Coronavirus latest: China auto sales jump 13% in ‘Golden September’

Nikkei Asia is tracking the spread of the new coronavirus that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Global cases have reached 37,722,044, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The worldwide death toll has hit 1,078,411.

To see how the disease has spread, view our virus tracker charts:

Tuesday, October 13 (Tokyo time)

5:05 p.m. The Philippines reports 1,990 new infections, the lowest number in three weeks, and 40 additional deaths. Total confirmed cases in the country have risen to 344,713, the highest number in Southeast Asia, while deaths total 6,372. 

4:40 p.m. Russia’s infections rose by 13,868, a new daily record, pushing the total number to 1,326,178. The previous high of 13,634 new cases was registered on Sunday. The country also reports a record daily increase of 244 deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the total to 22,966.

3:30 p.m. Automobile sales in China rose 12.8% in September from the same month a year earlier for the sixth straight monthly increase. Sales reached 2.57 million vehicles last month, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers’ data. Auto insiders refer to “Golden September, Silver October,” regarding those months as the high season for China sales as drivers venture out to make purchases after staying away during the stifling summer.

1:07 p.m. India reports 55,342 new cases for the past 24 hours, the lowest daily count in nearly two months, bringing the country total to 7.18 million. The death toll jumped by 706 to 109,856.

12:35 p.m. China’s imports grew at their fastest pace this year in September, while exports extended their strong gains as more trading partners lifted coronavirus restrictions, customs data show. Imports surged 13.2%, returning to growth from a slump of 2.1% in August. Exports rose 9.9% from a year earlier, up from a solid 9.5% increase in August.

11:00 a.m. Malaysia’s government has approved a 1 billion ringgit ($242 million) loan as a lifeline to budget carrier AirAsia Group as it struggles to contain the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Nikkei Asia has learned.

11:00 a.m. South Korea reports 102 cases, marking the first triple-digit increase in six days. Daily infections had mostly fallen into the double digits over the past two weeks, prompting the government to relax social distancing rules this week.

Johnson & Johnson hopes to restart clinical trials after reviewing results from an independent agency and its own medical staff.

  © AP

10:20 a.m. U.S. multinational Johnson & Johnson has paused clinical trials for its vaccine due to an unexplained illness in a participant. The ailment is being evaluated by an independent monitoring board as well as its own physicians, the company said in a statement.

10:10 a.m. China reports its first locally transmitted infections in nearly two months, as Qingdao launched a city-wide testing drive after discovering cases linked to a hospital treating imported cases. The National Health Commission said 13 infections were reported on Oct. 12, down from 21 a day earlier. Seven of the cases originated overseas, while all six local infections were from the province of Shandong, where Qingdao is located.

9:30 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail on Monday since being diagnosed with COVID-19, appearing at an outdoor rally without a mask. Trump talked about his recovery. “I went through [the disease] now. They say I’m immune. I feel so powerful,” he told supporters standing shoulder to shoulder, most without masks.

6:39 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump tests negative for COVID-19 and is not infectious to others, his White House physician says. In a memo, Dr. Sean Conley said Trump had tested negative on consecutive days using an Abbott Laboratories antigen card. The doctor said the tests and other data “indicate a lack of detectable viral replication.”

6:00 a.m. Japan’s first clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine is underway inside Osaka University Hospital. Some of the small-scale results, along with those from another university, are expected within the next month or so and will determine whether a larger trial can be held in November involving 500 people.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in the state of Florida on Oct. 12.

  © AP

4:09 a.m. India announces new measures to boost domestic demand by about 730 billion rupees ($9.95 billion) as Asia’s third-largest economy continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

2:52 a.m. Spain has reported nearly 28,000 new coronavirus cases since Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 888,968, reports Reuters, citing health ministry data.

12:20 a.m. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposes a tiered system of further restrictions on parts of England including closing some pubs as the COVID-19 outbreak accelerates.

Johnson’s three-tier system, announced in parliament, is an attempt to standardize a patchwork of often complicated and confusing restrictions imposed across England.

Monday, October 12

8:15 p.m. Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health and Siam Bioscience have agreed to manufacture and supply AstraZeneca’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the Southeast Asian country, the British government says.

7:48 p.m. Malaysia imposes a two-week restriction on movement in the largest city, Kuala Lumpur, the seat of government, Putrajaya, and the state of Selangor, effective Oct. 14. The orders come in response to a spike in coronavirus cases in the country, with the total reaching nearly 16,000.

Passengers wait to board a bus in Kuala Lumpur on Oct. 2: Malaysia will impose restrictions on movement starting Oct. 14, as COVID-19 cases surge.

  © Reuters

4:40 p.m. Russia reports 13,592 new cases, near a single-day day record and pushing the official tally to 1,312,310. Officials also said 125 people had died in the previous 24 hours, raising the death toll to 22,722.

3:06 p.m. Tokyo reports 78 new infections, down from 146 a day earlier, bringing the capital’s total to 27,793.

2:00 p.m. South Korean drugmaker Celltrion says it has received approval for Phase 3 clinical trials of an experimental COVID-19 treatment. This comes as the company plans to seek conditional approval for its CT-P59 antibody drug for emergency use by the end of this year. The trials will involve about 1,000 asymptomatic patients and those who have come into close contact with infected individuals.

