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With 77% of CARES Act funds remaining, DoD well positioned to support defence industry

According to GlobalData associate analyst Harry Boneham, ‘the Department of Defense (DoD) possesses the financial means to continue to support the US defence industry through an enduring crisis.’

Approximately 77% of the funds allocated within the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Security (CARES) Act are outstanding, meaning that the DoD remains well positioned to protect the defence industrial base from the economic impact of the pandemic.

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4:38 pm

Covid-19, coming logistics lessons for the defence base, and why it isn’t all doom and gloom

With the commander of the Army Medical Research and Development Command telling reporters that the Army expects to have a vaccine by the end of the year, and human testing to commence late summer, the focus is once more on the role of the defence base in stabilising the current crisis.

The vital role of military logistics apparent in this crisis will likely result in significant increases in EU and NATO expenditure on dual-use infrastructure, bucking the likely trend of declining opportunities in the contracting economies.

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2:20 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Update: Covid-19 cases continue to rise – mass gatherings a cause for concern

5 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 6,658,000 with over 391,000 deaths and 2,886,000 recoveries.

Globally, cases continue to rise with 4 June seeing one of the largest one day growths since the start of the pandemic.

India has continued to see increasing rate of growth in cases since early April and these new cases contributed in part to the large spike seen globally.

Civil rights protests continued in the US into the second weekend, with countries all over taking similar action.

These mass gatherings pose a major concern for nations worldwide as efforts are made to contain a second wave of infections.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

9:47 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 6.6 million – Brazil death toll third highest world wide – Argentina extends lockdown

5 June

Global: The number of known coronavirus infections has passed 6.6 million, with 6,601,349 currently confirmed, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

Brazil: Brazil’s death toll overtakes Italy’s to become third-highest worldwide. Brazil’s total Covid-19 death toll blew past that of Italy on Thursday, as the Health Ministry reported 1,437 deaths in the last 24 hours and 30,925 additional coronavirus cases.

India: India registered more than 9,800 new cases of the coronavirus in another biggest single-day spike.

South Africa: South Africa has recorded 3,267 coronavirus cases in 24 hours, the biggest increase since the pandemic hit the country. Africa’s biggest industrial power now has a total of 40,792 infections, the health ministry said. It saw a rise of 56 deaths, bring the total to 848.

Australia: Ebola drug remdesivir endorsed as a coronavirus treatment in Australia. The antiviral drug remdesivir has been recommended for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Australia, by the national taskforce bringing together the country’s peak health groups.

US: New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, urged protestors to get tested for coronavirus, saying several days and nights of demonstrations in the state after the killing of George Floyd could accelerate the spread. He noted that an estimated 30,000 people have protested in the state.

New York City’s health department produced data on Thursday that showed no deaths of virus-carriers the previous day, giving officials cause to cautiously celebrate. Three deaths probably attributable to Covid-19 occurred in untested patients, the department reported. It was a far cry from a week in mid-April when the city recorded about 700 deaths a day.

UK: Covid-19 causing 10,000 dementia deaths beyond infections, UK research says. There were almost 10,000 unexplained extra deaths among people with dementia in April, according to official figures that have prompted alarm about the severe impact of social isolation on people with the condition.

Patients with high blood pressure admitted to hospital with coronavirus infections are twice as likely to die as those without the condition, researchers said on Friday.

Japan: A Tokyo 2020 executive board member said on Friday that organisers will need to monitor the coronavirus situation until next spring to decide whether to hold the Summer Olympics next year, Kyodo News reported.

Africa: Low Covid-19 figures for Africa are “broadly accurate”, the World Health Organization’s director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, has said. There were concerns that low levels of testing, poor infrastructure and a lack of cooperation from some governments may be disguising the true extent of the disease’s spread.

South Korea: South Korea reported on Friday 39 new cases of the coronavirus over a 24-hour period, a continuation of an upward trend in new infections in the country.

China: China reported five new confirmed coronavirus cases, all of them brought by Chinese citizens from outside the country.

Spain: A second round of random testing in Spain shows only 5.2 percent of the population carry antibodies against the new coronavirus.

Fiji: Frank Bainimarama, the prime minister of Fiji, said all coronavirus patients in the Pacific island nation have now recovered.

Lockdown updates

Europe: The European Commission is urging member states to fully reopen all internal borders by the end of this month. European states should abolish border controls within the bloc in the coming weeks as the coronavirus situation has improved everywhere, EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson told Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper in an interview on Friday.

UK: Passengers on England’s buses, subways and trains will have to wear face coverings starting June 15 to help protect fellow passengers from the coronavirus.

Turkey: Turkey will impose a two-day weekend curfew in 15 cities as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the interior ministry said.

Argentina: Argentina extended until June 28 a mandatory lockdown in capital Buenos Aires and other areas with high cases of coronavirus, President Alberto Fernandez announced, after the country surpassed 20,000 confirmed cases earlier in the day.

Economic updates

Africa: Antonio Guterres, the United Nations chief, said the coronavirus pandemic has compounded “the dire humanitarian and security situations” in Mali and Africa’s Sahel region.

US: US pandemic jobless claims passed 42 million after another 1.9 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week. The pace of layoffs has slowed dramatically from its peak of 6.6 million at the start of April as states begin to relax quarantines.

9:14 am

Coronavirus company news summary – DoD contracts Novavax for vaccine delivery – Defence Logistics Agency (DLA) provides PPE

5 June

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded a contract to biotechnology company Novavax to deliver Covid-19 vaccine. The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Enabling Biotechnologies will grant up to $60m fund to support the production of Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate NVX‑CoV2373. The company will work with an undisclosed US biologics CDMO to produce NVX-CoV2373 antigen component for at least 10 million doses of vaccine for the DoD.

Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Yokosuka, Japan (DDYJ) has provided personal protective equipment (PPE) to 21 ships in the US Pacific Command area of responsibility to help contain the spread of Covid-19. DDYJ partnered with 7th Fleet Personnel for the distribution of protection items. More than 16,000 face coverings, 186,000 protective gloves, 1,000 protective Tyvek-like coveralls and 600 goggles were provided to ships from Forward Deployment Naval Force Yokosuka, Japan, FDNF Sasebo, Japan, the USS Nimitz Strike Group and the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

The Michigan National Guard is supporting Covid-19 testing in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the State Emergency Operations Center. The voluntary testing for staff and residents was conducted at Riveridge Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, West Woods of Bridgman and Pine Ridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Over 60 trained Covid-19 testing teams from the guard remain ready to support the initiative. About 15 of them are assisting the long-term care facility testing mission.

The Malaysian Armed Forces have received protective equipment from China to help its efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19. The Chinese Defence Ministry provided 130,000 units of 13 types of medical items including face masks, medical goggles, isolation gowns, medical boots, disposable nitrile gloves and thermal smart helmets. China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian handed over the donation to Malaysian Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

7:40 am

ECB announces economic stimulus package for euro zone

5 June

The European Central Bank’s (ECB) growth forecast for the euro zone predicts GDP to contract.

Europe was designated as the new epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak, which originated in China, in March 2020 by the World Health Organisation.

Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and UK are some of the worst affected countries in the region. The outbreak forced countries in the region to implement lockdown measures, which is expected to result in a massive contraction of GDP growth.

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to EY ITEM Club, tweeted on the European Central Bank’s (ECB) growth forecast for the euro zone in 2020.

The ECB forecast that the euro zone GDP will contract by 8.7% in 2020, followed by a partial rebound of 5.2% in 2021 and 3.3% in 2022.

The ECB also announced a stimulus package of €1.85tn ($2.03tn) under the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme.


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4:23 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases exceed 6.5 million – infections still on the rise in India – challenges in containment remain

4 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 6,528,000 with over 386,000 deaths and 2,819,000 recoveries.

In India, a top affected region globally, cases continue to rise as the peak of disease spread seems as yet to have been reached.

New York still remains the top affected region by Covid-19, with more confirmed cases than the United Kingdom, India, Moscow, or France, which make up the remaining top five most affected regions globally.

Globally, the number of daily confirmed deaths may have reached its peak as the number of daily confirmed deaths has slowly been decreasing since the end of April.

Despite the strict social distancing measures enacted at the beginning of this pandemic the virus has continued to spread, offering a glimpse into the challenges remaining as economies around the world begin to reopen.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

10:53 am

International Update: 100,000 Covid cases per day reported to WHO – South Korea faces resurgence – autopsy reveals George Floyd had Covid-19

4 June

Global: Known coronavirus cases pass 6.4 million. According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been 6,430,705 known coronavirus cases so far, and 385,947 deaths reported.

The World Health Organization has received reports of 100,000 new cases of coronavirus every day for the past five days, as the outbreak gathers pace in various regions around the world, director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said. He also said it has resumed trials of hydroxychloroquine, although results published by the New England Journal of Medicine show that the drug was no better than placebo pills at preventing illness from the coronavirus.

As many as 45% of people who contract the virus don’t show any symptoms, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

US: George Floyd had coronavirus, according to autopsy. Floyd tested positive for coronavirus, according to a full autopsy report released by the Hennepin county medical examiner’s office.

The White House is working with seven pharmaceutical companies as part of its “Warp Speed” coronavirus vaccine program. They include Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc., and the University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca Plc, as well as two other firms, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Mexico: Mexican health authorities reported 1,092 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, the highest toll in one day so far, with total infections surging past 100,000.

Portugal: Portugal reported 366 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, above 300 for the first time since 29 May and taking the total to 33,261, the government said.

South Korea: South Korea has confirmed 39 additional cases of the coronavirus, all but three of them reported in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area as authorities are struggling to contain a resurgence of the Covid-19.

China: China reported on Thursday one new coronavirus case and four new asymptomatic Covid-19 cases as of the end of 3 June, according to Reuters quoting the health commission.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: New Zealand is on the verge of eradicating the virus from its shores after it notched a 13th straight day with no reported new infections, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Macedonia: North Macedonia has reintroduced stringent movement restrictions in the capital Skopje and another three parts of the country, after registering a record number of new Covid-19 infections, according to AP news agency.

Spain: Spain’s congress voted to approve a sixth and final two-week extension of the country’s state of emergency.

Economic updates

Global: G7 Finance ministers said the group is suspending official bilateral debt payments for the poorest countries to year-end 2020 and possibly longer, according to a statement distributed by the US Treasury.

Economic hardships brought about by the coronavirus pandemic could increase aid-dependency in countries at conflict without coordinated responses from governments and international institutions, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday.

Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition agreed to a 130 billion-euro ($146 billion) stimulus package to help Europe’s biggest economy recover from the coronavirus crisis.

9:16 am

Coronavirus company news summary – US Army targets vaccine by years end – China supports Laos

4 June

The US Army is aiming to make a Covid-19 vaccine available by the end of this year. Army Medical Research and Development Command Commander Army brigadier General Michael Talley said the target is to start human testing in late summer with widespread distribution next year. Currently, more than 700 Army scientists, researchers and staff at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) are working on developing medical countermeasures against the virus. USAMRIID at Fort Detrick in Maryland is also developing small- and large-animal models to aid vaccine testing.

The 85th US Army Reserve Support Command (USARSC) has performed a virtual Change of Command ceremony due to COVID 19, social distancing and other restrictions in place. The ceremony is a “time-honoured tradition” and was released on social media channels. Army Reserve public affairs staff and First Army Public Affairs Office supported the development of a video package containing a pre-recorded virtual ceremony without physically coming together.

China’s Ministry of National Defence has delivered a second batch of medical supplies to the Lao Army to support the fight against the spread of Covid-19, reported Xinhua. The donated medical supplies package was transported by a Chinese Air Force aircraft that landed at the Wattay International Airport of Lao capital Vientiane. It included ventilators, monitors and other medical assistance. The first batch was handed over to the Lao Army in late April.

7:23 am

Unemployment expected to reach 20% in US

4 June

The US has witnessed unprecedented rates of unemployment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The unemployment rate in the US is expected to touch 20%, similar to the rates during the Great Depression.

Experts, however, note that the unemployment rate may be reaching its peak before declining in the second half of the year.

Paul Krugman, Nobel laureate and author, shared the latest unemployment statistics from Eurostat, which estimates that the unemployment rate in the Euro zone was 7.3% in April 2020 and in the EU it was 6.6%.

Krugman noted the unemployment rate in the US is unique being very high compared to other regions at 14.7% in April 2020, according to Bureau of Labour Statistics.

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2:03 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases still on the rise in Brazil – global cases number more than 6.4 million – US faces second wave

3 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 6,404,000 with over 380,000 deaths and 2,747,000 recoveries.

Brazil has the second most confirmed cases of Covid-19, behind only to the US.

The number of cases in Brazil has grown significantly in the past week, suggesting that the pandemic is far from under control.

The death rate in Brazil also continues to climb at more than 149 deaths per 1,000,000 population.

Cases in the US are still on the rise. With the current protests going on monitoring needs to continue, in order to ensure the pandemic has peaked and a second wave can best be mitigated.

Several US states have seen cases rise by more than 35% since the end of May, including Virginia, Alabama, and South Carolina.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

9:53 am

International Update: Brazil’s Covid death toll passes 31,000 – Lockdown latest – Economic impacts

3 June

Global: Known deaths in the coronavirus pandemic passed 380,000 on Wednesday, with Johns Hopkins University figures showing the toll currently standing at 380,250. Confirmed cases number 6,378,239 so far.

Brazil: A record 1,262 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in Brazil today – taking the country’s total death toll to 31,199 – but the president continues to downplay the pandemic.

UK: The UK’s official death toll passed 50,000, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The Lancet has commissioned an independent audit of the data behind a study it published last month that found hydroxycholorquine increased the risk of death in Covid-19 patients.

Iran: Iran confirmed its second highest number of new cases in a 24-hour period since its outbreak began, with the health ministry saying 3,117 people tested positive.

US: A senior US army researcher said it was reasonable to expect that some sort of vaccine could be available to some parts of the US population by the end of the year.

South Korea: South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has approved a health ministry request to import the anti-viral drug remdesivir to treat Covid-19.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: New Zealand has reported a 12th straight day of no new cases of Covid-19, as the government considers abandoning as early as next week all remaining restrictions on the country except stringent border controls.

South Africa: A South African court ruled that revised lockdown regulations implemented by the government as part of a phased reopening of the economy are unconstitutional and invalid, giving the state two weeks to amend them.

UK: The UK will publish details today (Wednesday) of its plan to impose a 14-day quarantine on all overseas arrivals.

France: France’s death toll rose by more than a 100 in a 24-hour period for the first time in 13 days. It came as the country enacts a new easing of lockdown measures.

Germany: Germany’s travel warning for Europe will be lifted on Wednesday, its foreign minister, Heiko Maas, announced.

