Global deaths surpass 700,000; Vietnam reports further rise of infections – CNBC

Wed, Aug 5 20207:48 AM EDT

A woman leaves a cosmetics store in Hanoi, Vietnam on July 6, 2020.

Nhac Nguyen | AFP | Getty Images

Vietnam's health ministry reported a further 41 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, according to Reuters, taking the country's total number of infections up to 713.

Almost all of the new cases were linked to the central tourism hot spot of Danang, where on July 25 the Southeast Asian country detected its first locally transmitted infections in more than three months.

To date, eight people in Vietnam have died as a result of the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Sam Meredith

Wed, Aug 5 20207:28 AM EDT

More than 700,000 people have now died as a result of the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

To date, over 18.5 million Covid-19 infections have been reported worldwide, with 701,085 related fatalities.

The U.S., which has recorded the world's worst virus outbreak, has reported more than 156,000 deaths, with Brazil accounting for over 95,000 and Mexico third-highest with 48,000. Sam Meredith

Wed, Aug 5 20203:44 AM EDT

Students wearing face masks wait in line to have body temperatures checked at entrance of a school on June 15, 2020 in Hong Kong, China.

Hong Fan | China News Service | Getty Images

Some countries may choose to reopen schools because closures are "disruptive" and don't help "that much" in terms of slowing the spread of the coronavirus, said Benjamin Cowling, a professor from The University of Hong Kong's School of Public Health.

Cowling acknowledged there are arguments for and against reopening educational institutions. "The pros are that children get their education, the parents don't need to stay home and look after them. It helps society, helps the economy," he told CNBC on Wednesday. But that poses a risk to the teachers, especially the older adults with underlying conditions.

"We have to come up with a list of measures that are sustainable for the next six months, including some social distancing measures," he said. "I'm not sure that school closures has that much effect on Covid transmission. At the same time, it's a very disruptive measure."

"Maybe some places in the world will choose to reopen schools for those reasons because it doesn't help that much and is very a costly intervention for society," Cowling said. Abigail Ng

Wed, Aug 5 202012:46 AM EDT

A graphic is seen showing the areas of Melbourne that will be required to go into lock down as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews speak to the media on July 07, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.

Darrian Traynor | Getty Images

The state of Victoria in Australia recorded a record high of 725 new cases on Wednesday as it prepared to shut much of its economy to contain a second wave of infection.

Victoria state, the second-most populous in Australia, also reported a record daily death toll of 15, local media reported.

The state government in Victoria has imposed a night curfew and tightened movement restrictions in greater Melbourne on Sunday. It also ordered most businesses to close from Wednesday night.

Victoria accounts for nearly two-thirds of Australia's 19,500 cases, according to Reuters. Huileng Tan

Tue, Aug 4 20206:38 PM EDT

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced he would extend the state's phase two reopening, including a statewide mask mandate, for at least another 21 days, according to a press release from his office.

Bars in the state can only operate for curbside takeout or delivery servicesand crowds can't grow to more than 50 people, according to the order.The state first moved into phase two reopening in the beginning of June.

According to a White House report Monday, Louisiana is in the red zone for cases, indicating more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week, Edwards said in a statement.

"We may be seeing fewer new cases but there still is a lot of Covid statewide. We now have ticked above 50,000 active confirmed cases, which means there is more Covid in our state than ever before. We need deeper, sustained gains," Edwards said in a statement. Noah Higgins-Dunn

Tue, Aug 4 20206:27 PM EDT

Novavax announced its potential vaccine to prevent Covid-19 generated a promising immune response in an early-stage clinical trial.

The phase one trial included 131 healthy participants between ages 18 and 59 at two sites in Australia.The vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies, which researchers believe is necessary to build immunity to the virus, and killer T-cells, the company said.

Novavax said the vaccine was well tolerated with no serious adverse events reported. Most patients reported tenderness and pain at the injection site after the first dose, with some patients also reporting headaches, fatigue or muscle aches. Only one participant in the trial experienced a mild fever after a second dose, the company said.Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Tue, Aug 4 20205:06 PM EDT

American Airlinesis offering its pilots leaves of absence of up to three years as well as alternating schedules and other options, the latest attempt to reduce the chances of involuntary cuts to its pilot ranks.

American last month warned 25,000 employeesthat their jobs are at risk when federal aid terms expire on Oct. 1. That number included about 2,500 pilots at the carrier, around 17% of its total. American and its competitors including United, Delta and Southwesthave offered voluntary options to try to limit or eliminate the need for forced job cuts.

