New Jersey Reports Alarming Jump In New Cases As Global Total Passes 2.4 Million: Live Updates


New Jersey Reports Alarming Jump In New Cases As Global Total Passes 2.4 Million: Live Updates


  • Singapore, Russia report big upticks in new cases
  • NY reports drop in deaths
  • NY launches nation’s largest surveillance testing program
  • Cuomo: “We’re on the downward slope”
  • No. of confirmed cases reaches 2.4 million
  • Peru case total passes 15k
  • Spain, UK see big drop in deaths
  • PA reports jump in new cases, deaths
  • Putin offers words of encouragement for Russians celebrating Easter in isolation
  • South Korea considers extending social distancing guidelines despite drop in new cases
  • Turkey passes Iran as worst-hit country in ME
  • Protesters gather in Wisconsin, Texas
  • NJ reports jump in new cases, deaths
  • US death toll passes 40k
  • Italy sees slowdown in new cases, deaths

*     *      *

Update (2010ET): As another week begins, several governors around the country are pushing back at VP Mike Pence’s claims that there are enough tests available for any states that meet the other criteria in the “Opening Up America Again” plan to start opening up. Meanwhile NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing to kick off what would be the nation’s first broad-based random surveillance testing regime. He said Sunday that beginning this week, public health officials will aim to start testing thousands of NYers a day who have never shown symptoms of COVID-19 for “antibodies” to try and determine just how widespread the virus has really become.

New York will test 2,000 people a day, or 14,000 per week, out of its nearly 20 million residents, Cuomo said.

The presence of antibodies should indicate that a person has been infected, and recovered from, the virus. However, whether infection means patients will be forever immune to reinfection hasn’t yet been conclusively determined.

Earlier, New Jersey reported a surprisingly large jump in cases, while also reporting more than 100 deaths, one of its worst reports since the outbreak began in terms of deaths and new cases.

Nearby Connecticut also reported a drop in hospitalizations, and a rise in deaths, a pattern familiar to both NJ and NY.

As of Sunday evening, here’s a ranking of the most hard-hit US states.

  1. New York (223,699 cases)
  2. New Jersey (32,181 cases)
  3. Massachusetts (32,181 cases)
  4. Pennsylvania (29,463 cases)
  5. Michigan (29,263 cases)

Also at tonight’s press conference, to try and plug a major weakness in America’s testing infrastructure, Trump said he would use the DPA to force American companies to produce more of the “swabs” needed to run COVID-19 tests – many governors have been complaining about shortages of the swabs impacting testing capacity.

Finally, in Latin America, Peru reported another huge jump in cases, pushing the total number of confirmed cases in the world’s No. 2 copper producer past 15,000. Meanwhile, Mexico looks to be the next country to join Sweden in seeing a dangerous uptick in new cases and deaths after refusing to go all-in on lockdowns and social distancing. Bloomberg reported Sunday that Mexico City hospitals are near the point of being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients as the country’s mortality rate soars, suggesting that the virus is much more widespread in Mexico than testing would indicate.

Still, the US has by far the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 740,000 infections and over 40,000 deaths. And while many governors are slamming President Trump for taking a step back with one breath then encouraging protesters demanding states to reopen to essentially break the law.

Reuters reports on Saturday, several dozen protesters gathered in the Texas capital of Austin chanting “USA! USA!” and “Let us work!” In Brookfield, Wisconsin, hundreds of demonstrators cheered as they lined a main road and waved American flags to protest the latest extension of the state’s “safer at home” order, imposed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

It’s another example of Trump’s feckless behavior, and unnecessarily leaves him vulnerable to more criticism should the reopening process hit a ‘snag’.

Finally, the global case total has surpassed 2.4 million.

*     *      *

Update (1410ET): The US has reached another ignominious milestone: The countrywide death toll has surpassed 40k.

That’s according to an official toll kept by Reuters, which also found that the US case count was nearing 760k.

Notably, PA warned earlier that it was adding nearly 300 new deaths to the statewide death toll, many of which occurred earlier this month, but were never tested.

There have been a couple of other interesting developments in the past few hours: Turkey has surpassed Iran as the Middle Eastern country with the largest total of coronavirus cases.

Turkey reported 3,977 new cases on Sunday, along with 127 new deaths. That was for a total of 86,306 cases and 2,017 deaths. By the same totals, Iran is just around 86k.

Meanwhile, New York State continued its frustrating practice of releasing its data in drips and drabs, releasing its latest daily positive test totals – it was 6,054 for the last 24 hours – which brought the total to 242,786. Cuomo announced the death toll hours ago.

*     *      *

Update (1315ET): Eager not to sound too triumphant following the latest optimistic coronavirus figures, French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that he expects France’s economy to contract around 10% in 2020 (keep in mind, nearly all estimates of growth/contraction for 2020 are, at this point, probably based almost entirely on guessswork). He also said that he was weighing whether to pass legislation to make wearing a mask on public transit a legal requirement, subjecting those who aren’t wearing a mask to fines and potential imprisonment.

Back in New York, Cuomo reiterated several of his points from the last few days, namely that the state intends to proceed with widespread antibody testing as soon as possible (a strategy that might produce some unpleasant surprises, according to recent data) while also again bashing the federal government for failing to supply the state with an endless river of tests. Any NY reopening plan must be firmly rooted in testing, Cuomo said (despite Dr. Fauci’s comment that testing everybody doesn’t need to be a priority to reopen the economy).

Finally, PA reported a jump in new cases and deaths that reflected new cases from earlier this month that had initially been left out of official totals.