Economic impacts

Australia: Australian treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has confirmed Australia is now in a recession as the economy reels from the coronavirus pandemic.

China: China’s huge service sector has bounced back to growth for the first time since January in a sign that the world’s second largest economy is recovering strongly from strict coronavirus-induced containment measures.

Yemen: Yemen remains on the brink of “a macabre tragedy”, the UN has warned after a humanitarian fundraising summit raised only $1.35bn for this year, around $1bn short of the target and only half the sum raised at the equivalent pledging conference last year.

9:42 am

Coronavirus company news summary – FLIR Systems scanner deployed at Pentagon – British Army resumes trade training

3 June

FLIR Systems EST screening system A700 EST-IS has been deployed at the Pentagon to support the fight against Covid-19. The system features the FLIR A700 thermal imaging camera and will screen visitors at the Pentagon Visitor Center in Washington DC for higher than expected skin temperatures. The company is also in talks with the US Department of Defense for several other initiatives and potential applications of its solutions across the armed services. The company said it added $100m in thermal camera bookings during the first quarter.

The British Army’s apprenticeship centre of excellence 1 Royal School of Military Engineering Regiment (1 RSME Regt) is resuming its trade training programme after providing Covid-19 support to the service. The regiment trains Royal Engineer recruits in various trades such as fabricating, welding, electrics, plumbing, air conditioning and refrigeration and more. 1 RSME has implemented a range of protocols, measures and procedures in the workshops, classrooms and training facilities to ensure the safety and well-being of the students and instructors.

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a new disinfection unit. Named as Ultra Swachh, the system is designed to disinfect materials, such as personal protective equipment (PPEs), electronics items, fabrics and more. The unit featuring Ozone sealant technology and a catalytic converter uses an advanced oxidative process. It is available in two variants Ozonated Space and Trinetra Technology and in different sizes. DRDO’s Delhi based laboratory Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS) collaborated with industry partner Gel Craft Healthcare to develop the product.

7:55 am

Developing nations will suffer worst from economic downturn post Covid-19

3 June

The Covid-19 pandemic is estimated to impact developing and underdeveloped countries the most as the lockdown measures have left millions of people jobless and on the verge of poverty.

The majority of the developing nations are expected to face a sharp decline in economic output in 2020.

Miles Kimball, Eaton Professor of Economics at the University of Colorado, shared an article on how the Covid-19 pandemic is causing an economic downturn in developing economies.

The article refers to the latest economic results released in Brazil, Turkey and India, which indicates that the economic output of these countries is expected to fall in 2020.

Kimball noted that any country experiencing a decline in inflation during the current crisis after adjusting for temporary price movements due to the disruption in productivity has a monetary policy that is too tight.

Read more

3:09 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 infection rate slows in Europe, Asia, North America – Belgium deaths over 800 per million

2 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 6,288,000 with over 375,000 deaths and 2,706,000 recoveries.

Globally cases continue to rise, however, this is at much slower rates in Europe, Asia, and North American than at the height of the pandemic spread.

Brazil, Russia, and some areas of the Middle East continue to struggle to contain the spread of the virus, suggesting that the peak of infection still may not have been reached.

The most recent data suggest that Belgium has one of the highest death rates from Covid-19 at a rate of more than 800 deaths per 1,000,000 population.

In contrast, Italy one of the hardest hit countries in Europe, has a death of around 550 deaths per 1,000,000 population.

Around the world economies are slowly starting to open back up as many restaurants, bars, gyms, shopping centers have now opened but are still maintaining an effort to enforce social distancing protocols.

In the US, protests continued into the fourth day, raising concerns that a second wave of infections is imminent.’

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

2:35 pm

Eurosatory cancelled: The defence industry reacts to a season without events

France’s Eurosatory has been cancelled, along with most other defence events and military exercises, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Berenice Baker finds out how organisers, exhibitors and attendees are mitigating the impact of event cancellations.

The Covid-19 outbreak had already established a deadly foothold in France before the World Health Organisation declared it a pandemic on 11 March. When on 17 March Prime Minister Édouard Philippe banned public gatherings of 100 people or more, the writing was on the wall for Eurosatory.

Cancellations of the 2020 Farnborough Air Show and the Royal International Air Tattoo in the UK were announced on 20 March, despite there still being some speculation that it would all blow over by summer. Due to open its doors to defence industry experts from 8 to 12 June, Eurosatory was the last to blink, finally confirming cancellation on 28 March.

Read the full feature here.

11:03 am

Eurosatory cancelled: The defence industry reacts to a season without events

The Covid-19 outbreak had already established a deadly foothold in France before the World Health Organisation declared it a pandemic on 11 March. When on 17 March Prime Minister Édouard Philippe banned public gatherings of 100 people or more, the writing was on the wall for Eurosatory.

Cancellations of the 2020 Farnborough Air Show and the Royal International Air Tattoo in the UK were announced on 20 March, despite there still being some speculation that it would all blow over by summer. Due to open its doors to defence industry experts from 8 to 12 June, Eurosatory was the last to blink, finally confirming cancellation on 28 March.

Organiser GICAT (the French Land and Airland Defence and Security Association) and its defence events subsidiary COGES said on the Eurosatory website: “The conditions for preparing and running the exhibition, which would protect the health and safety of the 100,000 expected participants, visitors, exhibitors and organisers, cannot be met.

“Many international and French exhibitors registered for the Eurosatory trade fair scheduled from June 8 to 12, 2020 are no longer able to prepare their participation and configure or transport the necessary equipment. It also appears that the very large number of foreign visitors expected to participate in the fair can no longer plan their trip to France.”

Running since 1967, the biennial event usually takes place in Paris’s vast Parc des expositions de Paris-Nord Villepinte and alternates with London’s DSEI. In 2018 it attracted 1,802 exhibitors from 63 countries and over 98,700 attendees from 153 countries.

The knock-on effect of defence event cancellations

The coronavirus pandemic has already caused factory closures, military exercise cancellations and a dip in orders, which, combined with the decimation of the 2020 events season, will likely impact the entire supply chain. Defence primes are taking a big hit, but are still fulfilling multi-million-dollar contracts and remain largely optimistic.

A Lockheed Martin spokesperson said: “Eurosatory is a great event that brings together some of the most compelling thought leaders in defence and security. We look forward to participating in a future conference.”

“Most events don’t cancel until as late in the day as possible; the chance of getting funds back quickly or at all are very slim.”

However, small and medium-sized businesses in the supply chain will be hit much harder.

A spokesperson for one told us anonymously: “It’s all a bit ‘brave new world’ at the moment, and we’re trying to find our feet. The trouble is, most events don’t cancel until as late in the day as possible; the chance of getting funds back quickly or at all are very slim. There is no additional budget for advertising which means no additional channels to promote outside of the agreed plan. It’s a catch-22.”

Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the UK Ministry of Defence’s trading entity, is a regular presence at Eurosatory and other defence trade fairs, as part of its role to provide equipment and services for the British Armed Forces.

A spokesperson for DE&S said: “DE&S understands the decisions to cancel upcoming external events due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will monitor the ongoing situation alongside Her Majesty’s Government guidance. The organisation continues to engage with our international and national industry partners and armed forces customers going forward.”

DSEI 2021

Organiser Clarion is optimistic about DSEI going ahead in 2021 and is planning virtual conferences in the meantime.

Cautious optimism for DSEI and other 2021 events

While it is too early to speculate about the fate of events scheduled for later in 2020, event participants are cautiously optimistic about a return to a degree of normality next year.

Clarion Defence and Security organises Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI), which takes place at the ExCel Centre in London’s docklands – currently converted into an NHS Nightingale hospital for treating coronavirus patients – on alternate years to Eurosatory.

Clarion group managing director Tim Porter says: “The decision to postpone or cancel a major event is never taken lightly, but in this unprecedented situation when there is sometimes no alternative option, the immediate focus is on communicating with and supporting our customers and attendees as best we can.

“No tradeshow exists in isolation, and one of the strengths of the defence industry is its breadth and depth, which all of the main global shows have a role in supporting. It is important for the overall health of this industry that all the events in the two-year cycle are successful for their exhibitors and visitors, and therefore we are doing everything we can in supporting industry through this difficult time so that we can all get back to ‘business as usual’ as soon as possible.”

“No tradeshow exists in isolation, and one of the strengths of the defence industry is its breadth and depth, which all of the main global shows have a role in supporting.”

Porter says that Clarion has already rescheduled several of its defence events to take place later in the year, including Counter Terror Expo, IT²EC, UDT and Electronic Warfare Europe, and it is preparing for the EDEX biennial tri-service event in Egypt in December.

“This work is always undertaken with the support of both government and industry stakeholders, as well as the speaker community, but as always the health and safety of our participants remains our top priority in all of our forward planning,” he says.

Porter explains that supporting exhibitors is an important part of developing trust with the defence community and is part of the obligation of organisers. “Events are created in partnership with exhibitors, so when something unplanned occurs, the most important thing is that we communicate in a clear and transparent way,” he says. “We are conscious that all of our customers are operating in an exceptionally challenging environment, and are juggling multiple commitments so the sooner we can present a clear plan of action for everyone involved in our events, the easier this is for everyone.”

Promoting business: alternatives to events

Tradeshows are a vital medium for brand marketing and driving business development, but Porter says that while that option isn’t available there are alternative ways to promote company messaging.

“We would encourage our exhibitor community to stay engaged with the industry as much as possible,” he says. “We are also exploring options for a series of virtual conference events over the summer to maintain engagement and help our audience plan ahead for those events that have been rescheduled.

“The current circumstances have highlighted how important events are to the global drumbeat of the industry and how keenly their temporary absence has been felt. That same sentiment will, in turn, drive renewed enthusiasm for the next show cycle. While significant advancements have been made in virtual technology, there is no replacement for seeing equipment first-hand and engaging with partners, customers and suppliers in person.”

“We are also exploring options for a series of virtual conference events over the summer to maintain engagement.”

The defence industry and global militaries may have been back-footed by the coronavirus pandemic but they have been among the first to step forward to contribute to the fight against it.

“Stepping outside of the tradeshow world for a moment, the unfolding situation has also demonstrated to us all the vital and varied role that armed forces play in protecting and supporting civilian populations in times of crisis,” says Porter.

“It has also shown the innovative capability of a great number of high-tech manufacturing and aerospace companies, many of them DSEI exhibitors, that have collectively worked at a remarkable pace to build up engineering capacity and support national healthcare efforts.”

10:49 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 deaths exceed 375,000 – cases still rising in Central and South America – latest lockdown updates

2 June

Global: Global infections from Covid-19 stand at 6,266,193 with deaths at 375,554, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus addressed President Donald Trump’s announcement he would withdraw the US from the WHO, thanking the US for its past contributions and saying the agency hopes to continue its partnership with the US.

The World Health Organization has warned that the increased use of antibiotics to combat the pandemic will strengthen bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths during the crisis and beyond.

Masks and social distancing can help control the coronavirus but hand washing and other measures are still needed, a new study has found.

Brazil: Brazil registered 11,598 additional cases of coronavirus and 623 new deaths on Monday, taking its confirmed cases to 526,447 and deaths to 29,937.

Mexico: Deaths in Mexico passed 10,000 as the WHO warned that Central and South America had become “intense zones for transmission of this virus” and had not reached their peak in cases.

China: China reported five new imported cases and no deaths on Tuesday. As of Monday there were 73 active cases in the country, according to the national health commission.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong has discovered four new cases of coronavirus and is concerned about a ‘super spreader’ at the housing estate where all the affected people live, according to the South China Morning Post.

Malaysia: Malaysia’s immigration detention centres have become the country’s latest coronavirus hotspots amid a series of raids on undocumented migrants.

Japan: More than 30 new coronavirus infections were reported in Tokyo on Tuesday, Japan’s NHK public broadcaster said, marking the first time the number of daily cases has topped 30 in 19 days.

South Korea: South Korea will begin trialling QR codes as part of its track and trace efforts to contain the virus.


Lockdown updates

Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated his government’s position that a renewed lockdown was economically unviable, reopening the country’s tourism sector and allowing shops and businesses to remain open until 7pm each day, even as the country registered its highest single day spike in Covid-19 cases.

Singapore: Singapore has begun to ease some of the so-called circuit breaker measures it introduced in March.

India: Five Indian states contributing nearly 27% of the country’s gross domestic product are leading a recovery in the economy as it slowly emerges from the world’s biggest lockdown, a new study shows.

China: Queues of tankers have formed off China’s busiest oil ports as the vessels wait to offload crude for refineries that are quickly ramping up production amid a rapid rebound in fuel demand.

US: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned that mass protests against police violence risked accelerating the spread of coronavirus, undoing weeks of social-distancing efforts.

New Zealand: New Zealand could remove most of its remaining restrictions on people and businesses as soon as next week after successfully wiping out the coronavirus.


9:51 am

Coronavirus company news summary – DoD supports 13 partner countries – National Guard man test sites

2 June

The US Department of Defense’s (DOD) Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) programme has supported 13 partner nations with Covid-19 mitigation assistance. The requests for aid totalled about $2.9m. The programme is also supporting foreign partner requests for assistance ranging from information and subject matter expertise to diagnostics support and personal protective equipment. It is also supporting partner nations deploy the Electronic Integrated Disease Support System to quickly report Covid-19 cases

Soldiers and airmen of the North Carolina National Guard (NCNG) have supported a drive-thru Covid-19 test site. The guard members assigned to the 42nd Civil Support Team helped conduct the tests at Deep River Elementary School. They collected about 500 samples in two days using cotton swabs. More than 900 NCNG soldiers and airmen are supporting NC Emergency Management, NC Department of Health and Human Services and local communities in the combat to stop the spread of the virus.

The Jammu and Kashmir (J-K) administration has issued an order that frees defence and Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel from mandatory Covid-19 testing and quarantine, reported PTI. The personnel who are returning to join their duties will not be required to undergo compulsory 100% RTPCR testing nor administrative quarantine in any J-K government authorised facility. Chief Secretary and Chairperson State Executive Committee B V R Subrahmanyam said they “would be allowed to proceed to the institutional quarantine of their respective units or formations for necessary quarantine”.

7:39 am

Federal Reserve intervention needs to be cautious when addressing Covid-19 economic downturn

2 June

The economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has led experts and politicians to call for policy actions to be taken by the Federal Reserve. Any policy actions, however, may not result in the necessary potential benefits.

Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, shared an article on how the Federal Reserve should resist pressure to take additional policy actions such as negative interest rates, asset-purchase programmes and more aggressive forward guidance.

However, such policies may lead to investment in risky assets and push their prices even higher.

The Federal Reserve may distort the market by interfering too much.

The markets in turn may not send accurate price signals and fail to direct and mobilise capital, the article adds.

