PARIS (AP) — France is bracing for a potential new lockdown as the president prepares a televised address Wednesday aimed at stopping a fast-rising tide of virus patients filling French hospitals and a growing daily death toll.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s number of coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations continued to surge higher Wednesday as medical professionals have begun to express concern that hospitals could be overwhelmed with patients if no action is taken to slow the virus spread.
Iowa hospitals had 596 coronavirus patients Wednesday, by far the highest number so far in Iowa. The 113 patients admitted in the past 24 hours also was the highest seen since the virus surfaced in Iowa in March. The number of patients needing intensive care unit services has also trended upward in the past month.… Read More
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Hospitalizations from COVID-19 in South Dakota reached new heights for the fourth straight day on Wednesday.
The number of daily new cases also set a record, with 1,270 people testing positive for the virus. The virus has surged in the state and region, sending South Dakota to the nation’s second-worst ranking in new cases per capita over the last two weeks. Johns Hopkins researchers report that one out of roughly every 77 people in the state has tested positive in the last two weeks.Read More
French markets opened lower on expectations that President Emmanuel Macron will announce some kind of lockdown Wednesday, though the government has not released details amid ongoing discussions about what measures would be most effective.
Many French doctors are urging a new nationwide lockdown, noting that 58% of the country’s intensive care units are now occupied by COVID patients and medical staff are under increasing strain.
“The government didn’t take into account what the first wave was and didn’t learn all its lessons,” Frederic Valletoux, president of the French Hospital Federation, said Wednesday on France-Inter radio.
He called for full, monthlong lockdown, saying “this wave will
By Ju-min Park
OKCHEON, South Korea (Reuters) – As the coronavirus pandemic began sweeping through South Korea late in February, doctor Nam Ha-jong received an order to report overnight to Daegu, a city that was to become the epicentre of infections.
With little formal training in treating virus victims and just two hours of instruction in the use of personal protective gear, the 30-year-old was sent to track down likely patients.
As fear of the new disease gripped the country, Nam went door to door from dawn to dusk each day, wearing full protective gear to perform the testing of members of an obscure religious group at the centre of the outbreak.
“We were exhausted, scared, and felt like being thrown in as a shield to fight against an enemy that no one knew about,” said Nam, who spent three weeks working in Daegu, a city of about 2.4 million southeast of the capital, Seoul.
A nurse and driver helped him run tests at the homes of suspected victims. Many in the religious group wanted to keep secret even the fact of having been tested, so Nam had to shoo away curious neighbours.
Nam was one of 1,900 young men conscripted from medical school to serve a term of 36 months as a public health doctor instead of regular military service.
That is compulsory in South Korea, which is technically still at war with the North, since the neighbours ended the Korean War with only a truce, instead of a peace treaty.
After eight months on the frontlines of the virus battle, the young doctors are credited with pulling off the strategy to target hotspots with rapid, mass testing and contact tracing.
As in the military, they were given no choice, often feeling their efforts went unrecognised, even as South Korea eventually flattened the curve of infections and won global praise for its response.
“Now I feel some people are taking us for granted,” Nam, who now works at a test centre in Okcheon county, a two-hour drive south of Seoul, said in an interview.
Refusing to serve would have brought punishment in the form of a service extension of five times the length of the hotspot deployment, which typically lasts several weeks.
Experts say the doctors’ efforts were responsible for more than 2.5 million tests among a population of 50 million, as well as a programme of stringent contact tracing.
The doctors are “indispensable”, said Park Yoon-hyung, a specialist in preventive medicine at Soonchunhyang University.
However, he added, “The general public don’t usually appreciate their work, because they think of their service as something obvious.”
As many as 1,000 of the doctors rotated through Daegu in March to fight an outbreak that racked up the largest number of infections outside China.
That deployment paved the way for a four-fold increase in daily virus tests, said Sejin Choi of the Korean Association of Public Health Doctors.
In normal times, the routine of a public health doctor can
(Bloomberg) — India’s confirmed cases reached just under 8 million as virus infections spread across the country. Europe’s resurgent coronavirus outbreak intensified, with Italy’s new cases reaching a record and France reporting the most deaths since April as stricter measures are weighed on the continent.
Japan passes a bill to offer a free vaccine. In a rare admission, U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged that coronavirus cases are rising in “certain areas” of the Midwest. Covid-19 hospitalizations have risen at least 10% in the past week in 32 states and the nation’s capital as the month-old viral surge increasingly weighs on America’s health-care system.
