(Bloomberg) -- New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was worried about positive-test results that are now at their highest since mid-June. The Covid-19 surge in the Midwest rose to a record. U.S. and European growth is diverging, though that snapshot is colored with uncertainty as Covid-19 infections surge. While the U.S. economy posted a record third quarter, the European Central Bank flagged new stimulus measures to stem the risk of a double-dip recession.The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an influential modeling group, is projecting a higher U.S. death toll: about 405,000 Covid-19 fatalities by Feb. 1. Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases exceed 44.6 million; deaths top 1.17 millionMidwest extends Covid-19 surge, with records in Iowa, KansasPelosi says she’s awaiting Mnuchin answers to resume aid talksConcerns about virus on food imports are real, expert saysOperation Warp Speed could shape up to be an $18 billion bargainConcerns about virus on food imports are real, experts sayVaccine Tracker: Clinical trials restart, providing hopeSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.Return to Normal Will Take At Least A Year, Fauci Says (1:16 p.m. NY)Even with an effective vaccine, it could take until the end of 2021 at least for social life in the U.S. to return to normal, Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease doctor said on a Facebook live event Thursday.The earliest a vaccine might be available is the end of December or early January, he said. “I can foresee that even with a really good vaccine mask wearing will continue well into the third or fourth quarter of 2021,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.As the vaccine kicks in, he added, then “there will be a graded, gradual progression towards normality.” Restaurants might be able to allow indoor dining at increasing capacity, Fauci said, and theaters and sporting events might be able to seat more people.Midwest Surge at Record (1:11 p.m. NY)The Covid-19 surge in the Midwest rose to a record, led by single-day highs in Kansas, Iowa and South Dakota as the region’s outbreak spread toward both coasts.The Midwest’s seven-day average of new cases per million residents hit 373, well above anything recorded by the Northeast and South during their respective surges in April and July.Surging U.K. Cases Above Average (12:46 p.m. NY)The U.K. reported an above average number of new deaths and cases, indicating the country’s second surge of the virus continues to rise.The U.K. has so far attempted to control the virus through localized restrictions, but as cases continue to rise some scientists and politicians are calling for national measures, including a two-to-three-week “circuit breaker” lockdown. Today, the U.K. moved some areas, including Oxford City, from “medium,” the lowest level of restriction, to “high,” which curbs socializing.Some 280 new deaths within 28 days of a virus test were reported, along with another 23,065 cases. The 7-day rolling averages are 216.7 and 21,864 respectively, according to Bloomberg calculations.NYC Mayor Worried About Rising Positive Tests (12:39 a.m. NY)New York City’s seven-day average of positive test results has taken “a meaningful jump” to 1.92%, its highest point since mid-June, a development Mayor Bill de Blasio described as worrisome. The data, recorded as of Oct. 27, also showed a daily positive test rate for that one day of 2.70% -- twice as high as the previous day.“What worries me but we cannot allow that number to keep growing,” de Blasio said, advising New Yorkers to avoid travel and holiday gatherings. “We’re really going to have to double down.” Increases in virus transmission have been experienced citywide, with most of the new cases stemming from travel into the city and the continuing existence of virus hot spots in Brooklyn and Queens, said Jay Varma, the mayor’s chief health adviser. The daily count of hospital admissions for Covid-19 symptoms stood at 80. There were 532 newly-reported cases on a seven day average, down from the previous day’s 552.Italy Hits Record Again (12:24 p.m. NY)Italy’s coronavirus cases reached a another daily record on Thursday. The country registered new 26,831 cases, compared with 24,991 the previous day. More than 200,000 tests were carried out, and 217 deaths related to Covid-19 were reported, bringing the total to 38,122.Patients in intensive care units rose to 1,651. Hospitalizations reached 17,615, compared with the April peak of 29,000.Italy may introduce new restrictions on movement, and create a number of specific red zones in the country as virus cases surge. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is likely use next week to evaluate the efficacy of the most recent set of measures before taking new decisions, according to government officials.New Projection Shows Higher U.S. Death Toll (11:59 a.m. NY)The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an influential modeling group, is projecting a higher U.S. death toll amid a surge in virus cases and hospitalizations. The group now projects about 405,000 Covid-19 deaths by Feb. 1, representing a nearly 20,000 increase from a previous projection of about 386,000 deaths.