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

10th June 2020 (Last Updated June 10th, 2020 10:25)

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.