Japan PM Abe: Current situation does not call for state of emergency declaration

Comments by Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe

  • Coronavirus cases are rising, government is watching closely
It is clear that the virus situation across the country is not getting any better as the curve is steepening as the days go by. Japan reported a single day record of 980 new virus cases yesterday, with infections also picking up outside of Tokyo.
Osaka is reported to find 149 new cases today and that would be the daily record for the prefecture, with Tokyo having found another 260 new cases as reported earlier.
As much as the government insists that things are “under control”, you have to wonder where will they draw the line and say that they have made a mess of the situation.
Eventually, the fear of the virus spread in itself will take a toll on the economy – as much as the government wants to keep business activity running for as long as they can afford to. Unfortunately, that comes at the costs of people’s health and well being, and at worst lives.

Coronavirus – Some Remdesivir news crossing – FDA warns on reduced effectiveness

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning about a newly discovered potential drug interaction related to the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir

  • Based on a recently completed non-clinical laboratory study, the FDA is revising the fact sheet for health care providers that accompanies the drug to state that co-administration of remdesivir and chloroquine phosphate or hydroxychloroquine sulfate is not recommended as it may result in reduced antiviral activity of remdesivir.
ps. I am not a pharmaceutical PhD (yet 😀 ) so just passing this along, K? Report via Market Watch
Hopes are high for Remdesivir, which has received emergency use authorization for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with severe disease.

WHO chief scientist: No evidence that any drug reducing mortality of patients

Runs counter to the implied talking points from Pres. Trump

The WHO chief scientists is on the wires saying that:
  • No evidence that any drug reducing mortality of patients that have Covid 19.
He adds nevertheless that:
  • experts advise the continuation of all forms of the solid parity trial including hydroxychloroquine srm
  • No reason to modify clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine in Covid 19
There has been some leakage to the downside in the US stock indices of the last few minutes. The NASDAQ index is currently trading at 9649 after trading is highs 9678.77. The S&P index is trading at 3114.66 vs. a high of 3119.95.
Other Covid 19 news headlines.
UK’s Johnson says:

  • the air quarters only to be considered when it is a safe
  • no one is safe until we all are safe from the virus
  • urges people to not move outdoor gatherings indoors if it rains
  • there could be a 2nd wave of virus across the world
  • the UK chief science advisor adds have to tread cautiously in lifting UK lockdown
in Italy, PM Conte is saying:
  • facts show that virus has disappeared
  • virus reconstruction is the time for long-delayed reforms
  • government working to speed up 8 payments
Italy reports 321 new coronavirus cases vs. 318 on Tuesday. The death toll rose by 71 vs. 55 on Tuesday
New York said that the cases rose by 0.3% vs. the 7 day average of 0.4%.
Finally New Jersey’s governor Murphy is out saying:
  • deaths reach 11,880 and cases reach 162,068
  • he urges protesters to keep distance and wear masks during George Floyd demonstrations.
  • At least 6 demonstrations today in New Jersey

Coronavirus – US researchers have forecast the death toll to nearly double

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is used by the White House

  • has forecast a very sharp increase from its last estimate in mid-April
  • due to rising mobility and the easing of social distancing measures in 31 states by May 11.
  • revised forecast death toll to 135,000
  • 3,000 to die each day by the end of May
Sad news indeed.
Pic is from an earlier Trump info session when the forecast had 100k as the minimum,
The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is used by the White House

Links……..For U

Staying Safe:

• 24 Hours at the Epicenter of the Coronavirus Pandemic: Doctors, nurses, a congressman, workers in deserted museums and theatres, men on early release from Rikers, and the newly unemployed strained to keep New York City, and themselves, going. (New Yorker)
• What if immunity to covid-19 doesn’t last? (MIT Technology Review)
• ‘Frostbite’ toes and other peculiar rashes may be signs of hidden coronavirus infection, especially in the young (Washington Post)
• We have to wake up: factory farms are breeding grounds for pandemics (The Guardian)

Aid and assistance:

• COVID Tests Are Free, Except When They’re Not (Kaiser Health News)
• Useful table of extended state tax filing deadlines  (Tax Foundation)
• Figuring Out Your Personal Finances Together (Wall Street Journal)

Staying Sane WFH:

• Signs You May Be Burning Out—and What to Do About It (Businessweek)
• “It Is Harrowing. It Is Daunting. It Is Overwhelming”: The Mental Toll of Coronavirus Is Crushing Medical Workers (Vanity Fair)
• Which epidemiologist do you believe? (UnHerd)
• Yuval Noah Harari: ‘Will coronavirus change our attitudes to death? Quite the opposite’ (The Guardian)

Vaccine & Treatment Updates:

• In Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine, an Oxford Group Leaps Ahead (New York Times)
• Some Countries Are Squashing the Coronavirus Curve. Vietnam Is One. (Wall Street Journal)
• Three potential coronavirus vaccines moving ahead in tests (Los Angeles Times)
• When will we get the Covid-19 vaccine? (UnHerdsee also How Long Will a Vaccine Really Take? (New York Times)
• UCSF team has discovered drugs that block coronavirus, paving way for ‘a better drug sooner’ (San Francisco Chronicle)
• The Secret Group of Scientists and Billionaires Pushing a Manhattan Project for Covid-19 (Wall Street Journal)

