(Bloomberg) – Boris Johnson warned the UK not to take stricter border measures “very soon” to prevent the arrival of Covid-19 variants from continental Europe. According to the Johns Hopkins University, the US cases have exceeded 30 million.
The region of Eastern Austria around Vienna will be closed for six days from April 1 to curb the increase in infections. Poland is likely to opt out of imposing a full lockdown if it announces stricter virus measures on Thursday, a report said.
AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine was 76% effective in a US study. This is a slightly downgraded estimate based on the latest data obtained from a controversial clinical trial. The European Union and the UK signaled a thawing of vaccine exchange relations.
- Global Tracker: Cases Pass 124 million; Deaths exceed 2.73 million
- Vaccine Tracker: More than 486 million shots fired worldwide
- Global tourism looks shaky, and herd immunity is a distant dream
- Insecure science behind Covid passports requires a leap in confidence
- Merkel’s virus crisis is changing the shape of the German elections
- Biden uses Trump’s America first vaccine plan to break into the market
Subscribe to a daily virus update from the Bloomberg Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal to view global data on cases and deaths.
Regions around Vienna impose closure over Easter (2 p.m. HK)
The eastern Austrian region around Vienna will be closed for six days from April 1 to overcome a wave of increasing infections that has been exacerbated by the more contagious British mutation of the coronavirus, announced Minister of Health Rudolf Anschober and the regional governors announced on Wednesday.
Non-essential businesses and services like hairdressers are being closed and a curfew is being imposed these days. Border controls are stepping up and commuters have to present negative tests more often. The rapid increase in infections and more severe cases threatens to overwhelm hospitals and intensive care units in eastern Austria.
Mauritius extends lockdown by one week for new cases (1:31 p.m. HK)
Mauritius extended the lockdown until the end of the month as new cases of coronavirus cases increased. Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth imposed restrictions on movement on March 9, and the lockdown was originally due to end at 8:00 p.m. Thursday.
The island nation in the Indian Ocean has reported 826 cases of Covid-19, 68 of them in the past week, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Poland likely to opt out of a full lockdown (1:29 p.m. HK)
Poland is likely to opt out of imposing a full lockdown under stricter Covid restrictions, which it plans to announce on Thursday, reports Dziennik Gazeta Prawna. The country is considering closing preschools and limiting the number of people in stores as part of additional restrictions.
Nationwide building so that employees can work anywhere in the office (1:12 p.m. HK)
The Nationwide Building Society will continue to have the majority of its 13,000 office workers continue to work from home full time if they so choose after the pandemic, the Financial Times reported.
Hong Kong Suspends Online BioNTech Bookings (11:48 a.m. HK)
Hong Kong halted online booking of recordings produced by BioNTech SE after approval suspended the introduction of the vaccine due to packaging errors on some vials. Bookings for the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine were still available.
Astra reports lower effectiveness for questions (9:12 a.m. HK)
AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine was 76% effective in a U.S. study – a slightly downgraded estimate based on the latest data from a controversial clinical trial, and a twist that creates another layer of uncertainty for the recordings.
The company released the new analysis after an independent monitoring body expressed concern that the 79% initial effectiveness was based on outdated information. The earlier reading was based on data collected through February 17th. The data error may delay the vaccine’s ability to get US approval, though it will likely still play a vital role in containing the pandemic.
Trudeau, Von der Layen conversation after EU export move (9:10 a.m. HK)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen after the EU decided to tighten export restrictions on vaccines.
According to an ad from Trudeau’s office, “they agreed on the importance of getting safe and effective vaccines in place as soon as possible, also with a view to continuing close cooperation between Canada and the EU.”
Johnson Warns Britain May Need Tighter Border Rules “Very Soon” (8:10 a.m. HK)
The UK may have to take stricter border measures “very soon” to prevent the arrival of Covid-19 variants from continental Europe that could undermine the country’s vaccine campaign, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Parliament.
Ministers must weigh up any decision to impose stricter restrictions – including potential virus controls on freight forwarders from France – on the very serious disruption of restricting cross-channel trade, he said.
Nissan to suspend Brazilian production through April 12 via Covid (7:41 a.m. HK)
Nissan will employ all employees at its Resende industrial complex between March 26 and April 9, according to a statement emailed by Nissan BrazilThe move is designed to ensure employee safety, adapt the company to the current situation while ensuring business continuity, the Japanese automaker said.
Weaker Africa Virus Controls Generated a Stronger Wave: Study (7:30 a.m. HK)
According to a study published in The Lancet Journal, the relaxation of coronavirus controls in African countries and the emergence of more communicable variants led to a second wave of infections that was more serious than the first.
Brazil surpasses 300,000 deaths (6:11 a.m. HK)
Brazil was only the second country to cross the 300,000 death mark from Covid-19 as the virus continues to rage and overrun hospitals.
It took Brazil just two and a half months to transition from 200,000 to 300,000 deaths, compared with between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths in five months, showing the speed at which the virus and its P.1 variant are spreading.
The Ministry of Health reported 2,009 more deaths on Wednesday, raising the number to 300,685. The number of newly confirmed cases rose by 89,992 in the past 24 hours to a total of 12.2 million. Both sums are the highest in the world after the USA
CDC Dashes Cruise Industry Hopes for Fresh Start (4:15 p.m. New York)
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sticking to a gradual return to cruise operations, shedding industry hopes for a quick restart.
The Cruise Lines International Association, the main lobby group for cruise lines including Carnival Corp., issued a statement Wednesday calling on the CDC to drop the order and agree to resume U.S. crossings through July. However, in an email response to questions, the CDC said the so-called Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) remains in place.
More US states extend vaccination eligibility (3:40 p.m., NY)
Louisiana, Idaho, and Utah have joined the growing list of US states that will allow anyone ages 16 and older to receive coronavirus vaccines in the coming weeks.
Duterte Warns Vaccine Line Jumpers (11:30 a.m. NY)
Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte warned officials not to jump in the vaccination line, saying the nation risks losing donated doses from the World Health Organization-backed Covax facility if health workers are not a priority.
Iceland sets stricter boundaries (11:30 a.m. in New York)
Iceland, considered one of the best in the world to deal with the pandemic, is implementing stricter social measures after a surge in infections linked to the UK variant. New restrictions, which will last for three weeks, include closing schools and universities.
Cyprus Open to Visitors (8:49 a.m. NY)
Cyprus will open its borders to visitors from the US, Russia and Ukraine from April 1, the Ministry of Tourism announced on Wednesday. All travelers who have been tested and proven to be Covid-free and have not come into close contact with a confirmed case are guaranteed a stay without quarantine.
Belgium Tighten Restrictions (8:07 a.m. NY)
The Belgian federal government and Belgian regions have tightened virus restrictions for the first time since the end of October, closed schools a week before a two-week Easter break and hairdressers and beauty salons closed again for four weeks from Saturday.
Merkel scraps Easter lockdown (7:38 NY)
Chancellor Angela Merkel asked the German people for forgiveness after rarely publicly apologizing for triggering massive criticism with plans for a five-day Easter shutdown.
Merkel dropped the proposal after a hastily arranged video conference with the heads of the 16 German federal states about 33 hours after the move was announced and called it a “mistake”.