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International Update: Global Covid-19 cases near 10.9 million – US has more than 2.7 million

3 July

Global: Currently, 10,890,511 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed worldwide, and 521,693 deaths recorded, according to Johns Hopkins University.

US: The past week has seen the US break its own one-day case record four times, according to data compiled by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The novel coronavirus is showing some signs of mutating in a way that may make it easier to spread, according to Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Brazil: Second only to the US in terms of number of cases and deaths, Brazil now has almost 1.5 million confirmed infections.

India: India reported another single-day record for new virus cases on Friday – 20,903.

Australia: The state of Victoria is still struggling to contain a new outbreak, with 66 additional cases confirmed on Friday.

Japan: In Tokyo, more 120 new cases were found on Friday, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

South Korea: South Korea reported 63 new coronavirus cases as of Thursday, most from domestic infections outside Seoul.

UK: Staff and residents in UK care homes for people over 65 and those with dementia will receive regular Covid-19 tests from Monday.

The UK government has ordered 65 million syringes and needles – a set for almost every person in the country – from US-based medical devices company Becton Dickinson & Co..

Africa: The World Health Organization (WHO) said more than 6,000 health workers have been infected with the coronavirus in 38 countries across Africa since the pandemic began.

Hundreds of health workers have been infected with coronavirus in South Africa’s Gauteng province.

New Guinea: A leading obstetrician has advised women in Papua New Guinea not to fall pregnant for up to two years.

Peru: Peru’s Covid-19 death toll rose to 10,045 on Thursday, the health ministry said, a day after the Latin American nation began easing a lockdown in a bid to revive the economy.

Lockdown updates

Mexico: The leading health official in the state of Sonora, Mexico, has asked the federal government to temporarily close the border to non-essential visits from the US.

US: Federal agencies in the US said airlines should consider limiting capacity on planes to promote social distancing, but stopped short of requiring them to do so

UK: Holidaymakers from England will be able to visit Spain, Italy, France and Germany without having to quarantine for 14 days on their return.

Economic updates

Global: Citigroup is unlikely to bring more than 40% of workers back to offices around the world until a coronavirus vaccine is available, said Paco Ybarra, who leads the bank’s institutional clients group.

Latin America: The United Nations has predicted that more than 2.7m businesses could go under and 8.5m jobs could be lost in Latin America due to the coronavirus crisis.

UK: Companies expect the damage to business from the virus to linger on into next year, countering the optimism coming from some Bank of England policy makers.





8:01 am

US government urged to increase relief measures for small businesses and jobless

3 July

The US job market gained a significant number of jobs during June particularly in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, which were severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, permanent job losses are still rising even as workers start to return to their jobs.

As some states re-impose certain restrictions due to resurgence in Covid-19 cases, more jobs are projected to be lost.

Claudia Sahm, an economist, shared statistics related to unemployment rates in the US.

The data shows that permanent jobs losses are rising despite 4.8 million furloughed workers being brought back to work, according to the latest job report from the US Labour Department.

Further, the statistics reveal that the job market is still below the 15 million jobs registered during February.

Sahm noted that the government should announce more relief measures for families, small businesses, and state/local government.

Read more

2:13 pm

FDA may be risk-averse to grant emergency use for a Covid-19 vaccine; political pressure and hazy EUA standards are factors

The FDA’s revocation of chloroquine and hydrochloroquine’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) after three months could mean the FDA may raise the bar for Covid-19 vaccines, requiring early protection data. Vaccines are sensitive to public scrutiny, specifically with limited data. However, the EUA is also sensitive to political pressure, even if it is designed to be evidence-based.

Nevertheless, manufacturing capabilities could also be a deciding criterion. This added factor could impact vaccines based on new technologies or developers with less production experience. Read more here.

1:48 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 10.7 million – US, Russia, India and Brazil contribute over 50% of cases

2 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 10,717,000, with over 516,000 deaths and 5,501,000 recoveries.

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

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

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

In the Eastern Mediterranean region, daily confirmed cases and daily deaths continue to surge, with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan at the forefront.

To date, these three countries alone contribute nearly 60% of cases to the total confirmed case burden in this region.

Additional countries to watch include Egypt, Iraq, and Oman.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:35 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases near 10.7 million – countries try to allay fears after US Remdesivir grab

2 July

Global: Currently, 10,694,288 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed worldwide, and 516,210 deaths recorded according to Johns Hopkins University. The US has the biggest outbreak, with 2,686,480 confirmed cases, followed by Brazil (1,448,753), Russia (653,479), India (604,641) and the UK (314,992).

Countries including Britain, Germany and Switzerland sought to allay concerns that they won’t have sufficient stocks of Gilead Sciences Inc.’s Remdesivir, one of two drugs shown to treat Covid-19, after the US forged a deal to snap up almost all the supplies for three months.

US: Covid-19 cases in the US rose by almost 50,000, the biggest daily increase since the pandemic started, according to the latest Reuters tally late on Wednesday.

India: India has now recorded more than 600,000 coronavirus infections and 17,834 deaths. The country has the fourth-largest outbreak in the world, and the increase in infections presents a severe challenge for its overburdened health system.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry has reported 5,681 new cases of coronavirus infections and 741 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 231,770 cases and 28,510 deaths.

Colombia: Colombia’s confirmed coronavirus infections tipped across the 100,000 case threshold on Wednesday, as the country’s quarantine measures roll on and intensive care units fill, Reuters news agency reported.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 503 to 195,228, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday. The reported death toll rose by nine to 8,994.

China: China on Thursday reported three new coronavirus cases and two new asymptomatic case in the mainland for 1 July, compared with three cases a day earlier, the health authority said.

A small World Health Organization advance team is making preparations with Chinese colleagues to set up the scope of its mission to China to investigate the origins of the coronavirus, according to Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program.

South Korea: South Korea found 54 more confirmed Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, raising the total tally to 12,904, according to data from Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Thailand: Thailand has confirmed six new cases of Covid-19, all related to returnees who are staying in state quarantine. The country has recorded no local transmission of the virus for more than five weeks.

New Zealand: Health minister, David Clark, resigned on Thursday, following recent slip-ups in the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and personal mistakes. Clark said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had accepted his resignation.

Lockdown updates

US: The US has postponed flights for dozens of American diplomats who had planned to return to China later this month, Reuters reports, after failing to reach an agreement with Beijing over issues including Covid-19 testing and quarantine.

Australia: Police in Melbourne have warned that little leniency will be shown to people found flouting lockdown rules in hotspot areas, Australian Associated Press reports. More than 300,000 people entered a second lockdown in Melbourne’s inner north and west from Thursday after a spike in coronavirus cases.

Cuba: Cuba has announced that it will begin easing a pandemic lockdown on Havana on Friday, while most of the rest of the country will move to phase two of a three-phase process towards normalization.

Japan: Tokyo confirmed more than 100 new coronavirus infection cases on Thursday, according to public broadcaster NHK, the Japanese capital’s highest daily tally in two months. The city of 14 million initially sought to hold new daily cases below 20 since Japan lifted a state of emergency on 25 May, but its tally has consistently exceeded 50 recently, Reuters reports.

France: All indicators are showing the coronavirus is under control in mainland France after some 200 clusters identified since lockdown measures were loosened were contained, French Health Minister Olivier Veransaid in an interview on RTL radio.

Economic updates

US: Manhattan home sales plunged the most on record in the second quarter as New York was shut down to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The US House of Congress on Wednesday approved the extension of the popular Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses until 8 August, hours after the deadline for applications lapsed with more than $130 billion still available.

Australia: About 480,000 mostly younger Australian workers have drained their retirement savings accounts after the government allowed early access to alleviate their financial hardship during the coronavirus outbreak, according to an industry group.

7:34 am

Covid-19 affect on job market worse than expected

2 July

Governments across the world have collectively injected more than $10tn in fiscal stimulus since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite this stimulus, unemployment and business closures have been at an all time high.

Governments, workers and employers need to work together to draft an economic recovery plan that is both sustainable and effective in the long run.

Colin Williams, professor of public policy at the University of Sheffield, shared an article by UN News on the forecasts made by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the tough road ahead for the global job market.

The ILO noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the job market more than initially predicted.

The article noted that working hours fell by 14% in the second quarter of 2020 equivalent to the loss of approximately 400 million jobs.

In other news, Rob Gill, managing director at Altura Mortgage Finance, shared an article on forecasts made by the Bank of England’s chief economist on a possible V-shaped recovery for the UK, although a prolonged period of unemployment is expected.

Read more

2:42 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases near 10.5 million – EU begins to open borders

1 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 10,499,000, with over 511,000 deaths and 5,377,000 recoveries.

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

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

Starting today, the European Union (EU) opens its borders to travelers from more than a dozen countries.

Several criteria have been set to determine which countries are safe. The criteria require that in the previous 14 days, confirmed cases per 100,000 citizens are similar or below that of the EU, and daily confirmed cases show a stable or decreasing trend.

The list of safe countries will be reviewed every two weeks.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData


9:37 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 10.4 million – US corners World Remdesivir supplies

1 July

Global: There are 10,450,628 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, and 510,632 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

US: Tuesday saw 44,358 new coronavirus cases confirmed in the US, according to The Covid Tracking Project, which said on Twitter that the seven-day average for new daily cases as doubled since 13 June and that hospitalisations in the country jumped by the highest number since 21 April.

The US has bought up virtually all the stocks for the next three months of Remdesivir, one of the two drugs proven to work against Covid-19, leaving none for the UK, Europe or most of the rest of the world. In addition, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports that the country has started providing the drug to patients for coronavirus treatment.

Brazil: Brazil has reported 1,271 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, bringing its total since the start of the pandemic to 59,656.

Mexico: Mexico reported 5,432 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 226,089, according to data released by the Health Ministry. Deaths rose 648 to 27,769.

Japan: Tokyo has confirmed 67 new cases of coronavirus infection, marking the highest daily tally in the Japanese capital since the state of emergency was lifted in late May.

North Korea: The WHO has told NK News that North Korea has tested just 922 people for Covid-19. It’s the first update on the coronavirus situation in North Korea for two months.

Singapore: Singapore has controlled the spread of the coronavirus and kept fatality rates low, the country’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says in a letter posted to his Facebook page. Singapore is still recording more than 200 new cases of the coronavirus a day, with its overall tally at 43,907 infections, the second-highest in Southeast Asia.

Lockdown updates

Australia: Australian authorities will lock down around 300,000 people in suburbs north of Melbourne for a month from late on Wednesday to contain the risk of infection after two weeks of double-digit rises in new coronavirus cases in Australia’s second most populous state.

US: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that travellers from eight additional states, including California, will be required to quarantine for 14 days when travelling to New York.

Economic updates

Global: The pandemic has taken a much heavier toll on jobs than previously feared, the UN says, warning the situation in the Americas is particularly dire. In a fresh study, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that by the mid-year point, global working hours were down 14 percent compared to last December – equivalent to some 400 million full-time jobs.

The United Nations has called on governments to provide nearly $10bn in aid for Syria, as the war-torn country’s humanitarian crisis deepens amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Airbus SE embarked on the most extensive restructuring in its history, setting out plans to cut 15,000 civil-aerospace jobs worldwide as it attempts to steer through the crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Asia: Asia’s loss of economic output due to the deadly coronavirus will likely persist until 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund.

7:16 am

How wearing masks can save 5% of US GDP during Covid-19 pandemic

1 July

Covid-19 cases in the US are on the rise again as many states have withdrawn lockdown relaxations and imposed stay-at-home orders.

