The number of global cases of COVID-19 coronavirus rose to 4.9 million on Wednesday and Brazil suffered its worst deaths since the start of the epidemic, prompting President Donald Trump to say that ‘It could prohibit access to flights from Brazil.
“I don’t want people to come here and infect our people. I also don’t want people there to be sick. We help Brazil with fans. We are sending them fans, “Trump told reporters at a cabinet meeting in the White House, the Associated Press reported.
Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro dismissed the risks of the disease and encouraged his supporters to return to work. Bolsonaro did not respond to Trump’s comments on a travel ban, but said the Department of Health would issue guidelines on the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the disease.
The drug, which is approved to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, has not been shown to be effective as a treatment for COVID-19, but has been touted by Trump for weeks. The president stunned many people on Monday when he said he took it himself. Hydroxychloroquine is known to have potentially serious side effects, including heart rhythm problems.
In March, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as COVID-19 treatments. Since then, a number of trials have been launched, including by the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is testing it on 2,000 patients with mild and moderate cases of the virus.
Russia reported an additional 8,764 cases over a 24-hour period, which, while high, is the smallest increase in cases since May 1.
Meanwhile, countries that have hastened to contain the spread of the virus have continued to reopen. In South Korea, seniors returned to high school on Wednesday, wearing face masks and observing social distancing, the Guardian reported.
New Zealand, which has had no new cases of the virus in the past 24 hours, is considering ways to boost its tourism industry, which has suffered from a foreign travel ban. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has proposed adding more holidays or shortening the work week to encourage New Zealanders to travel across the country and to compensate for the loss of overseas visitors.
Ardern made this suggestion in a Facebook video.
In the United States, Trump again criticized China for “the global massacre” for allowing the virus to spread from the city of Wuhan, where it was first reported at the end of last year. The president tweeted that “some wacko” in China had issued a statement accusing others of the virus.
The statement he was referring to was unclear. Trump again criticized the World Health Organization this week for not responding quickly enough and aggressively enough at the start of the epidemic, the same criticism that was voiced by some during his own management of the crisis.
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Trump sparked fresh controversy on Tuesday by describing the highest number of US cases at the time, the world’s 1.52 million, as a “badge of honor” that shows how many tests he has done. Critics point out that the United States lags far behind other countries measured by per capita testing, which public health officials say is crucial to understanding and managing the infection rate.
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According to Johns Hopkins data, there are now 324,063 deaths from COVID-19 worldwide. At least 1.7 million people have recovered.
The United States has the highest number of cases (1.53 million) and the highest number of deaths (92,066).
Russia has 308,705 cases and 2,972 deaths.
The UK has 250,138 cases and 35,422 deaths, the highest number of deaths in Europe and the second highest in the world after the United States.
See:Britain sells first bonds at negative interest rate
Spain has 232,037 cases and 27,778 deaths, while Italy has 226,699 cases and 32,169 deaths. France has 180,933 cases and 28,025 deaths, while Germany has 177,973 cases and 8,136 deaths.
See:Billionaire banker Jamie Dimon urges businesses and government to use pandemic to create a fairer world
Turkey has 151,615 cases and 4,199 deaths and Iran has 126,949 cases and 7,183 deaths. India then arrives with 107,819 cases and 3,317 deaths, followed by Peru with 99,483 cases and 2,914 deaths. China, where the disease was first reported at the end of last year, has 84,063 cases and 4,638 deaths.
What is the latest medical news?
Moderna Inc. shares
tumbled Tuesday evening after report from Stat health news website cited by vaccine experts saying first results of phase 1 trial of COVID-19 vaccine candidate should be taken with a grain salt. The news, released on Monday, closed Moderna’s action and allowed the company to bid more than $ 1 billion.
In the preliminary results of the preliminary trial published on Monday, Moderna said that eight participants taking two of the three lower dosage levels reported the same or more level of neutralizing antibodies as in the blood samples taken by the patients who recovered of COVID-19. There were four adverse events during the trial, including one participant who reported a severe skin reaction when given the experimental vaccine. Three of the adverse events occurred in people receiving the highest dose of vaccine.
But Stat said the company had revealed very little information and said words, not data, that scientists need to draw conclusions.
Equity analysts, however, remain positive about the results of the test.
“Although the samples are not yet available to the remaining participants, and we lack details on the exact levels of binding antibodies, we consider these data as early signs of efficacy,” wrote analysts at Goldman Sachs. in a note to investors.
Jason McCarthy of Maxim Group described the data as “convincing”.
Separately, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.
said its COVID-19 vaccine candidate has neutralizing antibodies in animals. The data, published in Nature Communications, comes from a preclinical study, which means that it does not contain information on the reaction of the experimental vaccine in humans, but in mice and guinea pigs.
Inovio is currently conducting a phase 1 clinical trial to test the DNA vaccine candidate in humans; the first data from this study should be announced in June.
“The powerful immune responses of neutralizing antibodies and T cells generated in several animal models support our current INO-4800 clinical trials,” said Dr. Kate Broderick, Inovio team leader for COVID vaccine development- 19, in a press release. .
