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Singapore Cases Persist; Investor Vaccine Windfall: Virus Update

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Singapore recorded more than 100 cases of Covid-19 for the eighth straight day on Tuesday. Mauritius is easing isolation rules for visitors after it vaccinated more than 60% of its population sooner than it had planned.

A Bloomberg survey of 45 large businesses in the U.S., Europe and Asia shows that 84% plan to spend less on travel post-pandemic. 

An investor in Sinovac Biotech Ltd. reported a nearly six-fold increase in first-half profit. Moderna Inc.’s vaccine generated more than double the antibodies of a similar shot made by Pfizer Inc. in research that compared immune responses evoked by the two inoculations. 

Deutsche Bank AG will require anyone entering its new U.S. headquarters to be vaccinated. Raymond James Financial Inc. pushed back its return-to-office date to the middle of October as the virus surges in its home state of Florida. Google delayed its mandatory office return to 2022.

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The European Union reached a goal of fully vaccinating 70% of its adult population. 

Young Are Suffering in Japan’s Latest Wave (12:25 p.m. HK)

Japan’s current wave of Covid infections has mostly affected its younger generations, reflecting both the efficacy of its vaccination program among the elderly and the pitfalls of a slow rollout that still hasn’t reached most of the youth population.

Philippines to Open Jab to All in October (12:12 p.m. HK)

The Philippines will have enough Covid-19 shots by October to open inoculations for general population, including vulnerable children, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez says. About 25 million doses are expected this month, while 29.5 million are expected to arrive in October, Galvez said at a virtual forum.

Australia’s Victoria May Hit Target Sept. 23 (11:10 a.m. HK)

Australia’s Victoria state will set a 70% vaccine target for reopening and may reach that around Sept. 23, premier Daniel Andrews said in Melbourne. The target is for the first dose, he said.

Regional Victoria may exit lockdown next week, he said.

Delta’s Spread Deepened Factory Divide in Asia (10:02 a.m. HK)

Manufacturing managers across Southeast Asia reported a heavy blow in August from one of the world’s worst Covid-19 outbreaks, while producers in North Asia continued to enjoy robust output.

Manufacturing purchasing managers’ indexes for Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia all remained deep in negative territory in August, reflecting the disruption from lockdowns that forced factories to halt or slow production.

A Sinovac Investor Reports Vaccine Windfall (10:00 a.m. HK)

An investor in Sinovac Biotech Ltd. reported a nearly six-fold increase in first-half profit, giving a glimpse into the windfall made during the coronavirus pandemic by the Chinese vaccine developer.

Singapore Cases Persist; Investor Vaccine Windfall: Virus Update

Sales of more than one billion doses of the Covid-19 shot, known as CoronaVac, helped Sino Biopharmaceutical Ltd., which holds a 15% stake in a subsidiary of Beijing-based Sinovac, register profit of 8.48 billion yuan ($1.3 billion) in the first six months of 2021, the Hong Kong-listed company said on Tuesday. 

Philippines Expects 137 Million More Shots (8:48 a.m. HK)

The Philippines is expecting 137 million additional doses of Covid-19 shots to arrive by year-end, driven by “steady” supply from Sinovac, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said. Deliveries from Moderna and Pfizer will “significantly increase” next month. The nation plans to ramp up vaccinations outside the capital, with nearly 13% of its population fully vaccinated amid a rise in infections fueled by the delta variant.

N.Y. to Hold Special Session on Eviction Freeze (7:15 a.m. HK)

New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the state Legislature back to Albany for a rare special session to extend the state’s freeze on evictions.

The state Senate and Assembly are slated to vote on Wednesday on a measure to extend the state eviction moratorium as far as January 15. The freeze was initially put in place to help tenants during the Covid-19 pandemic and was set to expire on Aug. 31. 

Business Travel Won’t Return to Old Ways (6:00 a.m. HK)

Business travel as we’ve known it is a thing of the past. A Bloomberg survey of 45 large firms shows that 84% plan to spend less on travel after the pandemic. 

Having saved billions from slashed travel budgets with only a marginal impact on operations, companies, banks, consulting firms and government offices will be hard pressed to explain why they’d return to their old ways.

Singapore Cases Persist; Investor Vaccine Windfall: Virus Update

Raymond James Delays Return to Office (5:30 a.m. HK)

Raymond James Financial has pushed back its return-to-office date to the middle of October as the coronavirus surges in its home state of Florida.

The St. Petersburg-based firm has told workers they don’t have to return to the office until Oct. 11, according to people familiar with the matter. The firm had initially wanted some workers to return to work next week, one person said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.

A spokesman for the company declined to comment.

Deutsche Bank’s Vaccine Mandate in U.S. (5 a.m. HK)

Deutsche Bank will require anyone entering its new U.S. headquarters to be vaccinated against Covid-19, broadening its policy as other financial firms restrict access for those who don’t get shots.

The rule applies to staff, vendors and clients seeking access to Deutsche Bank Center at 1 Columbus Circle in New York, according to a person familiar with the matter. That represents an expansion from guidance provided earlier in August, when the lender said it would allow only fully vaccinated employees to access U.S. trading floors. 

