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Coronavirus: A timeline of how the deadly COVID-19 outbreak is evolving

11:45 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid fatalities near 910,000 – infections pass 28.1 million

11 September

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 28,170,000, with more than 909,000 deaths and 18,995,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, daily confirmed cases continue to increase.

This is primarily driven by increasing cases observed in Latin America, the US, and India.

Cases are rising alarmingly in India with no indication to suggest that cases will decline in the near future.

Argentina is reporting an increasing trend of Covid-19 cases in Latin America.

In Europe, France and Spain are reporting high numbers of new daily cases.

Total confirmed cases collectively in Africa are very low with only South Africa among the top 30 most affected countries globally.

South Africa is reporting a steady decline in daily new cases in recent days.

However, countries such as Tunisia and Morocco have reported increasing trend of daily new cases.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData  

9:52 am

International update: Global Covid cases pass 28.1 million – Western Europe a new hotspot

11 September

Global: Worldwide Covid-19 cases have now passed 28.1 million, with deaths exceeding 909,000 according to Johns Hopkins University.

Latin America: The number of confirmed coronavirus infections topped eight million in Latin America, though there were indications the spread of the virus was slowing in some countries. During the past week, the daily average of cases in the region fell to 67,173 through Wednesday from 80,512 in the previous seven days, according to a tally by Reuters.

Europe: Western Europe has surpassed the US in new daily infections, re-emerging as a global hotspot after bringing the pandemic under control earlier in the summer. The 27 countries in the European Union plus the UK, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein recorded 27,233 new cases on Wednesday, compared with 26,015 for the US.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US increased 0.7% as compared with the same time Wednesday to 6.38 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was in line with the average daily gain of 0.6% over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.8% to 191,444.

India: India has set another global one-day record for coronavirus infections with 96,551 new cases. The country’s total reported cases are 4,562,414, according to Johns Hopkins data, and deaths stand at 76,271.

Germany: Germany has recorded 1,484 new cases of coronavirus, taking the total of confirmed cases in the country to 2567,850, and 9,342 deaths.

France: France recorded almost 10,000 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday, its highest-ever single-day total, a day before a cabinet meeting that might consider imposing fresh, local lockdowns to curb the spread of the disease.

New Zealand: New Zealand has recorded just one new community case of Covid-19. The person in their 50s is linked to the cluster around the Mt Roskill Evangelical Fellowship group in Auckland.

South Korea: In South Korea, the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 176 new cases of Covid-19 as of midnight Thursday, bringing the total number of infections to 21,919, with 350 deaths.

Ukraine: Ukraine registered a record 3,144 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the national security council said, up from a previous record of 2,836 registered on September 5.

China: Mainland China reported 15 new coronavirus cases at the end of Thursday, up from seven cases a day earlier. The National Health Commission said in a statement all of the cases were imported infections involving travellers from overseas, marking the 26th straight day of no local infections.

Japan: The Japanese government is planning to have testing centres for coronavirus in nightlife districts across the nation in a bid to prevent flare-ups, Yomiuri reported, without saying who provided the information. Areas to be targeted include bar districts in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo and Fukuoka.

UK: Intensive care medics were significantly less likely to have been infected with Covid-19 than cleaners and other healthcare workers in departments deemed a lower risk, according to a study of several British hospitals at the peak of the pandemic.

Vaccine news

Brazil: Brazil is still to decide if it will join the COVAX Facility, a global Covid-19 vaccine allocation plan co-led by the World Health Organization, the acting health minister said on Thursday.

Lockdown updates

Australia: Daniel Andrews, the premier of the state of Victoria, said a curfew imposed to contain the state’s coronavirus outbreak will remain in place as health officials reported 43 new cases and nine deaths in the last 24 hours.

Singapore and Japan: Will begin a reciprocal green lane for business and official travel on 18 September, according to a joint government press statement.

Myanmar: A domestic flight ban came into effect in Myanmar on Friday, with Myanmar National Airlines, Air KBZ, Air Thanlwin and other airlines announcing the suspension of their services, many for at least two weeks.

Colombia: Maria Orozco, Colombia’s transport minister, said international flights to and out of the country will begin gradually, starting on 21 September, following a six-month hiatus to contain the spread of coronavirus.

US: The US is ending its Covid-19 screening of international travellers arriving at airports as airlines seek new ways to more aggressively test for the virus to boost traffic.

 

9:13 am

Why US dollar will remain dominant in spite of Covid

11 September

The weakening of the US dollar due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the new policies proposed by the Federal Reserve, led to speculations that the US dollar is losing its dominance as a global currency.

However, there is ‘push back’ that these speculations are exaggerated because ‘there are no other contenders’ for a reserve currency.

Daniel Lacalle, an economist and author, tweeted on how the US dollar index lost 10% since March and the speculations surrounding its collapse as a reserve currency.

He noted that these speculations are false and that the US dollar index has weakened only relative to the Euro and the Yen.

Lacalle added that the status of the US dollar as a reserve currency is not at risk as there is no other contender.

 

Read more

10:30 am

International update: Global Covid deaths likely to pass 1 million by October – infections near 28 million

10 September

Global: The global coronavirus death toll has passed 903,000 – just over ten weeks after passing 500,000. If global deaths continued at the current rate, the toll is likely to pass one million before 1 October, ten months after the World Health Organization was first informed of the first cases in Wuhan, China. The number of cases worldwide is nearing 28 million.

Europe: Infections continue to rise rapidly across Europe. France has seen its second-highest one-day case total of the pandemic so far and hospitalisations are at a one-month high, as the Netherlands and Portugal both confirmed their highest daily infections since April.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US increased by 0.2% as compared with the same time Tuesday to 6.33 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was lower than the average daily gain of 0.6% over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.3% to 189,972.

India: India has reported another record for daily coronavirus cases with the health ministry confirming 95,735 cases over the past 24 hours. Some 1,172 people in India also died from the virus, the ministry said.

Mexico: Mexico reported 4,647 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 647,507, according to data released by the Health Ministry Wednesday night. Cases rose 0.7%, compared with a seven-day average rise of 0.8%.

Spain: Spain’s daily coronavirus infections climbed close to last week’s four-month high, as the country struggles to control fresh outbreaks. There were 4,410 new cases in the past 24 hours, compared with 3,168 recorded Tuesday and taking the total to 543,379, according to Health Ministry data.

New Zealand: New Zealand’s health minister has pleaded with people to stop spreading misinformation about the coronavirus, as the government struggles to contain a mini-cluster centred on an evangelical church in Auckland.

Lockdown updates

UK: Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes a mass testing programme is the UK’s “only hope for avoiding a second national lockdown before a vaccine”, according to leaked official documents.

Japan: Japan plans to lift restrictions on bar and restaurant opening hours. Tokyo is reportedly planning to lift restrictions on opening hours for bars and restaurants, as new coronavirus cases in the city continued on a downward trend.

Australia: Australia’s health minister says the state of Victoria should consider lifting a night-time curfew in Melbourne if it wasn’t imposed for health reasons. The state has been under pressure over the 8pm (10:00 GMT) – 5am (19:00 GMT) curfew since the chief health officer told local radio he hadn’t recommended the policy.

Indonesia: Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan says the Indonesian capital will head back into lockdown as it steps up efforts to tackle what he said was an “emergency – more pressing than the start of the pandemic.”

Economic updates

US: New York City restaurants struggling to stay in business after months of closures imposed in the face of the coronavirus pandemic won a long-awaited approval on Wednesday to resume limited indoor dining.

Indonesia: Indonesia’s benchmark stock index fell 5% after its capital brought back social distancing measures amid a continued rise in the number of coronavirus cases.

 

9:23 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid cases pass 27.8 million – deaths exceed 903,000

10 September

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 27,871,000, with more than 903,000 deaths and 18,780,000 recoveries.

India is the most affected country from Covid-19 with over 90,000 daily new cases and over 1,000 daily new deaths.

The US and Brazil continue to report the high number of daily new cases, but the daily new cases have started to gradually decline in both countries.

In Europe, France and Spain are reporting high number of daily new cases and the testing positivity rate is also rising in these countries.

According to World Health Organization, countries worldwide are now experiencing disruptions in child and maternal health services and vaccinations, as the economic and health resources are diverted to manage Covid-19.

This might reverse the years of progress made in child and maternal health.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData  

8:20 am

Climate change adds to Covid driven economic woes

10 September

Wildfires and flooding have become increasingly common due to the effects of climate change.

As these changes increase, they are expected to majorly impact a financial system already under pressure from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Matthew E. Kahn, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Economics and Business at Johns Hopkins University, shared an article on how a new report from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission has highlighted the impact of climate change on financial markets.

The report states that the disruptions caused by climate change can threaten the fundamental conditions that support the country’s financial system.

US President Donald Trump had downplayed the impact of climate change on economic growth.

The new report is a first from a government entity highlighting the damage that climate change can have on financial markets.

The first risk posed by climate change is expected to be rising prices of homes and mortgage default rates due to the wildfires and flooding.

Climate change is also expected to impact agricultural commodity prices, the report added.

In other news, Professor Steve Hanke, economist at Johns Hopkins University, shared an article on more than 10,000 deaths related Covid-19 in Argentina.

Despite having a strict lockdown, the country has not been able to control the spread of the virus.

Read more

8:38 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid cases pass 27.5 million – deaths near 90,000

9 September

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 27,575,000, with more than 897,000 deaths and 18,535,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, total confirmed cases and total deaths continue to increase.

The US continues to rank highest in the world with over 6.3 million total confirmed cases.

However, India is currently reporting the highest number of daily new cases in the world, and on current trajectory could overtake the US in the future.

Western European countries have recently seen a rise in daily new cases that seems to have coincided with the reopening of their economies.

England will ban the social gathering of more than six people from September 14. This strict measure will be undertaken as cases have started to rise alarmingly in recent days.

This restriction is for private gatherings and will not apply to workplaces and schools.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData  

7:58 am

How stimulus wrangles could deepen US recession

9 September

The Democrats and Republicans are yet to reach a consensus on further stimulus package for the US economy.

The delay in releasing stimulus into the economy could worsen the unemployment rate and force states to increase spending cuts.

Adam Posen, president of Peterson Institute for International Economics, shared an article on how additional stimulus is essential for the US economy to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Democrats propose a stimulus package of $3.4tn, while the Republicans have proposed $1tn.

Lack of consensus on the stimulus may result in spending cuts by states causing a deeper recession, loss of between 4% and 5% of GDP and an increase in unemployment by 4% to 5%.

Black families and minorities are expected to be worst affected.

In addition, Mark Weisbrot, co-director of Center for Economic & Policy Research, shared an article on how states in the US are in a financial crisis.

Read more

10:20 am

International update: Covid deaths exceed 892,000 – infection rates rise in Europe

8 September

Global: The global coronavirus death toll has passed another sombre milestone, exceeding 892,000 as confirmed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. The true death toll is likely to be higher, due to differing testing rates and definitions, time lags and suspected underreporting in some countries. Global Covid cases exceed 27.3 million.

India: India has reported the most deaths from coronavirus in a month. The health ministry says 1,133 people died of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, lifting the total death toll to 72,775. Infections have passed 4.2 million.

Spain: Spain has become the first western European country to record more than half a million Covid-19 cases, logging a total of 525,549 infections.

France: A leading epidemiologist in France has warned that if the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise at the current rate, the country could face a “critical situation” in several regions in December.

UK: England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, said the rise in the number of coronavirus cases was of great concern adding: “We have got to start taking this very seriously again”.

Vaccine news

US: An unsubstantiated claim two weeks ago by President Trump – that the “deep state” was slowing approval of a Covid-19 vaccine – has set off an effort by government officials and private industry to ensure the White House doesn’t interfere with a methodical, careful scientific process.

Europe: The European Commission said it is close to reaching an agreement with BioNTech SE on the supply of any successful Covid-19 vaccine.

Mexico: Mexico will participate in the Covax facility led by the World Health Organization to obtain vaccines via the global program to equitably distribute Covid-19 vaccines, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

Indonesia: Indonesian President Joko Widodo formed a national team to accelerate the development of Covid-19 vaccine in a rule signed on 3 September, according to the Cabinet Secretariat.

Japan: Japan has approved the use $6.3 billion from its emergency budget to secure coronavirus vaccines.

Lockdown updates

Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s government will further ease virus-related restrictions and allow restaurants to seat four people per table instead of the current limit of two, Hong Kong Economic Times reported, citing unidentified people.

Japan: The Japanese government is considering eliminating the cap of 5,000 people it has on event sizes as soon as Sept. 19 after determining that the coronavirus outbreak is easing, Kyodo reported, citing an unidentified official.

Singapore: About 13,000 workers who haven’t undergone routine coronavirus testing as of Sept. 6 will be banned from returning to work to ensure the safety of other workers, the Singapore government said in a joint statement.

Economic updates

Japan: Japan’s economy shrank slightly more than initially thought in the April-June quarter, official data released Tuesday showed, deepening a contraction that was already the worst in the nation’s modern history.

9:17 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid cases pass 27.3 million – more than 892,000 deaths

8 September

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 27,342,000, with over 892,000 deaths and 18,338,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, total confirmed cases and total deaths continue to rise.

European countries such as Spain and France have reported alarming increase in daily new cases in recent days.

However, The US, India, and Brazil are still the primary driver of these increases.

This is due to the sheer magnitude of total confirmed cases that rank them first, second, and third highest in the world, respectively.

Studies have reported the long-term effect of Covid-19.

In the UK, estimated 60,000 people had symptoms for more than three months.

Long term symptoms ranged from mild to debilitating requiring medical support and rehabilitation.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:09 am

Dollar facing pressure from the Chinese yuan – Covid puts brake on Indian economy

8 September

The US Federal Reserve’s new policies drafted to increase inflation are aimed to improve the country’s economy. However, these policies may weaken the dollar.

Peter Morici, an economist and professor at the University of Maryland, shared an article on how the Federal Reserve’s policies to increase inflation may threaten the dollar’s dominance as a global currency.

The article noted that although the Federal Reserve has announced the policy change, the central bank’s policy making powers have diminished over the years due to the globalisation of US securities markets and dollar’s dominance in global commerce.

The Federal Reserve needs to finance federal deficits and drive inflation by printing money to ensure the dollar’s dominance as the Chinese Yuan is fast emerging as a rival to the currency.

Meanwhile, India’s economic prospects look bleak, as the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting an economy that was already in slowdown.

Read more

12:57 pm

International update: Global Covid cases pass 27.1 million – India second most infected with 4.2 million

7 September

Global: Global Covid-19 deaths have passed 889,000 with more than 27.1 million cases according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

US: Coronavirus cases are rising in 22 of the 50 US states, a Reuters analysis has found. Three weeks ago, cases were only rising in three states – Hawaii, Illinois and South Dakota.

“Pandemic fatigue” is an additional risk as the US heads into the fall and winter, when infectious diseases traditionally spread more readily, former Food and Drug Administration head Scott Gottlieb said.

India: India has recorded a global one-day record of more than 90,000 positive coronavirus cases, taking the country past Brazil as the second most infected country in the world, with 4.2 million confirmed cases.

UK: Nearly 3,000 more people in the UK tested have positive for Covid-19, with 2,988 new cases reported on Sunday – a sharp increase from 1,813, and the highest number of new cases since 23 May.

Ireland: Ireland recorded another 138 new cases, with about half the new infections in Dublin, according to health authorities. That pushed the weekend total to almost 370, the worst weekend figure since early May.

France: France reported 7,071 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, showing the pandemic is continuing to progress at a “worrying” pace, the health ministry said in a statement Sunday.

Italy: Italy reported 1,297 new coronavirus cases on Sunday. This is the smallest increase in five days amid lower than usual testing at the end of the week.

Philippines: Researchers from the University of the Philippines said that the spread of Covid-19 in the country is slowing down, citing the rate of reproduction in major cities

Hong Kong: An estimated 1.13 million residents of Hong Kong have signed up for free coronavirus testing in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

Syria: A United Nations official has said that more than 200 of its staff in Syria have contracted coronavirus.

Vaccine news

Australia: Australia on Monday said it will receive the first batches of a potential Covid-19 vaccine in January 2021, as the country’s virus hotspot said the number of new daily infections has fallen to a 10-week low.

Greece: Nearly half of Greeks (44%) would refuse to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to a poll of 1,000 respondents published on Sunday.

Economic updates

Australia: Australia’s government warned of mounting economic pain as Victoria state announced only a gradual easing of its coronavirus lockdown that will see retail, hospitality, tourism and entertainment under tight controls across Melbourne until at least the end of October.

 

8:24 am

How remote working can improve wellbeing and help control Covid-19

7 September

Many companies across the world have opted for remote working operations to safeguard their business and employees.

Remote working, however, has an indirect impact on the businesses that are dependent on employees for their business.

Julian Jessop, an independent economist and writer, shared an article, how working from home (WFH) can cost £15bn a year for the UK, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

WFH is expected to severely impact coffee shops, security guards and support jobs causing a GDP loss of 1%.

Various businesses who are reliant on office goers for their business have already started to feel the impact of the pandemic induced remote working.

Pret A Manger, for example, operates primarily near to office blocks and has announced its plans to cut 3,000 jobs. Further, the company is planning to expand into suburbs to sustain its business.

Jessop opined that the impact of WFH on GDP, is a small price to pay compared to the improvements it will provide in wellbeing such as less commuting.

Remote working can also help in controlling the pandemic, Jessop noted.

Read more

2:21 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 26.3 million – deaths exceed 869,000

4 September

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 26,337,000, with more than 869,000 deaths and 17,545,000 recoveries as daily confirmed cases continue to increase.

The US continues to rank highest in the world with over 6.1 million total confirmed cases, followed by Brazil with over 4 million total confirmed cases, and India with over 3.9 million total confirmed cases.

Additionally, the US continues to report a high death toll, contributing approximately 22% to global deaths, followed by India with 14%, and Brazil with 8%.

In Thailand, just one day after marking a significant milestone of 100 days with no local transmission of the coronavirus, a new case was identified.

This case had tested positive after arriving at a correctional center, and after a detailed case history, was determined to be locally transmitted.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData 

11:01 am

International update: Global Covid cases pass 26.3 million – US gears up for early vaccine roll out

4 September

Global: Global Covid-19 deaths are nearing 869,000 with more than 26.3 million cases according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US increased by 0.7% as compared with the same time Wednesday to 6.13 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase matched the average daily gain over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.8% to 186,293.

Brazil: Brazil has recorded more than four million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 43,773 new cases and 834 deaths from the disease caused by the virus reported in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday.

India: India reported a daily jump of 83,341 coronavirus infections, taking its tally to 3.94 million, health ministry data showed.

Ukraine: Ukraine registered a record 2,723 cases of the new coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the national security council said on Friday, up from a previous record of 2,495 cases.

Australia: The state of Victoria has confirmed 81 new coronavirus cases and nine deaths in the last 24 hours. It also added 50 deaths from people who passed away in aged care facilities in July and August.

France: France registered more than 7,000 new coronavirus infections over 24 hours for the second time in two days, the health ministry said on Thursday, while hospitalisations for the virus also rose again.

Mexico: Mexico leads the world in coronavirus deaths among its healthcare workers, Amnesty International has said in a new report. The report said Mexico has reported 1,320 confirmed deaths among health workers from Covid-19 so far, surpassing the United States at 1,077, the United Kingdom at 649, and Brazil at 634.

Thailand: Thailand has reported its first locally transmitted coronavirus case in 100 days, after a prison inmate was confirmed to have Covid-19. Dozens of contacts are now being tested, including his family members, people he met in court and other inmates. He had been arrested for drug offences on 26 August.

South Korea: Doctors have agreed to end a two-week strike, which has hindered efforts to curb a new wave of coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Friday, after overnight talks over the government’s medical reform plans, Reuters reports.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s new universal testing blitz has identified six infections, initial results showed a sign the campaign could uncover hidden infections despite limited participation.

Vaccine news

US: Authorization of a Covid-19 vaccine by 1 November when US health officials have told states to be prepared to distribute shots is “extremely unlikely but not impossible,” Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser to Operation Warp Speed told NPR’s All Things Considered on Thursday.

Federal public health officials in the US have asked their state counterparts to prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine to high-risk individuals as early as late October.

Lockdown updates

Israel: Israel announced Thursday a new lockdown affecting 30 areas as it grapples with one of the world’s highest detected per capita infection rates and a death toll nearing 1,000, AFP reports.

