99 in NYC alone as of last night. In the city, Mayor de Blasio confirmed 12,305 positive cases, an increase of 3,260 from Sunday. Across the state, 24% of all cases requiring hospitalization were in the ICU.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who is jockeying with Elizabeth “slush fund” Warren for the VP nomination, revealed Monday that her husband has tested positive for the virus, but that she herself won’t get tested because she doesn’t spend much time around him.

And here’s Rabobank’s Michael Every with his take on the situation in Europe, the US and Asia.

The Democrats, meanwhile, are holding the administration’s rescue package hostage, and demanding unprecedented bargaining power for unions, hiking fuel emissions standards for airlines (at a time when governments around the world are trying to save that industry from collapse) and the expansion of tax credits for wind and solar, or they will refuse to vote for the bill, ensuring that it will take longer to pass, at the very least.

Before the group’s latest “emergency” meeting could even begin, the G-20 was dashing hopes for coordinated action. And despite the unprecedented steps taken by monetary policy officials around the world in the last few weeks, central bankers in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France have called on eurozone finance ministers to embrace coordinated action to launch a rescue package.

As shortages of hand sanitizer leave nursing homes and private care facilities around the country in a bind, forcing New York state to enlist its prison population to making the stuff, yet another alcoholic beverage maker has offered to donate alcohol to companies producing the stuff. That company is Diageo, which promised 2 million liters of alcohol, joining Pernod Ricard and LVMH.

Per the FT, distillers use 96 proof alcohol as the base for alcoholic beverages such as gin and vodka but as their factories are not equipped to make gels, some are opting to make liquid sprays, while others (including Pernod and Diageo) are seeking to supply ingredients.

*  *  *

Update (0955ET): As CNBC just pointed out, financial services employees are exempt from New York’s stay at home order. Still, Monday marked the first day of all-electronic trading, and though it’s been a pretty interesting ride so far, the fact that we’re not down 1,000+ points on the Dow after another ‘unprecedented’ Fed intervention (just when the whole world thought they were out of ammo…) is making Monday feel…almost normal?

In the UK, the Telegraph just reported that Boris Johnson’s government is preparing to close all non-essential shops, leaving just grocery stores, pharmacies and others open as the public continues to largely ignore the PM’s ‘social distancing’ recommendations, as many ventured outside in groups during what was a sunny mother’s day on Sunday in the UK.

Johnson is expected to deliver the latest shutdown order shortly, although enforcement measures will need to wait for new powers in the Coronavirus Bill likely to become law on Tuesday.

According to Sky News, Britain could be locked down to force people into self-isolation “very soon”, as the prime minister considers racing new laws through the Commons in a day. The laws would expand his powers to enforce a national ‘stay at home’ order.

MPs are returning to parliament on Monday to debate the government’s Coronavirus Bill and pass it through all the necessary stages (the legislation is expected to pass the Commons thanks to the Conservatives’ majority), before it goes to the House of Lords, where it’s also expected to pass and become law by end of the week.

Circling back to the US, after Lloyd Blankfein audaciously brought up the possibility that the economic fallout might be more punishing than the virus outbreak itself, President Trump has resorted to tweeting in all caps as he waits for a second Senate vote.

This comes as the US shunts aside Spain to become the country with the third-largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with 35k, leaving it on track to surpass both Italy and China by next week.

In other news, sorry, rich people: India’s ban on incoming international flights will also include private planes.

*  *  *

For millions of Americans, the full weight of the novel coronavirus outbreak, and its ensuing crisis, finally became apparent over the weekend as governors from New York, to Ohio, to Delaware warned that all “non-essential” employees will soon be required to shelter in place.

Additionally, though hundreds of thousands of cases around the world likely remain undiagnosed, global health authorities revealed on Monday that the acceleration in new cases over the last 48 hours was the fastest on record, according to the FT’s calculations: According to the paper, the total number of confirmed cases around the world increased by a record magnitude this weekend as the situation worsened, particularly in the US.

Health authorities reported an additional 61,872 cases over the 48-hour period, while the number of fatalities increased by 3,260 to 14,748, the largest two-day jump in new cases on record.

The US was the hardest hit on Sunday, adding 9,339 cases, nearly 4,000 more than the 5,560 new cases that Italy added. For the first time in nearly 2 weeks, Italy saw a slowdown over the weekend. In Spain, meanwhile, the situation has been the opposite: 450 people have died in Spain over the past 24 hours after contracting the coronavirus, while there has been a surge in intensive care patients.

The ministry of health in Madrid said on Monday that 2,172 have died, a 26% increase on Sunday’s total of 1,720. Spain, with more than 33,000 infected, is the worst-hit European country after Italy.