Read more

2:35 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: More than 372,000 Covid-19 deaths globally – cases rise in Brazil and Qatar – risk of second wave in US

1 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 6,185,000 with over 372,000 deaths and 2,648,000 recoveries.

In Europe, Asia, and the US coronavirus has likely peaked as recoveries rise and the number of new infections decline.

However, in the US, protests swept the nation over the weekend leading to mass gatherings nationwide, creating potential hot-spots for disease spread.

Despite the positive trends seen in moving past the peak of the pandemic, the risk of a second wave remains high.

In Latin America the pandemic continues to spread. Brazil is now the fourth highest country in the world by death count.

As the largest country in South America it remains an area of major concern as cases continue to rise and the availability of testing and treatment remains limited.

Qatar currently has the highest incidence rate of disease in the world at nearly 2,000 cases per 100,000 population and is one of the hardest hit regions in the Middle East.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

10:37 am

International Update: Brazil Covid-19 cases pass half million mark – more than 1,000 fatalities in Chile – latest lockdown updates

1 June

Global: Poverty in the occupied West Bank may double as Palestinians are hammered by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Bank has warned.

Europe: The European Union’s budget commissioner wants member states to back new taxes, including a levy on big companies for access to the single market, to help fund the recovery from the economic effects of the coronavirus.

Brazil: Brazil has reported 16,409 new coronavirus cases taking the total of infected cases to 514,849. It keeps the country in second place in terms of infections, behind the US on 1.78 million cases.

Chile: More that 1,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Chile, the health ministry has reported, with 827 of the deaths occurring in May alone.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP) is investigating two new locally-confirmed cases of coronavirus – one in a 34-year-old woman and the other in a 56-year-old man.

China: Wuhan authorities said they found no cases of asymptomatic infections among 60,000 people tested on Sunday. It was the first time in almost two months that new cases of “silent spreaders” trickled to a halt.


Lockdown Updates

Philippines: Traffic jams and crowds of commuters returned to Manila, Philippines, on Monday, as the metropolis relaxed antivirus measures in a high-stakes gamble to slowly reopen the economy while fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

Japan: Japan is considering re-opening its borders to travellers from selected countries, which have low levels of coronavirus infections, as it begins to ease restrictions put in place earlier this year to control the outbreak.

Russia: Shopping malls and parks are set to reopen in Moscow on Monday as the Russian capital eases coronavirus restrictions despite having the world’s third-largest caseload, with 405,843 infections.

Spain: Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez says the country needs 15 more days of lockdown until 21 June “to finish with the pandemic once and for all”, and he would ask parliament to approve a final two-week extension to the stay home rule.

Bangladesh: Bangladesh lifted its coronavirus lockdown on Sunday, with millions heading back to work in densely populated cities and towns even as the country logged a record spike in deaths and new infections.

India: India’s lockdown, which was due to end on 31 May, has been extended until 30 June in a number of zones identified as ‘high-risk’ by individual states, while the rest of the country prepares to reopen.

UK: In England, senior public health officials have made a last-minute plea for ministers to stop Monday’s easing of the lockdown, warning the country is unprepared to deal with any surge in infection. In addition, the UK government is preparing an economic stimulus package to be unveiled in July as it steps up attempts to lessen the depth of the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified officials.

Turkey: Restaurants, cafes, museums, beaches and swimming pools are due to reopen in Turkey as the government further relaxes its lockdown.

9:23 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Naval ramps up activities – US Army Futures Command adjusts timelines

1 June

French defence contractor Naval Group has announced that it is set to return to pre-crisis levels of industrial and operational activities. The company is implementing a gradual and controlled resumption of production activities within a “strict sanitary framework”. It also noted that several key milestones have been reached despite facing slow down in its industrial activities. So far, two-thirds of the group’s workforce has returned to on-site works. Naval Group will continue to maintain teleworking wherever possible. It expects to soon reach 90% of its staff working.

Officials from the US Army Futures Command have said that timeline adjustments were made to a number of air and missile defence modernisation programmes due to Covid-19. The service noted that that the slight delay will not put the programmes off track in delivering capabilities as expected. Army acquisition, logistics and technology assistant secretary Bruce Jette said: “We remain on track for the first unit equipped for all programmes.” Some of the projects include Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense platform and the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System.

Researchers from the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Chemistry Division have responded to the Navy’s request for shipboard decontamination strategies. The team recommended the quaternary ammonium family of compounds for effectively deactivating the Covid-19 virus while making the products safe for the sailors and reducing shipboard corrosion. The research team also recommended the application of the product. Center for Corrosion Science and Engineering head Ted Lemieux said: “Our extensive fundamental knowledge of chemical processes and the naval shipboard corrosion prevention risks and reduction led to the speedy recommendation.”

7:35 am

Collaboration across multiple fields essential to drive economic recovery post Covid-19

1 June

Understanding the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on employment, global trade, and public finances is essential to develop the necessary policies and restoration measures. While economists are already working towards assessing the impact of the pandemic, collaboration with experts from other fields is essential to develop a holistic approach towards recovery.

Rob Elliott, Professor of economics University of Birmingham, shared an article on how economists across the world should collaborate with experts from other fields to respond to the urgency of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Collaboration among experts from various sciences is essential to conduct co-ordinated research and policies that will help in rebuilding the economy, while minimising climate change.

Read more

11:28 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Americas account for more than 50% of new Covid-19 cases globally – numbers continue to grow in India

31 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 5,831,000 with over 360,000 deaths and 2,430,000 recoveries.

South America continues to have the highest number of daily confirmed new cases, accounting for over 30% of global daily cases.

North America has the second highest number of daily confirmed new cases, accounting for over 20% of global daily cases.

However, the daily incidence rate in North America has been declining.

India has reported its highest daily totals over the last few days as the number of cases continues to grow in the country.

India’s daily incidence is currently number four in the world.

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

3:08 pm

Economic Update: Exports to China could fall by 46% – 40 million unemployed in US – international community needs to revisit finance goals

29 May

According to new UNCTAD research, Global exports of commodities to China could plunge by $15.5 billion to $33.1 billion in 2020.

This is a drop of up to 46% compared with annual growth projections before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The US Department Of Labor has revealed that over 40 million Americans are now unemployed.

Some 2.1 million registered as unemployed in the past week, which is down from the numbers registering during the week prior.

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said that the:  “International community needs to revisit financing goals for the 2030 global development agenda in order to respond to the economic challenge of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Chakrabarti also noted that: “The Addis Ababa Action Agenda had called for the delivery of much more private sector finance into the global development system. But, even before the onslaught of the coronavirus, only “stuttering progress” had been made in this regard.”

12:31 pm

Italian defence minister reaffirms commitment to F-35 despite Covid-19

In an interview with Italian Magazine Formiche, the country’s defence minister Lorenzo Guerini said he was committed to the F-35 programme despite calls to postpone the purchase of the jets to pay for the response to Covid-19.

The country’s Five Star Party has called for the government to cut defence spending and pausing the F-35 programme for a year, however, Guerini said modernisation of the country’s air force ‘ensures our nation is secure’.

Guerini said in times of recession there is ‘always a risk’ that defence is not seen as a priority and that a drop in spending often happens. However, he added that the public ‘must be aware’ that slashing defence spending mainly affects research and development. He said defence spending cuts also damage highly qualified jobs, and would ‘impoverish’ industrial capabilities.

Read the full story here.

9:22 am

Coronavirus company news summary – DOD looks at mental health effects of Covid – USAF delays camo change – US Navy releases new operational guidance

29 May

The US Department of Defence Military Health System has turned its focus on exploring the psychological impacts of Covid-19 on health care workers, service members, veterans, civilians and their families. The pandemic has affected several facets of society and changed how people live and interact. This has caused some to experience stress, anxiety, fear, sadness and loneliness. Defense Health Agency clinical psychologist Dr Holly O’Reilly said service members and veterans are encouraged to seek mental health care help.

The US Air Force has delayed the mandatory uniform changes for the Operational Camouflage Pattern and Two-Piece Flight Duty Uniform (2PFDU) to 1 September. It was originally intended to take effect on 1 June and has been delayed in a bid to reduce excessive stress on airmen and Space professionals during COVID-19 restrictions. The service noted that mandatory wear of the OCP Uniform remains April 2021.

The US Navy has released new Covid-19 standardised operational guidance to help the fleet fight the pandemic. It includes actions that navy units, including any ship riders, direct support personnel, are expected to implement as they move forward and take required steps to preserve operational readiness while safeguarding the health of the forces. Some of the actions include pre-deployment medical screening, a minimum of 14 days in a pre-deployment restriction of movement sequestered status, handwashing and face coverings and more.

9:21 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 infections exceed 5.8 million – more than 100,000 covid deaths in US

29 May

Global: The number of people infected by Covid-19 has exceeded 5.8 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The World Health Organization is reviewing the position of its goodwill ambassador, James Chau, who was involved in the airing of an alleged forced confession on Chinese state television, according to the Financial Times.

Europe: There have been more than 159,000 excess deaths in Europe since since early March, during the height of the coronavirus epidemic, the head of the World Health Organization’s regional office for the continent said.

US: The number of Americans who have lost their jobs in the past 10 weeks soared to more than 40 million, with 2.1 million people filing for unemployment last week.

The US has now recorded more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, as many states continued to relax mitigation measures.

American Airlines Group Inc. will cut 30% of its management and support staff, about 5,100 jobs, in response to the dramatic decline in travel brought on by the pandemic.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has started an inquiry into companies that received US stimulus funds, scrutinizing whether representations made in loan applications were consistent with disclosures in securities filings, according to three people familiar with the matter.

UK: Up to six people will be able to meet outside in the UK from Monday, providing members of different households continue to stay two metres apart, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.

Russia: Health officials in Moscow updated their figures on coronavirus deaths to add those who “died with” the virus.

Philippines: The Philippines has recorded its highest daily infection rate – 539 new cases – but will ease lockdowns. Residents in Manila will see their lockdown – one of the toughest and longest in the world – ease from Monday, despite the Philippines seeing its biggest spike in coronavirus cases on Thursday.

China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has said it had approved a $750m loan to the Philippines to help the country cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

India: India’s health system is at risk of being overwhelmed by Covid-19 spread.

South Korea: South Korea’s education ministry has announced plans to limit the number of students attending classes in schools in the Seoul metropolitan area amid a spike in new coronavirus infections.

Brazil: Brazil registered a new record in Covid-19 cases and more than 1,000 deaths in a 24-hour period, according to official figures out Thursday.

Australia: The Australian state of New South Wales has said the coronavirus pandemic could cost it as much 20 billion Australian dollars ($13.3bn) in lost revenues over the next four years, underscoring the urgency to revive the country’s stuttering economy.

Turkey: Turkey will open restaurants and beaches and end travel restrictions between cities on June 1, while keeping weekend curfews in some cities for a bit more, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.

Japan: The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is planning to ease business restrictions to “step 2” of its reopening plan from Monday, allowing shopping malls, gyms and movie theaters to reopen, Nikkei reported, without attribution.

7:35 am

Covid-19 pandemic may increase China’s deficit to historic high

29 May

Economies across the world have announced stimulus packages to deal with the impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Although these packages are essential, they are not reaching the people who need it the most and increasing the deficit-to-GDP ratio.

Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, shared a tweet on China’s deficit-to-GDP ratio. The article notes that China had a policy of placing a 3% ceiling on its deficit-to-GDP ratio.

The Covid-19 pandemic has broken this ceiling with the ratio exceeding 3.6% of GDP. The pandemic has added RMB1tn ($140.2bn) to the government’s deficit spending.

Read more

10:30 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: South America the new Covid epicenter – in North America Mexico reports its highest daily total

28 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 5,716,000 with over 356,000 deaths and 2,367,000 recoveries.

South America has emerged as the new epicenter of the pandemic, currently representing 30% of the global daily incidence.

Brazil, Peru, and Chile continue to show concerning incidence trends.

In North America, Mexico has reported its highest daily total to date as the epidemic accelerates in the country.

South Africa has reported its lowest daily incidence since 12 May.

However, the country still has the highest number of cumulative cases.

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

5:27 pm

Patriot One repurposes threat detection systems for Covid-19

Following investment from Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, Patriot One CEO Martin Cronin explained to Army Technology how threat detection tools can be repurposed to help detect cases of Covid-19.

Under the CAD4.5 million co-investment, Patriot One is developing the capabilities of its PATSCAN VRS system, which was originally designed for detecting weapons and aggressive behaviour. The company is using the money to develop modules that can detect if people have elevated temperatures, measure if social distancing is being followed and even if people are wearing masks.

Read the full interview here.

4:38 pm

Covid-19: Denel leads Project Sabela to design local ventilators for South Africa

Denel Dynamics is leading Project Sabela to design and manufacture local ventilators to support the treatment of the coronavirus (Covid-19) patients in public and private hospitals.

Under the project, two ventilators have completed the design and layout phases.

The simulation exercises to test the efficacy of the two ventilator projects are expected to commence soon.

Launched in early April, Project Sabela uses South African engineers, scientists, researchers, and technicians to design, develop and manufacture low-cost, fit-for-purpose ventilators.

Denel Group CEO Danie du Toit said: “We are optimistic about the potential to produce a low-cost, entry-level ventilator that can be used by the medical profession as the number of patients increase and the response levels are ramped up in the coming weeks.”

Read the full story here.

4:37 pm

US Navy issues standardised operational guidance to fight Covid-19

The US Navy has issued new standardised operational guidance that lays out the minimum actions required for units to deploy safely amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Across the naval fleet, deploying units have already developed effective procedures for the restriction of movement, isolation or quarantine periods.

The procedures were coordinated with the Navy Bureau of Medicine, ensuring standardisation across the force.

US Navy operations chief in charge vice-admiral Phillip Sawyer said: “Our forces continue to operate forward every day, the impact of Covid-19 on the global community only heightens the critical role our navy plays in maintaining security and stability at sea.

“As we learn more about this virus, the navy will continue to take steps necessary to preserve our operational readiness while protecting the health of our forces.”

Read the full story here.

2:33 pm

Economic Update: More women losing jobs than men – ECB says financial stability is at risk’ – estimated 56 million out of work in China

28 May

Citi research has shown that the Covid-19 crisis is leading to more women then men losing their jobs, mainly due to the sectors that are being impacted most as well as often their role as caretaker of children or elderly.

Citi wrote on its blog: “Given this level of economic loss from women leaving the workforce, decision makers must take women into account in any policies being implemented to address the Covid-19 economic disruptions.

“These policies should be some of the same vital policies that supported female labor force participation and employment prior to the coronavirus shock.

“They include policy options that support women, workers, and families with caring responsibilities, options that support women, workers, and families facing job and economic loss, and policy options to support entrepreneurs and small business owners.”


