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U.Okay. to Ease Other folks Again to Paintings; N.Y. Deaths Sluggish: Virus Replace

(Bloomberg) —

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined a plan to restart economic activity and urged people to go back to work if they can’t do their jobs from home. New York had the fewest coronavirus deaths in six weeks.

Johnson & Johnson plans to make 1 billion vaccines by next year, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said hundreds of thousands of antibody treatments could be ready by summer’s end.

Italy and Germany fatalities were the lowest since March, while Russia posted more than 10,000 new cases for an eighth straight day. Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. had the biggest rise in new cases.

Key Developments:

Virus Tracker: cases top 4 million; deaths exceed 281,000What we don’t know about coronavirus origins might kill usConfidence called key for post-Covid economyEurope faces more slog than snapback in economyChinese city in northeast closed as infections riseMacron humbled as virus forces major rethink in FrancePolitical stardom beckons for South Africa’s virus point man

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus. See this week’s top stories from QuickTake here.

N.Y. to Release Opening Details Monday (3:10 p.m. NY)

New York reported the fewest new deaths — 207 — since the end of March and other indicators began to show the outbreak nearing the level of the starting point for what Governor Andrew Cuomo called “this hellish journey.”

He said he would release on Monday more details on how New York would begin to reopen — and confirmed that some areas upstate may be ready for a slow resumption after the lockdown ends May 15.

Cuomo gave no indication that New York City or the surrounding areas are anywhere near being able to reopen.

Read the full story.

J&J Plans for 1 Billion Vaccines in 2021 (2:30 p.m. NY)

Drug maker Johnson & Johnson will begin clinical trials on a Covid-19 vaccine in September and plans to produce about 1 billion doses in 2021, Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“We are upscaling manufacturing and we start production later in the year,” he said. “We will have some vaccine available this year but it all depends on the authorities, the FDA and others, to decide whether it can be used earlier, before clear efficacy data are available.”

Regeneron Pharmaceutics Inc. President George Yancopoulos said an antibody treatment should go into clinical trials in June, with first data in a month or two. “It might be possible that if all goes well hundreds of thousands of doses of this could be available by the end of the summer,” he said on the same broadcast.

U.K. Outlines Plan to Reopen (2:15 p.m. NY)

Boris Johnson set out the “first careful steps” to lift the U.K.’s lockdown and restart the economy, offering a “conditional plan” to get more people back to work while controlling the virus’s spread.

With no immediate end to the lockdown, the prime minister announced looser restrictions on movement from Wednesday, starting with unlimited outdoor leisure time for sports such as golf and tennis, and allowing people to drive to parks and beaches in England.

Johnson set a goal for primary schools to begin to reopen for some children on June 1, and to restart the hospitality industry and other public places in July. Pubs are likely to stay closed longer. He encouraged commuters to walk, drive or cycle to work rather than ride public transport, where social distancing rules will apply.

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Ireland Deaths Drop, Cases Rise (12:55 p.m. NY)

Ireland reported its fewest deaths since March 30, although the number of new cases rose for a third day. There were 12 more deaths and 226 new cases, the health ministry said in an emailed statement.

The government is due to start easing the national shutdown on May 18. Ireland has seen 1,458 deaths to date, with 22,996 cases.

France Has Fewest Deaths Since mid-March (12:30 P.M. NY)

Deaths in France rose at slowest pace since the nation entered a lockdown on March 16. The number of deaths rose by 70 to 26,380, according to data from France’s public health agency.

Italy Deaths, Cases Lowest Since Early March (12:02 p.m. NY)

Italy registered the lowest number of new cases and fatalities since early March — roughly when the country’s lockdown began — as Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he may take the next step in easing a national lockdown earlier than planned.

Conte, under pressure from coalition allies, regional and business leaders as well as public opinion after two months of containment measures, told newspaper Corriere della Sera that bars, restaurants and barbers could be allowed to reopen before June 1, the date previously set by the government. Shops are due to reopen May 18.

Civil protection authorities reported 802 cases for the 24-hour period — the fewest since March 6 — compared with 1,083 a day earlier. Confirmed cases now total 219,070. Daily fatalities fell to 165 — the fewest since March 9 — from 194 on Saturday, with a total of 30,560.

U.K. Reports Fewest Deaths Since End of March (11:27 a.m. NY)

The U.K. reported the fewest deaths since March 29 at 269. That brings total fatalities to 31,855, according to health department figures on Sunday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make only limited changes to the lockdown when he speaks to the nation.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the new slogan to “stay alert” was “vague and imprecise,” and said her administration would be sticking to its guidance for people to stay at home.

DeWine: Public Confidence Key to Reopen Ohio (10:45 a.m. NY)

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said the public’s confidence will determine when the state can return to more normal activities, even as the state is set to reopen almost all businesses by the end of this week.

“The economy’s not going to open no matter what we do, whatever we order, unless people have confidence,” DeWine said on “Fox News Sunday.”

DeWine, a Republican, said he would veto any legislation that would limit a governor’s power to issue stay-at-home orders for more than two weeks, a proposal being discussed by lawmakers after numerous street protests demanding the state reopen.

Fed’s Kashkari Says ‘Worst’ to Come (10:45 a.m. NY)

The U.S. must brace for even more gut-wrenching news on unemployment and Congress should consider providing more help, said Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari.

