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Australia Places 300k Under Lockdown As Global Cases Near 10.5 Million: Live Updates

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Summary:

  • Pfizer vaccine headline sends futures higher
  • US reported 48k+ new cases yesterday
  • Australia locks down 300k in Victoria
  • Brazil imposes travel ban as deaths near 60k
  • Tokyo reports most cases since state of emergency lifted
  • German infection rate below R for 7th day

* * *

Update (0900ET): Despite claiming it would wait to publish study results in a journal, the latest results from one of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine trials been released, and stocks predictably spiked higher, following a report from Stat News, that bastion of ever-reliable trial updates.

Futures are surging…

Like prior vaccine news-inspired leaks, we wouldn't be surprised to see this rally fade as traders peruse the Stat News report, which was based on a non-peer-reviewed paper published to the website Medrx.

An experimental Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the drug giant Pfizer and the biotech firm BioNTech spurred immune responses in healthy patients, but also caused fever and other side effects, especially at higher doses.

The first clinical data on the vaccine were disclosed Wednesday in a paper released on MedRXiv, a preprint server, meaning it has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in a journal.

The Pfizer study randomly assigned 45 patients to get one of three doses of the vaccine or placebo. Twelve receive a 10 microgram dose, 12 a 30 μg dose, 12 a 100 μg dose, and nine a placebo. The 100 μg dose caused fevers in half of patients; a second dose was not given at that level.

Following a second injection three weeks later of the other doses, 8.3% of the participants in the 10 μg group and 75% of those in the 30 μg group developed fevers. More than 50% of the patients who received one of those doses reported some kind of adverse event, including fever and sleep disturbances. None of these side effects was deemed serious, meaning they did not result in hospitalization or disability and were not life-threatening.

The company is hoping to get permission to start a larger phase 3 trial as early as August. Pfizer's CEO told CNBC's Meg Tirrell last week that he had the first batch of trial results in-hand.

* * *

Arizona became one of the first states to lift coronavirus-related restrictions back in May as the number of daily cases were just passing their peaks in the northeast and the other hard-hit states. But its decision earlier this week to reverse course and close bars, gyms etc. seemed to mark a turning point for the battleground state. Dr. Fauci's warnings about 100k+ new cases per day has clearly rattled the GOP, leading to VP Mike Pence urging all Americans to wear masks while in public (if local regulations asked them to do so).

The US reported more than 40k new cases yesterday (remember, cases are reported with a 24 hour delay) for the fifth day out of six, as we noted last night.

Confirmed coronavirus infections in the US increased by 48,096 to 2.61 million on Tuesday, a rise of 1.9%, more than the 7-day daily average, per BBG.

According to the latest update from Kevin Systrom's COVID-19 tracker, the state with the highest "R" rate (a measure of the rapidity of the virus's spread) is Nevada, with Florida and Texas not far behind.

According to the Washington Post, the states with the worst outbreaks per capita roughly corresponded with "R Live"s calculations.

Source: WaPo

A map of infections and outbreaks shows how badly the southern US has been hit.

Perhaps the biggest news on Wednesday morning is that the total number of COVID-19 cases globally has hit 10,498,090 while deaths have reached 511,686 deaths and more than 5.3 million have recovered.

Though it appears the virus is growing less lethal as infections tilt toward young people.

Perhaps the biggest news overnight is a report that Australia's Victoria State will lock down 300,000 people in the suburbs of Melbourne in the 1-month lockdown that was reported earlier this week.

In Japan, Tokyo confirmed 67 new cases on Wednesday, a new high since the emergency order in the prefecture was lifted. In Europe, Spain reopened its border with Portugal (and vice versa) and Greece has reopened its borders to some foreign travelers (while the EU's list of travel guidelines stakes effect, which calls for member states to bar travelers from the US, but allow travelers from China). Germany’s coronavirus infection rate remained below the critical "1" threshold for the 7th straight day on Wednesday following a concerning spike last week that saw a cluster of new cases at a meat processing plant in the country's most populous state drive that "R" rate to just shy of 3.

The US, meanwhile, has reportedly bought up virtually all the stocks for the next three months of remdesivir, one of the two drugs that have shown some efficacy at treating the virus (though a much cheaper and more widely available steroid has proven effective at lowering mortality in very sick patients), the Guardian reports. The decision leaves none for the UK, Europe or most of the rest of the world.

In Brazil, President Bolsonaro has imposed a travel ban on foreigners entering the country as the country's death toll, the second-worst in the world after the US, is nearing 60,000. Brazil suffered 1,280 more deaths it reported yesterday, bringing the country’s confirmed death toll to 59,594, according to health ministry data.The total number of confirmed cases rose by 33,846 to reach 1,402,041, the worst outbreak in the world outside the US, though the US has once again started to expand the gap.


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