The European Central Bank (ECB) has said that financial stability risks could arise as pre-pandemic vulnerabilities interact with the pandemic. These include richly valued asset prices, fragile investment funds, the sustainability of sovereign and corporate debt, and weak bank profitability.

ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindos said: “The pandemic has caused one of the sharpest economic contractions in recent history, but wide-ranging policy measures have averted a financial meltdown.

“However, the repercussions of the pandemic on bank profitability prospects and medium-term public finances will need to be addressed so that our financial system can continue to support the economic recovery.”


HSBC chief China economist Qu Hongbin wrote on the company’s blog that by April, only 76% of Chinese SMEs were back in business compared with 99% of larger companies in China.

Qu Hongbin wrote: “That means an estimated 56 million workers had not returned to work – many in locked-down retail or catering firms.

“Unlike in countries such as the US and UK, mainland China has not implemented a wage-protection scheme for furloughed workers.

“This means most of the estimated 81 million Chinese, or 18% of urban workers, who became ’employed, but not working’, were not receiving income.”

Hongbin believes that propping up domestic demand to support jobs thus remains a policy priority for China.

10:05 am

Coronavirus company news summary – India suspends army recruitment exam – Denel advances respirator project

The Puerto Rico National Guard is performing Covid-19 tests in nursing homes and care centres around the island. The rapid test and the Covid-19 molecular test are being administered to residents and employees by the personnel in partnership with Centers 330. As of 26 May, 2,271 rapid tests and 1,971 molecular tests were conducted in around 40 homes for the elderly. The guard has planned more visits to another 27 homes.

The Indian Army recruitment exam 2020 has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Combined Entrance Test (CEE) was planned to be held on 31 May. It was originally scheduled on 26 April at AMC Centre and College in Lucknow. A notice issued on the postponement read: “Due to the prevailing situation caused by COVID-19 pandemic, fresh modalities and instruction on the same will be issued subsequently on the improvement of the present situation.”

South African defence company Denel has announced that two local projects to design and produce ventilators have entered ‘critical stages’. Under Project Sabela, the medical ventilators are being developed to support patients treated for Covid-19 in public and private hospitals. The two projects have completed design and layout phases and will begin simulation exercises soon. The exercises will test the projects’ efficacy. Project Sabela is being coordinated by Denel in partnership with other state-owned entities, research bodies and specialist companies in the private sector.

9:39 am

International Update: Global Covid cases near 5.7 million – more than 100,000 deaths in US as states relax lockdowns

28 May

Global: Known global cases near 5.7 million, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The UN World Food Program is warning that upward of at least 14 million people could go hungry in Latin America as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

US: Defence Secretary Mark Esper said that as the US military prepares for another potential wave of the coronavirus, it may do things a bit differently, providing more targeted aid for cities and states and possibly shorter quarantine times for troops.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that the United States has recorded more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, moving past a sombre milestone even as many states relax mitigation measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Employers could bring workers back to office buildings more safely with steps including improving office ventilation, spacing workers apart and reducing shared objects like communal coffee pots, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Europe: Over a third of European foreign direct investment projects announced in 2019 have been either delayed or cancelled outright because of the coronavirus pandemic, an annual survey by professional services group EY found.

European governments moved to halt the use of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 patients, and a second global trial was suspended. These are further blows to hopes for a treatment promoted by US President Donald Trump.

South Korea: South Korea has reported its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases in 53 days, triggering warnings it may have to revert to stricter social distancing measures after appearing to have brought the outbreak under control.

Colombia: More than 200 Colombian nationals have asked their government to send a special flight to bring them home after camping out inside Brazil’s Sao Paulo’s international airport.

Thailand: Thailand on Thursday reported 11 new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, bringing its total to 3,065 confirmed cases and 57 fatalities since the outbreak started in January.

China: China will soon relax its border controls for seven more countries, the country’s civil aviation agency said, allowing domestic and foreign airlines to apply for the so-called “green channels” for chartered flights to the mainland.

7:44 am

Covid-19 pandemic could cause housing crisis in US

28 May

The lockdown measures imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic has forced workers to stay home and unable to work and earn money.

The unemployment benefits offered by the US government are not reaching the workers due to delays and eligibility issues.

As a result, the pandemic may cause a housing crisis as workers are unable to pay rent.

Pedro da Costa, Federal Reserve and economy watcher at Market News International, on how the pandemic may result in homelessness in the US.

California is expected to face an increase of 20% in homelessness and a more severe rate in other parts of the US.

If the economic downturn continues, the US is expected to witness more evictions and foreclosures than those recorded during the Great Recession.

Experts believe that it is essential that the government cover the costs of rent and help workers and landlords to avoid a housing crisis.

Read more

6:45 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 5.6 milllion – infections rising in Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa

28 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have exceeded 5,609,000 with more than 350,000 deaths and 2,287,000 recoveries.

The US continues to have the highest number of cases, followed by Brazil then Russia.

Incidence rates in Brazil are also second to the US, but may surpass those in the US if the current trend continues.

Russia has reported a steady number of new daily cases for the past week. The Moscow region accounts for the majority of cases in Russia.

Daily infection rates in India have continued to increase as the country reported four of its highest daily totals over the last few days.

South Africa has the highest daily incidence and highest number of cumulative cases in Africa. The country has also reported its two highest daily totals over the last few days.

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

3:23 pm

Economic Update: Fitch Ratings cuts GDP forecasts again – McKinsey see opportunities for a greener recovery

27 May

Fitch Ratings has made further cuts to world GDP forecasts in its latest Global Economic Outlook (GEO).

Brian Coulton, Chief Economist, Fitch Ratings, said: “World GDP is now forecast to fall by 4.6% in 2020 compared to a decline of 3.9% predicted in our late-April GEO.

“This reflects downward revisions to the eurozone and the UK and, most significantly, to emerging markets (EM) excluding China.”

Fitch now expects Eurozone GDP to fall by 8.2% in 2020 compared to a contraction of 7.0%, and the UK 7.8% this year.

McKinsey has said that the tragedy of Covid-19 does present an opportunity for a greener recovery.

The consultancy said: “Low-carbon recovery could not only initiate the significant emissions reductions needed to halt climate change but also create more jobs and economic growth than a high-carbon recovery would.

“Our analysis of stimulus options for a European country suggests that mobilizing €75 billion to €150 billion of capital could yield €180 billion to €350 billion of gross value added, generate up to three million new jobs, and enable a carbon-emissions reduction of 15 to 30% by 2030.

Nomura predicted that Covid-19 is to derail Asia’s GDP growth to -0.5% y-o-y in 2020, from 5.3% in 2019. 8 out of 10 economies will contract in 2020 in the region.

The investment bank also said: “We expect China’s GDP growth to remain negative at -0.5% in Q2 and Beijing to roll out a large stimulus package soon.”

9:25 am

Coronavirus company news summary – DOD prepares to lift stop movement order – AFB Kessler to run basic training

27 May

Officials from the US Department of Defense (DoD) have unveiled a conditions-based phased approach to lift the stop-movement order issued in March. The order banned active-duty, reservist and civilian DoD employees from travelling in a bid to contain the spread of Covid-19. It was originally set to be in place through 30 June. In order for unrestricted travel to resume, two factors have to be met. One, states regional criteria laid out by a White House directive and installation-level criteria based on local conditions should be satisfied. The second set of factors encompasses the assessment of installation-level conditions.

The Florida National Guard (FLNG) is supporting the state and local partners to conduct COVID-19 antibody testing at the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) and Hard Rock Stadium Community Based Testing Sites (CBTS). The testing is being done for first responders at both facilities and tests for qSARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The results are available in just 15 minutes. Over 2,200 Guardsmen are on duty to support the US state’s Covid-19 response. Currently, 28 Community Based Testing Sites locations are operational and more than 212,000 sample collections have been administered so far.

The US Air Force has decided to basic military training (BMT) at Keesler AFB after a successful proof-of-concept trial run at the base. The training will start from 2 June at the secondary location until the end of COVID-19 surge operations. The BMT’s initial operating capability will be stood up under Detachment 5 of the 37th Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Second Air Force commander major general Andrea Tullos said that Keesler AFB BMT is a contingency option. Currently, BMT is not planned to be conducted at multiple locations following the COVID-19 pandemic.

7:23 am

Economic recovery following Covid-19 may be more sluggish than initially predicted

27 May

The global economy is expected to face a prolonged downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many have predicted a U-shaped recovery as countries slowly ease restrictions. However, as the threat of a second wave of infections looms, the recovery may be more L-shaped with a sluggish recovery ahead.

Nouriel Roubini, Professor at Stern School NYU, shared an article containing his views on the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He noted that the economic recovery will not be U-shaped as claimed by many economists but rather L-shaped resembling a greater depression.

Roubini noted that an L-shaped recovery means the economy will contract sharply and stay there for an extended period of time.

Read more

6:48 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: US Covid-19 deaths approach 100,000 – cases still on the increase in Brazil – Japan lifts state of emergency

27 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reach over 5,518,000 with over 346,700 deaths and 2,232,000 recoveries.

In the US, there are over 1,662,000 cases and over 98,000 deaths. However, Covid-19 deaths in the US are on the decline.

Brazil’s daily incidence is reported to be second only to the US and may become number one globally if the increasing incidence trend continues.

Daily incidence rates also continue to rise in Peru and Chile, making these three South American countries in the top six countries in terms of daily incidence rates.

In Japan, the state of emergency has lifted and marks the official end of the restrictions. The prime minister ended the state of emergency after a month and a half.

Japan currently has over 16,500 cases and over 800 deaths.

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:42 am

International Update: WHO warns of second Covid-19 peak as lockdowns ease, Indonesia deploys army and police after record infections surge

26 May

Global: There are almost 5.5 million Covid-19 cases worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins university coronavirus tracker, which has counted a total of 5,495,061 confirmed infections. The death toll stands at 346,232.

Countries where coronavirus infections are declining could still face an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

The World Health Organization has suspended testing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine in Covid-19 patients due to safety concerns.

Indonesia: Indonesia deployed hundreds of thousands of army and police personnel across the vast archipelago to enforce social-distancing rules, after a record surge in infections in the past week cast doubt on plans to reopen Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

US: The White House brings forward Brazil travel restrictions by two days, amending the timing to 11.59pm ET on Tuesday, 26 May.

The Trump administration said sufficient quantities of Abbott Laboratories’ ID NOW Covid-19 test and Quidel Corp.’s Sofia 2 instruments exist to support 200 million US tests per month.

Latam Airlines Group SA, Latin America’s largest air carrier, sought bankruptcy court protection in New York after the Covid-19 pandemic grounded flights across the region.

Australia: Australia will not open the country’s borders “anytime soon”, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, but added the country will continue its discussions with neighbouring New Zealand for a trans-Tasman safe travel zone.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia will revise curfew times this week, and lift it entirely across the Kingdom with the exception of the holy city of Mecca starting 21 June, state news agency reported in a statement early on Tuesday.

Germany: Germany threw Lufthansa a €9bn (US$9.8bn) lifeline on Monday, agreeing a bailout which gives Berlin a veto in the event of a hostile bid for the airline.

Iceland: Iceland eased its national alert against the coronavirus on Monday, allowing for public gatherings of up to 200 people and night clubs and gyms to reopen as the country nears complete recovery from the outbreak.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong International Airport will open for some transit services from 1 June, chief executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday.

China: China reported seven additional coronavirus cases by the end of 25 May , with all of them from abroad, according to a statement from the National Health Commission. Of the seven cases, five were reported in Inner Mongolia.

UK: England’s outdoor markets and car showrooms can reopen from 1 June, as soon as they can meet guidelines to protect shoppers and workers, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as he urged the public to spend money in stores when the curbs are lifted.


9:40 am

Coronavirus company news summary – DoD selects five ventilators – Romanian personnel deploy to Alabama – USAF halts fitness tests

26 May

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has selected five finalists for the Hack-a-Ventilator project. The DoD’s Vulcan Hack-a-Vent Challenge was launched in March to tackle the projected ventilator shortage due to Covid-19 pandemic. The group of finalists are named the “Vulcan-5” and the different scalable ventilators have been designed to help resuscitate a non-compliant lung. The shortlist includes the BLU3 Vent by BLU3, a division of Brownie’s Marine Group, Coridea’s Corvent, L3Harris i3 Breather, Northrop Grumman’s FieldVent, and NAVSEA PRE-Vent by the US Navy.

Romanian military medical personnel and experts in Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear (CBRN) have deployed to Alabama, US. They will support, share and learn expertise and experience from the US forces fighting against the Covid-19 infection in the state. The deployment is part of NATO Allies’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and is for nearly two weeks. The medical staff includes five doctors and five nurses from Romania emergency military hospitals while the CBRN team consists of five officers from the Romanian Defence Staff and the Romanian Land Forces.

The US Air Force (USAF) announced that it has postponed all official fitness testing to October as part of efforts to ensure the health and safety of airmen while maintaining force readiness posture. The latest suspension is effective immediately and dependent on local health conditions and states. It was earlier announced in March that fitness assessments would be scheduled for June this year. Moreover, annual height and weight measurements have been temporarily suspended until further notice. The abdominal circumference component has also been temporarily cancelled through 1 October 2021 or until further notice.

7:29 am

Testing needs to be ramped up for economies to re-open

26 May

Experts across world continue to highlight the need to reopen economies to limit the economic upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, some believe that unless testing capabilities are ramped up, reopening the economy may result in an upsurge in infection rate.

A Testing ramp up with limited lockdown measures may be the most optimal solution to reopening the economy.

Kaushik Basu, Professor of Economics at Cornell University, shared a chart comparing the mortality rates across various countries.

He noted that the mortality rates are so different that emerging economies cannot blindly imitate the economic policies of those implemented by European and North American nations.

Basu added that economic revival will depend on a limited lockdown that will enable the economy to function.

2:06 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Brazil about to overtake Russia with most Covid-19 cases after US – Indonesia reports a sharp rise

23 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 5,110,000, with over 333,000 deaths and 1,950,000 recoveries.

Cases have been rising sharply in Latin America with Peru, Mexico, and Chile each continuing to experience a record number of daily cases or deaths.

Meanwhile, Brazil is set to overtake Russia with second most number of cases in the world after the US.

Cases in India are rising at the fastest pace in Asia with a record number of daily new cases.

Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, is reporting sharp rise in new cases and will be the one to watch in the near future.

Indonesia is struggling to keep the spread of infection under reasonable control compared to neighboring countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

4:32 pm

Economic Update: McKinsey’s four forces that will mould the next normal – US DOL reveals more than 38 million unemployed

22 May

McKinsey has said that they are predicting “Four forces that will mold the next normal” in the post Covid-19 world.