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“The worst is yet to come on the job front, unfortunately,” he said on ABC’s “This Week,” after unemployment surged to 14.7% in April as employers cut an unprecedented 20.5 million jobs. “It’s really around 23, 24% of people who are out of work today, and if this is a gradual recovery the way I think it’s going to be, those folks are going to need more help.”

White House Economic Adviser Kevin Hassett on CBS’s “Face the Nation” said unemployment could peak “north of” 20% and that May or June will likely be the trough for the jobs market, with some recovery in the second half, “God willing.”

Iran Quarantines Oil-Rich County (10:12 a.m. NY)

Iran is quarantining part of the oil-rich southwest of the country for the next week, with all main routes into the area closed, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

All banks, offices and businesses in Abadan county, which is home to the Middle East’s oldest oil refinery and the traditional heart of Iran’s energy industry, will be shut, Tasnim said, citing the public affairs office of the county governor.

The country reported 51 deaths and 1,383 new infections in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of fatalities to 6,640 from 107,603 confirmed cases.

Paris Orly Airport May Reopen June 26 (9:56 a.m. NY)

Paris’s Orly airport may reopen June 26, a government minister said, after a shutdown caused by travel restrictions.

The resumption of flights, following the April 1 suspension, would depend on factors including the rate of infections in France, and “harmonized” health measures with other European and Mediterranean countries, Junior Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari told RTL radio on Sunday. The ministry asked airlines to submit flight schedules by June 15, he said.

German Reproduction Rate Back Above One (9 a.m. NY)

Germany’s so-called reproduction factor, which reflects the number of additional cases directly generated by one infected person, is back above one. The number — known as R-naught — increased to 1.1 from 0.89, according to the latest situation report from the country’s public health authority published Saturday evening. R-naught needs to be below 1 to contain the virus spread.

Saudi Arabia Cases Climb (8:51 a.m. NY)

Saudi Arabia reported 1,912 new cases, its biggest one-day increase. The kingdom now has more than 39,000 infections with 246 deaths.

Zambia to Shut Border With Tanzania (8:25 a.m. NY)

Zambia will temporarily shut its border with Tanzania on Monday, a day after the country recorded its highest number of daily cases in the border town of Nakonde. The country has to date recorded 267 cases including seven deaths. The border is a key transport route for copper exports from Africa’s second-largest producer of the metal.

Dutch Deaths Lowest Since Mid-March (7:59 a.m. NY)

The Netherlands reported 18 new deaths, the lowest since March 18, bringing the total to 5,440. Hospital intakes, another key metric, rose by 22, the lowest since the measure started being reported daily in late March. New confirmed cases fell to the lowest in four days, with the overall count rising by 245 to 42,627.

Hong Kong Police Arrest Protesters (7:46 a.m. NY)

Hong Kong police arrested at least 10 people and fired “pepper balls” in an attempt to disperse groups of pro-democracy demonstrators who defied social distancing rules, local media reported.

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Demonstrators appeared in malls across Hong Kong, including the Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok, Taikoo Shing and Sha Tin districts, chanting anti-government slogans and singing protest songs. The police warned them that they were in violation of rules against group gatherings put in place to fight the epidemic.

Italy May Speed Up Lockdown Easing (6:30 a.m. NY)

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he may further ease Italy’s lockdown earlier than planned, while urging the European Union to ensure that resources from a new recovery fund are available in the second half of the year to help the country’s devastated economy.

Conte told newspaper Corriere della Sera that ahead he sees “a sharp fall in GDP and the economic consequences will be very painful.” He’s under pressure from coalition allies, regional and business leaders as well as public opinion after two months of containment measures to counter the coronavirus.

Italy partially eased the lockdown on May 4, allowing manufacturing and construction companies to restart, with shops due to reopen on May 18. Bars, restaurants and barbers are scheduled to begin operating again on June 1, a date that may be brought forward.

U.A.E. Has Biggest Daily Increase (6:18 a.m. NY)

The United Arab Emirates reported 781 new infections in its highest daily jump in coronavirus cases. The rise comes after the country relaxed measures aimed to curb the spread of the virus during the holy month of Ramadan. The Gulf nation has 18,198 confirmed virus cases including 198 fatalities.

Kuwait, which imposed a 20-day full curfew starting Sunday to contain the spread of the virus, reported 1,065 cases, taking the total to 8,688 with 58 deaths.

Less Than 500 Belgian ICU Beds Taken (6 a.m. NY)

Belgium reported 476 coronavirus patients are being treated in intensive care units, down 26 from the prior day. On April 9, at the peak of the epidemic, 1,285 ICU beds were taken, or about 57% of the nation’s ICU capacity for coronavirus patients.

With 83 new admissions and 231 patients being discharged in the past 24 hours, a total of 2,222 Belgians are being treated in hospitals. An additional 75 fatalities, down 1 from the prior day, takes the total death toll to 8,656. More than half of the Belgian fatalities so far occurred in senior care homes.

Spain Reports 143 Deaths in Day (4:58 p.m. HK)

Spain had an additional 143 deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours, the lowest since March 18 and down from the 179 reported Saturday, according to Health Ministry data. The total number of cases rose by 621 to 224,390.

The drop in fatalities comes as about half the country’s population awaits a further easing of lockdown restrictions starting Monday.

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