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World China Lawmakers Get Shots; Rugby Sevens Return: Virus Update

09:36  04 march  2021
09:36  04 march  2021 Source:   bloomberg.com

Bigger squads, more rest at 2023 Rugby World Cup

  Bigger squads, more rest at 2023 Rugby World Cup Teams heading to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France will be allowed bigger squads and will benefit from greater gaps between matches, the organisers announced on Monday. In order to improve player welfare, squads will be expanded from the 31 used in 2019 to 33 while all teams will have a guaranteed five-day break between pool matches which means that tournament will run one week longer than in Japan. The 2023 edition will kick off on September 8 and conclude with the final on October 28.

(Bloomberg) -- An experimental vaccine developed by India’s Bharat Biotech International Ltd. showed 81% efficacy in an interim clinical trial. AstraZeneca Plc’s and Pfizer Inc.’s vaccines protected the elderly after a single dose in a new study that validates giving both shots to older people and spacing out injections.

More than 5,000 of China’s top lawmakers, in Beijing for the National People’s Congress, received Sinopharm’s vaccine. Brazil took a step closer to an aid package and secured a deal for the Pfizer shot.

The U.S. is benefiting from its vaccine supply, averaging 2 million inoculations a day for the first time. And in Germany, officials came to agreement on a plan to gradually unwind restrictions on Europe’s largest economy.

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Key Developments:

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Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on cases and deaths.

Top Chinese Lawmakers Get Vaccinated (2:49 p.m. HK)

More than 5,000 lawmakers and political advisers in Beijing for the annual parliamentary session this month have received doses of the vaccine developed by state-owned Sinopharm, the head of the pharmaceutical giant’s drug distributing unit told local media on Thursday.

A rugby team sang from their balconies during a hotel quarantine to thank staff for taking care of them

  A rugby team sang from their balconies during a hotel quarantine to thank staff for taking care of them Watch this beautiful video of the Kaiviti Silktails, who are currently in Australia to compete in the Ron Massey Cup, a rugby league division.The Kaiviti Silktails, a semi-professional team from Lautoka, are currently in Australia to compete in its first-ever Ron Massey Cup, a rugby league division that sits two levels below the National Rugby League.

China is ramping up inoculation in the capital to avoid a potential virus outbreak among senior leaders and lawmakers at the National People’s Congress.

China has also recently expanded the use of home-developed shots to people 60 and older, and the drug regulator is reviewing newly submitted data from Sinopharm as it weighs whether to distribute the shot to children.

California, Texas, Michigan Change Vaccine Policies (2:35 p.m. HK)

California officials say they’ll dedicate 40% of future vaccines doses to residents in places that have have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by California Public Radio.

Michigan lowered its vaccine eligibility age to 50 from 65 starting March 8 for Michiganders with medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus, with access for everyone over 50 beginning March 22.

Texas opened its inoculation drive to teachers, school staff and licensed childcare providers, effective immediately, according to the state health department.

As China Gray Zone Warfare Escalates, U.S. May Stand to Lose First Shooting Battle

  As China Gray Zone Warfare Escalates, U.S. May Stand to Lose First Shooting Battle "I think China now has adequate forces, including air, missile, electronic warfare, spec ops, naval, undersea and nuclear to likely prevail in the first phase and perhaps in subsequent phases too," Lyle Goldstein of the Naval War College's China Maritime Studies Institute told Newsweek.But one wrong move could lead to catastrophe, or even all-out conflict. And if a shooting battle does break out, there's a solid chance the U.S. could lose the first fight with the People's Liberation Army.

Hong Kong Rugby Sevens to Resume (10:33 a.m. HK)

One of Hong Kong’s biggest social events, the Rugby Sevens, is set for Nov. 5-7, the organizer said in a statement Wednesday.

Typically scheduled in April, the event has been on hold since 2020, when the tournament was canceled for the first time in its 44-year history.

Germany Lays Out Plan for Opening Up (6:56 a.m. HK)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel set out a plan to gradually unwind restrictions on Europe’s largest economy, bowing to pressure from the pandemic-weary public.