Those being: The metamorphosis of demand, Rapid changes in the workforce, Shifts in regulation and Increasing information about protocols for safety.

According to the US Department Of Labor, (DOL) the US unemployment rate has increased by another 2.4 million in the week to 16 May, bringing the total of unemployed Americans to over 38 million since the start if the pandemic and consequent social distancing measures.

1:15 pm

Qinetiq supports UK Covid-19 response

Qinetiq is supporting the UK’s response to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic by supplying PPE and defence experts to hospitals.

So far Qinetiq said it has supplied over 1,500 Face Shields to Hospitals and Doctor’s Surgeries, Care Homes and ambulance services around its headquarters in Farnborough, UK.

The company said it aims to increase PPE deliveries to 2,000 units in the coming weeks. The company is also investing in more 3-D printing capabilities across its sites in the UK.

9:39 am

Coronavirus company news summary – DLA uses data analytics to track medical stock – Georgia National Guard support testing

22 May

The Georgia National Guard has been supporting Covid-19 testing mission in the state. The service is working closely with the Georgia Department of Public Health and Augusta University. Over 600 guardsmen have assisted in testing more than 28,900 citizens state-wide as of 12 May. They plan to test up to 2,200 citizens a day. Additionally, the guardsmen are offering medical, logistical and security support for Covid-19 testing facilities situation across the state. A total of nine specimen point of collection sites, 16 public health department sites and 30 mobile testing teams are providing mobile testing.

The Defence Logistics Agency’s (DLA) digital analytics platform Advana is being used to track medical items stocks. The tool gives automated supply-and-demand data to Defense Department officials on personal protective equipment requirements to better respond to Covid-19. The data helps the officials make informed decisions. It provides reports on orders, shipments, back orders and expected delivery dates. Advana was developed last year to track all aspects right from finance to readiness.

US Army Health Clinic Stuttgart has added a new rapid testing platform to detect Covid-19. The new system detects the virus in nasopharyngeal swab specimens collected from Covid-19 suspected individuals. The test results, whether positive or negative, can be known within one day. Currently, the clinic has two systems that will allow tests to be done internally. Prior to the introduction of this new platform, the process took about 24-48 hours to get a result back.

9:32 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 5.1 million – Brazil deaths exceed 20,000 – Australia extends ban on cruise ship visits

22 May

Global: Global cases stand at 5,102,573, with deaths reported at 332,924, according to the Johns Hopkins university tracker.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Ukraine have reached an agreement in principle on a new $5bn aid package to help Kyiv battle the coronavirus crisis.

Germany and Russia urged the United Nations to partially reopen its New York City headquarters as the secretary general proposes to scale back the annual General Assembly meeting in September.

Brazil: Latin America’s biggest country has recorded a one-day death toll of 1,188, taking the confirmed total to 20,047.

Indonesia: Indonesia has had its biggest one day jump in cases: the world’s fourth most populous country reported 973 new infections on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 20,162.

South Korea: South Korea has reported 20 new cases, which came as health authorities worked to contain the cluster connected to Seoul nightclubs.

Thailand: Thailand reported no new coronavirus infections or deaths on Friday, maintaining the total of 3,037 confirmed cases and 56 fatalities since the outbreak started in January.

Thailand will extend its nationwide state of emergency for another month through June, according to Taweesilp Witsanuyotin, a spokesman for the Covid-19 centre.

China: China took the rare move of not setting an annual growth target this year after the coronavirus battered the world’s second-largest economy and ravaged global growth.

Australia: New South Wales has announced cafes and restaurants will be allowed to have up to 50 patrons from 1 June, up from ten currently allowed.

Australia extended its ban on cruise ship visits for three months until September 17. The Australian Border Force said any cruise ship capable of carrying more than 100 passengers is prohibited from operating cruises in the country.

Australia is seeking an exemption from a requirement that travellers arriving in the United Kingdom quarantine for 14 days to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

India: India’s central bank cut interest rates in an unscheduled announcement on Friday, ramping up support for an economy it expects will contract for the first time in more than four decades.

US: The US Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday that 27 antibody tests will no longer be distributed in the US, part of a previously announced crackdown on the tests.

8:03 am

Strategic lockdown lifting may help economies recover

22 May

Lockdown measures implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic have led to contraction of GDP levels globally.

Research indicates that some of the damage caused by the pandemic may be undone by lifting the restrictions.

The lockdown measures, however, should be lifted based on a strategic approach to avoid the threat of a second wave of infections.

Gregory Daco, Chief US Economist at Oxford Economics, shared an article on how lifting of lockdown restrictions in China helped in returning the industry value to positive levels in April.

Retail sales, however, were lagging due to consumers’ maintaining voluntary social distancing.

The article notes that based on the trends in China, the global economy may start to expand again if the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Consumers may start to spend on goods and services that they could not purchase in the second quarter but will also cut back their spending on other areas, the article added.

Read more

7:25 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid cases exceed 5 million – increases continue in Latin America – no new cases in London

22 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 5,000,000, with over 328,000 deaths and 1,900,000 recoveries.

In Europe and North America, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries.

In Latin America, Peru, Mexico, and Chile each continues to experience a record number of daily cases or death.

Peru has second most number of cases after Brazil in Latin America.

Cases in India are increasing at the fastest pace in Asia with a 30% increase in cases since last week.

After facing the brunt of Covid-19 in the UK, London has reported steep decline in daily new cases with no new cases reported in the last 24 hours.

This is a positive development, but it remains to be seen if this decline in new cases will continue in the near future.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

2:14 pm

Economic Update: Covid-19 worst pandemic driven economic impact since 2000 – people could be out of work for 2-3 years

21 May

Deloitte economist Akrur Barua says that the economic impact of Covid-19 is likely to be more harsh than other epidemics and pandemics in Asia since 2000:

“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Asia will likely be worse than other epidemics and pandemics due to three key reasons.

“Firstly, the scale of the current pandemic is much larger than any other health care crisis this century.

“Secondly, state-mandated social distancing in Asia (and the world over) now is way more severe than in the past.

“Finally, Asia plays a bigger role in the world economy and is more interconnected with the rest of the world now than at the time of SARS.”

A new report from the World Economic Forum looks at what the coronavirus pandemic means for the world, based on the views and analysis of 350 senior risk professionals.

Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum and Head of Centre for the New Economy and Society, concluded: “The effects of recent events will be felt by many businesses for years to come and some may not survive without support.

“We have to think much more carefully about helping with reskilling and upskilling, and providing better social safety nets for affected workers, because it may be a two- to three-year journey before they’re able to move into a new sector.

“We’re already starting to see some of the permanent structural changes brought about by the impact of the pandemic.

“As parts of Asia and Europe begin to emerge from lockdown restrictions, there are signs of seemingly permanent changes in consumer behavior.

“We have to start rethinking where future sources of economic growth will come from.”


9:38 am

International Update: Covid-19 infections near 5 million – Europe told to brace itself for second wave – global trade lowest in four years says WTO

21 May

Global: After the biggest single-day increase in cases worldwide so far in the pandemic, the number of confirmed infections is close to 5 million, with the Johns Hopkins University data currently listing 4,996,634.

The World Health Organization gave a stark warning on Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, after 106,000 new cases were recorded worldwide over the past 24 hours – the most in a single day so far.

International imports and exports have fallen to their lowest level for at least four years, according to World Trade Organization figures.

Europe: Europe should brace itself for a second wave of coronavirus infections, according to the director of the EU agency responsible for advising governments on disease control.

European Union regulators called on passengers to wear face masks, observe physical distancing and frequently wash their hands in new guidelines for air travel in the age of Covid-19.

Greece: Tourists will be welcomed back to Greece from 15 June, the prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has announced.

Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the country won’t be cutting foreign aid due to the coronavirus pandemic, and further relief for poor nations is needed.

UK: The number of unaccompanied young migrants crossing the Channel from France to Britain has spiked during the coronavirus outbreak, as travel restrictions force them onto boats rather than trucks.

US: Donald Trump has said he may seek to revive a face-to-face meeting of Group of Seven leaders near Washington, after earlier canceling the gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Expedia Group Inc. followed its peers in the online travel industry in witnessing a staggering decline in business since the spread of the virus, with total gross bookings down 39% in the first quarter.

Mexico: At least 500 Cuban health workers are helping tackle the coronavirus in Mexico City, Mexican officials told Reuters, making it likely the largest contingent the communist-led island has deployed globally as part of its response to the pandemic.

Japan: Japan’s economy minister says experts have approved a government plan to remove a coronavirus state of emergency in Osaka and two neighbouring prefectures in the west where the infection is deemed slowing, while keeping the measure in place in the Tokyo region and Hokkaido.

Cambodia: Cambodia has announced the lifting of a travel ban of tourists from Iran, Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US.

South Korea: South Korea’s exports of coronavirus test kits are expected to gather momentum down the road due to high overseas demand, Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday, quoting industry sources.


9:27 am

Coronavirus company news summary – UK Strategic Command supports NHS – Dover AFB selected as decontamination hub

21 May

The US Dover Air Force Base (AFB) has been selected to serve as the sole hub for the Transport Isolation System (TIS) decontamination on the East Coast in the country. The TIS infectious disease containment unit is designed to offer medical care to Covid-19-positive patients being transported from Africa, Europe and the Middle East to the US. Two TIS units were delivered to Dover by a C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Charleston. The units will remain at the AFB as part of the US Government’s response to the pandemic.

A Royal Navy cadet in the Cambridge area is producing protective face masks hospitals, care homes and emergency services across the UK. Georgiana Alpham serves with Southampton University Royal Naval Unit and is one of several volunteers that are producing masks on a series of 3D printers to help front-line members in the fight against Covid-19. Through a GoFundMe page, the 20-year old engineering undergraduate has raised nearly £3,000 for plastic filament to produce the parts and additional printers.

The UK’s Strategic Command and the Ministry of Defence’s innovation hub is supporting the NHS’s digital unit NHSX by gathering and sharing Covid-19 symptom data from third-party apps. Known as jHub, the hub will support the data sharing under the NHSX initiative project OASIS. The data will be shared only after it is reviewed and checked for security issues by jHUB. jHub COO Natasha Gedge said: “At jHub, we are always working to deliver for UK Defence and we are proud to be able to take our approach, and apply it in support of the NHS and the people of the UK.”

7:44 am

Covid-19 driven recession could impact 2020 graduate careers for a decade

21 May

Unemployment levels have reached new highs over the last three months since the lockdown was initiated in the US.

As millions of students graduate during this uncertain time, their future job prospects remain bleak.

Careers and earnings may be impacted for graduates for many years.

Konstantina Beleli, an economist and journalist, shared an article on how million of students in US are graduating in one of the worst job markets witnessed since the Great Depression.

The article notes that the unemployment rate in the US currently stands at 14.7% but for people aged between 20 and 24, the rate increases to 25.7%, according to statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Research suggests that the careers and earnings of these students are expected to be impacted for more than a decade.

Read more

7:10 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global confirmed Covid-19 cases exceed 4.9 million – record daily numbers of new cases in South America

21 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,900,000, with over 323,000 deaths and 1,690,000 recoveries.

Brazil account for most of the daily confirmed cases in Latin America.

Meanwhile, countries to watch will be Peru, Mexico, and Chile as each continues to experience a record number of daily cases.

Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Chile have each set a record high of new daily cases.

In Europe and North America, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries.

It has been accepted that children are not the group most at risk from Covid-19.

However, as schools have started to reopen in Europe; it remains unclear whether they are super spreaders and transmit the infection even if they are asymptomatic.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

2:54 pm

UK MOD Shrinks Covid support force by 12,500 personnel

The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) is drawing down the size of its Covid-19 support force as the UK takes tentative steps towards easing its Covid-19 lockdown.

20,000 personnel have been on high readiness as part of the MOD’s Covid support force, 12,500 of which are now set to return to normal duties, leaving 7,500 personnel to support the response to the pandemic.

Defence Minister James Heappey said: “Whilst we no longer need 20,000 troops at high readiness, they’ve not gone anywhere, they’re still available to respond to further Covid19-realted tasks and we can return them to high readiness if the need arises.

“But if you have a lot of troops at high readiness, it has an impact on their lives and the training they can do.

“We are acutely aware that if we have a large number of troops at high readiness, they can’t be training for operations and contingencies we might need them for in the near future.

“In a post-Covid world that will be more uncertain, that leaves the nation less safe.”

The MOD said that 7,500 personnel are needed to maintain Covid related operations, however, this will be kept under review and be increased or decreased as necessary.

Military personnel have been key to the UK’s response building NHS Nightingale Hospitals, transporting supplies of PPE and running mobile testing centres across the UK.

2:25 pm

Lockheed Martin to mitigate Covid-19 impact to sustain F-35 production

Lockheed Martin is taking measures to mitigate Covid-19 impacts on F-35 production and rapidly recover from the pandemic, by adjusting work schedules, maintaining employee skillsets and accelerating payments to suppliers.

The latest move comes in response to previously reported F-35 supplier delays due to the outbreak.

Lockheed Martin and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) have reached an agreement to temporarily commence alternate work for F-35 production line employees in Fort Worth, US, to maintain their workforce.

Read the full story here.

2:19 pm

Economic Update: Global economy expected to shrink by 1.9% – growth still predicted for China and India

20 May

The global economy is now expected to shrink by 1.9% in 2020, according to experts from GlobalData.

Western Europe and the US are still expected to bear the brunt, with Italy’s GDP forecast to contract by 10% over the year.

France’s GDP is predicted to shrink by 8.6%, the UK’s by 8.2%, Spain’s by 7.9% and Germany’s by 6.6%.

Those forecasts are slightly worse than GlobalData was forecasting a week ago.

The US’s estimate has been revised upwards, however, with the country seeing a steady decline in Covid-19 cases and deaths.

GlobalData now predicts the US economy will shrink by 5.0% across 2020 – slightly less than the 5.3% predicted a week ago.

Latin American countries, where the numbers of Covid-19 cases are now surging, are also expecting an economic downturn. Mexico’s economy is expected to contract by 7.0% in 2020, Peru’s by 4.1% and Brazil’s by 4.0%.

China and India are among the few countries predicted to still see economic growth this year.

Covid-19 macroeconomic dashboard

12:08 pm

Economic Update: US GDP to contract by 11% in Q2 – eyes on China’s additional fiscal support – UK GDP downgraded

20 May

The US Congressional Budget office has said that it estimates that real gross domestic product will contract by 11% in the second quarter of this year, which is equivalent to a decline of 38% at an annual rate, and that the number of people employed will be almost 26 million lower than the number in the fourth quarter of 2019.