New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday that the country’s current restrictions to beat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic would be retained until mid-September. The largest city, Auckland, will remain on alert level 2.5, while the rest of the country will be on alert level 2.0, Ardern told a news conference. The settings would be reviewed on 14 September, she said.

UK: English tourists in Greece and Portugal have been spared the cost and chaos of rushing back to the UK after the British government defied expectations and maintained quarantine-free travel from both countries for the time being.

Australia: Health minister Greg Hunt extended restrictions on international travel and the entry of cruise ships until 17 December to protect the country against the spread of the coronavirus.

Economic updates

Turkey: Turkey has extended by two months a layoff ban it introduced to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports.

Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that most state and territory leaders in Australia were recommitted to opening up the country’s economy by December. But he didn’t secure an immediate agreement to lift the border restrictions hampering the recovery.

 

9:04 am

How healthcare investment can boost jobs

4 September

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of having a robust healthcare system for every country across the world.

Increasing healthcare investment can not only create new jobs amid the pandemic but also create a more productive population.

Amanda Larsson, campaigner with Greenpeace NZ, tweeted on how investment in care in the UK can create 2.7 times new jobs that are equivalent to investment in construction.

Investment in care can also create 6.3 times as many jobs for women and 10% more for men.

The tweet was based on report from the Women’s Budget Group, an independent think tank, on how investment in care can stimulate employment and reduce gender employment gap.

Developing a better care system will require a major proportion of the population to be employed in the healthcare sector thereby increasing the overall employment rate.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post highlights a looming unemployment crisis for the US.

Read more

2:02 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid cases pass 26 million – Brazil and India near 4 million

3 September

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 26,062,000, with over 863,000 deaths and 17,315,000 recoveries.

In the majority of countries in the European, African, Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Pacific regions, daily confirmed cases continue to decrease, while the Americas and South-East Asia continue to see a rise in daily cases.

The US, Brazil, and India primarily drive these increases due to the sheer magnitude of total confirmed cases that rank them first, second, and third highest in the world, respectively.

Brazil and India are both now approaching 4 million cases.

Meanwhile, Israel set a record high with over 3,000 daily confirmed cases reported today.

This marks the country’s biggest one-day jump, and brings the total number of confirmed cases to nearly 123,000.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:48 am

International update: Global Covid cases pass 26 million – more than 863,000 deaths

3 September

Global: Global Covid-19 deaths passed 863,000 with more than 26 million cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The highest death toll is in the US, where 185,707 people have died.

Testing people twice for the coronavirus, with a nasal swab followed by an antibody finger prick test, would catch most of those people who fail to get the right Covid-19 diagnosis, researchers believe.

Treating critically ill Covid-19 patients with corticosteroid drugs reduces the risk of death by 20%, an analysis of seven international trials has found, prompting the World Health Organization to update its advice on treatment.

US: The Trump administration is planning to cut its membership dues to the World Health Organization, in a legally controversial move that will be challenged by Congress.

India: India reported a daily jump of 83,883 coronavirus infections on Thursday, taking its tally to 3.85 million, just 100,000 behind Brazil, the world’s second most affected nation, health ministry data showed. According to Johns Hopkins, this is the second-highest one day total ever reported, with India breaking the world record on 26 August with more than 85,000 cases.

Australia:  Victoria state on Thursday reported a triple-digit rise in new Covid-19 infections for the first time in four days, denting optimism that the second wave of cases has been contained. The state said that 113 new cases were detected in the past 24 hours, an increase on the 90 infections reported on Wednesday.

Brazil: Brazil’s Covid-19 death toll appears to be easing for the first time since May, a sign the Latin American country could be descending from a long infection plateau that has seen it suffer the world’s second-worst outbreak after the United States.

Turkey: Turkey is seeing a second peak of its coronavirus outbreak due to “carelessness” at weddings and other social gatherings, its health minister has said, amid a rapid rise in the number of daily cases and deaths.

France: Daily new Covid-19 infections in France neared an all-time high on Wednesday and the number of people hospitalised in intensive care units for the disease grew at its fastest pace in almost two months.

France reported 7,017 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, raising the seven-day average increase to the highest since the outbreak began.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,311 to 246,166, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday.

South Korea: South Korea has reported 195 new cases of coronavirus. That’s the lowest since August 17, according to Yonhap News Agency. While there are signs the spike that began last month is easing – thanks to stricter distancing rules – a record number of patients are in critical condition.

Lockdown updates

China: An Air China flight from Phnom Penh was the first international flight to land in Beijing after direct flights from eight countries were allowed to resume. Passengers must have tested negative for Covid-19 before they board and complete a 14-day government-run quarantine on arrival.

UK: The UK government is “anxiously monitoring” increasing hospital admissions in France and Spain, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified colleagues of Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

8:14 am

Australian unemployment hits 22 year high as economy tanks

3 September

The Australian economy officially entered recession as it posted two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth.

Despite government measures such as increased spending and cutting interest rates to zero, the country has not been able to avoid a recession.

Timothy McBride, Bernard Becker Professor at Washington University, shared an article on Australia entering recession for the first time in decades, following two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Even though the country was able to avoid any major impact from the 2008 global financial crisis, it has not been able to escape the impact of the pandemic.

Australia may find it difficult to recover in the post-Covid-19 scenario due to slowdown in growth of China, which is its biggest trade partner.

Further, the country may face other long-term problems such as climate change disasters including wildfires, wage growth stagnation and a housing bubble.

Unemployment levels also remain high at 7.5%, which is the worst in 22 years. The figures are expected to rise as the downturn continues.

Read more

2:46 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Trend still upwards – Covid cases near 25.8 million

2 September

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 25,785,000, with over 857,000 deaths and 17,095,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, total confirmed cases and total deaths continue to rise.

This is primarily driven by increasing trends observed in Latin America, North America, and South Asia.

More specifically, the US, Brazil, and India contribute over 50% of cases to the global confirmed case burden, and over 40% of deaths to the global death toll.

Meanwhile, Indonesia continues to report a surge in daily confirmed cases, likely underestimated due to limited testing capacity.

As total confirmed cases surpass 180,000, the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on healthcare workers, with Indonesia experiencing one of the highest mortality rates among this group compared with the rest of the world.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData 

10:40 am

International update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 25.7 million – US go alone on vaccine

2 September

Global: Global Covid-19 infections have passed 25.7 million with more than 857,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

US: The White House says it will send most of its newly-purchased 150 million rapid response Covid-19 tests to the states for schools, day care centres and emergency services.

President Donald Trump said thousands more people have died from the coronavirus in China than the Beijing government has acknowledged. China has reported 4,724 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University — far fewer than the 184,644 deaths in the US, which has the highest number in the world.

South America: Latest figures show Mexico passed 600,000 cases and Colombia has racked up over 20,000 deaths, as the virus continues to take its toll in the Americas.

South Korea: The number of confirmed cases in South Korea fell for a fifth day after peaking at 441 last week, which was the biggest gain since early March. The government reported 267 new infections for 1 September, the fourth straight day below 300.

South Korean officials warned the high rate of infection among over-60s was placing strain on the country’s health system as it battles a second wave.

Ukraine: There has been a surge in cases in the Ukraine with a record 2,495 new cases in the past 24 hours, the national security council said on Wednesday, up from a previous record of 2,481 cases.

China: There have been another eight new cases of the virus in mainland China up to midnight on Tuesday, the health ministry said on Wednesday morning.

Germany: Germany has seen its new cases rise by 1,256 to 244,855, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday.

Pakistan: Experts are puzzled by Pakistan’s relatively low number of cases and deaths. It has just under 300,000 infections compared with almost four million in neighbouring India.

Australia: Cases continue to ease in Australia’s south-eastern state of Victoria. The state confirmed 90 new cases on Wednesday, compared with a peak of more than 700 last month.

Thailand: Thailand has reported no locally-transmitted Covid-19 cases for 100 straight days, joining a small group of places like Taiwan where the pathogen has almost been eliminated.

Vaccine news

US: The Trump administration says it will not work with other countries to develop and distribute a Covid-19 vaccine. It said it did not want to be constrained by “multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China”.

A Covid-19 vaccine could be available earlier than expected if clinical trials produce overwhelmingly positive results, Anthony Fauci said in an interview with Kaiser Health News. US stock futures rose after the nation’s top infectious disease official said that an independent panel could halt the trials before their expected conclusion at the end of the year.

Antibodies humans make to fight the coronavirus last for at least four months after diagnosis and do not fade quickly, countering concerns to the contrary. US scientists said their study of 30,000 Icelanders offered hope that a vaccine could produce sustained resistance.

Japan: Japan is considering offering a vaccine free of charge to every citizen, according to Kyodo news agency.

Lockdown updates

Scotland: The Scottish government is re-imposing a ban on household gatherings in three local authorities in the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area for the next two weeks amid alarm about rising infections in recent days.

China: State media in China is reporting that people in the far western region of Xinjiang have resumed “normal life order and production” after a sudden spike in cases last month.

South Korea: South Korea imposed stronger social-distancing regulations in the greater Seoul area from 30 August to 6 September.

Economic updates

Australia: Australia has slumped into recession for the first time in nearly 30 years as the coronavirus pandemic finally ended its record run of economic prosperity.

India: India is considering extending its flagship rural jobs program to urban workers hurt by lockdowns. The new program would start in smaller cities and initially cost about 350 billion rupees ($4.8 billion), said Sanjay Kumar, a joint secretary in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

 

9:45 am

Second wave Covid-19 threatens manufacturing bounce back

2 September

Manufacturing activity is slowly returning to normal levels as countries begin to lift lockdown restrictions.

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to EY ITEM Club, shared an article on the increase in global manufacturing levels.

Manufacturing activity increased to a 21-month high of 51.8 in August supported by stimulus packages across Europe, Asia and North America.

However, the recovery is expected to be uneven as new waves of infections curb business activity.

The resurgence of infections is discouraging companies to boost capital expenditure thereby delaying the rebound in the industry.

Experts note that recovery in manufacturing activity will grow at a modest pace, although China’s manufacturing activity has expanded at the fastest rate compared to other countries.

Read more

2:19 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 25.5 million – Europe fears resurgence

1 September

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 25,508,000, with over 851,000 deaths and 16,847,000 recoveries.

Across the world, daily confirmed cases continue to rise.

Of the top ten most affected countries, less than half continue to report increasing trends in daily confirmed cases: India, Spain, and Argentina.

However, these countries contribute roughly 25% to the top ten total confirmed case burden, and nearly 20% to the global total confirmed case burden.

In Europe, France, Germany, and Spain fear a potential resurgence of cases, with reports of moderate to severe upticks in their seven-day average of daily confirmed cases.

The possible onset of a second wave of infections has prompted government and public health officials to re-evaluate lockdown measures and reallocate resources to track outbreaks.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

11:09 am

International update: Global Covid-19 infections pass 25.5 million

1 September

Global: Global Covid-19 infections have passed 25.5 million with more than 850,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

A World Health Organization survey of 105 countries shows that 90% have experienced disruption to their health services as a result of the coronavirus, with low- and middle-income countries the most affected.

US: The number of infections in the United States surpassed six million. Coronavirus cases in the US increased by 0.4% as compared with the same time Sunday to 6.03 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News.

India: India has added nearly two million coronavirus cases in one month, jumping from 1.64m infections at the end of July to 3.62 million at the end of August.

Brazil: Brazil reported 45,961 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 553 deaths caused by the virus in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Monday. The country is closing in on 4 million cases of Covid-19.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry on Monday reported 3,719 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 256 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 599,560 cases and 64,414 deaths.

Spain: Spain has registered more than 23,000 new Covid-19 cases since Friday.

France: France’s new Covid-19 infections surged by almost 50% in August, hitting 281,025 cases, versus 187,919 at the end of July.

South Korea: South Korea’s coronavirus cases have remained under 300 for a third day in a row. On Tuesday, the CDC recorded 235 cases, including 222 local infections. It took the total number of cases recorded in the country over the 20,000 mark, to 20,182, since the first infection was reported on 20 January.

Australia: The state of New South Wales has 13 new cases, 11 of which are locally acquired and linked to known clusters, including a cluster in the centre of the city, which now totals 41 cases.

China: China has reported ten new Covid-19 cases, down from 17 reported a day earlier, the country’s health authority said on Tuesday.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong begins mass testing for coronavirus this morning, with the assistance of 60 experts from China. The programme aims to “identify asymptomatic Covid-19 patients, and to cut the transmission chain on the community,” the government said in a statement.

New Zealand: New Zealand reports 14 new cases, nine in managed isolation, all related to the Auckland cluster. Yesterday Auckland dropped down from Level 3 to Level 2, despite more cases emerging.

Lockdown updates

Europe: Children across Europe return to school. French pupils go back to school on Tuesday as schools across Europe open their doors to greet returning pupils this month, nearly six months after the coronavirus outbreak forced them to close and despite rising infection rates across the continent.

Hungary: Hungary has decided to let tourists from Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, enter the country with a fresh negative coronavirus test, it said late on Monday, just as a lockdown on its borders took effect.

Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte is keeping the capital region under loose movement restrictions through September to spur economic activity while battling the region’s worst coronavirus outbreak.

Economic updates

India: India’s economic growth suffered a historic 23.9% contraction in the April-June quarter, as the strict coronavirus lockdown hit businesses.

9:01 am

Why Zimbabwe is on the verge of collapse

1 September

Professor Steve Hanke, economist at Johns Hopkins University, shared an article on the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe.

Reuters report that Western diplomats have raised concerns over the country, which has been suffering with inflation at more than 800%.

Nurses have been on strike in the country and several political opponents have been arrested raising concerns over human rights violations and use of authoritarian tactics.

Diplomats note that the pandemic must not be used as an excuse for restricting the freedom of citizens.

Hanke opines that Zimbabwe is on the verge of collapse under these conditions.

Meanwhile, China is the only country projected to growth amid the pandemic in 2020. The country, however, may not be growing through demand but rather through public debt and foreign debt.

Daniel Lacalle, chief economist at Tressis SV, tweeted on how the weak consumption recovery and high inventory in China do not indicate GDP growth in the country as suggested by headlines.
Read more

2:13 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 25.2 million with more than 6 million in the US – global deaths near 847,000

31 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 25,249,000, with over 846,000 deaths and 16,634,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, daily confirmed cases continue to increase.

In North America and across the world, the US maintains its place as the most affected country with more than 6 million total confirmed cases, followed by the Latin American and South Asian regions of Brazil and India, respectively.

However, India’s infections will likely surpass Brazil as the country continues to experience a rise in daily confirmed cases, though this is largely due to increases in testing.

Additionally, despite rising infections, India will re-open its train network in the capital city of New Delhi starting 7 September.

This comes after a five-month hiatus, and will be initiated in a phased manner.

While passengers are expected to wear masks, the sheer number of passengers and tight quarters is concerning.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

2:31 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 infections pass 25.2 million – deaths exceed 846,000 – more than 16 million recoveries

28 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 25,200,000 with over 846,000 deaths and 16,624,000 recoveries.

The number of new daily confirmed cases continues to decline in the US.

Germany has performed more than 987,400 daily tests in the week leading up to 8/26 and reported 19 new cases per million population.

Germany’s positive test rate is approximately 2%.

The US reported over 130 new cases per million population and a positive test rate of 7.8%.

Bahrain and Israel are reporting are reporting the highest new cases per million population in the world with 363 and 250 new cases per million population, respectively.

Collectively the Middle East and Latin America have the most total confirmed cases per million of population.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

11:14 am

International update: Global Covid-19 infections pass 24.47 million – US cases pass 5.8 million – Trump vows to crush Covid

28 August

Global: Global Covid-19 infections have passed 24.47 million with more than 832,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The World Health Organization said it would set up a committee to review the rules on declaring an international health emergency, following criticism of its Covid-19 pandemic response.

US: The United States has added 931 new coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the country’s total death toll to 180,527. An additional 42,859 new infections brought its overall caseload to 5,860,397.

President Donald Trump has promised to “crush” the coronavirus pandemic with a vaccine by the end of the year, as he accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination for a second term.

Latin America: Coronavirus cases have passed the seven-million-mark in Latin America, according to a Reuters tally. The daily average of cases fell to about 77,800 in the last seven days through Wednesday, against almost 85,000 the previous week, the tally based on government figures showed.

Australia: The state of Victoria says it detected 113 new cases in the past 24 hours, a number that remained unchanged from the previous day. Australia has now recorded nearly 25,500 Covid-19 infections nationwide, while the death toll rose to 584 after 12 people died in the state.

India: India has recorded its highest one-day tally of coronavirus cases, with 77,266 new infections recorded. That’s the second highest number of cases ever recorded by a single country in one day.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,571 to 239,507, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Friday.

China: China reported nine new Covid-19 cases, all imported. It marked the 12th consecutive day of no local transmissions, according to the National Health Commission.

South Korea: South Korea reported 371 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, including 359 local infections, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is down from the nearly six-month high on Thursday of 441.

Japan: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his resignation due to ill health, after introducing new measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic, including boosting testing capability to 200,000 tests a day and aiming to secure enough vaccines for all citizens by mid-2021.

Syria: Ramesh Rajasingham, the United Nations’s deputy emergency relief coordinator, says Covid-19 is having a dramatic effect on healthcare services in Syria, where limited testing is obscuring the real extent of the pandemic.

Ireland: Ireland is seeing a “worrying trend” in coronavirus cases, the health ministry warned, as case numbers continue to increase. The country is now seeing about 33 cases per 100,000 people compared to three in June, ministry adviser Philip Nolan told reporters in Dublin, while the number of people being admitted to the hospital is starting to rise.

Spain: Spain reported 3,781 new Covid-19 cases, the most since 23 April. Chief epidemiologist Fernando Simon said that only 5% of cases were hospitalized. “It was 55% at the peak of the pandemic,” he said, adding that most of the new cases were in the Madrid area.

Italy: Italy reported 1,411 new cases Thursday, in line with the previous day but still the most since 6 May. A record 94,024 tests were performed as summer vacationers returned from countries, including Spain and Greece.

Lockdown updates

Spain: Spain announced schoolchildren aged six and over must wear masks to class, just days before the start of the new academic year.

7:49 am

US Federal Reserve looks to inflation to save jobs

28 August

In a historic move, the US Federal Reserve announced a new monetary policy strategy aimed at building a strong labour market and stabilising prices.

The new policy is a shift from the decades long strategy of curbing inflation.

James Picerno, editor at the US Business Cycle Risk Report, shared an article on the Federal Reserve’s new monetary policy strategy.

The new strategy aims to target 2% average inflation, a big departure from the previous policy to curb inflation.

The strategy is aimed at building a strong labour market, which will require a range of policies apart from a supportive monetary policy.

The policy change is still unclear as no guidelines have been provided on how long interest rates will be kept low and how high inflation will be allowed to go.

Investors may need to wait until September when the Federal Reserve issues guidance on interest rates and ensures to keep inflation at a threshold of 2.25% or 2.5%.

Read more

2:05 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 24.2 million – deaths exceed 826,000 – Latin America seeing fastest rise in new cases

27 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 24,203,000 with over 826,400 deaths and 15,825,921 recoveries.

Among the top ten most affected countries, Brazil, Peru, and Colombia are reporting new daily confirmed cases at rate of more than 200 new cases per million population.

The rate for India and the US is about 50 new cases and 130 new cases per million population, respectively.

Spain is the most affected country in Europe.

However, the number of new daily deaths is significantly lower when compared to the first wave.

The UK is considering adding a few more countries to the quarantine list such as the Czech Republic.

Despite the increasing number of new confirmed cases over the past month, the Czech Republic has not placed restrictions like it did during the first wave.

This might be because of public opposition against such restriction levels.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData  

10:08 am

International update: Global Covid-19 infections pass 24.1 million – cases in Europe increasing post lockdown – global deaths near 826,000

27 August

Global: Global Covid-19 infections have passed 24.1 million with almost 826,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Europe: France and Italy reported post-lockdown daily case highs on Wednesday. France’s 5,429 new cases raised concerns ahead of the new school year starting next week. Italy reported 1,367 new coronavirus cases, its highest daily tally since May when the country was still in lockdown.

