Denmark Discovers New COVID-19 Strain That Could Complicate Vaccine Effort: Live Updates


  • UK daily deaths near 500
  • NYC hospitals climb
  • Denmark discovers new strain
  • Barry Sternlicht on how COVID impacted US election
  • Global daily cases decline
  • Germany’s “R” rate declines back below “1”
  • BoJo set to push through more restrictions
  • Hungary minister sickened
  • Bulgaria tops 4k COVID cases
  • South Korea confirms another 118 cases
  • Indonesia reports 3,356

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Update (1220ET): As we head into the afternoon, we feel it’s worth resurfacing this interview clip involving Barry Sternlicht and CNBC host Joe Kernan, who discussed the role that COVID played in the election.

Sternlicht said the turnout shows Americans are “over that”. “We’re done, we want to get back to work”, he said, before calling the virus a giant flu that’s mostly impacting the elderly.

In NYC, the total number of people admitted to hospitals with COVID-19-like symptoms jumped to 114 on Nov. 2, a 37% increase over the prior day, which triggered deep concern among the city’s health officials.

British health authorities reported 492 additional deaths from the virus within 28 days of a positive test on Wednesday, the highest daily increase since its second surge in the disease. Meanwhile, MPs on Wednesday approved new measures to control the spread of the disease in England, but Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, said those restrictions will take some time to have an impact.

Finally, Denmark has found a new strain of the virus following an outbreak in the country’s mink population that led to a mutation of the virus that might hamper efforts to develop a vaccine, according to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who said “there is a risk that the effect of a future vaccine will be weakened or, in a worst case scenario, be undermined,” during a virtual press briefing on Wednesday. Her government has passed on the information to the World Health Organization, and now plans to cull Denmark’s entire mink population. According to Kopenhagen Fur, an auction house owned by Denmark’s mink breeders, 16 million animals are raised each year.

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Once again, the number of new cases reported globally declined in the 24 hours to Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins and Bloomberg. But while the rate of spread in Germany dropped back below 1 on Wednesday morning, most of its European neighbors, including the UK, Italy, Sweden, Hungary and the Netherlands have all moved to impose new restrictions this week.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg drew attention to hospitalizations in the US, where Florida is in the lead with 16% of beds filled by COVID-19 patients.

Source: Bloomberg

The biggest story on Wednesday morning was the drop in Germany’s “R” rate, which fell below 1 for the first time since Oct. 30 as the country recorded 7,533 new cases in the 24 hours to Wednesday morning, a decline from more than 17k a day earlier.

In the UK, Boris Johnson is set to push fresh coronavirus lockdown rules through Parliament on Wednesday as he faces down rebels in his own party. The new rules will take effect at midnight, enforcing the closing of pubs, gyms and non-essential shops in England, and restricting social contact between households. The prime minister announced the month-long measures on Saturday after data showed the pandemic exceeding the worst-case projections of his scientific advisers.

Yesterday, the FDA warned about inaccuracies tied to rapid antigen tests like the Abbott Labs test approved for emergency use, saying that the test has been shown to produce ‘incorrect’ positive results.

Here’s more news from overnight and Wednesday morning:

India reported 46,253 new cases, in line with a slowdown in daily infections over the past three weeks. The country reached a peak of more than 97,000 daily cases in mid-September, putting it on track to overtake the U.S., but with the slower rate of new Indian cases and resurgent numbers in America, that now looks unlikely for some time. Still, India has just kicked off its festival season — culminating in Diwali on Nov. 14 — and large-scale celebratory events planned across the country could re-ignite the spread of infection (Source: Bloomberg).

New cases in Bulgaria jumped to a record 4,041 with the number of daily deaths rising to 63. The Balkan country’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, who is recovering at home from the virus himself, has said that the government isn’t planning a nationwide lockdown for now but vowed to raise the wages of medical workers (Source: Bloomberg).

Australia showed more signs of recovery, with household spending surging by a record 6.5% last quarter, led by cafes and clothing and footwear stores as Covid-19 restrictions in much of the country were unwound. The growth was partly restrained by a 4.2% decline in Victoria state, which only released its capital Melbourne from lockdown last week (Source: Bloomberg).

Hungary’s foreign minister has tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Thailand, according to AP. Peter Szijjarto and his delegation had just come from Cambodia, where he met with Prime Minister Hun Sen and other officials on Tuesday. The minister and the Cambodian leader were pictured together maskless. Cambodian officials say the delegation members all tested negative prior to their departure (Source: Nikkei).

Indonesia reports 3,356 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, taking its total number of cases to 421,731, data from the country’s COVID-19 task force shows. There are 113 more deaths, taking total fatalities to 14,259. As of Wednesday, 353,282 people had recovered from the virus in Indonesia, the data showed (Source: Nikkei).

South Korea confirms 118 new coronavirus cases, up from 75 a day ago. The country’s total infections have reached 26,925, with 474 deaths (Source: Nikkei).

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