The number of U.S. cases of COVID-19 approached 3 million Wednesday, and Florida’s intensive care units are filling up, as the United States counted a record number of new cases of the deadly disease in a single day, a sign that the virus is far from being contained.

Data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University show that 60,000 new cases were recorded Tuesday, with Texas alone accounting for more than 10,000 new infections. At least 52 intensive care units in Florida said they reached capacity Tuesday, according to the Washington Post. Seventeen other hospitals said their regular beds were also full, the paper said.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told reporters at a briefing that the state has “abundant capacity,” and reiterated that many of the new cases are younger people who are less likely to die. While the number of cases in the United States continues to rise, the death rate is declining, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it is a “false story” to focus on that one data point and warned Americans that there are “many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus”

At a Facebook Live event, Fauci said the lower mortality rate reflects improved treatment, especially for patients with more severe forms of the disease, and the increase in the case of young people. But young people, too, can have horrendous symptoms and suffer long-term effects.

A group of British neurologists released details Wednesday of more than 40 COVID-19 patients who suffered complications of the disease, including brain damage, including brain inflammation, delirium/psychosis and stroke.

“The high incidence of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, especially with hemorrhagic changes, is striking,” neurologists wrote in a study published in the medical journal Brain. “This complication was not related to the severity of COVID-19 respiratory disease.”

Other recovered COVID-19 patients experienced symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, numbness, loss of taste and smell, memory problems and even paranoia.

“The mortality rate is admittedly lower, because young people are generally healthier,” said Mr Fauci. “But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t get seriously ill.”

The news that the United States has informed the World Health Organization of its decision to leave the agency next year has drawn much criticism in the midst of the pandemic. Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic challenger in the November presidential race, said he would return the United States to the international body if elected.

See now: In the midst of a pandemic, the United States officially withdraws from the World Health Organization

“Americans are safer when America is committed to strengthening global health,” Biden tweeted. “On my first day as president, I will join the @WHO and restore our leadership on the world stage.”

Others deplored the fact that it was certain to undermine the very entity responsible for leading the development of vaccines and the testing of drugs to combat the virus.

“Calling Trump’s response to COVID chaotic and inconsistent does not do him justice,” said New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “It will not protect American lives or American interests – it leaves Americans sick and America alone.”

Trump and Biden take different approaches to coronavirus outbreaks

See now Here’s how the U.S. could save 45,000 people from dying from VIDOC-19 by November

Latest figures

There are now 11.9 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide and at least 544,996 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. At least 6.5 million people have recovered.

The number of deaths in the U.S. reached 131,521, the highest in the world.

In the U.S., infections have increased in 38 states and regions over the past 14 days, with the U.S. Virgin Islands, Montana and Idaho leading the way.

Brazil is the second country after the United States, with 1.67 million cases and 66,741 deaths. President Jair Bolsanaro tested positive for VIDOC-19 on Tuesday.

India comes third with 742,417 cases, followed by Russia with 699,749 cases and Peru with 309,278 cases.

The United Kingdom has 44,476 deaths, the highest number of deaths in Europe and the third highest in the world.

China, where the disease was first reported late last year, has 84,917 cases and 4,641 deaths.

See : Serbs storm parliament after announcement of new coronavirus lockdown

What’s the latest medical news?

Becton Dickinson & Co.
BDX
,+0.87


will receive $42 million from the U.S. government to expand its capacity to manufacture vaccine injection devices for use during the pandemic, as Jaimy Lee of MarketWatch said.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority provided the funding under “Operation Warp Speed,” a Trump administration program aimed at having 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine available in January.

BD, which claims to be the world’s largest manufacturer of injection devices, said the total cost of the investment project is $70 million.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.
WBA
,+0.20%


will take a 30% equity stake in Village® as part of its plan to open 700 Village® primary care practices at Walgreens sites. Walgreens, which is expected to announce earnings on Thursday, said it will invest $1 billion in equity and convertible debt in the privately owned Village® over three years, including $250 million in equity.

This decision is part of a trend in which pharmacy chains, including CVS Health Corp.
CVS
,-1.50


have invested in primary care services in recent years. Walmart Inc.
WMT
,-0.44


is another example; the retail giant has opened health centres in its stores, starting in 2019.

What do the companies say?

Brooks Brothers, the famous manufacturer of men’s suits, became the latest victim of the pandemic when it filed for bankruptcy early Wednesday, as reported in the Wall Street Journal

The company, owned by Italian businessman Claudio Del Vecchio, was one of the few brands to manufacture clothing domestically, and warned in June that it could close its three US factories. It operates about 250 stores in North America.

The company was already being questioned before VIDOC-19 came along, as companies had adopted stricter requirements for casual wear and fewer men were buying traditional costumes. With orders for household clothing, people were resorting to even more casual styles of clothing, such as sweatpants and T-shirts.