The EU’s trade chief, Phil Hogan, stepped down after growing criticism that he broke virus regulations in his native Ireland. Hogan was under pressure over his attendance at a golf dinner last week that violated coronavirus regulations, as well as his behaviour during quarantine upon arrival in his home country.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US increased by 0.8% as compared with the same time Tuesday to 5.8 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase matched the average daily gain over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.8% to 179,150.

Health experts are concerned a sudden US decision to change testing guidance for people who have been exposed to Covid-19 patients but have not developed symptoms risks spreading the virus further. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now says so-called “close contacts” of people with Covid-19 do not “necessarily need” to be tested if they do not have symptoms.

China: A World Health Organization team that was meant to investigate the origin of the coronavirus concluded their trip to China without a visit to Wuhan, the Financial Times reported, citing the UN agency.

Greece: Greece reported a record-high 293 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to 9280. The number is the highest daily increase since the beginning of the pandemic. The country also recorded five new deaths, bringing the total to 248.

India: India has passed 60,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to the country’s health ministry, and reported its highest daily case rise of more than 75,000. There are growing concerns about the spread of the virus to rural areas.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,507 to 237,936, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Thursday.

Australia: The number of new infections in the southern state of Victoria appeared to be stabilising. On Thursday, 113 cases were reported – the lowest increase since 5 July, when 74 cases were reported. However, the state reported 23 deaths associated with Covid-19 on Thursday.

New Zealand: New Zealand reported seven new cases, including one imported infection. The six other cases were all linked to the Auckland cluster.

Argentina: Argentina posted a record daily rise of 10,550 confirmed Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, the health ministry said, taking the total caseload to 370,188 as the South American nation struggled to rein in the spread of infections while trying to ease open its crisis-hit economy.

Lockdown updates

Gaza: Gaza will remain in lockdown at least until Sunday, health officials said on Wednesday, after reporting two deaths and 26 cases in the first public outbreak of coronavirus in the blockaded Palestinian enclave.

China: Hong Kong is moving to relax some of its rules on social distancing measures from midnight (16:00 GMT) on Thursday for a period of seven days. The Food and Health Bureau says while sporadic cases and clusters were to be expected and that the government would take a “refined and sophisticated approach” to the relaxation of measures.

Singapore: Singapore will offer Covid-19 tests for travellers to China prior to departure, in an effort to align with new Chinese requirements aimed at stemming the growing number of imported virus cases.

Thailand: The Thai government may allow foreigners who own properties in the country to return as it seeks to gradually ease travel curbs imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Economic updates

South Korea: South Korea central bank cut its growth outlook, predicting the world’s 12th-largest economy would shrink more than 1%.

New Zealand: Air New Zealand has posted a net loss of NZD454m ($300m) for the financial year ended June 30. Like many airlines around the world, the closing of borders has led to a collapse in passenger traffic leaving planes on the ground. About one-third of Air New Zealand’s 12,500 employees are expected to lose their jobs as a result.

Japan: Japanese Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said a jump in virus cases from July and heavy rains are dragging on the nation’s economy and he didn’t know yet whether the outbreak has peaked.

7:57 am

Global economy showing signs of recovery but overall decline forecast

27 August

The global economy is gradually showing signs of recovery after a major decline in the first half of the year.

The growth of the economy is expected to continue from the second half of the year, although the labour market will take a long time to recover.

Erik Meyersson, senior economist at Svenska Handelsbanken, a Swedish bank, shared a report on the latest forecast issued by the bank.

The report notes that the global economy is showing signs of recovery after a historic fall in economic activity in the first half.

However, the impact of the pandemic,  has varied across different countries.

While Nordic countries managed to handle the pandemic better, the European Union and the US have been severely impacted.

The report notes that global growth is expected to decline by 4.3% in 2020, followed by a 5.2% growth in 2021 and 3.5% growth in 2022.

New infection rates and lockdown restrictions, however, will play a major role in deciding the growth of the global economy.

Read more

7:13 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 23.9 million – re-infections recorded – fatality rate falling

26 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 23,930,000 with over 820,000 deaths and 15,606,000 recoveries.

The US, India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa remain the most affected countries.

The number of new confirmed cases in the US, Russia and South Africa have declined steadily over the past two weeks.

However, South Africa is performing fewer tests and has a higher positive test rates than Russia and the US.

There have been rare cases of re-infection with the virus, two in Europe and one in Hong Kong.

It is too early to make any conclusions on how this would impact the pandemic.

Nevertheless, the fatality rate compared to the beginning of the outbreak has dropped significantly.

This might be because of multiple factors, including higher individual awareness, social distancing, and health services adaptation.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData  

11:06 am

International update: Global Covid-19 cases near 24 million – deaths near 820,000 – more re-infections confirmed

26 August

Global: Global Covid-19 infections have passed 23.9 million with almost 820,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Rates of transmission are easing in many parts of the world, the World Health Organisation has suggested. Governments have been ramping up efforts to contain the disease, which has claimed the lives of nearly 820,000 people and infected almost 24 million since late last year.

Europe: Two European patients were confirmed to have been re-infected with coronavirus, raising concerns about immunity. Regional public broadcasters said a patient in the Netherlands and another in Belgium had been re-infected.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US increased 0.6% to 5.76 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was lower than the average daily gain of 0.8% over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.4% to 177,773.

The number of Americans newly diagnosed with the coronavirus is falling. About 43,000 new cases are being reported daily across the country, down 21% from early August, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Turkey: Turkey recorded its highest number of new coronavirus cases since mid-June. Another 1,502 infections were confirmed on Tuesday, according to government data, taking the official tally over 261,000.

India: India reported the highest number of new coronavirus cases globally for the 18th straight day. Infections rocketed by another 1.5 million since the start of August, taking India’s total to more than 3.2 million.

Mexico: Mexico has confirmed 4,916 new cases of the disease and 650 more deaths, bringing its totals to 568,621 cases and 61,450 deaths.

Myanmar: Myanmar has reported 70 new cases of coronavirus, its biggest daily jump since the pandemic began. The health ministry did not say where the new cases were found.

China: China has reported 15 new cases in the mainland – all of them in people returned from overseas.The mainland has not confirmed a domestically transmitted case in 10 days. It also had 14 new asymptomatic cases, which are not included in confirmed cases. The death toll remains unchanged at 4,634.

South Korea: South Korea has ordered doctors in Seoul to return to work on Wednesday as they began a three-day strike in protest against several government proposals. South Korea is battling one of its worst outbreaks of the coronavirus, with 320 new cases reported in the 24 hours to midnight Tuesday.

North Korea: Kim Jong Un has told North Korea to step up prevention efforts against the coronavirus. The country has not reported any confirmed cases of the virus, but imposed a strict lockdown in the city of Kaesong after a man there showed symptoms of the disease. Later tests were inconclusive, according to the WHO.

Australia: The southern state of Victoria has reported its second deadliest day of the pandemic with 24 deaths and 149 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours. Melbourne, the state’s capital and the second-biggest city in Australia, is midway through a six-week lockdown and curfew as it battles a resurgence of the disease.

Argentina: Argentina reported 8,771 new confirmed Covid-19 cases for a national total of 359,638, according to the government, the second straight record daily tally. The government reported 162 deaths, for a total of 7,563.

Lockdown updates

Gaza: Gaza entered a 48-hour lockdown after the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the general population. Four cases of coronavirus were confirmed in a single family in a refugee camp, the first in Gaza that did not involve people quarantined in border facilities after crossing over from Egypt and Israel.

Singapore: Singapore will tighten border measures for travellers arriving from South Korea after a resurgence of virus cases there. Those who have travelled to or transited in South Korea within the past two weeks will be required to serve a 14-day quarantine at government-run facilities when they enter Singapore, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Japan: Japan is considering how to make social-distancing rules more binding as it confronts a wave of coronavirus cases larger than the one that prompted a state of emergency in April-May, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said. Future emergency declarations could be targeted to specific areas or industries, said Nishimura, who heads the country’s virus response.

Hawaii: Hawaii’s most populous island is returning to a stay-at-home order while officials conduct 70,000 Covid-19 tests in the next two weeks. The federal government will help officials test 5,000 people in Oahu every day for two weeks, the Associated Press reported.

UK: Pupils in England will no longer be advised against using face masks in schools after prime minister Boris Johnson made an 11th-hour U-turn days before students head back to the classroom.

Economic updates

Australia: Australia will boost defence spending by A$1 billion ($716.80 million) in the government’s latest attempt to help the country’s coronavirus-hit economy. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the money will be used to upgrade military facilities and offer additional paid employment to some 27,000 reservists.

7:42 am

Permanent job losses in US could reach 8.7 million – how financial repression and inflation can ease UK public debt

26 August

The effects of Covid-19 pandemic have been multi-fold from shutting down businesses, causing widespread unemployment to a global healthcare crisis.

Adam Ozimek, chief economist at Upwork, shared an article on how the Covid-19 induced recession is leading to permanent job losses in the US similar to the Great Recession.

The rise in unemployment rate during March and April was considered to be temporary.

However, in July, approximately 33% of employees who were furloughed were permanently laid off, according to data from Gusto, a payroll and benefits company.

A total of 3.7 million people were unemployed in July, according to official figures from the Labour department.

By the end of the year, the figure is expected to rise to between 6.2 million and 8.7 million, which is close to the 8.6 million unemployed during the Great Recession.

Long-term unemployment may lead to slow economic recovery and have the most impact on the minority communities of the society.

Meanwhile, George Magnus, a macroeconomist, shared an article on the expected rise in inflation in the UK.

Magnus argues that a combination of financial repression and inflation may be the best way to address public debt.

Read more

2:15 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 23.6 million with more than 813,000 deaths – infections slowing in US

25 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 23,679,000 with over 813,000 deaths and 15,359,000 recoveries.

The number of new daily confirmed cases are declining in the US.

Among European countries, Spain, France, and Germany are reporting the highest new confirmed cases.

Yesterday, Spain reported over 19,000 new cases.

In the UK, it appears the country has controlled the local outbreaks as the numbers are declining nationally.

India reports over 25% of the global new cases.

The country is now performing more daily tests than the US.

The fatality rate in India is half of the global average, possibly because of the country’s young population.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData 

10:24 am

International update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 23.6 million – first documented human re-infection confirmed

25 August

Global: Global Covid-19 infections have passed 23.6 million with more than 813,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Cancer patients are at high risk of severe disease if they contract Covid-19, and those with blood diseases are in the most danger, researchers said. People with leukaemia and other blood cancers who contract the coronavirus face as much as 57% higher odds of severe disease compared to those with breast cancer, according to a study published Monday in The Lancet Oncology journal.

China: A Hong Kong man has been re-infected with Covid-19 after four-and-a-half months, leading to immunity concerns. A Hong Kong man who recovered from Covid-19 was infected again four-and-a-half months later in the first documented instance of human re-infection, researchers at the University of Hong Kong said on Monday.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US increased by 0.6% as compared with the same time Sunday to 5.72 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was lower than the average daily gain of 0.8% over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.2% to 176,991.

Gaza: Gaza reported its first Covid-19 cases outside quarantine areas and declared lockdown. The first cases of coronavirus have been detected outside of quarantine facilities within the Gaza Strip, a potentially disastrous development given the enclave’s fragile health system.

Sweden: Sweden is likely to see local outbreaks but no big second wave of Covid-19 cases in the autumn, such as inundated hospitals a few months ago, Sweden’s top epidemiologist and architect of its unorthodox pandemic strategy said.

Pakistan: latest figures from Pakistan show the country has 8,934 active cases of coronavirus – the lowest since April 24, according to our correspondent Asad Hashim. Pakistan recorded an additional 450 cases on Monday and 11 deaths.

Australia: The state of Victoria has confirmed 148 new cases of coronavirus and eight deaths in the past 24 hours. The state’s capital, Melbourne, is slightly more than halfway through a six-week lockdown imposed as a second wave of cases emerged in the state.

Germany: New coronavirus cases increased at a pace close to Saturday’s four-month high, while the infection rate fell below a key benchmark of 1.0. There were 1,628 new infections in the 24 hours through Tuesday morning, taking the total to 236,122.

Singapore: Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority ordered a stop to activities at some construction worksites after a new Covid-19 cluster was found at the country’s largest foreign worker dormitory, raising concerns of a resurgence in virus infections.

Vaccine news

US: Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases expert, warned that distributing a Covid-19 vaccine under special emergency use guidelines before it has been proved safe and effective in large trials is a bad idea that could have a chilling effect on the testing of other vaccines.

Dr Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says the agency will not be influenced by political pressure when it comes to approving a vaccine for Covid-19. Hahn said the FDA’s decision to issue an emergency authorisation for blood plasma treatment for coronavirus at the weekend was not political.

Mexico: Four different coronavirus vaccine initiatives will receive financial support from the Mexican Government, the Foreign Ministry said in a presentation. A total of 19 projects including those focused on Covid-19 treatments will receive financing via a fund with resources from the Mexican International Development and Cooperation Agency, foreign entities and private foundations, the Foreign Ministry said in a separate statement.

Lockdown updates

Global: The United Nations said the threat from ISIL (ISIS) has been reduced by the coronavirus lockdowns imposed in many countries. “Measures to minimise the spread of Covid-19, such as lockdowns and restrictions on movement, seem to have reduced the risk of terrorist attacks in many countries,” said Vladimir Voronkov, undersecretary-general for counter-terrorism.

South Korea: South Korea on Tuesday ordered most schools in Seoul and surrounding areas to close and move classes back online, the latest in a series of precautionary measures aimed at heading off a resurgence in coronavirus cases, Reuters reports.

Colombia: Colombia will start a new phase of the pandemic in which mandatory lockdowns end and authorities instead impose “selective lockdowns” with fewer restrictions to individual mobility, President Ivan Duque said on state TV.

Economic updates

Australia: Qantas Airways Ltd. plans to cut as many as 2,500 more jobs by offloading ground operations such as baggage handling and aircraft cleaning as the cost of the coronavirus pandemic mounts.

Philippines: The Philippines’ House of Representatives on Monday approved the final version of a 165.5 billion-peso ($3.4 billion) pandemic relief bill that would provide subsidies to the unemployed, assistance to businesses and loan repayment extension to borrowers.

8:30 am

Brexit a bigger threat to UK GDP than Covid-19 – concern as US federal debt tops $26.6tn

25 August

The Covid-19 pandemic appeared at a time when the UK was preparing for Brexit.

The debate on a no deal Brexit and a Brexit with a free trade agreement continue, although the impact of the pandemic adds another element to the debate.

Dina D. Pomeranz, economics professor at University of Zurich, shared an article on how the impact of Brexit could be two to three times greater than Covid-19 on the UK economy.

The UK GDP is projected to decline by 1.7% over the next to three two years without much long-term impact.

However, the impact of Brexit on GDP is expected to emerge gradually.

Analysis by the government has indicated that a no deal Brexit could result in a decline of 7.6% in GDP after 15 years, while Brexit with a free trade agreement could lead to a 4.9% decline in GDP.

In other news, Professor Steve Hanke, economist at Johns Hopkins University, tweeted on US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s calls for additional financial stimulus.

He noted that government spending is already at a high, which has pushed the US federal debt to more than $26.6tn.

Hanke questioned as to how the deficit created by the increased spending will be addressed.

Read more

6:25 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases approach 23.5 million – infections on the increase in Europe

24 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 23,456,000 with over 809,000 deaths and 15,155,000 recoveries.

The US, Brazil and India remain the most affected countries with over 53% of the world’s total confirmed cases.

India now has more than 3.1 million Covid-19 infections.

In Europe, new daily confirmed cases are increasing.

On Friday, France reported over 15,000 new daily confirmed cases.

The numbers of new confirmed cases are declining in South Africa and Russia.

In the Middle East, and regions with high Shia population, there may be an increase in the number of new confirmed cases as Muharram begins.

Currently, there are no restrictions or guidelines for religious gatherings.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData  

10:05 am

International update: Global Covid-19 infections exceed 23.4 million as deaths near 809,000 – US cases pass 5.7 million

24 August

Global: Global Covid-19 infections have passed 23.4 million with more than 808,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

US: The US Food & Drug Administration said it has authorised the use of blood plasma from patients who have recovered from Covid-19 as a treatment for the disease, a day after President Donald Trump blamed the agency for impeding the rollout of coronavirus vaccines for political reasons.

As US Covid-19 cases passed 5.7 million, New York reported that virus-related hospitalizations had dropped to 472 and intensive care patients to 110, both the lowest since mid-March. It also marked the 16th straight day of positive-test results under 1%.

California reported 6,777 new virus cases on Sunday, the highest number in a week but still less than the seven-day average of 7,822.

China: China sees no locally transmitted cases for the eighth day in a row. The country reported 16 new Covid-19 cases in the mainland for 23 August, all of which were imported infections involving travellers from overseas, the country’s health authority said on Monday.

South Korea: South Korea counted its 11th straight day of triple-digit daily jumps in coronavirus cases as officials tighten social distancing restrictions nationwide to combat what they describe as the biggest crisis since the emergence of Covid-19.

Japan: Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, visited a Tokyo hospital on Monday for a second time within days, stoking concern about his ability to stay on as leader due to health issues and fatigue from tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia: The state of Victoria reported its lowest daily rise in new coronavirus infections in seven weeks on Monday, fuelling optimism that a deadly second wave there is subsiding. Victoria on Monday reported 116 cases and 15 deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours, down from a peak of more than 700 cases early this month.

France: France reported almost 4,900 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, its highest figure since May.  Deaths increased by one to 30,513 in the past 24 hours.

Italy: The number of daily coronavirus cases recorded in Italy has nearly doubled in the past five days, rising to more than 1,200 on Sunday. Italy recorded 1,210 cases in the past 24 hours, compared with 642 on Wednesday, latest official figures showed. There were seven deaths compared with three the day before.

UK: The UK recorded 1,041 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, down from 1,288 on Saturday, government figures showed. It is the fourth day in a row that new infections have been more than 1,000 in 24 hours.

Greece: The Greek island of Lesbos was added to a list of areas under heightened Covid-19 vigilance, officials said. The move came as health authorities announced a new daily infection high of 284 cases nationwide in the last 24 hours. The total number reached 8,664, of which around 40% has been reported in August. The death toll reached 242.

Mexico: Mexico has reported 226 more deaths from the coronavirus, finishing the week with 3,723 fatalities, the lowest total in over two months, according to government figures.

Vaccine news

China: The Chinese government has been administering a vaccine candidate to selected groups of key workers since July, a senior health official told state media yesterday. Zheng Zhongei, head of the national health commission’s science and technology centre, told CCTV the government had authorised “emergency use” and it was in line with the law, the South China Morning Post has reported.

Philippines: The Philippines is negotiating with 16 manufacturers of potential Covid-19 vaccines to procure supplies needed to battle South-East Asia’s largest outbreak. In addition, the Philippine education department reported that at least 311 teachers and 268 students have been infected with the coronavirus. In an announcement on social media, Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua said that of the total cases, 318 remain active while 22 have died. It was unclear how many of the total fatalities were teaching staff or students.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, will continue with its Level 3 restrictions for an additional four days. Auckland was set to lift the restrictions – requiring residents to ‘stay at home and stay local’ – on Wednesday, but those have now been extended to 11:59pm on Sunday.

Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro defended the reopening of retail outlets “with responsibility” and said his government had done everything possible to curb the spread of Covid-19, in a video posted on social media Sunday.

8:01 am

How wearing face masks can help reduce US GDP fall

24 August

Healthcare officials have repeatedly highlighted the importance of wearing face masks to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Economists have gone a step further, by translating the importance of mask wearing into economic terms to understand the impact on GDP.

Dr. Malini Nair, an economist, shared an article on how wearing masks can help in improving the US GDP.

Wearing masks can act as an alternative for lockdowns and enable more shops and offices to open. According to Goldman Sachs, if 15% of the population wears a mask, the increase in number of cases can be reduced by 1%.

The Economist further notes that if a single person in the US wears a mask for a day, it will help in preventing a fall in GDP of $56.14.

Based on these projections, the article notes the government should place more emphasis on the importance of wearing masks.

Read more

1:23 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 infections exceed 23.4 million – India cases pass 3 million

24 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 23.4 million with more than 800,000 deaths and 15,139,454 recoveries.

Across the globe, Covid-19 total confirmed cases continue to increase, with the US, Brazil, and India still taking the lead as the most heavily affected countries.

The UK has seen local lockdowns in areas such as Aberdeen, Manchester and Leicester, in an effort to prevent a second wave of infections.