Another round of lockdown measures could prove devastating to the US economy. A nationwide policy urging people to wear masks could help save the economy.

Christopher Ingraham, a journalist, shared an article on research conducted by a team of economists at Goldman Sachs that revealed that wearing masks can help in saving 5% of GDP in the US.

The article notes that another round of lockdowns can be avoided if the US implemented a nationwide mask policy mandating everyone to wear a mask.

The US has not adopted a mask policy compared to Europe and Asia, where masks have witnessed a widespread uptake.

The article notes that state-wise implementation of mask policy has helped in cutting infection rate by 25%.

A country-level implementation may help in reducing the infection rate.

Read more

2:54 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 10.4 million with 509,000 deaths – lockdowns reinstated in Australian state of Victoria

30 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 10,415,000, with over 509,000 deaths and 5,253,000 recoveries.

Across the world, daily confirmed cases continue to rise.

Of the top ten most affected countries, less than half continue to report increases in daily confirmed cases. However, of these, the US, Brazil, India, and Iran contribute roughly 70% to the top ten total confirmed case burden, and nearly 50% to the global total confirmed case burden.

Meanwhile, Australia reported its highest number of new infections since the end of April, with over 80 daily confirmed cases reported on Monday.

This is primarily driven by spikes in new infections observed across Melbourne, a city in Victoria, the second most populous state.

As a result, the government has reinstated lockdowns in this region.

While the government announced a three-stage plan in May to ease lockdown restrictions, these localized outbreaks may be an indicator of a potential resurgence.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

1:13 pm

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 10 million – pandemic ‘speeding up’, says WHO

30 June

Global: As of 29 June there have been 10,021,401 cases of Covid-19 and 499,913 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) who called the figures ‘a sombre landmark’.

WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing: “The hard reality is that this is not even close to being over. Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up.”

US: Los Angeles County recorded an “alarming” one-day spike of nearly 3,000 new Covid-19 infections on Monday, taking its total to more than 100,000 cases.

Houston-area intensive-care unit wards were 95% full as of Sunday night, up from 93% on Saturday, according to data from the Texas Medical Center.

Japan: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said Japan’s capital had a caseload in the “mid-50s” on Tuesday, broadcaster NTV reported.

New Zealand: New Zealand confirmed no new cases of Covid-19, after two weeks with a number of cases in returning travellers.

China: China’s National Health Commission says the country had 19 new cases of coronavirus up to midnight on June 29, compared with 12 the day before.

Researchers in China have discovered a new type of swine flu that is capable of triggering a pandemic, according to a study in the US science journal PNAS.

Ireland: The number of reported new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland has begun to increase in a “worrying” trend, the chief medical officer warned.

Iran: Iran reported 162 more deaths from Covid-19, the highest single-day toll since the country’s outbreak began in February.

Germany: Germany’s coronavirus infection rate held below the key threshold of 1.0 for a sixth day, and the number of new cases remained far fewer than the level at the height of the outbreak.

Lockdown updates

UK: On Monday the British government imposed a lockdown on the city of Leicester, which has a much higher Covid-19 infection rate than anywhere else in the country.

US: Los Angeles is to close its beaches for the 4 July holiday weekend after reporting a record one-day rise in cases.

The governor of the US state of Arizona has told bars, cinemas, gyms, water parks and nightclubs they have to close again.

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy said on Monday indoor dining will no longer resume on Thursday in the state as previously planned.

Mexico: Mexico City began allowing more businesses to reopen Monday, after almost three months of various types of lockdowns.

Australia: The state of South Australia has cancelled plans to reopen its borders to interstate travellers from neighbouring Victoria after a spike in coronavirus cases there.

Ireland: Ireland moves to the third stage of reopening on Monday, with domestic travel resuming, most businesses able to operate and sports restarting, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in Dublin. Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport. Some restrictions on international travel will ease 9 July, he said.

Economic updates

Japan: Japan’s unemployment rate rose to 2.9 percent in May, official data showed Tuesday, the third consecutive monthly rise as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll.


7:58 am

Covid-19 spread was aided by resistance to evidence of asymptomatic transmission

30 June

Health officials and government authorities ignored the risk of asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 despite mounting evidence from scientists across the world.

Acknowledgement of the risk would have necessitated drastic containment measures, something which government officials were reluctant to implement.

Timely response was the most crucial element for stopping the global spread of the disease.

Paul Romer, an economist, shared a New York Times article on how a two-month delay over public health response to Covid-19 led to its global spread.

The delay was due to faulty scientific assumptions and resistance towards new evidence on the evolving nature of the disease, which resulted in a sluggish response to controlling the spread of the virus.

Despite some scientists raising red flags over asymptomatic transmission, the warnings were dismissed by health officials and political leaders.

Asymptomatic transmission would have required more aggressive methods of containment including wearing of masks by healthy persons and restriction of international travel.

The reluctance of adopt such drastic measures was one of the main reasons for the global spread of the disease that has cost thousands of lives, the article adds.


Read more

1:58 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 10.1 million – more than half a million deaths – India fears second surge

29 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 10,168,000, with over 502,000 deaths and 5,158,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, daily confirmed cases continue to increase.

In North America and across the world, the US maintains its place as the most affected country with over 2.5 million total confirmed cases, while Russia leads the Eurasian region with over 640,000 total confirmed cases, and Brazil leads the Latin American region with over 1.3 million total confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, India sets a record high with nearly 20,000 daily confirmed cases reported on Sunday.

This marks the country’s biggest one-day jump, and brings the total number of confirmed cases to about 550,000.

India is currently the fourth worst-hit nation in the world, following the US, Brazil, and Russia.

However, if India continues to experience a surge in cases, it will likely surpass Russia.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData  

12:07 pm

Covid-19 drug studies could highlight speed, flexibility and reduced risk of virtual clinical trials

The speed, flexibility and strong risk-benefit ratio of virtual clinical trials could all be highlighted in the assessment of potential Covid-19 treatments, according to industry bosses.

Dr Calvin H Knowlton, chairman and CEO of US healthtech firm TRHC (Tabula Rasa HealthCare), believes the use of new technologies such as AI in predicting medication safety could provide “a win for everyone” by keeping patients healthier and safer — even after the pandemic has subsided.

TRHC recently announced a partnership with Washington-based health plan provider Regence to virtually trial several different Covid-19 drug candidates, and assess the risk of adverse drug events (ADEs) in each.

Read the full article here.

7:30 am

No certainties in global economic recovery post Covid-19

29 June

Countries across the world have started reopening their economies despite the rising number of cases in hopes of a quick recovery from the pandemic.

Global recovery from the pandemic, however, seems very uncertain as it has caused an uneven impact on various sectors and countries.

Konstantina Beleli, economist, shared forecasts made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about an uneven and uncertain recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as 75% of countries start to lift lockdown restrictions.

The IMF forecasts that the global economy will witness a deeper contraction of 4.9% and an uneven recovery as different countries and sectors were impacted at different levels by the pandemic.

The global impact of the pandemic is impacting export-dependent economies, while trade tensions are further compounding the recovery of global trade.

Policy makers should watch the situation as it evolves and provide sufficient fiscal and monetary support, the article adds.

In other news, a survey of Australian economists points to a weak ‘W shaped’ recovery and declining living standards in their country.

Read more

1:52 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 9.6 million – more than 2 million in Latin America – sharp increases in Eastern Europe

26 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 9,632,000, with over 489,000 deaths and 4,859,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, daily confirmed cases are increasing at a higher pace.

This is primarily driven by increases observed in countries with dense urban populations such as Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa, and Mexico.

Additionally, in Latin America, the number of total confirmed cases has tripled in the past month, now surpassing 2 million infections.

In Eastern Europe, sharp increases in daily confirmed cases are being reported indicative of a second peak.

Ukraine and Croatia both observed a daily record spike in cases, with more than 1,100 new cases in Ukraine, and nearly 100 new cases in Croatia.

This will be a region to watch as the increases may signal an oncoming wave of new infections.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

1:21 pm

Gilead’s remdesivir to commence Phase I trials as inhaled therapy to target mild Covid-19 patients

Earlier this month, Gilead announced that it will commence Phase I clinical trials for inhaled remdesivir in healthy volunteers, with the aim to extend further studies in patients with Covid-19 in the following months. This follows previous studies highlighting that intravenously administered remdesivir did not provide a meaningful benefit to milder Covid-19 patients. Despite this, an inhaled formulation might work in a different manner.

GlobalData forecasts that the inhaled formulation will target this population, administered by way of a nebuliser for patients to self-administer away from hospitals so staff can prioritise beds for more critical patients. Read more here.

9:49 am

International Update: US believed to have 20 million Covid-19 infections – consecutive day rise of 5,000 cases in Florida – threat to close UK beaches

26 June

Global: Cases worldwide were nearing 9.6 million on Friday, with the World Health Organisation saying it expected global infections to pass ten million by the end of the week. The current total stands at 9,586,769. At least 488,740 people have died so far.

US: Government experts believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted coronavirus. Cases are now rising in 27 US states, up from 22 earlier this week.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence will lead a coronavirus task force press briefing on Friday morning as cases rise in 27 states.

For the second consecutive day, Florida has reported more than 5,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19. Thursday’s rise in reported cases was lower than Wednesday’s record-setting mark, but it is only the second time the state has crossed the 5,000-case mark in a day.

The number of US coronavirus infections rose by at least 39,818 cases at the end of Thursday, according to a Reuters news agency tally, marking the biggest daily increase in the country since the start of the pandemic.

Europe: A Europe-wide study shows child virus deaths ‘extremely rare’. Fewer than one in 100 children who test positive for Covid-19 end up dying although a small but significant percentage develop severe illness, a new Europe-wide study showed Friday.

Dr Hans Henri P Kluge, the World Health Organization regional director for Europe, expressed concern over a resurgence of coronavirus infections on the continent, saying that last week that Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months.

China: China reported a further decline in newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday, with 13 cases. There were 11 in Beijing, where mass testing has been carried out following an outbreak that appears to have been largely brought under control.

South Korea: South Korea reported 39 new cases, mostly from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area where officials have been struggling to stem transmissions amid increased public activity and eased attitudes on social distancing.

New Zealand: New Zealand has reported one new case of Covid-19. After reporting just over a week without any active cases of the virus, the number of diagnosed instances has started to increase again as a growing number of New Zealanders return from Covid-19 hotspots abroad.

Mexico: Mexican Finance Minister Arturo Herrera said he has tested positive for Covid-19 and is working from home under quarantine, according to a tweet. Herrera said he has “light symptoms” of the coronavirus.

Lockdown updates

UK: Health secretary Matt Hancock threatens to close beaches. A major incident was declared after tens of thousands of people defied pleas to stay away and descended in their droves on beaches in Bournemouth and other stretches of the Dorset coast.

Ireland: Ireland moves to the third stage of reopening on Monday, with domestic travel resuming, most businesses able to operate and sports restarting, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in Dublin. Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport. Some restrictions on international travel will ease 9 July, he said.

Economic updates

Vietnam: Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned the pandemic had swept away years of economic gains as South-East Asian leaders met online to discuss a regional emergency fund to tackle the crisis.

US: Bain Capital LP agreed to buy collapsed Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. in one of the biggest single bets on the airline industry since it was shattered by the coronavirus pandemic.


7:10 am

UNCTAD forecasts 40% decline in FDI due to Covid-19 pandemic

26 June

Foreign direct investments (FDI) are projected to plunge by 40% in 2020 due to the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Developing and emerging economies are expected to be the worst affected with export-oriented and commodity linked investments projected to be severely impacted.

The decline in FDIs may transform international production and increase sustainability.

