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Australia Has Deadliest Day, Brazil Tops 100,000: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) —

Australia had its deadliest day with 17 people dying from Covid-19 in the state of Victoria, where strict social-distancing measures are crippling economic activity and shaking confidence across the nation.

Brazil’s death toll surpassed 100,000 and cases breached 3 million in the world’s second-biggest coronavirus outbreak. U.S. cases hovered near 5 million as Texas hit a record for positive tests, Kentucky saw a “tough day” day and deaths increased in California.

President Donald Trump ordered a range of pandemic relief after talks with Democrats stalled. A $765 million federal loan to Eastman Kodak Co. to speed production of drugs is on hold pending allegations of wrongdoing.

Key Developments

Global Tracker: Global cases top 19.5 million; deaths pass 724,500Trump orders extension of jobless benefits, payroll tax deferralFrom Bourbon Street to food banks, signs of a slow U.S. recoveryColleges try to figure out who gets to attend football gamesChinese biotech considers testing vaccine for vulnerable groupsTrack the race for vaccines that might end the coronavirus pandemic

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

Australia’s Victoria Records 394 New Cases (10:38 a.m. HK)

The number of new cases climbed by 394 taking the state total to 14,659, Premier Daniel Andrews said in a media briefing in Melbourne on Sunday. Ten of the 17 deaths were related to aged care centers, he said.

Singapore Screens 11,000 Amid New Cluster (10:25 a.m. HK)

Singapore will screen at about 11,000 bus drivers and people working in depots over the next nine days after a new cluster emerged, the Straits Times reported Sunday, citing the Ministry of Health and Land Transport Authority.

Philippines Needs $31.8 Billion in Stimulus (10:24 a.m. HK)

The Philippines needs 1.56 trillion pesos ($31.8 billion) to help it recover from a record economic contraction, according to a lawmaker.

A larger and consolidated response is needed instead of a “piecemeal approach,” Stella Quimbo, co-chair of the House of Representatives’ panel on economic stimulus, said in an interview Saturday. The focus should be on wage subsidies and low-interest loans for small businesses that employ more than 60% of Filipino workers, she said.

China Reports 23 New Cases, No Deaths (9:51 a.m. HK)

Chinese health authority said it received reports of 23 new confirmed on the mainland Saturday, including 15 that were locally transmitted, Xinhua news agency reported.

All local cases were reported in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the National Health Commission said, according to the news agency. No deaths related to the disease were reported Saturday, the commission said.

Mexico Cases Top 475,000 Amid 50% Positivity (9 a.m. HK)

Mexico reported 6,495 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 475,902, according to data released by the Health Ministry late Saturday. Deaths rose by 695 to 52,006.

Only 30% of U.K. Would Definitely Take Vaccine (8:26 a.m. HK)

The U.K. will need more than just a simple communication campaign to ensure people get a potential coronavirus vaccine after research showed that less than a third of the population would definitely seek to be inoculated.

A survey by King’s College London and Ipsos Mori released Sunday showed British people who are skeptical about science and authority were more likely to say they’d refuse a vaccine. While 43% said they’d be very likely or fairly likely to get a vaccine, if one becomes available, 16% said they are unlikely to or definitely won’t and 11% didn’t know.

Vietnam Cases Rise to 812 Amid Danang Outbreak (8:14 a.m. HK)

Vietnam reported 2 new infections, according to the health ministry. The nation has confirmed local 355 infections since the outbreak in the coastal city of Danang July 25 and has a total of 812 cases with 10 deaths. A day earlier, it reported 21 new infections, 20 of which were tied to Danang.

Texas Hits Record for Positive Tests (6:50 a.m. HK)

Texas’s seven-day positive test rate jumped to a record 19.4%, the state’s health authorities said. The Lone Star state reported 247 new deaths to 8,343, while cases climbed 6,959 to 481,483.