Many of these involved patients and residents in managed-care facilities like – you guessed it – nursing homes…

*     *      *

Update (1255ET): Italy reported 3,047 new cases of coronavirus and 433 new deaths over the last 24 hours on Sunday afternoon, yet another notable lowdown in deaths that will help the government led by PM Giuseppe Conte make the case that its decision to start slowly lifting the lockdown is working out.

The new numbers have brought the Italian total to 178,972 cases, and 23,660 deaths.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s latest round of figures out of NY show what’s contributing to the continued drop in hospitalizations and ICU intubations.

And finally, the arch of new cases and deaths….

Before we go, here’s an updated map comparing the arc of outbreaks in different states and different countries.

We’ll have more to come shortly.

*     *      *

Update (1225ET): Andrew Cuomo kicked off his slightly-delayed Sunday morning press briefing by announcing that the state recorded only 507 COVID-19-related deaths during the past 24 hours, the lowest single-day reading since April 6.

Elsewhere, while new cases in Singapore soared, France saw its latest daily death toll shrink to its slowest level in three weeks, the latest optimistic headline out of Europe.

As Cuomo continued on, he insisted that, after more than a week of mostly encouraging numbers, “we believe NY is past the peak and we are now descending the other side of the mountain.”

So, the US is finally joining Europe at the top of the “downward slope” – for round one, at least.

Regardless, even the best-case scenario for the US calls for another six weeks of “la quarantena”. And Italy, Spain and France are, realistically, not that much further ahead, despite governments in both countries taking the first tentative steps toward reopening.

*       *        *

One day after Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez announced plans to extend what is about to become a strict, six-week-long countrywide lockdown until May 9, health authorities declared another drop in the rate of new COVID-19 cases and deaths, while also reporting an encouraging drop in patients in severe condition, suggesting that the country’s dramatic efforts have worked – even if doubts remain about the accuracy of the government’s figures.

Of particular concern to lawmakers, particularly members of the Spanish opposition, are the numbers of deaths that have occurred in nursing homes and other private facilities that are especially susceptible to the virus, and whether or not they are accurate, or even whether the government is deliberately trying to obscure the death toll to keep the mortality rate, an already outrageous 10%, from climbing even higher.

To be sure, many experts suspect these double-digit mortality rates seen in Spain, but also in other countries including Italy and the UK, are a sign that the virus is much more widespread than official tallies reflect. The countries with the most thorough testing – countries like Germany and South Korea – have kept their mortality rates at a fraction of 1%, which is certainly encouraging. In the US, the mortality rate has been pretty steady, though it ticked up to ~5% this week.

As the debate over accurate accounting rages in Spain, Sanchez asked parliament during a televised address last night to pass a plan to extend the lockdown but begin easing some of the more-strict measures like one requiring children to remain in the house. The PM hopes to have them playing outside again by the end of the month.

Now, to conveniently support his argument for why Parliament should support his plan, the health ministry has reported its lowest single-day death toll in a month.

Things were also looking fairly rosy in the UK, which reported another 596 hospital deaths, a drop of nearly 300 from yesterday’s tally.

Elsewhere, in Russia, President Vladimir Putin is being forced to reckon with the reality that SARS-CoV-2 has penetrated Russian society to a much deeper extent than had been previously believed. The rate with which new cases are being reported continued to accelerate on Sunday, as health officials counted 6,060 new cases over the past 24 hours, another record count. The 16% jump brought the country’s total to 42,853. Meanwhile, a total of 361 people have died from the virus. President Vladimir Putin has warned that the outbreak is not yet close to peaking, even after imposing a national lockdown last month.

“This year, [Easter] is being celebrated amid forced restrictions,” Putin said on Sunday, which is the traditional Easter celebration day for all Orthodox Christian churches, like the Greeks and the Russians, among others.

“These are essential in fighting the spread of the disease,” Putin said about the government’s lockdowns and social-distancing guidelines.

Signs of real progress in Europe and the US (not to mention South Korea and a handful of other countries that acted aggressively and achieved outstanding results) have helped ease the sense of terror brought about by a lingering uncertainty: As Gov Cuomo put it, America now knows for sure that these measures – social distancing and lockdowns – have been working to contain the virus.

The question now is ‘to what degree?’, and will we risk a serious relapse if America starts reopening in the next few weeks? However, with Japan enduring a sudden and surprisingly harsh resurgence, and even China doing its level-best to tamp down any reports of new clusters discovered since “the Great Reopening” began, more countries are starting to second-guess their decisions, and on Sunday, South Korea decided to extend its ‘social distancing’ campaigns – just in case.

News this morning about a Hormel-owned food processing plant shutting down are raising fears that, should the lockdown drag on for much longer inside the US, the tears at the social fabric might start to widen.

And as Trump’s critics continue to deride reports about the virus potentially having leaked from a bio-lab, Australia on Sunday called for an “independent, international inquiry” into the origins of the coronavirus in Wuhan, and officials even signaled that the country’s relationship with China – which has helped fuel Australia’s 3-decade economic boom, an expansion virtually unrivaled in modern times – “will change”. And it doesn’t sound likely that they’ll be changing for the better.

More alarming even than Russia and China, however, is Singapore. The city-state won plaudits for containing the coronavirus early on with strict contact-tracing protocols that required contacts to be identified within 2 hours. But for some inexplicable reason, the densely populated city saw its total case count grow by 160% over the past week, with officials reporting hundreds of new infections on Friday and over the weekend, a revelation that is simply staggering in light of the strict lockdown measures that the country is currently under. The country reported a jump of almost 1k new cases on Saturday, as we noted at the time, with most of the new cases tied to packed migrant-worker apartments that are basically like college dorms.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 04/19/2020 – 20:36 Original source:

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