Pfizer Inc. CEO Albert Bourla said the company may know by the end of October whether its vaccine is effective. Russia has begun production of a second vaccine that hasn’t completed trials.
Global Tracker: Cases top 43.9 million; deaths exceed 1.16 millionEast Europe fights for its life against virus it thought crushedCity locked down for three months has bleak lesson for the worldCan you get Covid twice? What reinfection cases mean: QuickTakeSlow Covid recovery stalks health industry as new cases surgeEuropean governments running out of options to avoid lockdownsVaccine Tracker: Vaccine trials restart, providing hope
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.
India Virus Cases Reach Almost 8 Million (12:22 p.m. HK)
India’s total confirmed virus cases reached 7.99 million on Wednesday, according to government data. The nation added 43,893 cases in a day. Coronavirus-related deaths rose to 120,010.
India trails only the U.S. as the nation with the most number of cases. The U.S. has 8.77 million cases, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
Iran’s Parliament Speaker Tests Positive (11.26 a.m. HK)
Iranian parliament speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf has tested positive for coronavirus and is currently in self-isolation, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Earlier this month, IRNA reported the country’s nuclear energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi as well as Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, a deputy president and top aide to President Hassan Rouhani, had also tested positive for the virus.
Trump Says Midwest ‘Heated Up’ With Cases (10:41 a.m. HK)
President Donald Trump on Tuesday night acknowledged that coronavirus cases are rising in “certain areas” of the Midwest, a rare admission during the final week of the presidential campaign.
“Certain areas that are heated up right now,” Trump said at a rally in Omaha, Nebraska. “They’ll go down. They’ll go down very quickly. They’ll be down within two weeks, they’re figuring.”
Trump has routinely downplayed the virus while making his closing argument to voters, who have rated his pandemic response poorly, according to opinion polls. The president said again on Tuesday that the country is “turning that corner.”
South Korea’s Moon Says Virus Contained, Seeks to Revive Economy (9:34 a.m. HK)
Video: Health panel proposes colon cancer tests start
People have also begun complaining about long wait times.
“There is some disbelief that you’ve had six months to prepare for this and why haven’t you been training more nurses,” said Dr. Tamás Szakmany, an intensive care doctor in Newport, Wales. But, he said, “it’s not just like you’ve got a car factory and you suddenly need more transmissions, so you train the factory workers to build more transmissions. It’s just not that simple.”
Among doctors and nurses, a sense of battle fatigue has set in. Extra weekend shifts that were intended to be temporary have lasted through the summer, especially in northern cities where coronavirus wards remained busy even as a national lockdown was lifted in the summer. Health workers are calling in sick, many of them with anxiety and depression.
Rapid testing remains scarce for doctors and nurses. And health workers on coronavirus wards are supplied only with basic surgical masks, not the heavier-duty N-95 masks reserved for intensive care units.
“The first time around, it’s almost like a once-in-a-lifetime kind of medical challenge,” said Paul Whitaker, a respiratory doctor in Bradford, in northern England, where the number of coronavirus patients has returned to its early May peak.
“The hospital provided packed lunches for us all,” Dr. Whitaker added. “People were sending good luck messages. But the prospect of going into another six months, which is almost certainly what it’s going to be, is relatively frightening. How are you going to maintain the morale, the focus and the energy of all these people?”
In the ex-mining and manufacturing towns in England’s north that have been hit hardest by the latest surge of infections, doctors are especially harried. Nearly 40 percent of critically ill patients are now classified as the country’s most deprived, compared to a quarter of such patients in the spring and early summer.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea has reported 103 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, continuing a steady spread as people increasingly venture out in the public amid eased social distancing measures.
The figures released by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday brought the national caseload to 26,146, including 461 deaths.… Read More
A record surge in coronavirus cases is pushing hospitals to the brink in the border cities of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, confronting health officials in Texas and Mexico with twin disasters in the tightly knit metropolitan area of 3 million people.
Health officials are blaming the spike on family gatherings, multiple generations living in the same household and younger people going out to shop or conduct business.… Read More
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Surging COVID-19 cases in Chicago prompted Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday to ban indoor dining and bar services and limit the number of people gathering in one place.
The rules taking effect Friday will force diners and bar patrons outdoors and shut down service at 11 p.m. No more than 25 people may gather at one time, or fewer if that number would exceed 25% of room capacity.Read More
BOSTON (AP) — The recent surge in confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts is being driven in large part by an increase among younger people, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday.
Whereas 15% of new cases in April were among people under age 30, now 37% of the new confirmed cases are people in that age group, the Republican governor said at a news conference at which he urged people to stop partying.… Read More