The U.S. reported its deadliest day since Aug. 26 while the global death toll from the novel coronavirus moved closer to 1 million. The University of Oxford is resuming trials of an experimental vaccine with AstraZeneca Plc after a halt due to a participant who fell ill.
Mexico reported 5,674 new Covid-19 cases, bringing its total to 663,973. Another 421 people died from the virus, raising the toll to 70,604 — the fourth-highest in the world.
France, Europe’s latest hot spot, reported the most cases since ending a national lockdown four months ago. Canada reported no Covid-related deaths for the first time in six months.
Trump administration aides asked for the right to read and suggest changes to weekly Covid-19 reports from the Centers for Disease Control, Politico reported.
Global Tracker: Cases surpass 28.6 million; deaths exceed 919,000Trump’s stimulus end run fizzles as firms spurn payroll tax haltCovid-19’s made flying business class feel more like economyIn smoky San Francisco, Covid-hit businesses suffer double blowWhy telemedicine may stay even after Covid fades away: QuickTake
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Googling for Gut Symptoms Predicts Covid Hot Spots: Study (9:55 a.m. HK)
Internet searches on gastrointestinal symptoms predicted a rise in Covid-19 cases weeks later, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital found, demonstrating a novel early warning system for hot spots of the pandemic disease.
Researchers at the top-ranked hospital in Boston compared search interest in loss of taste and appetite, and diarrhea with the reported incidence of Covid-19 in 15 U.S. states from Jan. 20 to April 20. Using Alphabet Inc.’s Google Trends online tool, they found the volume of searches correlated most strongly with cases in New York, New Jersey, California, Massachusetts and Illinois — states with high disease burden — three to four weeks later.
The research was published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Plant Thieves Scour Forests to Satisfy Foliage-Starved Filipinos (8:30 a.m. HK)
The pandemic has set off a wave of theft in the Philippines. The target? Plants.
The government has stepped up monitoring of social media and patrolling of protected natural areas amid reports of traders scouring mountains and forests for plants, including endangered species, to meet a sudden spike in demand from locked-down Filipinos who are craving some greenery in their homes.
Texas Deaths Surpass 14,000 (7:56 a.m. HK)
Deaths from Covid-19 topped 14,000 in Texas, after the state reported 146 additional fatalities for a total of 14,143. The number of cases climbed 0.6% to 657,589, the Department of State Health Services said on its website. That compares with an average 0.5% increase in the previous seven days.
Almost Half in Virginia Prison Infected (7:53 a.m. HK)
Almost half the prisoners in a Virginia correctional facility are infected with Covid-19, the facility said Saturday. Two died on Saturday, for a total of six fatalities in the Deerfield Correctional Center, the worst hit in the state.
The prison — which houses many old and ill inmates — has a total of 407 cases out of a total population of about 925.
The entire correctional system has tested extensively and has found many asymptomatic cases and intervened to prevent the virus from spreading further, the facility said.
Australia’s Victoria Reports Rise Ahead of Easing (7:05 a.m. HK)
The Australian state with the nation’s highest transmission of coronavirus has recorded a small rise in new cases, the state’s health department has announced, just as it begins its first stage of easing in one of the world’s strictest community containments.
The state of Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services recorded 41 new cases in the last 24 hours and seven new deaths, it said in a twitter post on Sunday morning.
It marks a minor up-tick from 37 new cases and six deaths the day before across the country’s second-most populous state, and comes as the state is slated to embark on the first step on a reopening road-map starting at midnight.
Brazil’s Cases Rise More Than Weekly Average (5:46 p.m. NY)
New cases in Brazil increased by 33,523 to more than 4.3 million, a 0.8% rise that compares with a 0.7% increase over the preceding seven days, according to data on the Health Ministry’s website.
The virus claimed 814 more lives, bringing the death toll to 131,210, the world’s second-biggest after the U.S.
Trump Aides Sought Review of CDC Data: Politico (4 p.m. NY)
U.S. health department spokesman Michael Caputo and other aides asked for the right to read and suggest changes to weekly Covid-19 reports from the Centers for Disease Control, Politico reported.
Communications aides from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services complained to CDC Director Robert Redfield that the agency’s reports would undermine President Donald Trump’s upbeat messaging about the pandemic, according to the report, which cited emails and people familiar.
While CDC employees pushed back against changes to the Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, a document for medical professionals and the general public, they have increasingly allowed political appointees to review the reports and agreed to amend language in some cases, Politico said.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement that Trump “has always been receptive to the data and science presented by me and other members” of the Covid-19 task force. CDC officials didn’t respond to a request for comment.
France Reports Most Cases Since Lockdown Ended (2:33 p.m. NY)
France reported more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the largest daily increase since the end of the country’s lockdown in May, a day after Prime Minister Jean Castex warned of a “clear worsening” in the spread of the virus.
Cases rose by 10,561 over 24 hours, according to data from the public health agency published online. The seven-day rolling average stands at 8,029 and has been steadily climbing for almost four weeks.
Deaths rose by 17 to 30,893 on Saturday, the government reported. That’s after health authorities on Friday reported the biggest increase in daily deaths since mid-July, partly due to the inclusion of several days of data from retirement homes.
California Cases, Deaths Rise (2:30 p.m. NY)
California reported 4,107 new virus cases on Saturday, higher than the 14-day average of 4,033, for a total of 750,298, according to the health department’s website. The number of deaths increased by 162, the most since Sept. 4, to 14,251. The two-week average for deaths is 101.
Second Meatpacker Fined After Deadly Outbreak (1:03 p.m. NY)
JBS Foods Inc., the world’s largest meat producer, was issued a $15,615 fine for failing to protect staff from the coronavirus in a Colorado facility where six workers reportedly died.
The fine from the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, announced late Friday, came one day after U.S. regulators issued a penalty of $13,494 for a similar infraction by Smithfield Foods Inc., the first sanction against a meatpacker connected with a deadly Covid-19 outbreak.
The fine levied against Smithfield drew outrage as inadequate from two senators, a former safety official and a major national union. OSHA said it was the maximum allowed by law.
U.K. Cases Decline Slightly (11:45 a.m. NY)
The U.K. reported 3,497 new coronavirus cases on Sept. 12, a second day with more than 3,000 new cases, as new infections hover at levels not seen since late May. Nine new fatalities were also reported.
NHS Workers Demand Pay Hike (11:13 a.m. NY)
National Heath Service staff have protested in London and some other English cities, calling for a 15% pay rise, according to the Press Association. Organizers of the protests said that health care workers would consider a strike if the government didn’t respond to their demands.
Nurses and junior doctors were excluded from a wage increase for public sector workers announced in July because of prior agreements.
New York Cases Steady (11:04 a.m. NY)
New York reported 849 cases, its second straight day with more than 800, but the 0.2% rise was in line with the average daily increase of the previous seven days. Another two deaths were reported.
Oxford University Resumes Vaccine Trial (9:23 a.m. NY)
Oxford University said it was resuming U.K. trials of the coronavirus vaccine it’s developing with AstraZeneca Plc. The trials had been placed on hold after one of its participants fell ill.
The university gave the information in a statement on Saturday. It had paused the trials due to an illness in one participant.
U.S. Has Deadliest Day in More Than Two Weeks (8 a.m. NY)
U.S. deaths related to Covid-19 increased by 1,215 on Friday, making it the deadliest day since Aug. 26, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg.
Reported virus cases increased by 46,975, a 0.7% rise on the day compared with a 0.6% increase over the previous week.
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