Utah, Idaho Hospitals Need Help (4:10 a.m. HK)

Utah Governor Spencer Cox said Tuesday the state’s hospitals are at a “breaking point” amid the latest wave of Covid-19 cases, the Deseret News reported. Staffing shortages have reduced bed capacity, Cox said.

Neighboring Idaho plans to deploy as many as 150 National Guard members to help short-staffed hospitals. “We’ve reached a point in the pandemic we have not been before,” Governor Brad Little said, according to the Idaho Statesman. 

Colorado Infections Highest Among Kids (2:35 a.m. HK)

Children account for the fastest rate of new Covid-19 infections in Colorado, Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist, told an online news briefing Tuesday. The trend started in July before schools opened, she said, and officials are encouraging schools to require face masks, though there is no mandate.

Colorado has “significant” hospital capacity for children and adults, said Scott Bookman, the state’s Covid-19 incident commander, who called vaccines “the ticket out of this pandemic.”

@AntiVaxMomma Accused of Selling Fake Vaccination Cards (2:35 a.m. HK)

Manhattan prosecutors filed charges against two women who were allegedly selling fake vaccination cards and, in some cases, entering those fake vaccinations into a New York State database.

Jasmine Clifford, who called herself “@AntiVaxMomma” on Instagram, was charged for allegedly selling about 250 fake Covid-19 vaccination cards for $200 each.

Moderna Generates More Antibodies Than Pfizer (2:30 a.m. HK)

Moderna’s Covid vaccine generated more than double the antibodies of a similar shot made by Pfizer and BioNTech in research that compared immune responses evoked by the two inoculations. 

The study is one of the first to compare levels of antibodies produced by the two vaccines, which are thought to be one of the important components of the immune response. It didn’t examine whether the antibody differences led to a difference in efficacy over time between the two shots, which both were more than 90% effective in final-stage clinical trials.

Singapore Cases Persist; Investor Vaccine Windfall: Virus Update

Ireland Dropping Most Restrictions (1:30 a.m. HK)

Ireland will drop most pandemic restrictions in the coming weeks, with almost 90% of the adult population now vaccinated. The government will move from a system of rules to manage the virus to “personal responsibility,” Prime Minister Micheal Martin said in a national address. 

Public transport will return to full capacity starting Wednesday,y while people can begin returning to the office beginning Sept. 20. Capacity restrictions for live events will be eased on Sept. 6, with most remaining restrictions scheduled to go by Oct. 22. Masks will still be required on public transport and in shops. The government is also preparing to roll out a booster program for the winter, Martin said.

Mauritius Eases ‘Bubble’ Rules for Tourists (1 a.m. HK)

Mauritius vaccinated 60% of its population a month ahead of target and now plans to halve the number of days tourists will need to isolate on the island nation after arrival.

The “milestone comes ahead of two major steps to reduce restrictions on inbound international travel,” the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

Inoculated tourists will have to spend seven days in a a so-called resort bubble hotel from Wednesday, down from 14 days, before they can travel freely. From Oct. 1, they will be free to explore the Indian Ocean island nation without restrictions. That’s provided they submit a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival, the agency said.

Google Delays Mandatory Office Return (1 a.m. HK)

Google pushed back the date when its employees must return to the office until after Jan. 10, citing uncertainty related to the pandemic. It previously delayed a compulsory office return to Oct. 18. 

Morocco Begins Vaccinating Teens (11:45 p.m. HK)

Morocco started administering shots to 12-to-17-year-olds on Tuesday, as the kingdom speeds up one of Africa’s most advanced vaccination campaigns ahead of the start of the new school year. Some 3 million Moroccans from that age category are expected to be vaccinated, Hespress online newspaper reported. 

Singapore Cases Persist; Investor Vaccine Windfall: Virus Update

Hochul Allocates $65 Million for Boosters (11:30 p.m. HK)

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she is allocating $65 million for local communities to set up facilities to administer booster shots. The Biden administration said it wants to start rolling out boosters on Sept. 20, though the plan hasn’t yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Hochul, who took office last week, said she has spoken about boosters with Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser for the pandemic.

Singapore Cases Persist; Investor Vaccine Windfall: Virus Update

Italy Expands Use of Passports Amid Protests (10:40 p.m. HK)

Italy will require travelers on planes, ferries and long-distance trains and coaches to show proof of vaccination or of a recent negative Covid test. The so-called green pass, a digital certificate also given to those who have recovered from Covid, will also be required for school and university personnel. University students attending in-person lessons will also be asked to show proof of vaccination.

The long-announced measures have been criticized by anti-vaccine activists, who are organizing protests to block the country’s main railway station on Wednesday. Doctors and journalists have also been targets of online intimidation and hate campaigns.

EU Reaches Vaccination Milestone (5:38 p.m HK)

The European Union’s vaccination campaign reached an important milestone on Tuesday, with 70% of adults in the bloc now fully vaccinated, a target that it had previously set.

“I call on everyone who can to get vaccinated,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “This is the only way to protect yourself and the others.” 

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