In Brazil, Sao Paulo is the worst hit region, with over 730,000 total confirmed cases now reported.

Health inequalities and a response criticized for being too economy focused, has led Brazil to have the second highest death toll, after the US.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData 

10:44 am

International update: Global Covid-19 deaths near 800,000 as infections approach 22.7 million – new cases surge as lockdowns lifted

21 August

Global: The global death toll from Covid-19 has edged closer towards 800,000. There have been 793,864 fatalities from coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University, and almost 22.7 million cases.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US increased 0.8% as compared with the same time Wednesday to 5.55 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase – the fourth straight day that cases rose by 0.8% — was lower than the average daily gain of 0.9% over the past week. Deaths now number 174,283.

Latin America: The number of Covid-19 deaths in Latin America surged past 250,000 on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally. The grim milestone was passed as Brazil reported 1,204 deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours. Over the past week, the region has reported more than 3,000 deaths a day, while daily caseloads continue to rise in Peru, Colombia and Argentina.

India: India hurtled toward the three million mark for coronavirus cases, reporting 68,898 new infections in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases in the country now stands at 2.9 million. Deaths in the same period jumped by 983, with the total now at 54,849.

South Korea: South Korea faces “very serious situation” as it seeks to trace thousands who attended a conservative rally at the weekend. It has seen a spike in cases centred around a church whose members were among thousands who attended the anti-government rally. South Korea added 324 cases in 24 hours compared with 288 a day earlier, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. There were two additional deaths.

Australia: The state of Victoria has recorded 179 new cases of Covid-19. It was the lowest one-day increase in five weeks and a sign that the outbreak that brought a lockdown on Melbourne was being brought under control.

Germany: Germany recorded 1,586 new infections in the 24 hours through Friday, the same number as Thursday and above 1,000 for a fourth straight day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Japan: Japan’s current wave of coronavirus infections has more or less reached its nationwide peak, said Shigeru Omi, head of the government’s virus advisory panel. Japan saw a second wave of infections that started a few weeks ago after opening the economy following a period under a state of emergency. The country reported 1,185 new infections on Thursday, according to NHK, down from a peak of more than 1,600 seen on 7 August.

Argentina: Argentina reported a record daily rise of 8,225 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 320,884. There were 111 new deaths, taking the total to 6,517.

UK: Virus cases in England increased by more than a quarter in the week through 12 August, underscoring the risks facing Boris Johnson’s government as it tries to boost economic activity without triggering a new peak in the pandemic.

Vaccine news

Global: Authorities in Peru and Morocco approved Phase 3 clinical trials for a potential Covid-19 vaccine developed by China National Biotec Group (CNBG), the company said late on Thursday.

US: A senior US health regulator has vowed to resign if the Trump administration tries to rush approval of a vaccine. Peter Marks of the Food and Drug Administration said there was growing concern that the White House will try to approve a treatment before the November election even if it is not safe.

Mexico: Mexico will receive at least 2,000 doses of Russia’s potential Covid-19 vaccine, dubbed ‘Sputnik V’, to test among its population, according to the Mexican foreign minister.

Lockdown updates

Myanmar: Health authorities ordered residents of Sittwe, the capital of Myanmar’s Rakhine state, to stay at home after detecting three more locally transmitted cases, according to the Myanmar Times newspaper. A total of nine cases have been reported in Rakhine since August 16, when authorities detected Myanmar’s first locally transmitted case in nearly a month.

Morocco: King Mohammed VI warned that Morocco could return to a complete coronavirus lockdown amid a jump in infections that has strained health services and triggered protests by medical staff. New cases nationally have surged to more than 1,000 a day since Morocco lifted a strict three-month-long lockdown in late June and hit a record high of 1,766 on August 15. As of Thursday, Morocco had recorded a total 47,638 cases, including 775 deaths and 32,806 recoveries.

New Zealand: New Zealand reported nine new locally transmitted coronavirus cases, and put off a decision about easing restrictions in its biggest city of Auckland to next week. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she would announce on Monday whether the government would ease alert level 3 restrictions enforced in Auckland, and level 2 measures in the rest of the country.

Japan: Japan plans to ease its Covid-19 entry restrictions on foreign nationals with resident visas starting next month, public broadcaster NHK reported. Re-entry will be permitted for visa holders, including permanent residents and exchange students, on condition that they undergo coronavirus testing and quarantine for 14 days, the same policy that applies to Japanese citizens re-entering the country, according to NHK.

France: Schools in France will open as planned on 1st September, despite calls from teachers for more time to prepare because of the coronavirus, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said in a television interview.

 

7:38 am

Unemployment expected to surge as furlough ends

21 August

The UK has managed to keep its unemployment rate low with the help of the furlough scheme.

However, the unemployment rate is expected surge once the furlough scheme comes to an end, with many companies already announcing redundancies.

Duncan Weldon, Britain economics correspondent for The Economist, shared an article on the expected increase in unemployment in the UK.

The unemployment rate in June was 3.9%, which is very low compared to the US at 11.1%.

However, the low unemployment rate is attributed to the furlough scheme, which involved the government paying 80% of the wages of the employees.

As the furlough scheme comes to an end in October, companies have to start contributing to the cost of their furloughed employees.

As a result, a number of redundancies have been announced or planned to be announced by various companies. Marks & Spencer, for example, announced its plans to cut 7,000 jobs.

The Bank of England estimates that the unemployment could peak between 7.5% and 12% once the furlough scheme ends.

Read more

2:25 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 22.4 million with more than 788,000 deaths – Japan suffers second wave

20 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 22,442,000 with over 788,000 deaths and 14,349,000 recoveries.

Across the globe, Covid-19 total confirmed cases continue to increase, with the US, Brazil and India still taking the lead as the most heavily affected countries worldwide.

In the US, although daily confirmed cases continue to decrease nationally, the number of deaths continue to climb, with Florida now the 5th State to report 10,000 deaths.

Russia is ranked 4th in the list of most heavily affected countries worldwide, however, they appear to be controlling the virus as evidenced by a decrease in daily confirmed cases over the past three months.

A resurgence of cases in Japan has resulted in a second wave much larger than the first.

A lack of large scale testing is thought to be the main reason for this, with undiagnosed cases causing the virus to spread across communities silently.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData  

9:29 am

International update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 22.4 million – new spikes as lockdowns ease – US infections exceed 5.5 million

20 August

Global: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 22.4 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. Deaths are nearing 788,000.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US increased 0.8% as compared with the same time Tuesday to 5.51 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. It was the third straight day that cases rose by 0.8%, which was lower than the average daily gain of 0.9% over the past week. Deaths also rose by 0.8%, to 172,511.

US President Donald Trump is touting the use of convalescent plasma as a treatment for coronavirus, saying he’s “heard fantastic things” about it. Trump made his comments after the New York Times reported that the Food and Drug Administration had put on hold emergency approval for the treatment because of concerns the data on plasma use was too weak.

Florida’s coronavirus death toll hit 10,000 on Wednesday as the state continues to struggle to get the ongoing pandemic under control. Almost six months since Florida’s first case was identified, the state reported 174 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the total death toll to 10,067. The state reported 584,047 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, up 0.7% from a day earlier, compared with an average increase of 1% in the previous seven days. The new daily rate of people testing positive for the first time fell to 7.1% for Tuesday, the lowest since June 14. The state has reported 33,146 new cases in the past seven days, the fewest in a comparable period since late June.

Texas reported the lowest number of Covid-19 hospitalizations since late June, according to state health department figures. Hospitals in the second-biggest US state had 5,974 virus patients as of late Tuesday, the fewest since June 29. The strain on medical infrastructure continued to ease even as new cases increased by 7,024 to bring the cumulative total to 557,256.

New York City’s positive test rate for the Covid-19 has fallen to its lowest since the pandemic crisis first hit, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. After more than two months of experiencing positive test rates of less than 3%, the city recorded a 0.24% test rate this week, the mayor reported during a news briefing Wednesday.

Brazil: Brazil’s Health Ministry says there are signs the coronavirus outbreak in the country – the world’s second-worst – could be about to slow. The number of confirmed cases dropped to 304,684 last week, compared with a peak of 319,653 in the week ending July 25. The number of deaths reported on a weekly basis has also fallen to 6,755 from a peak of 7,677 in the last week of July.

India: India has recorded its highest daily total of new cases, with 69,672 infections. This is the fourth highest daily total reported globally, only exceeded by the US on three occasions in second half of July.

Germany: Germany has recorded its highest daily case numbers since April, with 1,707 new infections. On 18 April the country recorded 3,609 cases.

South Korea: South Korea has recorded seven straight days of new cases in triple figures, and authorities have warned of a “nationwide pandemic”, with infections seeding across the country.

China: China has reported seven new cases of Covid-19, all of which the national health commission says were imported (3 in Jiangxi, 1 in Tianjin, 1 in Shanghai, 1 in Shandong) Cases, 1 in Sichuan). There were no new deaths and no new suspected cases, it said. It’s the fourth day in a row with no local transmissions.

Spain: Spain’s health ministry said 3,715 coronavirus infections were diagnosed in the 24 hours to Wednesday, a new single-day record since the country emerged from a three-month lockdown in mid-June.

France: France on Wednesday recorded new coronavirus cases at the fastest daily rate since May, official figures showed, as the country prepared for the return from summer holidays. Almost 3,800 infections were confirmed.

Italy: Italy recorded 642 new infections in a day on Wednesday, hitting a new record since May when the country cautiously emerged from one of the longest lockdowns in the world after more than 30,000 Covid-related deaths.

Indonesia: Indonesia has officially reported 6,346 deaths from Covid-19, the highest toll in South-East Asia, but Reuters reports that including people who died with acute Covid-19 symptoms but were not tested, the death toll is three times higher.

Australia: The state of Victoria has reported 240 new cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours, up slightly on the 216 announced on Wednesday. It also reported 13 deaths.

Thailand: Thailand reported seven new coronavirus cases, all found in state quarantine, continuing the nation’s almost three-month streak of zero local infections. The government is conducting contact tracing after it was found a woman who had completed 14-day quarantine could have the virus.

UAE: The United Arab Emirates is seeing a jump in new cases and the government blamed the increase on social gatherings and the failure to adhere to precautionary measures. The country reported 435 new infections on Wednesday, the highest daily increase in over a month.

Vaccine news

New Zealand: Three quarters of New Zealanders intend to get immunised against coronavirus when a vaccine becomes available, new research has found.

Lockdown updates

Vietnam: E Hospital in Hanoi has been locked down after an 87-year-old patient tested positive for the coronavirus, Voice of Vietnam reported, citing the head of the health ministry’s administration of medical examination and treatment. The patient was found to have contracted the virus six days after being admitted into the hospital. The source of the patient’s infection hasn’t been detected. Vietnam has 994 confirmed cases and 25 deaths.

Puerto Rico: Facing a spike in cases, Puerto Rico is clamping down again, closing beaches, bars, gyms, theaters and casinos through 11 September, and putting strict new controls in place for other establishments. All businesses except grocery stores, pharmacies and hospitals will be closed on Sundays, and all residents are being asked to stay home on Sundays unless it’s an emergency.

Greece: People will have to wear masks both indoors and outdoors on the island of Mykonos and in the northern region of Chalkidiki, the Greek government said. It also suspended any kind of events and prohibited gatherings of more than nine people in the two tourist areas.

1:40 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 22.1 million – new spikes in Europe – Auckland NZ back in lockdown

19 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 22,169,000 with over 781,000 deaths and 14,135,000 recoveries.

The US remains the most heavily affected country worldwide, however, a national decrease in daily confirmed cases has been observed over the last month, with cases only rising in a handful of states, such as Hawaii and Illinois.

Across Europe, many countries, such as, the UK, Italy and Belgium are experiencing a new spike in cases.

A second wave of infection is likely in these countries if they do not respond accordingly.

Brazil reports the second highest Covid-19 total confirmed cases globally, following the US.

Although, this is thought to be an underestimate due to a lack of testing; only 12.1 tests per 1,000 population were performed on the 21st of July in Brazil compared with 144.6 tests per 1,000 population performed in the US.

After 102 days of controlling the virus in Auckland, New Zealand, a new cluster of cases has put the city back into lockdown, with the general election postponed by a month.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData  

10:41 am

International update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 22.1 million – deaths exceed 781,000 – US infection rate slowing as cases near 5.5 million

19 August

Global: The number of coronavirus cases recorded around the world has passed 22.1 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Deaths from the virus stand at more than 781,000.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US increased by 0.8% as compared with the same time Monday to 5.46 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was lower than the average daily gain of 0.9% over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.5% to 171,120.

California reported 4,636 new confirmed cases, below the 14-day average of 8,089, according to state data. The most-populous state had 100 additional deaths, less than the 14-day average of 132, bringing its total to 11,342.

Brazil: One in five workers at Brazil’s meat plants have been infected with the coronavirus, according to union estimates. That would make the country home to one of the world’s worst workplace outbreaks.

South Korea: South Korea is struggling to contain an outbreak of the virus in the capital, Seoul. The country reported the highest daily rise in coronavirus cases since early March on Wednesday.

South Korea reported 297 more coronavirus cases on Wednesday, its biggest daily gain since March, amid concern that an uncooperative religious sect at the centre of the flare-up could be spreading infections nationwide.

Australia: The second-most populous state of Victoria says 12 people have died from the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours and reported 216 new cases. The state reported 222 cases a day earlier, its lowest one-day rise in a month, and 17 deaths.

China: Hong Kong is seeing a fall in the proportion of infections with unknown origins, boosting hopes that stringent city-wide containment measures can be eased. The share of local cases with untraceable origins has fallen to the lowest level since the start of the current virus wave — the city’s worst outbreak.

Belgium: The pronounced loss of smell that many coronavirus patients suffer could help separate them from flu cases quickly, easing a potential onslaught on health systems this winter, researchers said. The loss of smell is more significant in Covid-19 patients than in those suffering from bad colds, according to a study led by two Belgian universities and published Wednesday in the journal Rhinology.

Vaccine news

Brazil: Brazil’s health regulator has approved final stage trials for Johnson & Johnson’s experimental coronavirus vaccine – the fourth to get approval for testing in the country. The vaccine will be tested on 7,000 volunteers across seven states, Anvisa, the health regulator, said in a statement.

Australia: Australia has signed a deal with British drugmaker AstraZeneca to secure a potential Covid-19 vaccine being developed with Oxford University. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the vaccine is one of the most promising and advanced of the drugs currently in development.

Morrison has said he wants to make any potential Covid-19 vaccine mandatory. He outlined plans to “return the country to normal life” as infections from a second wave began to subside.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: Around 500 New Zealand military personnel will be deployed to help secure hotel quarantine sites as the country tries to contain a new outbreak.

Thailand: Thailand’s Covid-19 management subcommittee will submit its recommendation to extend the state of emergency for another month until the end of September to curb infection risks, said Natthapol Nakpanich, deputy army chief. The emergency rules were first imposed in March, and have been extended four times with the current extension set to end on 31 August.

8:22 am

Lower paid workers key to consumer driven economic recovery

19 August

China has been successful in controlling the Covid-19 outbreak and is expected to recover before the rest of the world.

The policies adopted by the government, however, may be increasing the wealth gap between high-income and low-income groups in the country.

Adam Tooze, an economist and director of European Institute, shared an article on how the Covid-19 pandemic is widening the wealth gap in China.

Wealthier people in the country have not been affected by pandemic as much as the lower income groups who are struggling financially.

The reason behind this uneven recovery is the policies adopted by the government, which has focussed on stimulating investment and construction, instead of providing direct cash to people as other countries have done.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected a 1.2% GDP growth for China but the policies adopted by the government will not help in consumption recovery, which accounted for 57.8% of GDP.

The low and middle income groups account for majority of the overall consumption compared to the high-income group.

The situation is expected to worsen as job losses increase, which will push the low income groups into poverty.

Meanwhile, in the UK, households have put non-essential spending on hold amid the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, while India could lose gains made in the last two years as 400 million educated workers are at risk of falling into poverty due to the pandemic.

Read more

1:25 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 21.9 million – increasing infections in Latin America and Africa

18 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 21,913,000 with over 774,000 deaths and 13,907,000 recoveries.

The US still remains the most heavily affected country worldwide, with states like California, Florida and Texas reporting the highest number of total confirmed cases.

Latin America continues to struggle to gain control of the virus, with Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Colombia and Chile all ranking in the list of top 10 most Covid-19 affected countries worldwide.

In Africa, cases are steadily increasing, with over 1.1 million total confirmed cases.

While South Africa contributes the highest number of cases across the continent, it appears to be over the first wave of infection; certain restrictions have now been lifted, such as the ban on alcohol and tobacco sales.

In South Korea, the country has tightened social distancing measures after a recent spike in cases linked to a church in the capital city of Seoul.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData 

9:33 am

International update: Global Covid-19 cases approach 22 million – record numbers tested in India

18 August

Global: Global Covid-19 cases are rapidly approaching 22 million, with more than 21,900,000 infections, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 774,000 deaths attributed to the virus.

The World Health Organization’s regional director for the Western Pacific says younger people – those in their 20s, 30s and 40s – are increasingly driving the coronavirus pandemic. Takeshi Kasai told a virtual briefing that many were unaware they had the disease.

US: Los Angeles County said it is continuing to see declines in daily hospitalizations and deaths, adding to signs of stabilization in the epicenter of California’s virus outbreak. Hospitalizations have dropped by 37% in the past month, the Department of Public Health said in a statement. Average deaths per day have fallen to 30 from 43 in late July. There were 19 new deaths reported Monday.

Texas became the fourth state to have more than 10,000 people die of the coronavirus, following California earlier this month. Texas reported 51 new virus deaths Monday, for a total of 10,034 total fatalities. New York has had more than 32,000 people die, and New Jersey almost 16,000.

Coronavirus cases in the US increased 0.8% as compared with the same time Sunday to 5.42 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was lower than the average daily gain of 1% over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.3% to 170,277. Arizona reported no deaths, as virus cases continued to decline. Hawaii experienced a 4.5% increase in the number of cases.

India: India has carried out nearly 900,000 coronavirus tests in a single day, a record for the country. The health ministry said a record 899,000 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to Tuesday. Only the US has ever carried out more daily tests, conducting 926,876, on 24 July.

Germany: Germany recorded the highest number of new coronavirus cases in nearly four months, and the infection rate held above the key threshold of 1.0. There were 1,693 new infections in the 24 hours through Tuesday morning, the most since 25 April and bringing the total to 226,700.

South Korea: South Korea reported 246 more cases of coronavirus – 235 of them locally acquired – on Tuesday, its fifth day of triple digit increases. Of the new cases, 131 were reported in Seoul and 52 in the surrounding Gyeonggi Province.

New Zealand: New Zealand’s reported 13 new cases of coronavirus over the past 24 hours. 12 of the cases are linked to an existing cluster that forced the lockdown of Auckland – the country’s biggest city.

Australia: The state of Victoria has reported its lowest number of coronavirus cases in a month, raising hopes that the second wave outbreak in the state is slowing. Victoria reported 222 cases of the disease in the last 24 hours.

Researchers at the University of Sydney have found a link between lower humidity and increased spread of the coronavirus in Australia, estimating that Covid-19 transmission rates could double if the relative humidity drops by 10%.

France: France reported 493 new infections from coronavirus over the past 24 hours, a sharp drop from a day earlier, according to data posted on the website of the country’s public health agency. Total deaths rose by 19 to 30,429.

Lebanon: Lebanon’s health minister has warned that hospitals are reaching maximum capacity to treat coronavirus patients after the deadly Beirut blast either damaged or overwhelmed clinics and triggered a spike in Covid cases.

China: China reported 22 new cases on Tuesday, the same as a day earlier, the health authority said. All were imported cases, making it the second straight day for zero new locally transmitted cases. There were no new deaths.

Vaccine news

China: China’s state media is reporting that a potential vaccine being developed by a unit of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), will cost no more than 1,000 yuan ($144.27) for two shots.

Lockdown updates

US: Looser lockdowns were a factor in allowing the coronavirus to flourish in the US compared with some European countries, said Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease specialist. Data from Spain and Italy show that their control over the virus was preceded by long periods when people’s trips to parks, public spaces, grocery stores and pharmacies were far rarer than in the US, he told a meeting of the American Society of Microbiology in an online address Monday.