Olga Solleder, an economist, tweeted forecast made by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the decline in FDI by 40% in 2020.

The projections are based on UNCTAD’s new report World Investment Report 2020.

The new report notes that FDI will decline below $1tn for the first time since 2005.

FDI is expected further decline by 5%-10% in 2021, the report adds.

Read more

2:50 pm

Dexamethasone, an unexpected drug, shows promise in treating Covid-19

At present, there are more than 2,200 clinical trials attempting to find a Covid-19 vaccine or therapy. The National Institute of Health recently stopped its hydroxychloroquine clinical trial, concluding that there was no real benefit for affected individuals. Dexamethasone, however, recently highlighted positive preliminary results from the RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY) clinical trial.

The UK RECOVERY trial is a Phase II/III randomised, controlled trial, which commenced in March 2020 and is testing numerous potential treatments for Covid-19. Read more here.

2:40 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases reach a daily global record high with more than 212,000 infections

25 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 9,453,000, with over 483,000 deaths and 4,764,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, the number of daily confirmed cases has reached a record high with over 212,000 cases reported.

Brazil reported a staggering number of over 82,000 newly confirmed cases, more than two times higher than daily records reported by the US.

Additionally, Brazil reported a daily record high of over 2,500 deaths.

In the US, daily confirmed cases hit a new high with nearly 38,000 cases, two months after the last peak.

Despite the increasing number of daily confirmed cases, daily deaths continue to decrease with less than 800 deaths reported.

In South Africa, India, Pakistan and Latin America, the pandemic continues to grow rapidly.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:08 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases expected to pass 10 million by weekend – US confirms second highest one day total

25 June

Global: Covid-19 cases worldwide passed 9.4 million on Thursday, with the WHO saying it expected global infections to pass ten million by the end of the week. At least 480,000 people have died so far.

The World Health Organization has warned that hospitals are facing a shortage in oxygen concentrators, which are needed to support the breathing of Covid-19 patients suffering from respiratory distress, as one million new cases of coronavirus are confirmed worldwide per week.

Volunteers in the UK, Brazil and South Africa received their first doses of an experimental vaccine as part of a human trial run by Oxford University, as cases continue to rise and concerns grow over potential access to life-saving treatments.

US: Cases continue to surge in the Americas, with the US confirming its second-highest one-day total in the pandemic so far, according to Oxford University data project Our World in Data, with 34,700 new infections. It is the highest since 26 April, when a record 48,529 cases were confirmed in 24 hours.

Seven US states, mainly in the south and west, and including Texas, California and Arizona, reported record increases on Wednesday with the nationwide tally rising by more than 38,600.

Mexico: Mexico confirmed its second-highest daily coronavirus death toll so far, with 947 fatalities on Wednesday. The highest daily toll came on 3 June with 1,092 deaths.

China: China reported 19 newly confirmed cases of coronavirus amid mass testing in Beijing, where a recent outbreak appears to have been brought under control. Of the new cases it reported Thursday, 13 were in Beijing and one in the neighbouring province of Hebei.

Pakistan: Coronavirus testing numbers in Pakistan – one of the countries with the highest rate of spread of the infection currently – are continuing to drop, with just 21,835 tests conducted on Wednesday.

Australia: Australia’s military is to send 1,000 troops to Melbourne to tackle new coronavirus clusters that have emerged in the capital of Victoria state, which has recorded almost 150 new infections during the past week.

Germany: Germany’s coronavirus infection rate fell to the lowest in almost three weeks, while the number of new cases remained well below the level at the height of the outbreak.

South Korea: South Korea reported 28 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, bringing the total tally to 12,563, according to data from Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Five of the new cases are imported and 23 cases are local. There was one additional death for a total at 282.

South Africa: South Africa reported a record 5,688 new cases, bringing the total to 111,796, data released Wednesday by the Health Ministry showed.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: New Zealand citizens returning home from coronavirus hotspots are facing a backlash from some as people worry that the arrivals will bring a resurgence in cases.

UK: In a letter published in the British Medical Journal, doctors, including the presidents of the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians, warned that local flare-ups are likely and a second wave is a real risk in the UK.

US: The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have ordered travellers from eight other states to quarantine for 14 days on arrival as the epidemic in the US gathers momentum.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered everyone in the state to wear face masks in public after a spike in Covid-19 cases followed the reopening of the economy.

Vietnam: Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc says the country will not rush to open its borders to foreigners as it strives to prevent a second wave of the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a post on the government’s website.

UAE: The United Arab Emirates has lifted a curfew put in place three months ago to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

7:53 am

Targeted policies essential for post Covid economic recovery – accuracy of Covid-19 data cannot be trusted globally

25 June

Central banks of various economies have announced stimulus packages to deal with the impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

These measures offer a short-term solution for the crisis.

More targeted policies that address various aspects of the economy are essential to enable a quick economic recovery.

Jonathan Portes, professor of economics at King’s College London, shared his article on the long-term impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

In the article, Portes notes that the unemployment caused by the pandemic may be severe for young people and reduce future employment and wage prospects.

The article also notes that 30% of firms in Europe are expected to face liquidity issues, while business investments are likely to remain weak during the short and medium term.

Portes adds that expansionary macroeconomic policies may be required to deal with the impact of the pandemic.

In other news, Prof. Steve Hanke, an economist at Johns Hopkins, opined that countries like Syria, China, Russia and Vietnam have complete control over media and cannot be trusted for the accuracy of their Covid-19 data.

Read more

2:53 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases near 9.3 million world wide – Saudi Arabia restricts Hajj – infections rise in Iran

24 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 9,273,000, with over 477,000 deaths and 4,645,000 recoveries.

Latin America, the US, India and Russia report about 70% of the global daily confirmed cases.

Sweden reported nearly 2,000 newly confirmed cases yesterday, accounting for the highest numbers in Europe.

In Portugal, several regions are hesitant to lift current restrictions as new cases emerge.

Saudi Arabia, the fifth most affected country in Asia, officially restricted the Hajj, an annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

As a result, foreigners are no longer allowed to attend the ceremony this year.

In Iran, several provinces continue to report high numbers of newly confirmed cases.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

12:02 pm

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases near 9.3 million while deaths approach 478,000 – ‘disturbing’ surge in cases in US

24 June

Global: Covid related deaths worldwide passed 475,000, according to Johns Hopkins University figures, with the known toll currently at 477,584, and known infections standing at 9,263,466.

US: The next few weeks are critical to tamping down a ‘disturbing’ coronavirus surge, Dr Anthony Fauci told Congress on Tuesday, issuing a plea for people to avoid crowds and wear masks just hours before mask-shunning President Donald Trump was set to hold a campaign rally in one hot spot.

Seven US states have reported their highest coronavirus patient admissions in the pandemic so far, as cases surge in the US following the easing of restrictions.

Brazil: Brazil confirmed more than 39,000 cases in a single day on Tuesday. The death toll in Latin America’s biggest economy stands at 52,645.

China: A Chinese pharmaceutical firm has won approval to run a large-scale “Phase 3” clinical trial of its novel coronavirus vaccine candidate in the United Arab Emirates. China is seeking to test potential vaccines overseas because of a lack of new patients at home.

Health authorities in China reported 12 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with seven recorded in the country’s capital, Beijing, indicating that a roughly two-week spike in the city appears to be firmly on the wane.

South Africa: A South African school confirmed 200 infections among pupils and staff. More than 200 pupils and staff who returned to a boarding school in South Africa’s impoverished Eastern Cape province this month tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday, officials said.

Australia: Australia confirmed its first death in a month. The man in his 80s died in the state of Victoria, in the first coronavirus-related death in more than a month. Australia’s total death toll from the virus now stands at 103.

New Zealand: New Zealand recorded one new Covid-19 case, diagnosed in a traveller returning from abroad who remains in government-run isolation facilities. The country has reported 11 active cases, all in people returning to the country. Nine of them were diagnosed during their government-managed isolation and remain there.

Japan: Daily cases in Tokyo, Japan, have moved in a range of around 20 to 40 for much of the past week, with infections not exceeding 50 since early May, when the city was still under a state of emergency.

Italy: Italy registered 122 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday compared with 218 on Monday, based on figures released by the country’s civil protection agency. It was the fewest new infections since 26 February.

Lockdown updates

US: Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington state in the US, ordered residents to wear face masks in public after the region saw its positive tests rise by 35 percent last week.

EU: The European Union may decide to keep the door shut to Americans when the bloc eases controls on its external borders.

Maldives: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the president of the Maldives, said the island nation is opening its borders on July 15 to tourist arrivals from all countries.

Economic updates

Global: Medecins Sans Frontieres, and 40 civil society groups, are calling on GAVI to reviews its pricing mechanism for future coronavirus vaccines, ahead of a GAVI board meeting due to start in Geneva later on Wednesday.

7:57 am

Economists highlight self induced and Covid-19 driven recessions

24 June

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the global economy into a level of recession that was last witnessed during the World War II.

Emerging markets and developing economies are the worst affected as five out of six economies are expected to fall into outright recession as per capita income declines drastically.

Linda Yueh, an economist at the University of Oxford, shared an article by World Bank on the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The article notes that the recession caused by the pandemic will be the deepest since World War II and twice as deep as the 2008 global financial crisis.

The article further notes that emerging markets and developing economies are expected to contract for the first time in 60 years.

The global unemployment rate is also expected to rise to the highest levels since 1965, the article adds.

In other news, economist Dany Bahar noted that a decision made by the US government – to suspend visas for the H-1B programme designated for high-skilled workers and other categories – will result in a long-term, self-induced recession for the US.

He added that these policies are xenophobic and lack evidence to prove their rationale.

Read more

3:53 pm

CanSino’s, J&J’s Covid-19 vaccines may be stifled by pre-existing antibodies while AstraZeneca’s, ReiThera’s may need booster

Notwithstanding its benefits over other vaccine technologies for Covid-19, adenovirus vector vaccines could be tripped up by pre-existing antibodies to the vectors used and the requirement for a second injection to increase protection.

CanSino Biologics’ Ad5-nCoV and Johnson & Johnson’s AdVac platform-based vaccine use a human adenovirus vector, but a notable portion of individuals may already have neutralising antibodies against the vector, reducing efficacy prospects. Read more here.

3:12 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 9.1 million – numbers still increasing

23 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 9,121,000, with more than 472,000 deaths and 4,548,000 recoveries.

Since early June, daily confirmed cases have increased worldwide, with the majority reported from Latin America, the US, Russia and India.

In Europe, the proportion of daily confirmed cases is less than 10% of the world, with Sweden and the UK reporting the highest number of daily confirmed cases.

In the UK, as the infection rate continues to fall, the government has eased restrictions for vulnerable individuals.

In Asia, countries with dense urban populations such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh continue to report a high number of daily confirmed cases.

In Africa, daily confirmed cases are increasing steadily.

However, these cases represent about 5% of the global daily confirmed cases, with South Africa, Egypt and Cameroon reporting the highest numbers.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:47 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 9 million – alarming surge to 2.3 million in US

23 June

Global: Currently, 9,079,452 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported, according to Johns Hopkins University. At least 471,754 people have died. The US is the world’s worst-affected country by case numbers, with more than 2.3 million cases.

The World Health Organization called on Monday for a rapid increase in production of dexamethasone, a cheap steroid which has been shown to reduce deaths in critically ill coronavirus patients.

Nearly 260 million children missed out on school in 2018 and the coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the problem, according to UNESCO’s 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report, which also said the pandemic was an opportunity for change and a rethinking of education systems.

