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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.

 

Read more

7:16 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Russia second highest in confirmed Covid-19 cases – India eases lockdown as infections rise

13 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,194,000, with over 286,000 deaths and 1,464,000 recoveries.

Russia now leads the Eurasian region with over 232,000 confirmed cases, ranking second highest in the world following the US.

Of the top ten most affected countries outside of the US and Russia, the majority are experiencing a decrease in daily cases, with the exception of Brazil and Iran, with over 169,000 and 109,000 cases, respectively.

Meanwhile, India eases lockdown restrictions by restarting its train network, one of the world’s largest in the world, despite rising infections.

While passengers will wear masks, the sheer number of passengers and tight quarters is concerning; more than 54,000 people have made reservations

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

5:21 pm

Keesler AFB lab and partners to sequence Covid-19 genome

The US Air Force (USAF) Genetics Center of Excellence at Keesler Air Force Base (AFB) and Defense Health Agency (DHA) have collaborated to aid the scientific research to sequence the SARS-CoV-2 genome responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Keesler AFB has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, academic institutions and DoD labs, including the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, US, to conduct the research.

Major Mauricio De Castro said: “If you know the genomic sequence, you can know what to target for treatment, medications, vaccines, etc.”

Across the world, researchers are working to decipher the genetic code of the virus to help develop a vaccine or effective treatment against the virus. To date, they have shared over 10,000 viral genome sequences of the novel coronavirus.

Read the full story here.

2:50 pm

Macroeconomic Forecast: GDP forecasts revised downwards again – Italy nears double digit decline

12 May

The GDP growth forecast for European countries and the US have been revised downwards yet again — with estimates for France seeing the biggest drop.

Italy remains the country likely to take the biggest hit according to this week’s GlobalData forecasts, with the country’s economy expected to shrink by 9.4% during 2020.

France now expected to see a 8.4% shrinkage of GDP over the year, compared to last week’s estimate of 7.4%.

The UK economy is expected to shrink by 7.6% this year, Germany’s by 6.7% and that of the US by 5.3%.

Both China and India continue to register modest estimated positive growths of 0.8% and 1% respectively.

Stock markets have seen some positive growth from last week in all markets except India.

 

Covid-19 macroeconomic dashboard

We are using exclusive dynamic figures provided by GlobalData analysts to track key economic indicators in major world economies hit by Covid-19. Deaths from the virus are plotted alongside the indexed performance of each country’s major stock exchange. Figures are tracked daily from the March 1, 2020.

Covid-19 macroeconomic dashboard

12:43 pm

Economic Forecast: Covid-19 pandemic could push 40-60 million into extreme poverty

12 May

The World Bank predicts an increase in poverty globally for the first time since 1998 due to the current pandemic. They said that the pandemic is pushing about 40-60 million people into extreme poverty, with their best estimate being 49 million.

The modelling also predicts that the share of the world’s population living on less than $1.90 per day—is projected to increase from 8.2% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2020, or from 632 million people to 665 million people.

McKinsey estimates that in the weeks from 6 April to 19 May around 22 percent of the United Kingdom’s working-age population, or nine million people, had been furloughed.

At that same time less than 1 percent of businesses reported ceasing to trade permanently or having laid off people.

McKinsey states: “The knock-on consequences of the lockdown are anticipated to result in significant job losses down the road. Businesses’ ability to continue to employ and pay workers might be particularly precarious when government support starts to be withdrawn.”

10:56 am

Covid-19 Daily Report: Global mortality rate trending down – fears that trend could be halted as lockdowns ease

12 May

The number of Covid-19 cases continues to fall with the number of deaths seeing an expected post-weekend slight uptick on Monday, our coronavirus tracker shows.

The total number of cases is now at 4,117,502, with the number of confirmed Covid-19 deaths now at 286,330.

The US continues to have the biggest share of those, recording 1,156 deaths yesterday.

That’s double the number of deaths in the UK, Spain and France combined.

The mortality rate in all the countries in our tracker is generally trending downwards.

However, as lockdowns are eased in some capacity across the world, some fear we could see the numbers climb back up.

 

Covid-19 daily report

10:11 am

International Update: Work on vaccines accelerating – Trump declares victory – New York Covid-19 deaths may be 5,000 higher than official figures

12 May

Global: The global confirmed death toll exceeds 285,000. The number of people known to have died since the pandemic began has reached at least 286,330, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. They say at least 4,177,584 people are known to have been infected.

The World Health Organization says “extreme vigilance” is needed as countries begin to exit lockdowns imposed to curb the virus’ spread.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the International Council of Nurses are calling on governments to commit to ensuring the protection and safety of nurses and other health workers, especially in resource-poor, disaster and conflict settings.

The World Health Organization chief says there are approximately seven or eight “top” candidates for a vaccine to combat the coronavirus and work on them is being accelerated.

US: New York City’s death toll may be 5,000 higher than official toll. Between 11 March and 2 May, about 24,000 more people died in the city than researchers would ordinarily expect during that time period, a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

President Trump declared victory over the “invisible enemy” as deaths surpassed 80,000 in the US. “We have met the moment and we have prevailed,” Trump, flanked by ventilators and testing supplies, said during a briefing in the White House Rose Garden on Monday.

The White House ordered everyone entering the West Wing to wear a face mask after Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary tested positive for the coronavirus last week.

The Trump administration plans to distribute $11 billion to states for coronavirus testing, according to senior administration officials.

China: China reports no new domestic cases after spike on weekend. China reported zero new domestic coronavirus infections on Tuesday, after two consecutive days of double-digit increases fuelled fears of a second wave of infections.

