India Posts Record Cases, Deaths; Moderna Shots: Virus Update
(Bloomberg) — India reported its highest-ever daily tally of 412,262 new virus cases and also a record 3,980 deaths. Indian drugmakers warned that halting some cargo flights from China could disrupt the global supply chain. China supplies 60% to 70% of the raw materials used by Indian pharmaceutical firms as well as ingredients for finished medicines sent worldwide, said Mahesh Doshi, national president for the Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association.Asian authorities are taking steps to prevent an Indian-like wave of infections happening in their countries. The governors of Tokyo and Osaka called for their virus emergencies to be extended, with Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga likely to grant the requests. Australia, Vietnam and Malaysia also toughened restrictions.Moderna Inc. said mid-stage trials showed its booster shots were effective against virus strains that emerged in Brazil and South Africa. The U.S. will support a proposal to waive intellectual-property protections for vaccines, joining an effort to increase global supply and access to the shots as the gap between rich and poor nations widens. The decision led to drops in the share prices of Asian vaccine-makers.Key DevelopmentsGlobal Tracker: Cases near 154.8 million; deaths exceed 3.23 millionVaccine Tracker: More than 1.21 billion doses have been givenModerna Covid booster shots prove effective against variants (Video)India’s struggle to track new Covid variants could worsen crisisVaccines work on this India variant. Experts fret about the nextA new wave of vaccines is coming, and they’re not all also-ransWhy Even With Vaccines, Covid Will Always Be With Us: QuickTakeSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on cases and deaths.Australian Clots Tied to AstraZeneca Shot (2:25 p.m. HK)Five additional cases of a rare type of blood clot were identified in recipients of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine in Australia. All are receiving treatment, the company said in a statement Thursday. More cases of so-called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia are expected as the vaccine is offered to people older than 50 in Australia, said Katie Flanagan, president-elect of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases. Still, the benefits of preventing Covid-19 from vaccination outweigh the risk of the rare condition in this age group, she said.Tokyo, Osaka Want Emergency Extensions (2:06 p.m. HK)Tokyo wants to extend a virus emergency currently in place and will soon seek approval for the move from Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, in a bid to stem a surge in infections ahead of the capital hosting the Olympics from July.Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said Thursday the extension is needed, and people’s movement must continue to be restrained. The central government is considering extending the state of emergency for Tokyo and the western prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo by about two weeks or a month, Kyodo News reported, citing several unidentified administration officials.The major metro area of Osaka, where infection numbers have reached record highs in recent days, is also set to seek an extension, with Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura saying he has no other option.NZ Pauses Travel Bubble With NSW (1:52 p.m. HK)New Zealand Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said quarantine-free travel with the Australian state of New South Wales will be paused from 11:59 p.m. local time while the source of two Covid-19 cases in Sydney is investigated.Vaccine-Maker Shares Hit by IP Waiver (1:32 p.m. HK)U.S. support for a proposal to waive intellectual-property protections for Covid-19 vaccines might be good news for the global inoculation campaign, but it’s an unwelcome turn for firms whose share prices have been buoyed by profits from coronavirus shots.Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co., which has the rights to develop and market BioNTech SE’s mRNA shot in China, plunged as much as 26% in Hong Kong, the most ever. CanSino Biologics Inc., which makes one of China’s domestic vaccines, tanked 21%, the most in a year. Walvax Biotechnology Co. dropped as much as 16% and Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co. fell 14%, dragging the CSI 300 Index’s health-care gauge more than 5% lowerIndemnity Clauses Stymie Africa Vaccine Drive (1 p.m. HK)A drive to get Africans vaccinated against the coronavirus is being hamstrung by governments’ reluctance to sign indemnity clauses, a preference for Pfizer Inc. vaccines over other more readily available shots and a lack of preparedness to distribute the inoculations.Delays in vaccinating the continent’s more than 1.3 billion people will likely lead to additional resurgences of the virus, may result in mutations that will potentially be more transmissible and could lead to economic damage associated with strict lockdowns. Less than 20 million people have been inoculated in Africa, with almost half of those living in Morocco, according to Bloomberg’s Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker.Sydney Imposes Mask, Gathering Curbs (9:46 a.m. HK)Restrictions on gatherings are being imposed in Sydney and surrounding areas due to two Covid-19 cases detected in Australia’s most-populous city.From 5 p.m. Thursday, the maximum number of people allowed into homes will be 20, while singing and dancing in all indoor venues except those hosting weddings will be banned, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters. Masks will be compulsory on public transport and in all public indoor venues, such as retail, theaters, hospitals and aged-care facilities. The restrictions will last until at least the end of the