French drugmaker Sanofi says it hopes to get regulatory approval for the coronavirus vaccine it is developing with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline by the first half of next year.

US: The coronavirus death toll in the US has reached 120,340, according to the latest figures from John Hopkins University.

The Trump administration is temporarily suspending the entry of certain foreign workers to the United States to free up jobs while the economy reels from the coronavirus pandemic, despite strong opposition from many businesses.

California officials implored residents to wear face masks and keep their distance from each other, after a record number of people were hospitalised with coronavirus over the weekend.

Mexico: Mexico reported 4,577 new confirmed Covid-19 infections, bringing the country’s total to 185,122, according to its Health Ministry. Its death toll from the pandemic now stands at 22,584.

China: China reported 22 new coronavirus cases for 22 June, 13 of which were in the capital Beijing, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday.

South Africa: South Africa now has over 100,000 infections, the highest on the continent, while the number of deaths inched towards 2,000. Despite the grim death toll, data shows that the mortality rate in South Africa is at 2%, while 52.6% of virus patients have recovered.

India: India’s health ministry has said that the nationwide tally had reached 440,215 cases, including 14,011 deaths. The state of Delhi, which includes the capital of New Delhi, has reported 62,655 cases with the rate of new infections rapidly expanding in recent weeks as a nationwide lockdown has eased.

Lockdown updates

US: An alarming surge in coronavirus cases in parts of the US following eased lockdowns is raising concern that the outbreak is spiralling out of control because of Americans’ resistance to wearing masks and keeping their distance from others.

UK: British prime minister Boris Johnson will announce on Tuesday that museums, galleries and cinemas in England will be allowed to reopen from 4 July, alongside pubs, restaurants and hairdressers, in a decisive but potentially risky easing of lockdown measures in England.

South Korea: The South Korean city of Daegu is taking legal action against the Shincheonji church and its founder, claiming it hindered quarantine efforts and contributed towards mass infections of Covid-19 in February.

Denmark: As countries mull when to reopen, Denmark is seeing smaller virus outbreaks in schools, entertainment parks and nursing homes as it gradually leaves its Covid-19 lockdown.

Economic updates

Thailand: Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha said at a briefing that he’s debating whether to extend the country’s state of emergency after it expires June 30.

7:53 am

Service sector hardest hit by job losses due to Covid-19

23 June

The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the job market leaving millions of people without jobs.

The service sector, which employs a large portion of low income workers, is one of the hardest hit sectors.

As social distancing and lockdown measures continue to control the spread of the virus, many of these jobs are unlikely to return any time soon.

Colin Williams, professor of public policy at University of Sheffield, shared an article based on statistics from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on workers and businesses.

The article notes that approximately three quarters of the global workforce is at risk of losing their jobs due to lockdown measures and business closures caused by the pandemic.

The article noted that South East Asia and the Pacific regions are the most affected with 76% of the workforce at risk followed by the Americas, Africa and Europe.

Read more

2:28 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: US and Brazil report more than half daily Covid cases as global numbers near 9 million – South Korea experiencing second wave

22 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 8,975,000, with over 468,000 deaths and 4,448,000 recoveries.

The daily confirmed cases are increasing globally.

The US and Brazil are reporting over half of global daily confirmed cases.

Officials in South Korea announced that the country is experiencing a second wave of the pandemic as new cases emerge from populous areas.

In Asia, countries such as India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran show continuous increases in daily confirmed cases.

In the UK, the alert level has been reduced as the number of new cases is below the level seen in the days before lockdown.

However, officials have raised the alert in some regions of Germany and Wales.

China, similar to Germany, has raised lockdown measures in a few regions.


Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:10 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases near 9 million – deaths approach half million – quarantine clashes in Germany

22 June

Global: The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases currently stands at 8,929,394, while the global death toll is at 467,676, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 183,020 in a 24-hour period. The biggest increase was from North and South America with over 116,000 new cases, according to its daily report.

The European Union and China will seek to cool tensions on Monday at a video summit, their first formal talks since ties soured over European accusations that Beijing has spread disinformation about the novel coronavirus.

Mexico: Mexico has reported 5,343 new infections and 1,044 additional deaths from the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, the health ministry said, bringing the totals for the country to 180,545 cases and 21,825 deaths.

India: The Delhi government has become the first in India to requisition its hotels. Starting this week, 25 establishments will be repurposed as emergency Covid-19 care centres for patients with mild to moderate symptoms. The move comes as India’s coronavirus caseload has risen to 425,282 as infections soar in rural areas to which migrant workers fleeing major cities have returned in recent weeks.

Greece: Authorities say Greece had 10 new Covid-19 cases and no virus-related deaths between Saturday and Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

Thailand: Thailand on Monday reported three new coronavirus cases, all imported, marking 28 days without local transmission, Reuters news agency reported quoting a senior official.

China: China’s customs authority said on Sunday it had suspended imports of poultry products from a plant owned by US-based meat processor Tyson that has been hit by coronavirus.

China reported 18 new coronavirus cases for June 21, 9 of which were in the capital Beijing, Reuters reported on Monday quoting the National Health Commission. Another seven cases are categorised as asymptomatic.

South Korea: New coronavirus cases in South Korea dipped to a nearly one-month low on Monday due mainly to less testing over the weekend, Yonhap news agency reported quoted health officials.

Lockdown updates

Germany: German police were injured as clashes erupt over virus quarantine. Several police officers were hurt in clashes with residents of a high-rise apartment block in Goettingen who had been placed under quarantine over a coronavirus outbreak, authorities said on Sunday.

US: New York City’s effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus through contact tracing has been hampered by the reluctance of many people who are infected with the virus to provide information to tracers, according to a report in The New York Times.

New Zealand: Citizens returning home to New Zealand could undergo two weeks of quarantine in campervans because hotels in Auckland were nearing capacity, the ministry of health has warned.

UK: London City Airport reopened for passenger flights on Sunday after a three-month shutdown, according to a statement by the airport.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out which further parts of the UK economy can open in July, and give an update in Parliament on Tuesday after hearing conclusions of the review into England’s 2-metre (6 feet 7 inches) social distancing rule.

Australia: Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state has tightened coronavirus controls as a spike in cases triggers fears the nation could be hit by a second wave of infections.

United Arab Emirates: Dubai will allow tourists into the Middle East business hub starting July 7 for the first time since the United Arab Emirates imposed travel restrictions to stem the outbreak.

Economic updates

China: Chinese banks have offered relief on 3.9 trillion yuan ($551 billion) of loans since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic to help struggling small businesses and bolster an economy facing its worst slump in four decades.

UK: Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey signalled a major shift in the central bank’s strategy for removing emergency stimulus, stressing the need to reduce the institution’s balance sheet before hiking interest rates.

7:20 am

Investors may be too optimistic of rapid economic recovery

22 June

Stock markets have been performing above average despite a warning from the World Health Organisation that a new and dangerous phase of the pandemic is emerging.

The possibility of a fourth phase of stimulus package in the US and reopening of the economy are some of the factors fuelling this performance, leading investors to predict a quick V-shaped recovery.

The huge impact of the pandemic and a possible resurgence of cases may not lead to such a quick recovery.

Timothy McBride, Bernard Becker Professor at the Washington University, shared an article on how some investors are too optimistic of a quick economic recovery.

The article notes that stock markets are performing well in the US despite the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Over the last few weeks, markets have performed above average prompting some investors to predict a V-shaped recovery, the article adds.

Such projections seem premature as they do not take into account the permanent damage caused by the pandemic.

Read more

1:46 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases approach 8.5 million – infections rising fast in Latin America and Africa

19 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 8,488,000, with over 453,000 deaths and 4,155,000 recoveries.

In Latin America, Covid-19 infections continue to rage. Peru and Chile are on the list of top ten most affected countries globally, with Mexico following close behind.

In Africa, the pandemic is also accelerating, with South Africa reporting as the worst hit country across the continent.

Despite cases rising, lock-down measures are being eased in South Africa, with hair-dressers, restaurants and casinos being able to re-open.

In North America, the US is still thought to be in the first wave of transmission, but states are in varying stages of outbreaks.

New York and New Jersey are seeing a decrease in daily cases, while many other states are still experiencing an increase in cases.

In China, Beijing remains in partial lock-down following the identification of a cluster of new cases linked to local transmissions found at the Xinfadi food market.

Schools have been closed and majority inbound and outbound flights cancelled in an effort to curb a second wave of infection.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

11:51 am

A closer look at Regeneron and its efforts to provide the world with a Covid-19 treatment

Like many firms in the pharmaceutical sector, Regeneron has turned a great deal of attention towards the fight against Covid-19 in recent weeks and months.

Having already entered one of its existing drug therapies into clinical studies to test its efficacy against the virus, Regeneron has also announced the start of trials for a novel antibody cocktail, which could help treat hospitalised patients, or prevent Covid-19 in uninfected people.

We take a closer look at the US biotech firm, and its ongoing attempts to uncover an effective treatment for the novel coronavirus.

Read the full article here.

10:08 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 death toll passes 453,000 – infections top 165,000 in Pakistan and Mexico

19 June

Global: The global death toll from Covid-19 passes 450,000. The number of people who have lost their lives in the pandemic so far stands at 453,289, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

The World Health Organization said Thursday that a few hundred million Covid-19 vaccine doses could be produced by the end of the year – and be targeted at those most vulnerable to the virus.

The United Nations food agency is warning that without immediate funding, its global transport system will have to stop delivering thousands of tonnes of masks, gloves and other critical equipment to 132 countries by the third week of July.

US: The number of coronavirus cases in California’s San Quentin state prison has tripled within the last two weeks, prompting advocates, families and attorneys to demand urgent action to fast track the release of prisoners and curb the spread among correctional officers.

Pakistan: Pakistan added 4,944 infections in 24 hours, bringing its total to 165,062. The health ministry also reported that its total number of deaths from the virus stood at 3,229.

China: China has published the genome data for the coronavirus behind the latest Covid-19 outbreak in the capital city of Beijing, the website of state-backed National Microbiology Data Center showed on Friday.

New confirmed cases of coronavirus remained stable in Beijing on Friday after a public health official declared Beijing’s latest outbreak under control.

New Zealand: Covid-19 testing of thousands of people in New Zealand has not uncovered any new cases, health officials say. The testing was undertaken after a quarantine bungle when two women were allowed out of managed isolation without being tested – and later turned out to have the coronavirus.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry reported on Thursday a record 5,662 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 667 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 165,455 cases and 19,747 deaths.

South Korea: South Korea reported 49 cases of Covid-19 on Friday, of which 26 came from the capital Seoul and the nearby port city of Incheon.

Thailand: Thailand reported five new cases on Friday, all from state quarantine, bringing its total to 3,146. All five cases were returnees from Saudi Arabia and showed no symptoms, and no new deaths were reported.

Argentina: Coronavirus cases may peak in Argentina between the end of June and beginning of July even as cases and deaths increase at a faster pace, according to Health Minister Gines Gonzalez Garcia.

Lockdown updates

Japan: Tokyo lifted all remaining restrictions on businesses on Friday, although officials urged caution over a possible second wave of the coronavirus.

Japan agreed with Vietnam to work toward a staged easing of travel restrictions between the countries, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

US: AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the largest US theater chain, will reopen most locations on 15 July and expects major cities to let audiences back in time for Walt Disney Co.’s “Mulan” premiere nine days later.

American Airlines Group Inc. removed a passenger who refused to wear a face covering and banned him from taking flights in the future, after US. carriers pledged to boost enforcement of mask use. The man, Brandon Straka, won’t be allowed to fly on the airline until face coverings are no longer required, the company said.

