Management Board gives a positive review and outlook during the Annual General Meeting

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U.K. to End Lockdown; Merkel’s Skiing Warning: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — Global coronavirus cases topped 60 million. German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to do more to rein in the pandemic as the nation saw a record daily jump in new cases and virus-related deaths reached a seven-month high.Merkel also called on Europe’s ski resorts to close this winter to halt the spread of the illness. Elsewhere, London will avoid the toughest coronavirus restrictions when England’s partial lockdown ends next week, under plans laid out Thursday. In the U.S., the Supreme Court blocked New York Governor Andrew Cuomo from imposing attendance caps at synagogues and Roman Catholic churches in Covid hotspots. California and Texas broke daily infection records. Meanwhile, the White House is considering lifting entry restrictions on non-U.S. citizens arriving from Europe.Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases near 60.4 million; deaths top 1.4 millionBiden warns of ‘long, hard winter’ for virus in somber addressAs virus ravages U.S. jails, Korea may provide a templateAirline claims that flying is safe stir doubts among expertsThe best and the worst places to be in the coronavirus eraWorld’s biggest glove producer at risk as pandemic hits homeCovid vaccine rush in China raises fears of booming black marketSubscribe 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.Johnson Ends England’s Lockdown; Regions Face Curbs (7:15 a.m. NY)Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed England’s national lockdown will end next week, to be replaced by a tougher three-tier system of regional restrictions.London will avoid the toughest restrictions, having been placed into tier 2 — which means pubs, restaurants and bars can open for business, but alcohol can only be served as part of a meal. Under the new rules for England, from Dec. 2 shops, hairdressers and gyms will reopen across the country, but bars and restaurants will be takeaway only in areas under the tightest restrictions.The government will announce on Thursday into which tiers regions are being placed. Ministers are drawing up plans to allow rules to be relaxed across the U.K. in time for Christmas and Johnson said if all goes well with the roll-out of vaccines, “the vast majority” of people who need a shot will get one by April.France to Allow Travel Abroad From Dec. 15 (6:45 a.m. NY)French PM Jean Castex said it will be possible to travel abroad from Dec. 15, when the government plans to lift its latest lockdown. Travelers must check the health situation in the destination country ahead of travel, Castex said on Thursday. Ski resorts will be open over holiday period but ski lifts will remain closed.Iran Cases Hit Record Again (6:40 a.m. NY)Iran reported a record 13,961 new virus cases on Thursday, setting a record for the third straight day. Total cases stand at 908,346. The Health Ministry also announced 482 new deaths. In total, 46,689 people have died from the virus in Iran.Swedish Faith in Covid Strategy Plunges (6:20 a.m. NY)Swedish confidence in the nation’s strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic has slumped. A poll published on Thursday showed that 82% of Swedes are either “somewhat” or “very worried” as to whether their health-care system can meet the challenge facing it.Confidence in the authorities’ ability to fight the virus sank to 42% of those polled from 55% in October. Meanwhile, 44% of Swedes fear authorities aren’t doing enough to fight the virus, compared with 31% last month.Russia Plans to Start Mass Vaccination (6:10 a.m. NY)Russia expects to begin to vaccinate the population this year and will roll out the program in stages, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.Developers of Russia’s flagship vaccine, Sputnik V, said this week that its efficacy was 91%, although it has yet to publish the results in a peer-reviewed journal. Russia has had nearly 2.2 million Covid-19 cases, the fifth most globally, and on Thursday reported a record 524 deaths in the last day.Merkel Frets Over Ski Resorts (6:05 p.m. H.K. )Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to do more to rein in the coronavirus to avoid the “worst-case scenario” of an overburdened health care system. Restrictions extended and expanded on Wednesday night will likely remain in place until early January, Merkel said.Europe should shut down its ski resorts this winter to prevent a renewed virus uptick, according to Merkel. She said that any non-essential travel needed to be avoided and that Europe would look “whether we can shut down all ski resorts.” But given Austria’s opposition, that won’t be easy, she said.On a more upbeat note, a vaccine may be available before Christmas, Merkel said.Singapore Finds First Local Covid-19 Case After Nearly Two Weeks (5:45 p.m HK)Singapore confirmed its first case of locally transmitted Covid-19 in almost two weeks, the country’s health ministry said. The government said the case was identified in the community and no new cases in the foreign worker dormitories have emerged.Serious Covid-19 Cases Rise in Tokyo (2:53 p.m. HK)Tokyo reported another increase Thursday in severe cases of Covid-19, to 60 from Wednesday’s 54, a day after the city asked residents to avoid unnecessary trips outdoors.Tokyo reported 481 new infections in all on Thursday. Serious cases, which the city defines as those requiring a ventilator or ECMO machine, have surged almost 50% this week.Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is using serious cases, rather than the total number of new infections, as her “red line” for requesting further limits on businesses. The first of those came Wednesday, when she asked bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m., with reports warning that closing times could be moved back earlier if severe cases continued to rise.Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of Japan’s virus response, said the government could look at imposing another state of emergency if it isn’t brought under control. Japan has a record 410 coronavirus patients in serious condition, TV Asahi reported.Germany Sees Record Caseload After Shutdown Extended (2:42 p.m. HK)Germany registered a record increase in new virus cases, bringing the total to just under 1 million, hours after the government extended a partial shutdown to check the disease’s spread.There were 32,687 new infections in Europe’s biggest economy in the 24 hours through Thursday morning, lifting the total to 995,879. The number of deaths rose by 378, the most since mid-April, and has now exceeded 300 for three straight days for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.South Korea Surge Expected to Wane Next Week (2:20 p.m. HK)South Korea’s daily Covid-19 infections jumped to nearly 600, the most since March, with the spike expected to wane next week as the impact of stricter social-distancing measures is felt.Korea Disease Control & Prevention Agency on Thursday reported 583 coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, compared to 382 a day earlier, and officials expect the caseload to remain at 400-600 per day through early December. The spike comes days after the country imposed stricter social-distancing measures, including limiting restaurant hours and social gatherings, the second time restrictions have been tightened in the past two weeks.South African Hospitals Warn of Holiday Virus Surge (1:01 p.m. HK)South African hospital operators have warned of a potential surge in coronavirus cases during the December holiday season, when millions of people travel to holiday destinations, home towns and villages. The pandemic peaked in Africa’s most industrialized economy in late July, but case numbers have picked up again before the busiest time of the year for intra-provincial journeys and social gatherings.“It is not the time to let your guard down, we must hold onto lessons from the first wave,” Netcare Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Richard Friedland said. “The numbers in the Eastern Cape are very serious and the surge at the moment is mimicking the first wave. We are also seeing increasing cases in the Western Cape.”India Reports 45,000 More Cases (12:08 p.m. HK)India reported nearly 45,000 new Covid-19 cases Thursday, bringing its total recorded outbreak to 9.27 million — the largest in the world after the U.S. — with 135,223 deaths.The number of daily infections has fallen by more than half from a mid-September peak above 97,000, but the drop has raised questions over India’s testing regime and whether it reflects the true state of the local epidemic.Mexico Hospital Beds Filling Up Fast (10:42 a.m. HK)Mexico reported 10,335 new Covid-19 cases Wednesday night, bringing the total to 1,070,487, according to data released by the Health Ministry. Deaths rose 858 to 103,597.In Mexico City, 61% of hospital beds with ventilators are occupied, up from 53% a week earlier. Mexico has been criticized for its lack of testing, with officials acknowledging the country’s actual virus toll is probably much higher than reported.U.S. Considers Lifting European Entry Rules (5:26 p.m. NY)Several federal agencies have recommended that the White House lift an entry ban on non-U.S. citizens arriving from Europe that was put in place to slow the spread of Covid-19.The organizations, which participate in the White House Coronavirus Task Force, have signed off on lifting the restrictions, said two people briefed on the discussions. The Homeland Security Department imposed the rules after a presidential proclamation on March 11. The rules applied to 28 European nations and were expanded to Brazil on May 25.It’s unclear whether White House officials, including President Donald Trump, will go along with lifting the ban or what the timing of a decision will be, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to discuss the issue.Texas Cases Break Daily Record (5:15 p.m. NY)Texas reported 14,648 new infections, a second straight daily record, according to figures from the Department of State Health Services.El Paso County has the most cases in the state, at 37,114, the figures show. That far exceeds infections in more populous Dallas County and Harris County, home of Houston.California Shatters Daily Record (2:40 p.m. NY)California reported 18,350 new virus cases, shattering the daily record set last weekend. The 14-day average rate of positive tests climbed to 5.9%, a three-month high and up 2 percentage points in just two weeks.The most populous state is grappling with a virus resurgence spreading faster than ever. Hospitalizations spiked 5.8% Tuesday to a total of 7,049, according to the state health department, and have more than doubled since the start of the month. Health Secretary Mark Ghaly warned Tuesday that hospitalizations and deaths, which trail infections by two to three weeks, are poised to surge further as cases accelerate.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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