Argentina: Thousands of people have taken to the streets in cities across Argentina to show their opposition to President Alberto Fernandez and his plans to extend coronavirus restrictions in the region around Buenos Aires. Argentina has recorded nearly 300,000 cases of the disease and 5,750 deaths. About 90 percent of the cases have been in Buenos Aires where the coronavirus curbs have been extended until 30 August.

Vietnam: Hanoi’s Deputy Mayor Nguyen Van Suu urged authorities to ask residents to avoid leaving their homes for non-essential reasons as the risk of a city-wide virus outbreak is a concern, according to a post on the city government’s website.

China: Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, said the city was “still in a very severe situation as far as the Covid-19 epidemic is concerned” as she unveiled a third round of pandemic stimulus funding. Strict social distancing measures currently in place were extended for at least another week.

Malta: Malta will close its bars and nightclubs once again after a surge in coronavirus cases. On Monday, Italy closed nightclubs for three weeks due to a surge in cases.

 

8:09 am

Japan experiences biggest economic slump in years – US shows signs of recovery

18 August

The third largest economy in the world, Japan’s economy is experiencing the biggest economic downturn in years.

Despite fiscal and monetary measures consumption and exports have remained low signalling a deeper recession unless improved policy actions are implemented.

Christophe Barraud, an economist, shared an article on Japan’s economy experiencing the biggest slump in the second quarter of 2020 at 27.8%.

The real GDP level of the country has declined to record low levels for the first time in decades despite injecting fiscal stimulus into the economy to deal with the impact of the pandemic.

The decline in Japan’s GDP is being attributed to the decrease in consumption and exports although a rebound is being projected for the July-September quarter.

The possibility of a surge in Covid-19 infections has, however, cast doubts on the outlook and highlighted the need for more policy action to prevent the country from going into a deeper recession.

Meanwhile, Lars Christensen, an economist, notes that a V-shaped recovery for the US economy is underway, although the stock market may face tough times in the future.

Read more

2:30 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 infections pass 21.7 million with more than 776,000 deaths

17 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 21,730,000 with 776,157 deaths and just over 13,690,000 recoveries.

The US continues to take the lead as the most heavily affected country, followed by Brazil and India.

Countries across Europe are in fear of experiencing a second wave, with many countries such as Spain and France starting to see a resurgence in cases as lock-down measures continue to relax.

Latin America is seeing cases rapidly rise in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Venezuela.

A high prevalence of chronic conditions and limited healthcare systems is creating added strain in this region.

India has now reported almost 51,000 deaths in the country, ranking them 4th on the list of most Covid-19 deaths worldwide.

Efforts are being made to increase testing in India as infections there pass 2.6 million.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist  at GlobalData 

10:17 am

International update: Global Covid-19 cases near 21.7 million – Virus continues to mutate sparking fears of ineffective vaccines

17 August

Global: Worldwide Covid-19 infections have raced to almost 21.7 million with deaths now numbering 775,489.

US: The US death toll has passed 170,000, with more than 5.4 million infections. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Protection, the rolling 7-day average for new cases now stands at 52,182.

A new cluster of Covid-19 cases has broken out at a University of North Carolina residence, the fourth in the last three days, the Daily Tar Heel reported on Sunday. A university spokesman said it would not say how many students were infected, according to the student newspaper. The university defines as five or more cases in “close proximity.”

A third high school in a Georgia county hit by a Covid-19 outbreak said it would close after 25 students tested positive and 500 were quarantined, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Germany: Bavarian authorities have admitted that they are still haven’t been able to contact 46 of more than 900 people who tested positive for the new coronavirus upon entering Germany recently, but didn’t receive the results. Germany has reported a total of 224,014 cases and over 9,200 deaths.

India: India reported a daily jump of 57,981 infections, taking the total to nearly 2.65 million, third only behind the United States and Brazil. The death toll jumped by 941, with the total now 50,921.

Japan: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe entered a hospital on Monday for a medical check-up, a government source said, after a top official voiced concern the premier was suffering from fatigue because of his workload during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bolivia: Bolivia has surpassed 100,000 coronavirus cases, the country’s Ministry of Health reported, predicting that the virus would reach its peak there in September, according to Reuters news agency.

South Korea: South Korea reported 197 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday as it battles sporadic outbreaks in densely populated Seoul and its neighbouring area, according to Yonhap news agency.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry has reported 4,448 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 214 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 522,162 cases and 56,757 deaths as of the end of Sunday, according to Reuters news agency.

China: China reported on Monday 22 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for August 16, compared with 19 cases a day earlier, Reuters reported quoting the National Health Commission. All of the new infections were imported cases, the agency said in a statement. There were no new deaths.

Australia: Australia has reported the deadliest day of the pandemic with 25 fatalities from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours and 282 new cases in the state of Victoria, according to the government. The previous record for Australia was 21 deaths in one day.

Lebanon: Lebanon has registered a record daily number of coronavirus infections, with 439 people contracting the virus and six fatalities. The new infections bring to 8,881 the total number of people reported infected in the small country of just more than five million. Some 103 have died because of Covid-19.

France: France reported 3,015 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, marking the second straight day with more than 3,000 new infections. One additional death was reported.

UK: Cases increased by more than 1,000 for the sixth consecutive day and five more people died of Covid-19, according to figures from the Department of Health and Social Care.

New Zealand: New Zealand postponed its general election for a month as its Auckland Covid cluster grew to 58.

Vaccine news

Russia: Russia reached an agreement in principle to conduct clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to the head of its sovereign wealth fund.

China: Chinese authorities have granted the first patent to the pharmaceutical firm CanSino Biologics Inc. for the development of a new coronavirus vaccine, Ad5-nCoV, according to the state-owned Global Times. Earlier, it was reported that Saudi Arabia has signed an agreement with China to begin clinical trials of the vaccine.

Zhong Nanshan, a top virus expert in China, said at a meeting on Sunday that China and Russia have plans to jointly conduct vaccine clinical trials, without giving further details. The meeting, held in China’s Guangdong province, is about virus cooperation between the two countries and attended by virus experts from both sides, according to local reports.

Malaysia: Malaysia’s Institute of Medical Research (IMR) has detected a mutation of Covid-19 virus in the country, according to the country’s top health official. Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a social media post that the mutation would likely make existing vaccines ineffective against the disease.

Mexico: President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has announced that a Covid-19 vaccine could be available in the country and throughout Latin America by the first quarter of 2021. In a video posted on social media on Sunday, Obrador said Mexico has reached a deal with Argentina’s AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company to produce a vaccine for distribution throughout Latin America.

Lockdown updates

Spain: Spain will start shutting nightspots this week after they were blamed for spikes in cases that triggered new travel warnings. Suspending operations again was one of 11 measures Spain’s regional governments agreed to take to curb the fastest virus growth rate among Europe’s major economies.

Italy: Italy has also ordered nightclubs to close and broadened rules on wearing protective masks.

Vietnam: Dak Lak province in Vietnam’s Central Highlands coffee belt removed a 14-day stay-at-home order applied to its capital city of Buon Ma Thuot and a lockdown of four locations in the city as the coronavirus outbreak is under control, it said in a statement.

Economics update

Thailand: Thailand’s economy contracted the most in more than two decades, deepening its recession as the nation’s key drivers of trade and tourism remain hobbled by the global coronavirus pandemic.

 

 

7:51 am

Effectiveness of Russia Covid-19 vaccine not known – NHS slated as ‘most overrated health system in the world’

17 August

Ian Bremmer, a political scientist and author, shared an article on the doubts cast on Russia’s new Covid-19 vaccine.

Developed by the Gamaleya institute in Moscow, the vaccine has been approved by Russian health authorities without undergoing phase III clinical trials required to prove the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.

Although Russia has announced mass vaccination to begin in October, the effectiveness of the vaccine is yet to be known.

If the vaccine in fact proves effective, it could provide several advantages to Russia.

Firstly, the vaccine could enable Russia’s economy to recover faster than the other countries.

The demand for vaccine will also increase boosting the country’s global image, while generating huge revenues.

However, if the vaccine proves ineffective Russia’s image could be badly damaged.

In other news, Prof. Steve Hanke, an economist at Johns Hopkins, shared an article on how Sweden adopted a laissez-faire approach to the pandemic and experience fewer deaths per capita and half the GDP decline of 8.6%.

The article noted that using a slightly variant approach adopted by Sweden instead of a complete lockdown could have helped with UK’s economic recovery.

Hanke noted that the UK National Health Service is the most overrated health system in the world.

Read more

1:48 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 infections pass 21 million – more than 2.5 million cases in India

14 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached 21,173,009, with over 764,000 deaths and 13,287,261 recoveries.

The top three most affected countries remain the US, Brazil and India, the latter now registering more than 2.5 million cases.

In the US, California has become the first State to report more than 600,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Florida and Texas are the second and third most affected States with more than 500,000 confirmed cases, each.

Japan is experiencing a second wave of infections that is more severe than the first.

Since July 29, Japan has reported more than 1,000 new daily cases.

In Latin America, Peru and Mexico report more than 500,000 total confirmed cases, each.

In Africa, South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria are the top three most affected countries.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSHTM, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData 

10:29 am

International update: Global Covid-19 infections near 21 million as deaths approach 760,000 – cases rising again in France and Germany

14 August

Global: Covid-19 infections are nearing 21 million while the pandemic is responsible for almost 760,000 deaths worldwide, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Nearly half of the deaths reported were in the four worst hit countries: the United States (167,242), Brazil (105,463), Mexico (55,293) and India (48,040).

US: President Donald Trump attacked his rival, Joe Biden, for calling on governors to mandate face coverings in public for the next three months.

The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that many regions in the US need to drive the rate of Covid-19 cases sharply lower to avert a dangerous convergence of the pandemic with flu season.

India: India’s coronavirus death toll overtook the UK’s to become the fourth-highest in the world as authorities reported another single-day record increase in confirmed infections. According to the Health Ministry, India reported 1,007 deaths in the past 24 hours. Its total rose to 48,040 deaths, behind the United States, Brazil and Mexico.

Brazil: Brazil reported 60,091 new infections, the biggest daily increase since July 29, according to the Health Ministry’s website. Brazil’s total, the second-highest after the US, rose to more than 3.2 million.

France: France reported a new post-lockdown peak in daily Covid-19 cases. The French health ministry reported 2,669 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, setting a new post-lockdown daily high for the second day in a row and taking the country’s cumulative total of cases to 209,365.

Germany: Germany recorded the highest number of new Covid-19 cases in about 3.5 months, with daily infections above 1,000 for four straight days. There were 1,422 new cases in the 24 hours through Friday morning, up from 1,319 the previous day and bringing the total to 222,281, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

UK: The government has quietly removed 1.3 million coronavirus tests from its data because of double counting, raising fresh questions about the accuracy of the testing figures.

New Zealand: Health Minister Chris Hipkins said two of the 13 new infections reported on Friday were found in the North Island town of Tokoroa, around 210 kilometres (130 miles) south of Auckland, the site of the country’s latest outbreak.

South Korea: South Korea reported 103 new coronavirus cases, of which 85 were locally transmitted cases. The figure marks the highest one-day jump in domestic cases since the end of March, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry reported 7,371 new confirmed cases of coronavirus and 627 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 505,751 cases and 55,293 deaths.

Peru: Peru passed 500,000 coronavirus cases and has the highest fatality rate in Latin America, according to health ministry data on Thursday, as the government struggles to contain a recent surge of infections. There have been 507,996 confirmed cases and 25,648 related deaths, vice health minister Luis Suarez said at a news conference.

Vaccine news

Global: The WHO on Thursday urged countries to invest billions of dollars in searching for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments – calling it a snip compared to the vast economic cost of the coronavirus crisis. The World Health Organization insisted it was a smarter bet than the trillions of dollars being thrown at handling the consequences of the global pandemic.

UK: The UK Government will purchase 60 million doses of NVX-CoV2373 from Novavax Inc., and will also collaborate on a Phase 3 clinical trial expected to start in the third quarter, according to a statement.

Vietnam: Vietnam’s health ministry has registered to buy a Russian Covid-19 vaccine as the country fights a new outbreak of the coronavirus following months of no local cases. In addition, Hai Duong City issued a 15-day social-isolation order that begins Friday as an emergency measure against a coronavirus outbreak, the provincial government of Hai Duong said on its website.

Lockdown updates

UK: The UK government has confirmed that six countries, including France, will be removed from its travel corridor list, following a surge in Covid-19 cases. Arrivals into the UK from France, the Netherlands, Malta, Monaco, Aruba and Turks & Caicos will have to quarantine for 14 days on their return or face a fine. The regulation will come into effect at 4am on Saturday.

North Korea: Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader of North Korea, has lifted a lockdown in a major city near the border with South Korea where thousands had been quarantined for weeks over coronavirus worries, according to state media.

Indonesia: Authorities in Indonesia’s capital city Jakarta decided against further relaxation in social-distancing measures following a surge in coronavirus infections triggered by the easing of some curbs earlier.

Economic updates

US: New York City’s largest employers remain worried and uncertain about the future course of the virus, with just 26% of workers expected to return by the end of the year, according to a report.

 

8:21 am

Lockdowns not a sustainable strategy, say economists

14 August

The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has thrown the UK into one of the worst recessions in history.

Trinh, senior economist for emerging Asia, tweeted on how lockdowns are not a sustainable strategy.

She shared statistics comparing the impact of lockdowns on Sweden and the UK.

Sweden did not have any lockdowns but had control measures to handle the pandemic. Though the country’s economy was not impacted as much as the UK, it has one of the highest death rates related to Covid-19.

The UK comparatively had one of the toughest lockdowns and a similar death rate, while the economic impact was devastating.

Rob Gill, managing director at Altura Mortgage Finance, shared an article on how there is no trade-off between people’s lives and economic growth.

However, the poor handling of the lockdown measures in the UK has badly affected the country’s economic performance.

Three policies were recommended in the article including the extension of universal credit to support the unemployed, provide retraining grants or funds to start a new business and creation of more public-sector jobs.

Read more

1:47 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases reach 20,651,113 with 750,030 deaths – infections continue to increase

13 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached  20,651,113 with 750,030 deaths and 12,856,698 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The top three most affected countries remain the US, Brazil and India.

Globally, cases continue to increase. India has more active cases of Covid-19 than Brazil, but is second to the US.

Cases in Argentina are increasing despite the country being on lockdown.

In the two weeks leading up to 13 August, Argentina has reported more than 6,000 new daily cases, on average.

New Zealand has reported new cases of Covid-19 after a long run with nearly no new daily cases reported.

As a measure to limit viral transmission in New Zealand, Auckland is closing restaurants, bars and other non-essential business.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSHTM, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData

 

10:25 am

International update: Deaths near 750,000 as global Covid-19 cases pass 20.6 million – record infection rates in India

13 August

Global: There are 749,421 known coronavirus deaths globally, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, as the world nears the milestone of 750,000 dead in nearly eight months since the first coronavirus cases were reported. Total cases now number more than 20.6 million.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US increased 1.1% as compared with the same time Tuesday to 5.17 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase matched the average daily gain over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.7% to 165,328.

National Football League (NFL) players in the US can expect daily Covid-19 testing through 5 September, the players’ union said in advance of the season kick-off next month.

California is seeing more trends that indicate the state is “turning the corner on this pandemic,” Governor Gavin Newsom said at a news briefing. The state had 5,433 new cases in the last 24 hours, when a backlog of tests from prior days is excluded, marking a slowdown from the 14-day average of 7,911.

Venezuela: Venezuela’s communications minister and close adviser to President Nicolás Maduro said Wednesday that he has been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

India: India reported another record daily rise in novel coronavirus infections on Thursday, while the death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 47,000. The country, with the world’s biggest case load behind the United States and Brazil, has now reported a jump of 50,000 cases or more each day for 15 straight days.

France: More than 2,500 new coronavirus cases were registered in France in 24 hours in the sharpest increase since May, government data showed on Wednesday, as officials said indicators were “clearly worsening”. Of 600,000 tests over the past week, more than 11,600 were positive, the health ministry’s DGS public health division said. Despite the rise in infections, the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 continued to fall and was down by 121 to 4,891, the first time it fell below 5,000 since 19 March.

Australia: The state of Victoria has recorded 278 new coronavirus cases overnight, consistent with a recent downward trend that is bringing cases to numbers closer to those seen in mid-July, after increases to the 600s in early August. Eight people have died overnight.

New Zealand: New Zealand reported 14 new Covid-19 cases, of which 13 were locally transmitted infections, as officials scrambled to trace the source of the country’s first outbreak in more than 100 days. There are now a total of 36 active cases in the country.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry reported 5,858 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 737 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 498,380 cases and 54,666 deaths.

UK: A revamped coronavirus contact-tracing app for England will begin its public trials on Thursday, according to the BBC.

Thailand: Thailand confirmed three new coronavirus cases on Thursday, all in state quarantine after arriving from Singapore and India, according to the Covid-19 center. They reported that 132 people are currently hospitalized and 3,169 have recovered.

China: Two patients in China that recovered from Covid-19 months ago tested positive again, raising concern about the virus’s ability to linger and reappear in people who it previously infected.

Consumers in the Chinese city of Shenzhen have been urged to exercise caution when buying imported frozen food after a surface sample of chicken wings from Brazil tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement from the local government.

Vaccine news

Latin America: Argentina and Mexico will produce the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for most of Latin America, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez after a meeting with company executives involved in the project.

France: French health minister Olivier Veran said France will never offer a Covid-19 vaccine to its population if it hasn’t passed phase 3 trials, adding that vaccines from European and American research teams are currently undergoing phase 3 trials.

Lockdown updates

Jordan: Jordan will close its border with Syria for a week starting Thursday, after staff at their only open land crossing tested positive for coronavirus, state media said.

Chile: Chile will lift one of the world’s longest lockdowns on Monday. The mayor said citizens should remain indoors whenever possible, wear masks in public and wash their hands. People may leave their homes on weekdays without the previously required police permissions, and meet in small groups, while businesses can gradually reopen.

Germany: Germany on Wednesday added Bucharest and several other areas of Romania to a list of places considered a high risk for coronavirus infections, forcing a German minister to cancel a work trip to the Romanian capital.

Peru: President Martín Vizcarra has banned family gatherings and extended lockdowns to five more regions of the country amid a fresh surge in cases of coronavirus. 15 of Peru’s 25 regions were already covered by rolling lockdowns.

Italy: Italy has ordered travellers arriving from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain to be tested for Covid-19 and added Colombia to a list of countries under a complete travel ban amid growing concern over new infections. Health services are bracing for a return of travellers from destinations where social distancing, face masks and other protective measures appear to have been widely ignored.

Economic updates

China: Hong Kong International Airport said that passengers from mainland China would be able to transit through Hong Kong to other destinations from August 15 until October 15, in a boost for its dominant carrier Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.

Germany: Tourism giant TUI and the German government have agreed to a second massive aid package to bolster the firm through its winter 2020/21 season.

7:54 am

UK enters recession – GDP contraction twice as severe as US but some sectors showing recovery

13 August

The UK economy is entering recession, having recorded its biggest contraction in history in Q2 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The lockdown measures implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic caused the UK GDP to contract by 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020.

Stephany Griffith-Jones, an economist specialising on financial crises, tweeted on how the GDP contraction of the UK economy at 20.4% is in line with the estimates provided by the Bank of England at 21%.

The tweet also includes a comparison of the GDP contraction across the world in Q2.

Contraction of the UK GDP is the worst compared to other countries and is second only to Spain and twice as severe as the US.

However, some economists believe that the worst is over and the economy is showing signs of recovery.

Linda Yueh, an economist at the University of Oxford, tweeted on the UK officially entering the largest recession for the first time in 11 years.

A video in the tweet includes views expressed by Rupert Harrison, an economist, on how the recession is deeper than expected but the economy is showing signs of a V-shaped recovery.

The majority of the sectors that were impacted by the lockdown measures are shown to be bouncing back.

However, Harrison added that the full recovery of the economy and decline in unemployment still remains uncertain.

Read more

1:46 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases continue to increase globally and now exceed 20.3 million – US, Brazil and India worst affected

12 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 20,317,000, with over 742,000 deaths and 12,606,000 recoveries.

The top three most affected countries remain the US, Brazil and India.

Globally, cases continue to increase.