Australia: Easing restrictions to boost Australian economy by US$6bn a month. Once Australia removes most social distancing restrictions by July, its economy will be boosted by AU$9.4bn (US$6.15bn) each month, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will say on Tuesday.

Japan: The Japanese Health Ministry is set to approve antigen coronavirus testing kits on Wednesday, a ministry official said on Tuesday, in a move to boost the number of diagnostic tests available to battle the pandemic.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is following the US in speeding up the approval of unproven virus drugs, as he faces new criticism over his plan for exiting a state of emergency and reviving Japan’s economy.

Russia: Putin eases Russia lockdown despite infection surge. The Russian president announces an easing of the nationwide lockdown, even as the country sees a record number of new infections.

UK: Boris Johnson watered down his plan for rebooting the UK economy after employers and labour unions said many workplaces aren’t ready to return to work.

9:27 am

Coronavirus company news summary – RCAF extends fighter competition – Boeing transports PPE

Public Service and Procurement Canada has announced the extension of the Future Fighter Capability Project proposal submission deadline. The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) fighter competition has been delayed by one month due to the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the industry. Eligible suppliers can now submit their proposals on or before 31 July. Teams from Saab, Lockheed Martin and Boeing have been invited to participate in the competition.

Boeing has successfully completed additional airlift missions in support of Covid-19 recovery efforts. Over 150,000 protective eye goggles and face shields were delivered from China to the US using three Dreamlifter aircraft. The personal protective equipment (PPE) will be used by the frontline health care professionals in the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) system. MUSC president David Cole said: “These goggles and face shields will allow us to continue to expand our ability to test and monitor for COVID-19 as businesses and communities start to move forward.”

The Kansas National Guard is supporting the decontamination process for N95 medical masks. The masks, that are usually disposed of after a single-use, are disinfected and readied for reuse. The system uses vaporised hydrogen peroxide to decontaminate up to 10,000 compatible N95 protective masks per chamber load. Each sterilisation cycle can process four chambers and a single machine runs two sterilisation processes in one day. Overall, 80,000 masks per machine are decontaminated.

8:54 am

Stimulus packages could bring higher taxes and debt post Covid-19 say economists

12 May

The lockdown measures imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic has affected countries across the world with decline in revenues, high unemployment rates and economic uncertainty.

Governments are releasing stimulus packages to combat the impact but this may lead to higher taxes and debt, which will further burden people after the crisis.

Prof. Steve Hanke, Applied Economist at Johns Hopkins University, tweeted an article on the stimulus packages announced by the government and its consequences.

He noted that the US government has already created $1.48tn in deficit in 2020 and is still planning to announce more stimulus packages.

Hanke mentioned that future taxpayers will have to bear the hefty costs of the stimulus packages being announced by the government.

8:33 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global cases of Covid-19 exceed 4 million – Germany reports increasing infections after easing lockdown

12 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,118,000, with over 283,000 deaths and 1,420,000 recoveries.

Several European countries enter their first week of eased lockdown restrictions, ranging from re-opening restaurants, bars, and salons to partially re-opening schools.

While the daily confirmed cases are decreasing in most European countries, there is still concern over a second wave of cases.

In Germany, where lockdown measures were gradually reduced at the end of April, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported an increase in the infection rate, or the estimated number of people a patient infects.

While there is a degree of uncertainty in the implications, this will be a country to watch as lockdown measures continue to lift around the world.

Meanwhile, Russia officially surpassed the number of confirmed cases in both Italy and the UK, with approximately 221,000 cases to the UK’s 220,000 and Italy’s 210,000 cases.

This development comes in response to Russia reporting their highest daily increase to date with 11,656 new infections, positioning them as the third most burdened country in the world, after the US and Spain.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

2:51 pm

Covid-19 Cities and Regions: New cases continue to drop – widespread easing of lockdowns

11 May

The number of new daily Covid-19 continues to drop in major cities and regions in Europe and the US as Wuhan records its first new cases since the end of the lockdown.

The US reported relatively stable numbers of new cases throughout last week, but some fear that the economic reopening in several states might push the numbers back up.

There are also reports of an outbreak inside Donald Trump’s White House as some staff went into isolation.

The UK saw some of the smallest daily increases in new cases since March. Britain is also set to slowly ease restrictions as the official government guidance was changed from “stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives” to “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”.

Spain is loosening lockdown rules as well, mostly in rural areas that were less affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Italy, which has the third highest death toll at 30,000, saw numbers continue to fall over the last week.

Elsewhere in China, authorities have reported new coronavirus clusters in Wuhan, where the outbreak first originated. These are the first new confirmed cases since lockdown was ended in April.

Monitoring the cities at the heart of the Covid-19 outbreak

Cities – with their high population density, young and mobile demographics, and developed public transport systems – are particularly susceptible to rapidly-spreading viral outbreak. Here we drill down into subnational Covid-19 figures to show which areas are seeing disproportionate numbers of Covid-19 cases.

While different countries count at different administrative levels, the pattern is clear: London and Madrid are “regions” in their own right, while New York State includes New York City and Lombardy covers Milan. 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

1:44 pm

US AMC selects Travis AFB for AE missions amid Covid-19

Air Mobility Command (AMC) at Scott AFB, Illinois, US, has selected Travis Air Force Base (AFB), California, US, for the US Air Force’s (USAF) specialised aeromedical evacuation (AE) missions related to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Travis AFB is one of the three selected bases, others being Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, US, and Ramstein AFB, Germany.

The airbases are used as staging grounds for AMC’s AE missions involving Transportation Isolation System (TIS) use.