Resolving the Crisis:

• Dogs are being trained to sniff out coronavirus cases (Washington Post)
• Could contact tracing bring the US out of lockdown? (Vox)
• LA Becomes The First Major City In The US To Offer Free Testing To Every Resident, Even Those With No Symptoms (LAist)
• Why America’s coronavirus testing problem is still so difficult to solve (Vox)
• No Testing, No Treatment, No Herd Immunity, No Easy Way Out (The Atlantic)
• Poop may tell us when the coronavirus lockdown will end (LA Times)
• We Cannot “Reopen” America: The source of the economic shock is not government orders. It’s the pandemic. (The Bulwark)
• Reopening Plans Across U.S. Are Creating Confusing Patchwork (New York Times)


• What will cities look like once the lockdown lifts? (King’s College London)
• Five Ways the U.S. Military Will Change After the Pandemic (War on the Rocks)
• Will Travel Change After Coronavirus? Here’s What Experts Have to Say (Travel & Leisure)
• The Office You Left Is Not Going to Be the Office You Return To (Bloomberg)
• One Rich N.Y. Hospital Got Warren Buffett’s Help. This One Got Duct Tape. (New York Times)
• Covid-19’s future: small outbreaks, monster wave, or ongoing crisis (Stat)
• What the Coronavirus Crisis Reveals About American Medicine (New Yorker)
• The Immunity of the Tech Giants: When the pandemic is over, we most certainly should fear the industry more than ever (New York Times)

6 companies working on vaccines against COVID-19

A closer look at the companies developing vaccines to combat COVID-19

According to many experts in the healthcare sphere, the spreading of COVID-19 over the world has not reached its peak, and we do not have a vaccine against this disease yet.

Currently, the first place in terms of the number of diseased among countries is taken by the USA. China, though it was the source of the infection, has managed to stop its spreading, so now it occupies the third place in terms of the number of the sick.

Note that stopping the spreading of the virus is not the same as learning to cure people of it. There is no vaccine yet, and now it is very important to mark time until we get the vaccine. Hence, quarantine is the only way of fighting the virus.

Pharmaceutical companies have long started inventing a vaccine against the enemy; however, before it gets to the market, it has to pass all the stages of trials. As long as the WHO has announced a pandemics, the number of the stages is decreased.

For example, in normal conditions, pre-clinical testing (when the drug is tested on animals) takes 1 to 2 years, but in the present circumstances, this stage takes 1-2 months. The permission to sell the drug usually takes 4 years to receive, but this time the company may only need 4 months to get it.

In this article, we will discuss what companies are closer to the final stage of testing than others. The stocks of such companies will attract the most vivid attention of investors because the demand for the vaccine will exceed its production power, which means the company will make a maximum profit selling it.

Testing drugs (more…)

UK – Intensive care for coronavirus limited to those “reasonably certain” to survive

UK Telegraph on a statement from a major NHS London trust has conceded

  • A department head at Imperial College Healthcare
  • Intensive care for coronavirus patients is now being limited to those “reasonably certain” to survive
  • because so many serious cases require a fortnight on the machines
Tele is gated, but if you can access, link 

This dreadful development comes as not surprise. ‘Triage’ conditions have been in place across Europe, China and elsewhere.

UK Telegraph on a statement from a major NHS London trust has conceded

Trump drops idea of New York lockdown as U.S. death count crosses 2,000

President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he would issue a travel warning for the hard-hit New York area to limit the spread of the coronavirus, backing off from an earlier suggestion that he might try to cut off the region entirely.

“A quarantine will not be necessary,” he said on Twitter.

Trump’s announcement came as the U.S. death count crossed 2,100, more than double the level from two days ago. The United States has now recorded more than 122,000 cases of the respiratory virus, the most of any country in the world.

Since the virus first appeared in the United States in late January, Trump has vacillated between playing down the risks of infection and urging Americans to take steps to slow its spread.

Trump said on Saturday afternoon that he might impose a ban on travel in and out of New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, the U.S. epicenter of the disease, to protect other states that have yet to bear the brunt. He offered few specifics.

Critics promptly called the idea unworkable, saying it would cause chaos in a region that serves as the economic engine of the eastern United States, accounting for 10 percent of the population and 12 percent of GDP. (more…)

China says the coronavirus vaccine to be submitted for clinical trials around late April

China Vice Technology Minister Xu says that the fastest a coronavirus vaccine to be submitted for clinical trials will be around late April

So, good news and bad news in that.
ps. China’s Global Times have now reported on that outbreak at a prison with 200+ cases reported.
  • Rencheng Prison
  • located in Jining City, Shandong Province
  • 207 new confirmed cases

PBOC says that stock market plunge today is due to some irrational factors

Says that impact from the virus outbreak on China’s economy is temporary

  • Stock market plunge also due to panic triggered by ‘herd effect’
  • Virus outbreak will not change China’s long-term economic fundamentals
  • Economic development still has positive factors and shows strong resilience
Chinese authorities have been offering a lot of reassurances during the course of the day and I reckon this rhetoric could be one that keeps up for the rest of the week as they try to inject some calm into markets today.
For some context, the drop in the Chinese equities today is the most since 2015 and the Shanghai Composite recorded its 6th largest % decline since 2000:
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