After hairdressers resumed operations on Monday, the next step will start on March 8, the German leader said late Wednesday after more than nine hours of tense talks with regional officials.

Remaining restrictions -- including the closure of hotels, restaurants and other non-essential retail outlets -- will continue with further easing steps tied to local contagion rates. An “emergency brake” was set up to react to hot spots.

U.S. Vaccination Pace Hits 2 Million a Day (6:45 a.m. HK)

The U.S. is administering an average of 2.01 million doses a day, the first time it has crossed that threshold, according to the latest analysis from the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.

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  Americans Want Joe Biden to Take on China, but Aren't Sure He Will: Poll The majority of Americans now see China as an enemy or competitor, with less than 10 percent considering Beijing a partner.The Pew Research Center published the results of a new survey on Thursday showing that the majority of Americans now consider China either an enemy or a competitor, and that they expect the new president to put democracy and human rights above any potential economic benefit of cooperation with Beijing.

A surge in make-up doses that were temporarily delayed during the winter storms last month, combined with increasing U.S. vaccine supply, has pushed the seven-day average of doses administered above the 2 million mark.

In total, 80.5 million doses have been given in the U.S., with 1.91 million reported on Wednesday. At least 52.9 million people have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

a person standing in front of a store: Covid State Of Emergency Set To Be Lifted For Six Prefectures Outside Of Tokyo Metropolitan Area © Getty Images via Bloomberg Covid State Of Emergency Set To Be Lifted For Six Prefectures Outside Of Tokyo Metropolitan Area

A closed smoking area due to Covid-19 in Tokyo on Feb. 28.

Photographer: Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

Indian Vaccine Shown to Be 81% Effective (6:10 a.m. HK)

An Indian coronavirus vaccine that generated controversy when it was granted emergency approval before finishing its final stage testing has shown to provide strong protection against Covid-19 in an interim analysis of an advanced clinical trial.

Covaxin, developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd. and the Indian Council of Medical Research, showed an efficacy rate of 81% in those without prior infection after a second dose. That’s better than Bharat Biotech’s guidance last year of around 60% and the country’s benchmark of 50%.

Another Day of Record Deaths in Brazil (4:10 p.m. NY)

Brazil reported record deaths from the coronavirus for a second straight day as the country’s richest state tightens rules to contain the spread. Brazil also said it reached an agreement to buy Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine.

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Deaths rose by 1,910 in last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said, pushing the total to 259,271. Confirmed cases increased by 71,704, to 10,718,630.

Sao Paulo state said all non-essential businesses, such as shops and gyms, will remain shut for two more weeks.

NYC Could Open Vaccines to All by April (3 p.m. NY)

New York City could offer Covid-19 vaccines to all residents by late April, the city’s health commissioner said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg News.

“I would estimate for New York City sometime in, I hope, late April to May, we will have sufficient supply to be able to offer a vaccine to every New Yorker who wants one,” Dave Chokshi, commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said by telephone.

N.Y. Eases More Restrictions (1:52 p.m. NY)

New York state said starting March 22 the outdoor limit on residential gatherings will increase to 25 from 10. Limits for social events will rise from 50 to 100 people indoors and to 200 outdoors. Venues that hold fewer than 10,000 people can open at 33% capacity from April 2, with up to 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors. Social distancing and face coverings are still required for attendance.

Governor Andrew Cuomo also said domestic travelers would not longer be required to quarantine or test-out within 90 days of full vaccination.

Montenegro Turns to Army on Masks (12:50 p.m. NY)

Montenegro, with one of the highest infection rates in Europe, is relying on police and the army to enforce virus restrictions, including mandatory face masks and social distancing, according to a government statement Wednesday.

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The Adriatic state of 650,000 is also curbing intercity travel and suspending non-essential services as a last-ditch attempt to avoid a complete lockdown, Finance Minister Milojko Spajic said in a briefing in the capital city of Podgorica. “The pandemic is also a financial problem, but we cannot chose between health and the economy,” Spajic said.