Developed by the US Department of Defense (DOD) during the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the TIS is an infectious disease containment unit. It has been designed to transport infected patients with in-flight medical care.

Read the full story here.

1:42 pm

Australia and New Zealand boost joint defence against Covid -19

Australia and New Zealand will work to enhance their defence cooperation in the Tasman and the Pacific region to continue battle against the coronavirus (Covid -19) pandemic.

Earlier this week, a joint teleconference was held by the defence ministers of the two countries and the Australian Minister for Defence Industry.

The conference discussed the challenges arising due to the pandemic and the measures taken by the countries to overcome them, as well as addressing support extended by the country to their respective defence industries.

Read the full story here.

1:25 pm

Covid-19: Rheinmetall defence business ‘robust and resilient’

In its first-quarter results, Rheinmetall has said it does not expect the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic to have a lasting impact on its defence business this year adding that despite the outbreak it expects the division’s sales to continue to grow.

Across the board, Rheinmetall saw a slight consolidated sales increase of 1.1% to €1.358bn ($1.47bn), however, the company’s consolidated earnings fell by €20m ($21.66) to €36.81m. Sales in the group’s automotive division fell by 14% while defence saw an 18% growth.

The company said: “Strong performance at defence sees Rheinmetall through coronavirus crisis”.

As a result of the solid defence finances, Rheinmetall released a 2020 outlook for its defence business, which ‘anticipates sales growth of between 5% and 7%’, while the group said an outlook for its automotive division is ‘currently impossible’.

Read the full story here.

1:09 pm

British Army resumes basic training from today

The British Army has today resumed basic training for soldier’s having suspended most training in March to focus resources to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The Army also paused training to prevent the spread of the virus.

Last week, the British Army announced the phased restart of training on the following schedule.

  • Resume Army Basic Training at reduced capacity on 11 May
  • Restart Sandhurst (RMAS) training with a single intake on 17 May
  • Restart Army Reserves basic training from 29 May
  • Restart trade training (Regular and Reserves) not before 11 May

In a statement, the British Army said: “While some training has been made available remotely, any interruption in training has the potential to impact Army numbers. In order to protect the nation, we need to ensure we have enough soldiers trained to continue operations and other essential tasks.

“Essential training has continued in order to maintain critical operational outputs. Where this is necessary, such activity has been conducted in line with Government guidance as far as possible.”

11:43 am

Unemployment post Covid-19 must be addressed, say economists

11 May

The Covid-19 pandemic may lead to unknown economic challenges as countries across the world face rising unemployment rates and inflation.

Governments are trying to minimise the impact of the pandemic through economic relief packages but it may lead to huge debts.

Jonathan Portes, professor of economics at King’s College London, tweeted about the basic things that need to be done to address the unemployment issue in the UK.

He noted that people’s income should be supported, viable jobs should be made available for workers after the crisis and help should be provided to workers to find new type of jobs if their old jobs are no longer viable

Portes added that assistance should be provided to young people who are entering the labour market amid the economic downturn.

Read more

10:35 am

Economic Forecast: Small businesses under pressure – Hamada warns against monetary easing – ‘populist’ investments forecast to increase

11 May

The European Central Banks SME survey showed that SMEs are reporting a rapid deterioration in economic environment in context of Covid-19.

The survey shows that expectations about the availability of bank loans were falling significantly in the Euro area (-11%, down from 4% in 2014 when survey was last carried out)), with the level of deterioration varying across countries.

Reflecting the severity of the coronavirus pandemic in different countries, Italian SMEs reported the largest deterioration in net terms (-13%, from 9%), followed by French and Spanish SMEs (-9% and -12%, from 8% and -1%, respectively).

Yale University Professor of Economics Koichi Hamada warned over the dangers of monetary easing led by the US.

Hamada wrote in his blog published by the World Economic Forum: “Today, governments are generally focused either on “flattening the curve” of their first wave of Covid-19 infections or, increasingly, on avoiding a second wave of infections as they ease social-distancing protocols and allow economic activity to resume.

“But, with the US apparently intent on flooding global markets with dollars, even economies that have so far managed the crisis effectively may have little choice but to pursue their own monetary easing.”

 

Commenting on the surge in unemployment in the US investment bank Citi said it expects more populist stances to gain traction in western economies.

From an equity market standpoint the bank said: “refocusing on domestic-focused industries vs. globally-oriented businesses could prove an opportunity for value stocks as the anti-globalisation drive negatively affects global industries and promotes domestic ‘national’ champions.

“Pressure on stock buybacks could mean the end of a ‘just buy the market’ mentality and usher in a new period emphasising the importance of stock selection and dividends in the search for positive returns.”

The analysis by the bank also added that: “Currently, US equity markets are pricing in an earnings rebound, but with concerns over falling profit margins as a result of the downturn, expectations for medium-term earnings growth might be optimistic.”

 

 

10:07 am

Covid-19 Daily Report: Deaths showing a downward trend – US continues to record the greatest number

11 May

The number of Covid-19 deaths has continued to fall, with all of the countries with the highest death tolls seeing a general downwards trajectory when looking at a rolling average of deaths.

The figures today are likely to be skewed downwards by the “weekend effect” – so daily progress might seem better than it is.

The US continues to record the most deaths in the world, recording 731 yesterday – more than double the UK which saw 268.

However, both countries seem to be on a slow downwards trajectory.

Covid-19 daily report

9:22 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Rolls-Royce to furlough 4,000 staff – US Army opens intensive care ward – Indian Navy develops remote monitoring tool

Rolls-Royce has announced plans to furlough more than 4,000 of its employees in the UK. This is one of the immediate actions that the company is taking to deal with the prevailing market conditions. In an annual general meeting statement, Rolls-Royce said: “Year to date, our Defence business has been robust, although the impact of social distancing and self-isolation on our operations and those of our suppliers represents a potential risk to activity levels.”

