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U.S. Warns on U.K. Travel; Singapore Restrictions: Virus Update


(Bloomberg) — A summer resurgence of the pandemic stoked by the spread of the delta variant is raising alarms, sparking a global stocks selloff. The U.S. warned citizens against travel to the U.K. and Indonesia amid rising infections in the two nations.

Singapore will re-tighten restrictions on dining-in and social gatherings amid a record number of daily cases. Half of Australia’s population is back in lockdown after South Australia state joined Victoria and New South Wales in ordering residents to stay at home.

Apple Inc. is pushing back its return-to-office deadline because of the resurgence across many countries, people familiar with the matter said. More executives of Japanese companies are skipping Friday’s opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics as concerns about holding the games during the pandemic grow.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases top 190.9 million; deaths pass 4.09 millionVaccine Tracker: More than 3.64 billion doses administeredDemocrats can’t make Facebook help win the Covid information warA secretive body is making questionable Covid decisions in IndiaWomen are still suffering more than men in pandemic job hitVaccine and ventilator shortages show need for Africa free trade

Singapore Imposes Restrictions Again (3:28 p.m. HK)

Singapore will re-tighten restrictions on dining-in and social gatherings and halt indoor exercise from Thursday amid a record number of daily infections, fueled by highly transmissible strains spreading across Southeast Asia.

Group gatherings will be slashed from five people to just two through Aug. 18, authorities announced at a briefing, with the measures to be reviewed after two weeks. Singapore will also unveil a virus support package in the coming days. The new restrictions underscore Singapore’s struggle in shifting from the strict controls that have been part of its “Covid-zero” strategy toward a new normal that treats the disease as endemic.

Italy Passes 50% of Population Vaccinated (3:16 p.m HK)

The total number of people inoculated in Italy, who have completed the vaccination cycle with two doses or a single shot, are 27,581,936, or 51.07% of the population over 12, according to the government website.

Japan Clears Roche’s Ronapreve as Covid Treatment (2:05 p.m. HK)

Roche Holding AG and Chugai Pharmaceutical Co.’s Ronapreve was cleared as an intravenous infusion for patients with mild to moderate infection. Japan is the first country to clear the antibody combination. The medicine has shown it can improve survival in high-risk patients.

Only 6% of India’s Population Fully Vaccinated (1:40 p.m. HK)

India added 30,093 cases Tuesday, pushing the total tally to 31.2 million. The country has administered almost 412 million vaccine doses so far, but only about 6% of the second-worst hit nation’s population is fully inoculated against the virus. Covid-related deaths rose by 374 in a day to 414,482 total fatalities.

The U.S. lowered its travel advisory to India after a drop in cases there, but scientists in the country say it is ill-prepared for a possible third wave. The Indian Council of Medical Research — a little known government body before the pandemic — has been criticized for its Covid management as India battled its biggest outbreak in May.

More Companies Skip Olympics Opening Ceremony (12:51 p.m. HK)

More Japanese companies have decided against sending executives to Friday’s opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics as concerns about holding the games during the pandemic grow.

Senior officials from Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp., Fujitsu Ltd. and NEC Corp. will skip the event given that organizers decided to hold the games without spectators, spokespeople for the technology giants said Tuesday, a day after Toyota Motor Corp. announced its top executive wouldn’t attend.Japan’s pledge to hold a safe and secure games is coming under threat as cases jump in Tokyo and visiting athletes test positive for the virus.

Indonesia’s Jokowi Hints at Extending Curbs (12:40 p.m. HK)

Indonesia may extend emergency restrictions as it struggles with an outbreak that’s killing more people a day than anywhere else in the world, with President Joko Widodo saying cases need to drop for curbs to be lifted.

“Imagine if the restrictions are eased, then the cases rise again, and then hospitals cannot accommodate patients. Our health facilities will collapse. We should be careful with this,” Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, said during a Cabinet meeting on Monday. Restrictions, which include bans on religious gatherings and dining out at restaurants, are due to expire Tuesday.