‘Tough Day’ in Kentucky With 29 Child Cases (6:10 a.m. HK)

Kentucky reported 801 cases, 29 of which were children age 5 or younger, Governor Andy Beshear said in a statement. The 2.3% daily rise compared with the average 1.7% of the previous week — with the highest positive test rates since May, Beshear said. Eight more people died, with total fatalities now at 772, he said.

“Today is a tough day in our fight against Covid-19,” Beshear said. “Folks, we need your help. This is the time where we need to buckle down and do what it takes to get this virus under control. Please stay safe and take this seriously.”

On Friday, the Democratic governor extended a statewide mask mandate that began July 10 for 30 more days.

Brazil Passes 100,000 Deaths, 3 Million Cases (5:36 p.m. NY)

Brazil topped 3 million coronavirus infections as Covid-19’s footprint widens, spreading misery from the beaches of Bahia to the soybean fields of the vast interior.

Cases in Brazil reached 2 million less than a month earlier. The country reported 49,970 new cases Saturday and 905 deaths, raising the death toll to more than 100,000.

Kodak’s Pandemic-Linked Loan Put on Hold (5:09 NY time)

A $765 million government loan to Eastman Kodak Co. announced less than two weeks ago is on hold pending probes into allegations of wrongdoing, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation said in a tweet.

The loan, announced July 28, was the first of its kind under the Defense Production Act in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense. It was intended to speed production of drugs in short supply and those considered critical to treating Covid-19, including hydroxychloroquine, the controversial antimalarial drug touted by President Donald Trump.

Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the deal, and Kodak’s board said Friday it is also opening a review of the loan disclosure.

Trump Signs Jobless Benefit, Payroll Tax Orders (4:48 p.m. NY)

President Donald Trump took executive action on Saturday to provide expanded unemployment benefits, a temporary payroll-tax deferral, eviction protection and student-loan relief, as the pandemic continues to thwart an economic recovery.

Trump went ahead as the White House and congressional Democrats remain trillions of dollars apart on key issues, including aid to state governments and the amount of supplementary unemployment benefits.

The measures include authorizing Treasury to allow companies to defer payroll taxes for Americans making less than $100,000 a year, and providing $400 a week in expanded jobless benefits.

South Africa Deaths Breach 10,000 (3:20 p.m. NY)

South Africa reported 301 more coronavirus deaths on Saturday, bringing the total to 10,210. There area 553,188 cases, the most in Africa and the fifth-most in the world, Ministry of Health data showed.

Romania Cases Pass 60,000 (3:08 p.m. NY)

Romania, which has the highest death toll in eastern Europe, reported the fourth consecutive day of more than 1,300 new cases, increasing the total to 60,623.

Amid the summer holiday season, the government has imposed restrictions in several counties and in Bucharest, the capital, including mandatory face masks in crowded outdoor places. Authorities have increased fines and police patrols at Black Sea resorts. Romania’s death toll stood at 2,659 on Saturday.

California Cases Above 14-Day Trend (2:15 p.m. NY)

California reported 7,371 new cases on Saturday, more than the 14-day average of 7,171, bringing the total to 545,787. Deaths rose by 178 to 10,189, compared with an increase of 142 during the previous 24-hour period, according to state data.

Spike in Ireland Cases (1:37 p.m. NY)

Ireland reported the most new cases since May 15, a day after the government tightened restrictions on movement in some parts of the country to control fresh virus outbreaks. There were 174 new cases with one death, the health ministry said in a statement. Of the cases, 118 are in the three counties where the government has reinstated a partial lockdown. Ireland has seen 26,644 cases so far, with 1,772 deaths.

College League Cuts Football Season (12:35 p.m. NY)

The Mid-American Conference announced it will cancel its fall season over Covid-19 concerns, making it the first league competing at college football’s highest level to make such a decision.

The conference intends to “provide competitive opportunities for the student-athletes” during the spring semester of 2021 and has begun formalizing the spring plan under consultation with medical experts. At this time, it has made no decisions regarding winter sports.

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