The US Army’s overseas military hospital Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) has opened a new intensive care ward. Dubbed 10C, the new unit will serve as a swing ward to treat both lower acute patients and any COVID infected individuals. It features modernised infrastructure, enhanced configuration, new monitoring systems, new isolation rooms and built-in oxygen capabilities.

The Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command has developed a solution to remotely monitor the vital signs of Covid patients. The solution was designed after a request from the Vishakha Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS), reported local media sources. A team of two officers and four workers of the Naval Dockyard-Visakhapatnam were involved in the conversion of audio-visual output of the bedside patient monitoring system to High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) output. This is incorporated for all beds in the intensive care unit (ICU) via a digital video recorder. The HDMI output is relayed on a display located outside the ICU for the staff to easily monitor.

 

9:14 am

International Update: Covid-19 deaths fall in New York – new outbreak in China – scientists find evidence of coronavirus mutations

11 May

US: New York reported the fewest new Covid-19 deaths – 207 – since the end of March and other indicators began to show the outbreak nearing the level of the starting point for what Governor Andrew Cuomo called “this hellish journey.”

UK: In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans to ease restrictions, but they’ve been labelled divisive, confusing and vague, after he said some places could reopen and the government was “actively encouraging” people to return to work, without giving details of how.

New Zealand: New Zealand to move to level 2 lockdown, easing some restrictions. Jacinda Ardern said parties, weddings, stag dos, and funerals will be capped at ten, both inside and outside, as the director-general of health had deemed these events “high-risk”.

South Korea: South Korea has reported 35 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, with 29 linked to Seoul clubs and bars, which were attended by a man in his 20s.

Japan: Japan could lift a state-of-emergency in many regions this week if new coronavirus cases are under control, the economy minister said on Monday.

China: An untraced coronavirus outbreak in a Chinese city near the Russian border and a spate of new cases in Wuhan has prompted fears of a fresh wave of infections in China. Wuhan has recorded its highest number of new infections since 11 March, reporting five new cases for 10 May, among 17 new cases nationwide, the highest in almost two weeks.

Scientists have found evidence for mutations in some strains of the coronavirus that suggest the pathogen may be adapting to humans after spilling over from bats.

Pakistan: Pakistan will allow markets and shops to open for several days a week from Monday, as it loosens its coronavirus lockdown.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Monday ordered the distribution of ‘Ramadan Aid’ worth 1.85 billion riyal ($492.6 million) for social security beneficiaries.

9:35 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 3.8 million – numbers spike in Germany – low UK recovery rate a concern

9 May

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 3,834,000, with over 269,000 deaths and 1,278,000 recoveries.

While the daily confirmed cases and death are decreasing in most European countries, the UK experienced a noticible increase in daily new cases on 6 May.

While the number of daily confirmed death is still decreasing in the UK, the total recovered cases in the UK is very low at about 960 cases.

Compared to the global recovery rate of 32%, UK’s rate of .46% is concerning and shows that UK still has long to go until full recovery.

Germany, a country frequently used as a model for Covid-19 response in Europe, also reported spikes in new cases of more than 1,000 on Wednesday and Thursday.

Other countries such as Russia, Brazil, India, Egypt, and Mexico are still experiencing a rise in confirmed cases.

There are indications of a slow shift of the pandemic toward African countries.

Although compare with the US and Europe, the confirmed case numbers are not significantly high.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

12:58 pm

Covid-19 Transport Status: Berlin, Milan, Madrid, Rome mobility all up – London increasing

8 May
Road traffic and public transport use in Berlin, Rome, Milan and Madrid have picked up as governments in Continental Europe eased lockdown restrictions this week.

All four cities showed a definite uptick in mobility – although movement in Milan and Rome remains at roughly 10 per cent of the levels seen before Covid-19 struck.

That may well reflect some confusion and compromises in new rules introduced in Italy, which mean most shops will remain closed for another fortnight and people are only permitted to visit family and those with whom they have a “stable and enduring” link.

Road congestion and public transport use in Berlin rose above 20% of pre-lockdown levels this week; Madrid saw public transport use double.

Among countries where strict lockdowns remain in place, London saw public transport use creep above 10% of pre-lockdown levels – a result, perhaps, of somewhat confusing messages about how and when the Westminster government plans to ease current restrictions, as well as anecdotally-reported “lockdown fatigue” as bright spring weather tests people’s resolve.

 

The Covid-19 lockdown: tracking if, when and where the world starts moving again

This graphic is fed by three key sources.

We use Citymapper’s mobility index to monitor public transport use, TomTom’s live traffic index to measure road use, and summary data from FlightRadar24 to count the total number of commercial flights each day.

City transport index chart

9:02 am

Covid-19 rescue packages risk years of public debt say economists

Public debt concerns are being voiced by leading macroeconomic influencers.

Governments across the world are providing stimulus packages to protect people from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although these packages are essential, as millions have lost their jobs due to lockdown measures, it may lead to huge levels of public debt. The consequences of the debt are expected to impact economies for a long time.

David W Versailles, an economist, shared an article on how public debt in advance economies will reach high levels amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The article notes governments should find a balance between stimulus and restraint as too much public debt can burden societies for years to come.

 

Read more

8:26 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Almost 88,000 new Covid-19 cases – Lockdowns easing – new cases surge

8 May

With 87,941 new confirmed cases reported, the total number of confirmed cases has passed 3,775,000 globally.

