Virus Update: Italy’s Record Contraction; Deaths Surge in India

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India saw its Covid-19 fatalities surpass Mexico’s to give it the third-largest death toll globally, as the Asian nation fast becomes the new epicenter of the pandemic.

Italian companies slashed investment and consumers cut back on spending during the coronavirus lockdown in the second quarter, sending the economy into a record contraction.

U.S. cases approached the 6 million mark as outbreaks accelerated on college campuses. The U.S. death toll of 183,000 exceeds that of Europe’s, which is approaching 182,000, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The U.K. added the most infections since early June, and Paris expanded free testing after a jump in new cases.

Key Developments:

  • Global Tracker: Cases surpass 25.2 million; deaths exceed 846,000
  • India becoming virus hotspotto watch with cases to top Brazil
  • FDA chief pledges data-driven Covid-19 vaccine review
  • Hungeris threatening to kill more people than Covid this year
  • Vaccine Tracker: Where we are in the race for protection?
  • Colleges with outbreaks advised to keep students on campus

Cases Surge in Uganda (7:05 a.m. NY)

The coronavirus outbreak in Uganda is spreading quickly in the capital, Kampala, where health facilities have run out of bed capacity, New Vision reported.

“We are fast moving to the stage of uncontrollable transmission,” the newspaper cited Monica Musenero, the presidential adviser on the outbreak, as saying. “The bed capacity, especially in Kampala, has been outstripped.”

The East African country had 2,928 confirmed cases and 30 Covid-19 deaths as of Sunday.

Iranian Cases Decline (6:15 a.m. NY)

Iran’s daily coronavirus cases fell for a fifth day to 1,642, bringing the total to 375,212. Fatalities rose to 21,571 with 109 more deaths overnight, up from 103 a day earlier, according to the latest Health Ministry data.

Iran averaged 113 deaths and 2,009 new cases per day over the last seven days, a significant drop from a daily average of 211 deaths and 2,526 cases in the last week of July.

Italy’s Record Contraction (4:25 a.m. NY)

The strict national coronavirus lockdown in Italy, the original European epicenter of the virus, sent its economy into a record contraction in the second quarter.

The economy shrank 12.8% in the three months, slightly worse than an initial estimate. The government forecasts that GDP will contract 8% in 2020, a projection that looks optimistic next to the 10% predicted by economists, and the European Commission’s 11%.

Paris Expands Free Testing (4:10 a.m. NY)

The city of Paris said it will offer free coronavirus tests at locations in each of its 20 districts starting Monday as it battles against a sharp resurgence of the virus in the French capital. With schools across the country preparing to start reopening from Tuesday, the city aims to make it easier for Parisians to get tested for the virus by offering an alternative to regular laboratories.

On Friday, more than 7,000 new cases were reported in France, the most since the nation was under a strict lockdown. For the moment, the number of deaths and hospitalizations remains relatively low, with young adults making up the bulk of new contaminations.

H.K. to Reopen High Schools in Phases (3:06 p.m. HK)

Hong Kong high schools will be able to resume face-to-face classes in phases starting Sept. 23, Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung said.

The resumption of classes follows a closure of over two months as the city battled a fierce resurgence of infection. Authorities imposed strict social distancing measures, including an early summer holiday for schools that started on July 13, to contain the surge in cases.

Philips Trims View After U.S. Cuts Ventilator Contract (2:32 p.m. HK)

Royal Philips NV lowered its full-year profit outlook after the U.S. reduced a contract for ventilators signed in April to combat the Covid-19 crisis.

The Dutch producer of medical equipment said it supplied 12,300 bundled ventilator configurations to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile by the end of August. However, the Department of Health and Human Services terminated the order for the remaining 30,700 ventilators under the contract.

Emirates Got $2 Billion of Virus Funding from Dubai (2:28 p.m. HK)

Dubai’s government has put $2 billion into Emirates since March to help its flagship airline sustain operations during the coronavirus pandemic. The state indicated earlier in the year it was committed to providing financial support to the world’s largest long-haul carrier, and a bond prospectus seen by Bloomberg shows the extend of the aid over the past five months.

India’s Covid-19 fatalities topped Mexico’s to claim the third-largest death toll globally. India, fast becoming the new virus epicenter, is now behind only the U.S. and Brazil in both deaths and infections as the pathogen sweeps across its vast rural hinterlands.

The grim milestone comes a day after the world’s second-most populous nation reported the most daily infections of any country, 78,761, surpassing a previous high set by the U.S.

India reported 78,512 additional cases and 971 fatalities on Monday. It now has more than 3.6 million cases, while the death toll is above 64,000.

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