Apple Will Postpone Return to Office (11:35 a.m. HK)

Apple Inc. is pushing back its return-to-office deadline by at least a month to October at the earliest, responding to a resurgence of Covid variants across many countries, people familiar with the matter said.

The iPhone maker becomes one of the first U.S. tech giants to delay plans for a return to normality as Covid persists and cases involving a highly transmissible variant increase. Apple will give its employees at least a month’s warning before mandating a return to offices, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing internal policy.

Victoria Extends Lockdown, Shuts Border to Sydney (10:07 a.m. HK)

Australia’s Victoria state extended its fifth lockdown since the pandemic began and tightened border restrictions with Sydney as authorities battle to contain an outbreak of the delta variant.

Stay-at-home orders will remain in place for another seven days until midnight July 27 after Victoria recorded 13 new locally-acquired cases for a second straight day, state Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters Tuesday. The state will effectively shut its border to people from Sydney, with exceptions for essential workers such as freight drivers and for compassionate reasons, he said.

Authorities have issued stay-at-home orders for almost half of the nation’s population, hampering the country’s economic recovery after Australia slid into its first recession in about three decades last year.

Philippines May Return to Stricter Movement Curbs (9:14 a.m. HK)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said more stringent movement restrictions may be needed after the country detected cases of the more transmissible delta coronavirus variant.

“We may need to reimpose stricter restrictions to avoid mass gathering and prevent superspreader events,” Duterte said in a recorded briefing aired late Monday. The reported local cases of the delta variant is “a cause for serious alarm and concern,” he said.

The Philippines, home to the second-worst Covid-19 outbreak in Southeast Asia, has recorded more than 1.5 million cases and 26,786 deaths as of July 19.

U.S. Travel Warnings (4:45 p.m. NY)

The U.S warned citizens not to travel to the U.K. and Indonesia, two nations that are seeing a jump in Covid infections. The State Department raised its advisory for both countries to Level 4, or do not travel, from Level 3, or reconsider travel.

Texas Hospitalizations Surge Most Since April (3:54 p.m. NY)

Virus hospitalizations in Texas topped 3,000 for the first time in more than three months, state health department figures showed.

Medical facilities across the Lone Star state said 3,046 beds were occupied by virus patients, the most since April 12, according to the health department. The hospital tally has been rising for 17 straight days, the longest upward streak since November.

Despite the surge, there were still almost 11,000 available hospital beds and more than 700 open intensive-care spots.

S. Africa Has Record Vaccinations After Riots (3:30 p.m. NY)

South Africa vaccinated a record 223,969 people against Covid-19 on Monday, indicating that its inoculation program has overcome disruptions from widespread rioting last week. Daily vaccinations last week fell to as low as about 137,000 as the administering of the shots was disrupted in Gauteng and brought to a virtual halt in KwaZulu-Natal, the province worst hit by the violence.

Canada to Allow Vaccinated U.S. Visitors (2 p.m. NY)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government presented a road map to reopening Canada’s borders to non-essential international travel by the beginning of September.

Fully vaccinated U.S. residents will be allowed into Canada as of Aug. 9, according to a plan unveiled Monday in Ottawa. Tourists will need to provide border officials with proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test completed before arrival. They will be exempt from the 14-day quarantine and two post-arrival coronavirus tests.

U.K. Limits Shots to Most Vulernable Kids (12:01 p.m. NY)

Only the most vulnerable children and those living with at-risk adults will receive Covid-19 vaccinations in the U.K., the government said Monday, ruling out a broader program due to fears over rare side effects.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be offered to 12 to 15-year-olds with severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, immunosuppression and profound learning disabilities, as well as children aged 12 to 17 who live with an immunosuppressed person, officials said. It will also be offered to healthy 17-year-olds within three months of their 18th birthday.

The decision puts the U.K. on a different path than countries including the U.S. and France. The British position is driven by fears of rare cases of myocarditis — an inflammation of the heart muscle — and pericarditis — an inflammation of membranes around the heart — in younger people who have had the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

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