UK: Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a $1.2 billion package to help UK children catch up on schooling they missed during lockdown, saying he was “determined” to get kids back in school by September.

All non-essential shops in Wales will be able to reopen from Monday 22 June so long as physical distancing can take place, as part of the devolved government’s cautious easing of lockdown restrictions.

China: Beijing Capital International Airport cancelled 305 inbound flights and 272 headed outbound on Friday, the Beijing Daily reported. Many travellers have cancelled their plans after a second coronavirus outbreak in the city.

Economic updates

India: On Thursday India fully lifted an export ban on hydroxychloroquine, a drug favoured by US President Donald Trump as a treatment against coronavirus. Questions remain over the malaria medicine’s effectiveness against Covid-19.

8:05 am

Students face future earnings loss due to Covid-19

19 June

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the closure of schools and colleges across the world to contain the spread of the disease.

The closures have left billions of students out of school impacting learning and schooling levels. In the long-term, the pandemic may impact marginalised groups and hurt the future earnings of millions of students.

João Pedro Azevedo, a development economist, tweeted on how the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to result in the loss of $1,408 in yearly earnings for students from the current cohort.

Further, students may lose between $6,472 and $25,680 in earnings over their lifetime.

The statistics are based on a new report from the World Bank containing data from 157 countries on how the pandemic is impacting schooling and learning outcomes.

The new report notes that the pandemic may exacerbate inequality and students from minority groups are more likely to be affected.

Read more

5:05 pm

The UK leads Covid-19 clinical investigations in Europe

As Europe has been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, a huge amount of clinical research is focused on identifying effective therapies and vaccines. GlobalData analysed the Covid-19 clinical trials landscape in Europe with a view to identifying key trial-related trends.

The greatest proportion of European Covid-19 clinical trials are in the Phase II stage of development (43.3%). Read more here.

1:42 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases approach 8.4 million – WHO fears devastation for Yemen

18 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 8,350,000, with over 449,000 deaths and 4,087,000 recoveries.

Latin America is now considered the epicentre of Covid-19.

Brazil reports the largest number of cases and deaths after the US.

Peru, Chile and Mexico are also experiencing a steep rise in cases and deaths.

Despite this increase, Mexico has started to ease lock-down measures, with critics fearing this is too soon.

Across Europe where cases are plateauing, restrictions are being lifted and borders re-opening.

Countries in South Asia, such as India and Pakistan continue to battle with the virus. India ranking fourth on the list of most heavily affected countries globally.

With cases increasing in Yemen, the WHO estimates that at least half of the population will become affected by Covid-19.

This could have devastating implications due to the country’s fragile healthcare system.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:51 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 death toll nears 450,000 – no US lockdown as cases rise – vaccines may be available next year

18 June

Global: The global death toll from coronavirus is nearing 450,000, with more than 8.2 million confirmed cases of the disease worldwide. The Johns Hopkins University tracker is recording more than 448,959 deaths from Covid-19 across the world, as of Wednesday evening UK time.

A new study conducted by Chinese and American scientists said that humans may never develop immunity against the coronavirus, the South China Morning Post reported.

The World Health Organization has halted the trial test of the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus.

France: Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson said in a Les Echos interview that three types of vaccines are currently in the works globally and Sanofi’s version could be ready in April-May 2021. Vaccines should “be affordable and anyone who needs should be able to access it,” Hudson said.

Brazil: Brazil recorded 1,269 additional Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday, bringing its official death toll from Covid-19 to 46,510, the most in the world outside the United States.

India: India has reported its highest number of cases in the pandemic so far, with 12,881 confirmed in the last 24 hours, for a total of 366,946 cases. There have been 334 additional deaths, bringing the toll to 12,237.

UK: The number of coronavirus infections in the UK has passed 300,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, with the current total standing at 300,717. At least 42,238 people have died in the UK so far.

Argentina: Argentina’s president Alberto Fernández has gone into voluntary isolation, amid growing concerns over a surge of coronavirus infections, including several cases among the country’s political elite.

South Korea: South Korea has reported 59 Covid-19 cases as infections steadily rise in the capital area where half the country’s 51 million people live, according to the Associated Press.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 580 to 187,764, Reuters news agency reported on Thursday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

China: Beijing confirmed 21 new Covid-19 cases as of 17 June, China’s health authority said on Thursday, down from 31 a day earlier.

Japan: Tokyo found 41 cases of coronavirus on Thursday and will continue to ask people in the capital to take preventative measures, NHK reports in a flash headline.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: More reports have emerged in New Zealand of people leaving isolation without being tested and going on to meet friends, placing government officials under increasing scrutiny over the rigour of their Covid-19 quarantine rules. Police revealed that six people absconded from managed isolation after being granted compassionate leave from Covid-19 quarantine to attend a funeral in Hamilton.

Japan: The Japanese government will lift all domestic travel restrictions on Friday as it looks to move into the next phase of reopening, including a restart of events and nightlife.

Pakistan: Pakistan has announced plans to repatriate all of its those citizens stranded around the globe, including in the Middle East, as a result of the pandemic, AP news agency reported.

Economic updates

US: President Donald Trump has said the United States would not close businesses again as several states reported rising numbers of new coronavirus infections.

Australia: Australia’s unemployment rate has jumped to 7.1% after another 227,700 people lost their jobs thanks to Covid-19.

Jordan: Many people in Jordan are struggling to meet basic needs after a more than two-month lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic, a UN Development Programme (UNDP) study said, with reports of unemployment expected to rise to 19 percent.

China: China will exempt some African countries from repaying zero-interest rate loans due at the end of 2020, Reuters news agency reported quoting President Xi Jinping.

India: India’s credit rating outlook was cut to negative from stable by Fitch Ratings Ltd., citing the economy’s weakening growth outlook and increased challenges with public debt levels.


7:20 am

US economic recovery could be stalled by global dependency

18 June

The US economy is predicted to contract by 40% in 2020 although a strong rebound is forecast in the fourth quarter.

The recovery of the economy, however, will be dependent on global conditions as the US economy is more dependent on global demand than it was 50 years ago.

Michal Rozworski, an economist and author, shared an article on the structural forces that are working against the recovery of the US economy.

Although economists have forecast a strong recovery in the fourth quarter of the year, the inherent structural changes that occurred over the last 50 years may not allow the US economy to recover a quickly as predicted.

The US economy is dependent on global demand in various sectors including aerospace, information technology, defence, oilfield services, and finance.

Consumers are more wary of spending on non-essential things related to these sectors in the current uncertain environment created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Demand in some of these sectors, therefore, may not return to normal and help the economy rebound as predicted by experts.

Read more

3:16 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases near 8.2 million – Latin America the new epicentre – fears of second wave in Europe as lockdowns ease

17 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 8,190,000, with over 444,000 deaths and 3,970,000 recoveries.

Latin America is now described as the epicentre of Covid-19 with confirmed cases and deaths in Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Chile rising rapidly.

Brazil remains the most heavily affect country following the US.

In Europe, majority of countries have past the first peak of transmission, though as lock-down measures relax there are fears of a second wave of cases.

Countries in South Asia, such as India and Pakistan continue to battle with the virus. India ranking 4th in the list of most heavily affected countries worldwide.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:45 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 deaths pass 440,000 – cheap steroid hailed as major life saving breakthrough

17 June

Global: Deaths worldwide passed 440,000. According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data, the global coronavirus death toll stands at 441,668. There are 8,162,276 known infections.

A cheap steroid has become the first life-saving treatment in the Covid-19 pandemic, described by scientists as “a major breakthrough” and raising hopes for the survival of thousands of the most seriously ill.

Food poses little risk of spreading the coronavirus, governments and industry groups from the US to Chile said, reassuring consumers after an outbreak in Beijing was blamed on imported fish. However, China’s customs authorities have started testing all shipments of imported meat for the coronavirus while officials in some major cities are also checking the products at domestic markets.

US: New coronavirus infections hit record highs in six US states on Tuesday. Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas all reported record increases in new cases on Tuesday after recording all-time highs last week. Nevada also reported its highest single-day tally of new cases on Tuesday, up from a previous high on 23 May.

Brazil: Brazil has had its worst day for new confirmed cases, recording 34,918 in 24 hours to bring its overall total to 923,189 total infections. The health ministry said the country has also suffered 1,282 deaths since the last update on Monday, bringing the number of confirmed fatalities there to 45,241.

India: Mumbai revised its official death toll from the coronavirus, adding 862 fatalities in India’s epicenter of the outbreak.

Germany: The number of new cases in Germany remained far below the level at the height of the outbreak. There were 570 new infections in the 24 hours through Wednesday morning, bringing the total to 188,252 according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Japan: Japanese researchers confirmed coronavirus testing in sewers as possible outbreak warning system. The researchers confirmed the presence of the coronavirus in wastewater plants, a finding that could serve as a signal for future outbreaks. The findings mirror similar studies in Australia, the United States, and Europe.

Mexico: Mexico’s 730 deaths are its third-highest one-day total, AP reports. Even as Mexico announced plans for reopening churches and religious events, the country posted near-record numbers of newly confirmed cases and deaths from Covid-19 on Tuesday.

Guinea-Bissau: More than 170 of Guinea-Bissau’s 2,000 health workers have contracted Covid-19, a World Health Organization expert said on Tuesday, warning that hospitals were close to being overwhelmed.

Honduras: The President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernandez said he and his wife are infected with Covid-19. Hernandez, 51, said in a national address that he began to feel unwell over the weekend and that he has light symptoms. Hernandez said he has enough energy to keep working.

Lockdown updates

Europe: European airlines are offering some attractive discounts to people itching for an escape from months of coronavirus lockdown. But fares could rise quickly as demand picks up.

China: Beijing raised its emergency level as dozens of new coronavirus cases emerged and residents were barred from any “unessential” travel. Authorities reported 31 new cases of the virus in Beijing as of Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections to 137 over the past six days.

New Zealand: The New Zealand government has so far identified 320 close contacts of the two women, who were not tested before they were released on compassionate grounds. PM Jacinda Ardern said she would not be replacing Minister of Health David Clark.

Australia: Australia says it expects its borders will remain closed until next year, although it might ease restrictions on students and other visitors who plan to stay for a longer period of time.


Economic updates

UK: The UK began talks with Australia and New Zealand on free trade deal. Australia and New Zealand are about to begin negotiations on a free trade agreement with the UK in what the Australian trade minister said was “a strong signal of our mutual support for free trade” in a post-Covid-19 world.

US: Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. asked the Central District of California to dismiss emotional distress claims brought by passengers who sailed aboard the Grand Princess after at least two passengers on its prior journey showed symptoms of coronavirus.


7:49 am

US economic stimulus packages insufficient for speedy recovery post Covid-19 economists warn

17 June

The Federal Reserve has announced trillions of dollars in stimulus packages, but it may not be sufficient as the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is severely impacting the US economy.

Experts feel the need for additional relief measures including unemployment benefits to prevent a prolonged recovery for the economy.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig, a journalist and writer, shared an article on how former Federal Reserve chairs and 130 economists signed a letter requesting additional relief measures to stop the US economy suffering a prolonged recovery.

Although the Federal Reserve has announced $3.5bn in stimulus package, the experts felt that more needs to be done to ensure that the US economy recovers at a faster pace.

Prolonged economic downturn can damage the economic and wealth creation opportunities especially minority communities, the article added.

Read more

1:40 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: US and Brazil worst affected by Covid-19 as global cases pass 8 million – steep increases in Peru and India

16 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 8,000,000, with over 437,000 deaths and 3,880,000 recoveries.