Mexico has the third highest death toll and health authorities have attributed the high death toll to several factors such as people putting off going to hospitals until they are severely ill.

Another factor is the large proportion of the population with underlying chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension.

Colombia now ranks sixth among the countries with the highest number of active cases of Covid-19.

Iran reported the highest number of new daily cases on 9 August since the start of the pandemic.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSHTM, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:02 am

International update: Global Covid-19 cases near 20.3 million – WHO express Russian vaccine doubts as Putin grants regulatory approval

12 August

Global: Global Covid-19 cases are approaching 20.3 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Deaths exceed 741,000 world wide.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US increased 0.9% as compared with the same time Monday to 5.12 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. The increase was lower than the average 1.1% daily gain over the past week. Deaths rose by 0.5% to 164,137.

Texas posted 8,913 new cases, pushing the cumulative total to 500,620, according to health department data. The state joins California and Florida in the US for crossing the half-million mark for infections.

Argentina: Argentina’s death toll from the coronavirus reached 5,004 on Tuesday amid a surge in cases despite months of lockdown since March 20. The country recorded 7,043 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, pushing the total confirmed infections to 260,911, surpassing the total caseload in Italy.

Mexico: Mexico reported a near-record 926 confirmed Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, bringing the country’s accumulated total to 53,929. The Health Department reported 6,686 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s total confirmed cases so far to 492,522.

Australia: The state of Victoria reported its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic with 21 fatalities in the last 24 hours and 410 new cases. The state reported 19 deaths from the coronavirus, its previous one-day high in casualties, on Tuesday and Monday. It logged 331 cases a day earlier.

Lebanon: Lebanon registered a record daily number of coronavirus cases. The country’s totals now stand at 7,121 cases and 87 deaths since February, according to health ministry data.

China: China’s newly confirmed community transmitted cases of coronavirus fell into the single digits on Wednesday, while Hong Kong saw another 33 cases of infection.

Vaccine news

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country has granted the first regulatory approval to a Covid-19 vaccine. The announcement came after less than two months of human testing. The country’s sovereign wealth fund said the vaccine would be named Sputnik V, in a reference to the cold war space race.

The WHO said it had not received enough information to evaluate the Russian vaccine. The Pan American Health Organization said the vaccine should not be introduced in Brazil, as has been reportedly planned, until phase 2 and 3 trials are completed.

Lockdown updates

Netherlands: The Netherlands plans to introduce mandatory home quarantine for people identified by local authorities as having been in close contact with somebody infected with coronavirus, and for travellers returning from high-risk countries.

Germany: Germany has extended a partial travel warning for Spain to the capital of Madrid and the Basque region amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The foreign ministry said it was warning against any unnecessary tourist trips to both regions because of a rising number of new infections and local restrictions put in place to contain the spread of the virus.

New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her cabinet will decide on Friday on the next steps with regards to the new restrictions placed across the country, as it reported four new probable cases of coronavirus in the community.

Vietnam: Vietnam indefinitely extended the suspension of passenger flights to and from the coastal tourism hub of Danang under a stay-at-home order after a major resurgence of the virus that began on July 25. Vietnam has reported 866 new infections since the Danang outbreak.

Economic updates

Japan: Japan’s economy won’t recover ground lost during the pandemic until the year starting April 2024, according to the Japan Center for Economic Research. The think-tank sees a 6.8% contraction in the current fiscal year, with weakness in the US and other key export markets dragging on growth.

Hong Kong: Cathay Pacific said it lost HK$9.9 billion ($1.27bn) in the first half of this year after border closures triggered by the pandemic grounded its fleets.

7:43 am

Economists urge IMF to provide pandemic support

12 August

Large populations, lack of access to healthcare facilities and poor public healthcare infrastructure have led to an increase in Covid-19 cases in emerging economies.

The impact of the pandemic in these economies is expected to last for a number of years.

A new support facility from the IMF may help in assisting emerging economies fulfill their financing needs.

Tony Addison, professor of economics at the University of Copenhagen, shared an article on how the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should create a new pandemic support facility for emerging countries impacted by the pandemic.

Emerging economies are some of the worst affected nations by the pandemic and expected to seek financing from the IMF as well as support for debt restructuring.

These economies are in need of financing to improve their public healthcare services and provide a social safety net to the most vulnerable.

An IMF support facility can help emerging countries with their financing needs, while providing options for more lenient repayment periods without disturbing already existing facilities.

Read more

1:56 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 20.1 million – new spikes in Spain and Greece

11 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 20,113,000, with more than 737,000 deaths and 12,350,000 recoveries.

The top three most affected countries remain the US, Brazil and India.

Globally, cases continue to increase.

Spain is seeing a new rise in cases, moving up ahead of the UK as the 11th most affected country.

It remains unclear if this new increase in cases is a spike possibly due to summer holidays or if it is the begging of a second wave.

As precautionary measure regions such as Catalonia have closed nightclubs and bars for two weeks.

According to infectious disease experts in Greece, the country is experiencing a second wave of coronavirus.

Restaurants and bars in popular tourist destinations such as Mykonos, Santorini, and Corfu will have a night curfew.

On Monday, Greece reported the highest number of new daily cases since the start of the pandemic.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSHTM, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:03 am

US government needs to cut red tape to reduce unemployment

11 August

The unemployment rate in the US is slowly falling but the country still has a long way to go before returning to pre-Covid-19 levels.

Daniel Lacalle, chief economist Tressis SV, shared an article on the need to bring unemployment rates to pre-Covid-19 levels quickly in the US to ensure economic recovery.

He notes that the government should reduce cut red tape to increase job creation and avoid copying interventionist measures implemented in other countries.

Although unemployment rate fell to 10.2% in July, the rate of job creation is slow. However, compared to the Eurozone the US is better placed.

Unemployed, furloughed and people receiving subsidised jobless schemes account for more than 23% of the labour force in the Eurozone, according to Morgan Stanley.

In the US, unemployed, people staying home from work and others account for 16.5%.

The article noted that strong supply-side measures, tax incentives and policies to attract capital were required to bring unemployment rates to the levels before the pandemic.

In other news, Timothy McBride, Bernard Becker Professor at Washington University, shared an article on how one third of people in the US are unwilling to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Read more

2:52 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 19.9 million – India reports more than 2 million cases but has fewer deaths than UK

10 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 19,902,000, with more than 731,000 deaths and 12,127,000 recoveries.

World wide, cases continue to rise, the US now has more than 5 milllion total confirmed cases, and remains the country with the highest number of cases, globally.

Mexico continues to see an increase on cases and has the third-highest death toll of the pandemic with more than 52,000 total deaths.

India reported a more than 1,000 death toll on Sunday, the second highest death toll reported in the country since the start of the pandemic.

India is reporting more new daily cases than the US and Brazil, but is also conducting more tests than those countries.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSHTM, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:53 am

International update: Global Covid-19 infections near 20 million – new daily incidents average 250,000 – US cases pass 5 million

10 August

Global: Globally coronavirus cases are nearing 20 million, with more than 731,000 known deaths. The current number of confirmed infections stands at 19,869,127, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, with total new cases daily averaging more than 250,000.

US: Covid-19 cases in the US now exceed five million, adding a million cases in just over two weeks, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The nation with the worst coronavirus outbreak hit four million cases on July 23, amid a skyrocketing outbreak in the Sunbelt and political battles over the Trump administration’s handling of the virus response.

Coronavirus infections among US children grew by 40% in the last half of July, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, as the country debated the risks of reopening schools in the fall.

California reported 8,373 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 554,160. Deaths rose by 104 to 10,293. A total of 30.5% of patients in hospitals are in intensive-care units, based on a five-day average, the highest in more than a month, according to state data Sunday.

Brazil: Brazil’s health ministry has reported 23,010 new cases of Covid-19, with 572 new fatalities, as the country continues to struggle with containing the spread of the virus.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry reported on Sunday 4,376 new confirmed coronavirus infections and 292 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 480,278 cases and 52,298 deaths, according to Reuters. Mexico has the third-highest coronavirus death tally globally, behind the United States and Brazil.

Australia: Australia recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic on Monday, with 19 deaths. The nation is dealing with an outbreak in its second largest city, Melbourne, where authorities have struggled to contain the spread of the virus, which began in quarantine facilities.

China: In China, new locally transmitted cases fell to just 14 in the past 24 hours, the National Health Commission reported on Monday. The low figure was offset, however, by 35 cases brought into the country by Chinese travellers from overseas arriving in seven different cities and provinces across the country.

UK: The UK saw cases rise by 1,062 on Sunday, going over 1,000 for the first time since late June. As cases rose in the country, new local lockdowns have been implemented in some areas and worries over a second wave of infections were rife.

Greece: Authorities announced a record daily number of 203 new coronavirus cases, with one death. The total number of cases is now 5,623, with 212 deaths. Greece introduced an early lockdown in mid-March, which buffered the country from the devastating effects of the pandemic seen in many of its European counterparts.

New Zealand: New Zealand has reported its 101st day in a row with no recorded community transmission of Covid-19 from an unknown source. All 21 active cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in travellers returning to New Zealand from other countries; all of them are in quarantine at the government’s managed isolation facilities.

South Korea: South Korea reported 28 new coronavirus cases on Monday, including 17 local infections raising the country’s total to 14,626.

Italy: Italy reported 463 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the second-highest number in two months after reaching 552 on Friday. The country has recorded 250,566 cases since late February. Two more deaths were reported.

Vietnam: Vietnam confirmed two more novel coronavirus infection deaths, the ministry of health reported on its website. The nation has reported 384 local infections since the outbreak in Danang on July 25. It now has a total of 841 cases with 13 deaths.

Vaccine news

Russia: Russia boasts that it is about to become the first country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, with mass vaccinations planned as early as October using shots that are yet to complete clinical trials – and scientists worldwide are sounding the alarm that the headlong rush could backfire.

Lockdown updates

Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that the country’s internal border closures were unlikely to be lifted before Christmas.

Venezuela: President Nicolas Maduro has announced the extension of the country’s state of alert for another 30 days, to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.

7:37 am

Low chance of Covid-19 vaccine being ‘highly effective’

10 August

Scientists across the world are racing to find a vaccine against the Covid-19 virus, which has battered the global economy.

As the world awaits the discovery of a new vaccine, the chances of it being highly effective seem low.

Although 50% effectiveness is still being viewed as acceptable, public health measures need to continue until a highly effective vaccine is found.

Daniel Lacalle, chief economist Tressis SV, shared an article on White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci views of the effectiveness of a coronavirus vaccine.

Dr. Fauci noted that the chances of developing a vaccine that is highly effective are very narrow.

The scientists currently working on vaccines are expecting that the vaccine would be at least 75% effective.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has noted that it would approve a vaccine if it was at least 50% effective.

Dr. Fauci noted that considering the relatively average effectiveness of the vaccines, the public health approach of social distancing and wearing face masks should not be abandoned.

Read more

1:27 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: More than 19,127,000 Covid-19 cases world wide – soaring infections among young people

7 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 19,127,000 with more than 715,000 deaths and 11,578,000 recoveries.

Globally cases continue to rise with the US, Brazil, and India remaining the top three most affected countries.

Brazil experienced a spike in the number of daily new cases with more than 110,000 confirmed on 6 August.

Around the world schools have been reopened only to be shut down again quickly after new cases emerge.

Cases in young people have been soaring and risks of a second and/or third wave remain high.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

8:37 am

How the IMF can help mitigate world wide government debt crisis

7 August

Government debt is rising across the world as countries continue to borrow to release funds for economic recovery amid the pandemic.

The rising debt could lead to a global crisis plagued by unemployment, fuel instability and violence.

Tony Addison, professor of economics at University of Copenhagen, shared an article on the ways in which a global debt crisis can be prevented.

It is estimated more than 100 low to middle income countries will have to pay $130bn in debt service in 2020, out of which approximately half of it will need to be paid to private creditors.

An alternative to avoid such a debt crisis is voluntary sovereign debt buybacks, which can help in reducing debt burdens by obtaining discounts on the face value of sovereign bonds.

A multilateral buyback facility managed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can be implemented to manage funds from a global consortium of countries.

To ensure debt reduction, the IMF can conduct auctions and buyback certain amounts of bonds.

Read more

1:39 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 18.8 million – sustained increase in Iran

6 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 18,837,000 with over 708,000 deaths and 11,381,000 recoveries.

World wide, cases continue to rise, with the US, Brazil, and India remaining the top three most affected countries.

The death toll also continues to grow with the US having over 158,000 deaths and Brazil nearing 100,000.

Iran continues to see a sustained infection period with around 2,500 new cases being diagnosed each day since mid-June.

Iran initially had seemed to have control over the virus spread as new confirmed cases rapidly declined through April.

However, they rebounded again in May.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:08 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases approach 19 million – Florida infections pass half million – Trump says virus is ‘going away’

6 August

Global: The coronavirus pandemic death toll passed 707,000 late on Wednesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data. Meanwhile, the global infection rate passed 18.8 million. The US accounts for the highest portion of Covid-19 deaths, with 158,256. The next worst-affected in terms of the number of lives lost is Brazil with 97,256.

US: Donald Trump on Wednesday repeated that he believes coronavirus will “go away”, despite his top public health expert warning that it could take most of 2021 or longer to get the pandemic under control and that it is “unlikely” the virus can ever be eradicated. At a White House briefing, the US president said of Covid-19: “It’s going away, it will go away, things go away, absolutely. No question in my mind, sooner rather than later.”

Florida has surpassed 500,000 coronavirus cases as testing ramps up following a temporary shutdown of some sites because of Tropical Storm Isaias.

A rash of poisonings and four deaths in May and June were tied to drinking hand sanitizer that contained methanol in Arizona and New Mexico, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The incidents happened after President Donald Trump mused on ingesting disinfectants to treat the novel coronavirus.

California reported 202 new virus deaths, marking its second-deadliest day of the pandemic. The state has had 9,703 Covid fatalities.

Twitter and Facebook have taken action against a video posted by Trump campaign’s account and shared by the US president for breaking the company’s Covid-19 misinformation rules. The clip came from an interview with Fox & Friends in which Trump claimed that children are “almost immune” to Covid-19.

The US Supreme Court lifted a lower court order that required specific steps to curb Covid-19 at four southern California jail facilities that have seen more than 400 cases since the outbreak began.

South Africa: The World Health Organization has deployed a “surge team” of 43 health experts to South Africa to help the country deal with the pandemic, which has seen nearly 530,000 cases confirmed in the country – the fifth-highest in the world – and 9,298 deaths.

Australia: Victorian state premier Daniel Andrews has announced that 471 new coronavirus cases were confirmed overnight, along with eight new deaths. Both figures are lower than Wednesday’s, which marked Victoria’s most devastating day of Covid-19 cases and deaths, with 15 deaths overnight and 725 new cases.

France: France’s daily Covid-19 infections reached the highest in more than two months on Wednesday, with 1,695 new cases. The seven-day moving average stood above the 1,300 threshold for the first time since the end of April when the country was still in lockdown.

Turkey: Fears grow in Turkey as daily virus cases top 1,000. Officials have expressed concern over the rising number of coronavirus cases as the daily infection toll exceeded 1,000 for the second day in a row.

Brazil: Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled that President Jair Bolsonaro’s government must adopt measures to stop the spread of novel coronavirus to the country’s vulnerable indigenous communities. A majority of the justices voted to give the government 30 days to draw up a plan to reduce the threat to Indigenous people from Covid-19, which could wipe out some tribes.

Lockdown updates

US: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said travellers who have visited 35 states or territories with high Covid-19 transmission rates are required to complete the state’s traveller form as they pass through checkpoints at key entry points into the city.

North Carolina will remain in Phase 2 of its reopening plan for another five weeks, Governor Roy Cooper said in a twe​et. The order keeps businesses including bars, movie theatres and bowling alleys closed while limiting gatherings to ten people indoors and 25 people outside.

Japan: Hideaki Ohmura, the governor of Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, announced a regional “state of emergency”, urging people to stay home at night and businesses to close altogether or close early to curb the coronavirus. The measures will continue through August 24, a period that coincides with the Obon holidays, when schools and many companies close.

Netherlands: Amsterdam and the port of Rotterdam on Wednesday made face masks compulsory in certain busy areas, including the Dutch capital’s Red Light district, as coronavirus infections showed a worrying spike. The new measures come as the number of infections doubled in a week in the country, where more than 55,000 people have now been infected and some 6,150 have died.

Germany: Germany addeed Belgium’s virus-hit Antwerp to quarantine list. Antwerp province was added to the list of coronavirus risk zones, requiring travellers arriving from the region to go into quarantine for 14 days unless they can produce a negative Covid-19 test.

Economic updates

Italy: Italy’s national civil aviation authority has threatened to suspend Ryanair’s permit to fly in the country over alleged non-compliance with coronavirus safety rules, but the low-cost carrier denied flouting them.

China: Small businesses in China are being told by their foreign banks that loan extensions mandated by the government no longer apply to them as the nation dials back one of the relief measures unleashed after the coronavirus lockdown.

Philippines: The Philippines plunged into recession after its biggest quarterly contraction on record, according to data from the country’s Statistics Authority. Gross domestic product shrank 16.5% on-year in the second quarter, data showed, as the Philippine economy reels from one of the world’s longest stay-at-home orders that has wrecked businesses and thrown millions out of work.

North Korea: Leader Kim Jong Un directed his government agencies to act immediately to stabilise the livelihoods of residents in a city locked down over coronavirus concerns, state media reported. North Korea declared an emergency and locked down Kaesong near the inter-Korean border in late July after finding a suspected virus case there. It has not confirmed yet if the person tested positive.

7:58 am

19 million at risk in testing times for US Affordable Care Act

6 August

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to millions of job losses in the US. Apart from losing their income, people are at risk of losing employer based health insurance.

Although the government has alternate measures such as the Affordable Care Act, its ability to serve all those in need will be tested during the pandemic.

Timothy McBride, Bernard Becker Professor at Washington University, shared an article on how more than 26.8 million people in the US are at risk of losing their health insurance due to the Covid-19 pandemic and related job losses.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has acted as a safety net for those people with low or moderate income that are losing employer based health insurance.

However, the pandemic will test how the ACA is able to serve all the people who lose health insurance from employers.

Without ACA, more than 19 million people could become uninsured and unable to access healthcare facilities.

Read more

1:52 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 18.5 million – major spike of new infections in Spain

5 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 18,563,000 with over 701,000 deaths and 11,156,000 recoveries.

Globally cases continue to rise with the US, Brazil, and India remaining the top three most affected countries.

The US appeared to have turned a corner by slowing the number of new infections, however, the reopening of schools and students returning to college campuses has significantly raised the risk of increased spread.

Spain has seen a major spike in the number of new cases for the first time since the peak of infection in late March with more than 8,500 cases confirmed on 3 August.

It remains unclear if this new peak is a second wave or spikes in localized infections.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:58 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 deaths pass 700,000 as infections exceed 18.5 million – Australian states increase lockdowns

5 August

Global: Global infections of Covid-19 have passed 18.5 million. Meanwhile, the global death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 700,000 on Wednesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University and Reuters tallies, with the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico leading the rise in fatalities. Nearly 5,900 people are dying every 24 hours from Covid-19 on average, according to Reuters calculations based on data from the past two weeks.

Latin America: Latin America has surpassed Europe to become the region with the highest coronavirus death toll worldwide, according to a Reuters tally. The region has now recorded more than 206,000 deaths, approximately 30% of the global total.

US: California reported 4,526 new cases, its lowest daily tally since June and well below the 14-day average of 8,476 infections, according to state health data. There were 113 added deaths, compared with the two-week daily average of 125. That brings the total to 9,501.

New Zealand: New Zealand must prepare for another local outbreak of the coronavirus, the Director-General of Health warned. It’s inevitable that there will be a case of community transmission of Covid-19, Ashley Bloomfield told Radio New Zealand on Wednesday.

Czech Republic: The Czech Republic reported on Wednesday its biggest daily jump in new coronavirus cases since the end of June as a recent uptick in infections stays elevated.

Vaccine News

The World Health Organization has urged caution over a coronavirus vaccine that Russia has been developing, the Telegraph reported, citing a document from the organization.

Lockdown updates

Australia: Queensland state will close its border with New South Wales (NSW) to hold back a second wave of Covid-19 infections. A surge in coronavirus cases in Melbourne, the country’s second-largest city, has forced the state of Victoria to impose a night curfew, tighten restrictions on people’s movements and order most businesses to stop trading from Wednesday night.