Across the US, the scale of the crisis was finally laid bare when the total number of confirmed cases surged to almost 30,000 and New York emerged as an international hotspot. As of Monday morning, the total number of cases around the world had climbed to 349,211, per Johns Hopkins.

During a press conference on Sunday, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned that he expected up to 80% of the state’s population to ultimately contract the virus, and told residents to brace for disruptions to daily life that could last for as long as nine months.

As more governors ordered their citizens to stay home beginning on Monday, Reuters counted that roughly one in three Americans is now under orders to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic as Ohio, Louisiana and Delaware became the latest states to enact broad restrictions, along with the city of Philadelphia, according to Reuters.

We reported last night that Ohio, Louisiana and Delaware are now the latest states to enact broad restrictions (along with the city of Philadelphia), joining New York, California, Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey, home to 101 million Americans combined.

Ohio’s order will go into effect at midnight EDT on Monday and stay in effect until April 6. Louisiana’s order goes into effect at 5 pm CDT on Monday and lasts through April 12. Delaware’s order begins at 8 am on Tuesday.

Texas’s Dallas County, home to more than 2.5 million people, and Philadelphia, with 1.6 million residents, told non-essential businesses on Sunday to close and residents to stay home.

In Kentucky, non-essential businesses must close by 8pm on Monday, but authorities stopped short of ordering residents to stay home.

The orders come as the US cracks 35k cases, leaving it on track to surpass other developed countries given the scope of its outbreak.

To be more exact, as of the market open, there were 35,225 cases in the US, and 447 cases according to Johns Hopkins official data base, though numbers varied slightly between sources.

As the Empire State ramps up testing faster than many of its peers, thanks largely to the leadership of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York now comprises almost half of all diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the US.

Source: FT

While confirming to the public that he had tested negative for the virus, Vice President Mike Pence said 254,000 Americans had been tested for the coronavirus as of Sunday, and that 10% were positive.

Source: Reuters

More news from the US: As more Americans prepare to rely on e-commerce to buy goods as traveling to the grocery store becomes taboo, Amazon is doubling overtime pay as the outbreak worsens, while other companies focus on mass layoffs. Although the Fed’s latest monetary bazooka blast has pushed futures back into the green, easing the pressure on lawmakers, another vote for the Senate’s $1 trillion-plus rescue package – the third bill to confront the outbreak.

In Asia, Hong Kong, which reported its largest jump in daily cases yet last week, imposed a controversial 14-day ban on foreign travelers entering the city state. Per the FT, Hong Kong will ban the arrival of all non-residents arriving by plane for a fortnight and all connecting flights will be cancelled from Wednesday, in the latest move by a government to tighten borders in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Arrivals from Macau and Taiwan will also have to undergo compulsory quarantine measures like all other foreign arrivals, chief executive Carrie Lam said on Monday. Residents returning from the UK, the US and Europe will be required to undergo virus testing even if asymptomatic.

Lam’s government is planning to propose legislation to ban restaurants and bars from selling alcohol and order all recreational facilities to close, including changing rooms and gyms.

Last week, the New York Times reported that the virus total in India was surprisingly low, especially when factoring in the country’s endemic poverty and massive population. But as the country suspends public transit on Monday, hampering medical workers in their quest to get to work, many are beginning to wonder: If the situation in India is so optimistic, why is the government bothering with all of thee closures.

After a total suspension of services on Sunday, city buses began running again on Monday, but are only operating infrequent skeletal services.

“How are staff supposed to attend the hospital with no public transport,” said one doctor at a 595-bed private hospital in New Delhi.

“Hospitals are not run by doctors alone. Doctors all reached because they have their cars. But the electrician couldn’t reach because he didn’t have a scooter. All the staff nurses were calling saying, there is no bus how do we come?”

“Where was the planning for this?” the doctor asked.

It’s certainly curious…considering the country is also shutting down domestic air travel on Monday.

In other news, Australia joined Canada in withdrawing its athletes from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, placing further pressure on the IOC to cancel the games. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that the Tokyo Games “cannot be held” under the current circumstances.

Tokyo Olympic organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori said he supports the IOC’s decision to review plans to hold the Olympics.

“If I’m asked whether we can hold the Olympics at this point in time, I would have to say that the world is not in such a condition,” Abe told a parliamentary session, adding he hopes to hold talks with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach over the issue.

“It’s important that not only our country but also all the other participating countries can take part in the games fully prepared,” Abe said, according to Kyodo News.

Spain will become the next country to expand its lockdown for 15 days as deaths and confirmed cases in the country continue to soar, while the British government on Monday ordered 1.5 million people with serious health problems to self-quarantine at home for the next 3 months, the length of time during which PM Boris Johnson believes the UK can quash the virus is enough people follow the government’s guidelines.

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