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UK Reports 500 More Fatalities Overnight As Spanish Death Toll Tops 10k: Live Updates

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Summary:

  • Iran reports 138 deaths on Wednesday
  • UK death toll jumps 563 as more than 4k deaths confirmed globally overnight
  • Hong Kong closes bars, karaoke lounges, beauty salons and other public areas as new cases jump
  • Japan closes borders to travelers from 73 countries, including UK and US
  • FDA reports shortages of malaria drugs touted by Trump
  • US case total nears 200k
  • Italian finance minister says government agrees with business lobby’s projection for 6% GDP contraction
  • Spanish cases top 100k
  • CDC continues “review” of facemask recommendation
  • UK pubs hatch plan to become grocers
  • Thai government puts thousands at risk with botched hand-out program
  • Chinese provinces report 56 ‘asymptomatic’ cases

*   *   *

Update (0945ET): The UK death toll just jumped 563 overnight, part of a 4,000 surge in deaths worldwide, with the total in the UK reaching 2,352 as of yesterday evening.

Confirmed coronavirus cases rose by more than 4,000 to 29,474 as of 9am on Wednesday, according to the Department for Health. In the US, total cases passed 190k, while the death toll in the US alone topped 4k. New York remains the hardest-hit state, with more than 75k confirmed cases.

Many experts rushed to label Trump a kook and a conspiracy theorist for touting malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which were emergency approved by the FDA to treat COVID-19. But some evidence has emerged that one of these drugs, combined with azythromicin, commonly known as a “Z Pak” in the US, is effective in stopping the illness’s progression in vulnerable patients. Now, the two drugs are officially facing shortages according to the FDA.

The CDC is continuing its “review” of its recommendation not to wear facemasks, as continued shortages have left supplies low even for health care professionals working in hospitals.

*   *   *

Update (0850ET): As the Treasury and state welfare departments prepare for the monumental task of handing out checks to most American adults, the Thai government has made a critical error while carrying out its own plan of cash handouts, as Nikkei reports.

Though America has the infrastructure to facilitate this process, it’s just a lesson of how governments must always keep the peculiar dynamics of a viral outbreak in mind while battling COVID-19.

Confusion about how to receive a $150 handout led to crowds of people thronging outside state banks, potentially exposing thousands to the virus.

Poor communication by the government caused people to rush to state banks, which they believed were the only places dispensing the funds as with some past disbursements. Fearful of creating infection hot spots, some branches closed for the weekend. And on Monday and Tuesday, banks were not offering account-opening services at physical branches.

The Bank of Thailand and the Thai Bankers’ Association, which has promised to keep as many branches open as possible to ensure businesses can continue operating, stepped in on Saturday to explain the aid could be transferred to state and commercial bank accounts.

The central bank and banking industry also explained that the handout could be received through domestic cashless transfer system PromptPay as long as accounts were linked to national IDs. But the announcements did not come early enough to prevent people from queuing.

Despite the risks they took, not all registrants are eligible, according to Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana. “The applications will be vetted and screened thoroughly to ensure that they meet the criteria and those in need get it,” Uttama said. “It takes seven days to process the applications at the earliest, but due to overwhelming demand, the process may take longer.”

Reporters chalked it up to a vestige of six years’ military rule.

*   *   *

Just as the rate of new infections finally appears to have plateaued in Italy, Spain and France are reporting enough new cases to steal the spotlight. On Wednesday, the big story was Spain: Health Officials in Madrid reported.

Once again, health officials reported a “record” number of new deaths after 864 people died on Tuesday. It marked the fifth straight day of Spanish authorities reporting 800 or more deaths. So far, 9,053 people have died after contracting the virus.

According to the Spanish government, 102,136 Spaniards have contracted the coronavirus in Spain, after another 8% jump on Tuesday. OF the confirmed cases 22,647 people have reportedly recovered.

In the US, futures are in the red Wednesday morning after President Trump warned Americans to get ready for “2 painful weeks” (and possibly longer) while some 240k Americans are still expected to die even with social distancing). Meanwhile, global cases have reached 754,948 as of Wednesday morning, according to the WHO. The global death toll has hit 36,571.

Here’s a quick breakdown of global hotspots:

  • US total cases 188,639 (prev. 188,530), death toll 4,059 (prev. 4,053).
  • ITALY total cases (prev. 105,792), death toll (prev. 12,428).
  • SPAIN total cases 102,136 (prev. 95,923), death toll 9,053 (prev. 8,464).
  • CHINA total cases 81,554 (prev. 81,518), death toll 3,312 (prev. 3,305).
  • GERMANY total cases 72,383 (prev. 71,808), death toll 788 (prev. 775).
  • FRANCE total cases (prev. 52,128), death toll (prev. 3,523).
  • UK total cases (prev. 25,150), death toll (prev. 1,789).
  • SWITZERLAND total cases (prev. 16,605), death toll (prev. 433).
  • NETHERLANDS total cases (prev. 12,595), death toll (prev. 1,039).
  • SOUTH KOREA total cases 9,887 (prev. 9,786), death toll 165 (prev. 162).

Boris Johnson has been granted what one critic described as “eye watering” new powers to lead his country through the pandemic. But the private sector also appears to be dreaming up impressive new initiatives, including providing pubs with the means to set up a click-and-collect service for foodstuffs like bread, eggs and milk, in effect transforming them into neighborhood grocers. Those living nearby can simply place an order online, then pop round the shop to pick up their goods.

Italian Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri said Wednesday that estimates of a fall in GDP of at least 6% by Confindustria, Italy’s business lobby, would likely be confirmed by Rome’s own forecasts set to be published later this month. If this rate of growth comes to pass, it would exceed the 5.5 % contraction the country suffered in 2009.

As we noted yesterday, health officials in Beijing have ordered local officials to begin reporting ‘asymptomatic’ cases that apparently left out of China’s numbers. Beijing announced ~1,500 such cases as of yesterday. On Wednesday, health officials in Liaoning Province were the first out the gate, reporting 52 such cases on Tuesday. Hunan Province followed by reporting 4 such infections, all of which were “imported”, according to Nikkei.

Across China, 130 asymptomatic cases were confirmed on Wednesday so far.

Across the world in Asia, Japan announced that it will close its borders to foreigners from 73 different countries, including the US and UK, and require all other arrivals to isolate themselves for two weeks in its latest measures to control the coronavirus as several Asian countries and territories see a resurgence in cases. Similarly, Hong Kong on Wednesday ordered karaoke lounges, beauty salons, massage parlors, nightclubs and mahjong clubs to temporarily close after officials announced a nearly fourfold increase in cases to 766 over the past two weeks.

Authorities in Iran reported 138 new deaths on Wednesday as the official Iranian death toll surpassed 3,000. Authorities were encouraging people to stay at home on the last day of Persian New Year celebrations, known as Nowruz, on Wednesday while they look into using new technologies to track cases and help combat the outbreak.


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