The US still remains the most heavily affected country, reporting the largest number of newly confirmed cases and deaths worldwide.

Brazil follows the US, with the number of deaths now overtaking those seen in the UK and total confirmed cases sharply increasing.

In Europe, all countries, excluding Poland and Sweden, are now past the first peak of transmission.

Peru reports a steep increase in daily cases and deaths despite implementing early lock-down measures from mid-March.

India continues to see a rise in infection and death rate, putting strain on their health system.

In Delhi, railway carriages are being converted to beds for Covid-19 patients to provide additional support.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:25 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 8 million – new Beijing outbreak ‘very grim’ say officials – India to re-impose lockdown

16 June

Global: A total of 8,005,294 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The actual figure is likely to be much higher because countries often have different criteria for testing, and milder and asymptomatic cases may go undetected.

A specific mutation in Covid-19 can significantly increase its ability to infect cells, according to a study by US researchers. It may explain why early outbreaks in some parts of the world did not end up overwhelming health systems as much as other outbreaks in New York and Italy.

China: There are more than 100 cases in the new Beijing Covid-19 outbreak. The World Health Organization said it understood no new deaths have been reported thus far in the Chinese capital but added that given Beijing’s size and connectivity, the outbreak was a cause for concern.

City officials in Beijing have described the coronavirus outbreak centred on the Xinfadi market as “very grim”, according to the Global Times.

Shanghai says it will impose a 14-day quarantine on all people arriving in the city from medium to high-risk Covid-19 areas elsewhere in China.

Norway: Norway’s health authorities said they suspended an app designed to help trace the spread of coronavirus after the country’s data protection agency said it was too invasive of privacy.

New Zealand: New Zealand has confirmed two new cases of coronavirus, both connected with travel to the United Kingdom and both connected.

Lockdown updates

Europe: Germany and France reopen borders as Europe emerges from lockdown. France’s president said the country’s Schengen borders would be open from Monday and its non-EU borders from 1 July. Germany also opened its borders to fellow European travellers, but the government warned people to be careful as they planned their summer holidays.

India: A lockdown will be re-imposed on Friday on 15 million people in the Indian city of Chennai and neighbouring districts, state officials said, as coronavirus cases surge in the region.

US: Gatherings of up to 25 people will be permitted in parts of New York that have entered the third phase of the state’s reopening plan, up from a previous limit of ten, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Major US airlines have warned passengers who refuse to wear masks that they could be banned. Carriers could prevent anyone who is not covering their nose and mouth from boarding although they would provide masks to passengers without one.

Economic updates

Global: BP will slash up to $17.5bn (£14bn) from the value of its oil and gas assets, and may be forced to leave new fossil fuel discoveries in the ground, after its own forecasts found the Covid-19 pandemic may affect the world’s oil demand for the next 30 years.

The United Nations forecasts foreign direct investment globally will fall by as much as 40% this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and continue to slump in 2021, hitting developing nations hardest.

US: The Trump administration is preparing a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure proposal as part of its push to spur the world’s largest economy back to life, according to people familiar with the plan.



7:28 am

Covid-19 recession short but sharp, predicts Morgan Stanley

16 June

The number of Covid-19 cases continues to increase across the world particularly in developing and emerging nations and fresh outbreak being reported in China.

Some countries, however, have started reopening their economies and easing lockdown restrictions increasing the possibility of a V-shaped recovery.

John Ashcroft, an economist, shared an article on Morgan Stanley’s projections that the global economy is headed for a V-shaped recovery.

The article notes that the global economy will return to pre-crisis levels by the fourth quarter of 2020.

The predictions are based on the latest economic data in addition to policy actions taken by various governments.

Morgan Stanley predicts that the recession will be sharp but short although uncertainty still remains around this outlook.

Read more

2:26 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global confirmed cases of Covid-19 over 7,925,000 – US most heavily affected

15 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 7,925,000, with over 433,000 deaths and 3,780,000 recoveries.

The US still remains the most heavily affected country, reporting the largest number of newly confirmed cases and deaths worldwide.

Brazil follows the US, with the number of deaths now overtaking those seen in the UK and with total confirmed cases sharply increasing.

In Europe, all countries, excluding Poland and Sweden, are now past the first peak of transmission.

A cluster of new cases seen in Beijing linked to local transmissions found at the Xinfadi food market has led to lock-down measures being reintroduced.

Officials are concerned about an uncontrolled second wave. Chinese citizens are urged not to travel to the Capital.

New Zealand is thought to have eliminated the virus, with no current active cases and weeks since the last new case.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

1:02 pm

International Update: Global covid-19 cases near 8 million – second wave hits Beijing – WHO say England should not lift lockdown

15 June

Global: Covid-19 cases worldwide pass 7.9 million. According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government figures, there have been 433,394 known coronavirus deaths worldwide since the start of the pandemic.

Demand for flu vaccine soars as countries plan for second Covid-19 wave. Fears of a second wave of coronavirus have sparked a global scramble for influenza shots from countries that hope to vaccinate great swathes of the population to reduce pressure on their health services.

US: Scott Gottlieb, former US Food and Drug Administration chief, said rising case counts and high hospitalization rates in some states coupled with increasing positivity suggests “there are outbreaks under way.”

The coronavirus is likely to keep spreading until at least 60% of the US population has been infected, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Colombia: Confirmed coronavirus cases in Colombia have risen to over 50,000, the country’s Health Ministry said on Sunday, while neighbouring Ecuador approached the same milestone.

Germany: Germany’s coronavirus infection rate held slightly above the key threshold of 1.0. There were 251 new infections in the 24 hours through Monday morning, bringing the total to 187,518.

Lockdown updates

China: Beijing authorities have locked down residential compounds and fired officials over a new Covid-19 outbreak as health officials warned the risk of the outbreak worsening was “very high”. Ten neighbourhoods in Beijing have been sealed off as part of the city’s attempt to deal with a sudden spike of cases linked to a wholesale food market.

Japan: Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi says the government has made no decision to ease the entry ban imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus after local media reported it might lift it for people from certain countries.

UK: England’s coronavirus lockdown should not be further lifted until the government’s contact-tracing system has proven to be “robust and effective”, the World Health Organization has said.

US: A ban on travel from the UK to the US will likely remain for months, and in the worst case may not end until a vaccine is available.

France: French president Emmanuel Macron has said that all of France will move into the ‘green zone’ regarding coronavirus risks from Monday.

Economic updates

Global: The global economy is in a new expansion cycle and output will return to pre-coronavirus crisis levels by the fourth quarter, according to Morgan Stanley economists.

UK: Forecasters say that the British economy will shrink by 8% this year and is unlikely to recover from the damage wrought by the coronavirus crisis until 2023.


12:24 pm

FibroGen: The company attempting to treat pneumonia in Covid-19 patients

In its attempt to provide treatments for Covid-19 patients, American biopharma firm FibroGen has chosen to tackle the infection slightly differently to many of its peers in the industry.

Antivirals such as Gilead’s remdesivir and anti-inflammatory medicines like the chloroquine drug currently being taken by US president Donald Trump have drawn much of the mainstream media attention regarding coronavirus treatments thus far.

But FibroGen is instead trying to treat the symptoms of pneumonia — often seen in severely ill Covid-19 patients — using its antibody drug pamrevlumab.

Read the full article here.

8:04 am

Government policy changes needed to address ‘the new normal’

15 June

Governments across the world introduced various policies such as unemployment benefits, and tax deferrals to enable people to deal with the impact caused by the Covid-19 lockdowns.

As countries begin to reopen their economies, it is essential that governments introduce new policy changes that enable them to adjust to the new normal.

Adam Posen, president of Peterson Institute for International Economics, shared an article on the need for a new policy toolkit as lockdown measures are lifted across the world.

The article notes that some measures adopted during the lockdown such as employment benefits, grants and loans will come to an end.

In this environment, policy makers need to take into account the uncertainty facing the economies due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the article adds.

Governments should design new policies that enable people to adjust to the new changes after the lockdown is lifted.

A combination of unemployment benefits and pay cuts, tax deferrals and guaranteed loans are some policies that governments can consider.

Read more

2:59 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: US Covid-19 infections pass 2 million – India fourth most affected country as cases approach 300,000

12 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 7,534,000, with over 421,000 deaths and 3,555,000 recoveries.

The US has reported more than 540,000 recovered cases of Covid-19, more than 2 million total confirmed cases and and more than 1,369,000 active cases.

India moves up ahead of the UK as the fourth most affected country, with more than 297,000 total cases reported.

The US, Brazil and Russia remain the top three countries with the highest number of total confirmed cases.

Mexico has reported nearly 16,000 deaths due to Covid-19 placing it among the top ten countries with the most deaths from coronavirus.

Since 6 April the case fatality rates observed in in Mexico have been higher than those in mainland China.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSTHM, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

10:58 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 7.5 million – Brazil infections pass 800,000 – transmissions accelerating in Africa

12 June

Global: There are 7,514,481 confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University data. There have been 420,993 known deaths so far. The true figures for deaths and infections are likely to be significantly higher due to time delays, differing testing rates and definitions, and suspected underreporting.

Brazil: Brazil reported a total of 802,828 confirmed cases of coronavirus on Thursday, with 30,412 new infections in the last 24 hours in the world’s second worst outbreak after the United States.

Indonesia: Hundreds of children in Indonesia are believed to have died from Covid-19, giving the country one of the world’s highest rates of child deaths from the new coronavirus.

Africa: The speed the new coronavirus jumped from 100,000 to 200,000 confirmed cases in Africa shows just how quickly the pandemic is accelerating on the continent, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

India: India’s coronavirus infections rose by 10,930 to overtake the total number of recorded cases in the UK, making it the world’s fourth-worst affected nation.

UK: An unpublished United Kingdom government report said that black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups in the UK should be given targeted health advice in the event of a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak, according to Sky News.

China: Beijing sees first local transmission case in several weeks. A 52-year-old man who has no history of traveling outside the city or contact with anyone coming in has been diagnosed with Covid-19. He is the first local transmission case in China for several weeks.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: New Zealand is relaxing its borders to grant exemptions for certain workers and partners of New Zealand citizens to enter the country. The relaxed rules, which will see America’s Cup sailors included, come after 21 days with no new Covid-19 cases across the country and no current live cases.

Australia: Australia’s federal government stepped up pressure on state and territory leaders on Friday to reopen internal borders, a step viewed as key to reviving the country’s coronavirus-hit economy.

Thailand: Thailand will end most of its remaining lockdown curbs and allow more businesses in the country to reopen on 15 June after no local coronavirus transmissions were found for over two weeks.

Japan: Tokyo lifted the city’s virus alert and moved into the next and final phase of its reopening as the Japanese capital continued its recovery.

Economic updates

Global: The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could plunge an extra 395 million people into extreme poverty and swell the total number of those living on less than $1.90 a day worldwide to more than one billion, according to a new report.

The global economy is recovering more slowly than expected from the pandemic and will bear lingering scars from the experience, International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said in a video released Friday.

US: Stocks fell sharply Thursday on Wall Street as coronavirus cases in the US increased again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 1,800 points, almost 7%, and the S&P 500 dropped 5.9%, its worst day since mid-March, when stocks went through repeated harrowing falls as the virus lockdowns began.

UK: The UK economy shrank a record 20.4% in April as businesses and workers reeled under the lockdown designed to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan: Japan’s parliament passed a record 31.9 trillion yen ($298 billion) extra budget on Friday in an effort to counter the economic impact of the virus.


7:36 am

Global trade to decline by 27% in Q2, says UNCTAD

12 June

Lockdown restrictions and closure of international borders due to the Covid-19 pandemic has had a great impact on global trade, causing it to shrink.