About 75% of the total confirmed cases belong to the US and Europe.

The global count of total deaths is 264,437 and the total recovered is 1,254,744 (about 33% of total confirmed cases).

Following the consistent reduction of daily confirmed cases in Europe, governments have lifted restrictions even further.

However, concerns remain about seeing additional surges due to removing the restriction too early.

Other parts of the world are also lifting restrictions, but have already observed surges.

For instance, following a month of reduction in daily confirmed cases, Iranian officials allowed gatherings in many regions.

Only few days later starting on 1 May, the daily new confirmed cases increased significantly and the country has now passed 101,000 total confirmed cases.

Daily confirmed cases in countries such as Russia, Mexico, and Brazil are still rising.

Brazil in particular,reported 10,503 new confirmed cases yesterday (nearly twice of that reported the day before).

High populous and dense urban areas, such as São Paulo, are areas to monitor.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

4:24 pm

Covid-19 delays crunch time for Turkey-US relationship

With the Covid-19 crisis impacting all industries and sectors to varying degrees, the fallout from the crisis is providing a scapegoat for a number of issues in the defence industry.

Turkish procurement of S-400 systems from Russia put Turkey in the firing line for US CAATSA sanctions. The procurement timeline called for April 2020 activation of the systems, with all other milestones achieved, including training and testing. The announced delay of activation of the systems due to the Covid-19 crisis is notable, given all the systems are in place, testing and training have been completed, and changing the status of the units to active is essentially only a declaration.

Read more here.

10:44 am

Covid-19 Daily Report: US deaths highest for two weeks – global trend is down

7 May

The US has recorded its highest level of Covid-19 deaths for more than a fortnight.

Some 2,367 new deaths were recorded in America yesterday – the most in a single 24-hour period since 21 April .

Globally there were 6,592 deaths yesterday, taking the weekly total to 36,166 – down from 40,724 the week before.

Covid-19 daily report

10:14 am

Economic Forecast: Bank of England predicts UK GDP to drop nearly 30% in Q2 – Deloitte say mass unemployment could reduce wages

7 May

The Bank of England said today that Covid-19 has dramatically reduced jobs and incomes in he UK with consumer spending in aggregate falling very significantly. In 2020 Q2, it is expected to be almost 30% lower than in 2019 Q4.

In addition the Bank of England predicts the UK GDP is expected to be close to 30% lower in 2020 Q2 than it was at the end of 2019.

UK GDP is expected to have fallen by around 3% in 2020 Q1 and then to fall by a further 25% in Q2.

S&P has said it expects GDP to fall by about 7.3% in the Eurozone and 6.5% in the UK this year, with a gradual rebound of 5.6% and 6% in 2021.

The ratings agency also said they see a larger economic risks, as outbreaks could resurge when lockdowns are loosened across the globe.

This week’s Deloitte global economic summary writes about the a risk of deflation.

Deloitte’s economists said: “Already we have seen a dramatic decline in the prices of oil and other commodities.

“Mass unemployment will likely mean downward pressure on wages.

“Although there have lately been shortages of some consumer staples (toilet paper, for example), early data indicates that inflation has decelerated.

“Even when recovery comes, the deflationary trend will likely be reversed only gradually.”

9:55 am

Moderate inflation can help in dealing with the huge debt created by Covid-19, say economists

7 May

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented levels of unemployment, huge levels of debt and an imminent threat of inflation or even deflation.

Economists believe that moderate levels of inflation can help economies around the world to deal with the debt and recover from the crisis.

Atif Mian, an economist, tweeted that the world is witnessing the highest levels of debt for the first time in many years. He added that the best way to reduce this debt will be moderate inflation particularly in advanced economies.

Mian noted that implementing moderate targeted-inflation may be a challenge in the near term.

Read more

9:20 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Covid-19 survivors barred from service – Leonardo news new credit facilities – Australia proceeds with Marine rotation

7 May

US Department of Defense’s (DoD)  guidelines could ban coronavirus (Covid-19) survivors from joining the military, Military Times reported. A memo issued by the US Military Entrance Processing Command reads: “During the medical history interview or examination, a history of COVID-19, confirmed by either a laboratory test or a clinician diagnosis, is permanently disqualifying …” The memo is circulating on Twitter and has been confirmed as authentic by Pentagon spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell, according to the publication.

Italian company Leonardo has signed new credit facilities to further boost liquidity. The €2bn facilities have up to two years of maturity and were oversubscribed. The company now has a total liquidity of over €5bn that includes the new credit facilities, cash in hand and existing credit lines. Leonardo Alessandro Profumo CEO said: “Through this, we are further strengthening the group’s liquidity and providing additional financial flexibility in the changed economic environment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Australian Government has decided to proceed with a modified 2020 Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) this year amidst Covid-19. Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has officially communicated the news to US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. The deployment was paused in April due to the pandemic outbreak. Those participating will adhere to safety requirements including the 14-day quarantine and other measures to protect against the virus.

 

9:14 am

International Update: 3.75 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 globally – WHO warns of risks of emerging from pandemic restrictions

Global: There are 3.75 million confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The number of confirmed cases stood at 3,755,341 on Thursday, with 263,831 deaths.

The director general of the World Health Organization warns of the risks of returning to lockdown if countries emerging from pandemic restrictions do not manage transitions “extremely carefully and in a phased approach” preparedness.

At least 90,000 healthcare workers globally are believed to have been infected, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) says, noting that the true figure could be as much as twice that.

The United Nations is issuing a new appeal for $4.7bn in funding to “protect millions of lives and stem the spread of coronavirus in fragile countries”.

