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U.S. to Increase Testing; Germany Pledges Billions: Virus Update Mar 13, 2020
 
The global death toll from the outbreak topped 5,000. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she’s near an agreement with the Trump administration on a bill to mitigate the impact from the virus and Germany pledged to spend “billions” to cushion the economy. Testing in the U.S. will accelerate within the next week because of coordination with the private sector, the government’s top infectious disease scientist said. Roche advanced after saying it won emergency approval in the U.S. for a test that could speed up the ability to diagnose patients by a factor of 10. Key Developments: Total cases 135,118; global death toll rises to 5,056 China new cases drop to single digits for first time since Jan. Asian central banks move to calm markets New York City declares emergency; Trudeau in isolation Australian minister who met Ivanka Trump last week tests positive U.S. Testing to Accelerate Within a Week, Fauci Says (8:10 a.m. NY) Testing for coronavirus in the U.S. will accelerate within the next week because of increased coordination with private companies, the government’s top infectious disease scientists said. “I think we are going to see a much different situation than we saw just a few weeks ago,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told MSNBC. Fauci had told U.S. lawmakers on Thursday that the testing of Americans thus far “is a failing.” “What has changed is that there has been a major involvement of the private sector -- the companies that generally do these kinds of tests as a living -- are now going to be major league involved in getting these tests to the public,” Fauci said Thursday. “Whereas before it was mostly on the burden of the CDC as a public health organization.” Roche Holding AG won emergency approval from the U.S. government for a highly automated coronavirus test, potentially allowing a 10-fold acceleration in the ability to test patients. Swiss Cases Soar (8 a.m. NY) Switzerland on Friday reported a 24% jump in confirmed cases to 1,009, with seven deaths so far. The southern canton of Ticino, which borders Italy and has a 68,000-strong Italian labor force commuting across the border every day, said schools would be closed from Monday after it declared a state of emergency. U.K.’s SFO Shuts London Office (7:55 a.m. NY) The U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office shut its London office and sent staff home after a possible outbreak of coronavirus. More than one member of staff has suspected symptoms, although no cases have been confirmed, a spokesperson said. Employees have been working from home since Thursday as a precautionary measure and offices will re-open once it’s deemed safe. Germany Will Provide Unlimited Liquidity (7:45 a.m. NY) Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government signaled it will deploy all available means to help companies and workers cope with the impact of the coronavirus. The goal is to make sure firms in Europe’s biggest economy have sufficient liquidity to help them get through the crisis, the finance and economy ministries said. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said there will be no limit to the money available. “We have the financial strength to deal with this crisis,” Scholz said at a news conference in Berlin. “There is enough money there and we are deploying it. We are using all necessary measures to protect workers and companies.” He said it was possible Germany would need to take on added debt. Virus Fears Hit Sports Leagues Around The World (7:19 a.m. NY) The NCAA, Major League Baseball, PGA Tour and the National Hockey League will suspend play in response to the coronavirus, joining other U.S. organizations in virtually shutting down major spectator sports across the country. England’s Premier League suspended all matches after Arsenal Football Club head coach Mikel Arteta tested positive. U.S. President Donald Trump suggested the Tokyo Olympics should be postponed, as the events’ organizers denied they were considering changing the start planned for July 24. “I would say maybe they postpone it for a year,” Trump said, but added that he does not plan on making the recommendation to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Indian Premier League, a cricket tournament set to start March 29, has been suspended until April 15. And Formula One confirmed it will cancel this year’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix event in Melbourne.

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Source: www.bloomberg.com
 
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