Supply and demand in industries such as automotive and energy declined drastically.

Although the lockdown restrictions are being eased in some countries, it will be a long time before global trade returns to normal.

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to EY ITEM Club, shared an article on the decline in global trade.

Trade is predicted to shrink by 27% in the second quarter, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Trade in the automotive and energy industries collapsed although agri-products trade remained stable.

UNCTAD also projects that global trade to decline by 20% in 2020, according to the article.

Read more

2:34 pm

Clinical trial disruption due to Covid-19 has begun to slow

Since early March, many companies have delayed the initiation of or completely withdrawn planned clinical trials, as well as suspending enrolment in or terminating ongoing trials.  The majority of the disruption, at 61.5%, was due to the suspension of enrolment. Trials currently being impacted due to slow enrolment follows at 22.8%, then finally, 15.7% of trials have delayed initiation. Within the 22.8% of trials affected by slow enrolment, 12.5% of these are specifically due to the availability of sites and investigators.

Tracking these disrupted trials with the Covid-19 dashboard on the Pharma Intelligence Center, GlobalData has found that the number of disrupted trials has begun to slow. Over all three months, the majority of disrupted clinical trials were in Phase II, from 43–45%, followed by Phase III with 22–25%, Phase I with 21–26%, and Phase IV with 7–10%.

To read more, please click here.

2:12 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases approach 7.5 million – Egypt most affected country in Africa

11 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 7,397,000, with over 417,000 deaths and 3,478,000 recoveries.

In Asia, Russia, India and Pakistan have reported the highest numbers of active cases of Covid-19. Meanwhile, Brunei, Taiwan and Vietnam have the reported the lowest number of active cases of Covid-19.

In Africa, Egypt is the most affected country with the highest number of total confirmed cases and active cases of Covid-19. South Africa follows Egypt in number of active cases reported ahead of Ghana.

The US, UK and Brazil have reported the highest number of deaths due to Covid-19, globally. To date, 190 countries have reported cases of Covid-19.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSTHM, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

9:34 am

International Update: US Covid-19 cases exceed 2 million, deaths approach 113,000 – India swamped by rising infections

11 June

US: The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the US, which is by far the worst-affected country worldwide, passed 2 million on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University data, which lists 2,000,464 cases. The country has recorded 112,908 deaths. Brazil, with the next highest number of cases, has 772,416 confirmed infections.

US deaths could reach 200,000 in September. Ashish Jha, the head of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, told CNN in an interview on Wednesday that without drastic action, the number of US deaths would march on.

Latin America: Latin America pandemic deaths passed 70,000, according to a Reuters count, as Mexico hit a daily record for confirmed infections. Brazil remains Latin America’s most affected country as total fatalities are just shy of 40,000, the world’s third highest death toll after the United States and Britain.

India: India reported a record of 9,996 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours with health services in the worst-hit cities of Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai getting swamped by the rising infections.

Thailand: Thailand on Thursday reported no new coronavirus infections or deaths, maintaining the total of 3,125 confirmed cases and 58 fatalities, according to Reuters news agency.

South Korea: South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 45 new coronavirus cases, including 40 local infections on Thurday – a slight decrease from 50 the previous day.

China: China reported 11 new coronavirus cases with all of them imported into the country. The new infections include six in Shanghai and three in Guangdong province, according to a statement from China’s National Health Commission.

Lockdown updates

EU: The EU plans a “gradual and partial” easing of a ban on most travel to the bloc as of 1 July , the EU’s foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters on Wednesday in Brussels.

Cuba: Cuba will test all visitors for coronavirus when it reopens to international tourism, which will be limited at first to the beach resorts at the keys of the Caribbean’s largest island, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz said on Wednesday.

Mexico: Mexico City will embark on a large-scale testing effort as the centrepiece of its plan to reopen its economy, its mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has said.

Pakistan: Pakistan’s de facto health minister has downplayed a World Health Organisation warning to the country on reimposing a lockdown in order to control the rapid spread of the coronavirus.



7:24 am

Second Covid-19 wave could see worst contraction in global economy in 100 years

11 June

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to widespread unemployment and potential bankruptcies of businesses and companies across the world.

The economic downturn caused by the pandemic is considered to be one of the biggest in the past century. Developed nations are expected to feel the impact of the pandemic for a long time posting a slow economic recovery.

Stephany Griffith-Jones, an economist, shared an article on how the global economy is expected to suffer the worst recession in a century.

The article is based on a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The article notes that the global economy is expected to contract by 6% due to the pandemic and by 7.6% if there is a second wave of infections.

The report from OECD notes that this is the worst contraction in 100 years.

Read more

2:20 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid cases pass 7.2 million – US, Brazil and UK have most active cases

10 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 7,257,000, with over 411,000 deaths and 3,387,000 recoveries.

The US, Brazil and the UK are the top three countries with the highest number active cases of Covid-19.

The US, Brazil and Russia have reported the highest number of recovered cases, globally.

Recovery trends in the EU remain the same with Germany reporting more recovered cases that Italy or Spain.

In Latin America, Chile and Mexico are the third and fourth most affected countries, respectively.

Brazil, Mexico and Ecuador have reported the highest number of deaths due to Covid-19 in Latin America.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSTHM, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

10:25 am

International Update: World faces food crisis following Covid-19 pandemic, warns UN – 21 US states report weekly increase in Covid cases

10 June

Global: The world faces a food crisis worse than any seen for at least 50 years, the UN has warned. Social protections for poor people are urgently needed as the looming recession following the Covid-19 pandemic may put basic nutrition out of reach.

EU: A group of EU member states called for medical and equipment stockpiles to be increased. The leaders of Denmark, Spain and Germany, as well as France, Belgium and Poland, called for measures to boost the bloc’s long-term resilience to public health crises and backed proposals for shared research and development of vaccines and treatment.

US: On Tuesday, 21 US states reported weekly increases in new cases of Covid-19. Arizona, Utah and New Mexico all posted rises of 40% or higher for the week ended Sunday, compared with the prior seven days, according to a Reuters analysis.

Deborah Birx, the coordinator of President Trump’s coronavirus task force, expressed concern that participants in US protests could spread the illness by yelling through their masks, the Daily Beast reported Tuesday night. The White House did not immediately respond late Tuesday night to a request for comment on the Daily Beast report.

Mexico: The epidemic in Mexico is advancing toward its peak level of infections, WHO warned. Mexico, where total confirmed cases exceed 120,000 and the death toll stands at about 14,000, began a gradual re-opening of the economy at the start of June.

Argentina: Argentina confirmed more than 1,000 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday as the rate of new infections continued to rise just days after it extended lockdown measures in the capital Buenos Aires.

Brazil: On Tuesday Brazil restored detailed Covid-19 data to the official national website, following a scandal about the removal of cumulative totals and a ruling by a Supreme Court justice that the full set of information be reinstated.

South Korea: South Korea’s coronavirus cases spiked to 50 new cases on Wednesday, after two consecutive days of fewer than 40 cases.

UK: Zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas will be allowed to reopen in England from 15 June. Boris Johnson will make the official announcement on Wednesday.

Sweden: Sweden’s top health authority will stop holding daily briefings that had provided updates on the country’s Covid-19 infection rate and death toll.

Singapore: Singapore is set to start human clinical trials on Potenti on a potential treatment for Covid-19 next week, the Straits Times reported on Wednesday.

Singapore has granted Gilead’s drug known as Remdesivir conditional approval as a treatment for the Covid-19 infection, the Health Sciences Authority says in a statement.

Lockdown updates

Pakistan: The World Health Organization (WHO) has told Pakistan it should implement “intermittent” lockdowns to counter a surge in coronavirus infections that has come as the country loosens restrictions, an official said Tuesday.

Thailand: The Thai government may consider lifting the nationwide night-time curfew for 15 days in a trial period to gauge public response, Deputy Army Chief Nattapol Nakpanich tells reporters in Bangkok on Wednesday. The curfew currently runs from 11pm to 3am.

Economic updates

Global: The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) says the shock of the coronavirus will fuel poverty and unrest for years to come, undoing decades of progress in socio-economic development.

Australia: household sentiment surged back toward levels recorded before the Covid -19 outbreak hit the economy, boosted by the country’s success in bringing the coronavirus under control.

India: India is examining plans to end its export ban on hydroxychloroquine used somewhat controversially in the treatment of Covid-19, the Economic Times reports, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Japan: Japan’s Fujifilm is to spend $928 million to expand a facility in Denmark where it plans to produce Covid-19 treatments.

7:19 am

Central banks need to play a more active role in Covid-19 economic recovery

10 June

Central banks of various economies have injected new money into financial markets to deal with the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

These actions although useful may not be enough to post a strong recovery.

Investment-led growth policies and long-term investments are essential to reverse some of the damage caused by the pandemic.

Stephany Griffith-Jones, an economist, shared an article on how central banks need to take more action to support economies after the Covid-19 pandemic.

G7 nations injected approximately $2.5tn into financial markets in March and April using quantitative easing and liquidity programmes to prevent a collapse in the financial sector.

The article notes that banks need to play a bigger role by lending to sectors that are productive and create more jobs.

These jobs also need to be sustainable to create green infrastructure that enables transition towards a zero carbon economy.


Read more

2:02 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 7.1 million – US, Brazil and Russia most affected – UK second most deaths behind US

9 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 7,138,000, with over 406,000 deaths and 3,311,000 recoveries.

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

Cases in India are expected to continue increasing as social distancing measures are being relaxed before seeing a consistent decline in new daily cases.

New confirmed cases in Russia remain high, but look to be reaching a plateau.

The US is the country with the most number of deaths due to Covid-19, followed by the UK and Brazil.

In Asia and the Middle East Iran, India, and Russia are the top three countries with the most reported deaths due to Covid-19.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSTHM, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

9:51 am

Moderna timeline: How the biotech firm has moved alongside pharma giants in Covid-19 vaccine race

On the vaccine front, American biotech firm Moderna was one of the first companies in the world to react to the Covid-19 outbreak back in January.

Alongside the US NIH (National Institute of Health), it began working on its mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate before the first coronavirus cases outside of China had been confirmed.

This potential Covid-19 vaccine has since entered clinical trials, received a funding boost of close to $500m and been fast-tracked through regulatory protocols by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

With Moderna joining Pfizer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca as the “finalists” in Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed last week, we take a closer look at how this relatively young biotech company moved to the forefront of the race to find a coronavirus vaccine.

Read the full article here.

9:25 am

International Update: Covid-19 pandemic worsening globally, says WHO – analysis suggests virus in China earlier than estimated

9 June

Global: Global infections have risen to 7,119,454, with deaths at 406,540, according to Johns Hopkins data. The US still has the most infections (1,961,185) and deaths (111,007). The UK has the second highest death toll globally (40,680).

The World Health Organization has warned against complacency, saying the coronavirus pandemic situation is worsening around the globe. The WHO said it had recorded its highest daily tally of new infections on Sunday (136,000), with Covid-19 raging in the Americas. “Although the situation in Europe is improving, globally it is worsening,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

New analysis from researchers at Boston and Harvard universities suggests the coronavirus could have been circulating in China earlier than previously estimated.

US: University of Washington researchers have estimated that 145,728 people could die of Covid-19 in the United States by August. Infectious disease experts have said that large street protests held in major cities after George Floyd’s death could spark a new outbreak.

Brazil: Brazil has reported 679 deaths from coronavirus and 15,654 new cases amid growing controversy about its data and allegations of political manipulation.

Mexico: Mexico has reported 354 new deaths and 2,999 new infections from Covid-19.