Also read:Pandemic could cost world economy $ 82 trillion in depressed scenario
What are companies saying?
and Lowe’s Cos.
became the last major retailers to post quarterly profits and both benefited from the demand for products when ordering from home. According to Target, e-commerce sales increased 141% over the period and same-store sales increased 10.8%, as the average basket total increased 12.5% due to the increased number of buyers making fewer but larger purchases.
The stay-at-home period also provided an opportunity for consumers to see the company’s investments in food and beverage categories in recent years. Sales of these items increased by 20%.
“This is yet another reason for consumers to consolidate their purchases at Target,” said Target chief executive officer Brian Cornell during a media call. “Food completes the multi-category portfolio.”
Lowe’s earnings were well above expectations, but withdrew its full-year forecast due to uncertainty. Comparable store sales in the United States increased 12.3% from a year ago, compared to the FactSet consensus, for comparable store sales growth of 2.4% in the country.
United Airlines Holdings Inc.
on Wednesday unveiled a series of changes to how it works at airports and on planes, including a partnership with Clorox Co.
for improved cleaning and another with the Cleveland Clinic, as it works to ensure passenger safety during the coronavirus pandemic.
The company’s United CleanPlus effort “brings together the most reliable surface disinfection brand – Clorox – and the country’s best medical experts – Cleveland Clinic – to inform and guide the new cleaning, safety and social distancing protocols of United which include contactless kiosks in selected luggage locations. check-in, sneeze protectors, mandatory cover for crew and customers, and provides customers with options when flights are more comprehensive, “said the company.
To find out more, read:United Airlines Releases Coronavirus Security Guide To Restore Confidence After Crowded Flight Aftermath
The company will present an economical all-in-one snack bag that will include a disinfectant wipe. Passengers will be allowed to change flights if the capacity exceeds 70%.
JetBlue Airways Corp.
said it would keep the middle seats locked until at least June 4 to maintain social estrangement and force passengers to wear face covers during check-in and boarding and on flights.
Elsewhere, companies continued to announce wage cuts, dividend suspensions and offer updates on how they would revive businesses.
Here are the latest statements from companies about COVID-19:
• Corning Inc.
The CEO will receive a 40% cut in base salary as the specialty glass company moves to combat the effects of the pandemic. The salaries of the named executive officers will be reduced by 30%, while the cash compensation of its non-employed directors will be reduced by 40%. Reductions of 5% to 30% will be imposed on all other US employees from June 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Similar measures will be taken outside the United States, depending on local regulations and mutual consent requirements. The company will issue equity to its employees in the form of restricted stock units and stock options in the amount of the salary reduction.
• Facebook Inc.
Launches Facebook Shops, a free way for small businesses to sell their products online, from the United States this summer. Customers can send messages to a company via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Instagram Direct for assistance and tracking deliveries.
• Halliburton Co.
cut its quarterly dividend by 75%, citing efforts to maintain a solid liquidity position due to uncertainty about the extent and duration of the downturn in market conditions. The new dividend of 4.5 cents per share, down 18 cents per share, will be payable June 24 to shareholders of record June 3. Based on Tuesday’s closing share price of $ 11.15, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 1.61% compared to the yield of the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF
6.07% and the implied return of the S&P
f 1.97%. The annual compensation of the Halliburton Board of Directors will be reduced by 20%.
• McKesson Corp.
released fourth-quarter financial results that exceeded expectations, but provided unfavorable earnings prospects citing “anticipated headwinds” following the pandemic. Price increases for brand name drugs and higher volumes of national retail accounts customers boosted sales for his US pharmaceutical and specialty solutions business. For fiscal year 2021, the company forecasts adjusted EPS of $ 13.95 to $ 14.75, below the FactSet consensus of $ 15.42. McKesson expects 2021 revenue growth from 2% to 4%, while the FactSet revenue consensus of $ 234.6 billion implies growth of 1.5%.
• Norwegian Air
will get a state-supported 2.7 billion Norwegian kroner (US $ 271 million) loan after debt restructuring. But the airline sees “difficult months ahead” because the industry has been devastated by the pandemic. Norwegian Air shares have lost 94% this year. “The Norwegian will still have to work closely with a number of creditors because the company currently has limited revenues,” said CEO Jacob Schram.
• Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
suffered a larger than expected first quarter loss as the pandemic resulted in cruise suspensions, but said reservations for 2021 were within historic limits. For the rest of 2020, the company said reservation volumes were “significantly lower” than the same period last year at prices that are falling in the single-digit percentage range. For 2021, however, the reserved position is in the historical ranges on prices rising at mid-figure compared to this year. The company said it had approximately $ 3.3 billion in cash as of May 19.
• Trulieve Cannabis Corp.
posted better-than-expected profit for the first quarter. The Tallahassee, Florida-based company opened three new stores in Florida during the period, ending the quarter with a network of 47 stores across the country. The company said it has had no COVID-19 “physical” impact on its ability to serve patients and customers.
• Urban Outfitters Inc.
quarterly results are far below Wall Street estimates, as the pandemic forced store closings. “The impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) on the business has resulted in the need for impairment assessments of the company’s long-lived assets,” said Urban Outfitters. “These preliminary financial results include a provisional impairment charge and the related tax effects, all of which are being assessed. Although these items are non-monetary in nature, a potential change in the provisional impairment charge could have a material impact on the results presented. “