Coronavirus-related border controls, lockdowns and flight shortages are making illegal drugs more expensive and difficult to obtain around the world, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

The International Monetary Fund approved $739 million in emergency funding for Kenya as the Covid-19 pandemic takes a serious toll on the East African nation’s economy and creates external financing needs.

UK: The British government will set out details of its plan to ease lockdown on Sunday, prime minister Boris Johnson says, adding his hope that some measures could come into force the following day.

Sweden: Sweden nears 3,000 deaths. The country’s public health agency reports that a total of 23,918 cases have been confirmed and 2,941 deaths recorded; an increase of 87 deaths from the day before.

India: India’s health ministry says the number of coronavirus infections rose to 52,952 in the country, up by 3,561 over the previous day, despite a strict weeks-long lockdown. The death toll is up by 89 to 1783.

India is seeking to lure US businesses, including medical devices giant Abbott Laboratories, to relocate from China.

China: China exports see surprise 3.5% jump in April, imports fall. China’s exports saw a shock 3.5% rise in April despite a hit to external demand from the coronavirus pandemic, official figures showed Thursday.

Japan: Japan is set to approve on Thursday the antiviral drug remdesivir for use against the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

Brazil: Brazil’s Congress approved two stimulus bills that will provide financial help to states and municipalities, and set aside 700 billion reais ($122 billion) for the economic recovery from the pandemic while also allowing the central bank to buy corporate bonds.

7:41 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: UK has highest Covid-19 case fatality rate of ten most affected countries – more than double the global rate

7 May

The total confirmed cases of Covid-19 are 3,682,968 in the world while the case fatality rate* stays at 7% with the total deaths of 257,906.

The positive trend of daily recovered cases has stopped since 1st May.

However, this reduction has not changed the total recovered rate significantly. The fall of daily confirmed cases continues in the US and Europe.

Among the top ten most affected countries, the Covid-19’s case fatality rate varies greatly.

The UK has the highest rate at 15%. Russia has the lowest rate at around 1%.

The case fatality rate in Russia may increase soon following the recent rise in confirmed cases.

Russia – similar to Germany – has one of the highest number of hospital beds and nurses in the world which indicates the ability of the country to control the pandemic.

However, death reporting is not uniform across countries, and reporting accuracy also varies, therefore, reported deaths data may not accurately reflect the true burden of the outbreak.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

*case fatality rate is defined as the proportion of confirmed Covid-19 cases resulted in deaths.

3:08 pm

NATO launches Covid-19 diagnosis project

NATO has announced it is launching a scientific project to rapidly and accurately diagnose Covid-19 cases.

The multi-year project is underway under NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme and is being led by scientists from Italy’s Istituto Superiore di Sanità (National Health Institute) and Tor Vergata University Hospital alongside staff from University Hospital of Basel University in Switzerland.

The project will run over two years, with the goal of bringing more speed and efficiency to the diagnosis of Covid-19 cases.

NATO’s Assistant Secretary-General for Emerging Security Challenges Dr. Antonio Missiroli said: “This SPS project is an excellent example of the research community’s global effort to fight against COVID-19.

“This project also stresses the dedication of Allies to support each other, as well as partners, in times of crisis; and while the expected results of this project are extremely relevant to the situation the world currently finds itself in, we look forward to the long-term impact it will have on the international response to naturally occurring and man-made viruses and pathogens,”

2:02 pm

Covid-19 Daily Report: Deaths in stable decline in most global hotspots – US has some way to go

The US continues to stand out as the one major Covid-19 hotspot that can’t definitively claim to be well on the way to winning the fight against the first wave of the virus.

Our chart plots confirmed deaths from Covid-19 as a three-day rolling average to help smooth out quirks in the daily totals.

The US totals have been falling on a week-on-week basis but remain stubbornly high.

By contrast, Italy, Spain and France are seeing deaths at well under a third of “peak” rates, with Italy in particular showing consistent percentage drops.

The global chart remains largely a product of the charts of the USA, UK, France, Italy and Spain – who together have been responsible for nearly three-quarters of deaths worldwide.

 

Covid-19 average daily deaths chart

12:11 pm

Defence companies weather Covid-19 storm, but M&A’s are down

Despite a number of prominent deals recently closing, the Covid-19 crisis has seen the defence industry shy away from mergers and acquisitions to safeguard cash and see themselves through the pandemic.

At the start of last month, Raytheon and United Technologies completed their merger and began trading as a single company. Despite this blockbuster M&A, like many industries, defence has seen a slow down in deal activity

Duff & Phelps M&A Advisory managing director Paul Teuten told Army Technology: “The current situation has caused quite a few actions to pause or be put on hold, or decisions to be deferred. Whether they continue rather depends on if it was the beginning of the transaction or the end of the transaction .”

“Clearly, in these market conditions, buyers tend to be very cautious and so the closer we are to a discussion about value, the harder it is to bridge the gap between buyer and seller.

“The bright spot is the defence industry, which is demonstrating its trading resilience; it’s not that its businesses are not impacted (they are – as companies respect government regulations to protect employee safety), but revenues are typically holding up as the end customers are often government bodies and furthering national security with budgets unchanged.”

Read the full story here.

10:31 am

International Update: Lockdown risks surge in TB – Covid-19 cases pass 3.65 million – US fatalities exceed 70,000

Global: Global confirmed cases exceed 3.65 million. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say at least 3,656,644 people have been infected since the outbreak began, while at least 256,736 are known to have died.

The global lockdown caused by Covid-19 risks a “devastating” surge in tuberculosis cases, with nearly 1.4 million additional deaths from the world’s biggest infectious killer by 2025, new research showed Wednesday.

