Mon, 08/03/2020 – 07:26
New coronavirus flareups that have emerged over the past few weeks across Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Australia have driven global infection rates to their highest levels yet. By early Monday morning in New York, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 had surpassed 18 million…
…as the world reports roughly 250,000 new cases a day, leaving the world on track to surpass 19 million by the end of the week.
Lockdowns initially helped Europe, China, South Korea and parts of the US to suppress the virus. But similar measures adopted by Australia’s Victoria State – home of the country’s second-biggest city, Melbourne – have failed to suppress a second-wave of the outbreak.
While analysts at JPM question whether lockdowns are the smartest strategy to confront outbreaks in the second wave, Australia’s Victoria state has doubled down, announcing Monday that it would shut down large parts of its retail and manufacturing sectors for another six weeks.
One day after declaring a state of disaster, Premier Daniel Andrews also announced that construction firms must radically reduce the number of workers on-site across the city. While essential services such as banks, supermarkets, pharmacies and petrol stations remain open, production at meat-processing plants across Victoria will be reduced by one-third, potentially limiting supplies of meat and driving up food prices during already trying times.
The new measures will also limit movement and activity at night, and ultimately cause 1 million workers to stay home, according to the BBC.
Workers forced to stay home can apply for benefits to compensate them for some of their lost wages, up to
Despite imposing a strict lockdown three weeks ago (these new measures add to the restrictions already in place), the outbreak in Victoria has continued to worsen. Until about 4 weeks ago, Australia held the title of one of the most successful virus response efforts of any anglophone country. But a seemingly unstoppable outbreak centered around Melbourne has brought the country to its worst place yet.
Elsewhere in Asia, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the country’s capital, Manila, back on lockdown starting Aug. 4 after the country recorded its biggest single-day jump in new cases yet, with 3,226 new infections confirmed and 46 additional deaths. That marked the fourth straight day that the Philippines had recorded a new record jump in infections, putting it on track to surpass Indonesia as the country with the biggest outbreak in Southeast Asia.
Health officials announced that the country’s total confirmed cases had reached 106,330 confirmed cases and 2,104 deaths.
In the US, which saw the number of new cases reported decline again on Sunday, Dr. Birx warned last night that the virus is more widespread than ever across the country, while Dem leader Nancy Pelosi said she didn’t have much confidence in Dr. Birx, whom she denounced as an unreliable Trump appointee.
Another silver lining: Hong Kong reported 80 new cases, the first time in 12 days that the SAR reported a daily rise of fewer than 100 new cases. A team of Chinese officials are rolling out a new mass-testing regime in the quasi-autonomous territory that is still reeling from a new national security law imposed by Beijing that cracks down on political dissent.
Finally: During his daily appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, former FDA head Scott Gottlieb said governments should work toward a “happy medium” of closures and restrictions that does the least amount of damage to the economy while keeping the virus mostly at bay.
“The question is: can they hang on to those gains, or are they being quietly seeded right now”…the bottom line question is targeted mitigation – you close bars….you move activities outside – combined with universal masking…is that enough to keep the virus at bay,”
“If it can, then we may have found some kind of happy medium if you will between lockdowns and unfettered spread.”
Watch the clip below:
“We need to put these vaccines through proper trials,” says @ScottGottliebMD on the race to a #COVID19 vaccine. “There’s going to be enormous pressure around these vaccines.” pic.twitter.com/adplvC9UCN
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) August 3, 2020
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Author: Tyler Durden
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