weekend.Hong Kong Vaccinations Pass 1 Million (9:03 a.m. HK)The number of people who have received their first Covid-19 vaccine dose has exceeded 1 million on Wednesday, Hong Kong’s government said. The vaccination program has been running since Feb, 26.Still, only about 13.4% of the Hong Kong population has received at least one dose, according to Bloomberg’s Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker. That’s still well behind rival financial hubs like Singapore, London and New York.Thailand Steps Up Virus Stimulus Spending (8 a.m. HK)Thailand is planning to spend billions of dollars in providing financial relief to low-income groups to cope with the economic hit from the biggest Covid-19 outbreak sweeping the nation since the pandemic began.The cabinet gave in-principle approval on Wednesday for fiscal stimulus measures at a cost of 85.5 billion baht ($2.8 billion). It also proposed 140 billion baht worth of spending for co-payment and e-voucher programs and more cash handouts to welfare cardholders and special groups, officials said.Philippines Could Get 7 Million Doses in May (8 a.m. HK)The Philippines’ coronavirus inoculation drive could leap this month, with the possibility of increasing vaccine supplies to about 7 million shots from 4 million, which could lead to a further reopening of the economy.Kuala Lumpur Tightens Movement Restrictions (8 a.m. HK)Malaysia tightened restrictions on movements in the capital Kuala Lumpur to stem the rise in new Covid-18 infections, a day after imposing similar curbs in Selangor, its richest state.The movement control order, or MCO, will stay in force from May 7 to May 20, Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement on Wednesday, adding the protocols already in place for other areas under MCO will apply.Case Cluster at Hanoi Hospital Grows (7:23 a.m. HK)Vietnam reported eight more infections linked to a cluster in the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases Campus of Dong Anh in Hanoi, taking the tally in the center to 22, the health ministry’s newspaper Suc Khoe Doi Song reported. Authorities in the northern province of Thai Binh ordered social distancing after reporting five infections tied to the cluster.Vietnam has ordered strict border control and mandatory quarantines of three weeks while imposing some movement restrictions as it traces the recent flare-up in coronavirus cases to overseas travelers.China Flight Halt May Snarl Supplies (6:50 a.m. HK)Drugmakers in India warn that a halt on some cargo flights from China could imperil an important link in the global pharmaceutical supply chain.The U.S. relies heavily on India to stock its medicine cabinets, and any slowdown in output could leave pharmacies short of drugs used regularly by millions of Americans.On April 26, China’s state-run Sichuan Airlines suspended cargo flights to India for 15 days amid an alarming second Covid-19 outbreak there. If the flights remain on hold, the drug industry fears “cascading effects on its entire supply chain,” Mahesh Doshi, national president for the Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association, wrote in an April 29 letter to India’s external affairs minister.Moderna Booster Effective on Variants (4:08 p.m. NY)Moderna Inc.’s booster shots gave positive results against immune system-evading strains that emerged in South Africa and Brazil, according to early results from a mid-stage trial.Two types of booster shots studied spurred higher levels of virus-halting antibodies, Moderna said in a statement. One of the boosters is an additional low-dose shot of its existing vaccine, while the other type is customized against the South Africa strain.“We are encouraged by these new data, which reinforce our confidence that our booster strategy should be protective against these newly detected variants,” Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We will continue to make as many updates to our Covid-19 vaccine as necessary to control the pandemic.”U.S. to Back Waiver of Vaccine IP Protections (3:25 p.m. NY)The U.S. will back a proposal to waive intellectual-property protections for Covid-19 vaccines, joining an effort to increase global supply and access to the life-saving shots as the gap between rich and poor nations widens.“We are for the waiver at the WTO, we are for what the proponents of the waiver are trying to accomplish, which is better access, more manufacturing capability, more shots in arms,” U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in an interview on Wednesday.The Biden administration will now actively take part in negotiations for the text of the waiver at the World Trade Organization and encourage other countries to back it, Tai said. She acknowledged the talks will take time and “will not be easy,” given the complexity of the issue and the fact that the WTO is a member-driven organization that can only make decisions based on consensus.U.S. Cases Could See ‘Sharp Decline’: CDC (11:20 a.m. NY)U.S. Covid-19 cases could see a sharp decline by July if nationwide vaccination efforts continue to be successful, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Researchers used scenario modeling techniques to show long-term projections of potential trends in Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in data released Wednesday in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.G-7 Meeting Goes Ahead in U.K. (7:06 a.m. NY)The U.K. insisted a meeting of top Group of Seven diplomats in London should go ahead after India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said he would self-isolate over possible exposure to coronavirus.The news risked derailing a high-profile event that marked the G-7 debut of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Britain is hosting the gathering, which began on Tuesday.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.