In addition to leaves of absence, American also offered pilots schedules that would alternate between paid and unpaid months, when they wouldn't fly. It is also offering early retirements to pilots with 10 or more years of seniority.Leslie Josephs

Tue, Aug 4 20204:26 PM EDT

Residents of Imperial County, California, line up in front of a bookkeeping shop in Calexico to fill out unemployment claim forms.

Mario Tama | Getty Images News | Getty Images

California is underreporting its single-day increases in positive coronavirus cases due to issueswith its electronic laboratory reporting system, the California Department of Public Health said in an issued warning. California reported a drop in additional cases on Sunday to 5,739 and an even steeper drop to 4,526 on Monday, the lowest level the state has reported since the end of May, according to the department's data dashboard.

While the warning doesn't disclose how many days have been affected by the under reporting or by how many cases, it draws into question the accuracy of Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement Monday indicating the state was seeing "early good signs" due to a drop in its positivity rate, or the percentage of tests that come back positive.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services, said during a press briefing that the agency is "working hard and immediately to reach out to the labs that we work with to get accurate information." He said the reporting delay would "absolutely" impact the state's seven-day positivity rate and the state will continue to update the rate on a daily basis.Noah Higgins-Dunn

Tue, Aug 4 20203:13 PM EDT

World number two Raphael Nadal is pulling out of the U.S. Open after citing concerns over coronavirus.

The U.S. Open defending champion told fans on Twitter: "After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year's US Open. The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don't have control of it."

He added: "All my respects to the USTA, the US Open organisers and the ATP for trying to put the event together for the players and the fans around the world through TV."

Nadal said, "This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel." The U.S. Open is scheduled to take place later this month.Riya Bhattacharjee

Tue, Aug 4 20202:48 PM EDT

Flu-shot manufacturers said they plan to ship a record number of almost 200 million vaccine doses to the U.S. as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, CNBC's Meg Tirrell and Harriet Taylor report. This would be up almost 15% from last season.

"Though we don't yet have a vaccine for Covid, we do have a tool to prevent influenza," said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Fewer than half of American adults and around 60% of children receive the flu shot each year, according to CDC data. Public health experts hope to increase the amount this year to lessen how many people will rely on hospital beds and ventilators.

While public health experts said it's possible we will have a less severe flu season because of coronavirus precautions like masks and social distancing, experts also said it could potentially be detrimental if patients have both the flu and coronavirus at the same time. Suzanne Blake

Tue, Aug 4 20202:41 PM EDT

Dr. Oxiris Barbot, New York City's top health official who led the city's response to its coronavirus outbreak, has resigned from her post as commissioner of the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Her resignation comesafter months of discord with the mayor's office and the city's police department.She will be replaced by Dr. Dave Chokshi as commissioner, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at a press briefing.

Tensions between Barbot and de Blasio were reported in May when the mayor gave the city's contact tracing program, a key tool used to track down and isolate positive cases and contain the virus' spread, to the city's public hospital system rather than the health department.

"As I shared with the Mayor, your world-class skills are what make this agency so respected around the globe. Your experience and guidance have been the beacon leading this city through this historic pandemic and that to successfully brace against the inevitable second wave, your talents must be better leveraged alongside that of our sister agencies," Barbot wrote in a statement to the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene employees. Noah Higgins-Dunn

Tue, Aug 4 20202:25 PM EDT

Comcast-owned NBCUniversal began a round of long-expected layoffs. The cuts come as the company has grappled with the impact of coronavirus closures and is in the midst of shifting its media strategy to be more focused on streaming.

The subsidiary has 35,000 full-time employees, and reductions are expected to affect less than 10% of that staff.

Cuts at the parks are tied to the coronavirus pandemic, while layoffs at the other entertainment divisions, which include broadcast networks and cable channels, are related to the reorganization of its business.Sarah Whitten

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

Tue, Aug 4 20202:09 PM EDT

Uber will let office employees work remotely through June, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees.The move isn't mandated, so workers are allowed to return to offices if they open before then.

Uber joinsGooglein extending its remote-work timeline through next June.

Most tech companies have either announced the bulk of employees can work from home until the end of 2020, or haven't finalized a date. But Uber's and Google's delays could be the start of more companies shifting their return date even later as Covid-19 cases continue to spread across the U.S. Jessica Bursztynsky

Tue, Aug 4 202012:43 PM EDT

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) speaks to reporters during a news conference on Democrats' demand for an extension of eviction protections in the next coronavirus disease (Covid-19) aid bill on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 22, 2020.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Days after extra unemployment benefits and a federal eviction moratorium expired, Congress is struggling to find common ground on a fifth coronavirus relief bill.