Pakistan: Pakistan has recorded its deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak so far, with at least 105 people dead, according to Al Jazeera correspondent Asad Hashim.

Italy: More than half the residents tested for coronavirus in Italy’s northern province of Bergamo have been found to have coronavirus antibodies.

China: Viral cultivation results were negative for all 300 asymptomatic cases found from the earlier mass tests in Wuhan, according to the Municipal Health Commission. Almost 1,200 close contacts of the 300 also tested negative.

Lockdown updates

Russia: Russia will lift a range of lockdown measures on Tuesday, including the lockdown in Moscow, the city’s mayor has announced. The capital’s restriction on movement end on Tuesday, allowing residents to travel freely for the first time since March. Some measures have gradually eased, with some shops opening.

Hungary: Hungary fully reopened its border with Slovenia from Tuesday amid a gradual easing of measures to counter the coronavirus pandemic in both countries, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a Facebook video.

Germany: Germany recorded an increase in the number of new coronavirus cases, and the infection rate climbed further above the key threshold of 1.0.

7:36 am

Economic forecasts may not be accurate due to Covid-19 unpredictability

9 June

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced experts to predict what lies ahead as economies gradually start to re-open.

However, the economic forecasts made by economists using known models may not be relevant in the current scenario, as these models do not take into account the unpredictable changes brought by the pandemic.

Branko Milanovic, an economist, shared his article on how the Covid-19 pandemic has brought unpredictable social and political changes to the world. Economists use models that consider an economy as a self-contained system that is vulnerable to economic shocks.

The current pandemic, however, has aggravated several social and political changes such as the trade war between the US and China, and the protests against racism in the US.

The pandemic also presents a number of unknown challenges, such as the possibility of a second wave and its impact on countries.

In such a situation, any economic models may not closely predict the future of the global economy.


Read more

2:19 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases exceed 7 million – India and Brazil still showing rises – EU remains stable

8 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 7,000,000, with over 403,000 deaths and 3,149,000 recoveries

Brazil remains in second place in the ranking of top ten most affected countries.

Cases in Brazil are expected to continue increasing as the economy reopened on 5 June before achieving a consistent decline in new daily cases.

India has also seen an increase cases reported, it now is the fifth most affected country, globally.

EU trends remain relatively stable with a continued decrease in cases.

Iran is saw a second peak in new cases due to Ramadan and Eid, however, trends need to be monitored.

Turkey continues to see a decline in new cases of Covid-19.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSTHM, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

10:48 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 infections pass 7 million – US exceeds 1.9 million – 15 countries have more than 100,000 cases

8 June

Global: Covid-19 infections now stand at 7,015,079, after another rise in cases from Brazil. The country now has 691,758 cases and 36,455 deaths. The US is the worst-affected country, with 1,940,468 confirmed cases and more than a quarter of the world’s deaths at 110,503. There are 15 countries with more than 100,000 confirmed cases.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi virus cases top 100,000 with new spike ahead of the Hajj. The total number of infections rose to 101,914 – the highest in the Gulf – while the death toll climbed to 712, the health ministry said.

Pakistan: Pakistan has become the latest nation to cross 100,000 cases, after surpassing China in the past few days.

Vietnam: Vietnam reports two imported cases of Covid-19. Both infections were in Vietnamese citizens returning from Mexico who were quarantined on arrival, its health ministry said.

Poland: Poland reports virus spike linked to mine. Most of the hundreds of new cases reported by the health ministry were linked to a coal mine in the country’s south.

Thailand: There has been no local transmission of coronavirus in Thailand for the past two weeks, with all 77 cases over the last 14 days imported from overseas.

Guatemala: Guatemala’s president Alejandro Giammattei says he will work remotely after 18 members of his office and security detail were diagnosed with coronavirus.

Chile: Chile has revised its coronavirus death toll after reviewing death registry data and information from laboratories carrying out Covid-19 tests and consolidating the list.

Sweden: The Swedish prime minister was forced to defend his Covid-19 strategy after opposition parties mounted a scathing attack on his government amid signs its handling of the pandemic has been fatally flawed.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: New Zealand has declared itself Covid-19-free. Prime minister Jacinda Ardern said all coronavirus restrictions, except those at their international border would be lifted at midnight on Monday night.

UK: UK travel quarantine laws come into force. Most people arriving in Britain from Monday will have to self-isolate for two weeks under a new coronavirus restriction that will apply those coming in by plane, ferry or train.

Indonesia: Retail stores, restaurants and offices reopened in Jakarta, Indonesia, after more than two-months as authorities eased social restriction rules to jump-start an economy hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Denmark: Denmark continued to roll back its restrictions on Monday, after dramatically reducing its Covid-19 infection rate. Danes can once again visit gyms, public pools and amusement parks. And a ban on groups of no more than 10 was lifted, with the new limit set at 50.

South Korea: New cases of coronavirus have slowed in South Korea but concerns remain over a second wave of the outbreak in Seoul as the country entered the final phase of its plan to reopen schools.

Economic updates

France: France will offer a plan worth “billions of euros” to rescue its beleaguered aerospace industry, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said Sunday, as companies struggle with fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

8:23 am

Monetary systems need to be global during Covid crisis

8 June

The Covid-19 pandemic followed by the widespread protests against racism in the US and UK, have highlighted the suffering faced by marginalised communities and economies across the world.

A monetary system that provides equal access to finance for all economies and not just advanced economies is needed.

Claudia Sahm, a macroeconomist, shared an article on the need for a global monetary system that is based on principles of social justice and sustainability.

The article notes that lessons from past crises may give us clues on achieving such a system.

The pandemic has already impacted developing and emerging economies, with more than $100bn in portfolio funds exiting from these markets.

The monetary autonomy and fiscal capacity that advanced economies have is needed for these emerging markets as well to ensure public good.

Read more

2:20 pm

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

5 June

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

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

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

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

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

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

9:47 am

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

5 June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lockdown updates

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

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

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

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

Economic updates

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

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

7:40 am

ECB announces economic stimulus package for euro zone

5 June

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

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

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

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

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

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


Read more

4:23 pm

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

4 June

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

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

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

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

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

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

2:58 pm

The hydroxychloroquine debate continues

Hydroxychloroquine is an immunosuppressive drug approved for the treatment of malaria and repeatedly praised by US President Donald Trump, who claims to have taken it to ward off Covid-19. The US recently sent two million doses of hydroxychloroquine to Brazil to fight Covid-19, however, the use of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment in Covid-19 clinical trials is currently under debate. A study published by The Lancet on 22 May 2020 showed that hydroxychloroquine increased the risk of death in Covid-19 patients.

Currently, there are 398 Covid-19 clinical trials using hydroxychloroquine and/or chloroquine as a primary or secondary intervention, signalling more data are on the way to determine if hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment against Covid-19.

To read more, please click here.

10:53 am

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

4 June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lockdown updates

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

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

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

Economic updates

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

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

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

7:23 am

Unemployment expected to reach 20% in US

4 June

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

2:03 pm

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

3 June

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

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

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

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

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

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

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

9:53 am

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

3 June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lockdown updates

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

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

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

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

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

Economic impacts

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

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

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

7:55 am

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

3 June

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

5:13 pm

‘Social responsibility’ may be reason chloroquine trials are continuing despite setbacks

Social responsibility may be a key reason why researchers are still conducting trials for chloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment despite recent setbacks, says an analyst.

Last month, an international group of researchers began clinical trials to investigate whether the anti-malaria drug could prevent the novel coronavirus, or reduce its severity in front-line healthcare workers.

And this trial looks set to continue — even though the WHO (World Health Organisation) announced on May 25 it was temporarily dropping hydroxychloroquine from its global study of potential Covid-19 treatments due to safety concerns.

Read the full article here.

3:09 pm

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

2 June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

10:49 am

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

2 June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Lockdown updates

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

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

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

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

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

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


10:18 am

Covid-19’s impact on trial PROs, other endpoints can be addressed via data stratification, sensitivity analysis

The Covid-19 pandemic has left pharmaceutical companies, particularly those in the psychiatry space, contending to learn the disaster’s impact on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) utilised in studies and similar subjective measures that calculate patient or caregiver emotions.

To salvage PROs, as well as other results for studies in any therapeutic area that started before the beginning of the pandemic, clients are advised to translate data collected pre-, during and post-Covid-19, as well as conduct sensitivity analysis. Read more here.

7:39 am

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

2 June

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

2:35 pm

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

1 June

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

10:37 am

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

1 June

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

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

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

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

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

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


Lockdown Updates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7:35 am

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

1 June

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

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

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

Read more

11:28 am

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

31 May

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

3:08 pm

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

29 May

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

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

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

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

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

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

12:14 pm

UK position in global clinical trials sector could receive boost after Covid-19

The UK’s efforts to find vaccines and treatments for Covid-19 could elevate its status in the clinical trials sector, says an industry boss.

Cross-industry partnerships featuring UK-based pharma firms, government departments and hospitals are also “massively important” in tackling the crisis, said Tim Sheppard, general manager for Northern Europe at clinical research company IQVIA.

The University of Oxford is currently working with UK pharma giant AstraZeneca to test and develop a potential coronavirus vaccine, while the RECOVERY trial is one of the world’s largest clinical studies for Covid-19 treatments, testing drug therapies in multiple locations across the country.

Read the full article here.

9:21 am

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

29 May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7:35 am

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

29 May

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

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

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

Read more

10:30 pm

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

28 May

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

2:33 pm

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

28 May

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

2:29 pm

Clinical trials disrupted due to Covid-19 slowly resume

Many companies have announced that they are experiencing disruptions to their clinical trials for non-Covid-19 indications due to the strict lockdown measures that many countries have implemented. Many have delayed the initiation of planned trials or withdrawn the trials completely, and others have suspended enrolment in their ongoing trials or terminated the trials altogether.

The COVID-19 Dashboard on GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Center dynamically tracks both these disrupted trials and trials that have resumed activity. It reveals that more than 130 trials are currently resuming, and more trials are being added to this category daily.

To read more, please click here.

12:46 pm

Roche begins trial of Actemra plus remdesivir to treat Covid-19

Roche has started a Phase III clinical trial to assess its Actemra/RoActemra in combination with Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir to treat hospitalised Covid-19 patients with severe pneumonia.

Named REMDACTA, the randomised, double-blind, multi-centre trial will compare the safety and efficacy of the combination to remdesivir plus placebo.

Expected to commence patient enrolment next month, the study is designed to involve about 450 patients worldwide, including in the US, Europe and Canada.

Read more here

11:12 am

Clover’s adjuvant choice for Covid-19 an edge, but comparison with IMV’s, Novavax’s vaccines limited

Clover Biopharmaceuticals’ Covid-19 adjuvant could benefit over IMV’s and Novavax’s vaccines due to its use of Dynavax Technologies’ FDA-approved adjuvant. However, it is too early to predict a clear leader among the three vaccines due to data gaps such as reproduction platforms to be used in manufacturing, as well as how the spike protein antigen is constructed.

On 25 May, Novavax’s stock jumped to 17% during trading hours after announcing it had enrolled the first participants in its clinical trials, while IMV’s stock rose 20% on 21 May after announcing plans to enter clinical development. Dynavax was up 14% on 24 March upon its collaboration announcement with Clover Biopharmaceuticals. Read more here.

9:39 am

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

28 May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7:44 am

Covid-19 pandemic could cause housing crisis in US

28 May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

6:45 am

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

28 May

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData

3:23 pm

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

27 May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7:23 am

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

27 May

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

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

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

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

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

Read more


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