- China blames outbreak on imported salmon
- Official warns risk of resurgence is high
- World nears 8 million case mark
- Brazil surpasses UK death toll; now second only to US
- 23 US cases see new infections climb
- UK allows many retailers to reopen for first time in 3 months
Update (0730ET): Investors are waiting for the latest hospitalization data out of Texas, North Carolina and Arizona, among other states, CNBC’s Meg Tirrell joined “Squawk Box” Monday morning for a brief update.
Here’s how different the new case rates are between different regions of the US.
Earlier on Monday, health officials in China reported 49 new coronavirus cases nationwide, including 36 more in Beijing, as fears of a second wave intensify across Asia, while scientists and doctors in the US, like former FDA director Dr. Scott Gottlieb, warn that the first wave never really ended.
US equity futures initially broke below 3,000 last night after dozens of new coronavirus cases were reported in Beijing and Guangdong Province over the weekend. During a press briefing organized by China’s National Health Commission, Vice Premier Sun Chunlan spooked traders by claiming the risks for a resurgence of the coronavirus in Beijing were “high” due to the outbreak at the Xinfadi seafood market, billed as the largest wholesale market for seafood and meat in Asia. On Saturday, China reported 57 new infections, its largest resurgence in 2 months, before confirming dozens of additional cases on Sunday (remember, cases are always reported with a 24 hour delay).
40,000 Beijing residents are reportedly on lockdown, with at least half of the districts in Beijing reporting new cases. Officials in Beijing blamed flights from India and Bangladesh for carrying more infected individuals (some of them foreigners) to Guangdong, with 14 of the patients confirmed in the province flying from Bangladesh and three from India. Beijing’s warning about a “high” risk of resurgence follows a warning from Saturday when officials warned that the part of Beijing surrounding Xinfadi (situated in the southwestern part of the capital city) had assumed a “wartime posture“, as nearly a dozen neighborhoods were placed back on lockdown.
In total, some 80 new cases were reported in Beijing alone over the weekend.
As we await the latest batch of infection data out of China, the Global Times reported Monday that the closure of Xinfadi “will impact seafood sales worldwide”, and as a result, sales of salmon had already been suspended across China after a sample of the virus was detected on a chopping board owned by a fishmonger selling imported salmon.
The linkage to the imported salmon and the national ban on salmon sales are, of course, bits of political theater to convince the Chinese people that new cases of the virus are tied to foreign sources. Here’s an excerpt from a Global Times editorial published Monday in China.
We must also admit that we still know little about COVID-19. Our knowledge is still limited about where the virus comes from, how it spreads and how COVID-19 patients should be treated.
This determines that when there are still many countries affected by the epidemic, it is impossible for China to completely eradicate the virus. The epidemic may break out from unexpected directions, and we must be able to withstand such situations and respond effectively. What happened in Beijing is very likely not the end of China’s domestic COVID-19 spread.
Moving on from China, we begin the week on the cusp of the latest grim milestone for the international outbreak: With the world still reporting roughly 100k new COVID-19 cases a day, with at least 40k of these coming from Latin America alone, the global tally passed 7.9 million mark Monday. And while roughly half of those, some 3.8 million, have already recovered, another 433,394 have succumbed to the deadly virus.
Yesterday, authorities in Tokyo confirmed they had uncovered the biggest cluster of cases in more than a month. Adding to the alarm, local TV news station FNN reported early Monday that another ~50 cases had been confirmed in Tokyo, the biggest jump since May 5, although the number is roughly equivalent to the number of cases confirmed over the weekend. Of these new cases, approximately 20 were linked to a popular nightlife district in the city.
Those who have been monitoring the rankings for countries with the highest number of COVID-19-linked fatalities might notice a change: As of Monday, Brazil has officially surpassed the UK total for COVID deaths, moving into second place behind only the US.
After its latest update on deaths and new confirmed cases last night, Brazil has counted 43.3k deaths since the outbreak began, and many on the ground have warned that this figure greatly underestimates the true number of deaths. Mexico has also been accused of undercounting fatalities in hotspots like Mexico City.
In the US, roughly half of the states are seeing new cases rise, many alongside hospitalizations. Texas has seen hospitalizations hit record highs, while Florida, NC, SC, Arizona, Nevada and many other states are seeing an increase in new cases reported daily.
Even Georgia, which was heralded for its ability to reopen aggressively without sparking a massive resurgence in new cases, has reported a discomfiting spike over the past few days, according to the NYT.
Meanwhile, as we noted last night, in New York, Gov Cuomo is threatening to shut down Manhattan and parts of the Hamptons if he keeps receiving complaints about COVID-19-related violations. In Tennessee, authorities in Nashville have cited a number of businesses for breaking social distancing rules, including one bar where patrons were packed in shoulder to shoulder.
— Kathryn Stanczyszyn (@stanchers) June 15, 2020
At least one British tabloid seized on the long lines and crowds to warn about the possibility for another flareup.
And in the UK, thousands of retailers reopened Monday after almost three months of lockdown restrictions put in place amid the coronavirus pandemic.