World Bank commentators have written that all eyes are on China this week as additional fiscal support to stem downward pressure on growth is expected:

“How to spend may be as important as how much to spend. China’s fiscal stimulus should be aligned with its medium-term objectives of rebalancing the economy toward more inclusive and greener growth.

“This suggests that the priority this time around needs to be enhancing China’s social safety nets and investing in accelerating the transition toward a carbon-neutral, more resource-efficient and competitive economy.”

Deloitte UK chief economist Ian Stewart has written on the company’s blog that due to the UK’s slow lockdown easing and contraction of economic activity, the firm is downgrading its 2020 UK GDP forecast, ‘with an expected contraction of 11.7% compared to our previous estimate of 6.8%’.

Stewart says: “For 2021 we see the economy growing by 8.5%, up from a previous forecast of 6.5%. Our 2020 forecast is at the low end of the current range of forecasts, which on average expect a contraction of 7.9% this year.

“However, the trend has been for forecasters to downgrade their numbers, with more recent forecasts consistently more pessimistic than earlier ones.”

11:04 am

Covid-19 crisis drives companies to rethink global expansion strategies

The UN Conference on Trade and Development estimates global foreign direct investment flows will contract by as much as 40% over the next year.

But is the impact equal across all sectors and geographies?

Where will companies pull back from, and where will tomorrow’s opportunities most likely be found?

How are companies changing their modes of entry for new markets in order to adapt to the current conditions?

NS Media Group – which is set to launch a dedicated information service focused on corporate cross-border expansion – is running a short survey to help answer these questions and would like to hear directly from executives in multinational companies involved in overseas investment decisions as to how corporate strategies are evolving.

This is an essential piece of research to better understand the impact Covid-19 is having in global business and investment.

View the survey

10:02 am

International Update: Covid-19 cases approach 5 million – EU criticizes Trump’s threat to permanently cut US funding for the WHO

20 May

Global: According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, at least 323,286 people are known to have died while at least 4,897,567 are confirmed as having been infected since the outbreak began.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that the developed world could learn lessons from the preventative measures taken by many African countries to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus shutdowns around the world could undo three years of gains in alleviating poverty, the president of the World Bank has said.

The European Union hailed the World Health Assembly’s approval of an EU-sponsored resolution on the virus, saying the move highlights the importance of a “collective response” to the pandemic and criticized Trump’s threat to permanently cut US funding for the WHO.

US: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday praised the Taiwan’s coronavirus response and called it a reliable partner, in a statement congratulating President Tsai Ing-wen on her inauguration for a second term that stood in sharp contrast with recent US criticism of China.

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority will use ultraviolet light to help remove Covid-19 from its subways, buses and commuter trains as the technology has been shown to eradicate the virus from surfaces.

Moderna Inc. fell as much as 12% after trade publication Stat reported the company withheld key information about its coronavirus vaccine.

The US and Canada will keep their border shut to non-essential travel for another month as efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are extended.

New Zealand: New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has suggested employers to consider a four-day working week and other flexible working options as a way to boost tourism and help employees address persistent work/life balance issues.

Netherlands: The Netherlands will press ahead with a further easing of lockdown measures in June due to a steadily declining number of infections and hospital admissions, its prime minister Mark Rutte has said.

The Dutch government confirmed that bars and restaurants can start opening for business again next month as the country slowly lifts more restrictions to aid an economy hurting from the coronavirus outbreak.

UK: There will be no “face-to-face lectures” at the University of Cambridge in the 2020/21 academic year, the institution has said.

Rishi Sunak, the UK’s chancellor, said the country is facing “a severe recession the likes of which we haven’t seen”.

Estonia: The Baltic nation of Estonia has started testing one of the world’s first digital immunity passports, according to Back to Work, a coalition of technology firms, medical experts and local government officials which are developing the app.

9:24 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Lockheed announces F-35 work schedules – Babcock ventilator nearing approval

20 May

Lockheed Martin and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers have worked out a temporary alternate schedule for F-35 production line employees in Fort Worth. The proactive measure is in response to Covid-19-related supplier delays to the programme. Under the new adjusted three-week work schedule, each shift is divided into three groups. Each group will work on a rotational basis for two weeks and take one week off. The new schedule will start from 23 May and may continue until 4 September. Additionally, employees who want to be voluntarily furloughed for 30 days will be allowed to do so with no pay.

Babcock International has announced that its ventilator has moved to the final testing stages. The Zephyr Plus unit is being developed in response to the UK Government’s call to build ventilators for the NHS in the fight against Covid-19. The Babcock Ventilator Team is working along with an international medical partner and supplier partners including Raytheon, RADA, Sovrin and MEC Medical. The first set of Zephyr Plus units are under testing with assembly lines in place. The device requires MHRA regulatory approval by government.

US military service members have provided personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies to Philippine frontline medical staff. The supplies are worth $203,000 and were donated to hospital in ten Philippine provinces. They include disposable gloves, masks, medical clothing, various types of face protection, and tools such as infrared thermometers. The US military collaborated with the Philippine Coast Guard, Army, Marines, and Air Force for the delivery of supplies. To date, the US has donated nearly $15.5m in Covid-19 assistance to the Philippines.

8:27 am

Trade wars could result from Covid-19 driven economic downturn

20 May

Global trade wars could result from the devastating economic impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some countries have held China accountable for not controlling the spread of the disease.

Prof. Steve Hanke, Applied Economist Johns Hopkins University, shared an article on the 80% tariff imposed by China on barley exports from Australia for five years.

China is imposing the tariff after Australia became one of 100 countries that called for a probe into the spread of the Covid-19 disease.

Similar actions on other countries are also expected in the near future, with experts predicting that global trade wars are in the making.

Read more

7:30 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 4.8 million – concerns over accurate reporting in Africa

20 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,810,000, with over 319,000 deaths and 1,790,000 recoveries.

In Europe, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries except for Russia which continues to experience an increase in cases.

Brazil in Latin America and the US in North America account for most of the reported daily confirmed cases in that continent.

There are ​approximately 85,000 confirmed cases and 3,000 Covid-19 deaths in Africa.

The relatively low death toll had raised hopes that Africa may be spared worst of this pandemic, until recently. ​

A WHO model estimated that although cases might rise exponentially to at least a quarter of a billion people infected in Africa this year, countries in Africa will have fewer deaths than Europe and the US because of its younger population ​and lower comorbidity prevalence such as diabetes. ​

However, the current reported death toll is unlikely to accurately reflect the true extent of the outbreak’s impact in Africa due to testing limitations.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

2:28 pm

Almost 50,000 ‘excess’ deaths in England and Wales, says ONS

19 May

Nearly 50,000 more people than expected have died in England and Wales since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

New figures put out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this morning show an estimated 49,647 “excess” deaths occurred from 14 March to 8 May, with 39,071 of those attributed to Covid-19.

However, the number of weekly deaths, both caused by the virus and overall, is now at its lowest since the start of April.

11:24 am

Economic Update: UNCTAD projects trade decline of 27% – IMF questions future financial stability – UK Jobseekers exceed 2 million

19 May

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a 3% drop in global trade values in the first quarter of 2020, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

The downturn is expected to accelerate in the second quarter, according to UNCTAD forecasts, which project a quarter-on-quarter decline of 27%.

International Monetary Fund researchers have written in a blog that relying on monetary policy alone to respond to shocks from events such as Covid-19 might not be enough and also raise questions about side effects on future financial stability and threats to central bank independence:

“While keeping an eye on debt sustainability concerns over the long term, fiscal policy needs to play a larger role. Putting in place more automatic fiscal responses in advanced economies could help build their resilience to future adverse shocks.

“If rules for fiscal stimulus are well communicated and established before shocks occur, they can help shape expectations and reduce uncertainty, thereby dampening the drop in activity once a negative shock materialises.”

The UK Office for National Statistics said that in April there was a 69.1% month-on-month increase in the number of claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance, taking the level to over 2 million.

10:56 am

Daily Report: Big falls in Covid-19 fatalities in Europe – global figures lag behind

19 May

Western Europe and America might have “passed the peak” – but many countries around the world are still very much fighting a rising tide of Covid 19.

Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Peru, India, Pakistan, and Indonesia have all seen daily death figures rise, when calculated as a seven-day rolling average.

The rise in South America and elsewhere means that global figures are only going down slightly week-on-week, despite big falls in Europe.

In the last seven days, 32,151 people died after being tested positive for the disease, according to the latest data from John’s Hopkins University.

That compares to 34,793 over the previous week.

At least 318,481 people have now died from the disease worldwide.

Covid-19 daily report

9:41 am

International Update: Global Covid cases pass 4.8 million – Trump taking hydroxychloroquine – IMF says full economic recovery unlikely in 2021.

19 May

Global: Global cases pass 4.8 million. There are 4,805,005 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The World Health Organization said on Monday an independent review of the global coronavirus response would begin as soon as possible.

IMF chief says full economic recovery unlikely in 2021.

Studies from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Council of Museums have confirmed that more than 85,000 museums across the world – about 90 percent of all institutions – have shut because of the coronavirus.

US: President Trump has said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, his doctor released a letter confirming that they had discussed the use of the drug and “concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.

Some areas of New York City have seen death rates nearly 15 times higher than others, according to data released by New York City’s health department, showing the disproportionate toll taken on poorer communities.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has set aside $11bn in new funding to support coronavirus testing.

US President Donald Trump has again attacked the WHO calling the UN agency a “puppet of China” that has “done a very sad job” in handling the coronavirus.

Brazil: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil stands at 255,368, according to Johns Hopkins University, overtaking the UK to become the third-worst affected country in terms of cases.

Australia: The death toll in Australia has reached 100, following the death of a 93-year-old woman who had been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Qantas Airways Ltd. said putting extra space between passengers on planes could lead to a big increase in airfares and discourage people from flying.

India: The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India has passed 100,000, currently standing at 100,328 according to Johns Hopkins University figures.

Qatar: Qatar will close all shops and halt all commercial activities, from 19 to 30 May.

Italy: Italy registers lowest deaths since March as bars, restaurants, shops, hairdressers, museums and churches reopen. The country registered 99 deaths and 451 infections on Monday.

9:11 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Parsons partners on testing technology – Portsmouth Naval Shipyard 3D prints swabs

19 May

Defence technology company Parsons and non-profit research and development organisation Fraunhofer USA have partnered to develop a digital Covid-19 detector. The companies will focus on a diamond electrode biosensor. The prototype will be used for direct and quick detection of the virus. A prototype is anticipated to be ready for initial testing and development this summer. Parsons president and chief operating officer Carey Smith said: “As many parts of the world start the process of re-opening, testing capabilities are a critical component of a safe return to work, school and daily living.”

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) and US Army Medical Materiel Development Activity (USAMMDA) have reached a memorandum of agreement (MoA) to produce 3-D Printed nasopharyngeal test swabs for Covid-19. The coffee stirrer sized swabs are made using surgical grade resin and feature bristled ends to collect a sample from the nasal cavity. Currently, PNSY has the capacity to manufacture up to 10,000 swabs per day. These swabs can be used by the US Department of Defense in conjunction with FDA EUA Covid-19 testing kits.

The US Army’s oldest medical unit 1st Medical Brigade has successfully implemented a new concept Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force (UAMTF) to combat Covid-19, reports Spc Samantha Hall. UAMTF is designed to allow the service to quickly deploy medical assets provided by the Army Reserve. The new unit includes self-sufficient medical personnel who are better prepared to cater to the specific needs of a mission or situation.


7:39 am

Covid-19 lockdown increases online spending to 25% – 100,000 stores could close

19 May

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced retail and food outlets to remain closed to avoid the spread of the disease and comply with the lockdown measures.

Consumers unable to make purchases in physical stores are increasingly opting for online services for a variety of products.

Gregory Daco, Chief US Economist at Oxford Economics, shared a chart on how the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is shifting consumer spending towards online shopping, which increased by 15% to 25%.

Consumers are purchasing various products online including office supplies, consumer electronics, home furnishings, auto parts etc.

In the article, UBS Group notes that approximately 100,000 retail stores will close over the next five years as online shopping picks up.

Clothing, electronics and home furnishings stores are expected to be most affected by this trend.

Read more

7:13 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: More than 4.7 million cases of Covid-19 worldwide – concerns about rapid spread in Brazil

19 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,720,000, with over 316,000 deaths and 1,750,000 recoveries.

Latin and North America continue to see a rise in daily confirmed cases, whereas in Europe, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries.

Russia continues to experience a surge in cases, ranking second in the world behind the US.

India, the second most populous country in the world, has seen rise in daily confirmed cases, which has prompted it to extend the lock-down by two weeks.

This pandemic has also hit indigenous population in Brazil raising concerns about how quickly the disease had spread through remote vulnerable communities with poor access to healthcare facilities.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

4:02 pm

Cities And Regions Update: Changes in infections focus as lockdowns ease – Illinois in US and UK North West gain prominence

18 May

The number of new daily Covid-19 cases had continued to drop in the most affected regions in Europe and America, with most new cases recorded in Mexico and some South American countries.

Illinois has overtaken Massachusetts as the third most affected region in the US, with the number of daily new cases there quickly approaching those in New York.

In the UK, where restrictions were slightly eased on May 13, the north west of England has now recorded 23,610 cases of Covid-19 and is set to overtake London as the epicentre of the outbreak with numbers.

Lombardy, the most affected region of Italy, has seen more modest decreases in the number of new cases compared to the rest of the country.

Italy’s shops and cafes reopened on Monday after ten weeks of lockdown.

Madrid has also seen a slight uptick in the proportion of Spain’s new Covid-19 cases.

This chart is currently being updated weekly with the latest figures – although some countries have a slight delay in publishing the very latest case numbers by region or state.

Covid-19 regional comparison chart





















11:19 am

Daily Report: Some South American countries seeing a rise in Covid-19 fatalities – worldwide trend is down

18 May

The daily rate of deaths attributed Covid-19 has continued to fall.

Most counties worldwide – including the US and the UK – are now on a downward trajectory of new deaths.

However, some South American countries are struggling to control the outbreak, with Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Ecuador all seeing the number of deaths rise, when looking at a rolling average.

At least 315,185 people have died from Covid-19.

Covid-19 daily report

10:57 am

Economic Forecast: US recovery could take until the end of 2021 – job losses and disinflation the medium term outlook for Europe

18 May

US Federal Reserve: Jay Powell warns US recovery could take until end of 2021 saying the Fed and Congress might still have to do more to support the economy, according to an exclusive interview with CBS.

Writing about Europe’s labour market HSBC Senior European Economist Chris Hare said that the medium-term outlook is for job losses and disinflation.

“But for the longer-term, weak labour supply and a shift away from low-cost employment risks weaker economic growth, squeezed company profits and higher inflation.