CDC Urges Texans to Keep Wearing Masks (11:55 a.m. NY)

Federal health officials called on Texas and Mississippi residents to keep wearing masks as governors there lift Covid-19 restrictions, saying it’s premature to abandon mitigation efforts and that the virus can still erupt again.

Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that though cases have halted their decline from January highs, it’s not yet time to lift restrictions.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Tuesday that the state would lift its mask mandate and reopen businesses next week. He also banned counties from fining or jailing people who disregard local measures, in defiance of previous warnings from Walensky and others.

Greece Tightens Restrictions (11:55 a.m. NY)

Greece announced more measures to further restrict movement after recording 2,702 new Covid-19 cases, the highest daily increase since Nov. 19. The number of patients in intensive-care units also rose. Citizens will only be allowed to carry out essential shopping in the municipalities where they live while the use of cars to travel for personal exercise is prohibited, Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said. Measures go into effect March 4 at 6 a.m. The current lockdown in high-risk areas is extended by one week until March 16.

Fake Vaccines Seized in South Africa (10:30 a.m. NY)

South African authorities said they’d seized about 2,400 doses of fake coronavirus vaccines after following up on a global alert issued by Interpol warning that criminal networks were trying to cash in on the inoculation rollout. The bogus shots were found at a warehouse in Germiston, near Johannesburg, and three Chinese nationals and a Zambian national were arrested, the police said in a statement.

At annual political meetings, China lays out its plan to surpass the U.S.

  At annual political meetings, China lays out its plan to surpass the U.S. China approves plans to exert more power over Hong Kong, compete with the U.S. in technology and bolster Mandarin-language education.Delegates to the annual political gatherings known as the "Two Sessions" gave their rubber-stamp approval to the Communist regime's plans to wield greater power over Hong Kong's government, indoctrinate ethnic minorities through political and Mandarin-language instruction, and surpass the U.S. in technology. Government officials and state media repeatedly emphasized how China’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated its superior political system and prefaced an inevitable rise above Western powers.

Rwanda Receives Pfizer Vaccines (10:10 a.m. NY)

Rwanda received 102,000 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses on Wednesday, according to Unicef. It’s the first African nation to receive mRNA vaccines through Covax, the global alliance working to ensure equitable access to vaccines. Rwanda also received 240,000 AstraZeneca/Oxford doses.

Lithuania Eases Restrictions (9:52 a.m. NY)

Lithuania eased some of its lockdown restrictions to allow contacts between two households outdoors, as well as sports or cultural sessions of up to five people outdoors. The government is also introducing a requirement to hold a negative Covid-19 test taken within the previous three days to be eligible for entry to the country.

Vaccines Underestimated for Variants: Citi (8:39 a.m. NY)

A not yet peer-reviewed abstract suggests that messenger-RNA based vaccines may cut severe incidences of the disease against the four most-concerning variants, a Citi analyst said, and that may wipe out the need for future follow-up shots.

“High rates of vaccination could preclude additional waves of Covid-19, potentially without requiring additional booster or novel vaccines to address variants of concern,” Andrew Baum wrote in a research note. The data suggest that T cell responses in recovering patients or mRNA vaccines aren’t substantially affected by mutations, he said.

One Astra, Pfizer Dose Shields the Elderly (6 a.m. NY)

A single shot from AstraZeneca’s or Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccines protected people aged 80 and over from being hospitalized based on data collected in the U.K., supporting the rationale for spacing out injections to protect more people.

Pfizer helped fund the research.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

At annual political meetings, China lays out its plan to surpass the U.S. .
China approves plans to exert more power over Hong Kong, compete with the U.S. in technology and bolster Mandarin-language education.Delegates to the annual political gatherings known as the "Two Sessions" gave their rubber-stamp approval to the Communist regime's plans to wield greater power over Hong Kong's government, indoctrinate ethnic minorities through political and Mandarin-language instruction, and surpass the U.S. in technology. Government officials and state media repeatedly emphasized how China’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated its superior political system and prefaced an inevitable rise above Western powers.

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