Democratic leaders and Trump administration officials are set to meet Tuesday to hash out differences in goals for an aid package. The negotiators have talked during much of the last eight days, but have made little tangible progress.

The sides have moved toward agreement on issues including direct payments to Americans and loans to small businesses. They remain far apart on how to structure extension of the lapsed $600-per-week unemployment insurance boost, along with aid to state and local governments, and assistance for food, rent and mortgages.

It looks unlikely Congress will strike a deal this week. Still, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said, "We're finally moving in the right direction."Jacob Pramuk

Tue, Aug 4 20202:25 PM EDT

Comcast-owned NBCUniversal began a round of long-expected layoffs. The cuts come as the company has grappled with the impact of coronavirus closures and is in the midst of shifting its media strategy to be more focused on streaming.

The subsidiary has 35,000 full-time employees, and reductions are expected to affect less than 10% of that staff.

Cuts at the parks are tied to the coronavirus pandemic, while layoffs at the other entertainment divisions, which include broadcast networks and cable channels, are related to the reorganization of its business.Sarah Whitten

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

Tue, Aug 4 202011:42 AM EDT

The National Institutes of Health is starting two trials for an experimental antibody drug to see if it can work as a safe and effective treatment in Covid-19 patients.

The trials, called ACTIV-2 and ACTIV-3, will look atEli Lilly's experimental treatment known as LY-CoV555, which is being developed in partnership with Canadian biotech AbCellera. The first trial will test the treatment on people with mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms who have not been hospitalized, while the second trial will look at patients who have been hospitalized.

The announcement comes a day after Eli Lilly said it began phase three trial testing to see whether the treatment can prevent the spread of coronavirus in residents and staff at nursing homes. Eli Lilly's drug is part of a class of treatments known as monoclonal antibodies, which are made to act as immune cells.Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

Tue, Aug 4 202011:38 AM EDT

Google debutednew features for the Google Assistant that should help families who are learning from home due to the continued spread of the coronavirus.

One new option is called Family Bell, and it can be used to remind you when your at-home school day starts, when a virtual class begins or when it's time for homework. All you have to do is say, "Hey Google, create a family bell," from your iPhone, Android phone, Google Nest Hub or a Google Nest smart speaker.

Google is also expanding its broadcast option, now letting you call specific rooms sort of like an in-home intercom instead of all Google smart devices at once. And, if you own a Google Home Hub, you can say "Hey Google, start the school day" and it will start playing school background noises, like the sounds of students shuffling through lockers.Todd Haselton

Tue, Aug 4 20209:50 AM EDT

Booking.com will layoff up to 25% of its global workforceas the pandemic continues to hinder travel demand.Booking Holdings, Booking.com's parent company, will finalize its plans and tell affected employees starting in September, according to a filing.

Booking Holdings is also the parent company of other online travel companies like Kayak and Priceline, but the layoffs will only affect Booking.com. Booking.com itself employs over 17,000 employees, a company spokeswoman told CNBC.

"The Covid-19 crisis has devastated the travel industry, and we continue to feel the impact as travel volumes remain significantly reduced," the spokeswoman said. "While we have done much to save as many jobs as possible, we believe we must restructure our organization to match our expectation of the future of travel."

Shares of Booking Holdings were down less than a percent in early trading. The company's shares are down 19.65% percent year to date.Jessica Bursztynsky

Tue, Aug 4 20209:33 AM EDT

U.S. stocks openedslightly loweras lawmakers struggle to make inroads on a new coronavirus stimulus package, reports CNBC's Fred Imbert.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22 points, or 0.1%. The S&P 500 dipped 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite was down less than 0.1%.Melodie Warner

Tue, Aug 4 20209:24 AM EDT

The Radio City Rockettes perform onstage during the Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Steven Ferdman | Getty Images

Madison Square Garden Entertainment announced the annual Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes has been canceled for 2020 because of the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are disappointed for everyone involved with the show, as well as for the many fans who make the Christmas Spectacular a cherished part of their holiday tradition," the entertainment company said in a statement.

The 90-minute holiday show was scheduled to run November 6 through January 3. First performed in 1933, the Christmas Spectacular includes more than 140 performers.

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Global deaths surpass 700,000; Vietnam reports further rise of infections - CNBC

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