The company joins the ranks of Neiman Marcus, J.Crew Group Inc. and J.C. Penney, all of which went bankrupt during the pandemic.

Denim jeans manufacturer Levi Strauss & Co.
LEVI
,-8.74


announced 700 job cuts, or 15% of his non-trading and non-manufacturing jobs, in 2020. The company recorded profits, with a loss of $363.5 million, and lower-than-estimated sales, penalized by store closures.

“Although trends appear to be improving sequentially, the final health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic remains highly uncertain,” Levi said in a statement. “The Company expects that its business and operating results, including net revenues, earnings and cash flow, will continue to be significantly impacted at least through 2020, with the possibility of additional COVID-19-related inventory and other charges remaining”

Elsewhere, companies continued to provide advice for the upcoming earnings season, raise capital to strengthen liquidity positions and take stock of the state of their operations.

The following is the latest news about the companies and VIDOCs19 :

– Alcoa Corp.
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provided preliminary results for the second quarter that exceeded analysts’ expectations, citing productivity gains and cost savings in the face of challenges resulting from the pandemic. The company expects net losses to be reduced to $205 to $190 million, or $1.10 to $1.02 per share, compared with a loss of $402 million, or $2.17 per share, a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, the company is forecasting an adjusted loss per share of 8 cents to break even, compared to the FactSet consensus forecast of a loss of 58 cents per share. Revenues are expected to decline to $2.10 to $2.18 billion, down from $2.71 billion a year ago, but above the FactSet consensus of $2.09 billion. Alcoa is forecasting a 5% increase in mine production and a 2% increase in refinery production compared to the first quarter of 2020, and primary aluminum production is expected to increase by 3%. Alcoa stated that it expects cash balances to exceed $950 million, compared to $829 million at March 31.

– AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.
AMC
,

which owns the world’s largest movie theatre chain,

jumped

nearly 14% after hours on Tuesday following a Wall Street Journal report that said the company was close to a restructuring agreement that would avoid bankruptcy in the short term
.
AMC would reject a financing offer from lenders, including Apollo Global Management, in favor of a $200 million financing effort led by the Silver Lake Group, which would be in addition to the $200 million in financing from small bondholders. AMC saw its financial results wiped out as it was forced to close more than 1,000 theatres worldwide due to the pandemic. Its U.S. theatres are now scheduled to reopen on July 30. In June, MAC warned of a net loss of $2.417 billion for the first quarter

– Party City Holdco Inc.
PRTY
, +10.93


announced that its shares were once again in compliance with the listing standards of the New York Stock Exchange. The retailer received a notice of non-compliance on April 9 and regained compliance on June 30.

– Simply Good Foods Co.
SMPL
,
the nutrition bar and ready-to-drink shake company

,

reported earnings and sales for the third fiscal quarter that exceeded expectations and provided an optimistic earnings outlook as the loading of the VID19 pantry at the beginning of the quarter helped drive results

.

The company stated that after increased sales due to early loading of baskets, home containment restrictions weighed on sales until these restrictions began to ease in May and June. For fiscal 2020, the Company is forecasting adjusted EPS of 86 to 90 cents, compared to the FactSet consensus of 79 cents, and expects sales of $790 to $800 million, lower than the current $810.4 million forecast

– Instant Messaging Platform Slack Technologies Inc.
LABOUR
, UP 4.93%


acquired Rimeto, a provider of business directory services, for an undisclosed sum. Rimeto “offers a searchable, enterprise-wide directory, automatically integrating information from across your business to provide rich profiles of individual employees, their skills, experience and current projects,” said Slack. It does not update the guidance for fiscal 2021 provided on June 4, as the acquisition is not expected to have a significant impact on its results.

– Taylor Morrison Home Corp.
TMHC
,+13.18%


reported that June was the strongest month in its history, with a 94% year-on-year increase in net orders for a total of 1,715 and a monthly record of 4.3 sales. “While the economic difficulties caused by COVID-19 were felt mostly in the early part of the quarter, Taylor Morrison ended the second quarter with net sales orders up approximately 23% year-over-year and a sales pace of 2.8,” the company said in a release. Closures were 3,212, a 24% increase over the same period last year. The company’s order backlog for contract homes grew by about 35 per cent to 6,805 homes with a sales value of $3.2 billion at June 30, up from $2.4 billion a year ago. In addition, the company plans to offer $400 million in 10-year bonds, joining the many companies that raised capital during the pandemic. The proceeds of the issue will be used with available cash to repay approximately $222.4 million of its 6.00% senior bonds due 2023 and approximately $277.6 million of its 5.875% senior bonds due 2025.

Link to source

2020-07-09