“A large portion of recent Eurozone and UK GDP growth came from employment expansion. If migration and labour participation gains now stagnate, long-term employment growth could be very weak.

“But profits cannot be squeezed forever: recovery may eventually give firms more power to raise prices more quickly this time.”

In a May 17 note, Goldman Sachs economists Prachi Mishra and Andrew Tilton Goldman estimated that India will have its deepest recession ever as they forecast the GDP to contract 45% in Q2 this year. However, the bank also predicts a 20% uplift in Q3.




9:46 am

International Update: Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Brazil – fatalities fall in Europe – US freeze on WHO payments continues

18 May

Global: There are 4,716,513 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide. At least 315,187 people have died over the course of the pandemic so far.

Sunday has seen lower death tolls reported in the UK, Spain and Italy. The UK’s daily coronavirus death toll was the lowest since lockdown began, with 170 deaths recorded. Meanwhile, Spain has recorded its lowest single-day death toll in two months. Italy on Sunday recorded its lowest daily toll, 145, since lockdown was declared.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is to raise the question of Taiwan’s participation as an observer at the World Health Assembly (WHA), which opens virtually on Monday, before one of its committees.

Brazil: In Brazil, the BBC reports that the mayor of São Paulo, the country’s largest city, has warned that hospitals have reached 90% capacity and are “near collapse”: they could run out of space in just two weeks’ time, he said.

Confirmed Covid-19 cases in Brazil have surpassed the total in Italy, with the country announcing nearly 15,000 new infections on Saturday. This takes Brazil’s total to more than 230,000, the fourth-largest confirmed caseload after the US, Russia and the UK.

US: US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Sunday that US unemployment could hit 25%, but expressed optimism Sunday that the economy can begin to recover from a devastating recession in the second half of the year, assuming the coronavirus doesn’t erupt in a second wave.

President Donald Trump said US payments to the World Health Organization that he froze last month may return at 10% of the existing level. Trump said the cut is one of the numerous options he’s considering. A cut to 10% would match “much lower China payments,” Trump said in a tweet responding to broadcaster Lou Dobbs. “Have not made final decision. All funds are frozen,” Trump said.

Japan: Japan dived into its first recession since 2015, according to official data Monday, with the world’s third-largest economy contracting by 0.9% in the first quarter as it wrestles with the fallout from the coronavirus.

South Africa: South Africa on Sunday reported 1,160 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily number since the first case was recorded in March, AFP reports.

India: India has extended a nearly two-month-old lockdown by another two weeks with Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and other key regions still fighting to control the rising curve of coronavirus infections.

Nigeria: Nigeria has seized a British plane for defying a travel ban imposed as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the aviation minister said Sunday.

Qatar: Qatar has begun enforcing the world’s toughest penalties of up to three years’ in prison for failing to wear masks in public, in a country with one of the highest coronavirus infection rates.

Italy: Italy’s shops, restaurants and hair salons have been preparing to reopen on Monday, as the government further eases the lockdown.

China: The city of Wuhan conducted 222,675 nucleic acid tests on 16 May, the local health authority said, nearly doubling from a day earlier.

Russia: The growth of new coronavirus cases in Russia is stabilising, a top health official has said, as the daily tally fell under 10,000 for the third time this week.

Spain: Spain recorded 102 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours from 138 deaths reported on Friday, according to data from the Health Ministry. New infections increased by 539 to 230,698, compared to 549 the previous day.

Thailand: The ban on international commercial flights to Thailand that was supposed to end on May 31 will be extended for another month, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand said.


9:20 am

Coronavirus company news summary – USNS Mercy departs LA – National Guard assemble test kits and supply PPE

18 May

A dozen members of the Washington National Guard are working alongside the US Department of Health and AmeriCorps volunteers to build Covid-19 testing kits. The members are involved inn several stages of building the kits ranging from assembling, packaging, shipping and tracking. A total of 28,306 kits were assembled as of 14 May. Washington National Guard logistician and site leader major Jeff Rogers said the kits are put through rigorous quality control checks before supplying.

The US Navy’s hospital ship USNS Mercy has left Los Angeles after arriving to help local hospitals deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. The ship has played a major role in supporting the Department of Defense’s Covid-19 response operations. Mercy’s medical personnel treated non-Covid-19 patients performing a range of procedures such as general, orthopaedic and plastic surgeries; interventional radiology; exploratory laparotomy; and skin grafting. It will return to Naval Station San Diego and remain ready for future tasks.

The US North Carolina National Guard has been involved in the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE). Around 432,000 gloves, 44,000 face shields, 45,000 shoe covers, 88,800 procedural masks, and 2,800 bottles of hand sanitisers were given to facilities located in Beaufort, Bertie, Martin, Pitt, Hertford, Person, Granville, Franklin, Vance, and Warren Counties.

6:55 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases still rising in the Americas – first incidents recorded in Bangladesh refugee camps

18 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,444,000, with over 302,000 deaths and 1,588,000 recoveries.

In Europe, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease, while Latin America and North America continue to see a rise in daily cases.

In Asia, daily cases continue to decrease in the majority of countries, while Russia continues to experience a surge in cases, ranking second in the world behind the US.

In Bangladesh, the first cases of coronavirus were confirmed in crowded refugee camps.

Approximately one million refugees have taken shelter, raising concerns about how quickly the disease can spread through vulnerable communities.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

1:56 pm

Covid-19 responsible for more than 27% of UK care home deaths during March and April – deaths more than double same period 2019

15 May

Nearly 46,000 residents of care homes in England and Wales lost their lives between the start of the coronavirus pandemic and 1 May.

Between 2 March and 1 May more than 27% of care home deaths, some 12,526, are known to have involved Covid-19, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.

The ONS recorded a total of 45,899 deaths among care home residents between 2 March and 1 May  – more than twice as many as the 22,573 who died during the same period in 2019.

It means that even after the 12,526 known Covid-19 cases are accounted for, there have still been 10,800 “extra”, unexplained deaths which may be directly or indirectly related to the virus, too.

12:11 pm

Economic Forecast: German economy faces biggest slump since WW2 – US employment shows largest decline since 1948

15 May

Deutsche Bank says the Covid-19 pandemic and, in particular, lockdown measures will push the German economy into its biggest slump since WW2. Their report suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic hits German labour market differently than the Global Financial Market Crisis of 2009.

The US Bureau of Labour Statistics said the unemployment rate increased 10.3 percentage points to 14.7 percent in April.

“The employment–population ratio, at 51.3 percent, dropped by 8.7 percentage points over the month. This is the lowest ratio and largest over-the-month decline in the history of the data back to January 1948.”

HSBC has said the near-term global inflation outlook is clear – it is heading even lower. HSBC global chief economist Janet Henry wrote in a blog:

“The collapse in oil prices and discounting by companies keen to boost sales should more than offset higher food prices to turn Eurozone and US inflation negative this summer.”

“But if businesses fail – including restaurants or even airlines – the reduced competition could see the survivors raise prices over the next year or two.

“Supply-chain disruptions may also push up prices. So after hitting new lows by mid-2020, headline inflation will be notably higher in 12 to 15 months as demand increases and oil recovers.”



10:39 am

Daily Report: Covid-19 deaths approach 303,000 – UK fatalities fall as US and Italy rise

15 May

At least 302,418 people have died from Covid-19 so far, according to the latest statistics published by Johns Hopkins University.

The figures are likely to be an undercount, as do not include people who have died without being tested for the disease.

The grim milestone means that the epidemic has now overtaken the 1812 Russian typhus outbreak and the 1812–1819 Ottoman plague in terms of the raw number of people killed.

Deaths appear to be falling in the UK, although the US and Italy have both seen a slight uptick in the number of fatalities over the last two days.

Covid-19 daily report

9:28 am

International Update: Covid-19 infections near 4.5 million – Bolsonaro wants lockdown lift as Brazil records almost 14,000 cases in a day

15 May

Global: The global toll from Covid-19 has passed 300,000, with nearly 4.5 million people infected. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, at least 302,452 people have now died as a result of the outbreak. The institution says it has counted 4,443,597 confirmed cases worldwide.

The health ministers of South Korea, China and Japan will gather by video conference to discuss ways to work together in the global campaign against the novel coronavirus, South Korean officials said.

A WHO modelling study indicates the coronavirus could kill 150,000 people in Africa and infect 231 million people in a year unless urgent action is taken.

EU: A vaccine for coronavirus must be available to all countries, the EU has insisted, after the British chief executive of French drugs company Sanofi said it was reserving the first shipments of its vaccine for the US.

The European commission has suspended the delivery of  ten million face masks from China after two countries complained about the poor quality of the batches they received, the Associated Press reports.

Brazil: Brazil registered a daily record 13,944 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday as President Jair Bolsonaro urged business leaders to push for lifting lockdown orders in the country’s financial center, Sao Paulo.

US: President Donald Trump signalled a further deterioration of his relationship with China over the novel coronavirus, saying he has no interest in speaking to President Xi Jinping right now and going so far as to suggest he could even cut ties with the world’s second largest economy.

New guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising states on how to reopen bars, restaurants and workplaces was posted on Thursday. It outlines a series of steps workplaces and restaurants should take to keep employees and customers safe before they reopen, including encouraging hand-washing, social distancing and how to check for symptoms of potential Covid-19 cases.

US House Democrats will push aside more than 200 years of precedent and vote on Friday to let lawmakers serve as proxies for colleagues quarantined or otherwise stuck at home during the pandemic.

The Trump administration is preparing an executive order that would require certain essential drugs and medical treatments for a variety of conditions be made in the US.

Delta Air Lines Inc. will retire all 18 of its biggest aircraft, the Boeing 777, by year-end and is warning pilots of massive overstaffing amid the collapse in travel demand caused by the pandemic.

UK: British Airways owner IAG SA said it intends to go ahead with plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs, while Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh castigated the government’s handling of the crisis.

Slovenia: The Slovenian government is calling an official end to its coronavirus epidemic, becoming the first European country to do so after authorities confirmed less than seven new coronavirus cases each day for the past two weeks.

Australia: Australia’s most populous state New South Wales (NSW) is reopening restaurants, cafes and bars after a two-month shutdown, under the condition they limit customers to ten at any one time.

9:15 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Kratos supplies mobile labs – Australian Armed Forces produce face shields – Trump says Army will deliver vaccine

15 May

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions has announced that its Mobile Laboratory Product has been deployed as part of the National Guard’s efforts to combat Covid-19. The Mobile Laboratory Product has been developed in part by the Kratos Command, Control, Communications, Computing, Combat & Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Division for the Department of Defense’s Analytical Laboratory System, Modified Work Order (ALS MWO) programme.

The Australian Army has teamed up with Brisbane-based 3D One Australia to quickly produce 400 face shields for frontline healthcare workers. The design technology company used Army’s 3D printers from the 20th Regiment of the Royal Australian Artillery (20 RAA) to manufacture face shields for medical staff in Brisbane. Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said: “Defence is playing a vital role in supporting Australia’s response to Covid-19.”

The US President Donald Trump has said in a televised interview that the government would mobilise the army in an effort to distribute a vaccine for Covid-19 “very rapidly” at the end of the year. President Trump said it is a “massive job” to provide the vaccine for Covid-19 and that it would made available to senior citizens first following which to younger citizens.

A US Air Force Super Hercules C-130J, from the US 86th Airlift Wing out of Ramstein Air Base, Germany, transported medical and relief supplies between the Italian cities of Milan and Rome to combat Covid-19 pandemic. Over 15,000kg of supplies, including KN-95 masks, surgical gowns and Covid-19 test kits were distributed between the two cities. This flight is the first under a planned series of mobility support operations to be sent from the US Air Force to Italy.


7:48 am

US unemployment could hit 25% say experts

15 May

The latest report from the US Labour Department pegs the unemployment rate at more than 20%.

Although new unemployment claims have slowed down, the unemployment rate is still one of the highest since the Great Recession.

Timothy McBride, Bernard Becker Professor at Washington University, tweeted on the US Labour Department’s latest report on unemployment claims.

The report notes that an additional 2.98 million claims were filed over the last two months bringing the total unemployment claims to 36.5 million.

McBride noted that the unemployment rate is expected to be more than 20% or even 25% by the time the next official report is released.

Read more

6:59 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 on the rise in Latin America – total lockdown in Chile’s capital

15 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,364,000, with over 297,000 deaths and 1,560,000 recoveries.

In Latin America, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Chile will be countries to watch as each continues to experience a record number of daily cases or deaths.

To date, the daily mortality reached all-time highs in Brazil, Mexico, and Peru.

Additionally, Brazil set a record high with 11,385 new daily cases, and surpassing France’s total cases.

In Chile, a significant spike of more than 60% increase in daily new cases triggered a total lockdown of Santiago, the nation’s capital.

In China, Wuhan launched its mass testing drive in response to a resurgence of cases observed over the weekend.

While some residents are supportive of this initiative, others are concerned over further spreading the infection while waiting in long lines.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

3:07 pm

Covid-19 driven decline in the jobs market may be slowing

14 May

The Coronavirus crash in the jobs market appears to be starting to taper off in several badly hit industries.

Figures from data analytics firm GlobalData shows that while the jobs market has contracted since 1 March, in recent weeks the number of available jobs remained flat in the hardest hit sectors.

All of the sectors tracked have seen jobs shrink – but some have escaped more lightly than others.

The statistics show that the number of travel and tourism jobs available for application has fallen to a fifth of what it was on 1 March.

However, jobs in the oil and gas industry have dropped just over 30% compared to 1 March.

Covid-19 has had a major, ongoing economic impact across the globe; but that impact is not uniform across different industries.

While some economic sectors have seen business rapidly decline, others have – to date – been more stable. Some have even seen an increase in demand.

This chart aims to give a broad overview of which sectors are suffering the most since the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic.

It uses exclusive dynamic intelligence provided by GlobalData to track the number of jobs open for applications, across the world, across 19 economic sectors.

The summary chart shows the six which have seen the biggest percentage drop in these “active” jobs.

Economic sector impact chart

11:09 am

Defence Committee launches inquiry into UK’s pandemic response

The UK Parliament’s Defence Select Committee has announced it is holding an inquiry into defence’s contribution to the response to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The focus of the inquiry will be looking into the “military’s preparedness and resilience, the nature and effectiveness of the Armed Forces’ support of civilian authorities during the pandemic, and the pressure that directing focus towards the pandemic places on our forces.”

Four issues key to the inquiry will be:

  • The Armed Forces resilience and preparedness for a pandemic.
  • The role of the Armed Forces in supporting civil authorities.
  • Evaluating defence’s contribution to the response.
  • And, how the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has ensured adversaries do not take advantage of the pandemic.

