AstraZeneca Europe Vaccine Deal
AstraZeneca Plc said it will provide up to 400 million doses of a vaccine it’s developing with Oxford University to Europe starting at the end of the year. The company said it struck an agreement with the Inclusive Vaccines Alliance spearheaded by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands. It’s reached similar agreements with the UK, US and global vaccine groups.
California Blackouts Could Hit Home Offices
Blackouts that hit millions of Californians in 2019 could be doubly calamitous this year with tech giants Google, Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. among the many companies keeping offices closed until the fall or later in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If utilities cut power again, home offices set up during the pandemic could go dark and stay dark for days, and they’ll have no corporate offices to flee to for power. In October 2019, more than 3 million people were affected by a series of rolling blackouts over more than a week as PG&E Corp. and Edison International tried to prevent live wires from sparking wildfires.
German Cases Increase
Germany had 572 new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours through Saturday morning, bringing the total to 187,263 according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That compares with 169 the previous day and almost 7,000 at the peak of the pandemic in late March. The number of deaths associated with the virus was 16 after 20 the previous day. The seven-day reproduction number is estimated at 1.09 by the Robert Koch Institute. It said the R-value should be interpreted with caution due to the low case numbers.
Russian Cases Rise 1.7%
Russia reported 8,706 new confirmed infections, a 1.7% increase over the past day, according to data from the government’s virus response center. Deaths rose by 114 to 6,829. Moscow accounted for 17% of new cases, and 34% of all new cases were asymptomatic.
Sweden’s Governing Party Keeps Lead
Sweden’s governing Social Democrats had the support of 30% of voters, compared with a reading of 31.7% in May, according to a poll by Sifo in newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. That difference is within the poll’s margin of error.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has been the target of criticism from political opponents because of his government’s controversially soft lockdown policy. His party has seen large political gains during the crisis, despite the resulting high mortality rate.
Beijing Shuts Some Markets
Beijing shut down the capital’s largest wholesale vegetable market – Xinfadi market – from 3 a.m. Saturday to curb the spread of Covid-19 after the virus was detected among a few business owners and their equipment. Swabs taken from the throats of 45 people at the market tested positive, and they had no clinical symptoms, the Beijing city government said in a statement Saturday.
Thailand Has Five More Cases
Thailand reported five more coronavirus cases Saturday, taking the total in the country to 3,134. So far, 58 people have died, none overnight, the government said in a statement. All the five people who reported positive came back from Saudi Arabia and have been quarantined, the government said.
Hong Kong Airport Numbers Drop
Hong Kong airport’s passenger volume slumped 99% last month from a year earlier while cargo throughput dropped 6.8%, the Airport Authority Hong Kong said on its website. Freighter movements increased 29%, it said. Cargo exports experienced an 11% year-on-year increase in May, with North America showing the strongest growth. The overall decline in cargo throughput was mainly attributed to the decrease in transshipments and imports due to the reduced belly capacity of passenger flights. Traffic to and from key trading regions in Southeast Asia and India experienced the most significant drops.
Singapore Dengue Cases
Singapore dengue infections may top 1,000 this week, setting a record, the Straits Times newspaper reported.
Cases for the year may exceed the all-time high of 22,170 set in 2013, the paper said, citing Amy Khor, the senior minister of state for the environment and water resources, and for health. Khor said the threat of dengue must be taken as seriously as COVID-19.
South Korea Second Wave
South Korea became one of the world’s leading virus success stories by learning from past experiences. Now it’s using lessons from a fresh spate of clusters to prepare for what officials say will be an inevitable second wave. South Korea launched a massive, technology-reliant testing and tracing campaign, a by-product of lessons learned from its bitter experience with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in 2015.
France to Allow Some Visitors Monday
France is reopening its borders to visitors from the European zone known as Schengen, starting Monday, lifting restrictions in place since March. The government statement mentions some exceptions with countries like Spain and the UK that have restrictions still in place. Starting July 1, France will gradually reopen to other countries.
Brazil Passes UK in Deaths
Brazil surpassed the UK on Friday in the number of COVID-19 deaths, becoming the second deadliest epicenter in the world after the U.S. Data from the states showed 909 new deaths, bringing the total count to 41,828. The UK tally is 41,566. The number of infections rose by 25,982.
Latin America’s largest nation and economy trails only the US in number of cases. The University of Washington’s Institution for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which the Trump administration has relied on, projects Brazil will overtake the US in per-capita deaths by mid-July.
A new study suggests infections in Brazil may be far more widespread than official data suggest. Researchers at the University of Pelotas in southern Brazil estimate six unreported cases for every one confirmed diagnosis across 120 cities studied. The conclusion is based on tests and interviews with more than 31,000 people conducted June 4-7.
US Cases Rose 1%, in Line with Average
US cases increased by 20,574 from the same time Thursday to 2.03 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The 1% increase was lower than the average daily increase of 1.1% the past seven days. Deaths rose 0.6% to 114,126.