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Coronavirus latest: EU anti-fraud office widens probe to include fake Covid vaccines

George Russell in Hong Kong

The US reported optimistic Covid-19 case numbers at the weekend, as data showed that since Friday the number of people hospitalised decreased by nearly 15,000 and no states reported an increase of 10 per cent or more.

“The reported new cases, people hospitalised and new deaths decreased again this week,” the Covid Tracking Project noted in its analysis. “This week had the fewest reported new cases since October, and the fewest deaths of any in 2021.”

US states reported just over 90,000 cases on Saturday, down from 101,000 on Friday, and leaving the seven-day average under six digits for the first time since November 2 2020.

However, analysts said the declines were yet to result in any noticeable returns to offices and factories.

“Declining cases and rising vaccinations are yet to spur a return to the workplace — traffic at offices and other workplaces has been flat since spring,” said Ryan Preclaw, investment sciences analyst at Barclays in New York.

A customer wears a face mask while shopping ahead of Valentine’s Day at the Southern California Flower Market in Los Angeles

The CTP data identified 2,303 deaths on Saturday, down from 2,918 on Friday.

The daily data does not take into account at least 2,500 additional deaths in Ohio as part of that state adjusting for under-reported deaths.

More than 137,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the US in 2021, CTP said, while there are 69,283 people in US hospitals with the virus.

The most recent deaths recorded include 2,500 additional fatalities in Ohio as part of that state adjusting for under-reported deaths.

Among the most populous states, California recorded 8,842 new cases and 408 deaths in the most recent 24-hour period, while New York identified 8,755 cases and 125 fatalities and Texas reported 8,045 new infections and 257 deaths.

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