Business Insider reports on the matter
Adding that German authorities are also mulling loosening lockdown measures a little more but general restrictions should still apply through to the end of the month.
For some context, the current restrictions are set to run through to 7 March but the government and state leaders are to meet later this week (on 3 March) to reach a decision on how to proceed next.
Just take note though that some regions are trying to push forward with easing of restrictions as the lockdown since November is growing more weary by the day. As of this week, hair salons, hardware stores and flower shops are able to open in certain states.
Uptick in cases?
I wrote earlier about the potential for another wave in cases. Today Italy reported 19,866 new cases, which is up from 16,424 a day ago and is the most since January 9.
The US and a few other countries can seemingly plow through high cases and deaths but much of the developed world will shut down again (or stay shut down) if/when cases rise. The vaccine timeline is also longer.
Via Reuters info, citing an unnamed source, and EU official
- AstraZeneca to deliver under 90 mln doses in Q2
- Company had committed to supplying EU with 180 mln doses
- AstraZeneca says it is working to increase productivity
- Says it could make up the shortfall in Q3
- The expected shortfall, which has not previously been reported, follows a big reduction in supplies in the first quarter and could hit the EU’s ability to meet its target of vaccinating 70% of adults by summer.
If this is correct it’ll be a negative for the EUR as recovery on the continent lags other areas of the globe.
Media reporting in past hours that the COVID-19 vaccine stimulated 2/3rds lower levels of neutralising antibodies was reported last week.
Its not fresh news.
This is relevant to the South African variant.
Johns Hopkins data
US President Biden warned weeks ago the toll would eventually rise to 600K
Previous US President Trump outlined other, even worse, scenarios:
WHO chief scientist says
WHO chief scientist Swaminthan says there are now reports of people getting reinfected with new variants of the coronavirus.
Earlier this week, Boris Johnson said we may need to think of covid vaccines as an annual or regular event.
That’s not what anyone wants to hear but the market doesn’t care.
Reuters reports on the matter
The report cites a draft resolution for the meeting between the government and state premiers, and that fits into the timeline as cited by the report from Bild here
For some context, the latest lockdown measures are set to run through to 14 February so the extension is essentially for another month.
Merkel will be meeting with state premiers later today to decide on that.
The death count is still a little worrying but cases continue to level off below 10,000 so that is some good news
This is the fourth consecutive day that new cases is seen below 10,000 – the first time since October last year – so that is somewhat encouraging. Total active cases across the country eases further to ~164,300 and that is the lowest since 31 October.
Should things continue down this path, hospitalisations and deaths should also eventually trend lower but there will be a bit of a lag time to ease the burden on medical capacity.
As of yesterday, there were 3,846 (-111) virus patients requiring intensive care with there being 4,616 (17%) intensive care beds still available.
Despite the virus situation showing improvement, reports
yesterday suggest that the government may only slowly and gradually lift restrictions due to fears of possible virus variants/mutations spreading across the country.
There is a small bent towards risk aversion in early trading and I suspect it will worsen on a report
that the Oxford/AstraZeneca is not effective against preventing mild to moderate infections of the South African variant of covid-19.
A soon-to-be published study of 2026 mostly healthy and young people showed it did not appear to offer protection (update: it’s now confirmed). None were hospitalized or died but the study says it’s too early to draw any conclusions about severe cases.
Earlier reports from Johnson & Johnson and Novavax also warned their vaccines were less effective against the strain. Studies are ongoing. Another study showed the Moderna vaccine was shown to be significantly less effective against the strain and the company is working on a booster shot and a reformulated vaccine.
In terms of markets, they’ve been able to shrug vaccine setbacks off but we’re coming off the best week for US equities since November so there’s some vulnerability. Commodity currencies are slight lower in (very) early trading.