UK: Labour leader Keir Starmer has told Boris Johnson that he has a month to fix Britain’s failing test-and-trace system or risk sending the country into a second lockdown as schools go back in September.

Schools in England should be the last to close and the first to reopen in the event of a second lockdown, the children’s commissioner has said, adding that young people had sometimes been an “afterthought” during the crisis. Anne Longfield said pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops should be shut ahead of schools in the case of emergency restrictions.

Japan: Toshiro Muto, chief executive of Tokyo’s Olympic organizing committee, told the Financial Times that the event will still take place next summer, and that the national government must take a larger role since a comprehensive virus strategy will be crucial.

Economic updates

Global: Gold has soared to a record high price of $2,030.72 per ounce as financial markets move money into ultra-safe assets that they think are less likely to lose value if the world slumps into a prolonged recession thanks to Covid-19.

US: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar will visit Taiwan in coming days, making the highest-level visit by a US official in 40 years in a move likely to anger China which claims the island as its own.

US losses from coronavirus-related fraud and identity theft have reached nearly $100m since the pandemic emerged in March, while complaints of Covid-19 scams have at least doubled in most states, a consumer protection group has said.

Virgin Atlantic has become the latest corporate casualty of the pandemic after declaring itself bankrupt and has filing for protection from creditors in the US. The move means it can restructure its debt and plot a course back into operation.

7:51 am

How bitcoin could ease US budget deficit

5 August

The US recorded the largest budget deficit in its history in June owing to the stimulus packages released to manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jon Matonis, chief economist at Cypherpunk Holdings, shared an article on how the US printed more money than in the first two centuries since its founding.

The US had a budget deficit of $864bn in June, which is larger than the total debt incurred between 1776 and the end of 1979.

The article notes that the government should tackle the deficit by moving away from paper money to Bitcoin, as there is no inflation or hyperinflation associated with the cryptocurrency.

A decentralised financial structure in which everyone can participate at a very low cost is needed.

In other news, new lockdown restrictions imposed in Melbourne are expected to prolong Australia’s recession until the end of the year.

Australia recorded two consecutive quarters of negative growth and the fresh lockdowns may lead to another quarter of negative growth.

Read more

2:27 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 infections pass 18.3 million – South America and India struggle to contain spread

4 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 18,317,000 with more than 694,000 deaths and 10,930,000 recoveries.

Globally, cases continue to rise as the US, Brazil, and India remain the top three most affected countries, while South America also continues to see increasing numbers of new cases at a high rate.

However, the US may have reached a turning point with the number of daily new cases declining for the last four days.

India seems unable to slow the spread of disease with around 50,000 new cases being confirmed each day for the past ten days.

South Africa on the other hand appears to have passed the point of peak infection with new cases declining each day since 24 July.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:11 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 infections near 18.3 million – Trump rejects US lockdown as cases pass 4.7 million

4 August

Global: Covid-19 cases have reached almost 18.3 million with more than 693,000 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University.

Latin America: Latin America broke through five million confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Monday according to a Reuters tally, underscoring the region’s position as the area of the world hardest hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Brazil has the second-worst coronavirus outbreak in the world after the US, with more than 2.75 million and 94,665 deaths, according to health ministry data.

US: The United States has added 48,395 new coronavirus cases pushing the total number to 4.73 million, according to a Reuters tally. The news agency also reported another 582 deaths, adding to the total of almost 156,000.

China: China reported 36 new cases of Covid-19 (including 6 imported cases). Of the 30 local cases, 28 are in the western province of Xinjiang, and two in the eastern province of Liaoning.

For the first time in two weeks, Hong Kong reported fewer than 100 new cases of Covid-19 in a day. The city is experiencing its third and worst wave of the outbreak since the virus first appeared there in January.

Brazil: President Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, General Walter Souza Braga Netto is the seventh Brazilian minister to have contracted Covid-19. Last week, Bolsonaro’s wife tested positive, following her husband’s infection.

Iran: One person is dying from Covid-19 every seven minutes in Iran, state television said on Monday, as the country’s health ministry reported 215 new deaths from the disease. The combined death toll in Iran rose to 17,405 on Monday while the number of confirmed cases rose by 2,598 to 312,035. Of those, 270,228 have recovered.

New Zealand: New Zealand has recorded no new cases of Covid-19. There are 22 cases of the disease in the country, all in managed isolation. The country’s health director general, Ashley Bloomfield, warned that a single case outside of quarantine facilities could turn into a wider outbreak if people were not vigilant.

South Korea: South Korea has reported 34 more cases of the coronavirus, with the number of imported cases almost twice that of local infections, Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday. The 21 imported cases and 13 local infections raised country’s total Covid-19 infections to 14,423, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

Italy: The number of new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Italy has fallen below 200 for the first time in a week, with 159 new cases registered, according to AP news agency quoting the health ministry. That brings the total number of cases in Italy to 248,229 and deaths to 35,166 as of the end of Monday.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry has reported 4,767 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 266 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 443,813 cases and 48,012 deaths, according to Reuters news agency.

Vietnam: Vietnamese authorities issued a stay-at-home order for Bien Hoa, the capital city of Dong Nai province bordering the nation’s commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City, the nation’s fourth municipality to undergo such a home lockdown.

Vaccine News

The World Health Organization chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned that there may never be an effective Covid-19 vaccine.

Lockdown updates

Global: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the world faces a “generational catastrophe” because of school closures amid the coronavirus pandemic and said that getting students safely back to the classroom must be “a top priority”, according to Reuters.

US: President Trump has rejected a national lockdown to bring the coronavirus pandemic in the US under control and insisted the US had done “very well” fighting the virus. The US has recorded in excess of 4.7 million cases and more than 155,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner instructed police in the fourth-largest US city to begin issuing warnings and citations to anyone not wearing a mask in public. The mayor said in a tweet that people meeting certain criteria will be exempted.

Blow-out parties and rising cases nationally prompted New Jersey to lower crowd caps and New York to call for stricter distancing enforcement or risk resurgence of the coronavirus in the pandemic’s early US epicenter.

UK: The UK’s plans to block further spikes in coronavirus allow for ministers to lock down London, Boris Johnson’s spokesman said, as officials prepare for a resurgence of Covid-19 in the months ahead.

Australia: The state of Victoria has declared a state of disaster and imposed strict lockdown following the surge in cases of the disease, and the reporting of at least 439 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday. The state also said that it will deploy its military and that anyone who has contracted Covid-19 and caught outside their home in breach of isolation orders will face fines of as much as A$20,000 ($14,250),

Philippines: The Philippines has begun a lockdown of 27 million people, imposing stricter measures in an attempt to halt the country’s spiralling coronavirus case numbers. The measures were reintroduced on Tuesday after the country’s infection tally topped 100,000 and a coalition of health groups issued a “distress signal” urging President Rodrigo Duterte to act.

Economic updates

Singapore: Singapore plans to expand the range of business visitors to boost its hard-hit tourism sector, with the return of mass travel still a long way off amid the pandemic, according to the head of the country’s tourism agency.

7:45 am

How the US government can help families in need at no extra cost

4 August

The next stimulus package in the US is one of the most debated issues as to what should be included and what should be avoided.

Continuation of the $600 weekly payments, reopening of schools, and ensuring adequate child care facilities is important to ensure economic recovery.

However, journalist Pedro da Costa  shared an article on how emergency financial assistance can be released more quickly to the American population if the government changes a simple rule.

The current method of direct payments as part of the stimulus package took nearly three weeks to reach the people and is not helping the families in need.

Further, the overdraft fees and bank interest rates cut into the money provided by the government.

Incorporating changes to the Expedited Funds Availability Act of 1987, which covers how long a bank can hold money will help address this issue.

The changes can help in releasing funds immediately and does not cost anything for the government.

Read more

12:28 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases continue to rise past 18 million – US, Brazil and India most affected

3 August

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 18,093,000 with more than 689,000 deaths and 10,700,000 recoveries.

Globally, cases continue to rise as the US, Brazil, and India remain the top three most affected countries.

South America also continues to see increasing numbers of new cases at a high rate.

Incidence rates in South America remain very high with Brazil, Peru, and Chile, all having infection rates of over 13,000 cases per 1,000,000 population.

Sao Paolo has seen the highest number of confirmed cases of any region in the World, putting it ahead of California, Florida, and South Africa.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:15 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 18 million with more than 689,000 deaths – widespread lockdown extensions

3 August

Global: Covid-19 cases have passed 18 million with more than 689,000 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University.

Herd immunity against the coronavirus may take years to develop, Jaap Goudsmit, adjunct professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases at Harvard, said in an interview with Dutch daily De Telegraaf.

US: The United States reported a record 1.87 million cases of Covid-19 in July, more than twice the figure for the previous record month, April, when 860,000 new cases were reported, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. May saw 690,200 new infections, while June saw 820,000 cases. US infections are approaching 5 million, with 4,667,957 confirmed.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry has reported 4,853 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 274 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 439,046 cases and 47,746 deaths, according to Reuters news agency.

Brazil: Brazil has recorded 25,800 additional confirmed cases and 541 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to Reuters. The country has registered more than 2.73 million cases of the virus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 94,104 as of the end of Sunday, according to the ministry data.

India: India reported nearly 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, down from the previous day’s record of 57,118. At least 37,364 people have died in India during the pandemic so far.

Vietnam: Vietnam is rushing to build a 700-bed makeshift hospital to cope with an outbreak in the central city of Da Nang, as the health minister warned the current strain of the virus is more contagious than those previously seen in the country.

China: The number of new Covid-19 cases in China’s far north-western region of Xinjiang continue to fall, with 28 reported on Monday. China reported 43 new cases nationwide, seven of them imported and eight in the north-eastern province of Liaoning.

Seven Chinese health officials arrived in Hong Kong on Sunday, the first of a 60-person team that will carry out widespread Covid-19 testing in the territory as it races to halt another wave.

UK: Millions of Covid-19 tests – which can offer results in 90 minutes and do not need to be administered by a health professional – will be rolled out to British hospitals, care homes and laboratories in the coming months, Reuters quoted health secretary Matt Hancock as saying.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 509 to 210,402, Reuters reported on Monday, quoting the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases. The reported death toll rose by seven to 9,148, the tally showed.

South Korea: South Korea has confirmed 23 new cases – 20 from overseas and three local transmissions – amid a downward trend in the number of locally infected patients, AP reported. The cases announced on Monday by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took the country’s total to 14,389 cases and 301 deaths.

Italy: The number of new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Italy nudged lower to 239 in the last 24 hours, while eight deaths were recorded in Lombardy, the epicentre of the country’s epidemic.

Singapore: Singapore’s Ministry of Health confirmed an additional 75 cases of Covid-19 infection, of which six are imported and 69 are local cases who have no recent travel history abroad.

Sweden: Sweden must expect to count its dead from the coronavirus in the “thousands,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said in an interview in Dagens Nyheter. The biggest Nordic economy, which has opted for less restrictive measures than many countries in the fight against the pandemic, has had more than 330 deaths after confirmed cases topped 6,000 this week.

Lockdown updates

Australia: Residents in the city of Melbourne will be subject to an overnight curfew for the next six weeks, and be banned from travelling more than 5km to go shopping or to exercise, as Victoria attempts to get the number of new coronavirus cases under control. Premier Daniel Andrews announced that from 6pm on Sunday, residents in the Melbourne metropolitan area would be under curfew for six weeks until 13 September.

Spain: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced plans to extend the country’s lockdown by two weeks until 25 April. “I understand it’s difficult to extend the effort and sacrifice two more weeks,” Sanchez said in a televised speech. “These are very difficult days for everyone.” A longer lockdown would be subject to cabinet and legislative approval.

UK: A major incident has been declared in Greater Manchester in England in response to increases in coronavirus infection rates across “multiple localities”.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson is considering new lockdown measures in England should there be a second wave of coronavirus infections. Plans are being assessed after a rise in Covid-19 cases forced the prime minister to slow the lockdown easing on Friday, with proposed relaxations for the leisure and beauty sectors delayed.

Greece: Greece is extending its national lockdown, with restrictions on movement, until early April 27, Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Chardalias said. The country introduced a total lockdown on 22 March after moving quickly to put in place restrictions following the first confirmed case on 26 February. Greece so far has 1,673 cases and 68 deaths.

Singapore: Singapore will make some incoming travellers wear an electronic monitoring device to ensure compliance with coronavirus quarantines as the city-state gradually reopens its borders.

Honduras: Honduras will extend its curfew for another week in an effort to curb the pandemic. Honduras first imposed a curfew, which is in effect daily between 5pm and 7am, in March.

UAE: Dubai imposed further restrictions on the movement of people and halted metro services as the Middle East’s business hub seeks to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

9:28 am

Covid-19 vaccines must be distributed globally to tackle the pandemic

3 August

Development efforts towards Covid-19 vaccines are going at a fast pace but doubts remain on the worldwide availability of them.

Hoarding of vaccines and lack of cooperation to distribute them may further complicate the efforts to control the pandemic. A coordinated effort towards distribution of vaccines is needed.

Chad P. Bown, senior fellow at Peterson Institute for International Economics, shared a video on the need for cooperation when it comes to vaccination.

As pharmaceutical companies continue to carry out research into the development of a vaccine for Covid -19, uncertainty remains on the availability once a viable vaccine is discovered.

Every country in the world may not be able to produce these vaccines particularly developing countries.

Further, sufficient doses of vaccines may not be available in the beginning leading to hoarding of vaccines.

The video highlights the need for a coordinated effort to distribute vaccines equally to curb the spread of the disease.

With all the countries interdependent on one another for their economic growth, it is essential to distribute the vaccines and reduce the economic damage caused by the disease.

Read more

1:30 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 17.3 million – daily incident rates rising in India

31 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 17,322,000 with over 673,000 deaths and 10,155,000 recoveries.

The Central and South American region remains a global hotspot for Covid-19, with five countries in the region among the top ten highest daily incident rates globally.

Mexico has consistently reported over 6,500 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 per day.

In addition, Panama is ranked number one in terms of per capita daily incident rates globally.

India has surpassed Brazil in terms of daily incident rates and is now ranked second globally behind the United States.

India reported over 49,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 yesterday and overall has over 1,638,000 confirmed cases to date.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology  at GlobalData

9:54 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 17.3 million – infections rising in US mid West – US deaths pass 152,000

31 July

Global: World wide Covid-19 cases have passed 17.3 million, with more than 673,000 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University. US cases are nearing 4.5 million.

The World Health Organization has warned that spikes in coronavirus transmission in a number of countries were being driven by young people “letting down their guard”. “Young people are not invincible,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news conference in Geneva on Thursday.

Countries have made “a deep under investment in public health infrastructure,” said Mike Ryan, head of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program. Ryan said he was surprised by countries’ unpreparedness for the contact tracing and testing that would be necessary.

US: Coronavirus infections appear to be picking up in the Midwestern United States, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force said. According to Fox News, the coronavirus outbreak is “moving up” into Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska from the south “because of vacations and other reasons for travel.

California recorded 194 new virus deaths, second only to the 197 reported Wednesday and above the 14-day average of 112. Total fatalities now number 9,026.

India: India’s death toll climbed to 35,718, surpassing fatalities in Italy, the former European epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry posted 639 new deaths from coronavirus on Thursday bring the country’s toll to 46,000, almost the same as the United Kingdom which has the third-highest death toll worldwide from the pandemic.

Argentina: Argentina posted a record daily increase of 6,377 new cases, bringing the country’s total to 185,373. There were 130 new deaths, taking the death toll to 3,441.

Japan: Japan does not need to reimpose a state of emergency chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said on Friday, reiterating the government’s stance amid a surge in new infections across the country. The country reported a record high for new cases for the second day in a row on Thursday with at least 1,274 cases, including a record 367 in Tokyo.

Vietnam: Vietnam has reported 45 new coronavirus infections in the city of Danang, marking the country’s biggest single-day jump in cases, as the health ministry sent more health experts to the central city in a bid to combat the outbreak.

China: Hong Kong reported a new daily record of coronavirus cases, logging 149 more infections by Thursday end. Amid the rise in cases, authorities reversed a ban on indoor dining, along restaurants to operate under limited hours and with limited capacity.

Iran: Iran’s government ignored repeated requests from senior prison officials for help in containing coronavirus in the country’s overcrowded jails, according to Amnesty International.

Australia: Victoria reported 627 new cases in the past 24 hours, a day after suffering a record 723 additional infections. There were eight more deaths.

Lockdown updates

UK: New restrictions have come into force in the north of England, including people not being able to mix with other households. The measures apply in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire after an increase in cases. Households may go to hospitality, for instance, bars and pubs, but new guidance will make clear that two households should not go to hospitality together.

France: Some French cities are expected to introduce additional face mask requirements. From Friday in Orleans, in central France, masks will be required in open-air markets and after 9:00pm along the Loire river, where crowds of people have been gathering in the evenings. The mayors of Bayonne and the nearby Atlantic resort of Biarritz also announced that face masks would be compulsory in their city centres starting next week.

China: China tightened travel restrictions in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, requiring people arriving in the city from regions deemed to have high infection risks to undergo a two-week quarantine.

Philippines: President, Rodrigo Duterte, says restrictions in the capital Manila will remain until mid-August. He also announced free vaccines to combat a surge in infections that has overwhelmed health care workers and facilities. President Duterte extended quarantine restrictions, limiting movements of the elderly and children, and the operations of businesses from restaurants to gyms.

Indonesia: The resort island of Bali has reopened to domestic tourists after an almost four-month lockdown for the coronavirus pandemic.

Botswana: Botswana’s capital city Gaborone has returned to a two-week lockdown to stem its latest surge in coronavirus infections.

Economy updates

US: The US economy shrank by an annual rate of 32.9% between April and June, its sharpest contraction since demobilisation following WW2, government figures revealed on Thursday.

Southeast Asia: Is on the brink of a “socio-economic crisis” caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that could reverse decades of poverty reduction, the United Nations has warned.

8:32 am

Covid-19 may need multiple vaccinations

31 July

Several pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop a vaccine for the Covid-19 virus that has wreaked havoc on the world economy.

While one shot of the vaccine was initially thought to provide immunity against the virus, reports are now emerging that two or more annual vaccinations may be required.

Daniel Lacalle, an economist and author, shared an article on AstraZeneca CEO’s concerns that the unpredictable nature of the Covid-19 virus may require annual vaccinations.

AstraZeneca is currently working on a vaccine in partnership with the Oxford University, which has produced a positive immune response in early stage human clinical trials.

Based on the technology used for developing a vaccine for SARS 1, the immunity provided by the vaccine may last for only 12 to 18 months.

The exact required vaccination period is not known due to the unpredictable nature of the virus.

In other news, Ludovic Subran, chief economist at Allianz, shared an article on a surge in insolvencies in the second quarter of 2020 across the world.

Approximately 147 companies with a turnover of more than €50m ($56.2m) went insolvent during the quarter.

Read more

1:36 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 deaths pass 667,000 – daily infection rates falling in US

30 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 17,054,000 with over 667,000 deaths and 9,964,000 recoveries.

The United States fell to ranking seventh globally in terms of per capita daily incident rates, however, the United States is still ranked number one in terms of cumulative incidence.

Florida has surpassed New York and is now ranked as the second state with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, reporting over 451,000 confirmed cases.

South Africa reported over 7,200 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 yesterday and over 7,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday.

These are the two lowest daily incident rates reported by South Africa since the beginning of July.

However, South Africa still remains as ranking fourth in cumulative incidence rates globally.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology at GlobalData

9:45 am

International Update: World wide Covid-19 cases pass 17 million – second wave hits Japan – surge continues in Latin America

30 July

Global: World wide Covid-19 cases have passed 17 million, with more than 667,000 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University. US cases now exceed 4.4 million while Brazil now has more than 2.5 million infections.

US: The United States continues to have by far the highest number of Covid cases and deaths in the world, as the country passed 150,000 fatalities late on Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University figures. California, Texas and Florida each reported record daily increases in deaths from Covid-19 Wednesday.

With US cases and deaths continuing to climb, researchers at Johns Hopkins University are calling for a “reset” of the country’s coronavirus response.