“Europe is seeing a surge right now and Europe is ahead about a month from the United States. So basically we are watching what would unfold here in the United States,” Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences with IHME, said Thursday morning in a briefing held by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. The full data are set to be released later Thursday, he said.Portugal Reports Record Cases for Second Day (10:34 a.m. NY)Portugal on Thursday reported the biggest daily increase in virus cases since the start of the outbreak. There were 4,224 new cases in a day, more than the previous record of 3,960 reported on Wednesday, taking the total to 132,616. The number of patients in intensive-care units rose by seven to 269, approaching the peak of 271 reached in April.The government is limiting travel between municipalities from Friday through Nov. 3, and is holding a cabinet meeting on Saturday to discuss other measures to control the spread.Sweden Steps Up Covid Response (9:59 a.m. NY)Swedes living in Stockholm have been told to avoid shops, gyms, museums and any other indoor venues that don’t provide essential services, as a record spike in cases threatens to overwhelm the country’s health-care system.In the past 24 hours, Sweden registered roughly 3,000 new cases of the coronavirus, which is by far the highest number since the pandemic erupted earlier this year. Anders Tegnell, the state epidemiologist and the architect behind the country’s Covid strategy that has so far avoided a lockdown, said part of the increase is due to more testing.Lagarde Says Economy Is Losing Momentum Faster Than Expected (9:40 a.m. NY)European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said the economy is losing momentum faster than expected. While activity in many sectors has continued, the recovery in services has been slowing visibly, she said at a press conference in Frankfurt Thursday.The ECB gave a strong indication that it will likely boost its emergency bond-buying program to stabilize the euro-area economy. For now, policy makers kept the pandemic bond-buying program and rates unchanged. But the policy statement also said that new economic forecasts in December will set the stage for more support.Putin Says Russia Faces Production Woes Amid Vaccine Push (9:36 a.m. NY)President Vladimir Putin said Russia is facing a shortage of equipment to mass produce its Covid-19 vaccines even as he said wide-scale inoculations could begin by the end of the year. Russian authorities have approved two vaccines for widespread use and expect to allow a third soon, even as they have not finished Phase 3 trials to prove they are safe and effective.Austria Plans Restrictions (9:30 a.m. NY)Austria is headed for stricter measures to curb surging cases, with the government preparing to convene emergency meetings with unions, businesses and opposition parties over the next two days.Health minister Rudolf Anschober told journalists on Thursday in Vienna that demand for intensive care units could exceed availability as soon as mid-November unless tougher measures are implemented. Austria reported a record of 4,453 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, almost twice as many as a week ago. Hospitalizations already surpassed the levels reached in the spring.Germany Vows Company Aid (9:24 a.m. NY)Germany promised “massive” support for companies affected by a month-long, partial shutdown to safeguard the economy’s tentative recovery, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said Thursday at a joint news conference with Economy Minister Peter Altmaier.Under the government’s 10 billion euro ($11.7 billion) aid program, businesses forced to shut during November will receive 70% of their revenue from the same month a year earlier, or 75% if they have 50 or fewer employees. The aid will be financed from Germany’s 2020 budget without the need for new debt, Scholz said, adding that the government can still afford more measures if necessary.EU to Ask for WHO Overhaul (8:05 a.m. NY)The World Health Organization is not fit for purpose and needs an overhaul to boost transparency and accountability, European health ministers will declare, according to a draft of a joint statement which will be discussed over a video conference on Friday and seen by Bloomberg.Among the proposals that EU governments are planning to back at the World Health Assembly on Nov. 9-14, are a revision of the alert system for declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern to allow for differentiated levels of alerts, such as a traffic light system. The EU will also ask for a distinction to be made between transport of people and transport of commodities when there is a health emergency.But the most controversial EU proposal will be to allow independent epidemiological assessment on-site by WHO teams in high risk zones. Such assessments would mean that next time there is an outbreak, the WHO won’t rely on input from local authorities to assess the risk of the spreading of a disease.Moderna Gets $1.1 Billion in Deposits for Shots (7:19 a.m. NY)Moderna received $1.1 billion in customer deposits for the shots during the third quarter, which were booked as deferred revenue. The company is only slightly behind Pfizer Inc. and its partner BioNTech SE in the race for a Covid vaccine and has completed enrollment its 30,000-patient trial.Europe’s New Lockdowns Threaten to Squash Fragile Profit Rebound (7:11 a.m. NY)Just as European companies are finally starting to see a recovery in earnings, tough new restrictions threaten to throw that hard-won progress into reverse.Plans to shutter bars, restaurants and non-essential services for a month in Germany and France -- while keeping most businesses operating -- are tempering the optimism generated by better-than-expected results from the likes of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, Volkswagen AG and Airbus SE.Pakistan Starts Lockdowns (7:02 a.m. NY)Pakistan has announced curbs on businesses and lockdowns to contain a second wave of infections. The nation’s daily cases rose to 908, which is the highest in three months. Pakistan’s benchmark stock index fell the most in Asia.Greece to Introduce One-Month Lockdown (6:29 a.m. NY)Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will tighten restrictions after the country reported two straight days of record increases.