Face masks should be worn on flights in future. The International Air Transport Association, which represents global airlines, says it is recommending the wearing of masks on flights, though normal seat allocation can be maintained.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said an experimental antibody treatment for Covid-19 could be available later this year, an expedited timeline for a drug that’s scheduled to be studied in humans for the first time in June.

Gilead Sciences Inc. is in talks to expand manufacturing of remdesivir, its Covid-19 treatment that’s been cleared by US health regulators for emergency use.

US: US death toll surpasses 70,000. At least 70,847 people are now known to have died in the USA, according to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The pandemic has cost Walt Disney US$1.4bn in the last three months as it shut down its theme parks around the world and halted film and TV productions, the company has announced.

The White House is discussing disbanding the president’s coronavirus task force, possibly as soon as Memorial Day (25 May), Vice President Mike Pence told reporters.

France: French drugmaker Sanofi says it plans to enrol thousands of people across the world in trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine it’s developing with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

UK: Britain’s death toll from the coronavirus has passed Italy’s to become the second-highest worldwide after the United States, and most impacted in Europe.

China: Suifenhe, the Chinese town on the country’s northeastern border, is loosening coronavirus restrictions that were introduced after a surge on cases among travellers returning from Russia, according to the Global Times.

China’s Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, said British politicians who have called for a reset of ties between the two nations risk poisoning the relationship. Anti-China rhetoric is in danger of undermining international solidarity in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he said in a webinar on Tuesday.

10:27 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Indian Navy to evacuate citizens – Orbit cancels dividend – OCCAR stays on track

6 May

Orbit International Corp’s Board of Directors has cancelled its quarterly cash dividend payment due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. The move comes after the company suspended its share repurchase programme last month. Orbit president and CEO Mitchell Binder said the company has implemented a dual six-hour shift for its manufacturing employees and allowed salaried workers to work from home. Binder said: “As a result, productivity has been adversely affected throughout our organisation and we continue to deal with issues from our supply chain which have impacted customer deliveries.”

The Indian Navy has launched Operation Samudra Setu to commence evacuation operations. The mission is part of the government’s plan to bring back citizens stuck overseas due to lockdown imposed by several countries to fight the spread of coronavirus. The service has sent two naval ships Jalashwa and Magar to the port of Male in Maldives. The first phase of the mission will start on 8 May and will see around 1,000 people being evacuated.

The Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) has said that it delivered and achieved milestones despite Covid-19 lockdown. Some of them include factory acceptance tests for Lithuanian and German Boxer vehicles, A400M engine support contract extension, delivery of new A400M aircraft to France, making ninth Italian FREMM vessel ready for delivery, contract for naval research and technology with Franco Italian joint venture NAVIRIS and more. OCCAR noted that it did not go offline even a single day even though it faced challenges to work normally due to the outbreak.

MRI Global has won a contract from the US Department of Defense (DOD) for mobile medical labs. The company will deliver three ATHENA Next Generation Mobile Laboratories for Covid-19 sample processing and testing. Each unit will be capable of processing more than 600 samples every 24 hours. The first lab will be delivered on 13 May and the remaining two on 27 May and 17 June, respectively. The procurement has been funded by the Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND).

10:20 am

Covid-19 Daily Report: UK worst hit in Europe as deaths approach 30,000 – global figure exceeds 257,000

The UK has now overtaken Italy according to the government’s daily tally of Covid-19 deaths to become the worst hit place in Europe, with 29,501 dead.

Yesterday it was reported that the UK had the highest number of deaths in Europe when looking at its registrations on death certificates – a slower method of counting which is different to the daily figures released by the government.

However, the UK has now overtaken Italy using the daily metric – which looks only at deaths where people have tested positive for the disease, and is therefore more comparable to Italy’s daily figures (which also include deaths in the community).

Worldwide, at least 257,239 people have died.

However, that grim figure still undercounts the true human cost of the virus – which is better measured using excess deaths – comparing the number of dead people to the usual figure at this time of year.

Covid-19 daily report

9:46 am

Advance market commitments needed to develop Covid-19 vaccine say macroeconomic influencers

6 May

As the US economy continues to contract due to lockdown measures, there is an ongoing debate on whether to open up the economy to save jobs or risk a second wave to infections.

The best way to deal with this conundrum is to identify sectors that can be safely reopened, while accelerating the development of a vaccine against Covid-19 disease.

Erik Brynjolfsson, professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, shared an article by four prominent economist on the development of a vaccine against Covid-19 disease.

The article notes that the government should invest billions of dollars into a vaccine development programme, while providing advance market commitment to manufacturers.

Read more

6:58 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Reduction of Covid cases in Europe continues – sharp rise in India amid concerns of management response

6 May

Currently, there are over 3,600,106 confirmed cases of Covid-19 reported in 189 countries.

About 60% of the total confirmed cases globally were reported by the US, the UK, Germany, Spain, France and Italy.

A total of 1,173,147 cases had recovered and 251,898 cases had died of Covid-19.

The reduction of Covid-19 cases in European countries continues.

For the UK, after the last week’s rise, there has been a significant reduction in the number of daily confirmed cases and deaths.

Brazil, Russia and Mexico appears to not have reached their transmission peak.

Yesterday, India reported 3,932 new confirmed cases and 175 new deaths, which indicates a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases. At the same time, India reached a new peak of 1,072 recovered.

India has a large population living in dense urban areas, which make it difficult to control the pandemic.

There are concerns about how the India government is managing the pandemic response.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

3:35 pm

Economic Forecast: Western nations revised downwards again – UK drop off ‘particularly steep’

The economic forecasts for the biggest Western nations affected by Covid-19 have been revised downwards once again — with the UK seeing a particularly steep drop-off.