Mexico: Mexico reported 5,752 more Covid-19 infections, according to Health Ministry data, as cases continue to surge in Latin America. The country’s death toll rose by 485 to 45,361 – with Mexico set to overtake the UK as the hot spot with the third-highest number of deaths worldwide from the virus.

Australia: Australia has reported a record rise in coronavirus infections and deaths, with the state of Victoria announcing more than 700 new cases and 13 deaths, as the state continues to battle significant outbreaks in the aged care sector and among healthcare workers.

Brazil: Brazil’s outbreak set a national daily record on Wednesday with 69,074 new confirmed cases and 1,595 related deaths.

Ukraine: Ukraine reported a record daily high of 1,197 new coronavirus cases on July 30, the country’s council of security and defense said.

Japan: Japan is bracing for a surge in the number of coronavirus infection after fresh cases exceeded the 1,000 mark for the first time. Tokyo confirmed 367 new coronavirus infections, national broadcaster NHK said, topping the previous record of 366 cases on 23 July.

Vietnam: Authorities in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, say they will test some 21,000 people who recently returned from Danang where an outbreak of coronavirus was confirmed last weekend.

Papua New Guinea: An Australian medical emergencies team has been deployed to Papua New Guinea where the outbreak has deteriorated in recent days. AFP news agency says the country’s pandemic response centre was closed yesterday after a senior adviser was diagnosed with the virus, and the health minister is also being tested.

China: China has reported 105 new coronavirus cases in the mainland, up from 101 cases a day earlier. The National Health Commission says 96 of the new cases were confirmed in the far western region of Xinjiang, while five were in the northeastern province of Liaoning, one in Beijing, and three imported cases.

Germany: Germany recorded the highest number of new coronavirus cases in about six weeks, while the country’s infection rate remained just above the key threshold of 1.0.

Pakistan: Pakistan announced that it had added 1,063 new cases, for a total of 276,288. Its Health Ministry said the country’s death toll had reached 5,892. In South-East Asia, Thailand reported six new cases, bringing its total to 3,304.

Lockdown updates

Italy: The Italian Government extended the duration of the Covid-19 emergency decree to from 31 July to 15 October, according to an emailed statement.

Economy updates

US: It seems that talks between United States congressional leaders and the White House on a next round of coronavirus spending have stalled as the clock ticks down on measures that banned evictions and boosted unemployment benefit payments.

Denmark: Danish firms have been reluctant to tap a government aid package that provides funds to cover fixed costs for those hurt by virus-induced lockdown, the Berlingske newspaper reported. So far they have only tapped 3.1 billion kroner ($500 million) of the 65.3 billion kroner allotted, the report said, citing government data.

8:19 am

The US needs to borrow – but lenders may be hard to find

30 July

The global economy earlier lent money to the US enabling the country to manage its public debt.

However, with the majority of the countries facing economic turmoil due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the US may not find lenders so easy to come by.

Brian Riedl, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute shared an article on the rising national debt.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent stimulus packages has led to the increase in national debt in 2020 to $4tn.

By 2030, the national debt held by the public is expected to reach $41tn without accounting any additional stimulus packages planned to be announced.

The article questions as to who will lend the government the trillions of dollars, which is expected to create an unprecedented burden.

The Federal Reserve may have to continue buying government debt in the future.

In other news: The US government is considering a proposal to reduce the $600 per week unemployment benefits to $200 per week until October.

Read more

3:59 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Eastern Mediterranean region a hotspot as global coronavirus cases near 16.8 million

29 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 16,770,000 with over 658,000 deaths and 9,769,000 recoveries

The Eastern Mediterranean region remains a hotspot for Covid-19, particularly in terms of per capita daily incident rates.

Oman is currently averaging more than 250 new cases per day per million population. Many countries in the region are reporting more than 1,000 new cases per day including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Colombia reported over 8,100 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 yesterday, its third highest daily incident rate to date.

The country remains ranked as number fifth globally in terms of daily incident rates.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology  at GlobalData

10:51 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 16.7 million as deaths exceed 660,000 – vaccine expected by December

29 July

Global: Global coronavirus infections passed 16.7 million, according to Johns Hopkins university. Global deaths from Covid-19 now exceed 660,000.

The WHO says the Covid-19 pandemic is “one big wave”, not seasonal. It warned against complacency in the northern hemisphere summer since the infection does not share influenza’s tendency to follow seasons.

US: Florida reported another record one-day rise in coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, and cases in Texas passed the 400,000 mark, fuelling fear that the United States is still not taking control of the outbreak and adding pressure on Congress to pass another massive economic aid package.

China: China’s National Health Commission has reported 101 new cases – up from 68 previously – the highest since mid-April. Of the new cases, 89 were found in the far western region of Xinjiang where mass testing is underway.

Australia: Victoria recorded 295 new cases of coronavirus and nine more deaths. It was a reduction of 89 from yesterday’s figure of 384, which in turn was 150 fewer than were recorded in the record high numbers on Monday. Nine people have died, which is close to the national record ten deaths reported in the state last week.

India: Over half the people living in Mumbai slums have had Covid-19, according to a city-commissioned study. Blood tests on 6,936 randomly selected people found that 57% of slum-dwellers had virus antibodies.

Germany: An urgent track and trace operation is underway in Berlin after a couple tested positive for coronavirus after returning from Manchester. 50 people who have had contact with the couple since their return are in quarantine, of whom 13 have so far tested positive.

Vietnam: The Vietnamese government is warning authorities in Hanoi to prepare for a potential coronavirus outbreak. The warning follows local media reports that a person working at a pizza restaurant in the capital had tested positive for the virus.

Japan: Mortality across Japan dropped by 3.5% in May from a year earlier, with the nation recording a total of 108,380 deaths from any cause, data released Tuesday by the nation’s Health Ministry show.

Vaccine news

US: “It’s a reasonable statement to make that by December we’re going to have a safe and effective vaccine,” Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious disease expert, said on a webcast with American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

Lockdown updates

Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, has sounded an alarming warning over the city’s health system. With the new wave of mostly locally transmitted infections, Hong Kong was “on the verge of a large-scale community outbreak which may lead to a collapse of our hospital system and cost lives, especially of the elderly”, she said. This came as the city’s strictest anti-virus measures yet came into force today, as it recorded its seventh consecutive day with case numbers in the triple figures and the government faced backlash over its extensive quarantine exemptions.

New Zealand: New Zealand’s government announced it will start charging some travellers for the cost of their two-week stay in quarantine. The announcement comes as the country recorded two new cases of Covid-19, both diagnosed in returning travellers to the country who are quarantined in managed isolation facilities.

New Zealand’s national airline, Air New Zealand, has frozen all new ticket bookings to Australia until 28 August. In a statement, the airline said the hold was due to Australian government restrictions on the number of passengers arriving in the country.

Spain: Spain insisted it was still a safe destination for tourists despite tackling 361 active outbreaks and more than 4,000 new cases. Several countries have nonetheless imposed quarantines on people returning from Spain, including its biggest tourist market, Britain.

Italy: Italy extended its state of emergency until October. This means the prime minister will continue to have the power to impose a lockdown and other safety measures without needing the approval of parliament.

Economy updates

Global: Global air travel is recovering more slowly than expected and it will take until 2024 to return to pre-pandemic levels, the trade association for the airline industry has said.

Aid group Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) is urging the US diagnostics firm Cepheid to “refrain from profiteering off of the pandemic” and cut the price of its Covid-19 tests (Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2) to $5 per test, from the nearly $20 it currently charges in the world’s poorest countries.

US: Republicans and Democrats in the United States Congress are divided over a $1 trillion coronavirus aid package that Republicans announced on Monday.

7:50 am

Why economic stimulus packages need to focus on future growth

29 July

As the US government deliberates on the next stimulus package, experts urge the need for a sustainable fiscal policy that can promote economic growth.

Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, shared an article on his outlook for the US economy.

He noted that policy makers should not repeat the same solutions to deal with the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The solutions should rather focus on promoting economic growth in the future.

The US economy showed signs of recovery in June as retail and home sales increased but later flattened out as lockdown restrictions were re-imposed.

El-Erian noted that the government should offer more money to states to cover the revenue lost due to the pandemic.

He also noted that testing and healthcare should be improved to bring the infection rate under control.

In other news: Unemployment levels have been rising across the world impacting the earnings of the future generations.

Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics, shared an article on how the pandemic is expected to impact the earnings of future generations in Canada.

The unemployment rate for youth increased from 10.3% in February to a historical high of 29.4% in May.

The current year’s high school, college and bachelor degree graduates are expected to lose approximately $25,000 or more over the next five years.

Read more

2:12 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 16.5 million – five day average increases in Brazil, India, Mexico, South Africa

28 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 16,500,000 with over 654,000 deaths and 9,590,000 recoveries.

The five day average of daily confirmed Covid-19 cases has decreased in the United States, Peru, Colombia and Russia.

However, the five day average of daily confirmed Covid-19 cases has increased in Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa.

Iran has reported over 293,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, ranking tenth globally for the highest number of confirmed cases.

The number of deaths per day has been steadily increasing throughout July, and yesterday Iran reported 216 deaths, a 10.77% increase in deaths from the day prior.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology at GlobalData

9:41 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 deaths pass 650,000 – infections near 16.5 million – Google to keep work from home in place until July 2021

28 July

Global: Global coronavirus deaths passed 650,000 as new surges prompt fresh curbs. More than 100,000 deaths have been recorded since 9 July, and the global toll has doubled in just over two months. Infections are rapidly nearing 16.5 million world wide.

The UN says nearly seven million more children will suffer growth stunting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic affecting food supplies. Writing in The Lancet, a team of experts modelled the impact on 118 poor and middle-income countries. They found the prevalence of moderate or severe wasting among children under five would increase by 14.3 percent, which works out to an extra 6.7 million cases.

Philippines: The Red Cross in the Philippines is urging people to be more vigilant as Covid-19 cases in the country jump by more than a thousand each day.

China: Mainland China has reported 68 new cases of coronavirus, with 64 of them locally transmitted. 57 of the local cases were diagnosed in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to state media.

Australia: The state of Victoria has reported 384 new cases of coronavirus and six deaths in the past 24 hours. On Monday, the state reported a record 532 cases.

Lockdown updates

US: Google employees will keep its employees home until at least July 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported, marking the largest tech firm to commit to such a timeline in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

UK: Britain’s decision to impose a two-week quarantine on people travelling from Spain is unfair, Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez said. He added that the Spanish government is in touch with British authorities in a bid to get the country to reconsider its position.

Lebanon: Lebanon re-imposed severe Covid-19 restrictions for the next two weeks. It has shut places of worship, cinemas, bars, nightclubs, sports events and popular markets, after a sharp rise in infections.

Economy updates

South Africa: The International Monetary Fund approved $4.3bn in aid to South Africa to help it fight the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s finance minister, Tito Mboweni, in June predicted the economy would shrink 7.2% in 2020, its deepest slump in 90 years.

7:50 am

US fiscal aid delays could make 28 million homeless – countries struggle to control second wave of Covid infections

28 July

Rising unemployment rates, end to unemployment benefits and surge in Covid-19 cases may soon leave people homeless in the US.

Sudeep Reddy, managing editor at Politico, shared an article on how the recession induced by the Covid-19 pandemic is causing a housing crisis that is worse than the 2008 crisis.

Approximately 50% of tenants in the US have been burdened by rent during pandemic.

The situation has mainly resulted because fiscal aid applications for unemployment benefits are not being cleared quickly.

As a result, one third of US households have not been able to make their full housing payments for July.

By October, more than 28 million people in the US may be evicted if action is not taken.

In other news, economist Christophe Barraud, shares an article on how the several countries are struggling to control a second wave of Covid-19 infections and are imposing fresh lockdowns.

Read more

1:50 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 deaths near 650,000 – US records more than 65,000 infections in a day

27 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 16,264,000 with over 648,000 deaths and 9,407,000 recoveries

The United States, Brazil and India are ranked as the top three countries globally with the highest daily incident cases.

The United States reported over 65,000 new confirmed Covid-19 cases yesterday and over 900 deaths.

Brazil reported over 51,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 cases yesterday and over 1,200 deaths.

India reported over 48,000 new confirmed Covid-19 cases yesterday and over 700 deaths.

Russia continues to report a steadily declining daily rate of incident cases.

However, Russia is still ranked as the seventh highest number of daily incident cases globally and the fourth highest confirmed Covid-19 cases globally, reporting over 811,000 confirmed cases.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology at GlobalData

9:49 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 16.2 million – US suffers 1,000 Covid related deaths for five straight days as cases pass 4.2 million

27 July

Global: Global Covid-19 cases passed 16.2 million. Cases climbed by over 250,000 for four straight days, with the total deaths currently 648,937, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

US: The US has suffered more than 1,000 deaths a day from Covid-19 for five days running, as cases surge in southern and western states, the national caseload nears 4.2 million and the death toll approaches 150,000.

Brazil: Brazil has registered an additional 555 deaths attributable to the novel coronavirus over the last 24 hours and another 24,578 confirmed cases, Reuters reported, quoting the country’s health ministry.

India: India has for the first time recorded over 50,000 cases in one day. The Times of India reported that India’s one-day case total was higher than 50,000 for the first time on Sunday, taking the country’s total to 1.4 million cases – the third-highest worldwide.

Mexico: Mexico’s Health Ministry has reported 5,480 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 306 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 390,516 cases and 43,680 deaths.

China: China recorded 61 new coronavirus cases on Monday – the highest daily figure since April, propelled by clusters in three separate regions that have sparked fears of a fresh wave. The bulk of 57 new domestic cases were found in the far northwestern Xinjiang region, where a sudden outbreak in the regional capital of Urumqi occurred in mid-July.

Australia: Australia saw its highest one-day case increase of the pandemic so far, after the state of Victoria recorded 532 new cases, along with six more deaths of people aged in their 50s to 90s. In addition, New South Wales recorded 17 new cases, about average for the last week. Of the new cases, eight are international travellers in hotel quarantine.

New Zealand: New Zealand reported another day with no new cases of Covid-19 – the third day in a row. All of the country’s 21 active cases of the virus were diagnosed in travellers returning to the country, all of whom are quarantined in government-managed isolation facilities.

Papua New Guinea: Coronavirus cases in Papua New Guinea have nearly doubled in a weekend, with the emerging pandemic threatening to overwhelm the country’s already-fragile healthcare system.

Afghanistan: The number of confirmed infections to Covid-19 has passed 36,000 in Afghanistan as the death toll in Kabul topped 500, amid rising concerns about a second wave of the pandemic over the upcoming Eid celebration.

Spain: Spain’s Covid-19 death toll could be 60% higher than the official figure. An investigation by Spanish newspaper El País, in which reporters counted regional statistics of suspected, as well as confirmed fatalities, reached a total of 44,868 deaths.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 340 to 205,609, Reuters reported on Monday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

South Korea: South Korea’s new coronavirus cases have fallen back to below 30 as imported cases dwindled from a record high over the weekend, according to Yonhap news agency.

Serbia: Serbia has reported a record number of daily cases of the new coronavirus, according to AP news agency. Health authorities said that 467 people have tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, the highest number since the start of the outbreak. They said eight people have died.

Lockdown updates

US: The co-ordinator of the White House’s coronavirus task force, Dr Deborah Birx, told reporters in Kentucky on Sunday that that federal health officials recommend that five US states – Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia – “close their bars, cut back indoor restaurant capacity and limit social gatherings to ten people,” the Louisville Courier Journal reports, as well as recommending that “100%” of people wear masks when they are in public.

Spain: Spain is in talks with the UK about exempting the Canary and Balearic Islands from strict quarantine rules.

UK: From midnight on Sunday, travellers returning from Spain to the UK have been forced to quarantine for 14 days, following a surge of cases in the country.

Germany: Some 500 workers are in quarantine on a large Bavarian farm to contain a mass coronavirus outbreak, German officials said, as they announced free Covid-19 tests for local residents. A total of 174 seasonal workers have tested positive for the virus since Friday.

Morocco: Morocco will stop people entering and leaving some of its biggest cities from midnight to contain a surge in coronavirus cases, the interior and health ministry said on Sunday.

North Korea: North Korea has declared a state of emergency in a border town over a suspected coronavirus case. State news agency KCNA said leader Kim Jong Un also imposed a lockdown in Kaesong after a person who illegally crossed the border from South Korea displayed symptoms of the virus.

Vietnam: Vietnam will evacuate 80,000 tourists from the city of Danang, the government announced in a statement, following the discovery of four locally transmitted coronavirus cases over the weekend – the first cases in the country for 99 days.

Austria: The popular resort town of St Wolfgang, Austria, has ordered restaurants and clubs to close early and urged people to avoid going out as it grapples with a new outbreak of the coronavirus.

Economy updates

Japan: Japan’s economy minister says the government will urge businesses to aim for 70 percent telecommuting and enhance other social distancing measures amid a rise in coronavirus cases among workers, some infected during after-work socialising, Reuters news agency reported.

 

8:00 am

US needs additional financial stimulus to recover from Covid-19 downturn

27 July

Additional stimulus to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US will be required over the next few years.

Sectors such as child care have been impacted by the pandemic leaving parents vulnerable to lower incomes in the future.

John Van Reenen, professor at MIT Economics, shared an article on the next stimulus package being considered by the US government.

Although politicians project that the US economy may require $3tn in stimulus, macroeconomists highlight the need to incorporate automatic fiscal stabilisers.

Unemployment benefits under the CARES Act are set to end in July although experts have called for an extension of the benefits.

As jobs are yet to return to normal levels, unemployment benefits are essential to protect households from bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, Anthony DeRosa, a journalist, shared an article on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the child care system in the US.

The article notes that the economic impact of the collapse of the system will be visible for the next 20 to 30 years, and that more stimulus was injected to save airlines rather child care.

Read more

1:29 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 15.5 million – numbers rising in South Africa – increasing infections in nine US states

24 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 15,526,000 with over 633,000 deaths and 8,873,000 recoveries

In the United States, Florida and Texas are both now averaging more than 100 deaths per day and Arizona is averaging more than 80 deaths per day.

Notably, Arizona is reporting more than 1.1 daily deaths per 100,000 population which is more than double the current rate in Florida and Texas.

Other states that continue to report an increase in incident cases are Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington.

South Africa remains as ranking fifth for the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases globally, reporting over 408,000 cases.

Additionally, South Africa is ranked fourth globally for total daily incident cases.

Isobel Lloyd, BSc and Kasey Fu, MPH, Director of Epidemiology  at GlobalData

9:48 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 15.5 million – US infections exceed 4 million – more than 633,000 deaths world wide

24 July

Global: There now more than 15.5 million known Covid-19 cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, and over 633,000 deaths.

US: The US surpassed four million coronavirus cases on Thursday, after more than 1,100 new Covid-19-related deaths were reported in a single day on Wednesday for the first time since late May.

UK: Former UK prime minister Tony Blair believes coronavirus will not be eliminated. He urged the UK government to focus on containment measures to see the country through a second wave.

South Africa: President Cyril Ramaphosa says the country’s coronavirus cases have risen to over 400,000.

Australia: The state of Victoria has reported 300 new coronavirus cases and six deaths, a record one-day number of fatalities for the state. Yesterday’s numbers were 484 new cases and five deaths, three of which were connected to aged care clusters.

China: China reported 21 new coronavirus cases in the mainland for July 23, down from 22 cases a day earlier. Of the new infections, the National Health Commission said 13 were in the far western region of Xinjiang and two were in Dalian city in the northeastern province of Liaoning. The remaining six were imported cases.

Lockdown updates

China: The port city of Dalian in Liaoning province, home to nearly six million people, will introduce a wave of coronavirus testing to stamp out a small cluster of cases, authorities said, with state media reporting communities will be locked down.

South Africa: President Ramaphosa said the cabinet has decided that all public schools should be closed for the next four weeks from Monday with some exceptions.

Japan: Senior Olympic official John Coates has reiterated that Tokyo must stage a simplified summer Games next year with the health and safety of athletes the most important consideration in the planning, Reuters reports.

Economy updates

Global: The devastating economic toll the coronavirus crisis is taking around the world could spark huge waves of fresh migration once borders reopen, the head of the Red Cross warned in an interview with AFP.

Costa Rica: The Central American Bank for Economic Integration approved a $300m loan to Costa Rica to help stabilise the local economy, which has been hit hard by restrictions aimed at containing the new coronavirus.

Turkey: Turkey’s parliament approved a law allowing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to extend a layoff ban imposed to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.