MP and Chair of the Defence Select Committee Tobias Ellwood said: ”

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is the greatest and most immediate threat this country currently faces. This inquiry will investigate the integral role of military organisations at times of acute crises such as these.

“Alongside others, the Armed Forces have helped lead the charge and fought on the frontline in our battle against this devastating, destructive and invisible enemy. From helping to build the Nightingale hospitals, to facilitating testing, the Armed Forces have been unhesitating and unwavering in their contribution to the heroic effort against coronavirus.

“It is vital that we take this opportunity to reflect on the nature of Defence’s contribution at all levels including Cabinet level-strategic planning, local resilience efforts and support taskings including transport and logistics.”

10:48 am

Daily Report: Global Covid-19 deaths rise by more than 5,000 – weekly trend is down

14 May

The number of deaths from Covid-19 around the world rose to by 5,255 yesterday to a total of 297,197.

There have been 33,342 deaths over the last seven days – down slightly from 36,166 the previous week.

Covid-19 daily report

10:10 am

Economic Forecast: Covid-19 to slash global economic output by $8.5trn – 305 million full time jobs could be lost in Q2

14 May

Covid-19 is to slash global economic output by $8.5 trillion over next two years, wiping out nearly all gains of the previous four years according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects report.

The report highlights the pandemic could foster a new normal, fundamentally reshaping human interactions, inter-dependence, trade and globalization, while accelerating digitalization and automation.

A rapid surge in economic activities online will likely eliminate many existing jobs, while creating new jobs in the digital economy.

The United Nations’s International Labour Organization predicts 1.6bn informal economy workers could suffer “massive damage” to their livelihoods.

In the second quarter of 2020, Covid-19 may cost the equivalent of 305 million full-time jobs.

Current G7 jobless totals vary widely, from 30 million in the United States to 1.76 million in Japan.

McKinsey believe that Europe’s CEOs will have to draw on the region’s spirit of innovation to recover post Covid-19.

However, the region with its vast innovation and ideas has seen companies struggling to monetise and commercialise ideas:

“A lot of good ideas that originated in Europe, in areas such as big data, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI), for example, are often not scaled at all or adopted and brought to market by foreign investors.”

McKinsey also add that: “No European company established in the past 30 years has yet joined the ranks of the world’s top 100 companies by market capitalization, compared with three in China and seven in the United States.

“SAP, established in 1972, was the last European entrant to the global top 100, and all top 100 European companies are more than 30 years old.”


9:28 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 deaths near 300,000 – WHO warns virus could become endemic

14 May

Global: The number of lives lost worldwide in the coronavirus pandemic is nearing 300,000, according to Johns Hopkins University figures, with 297,197 deaths reported.

The coronavirus that causes Covid-19 could become endemic like HIV, the World Health Organization has said, warning against any attempt to predict how long it would keep circulating and calling for a “massive effort” to counter it.

The United Nations is forecasting that the coronavirus pandemic will shrink the world economy by 3.2 percent this year, the sharpest contraction since the Great Depression in the 1930s, pushing an estimated 34.3 million people into extreme poverty mostly in Africa.

US: A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court decided that an unelected state agency head’s emergency order shutting down the state because of the Covid-19 pandemic is not enforceable.

President Donald Trump plans to name Moncef Slaoui, the former head of GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s vaccines division, and Gustave Perna, a four-star US general, to lead a Manhattan Project-style effort to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, two people familiar with the matter said.

Canada and the US appear likely to extend a ban on non-essential travel until June 21 amid the pandemic, a Canadian government source and a top US official told Reuters.

Russia: The city of Moscow said on Wednesday it had ascribed the deaths of more than 60% of coronavirus patients in April to other causes as it defended what it said was the superior way it and Russia counted the number of people killed by the novel virus. At 242,271, Russia has the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the world after the United States.

UK: Roche Holding AG’s coronavirus antibody test was cleared by a UK health authority, a boost to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he seeks ways to gradually relax lockdown restrictions.

The UK government’s coronavirus aid program for self-employed people received more than £340 million ($416 million) of claims in its first morning of operation.

Italy: Doctors in Italy have reported the first clear evidence of a link between Covid-19 and a rare but serious inflammatory disorder that has required some children to undergo life-saving treatment in intensive care units.

Italy’s government approved a much-delayed €55 billion ($60 billion) stimulus package to rescue an economy crippled by a two-month nationwide lockdown, promising a boost in liquidity for businesses and aid for families in need.

China: Hong Kong authorities are going to screen hundreds of families, local media is reporting, after its 23-day run of no local infections was broken with the diagnosis of Covid-19 in a 66-year-old woman with no recent travel history, and her five-year-old granddaughter.

Japan: Japan was expected to lift a state of emergency across a large part of the country on Thursday, according to Reuters, but Tokyo will remain under restrictions until there is a convincing containment of the coronavirus.

Japanese company Takeda Pharmaceutical could start a clinical trial as early as July for a potential treatment of Covid-19 that is based on antibodies from recovered patients’ blood, company executives said.

Qatar: The Qatari government ordered all citizens to wear masks when they step outside for any reason beginning 17 May, state-run QNA reported. People who violate the order will be subjected to either imprisonment of up to three years, or a fine of as much as 200,000 riyals ($55,000) or both, according to the report.

New Zealand: New Zealand’s finance minister Grant Robertson has unveiled an unprecedented NZ$50bn fund to save jobs and reduce unemployment to pre-coronavirus levels within two years.

Australia: Australia posted its biggest ever monthly rise in unemployment on Thursday because of coronavirus lockdown measures, even as the country begins to gradually ease those social distancing rules.

9:16 am

Coronavirus company news summary – US Army employs counter-terror tech – Singapore cancels Exercise Wallaby

14 May

The US Army is using counter-terrorism technology Joint Analytic Real-Time Virtual Information Sharing System (JARVISS) to monitor the spread of Covid-19. The software is designed to compile information on criminal activity threats and natural disaster in and near by army installations and stand-alone facilities. It gathers information from more than 80,000 sources, including social media, news media, blogs and government agencies. With the addition of another information layer to track COVID-centric data, the service is now able to assess the virus’ impact on installation readiness, training and recruiting.

The US Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has awarded $134m contract to Federal Resources Supply Company for medical supplies to nursing homes. The company has already started deliveries of the equipment for medical personnel, reported Reuters. The equipment will be delivered to more than 15,000 nursing homes across the US and its territories. FEMA will designate the delivery locations. US Department of Defense spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews said deliveries include 1.2 million goggles, 64.4 million pairs of gloves 12.8 million gowns and 1.8 million masks.

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has cancelled its largest overseas exercise this year due to Covid-19. Exercise Wallaby was to be conducted at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area (SWBTA) in Queensland, Australia. Singapore Ministry of Defence (MoD) noted that smaller-scale training activities in Australia may be carried out if current situations improve. In a statement, the MoD said: “Our bilateral defence ties with Australia continue to be strong. We look forward to future editions of Exercise Wallaby.”


7:52 am

US sees slowdown in Covid-19 driven job losses among lower paid

14 May

The US has already announced more than $2.2tn in stimulus packages to protect the economy from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. As unemployment rates continue to rise, additional stimulus packages may be needed even if they are costly and increase debt.

Paul Krugman, an economist and Nobel laureate, tweeted an article on the slowdown in unemployment rate due to Covid-19 in the US.

The article is based on surveys conducted by Civis Analytics, which shows that women, part-time workers and workers earning more than $100,000 are still facing unemployment.

However, the unemployment rate among full-time employees, men and workers earning less than $50,000 was falling by mid-to-late April.

Read more

7:23 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: New clusters of Covid-19 as lockdowns ease – confirmed cases surge in Brazil

14 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,278,000, with more than 292,000 deaths and 1,502,000 recoveries.

As nations continue to gradually lift lockdown measures, new clusters emerge in regions once commended for their mitigation efforts. These include South Korea, Wuhan, China, and Singapore.

In South Korea, more than 100 new cases were reported over the weekend in a popular Seoul nightlife district.

In Wuhan, six new cases were confirmed over the weekend after more than a month, prompting the city to order testing for all residents.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, more than 23,000 cases were linked to migrant worker dormitories at the end of April.

Brazil continues to experience a surge in confirmed cases, with 178,214 cases which surpass the 173,289 cases in Germany, and draw closer to the 178,349 cases in France.

Additionally, Brazil records its highest death toll to date with 881 confirmed deaths.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

3:26 pm

UK Submarine crew quarantining pre-deployment

The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) is quarantining submarine crews pre-deployment defence minister James Heappey has confirmed.

In a written response to a parliamentary question, Heappey wrote: “Mitigation measures are being put in place to minimise the risk of COVID-19 onboard a submarine and to maintain the health and wellbeing of their ships’ companies. The Submarine Service is following Public Health England (PHE) guidelines where practical for all personnel and, to reduce the risk of transmission, further emphasis is being placed on the cleaning of communal areas and personal hygiene.

“Measures have been introduced prior to sailing which involve the whole ship’s company quarantining onboard the submarine. In addition, personnel who are, or whose households are, symptomatic will be isolated before embarking, in accordance with PHE self-isolation guidelines.”

On top of this Heappey added that any individual who experiences symptoms at sea will isolate and receive medical attention until they can be recovered and returned to shore.

11:18 am

Economic Forecast: Downturn ‘sharper but shorter’ than 2008, says Morgan Stanley – IMF warns of catastrophic consequences in sub-Saharan Africa

13 May

Morgan Stanley Chief Economist and Global Head of Economics Research Chetan Ahya said this economic downturn will be sharper—but shorter—than the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) that began in 2008.

His view is based on the cause of the downturn and that, “this recession has prompted the most coordinated and aggressive monetary and fiscal easing that we have witnessed in modern times”.

“By our estimates, global economic contraction will trough at 7.5% in the second quarter of this year (far worse than the 2.4% contraction in the first quarter of 2009), while output—for the world as a whole and developed markets—will return to prerecession levels in 4 and 8 quarters, respectively, compared with 6 and 14 quarters after the GFC.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that a failure to contain the spread of the virus in sub-Saharan Africa will have catastrophic economic, health and humanitarian consequences.

According to the latest Regional Economic Outlook by the IMF the sub-Saharan Africa economy will contract by 1.6 percent this year; the worst reading on record.

Economies across the regions of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) may contract on average by 3.5% this year, because of the impact of the coronavirus, with a rebound of 4.8% possible in 2021.

However, in its latest Regional Economic Prospects report, the EBRD warned that these projections are subject to “unprecedented uncertainty”.

11:11 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Savi supplies RFID system – Genasys provides communications systems

Technology company Savi has handed over its Portable Deployment Kit (PDK) III to the US Department of Defense (DoD). The company is under contract to deliver the kits to the Army National Guard and Army Reserve. Savi PDK III is a complete active RFID solution. It offers warfighters and first responders, deployed to fight Covid-19 pandemic, with real-time, end-to-end visibility of goods and critical assets moving through the supply chain and ensure on-time delivery to the Army National Guard.

Global critical communications solutions provider Genasys has received hardware orders from the US military and government agencies. The company will deliver its LRAD 100X, 300X, 450XL, 500X, and military specification 360XT trailer systems and accessories. These hardware systems allow communication between individuals and groups from a safe standoff distance. Genasys chief executive officer Richard Danforth said: “Many of these hardware systems are being procured for use in the agencies’ COVID-19 responses.”

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded a contract to ApiJect Systems America for a high-speed, population-scale emergency drug injection solution to the Covid-19 crisis. The $138m HHS-DOD Title 3, Defense Production Act (DPA) contract will support a Joint Federal Agency Accelerated Build-out of Domestic Surge Capacity for prefilled syringes. ApiJect’s subsidiary RAPID USA will operate under the initiative Project Jumpstart. It will use blow-fill-seal plastics manufacturing technology to create a US-based high-speed supply chain for prefilled syringes.

9:59 am

Covid-19 Daily Report: Deaths from Covid-19 continue to fall in most countries with serious outbreaks – US still seeing highest number

13 May

Daily new deaths from Covid-19 continue to fall in most countries with the largest outbreaks.

Worldwide, the US is continuing to see the highest number of new deaths from Covid-19, followed by the UK, however, in both countries the figure is falling.

Brazil is currently seeing the most rapid spread of the disease, with 808 new deaths yesterday, up from 571 the week before.

Although the raw number of deaths in many countries rose yesterday compared to Monday, that is likely to do with the “weekend effect” – a lag in data collection over the weekend.

At least 291,942 people have now died from the disease worldwide.

Covid-19 daily report

9:48 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 4.25 million – NIAID director warns US of ‘serious consequences’ if lockdown eased too soon

13 May

Global: According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, at least 4,261,955 people around the world are known to have contracted the virus, while at least 291,964 have died since the pandemic began.

The World Health Organization says some treatments appear to be limiting the severity or length of suffering caused by Covid-19 and that it is focusing on learning more about four or five of the most promising ones.

US: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr Anthony Fauci has warned of serious consequences if US states reopen before building capacity to deal with new Covid-19 outbreaks.

US Republican senators proposed legislation on Tuesday that would empower President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on China if Beijing does not give a “full accounting” for the coronavirus outbreak.

Twitter will allow its employees to work from home “forever”, chief executive officer Jack Dorsey said in a company-wide email Tuesday.

Brazil: Brazil reported a new record for coronavirus deaths as Latin America’s largest economy becomes the new global hotspot for the pandemic. The country reported a record 881 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours on Tuesday, its health ministry said, taking its total to 12,400.

China: The Chinese city of Wuhan, the original centre of the pandemic, plans to test all 11 million residents for the coronavirus, according to local media.

China’s National Health Commission has confirmed seven new cases of coronavirus, six of them in the northeastern province of Jilin where the city of Shulan increased its risk level from medium to high at the weekend.

India: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a stimulus package for labourers and small businesses on Tuesday worth about 10% of India’s GDP.

Gilead Sciences Inc. is licensing its potential Covid-19 treatment, remdesivir, to five generic drug manufacturers in India and Pakistan to expedite supply chain development and help meet anticipated demand.

Iceland: Iceland will test all airline passengers arriving at Keflavik Airport for coronavirus by June 15, with those resulting negative spared a mandatory two-week quarantine, the government said Tuesday.

8:15 am

Covid-19 driving a fall in consumer price index that could lead to recession, say economists

13 May

The consumer price index (CPI) continues to fall as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses to shutdown and people to remain under lockdown.

The consumer spending has drastically reduced amid this environment with the threat of rising inflation or even deflation.

Pedro da Costa, a journalist, shared an article on the decline in consumer prices in the US. The consumer price index (CPI) dropped 0.8% in April after falling 0.4% in March, which is biggest decline since December 2008 when the country was going through recession.

The article is based on a report from the Labour Department that showed a record decline in prices in April raising the possibility of deflation.


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