“Tomorrow I will announce a new one-month action plan,” Mitsotakis said Thursday. The authorities are in a position to know which economic activities cause a rapid spread of the virus and will adjust their plan for next month to the real data, he added.Euro-Area Confidence Ebbs Even Before New Lockdowns (6 a.m. NY)The recovery in euro-area economic confidence came to a halt in October, before a resurgence of fresh cases forced tough new restrictions that are now threatening to pitch the region back into recession.A European Commission sentiment index held at 90.9 following five months of improvement. It reflects a weaker assessment in services and among consumers, and continued optimism in industry, retail and construction.Merkel Defends Curbs (4:50 p.m. HK)Merkel defended her decision to impose the toughest restrictions since a national lockdown in the spring, saying Germany is in a “dramatic situation” as a rapid spread of the coronavirus stretches health-care services to their limit.Authorities are no longer able to track infections back to their source and that leads to an exponential growth in infections, which must be stopped, Merkel told lawmakers in the German parliament on Thursday.Belgium Has Record Number of Virus Hospitalizations (2:56 p.m. HK)With 5,924 Covid-19 patients currently in hospital, Belgium has surpassed its previous peak from April 6. A record 743 people were admitted to hospital Wednesday, following a revised 690 on Tuesday.There are now 993 patients in intensive care, more than 20% below the peak of the first wave. Belgium also reported more than 100 deaths for a second straight day.Scientists Warn of Virus Mutation in Europe: FT (2:10 p.m. HK)An international team of scientists tracking the virus’s genetic mutations says a variant that originated in Spanish farm workers has spread through much of Europe since the summer, accounting for a majority of new cases in several countries — including more than 80% in the U.K., the Financial Times reported.In a research paper to be published Thursday, the team describes the extraordinary spread of the “20A.EU1” variant. Their work suggests people returning from holiday in Spain played a key role in transmitting the virus across Europe. Scientific teams in Switzerland and Spain are rushing to examine the behavior of the variant to establish whether it’s more deadly or infectious than other strains.U.K. Pressured on Lockdown With Virus at ‘Critical Stage’ (1:20 p.m. HK)The U.K.’s policy response to coronavirus isn’t succeeding in controlling the disease’s spread, scientists warned, adding pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to introduce another national lockdown.Infections are doubling every nine days and an estimated 960,000 people are carrying the virus in England on any given day, according to findings from Imperial College London and Ipsos Mori. The virus’s reproduction rate has risen to 1.6, compared to 1.2 when figures were last published Oct. 9.Modeling by the government’s emergency scientific committee suggests all of England is likely to require the tightest restrictions by mid-December. Meanwhile, the government has asked local health officials to deploy 30-minute saliva kits for coronavirus testing to accelerate Johnson’s mass screening plan, the Guardian reported.India Passes 8 Million Mark With 50,000 New Cases (11:59 a.m. HK)India passed 8 million total Covid-19 cases after counting an additional 49,881 infections in the past 24 hours, according to government data. The country has suffered the largest outbreak in the world after the U.S., and its death toll of 120,527 trails only the U.S. and Brazil.Fauci: Wear a Mask, No Vaccine Before January (10:50 a.m. HK)The United States’ top infectious-disease doctor pleaded with Americans to set politics aside and wear face masks to stop the rise in Covid-19 cases.Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and colleagues outlined how face coverings can help prevent Covid-19. In a commentary Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Fauci said overcoming politically driven biases around mask use is critical for avoiding economically crippling shutdowns, but stopped short of calling for a mask mandate.He also said vaccines against Covid-19 won’t be available in the U.S. until January at the earliest.Taiwan Reaches 200 Days Without a Local Virus Case (10:36 a.m. HK)Taiwan on Thursday marked 200 days since its last locally transmitted case April 12. Overall, the island of 23 million people has had 550 confirmed cases, with only seven deaths.Experts say closing borders early and tightly regulating travel have gone a long way toward fighting the virus. Other factors include rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.