1:14 p.m. India reports 66,732 cases in the last 24 hours, down from 74,383 the previous day, bringing the country total to 7.12 million. The death toll jumped by 816 to 109,150.

12:20 p.m. New Zealand signs a deal to buy 1.5 million vaccine doses from Pfizer and BioNTech, with delivery scheduled for as early as the first quarter of 2021. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the government’s first vaccine purchase will cover 750,000 people. Officials said talks were underway with other drug companies for more vaccines to cover the country’s entire population of 5 million.

All residents of Qingdao in China’s Shandong Province will be tested for COVID-19.

  © China Daily/Reuters

11:15 a.m. The Chinese city of Qingdao will test its entire population of 9 million over five days, after new cases appeared linked to a hospital, Reuters reports. The city reported six new infections and six asymptomatic cases as of Sunday night. Most were linked to Qingdao Chest Hospital. The central government’s reporting of 21 new cases for Oct. 11 was published after Qingdao’s announcement, but did not include the city’s infections. It is not clear why this was done.

10:30 a.m. The new coronavirus can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, Australian researchers say. In a study published in Virology Journal, researchers at Australia’s national science agency said that at a temperature of 20 C, SARS-COV-2 remained infectious on smooth surfaces.

10:24 a.m. South Korea reports 97 cases, up from 58 a day ago, bringing the country total to 24,703 and 433 deaths. The government loosened social distancing rules from today, reopening ballparks capped at 30% of capacity as well as lifting a ban on nightclubs and bars.

9:40 a.m. Singapore and Indonesia agree to reopen borders to each other for business and official travel. Indonesia has recorded over 333,000 cases — the second-highest in Southeast Asia — and its capital Jakarta has been under strict social curbs. Singapore is reporting only a few infections daily. Travelers will be subject to pre- and post-travel tests, both countries said in a joint statement.

9:36 a.m. China reports 21 new cases for Sunday, matching the number of new cases a day earlier. All of the new cases were imported infection that originated from overseas. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not count as confirmed cases, rose to 32 from 23 a day earlier.

8:53 a.m. Japan’s core machinery orders unexpectedly rose in August from the previous month, posting a second straight month of gains, government data shows. Core machinery orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, grew 0.2% in August after a 6.3% rise in July.

U.S. President Donald Trump takes off his face mask as he emerges onto a White House balcony to speak to supporters in Washington on Oct. 10.

  © Reuters

2:09 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump says he is fully recovered from COVID-19 and will not be a risk to others. “I beat this crazy, horrible China virus,” he told Fox News, adding “it seems like I’m immune.”

Sunday, October 11

7:55 p.m. Japan’s cumulative case total reached 90,099, including about 700 from the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship that was quarantined near Tokyo in February, according to Kyodo. On Sunday, 437 cases were reported while the death toll climbed to 1,643.

7:22 p.m. Malaysia reports 561 cases, the bulk of them in the state of Sabah, which has already seen infections surge over the past few weeks. This brings the country total to 15,657 cases and 157 deaths.

5:04 p.m. Indonesia reports 4,497 cases and 79 deaths, the fewest daily fatalities since Sept. 27. This brings the country total in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy to 333,449 cases and 11,844 deaths.

4:20 p.m. South Korea said on Sunday it will begin relaxing social distancing rules today, allowing the reopening of night entertainment businesses and sports facilities, as cases have been decreasing in recent weeks. The new rules mean that nightclubs and karaoke bars can reopen and limited audiences will be allowed at sports events, such as the country’s top baseball league. But stricter rules will be maintained in the heavily populated Seoul region and for high-risk activities, including religious gatherings and door-to-door sales.

3:26 p.m. Jakarta will kick off a two-week “transition” period of eased coronavirus curbs from Monday, Gov. Anies Baswedan said. The capital of Indonesia reimposed tougher social restrictions from mid-September. The new policy allows employees of nonessential businesses to work from offices, but at half capacity. Restaurants must limit eat-in diners to 50% of capacity.

3:06 p.m. India reports topping 7 million cases after seeing 74,383 infections in the last 24 hours, even as the spread eased in western states such as Maharashtra. Deaths rose 918 over the same period to reach 108,334.

10:15 a.m. China reports 21 cases for Oct. 10, up from 15 a day earlier. All new cases were imported infections involving overseas travelers. The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed, fell to 23 from 39 a day earlier, all of which were imported.

6:29 a.m. Brazil reports 26,749 cases and 559 deaths over the last 24 hours, bringing the country total to 5,082,637 cases and 150,198 deaths.

Saturday, October 10

11:23 p.m. Myanmar reports 2,158 cases — a record daily high — and 32 deaths. A total of 26,064 cases and 598 deaths have been reported in the country, the vast majority since a second wave began in mid-August.

7:33 p.m. Malaysia reports 374 cases — slightly up from the previous day — as officials ramp up contact tracing in the state of Sabah, which has seen a surge over the past few weeks. This brings the country total to 15,096 cases and 155 deaths.

5:18 p.m. Indonesia reports 4,294 cases, bringing the country total to 328,952. The country also reports 88 deaths — the lowest daily number in a week — bringing the total number of deaths to 11,765.

5:06 p.m. The Philippines reports 2,249 cases and 87 deaths, bringing the country total to 336,926 infections — the most in Southeast Asia — and 6,238 deaths.

To catch up on earlier developments, see last week’s latest updates.

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