Italy’s GDP is expected to drop by more than 9.3% in 2020, according to the latest forecasts from GlobalData.

France’s GDP is set to drop by 7.3% during the year, the UK’s by 7.0% and Germany’s by 6.3%.

The UK saw the biggest downwards revision from last week, when it’s economy was expected to shrink by just 5.4% in 2020.

The news came on the day the UK registered the highest known Covid-19 death toll in Europe.

The US economy is now expected to shrink by 5.2%. Japan’s is expected to shrink by 4.3%, slightly less than the 4.4% forecast last week.

Stock markets have generally remained stable across all markets in our tracker.

Covid-19 macroeconomic dashboard

2:19 pm

International Update: Covid-19 global death toll passes 250,000 – US outbreak projected to accelerate – 135,000 deaths predicted

5 May

Global: Confirmed global death toll exceeds 250,000. According to research by both the Reuters news agency and Johns Hopkins University, at least a quarter of a million people are now known to have died as a result of the pandemic.

US: An internal US government projection shows the nation’s coronavirus outbreak vastly accelerating by June to more than 200,000 new cases and 2,500 deaths per day — far more than the country is currently experiencing.

Anthony Fauci, the US government’s top infectious disease expert, said there are regions and counties in the US where “you can pull back” restrictions put in place to contain the pandemic.

A newly-revised coronavirus mortality model predicts nearly 135,000 Americans will die from Covid-19 by early August, almost double previous projections, as social-distancing measures are relaxed.

Europe: The European Commission registered $8 billion in pledges from donors worldwide at the starting day of a Coronavirus Global Response fundraiser on Monday. The goal is to finance the collaborative development and universal deployment of diagnostics, treatments and vaccines to fight the coronavirus.

Italy: Italy’s death toll is far higher than reported. Statistics bureau ISTAT said its analysis showed an extra 11,600 deaths were unaccounted for, and it was reasonable to assume these people either died of COVID-19 without being tested or that the extra stress on the health system due to the epidemic meant they died of other causes they were not treated for.

Germany: Germany’s Robert Koch Institute says the number of coronavirus cases in the country has risen by 685, bringing the total to 163,860. A further 139 deaths were reported, bringing the total to 6,831.

China: China’s National Health Commission says the country found just one case of coronavirus on Monday, in someone who had returned from overseas. It also reported 15 asymptomatic cases of the disease and no new deaths.

Hong Kong will soon ease social distancing measures after largely containing the spread of COVID-19, Chief Executive Carrie Lam told a briefing Tuesday ahead of a meeting of her advisory Executive Council.

India: More than a quarter of India’s labour force are without a job after businesses were forced to shut during a nationwide lockdown that began in the last week of March, according to a survey by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt.

Antipodes: Australia and New Zealand committed to introducing a shared travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

12:08 pm

Nearly 40,000 more deaths than normal since the start of Covid-19 outbreak in England and Wales says ONS

By Nicu Calcea

England and Wales have recorded 38,554 more deaths than usual between the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in March and 24 April, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

Of those, only 71% were officially attributed to Covid-19 – leaving some 11,260 deaths unaccounted for.

Some of these “unexplained” deaths may be a direct result of the coronavirus while others may be due to limited access to healthcare during the pandemic.

The figures are based on weekly monitoring of deaths from all causes. We can compare this with the average number of deaths seen during comparable weeks over the last five years.

Read More

11:16 am

Covid-19 Daily Report: Global deaths down week on week – confirmed cases rise by more than 76,000

The number of people dying from Covid-19 rose again yesterday, following a dip in reporting over the weekend.

Some 4,067 people died, with Italy and France seeing their numbers rise compared to Sunday.

However, the number of new deaths continued to remain below the figures seen this time last week, with both the US and UK seeing numbers decline compared to Sunday.

At least 251,537 people have now died across the world from the virus.

Confirmed cases rose by 76,326.

Covid-19 daily report

10:43 am

Economics round up: Frankel warns against W shaped recession – JP Morgan predict U shaped – McKinsey call for business ‘urgency’

5 May

Harvard University professor Jeffrey Frankel has warned against a so called W recession that could happen if global leaders lift restrictions too soon and declare victory over the virus.

He said that historical data from the 1918 epidemic suggests that ending lockdowns too quickly could bring about a deadlier second wave.

He also warned that political leaders might also abandon economic stimulus too soon – the second mistake that could lead to a W-shaped recession.

He said: “US policymakers made a similar blunder after the 2008 global financial crisis. President Barack Obama’s fiscal stimulus program, enacted in February 2009, together with the Fed’s monetary expansion, halted the economy’s free fall.

“The recovery began in June of that year. But in 2011, after Republicans took control of the US Congress, the fiscal stimulus was prematurely ended, impeding the recovery considerably.”

However, J.P.Morgan Asset Management still predicts a U shaped recession for the US and says the decline in real GDP growth in Q1 is consistent with their forecast of a U-shaped recession, or a fall, a stall and a surge.

Meanwhile, McKinsey described five qualities that will be critical for business leaders to find their way to the post Covid-19 new normal : resolve, resilience, return, reimagination, and reform. With some of these likely to overlap and differ based on sector and country.

The consulting firm also said there are four strategic areas to focus on: recovering revenue, rebuilding operations, rethinking the organisation, and accelerating the adoption of digital solutions.

McKinsey also called on companies to act with urgency: During the current crisis, businesses have worked faster and better than they dreamed possible just a few months ago.

Maintaining that sense of possibility will be an enduring source of competitive advantage.

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