Fresh: Global Update on Coronavirus
More than 2,182,820 people have been infected across the world and over 145,551 have died 678 but at the same time 547,589 people have recovered.
The USA is now the country with the most infected cases (644,348) ahead of Spain (180,659) who overtook Italy (165,155) last week. France and Germany follow with 147,863 and 134,753 cases respectively
Confirmed deaths by country:
THE PANDEMIC IN NUMBERS
6.51 Asia shares up as plans to re-open U.S economy offset record slump in China GDP
Asian stocks gained on Friday as President Donald Trump’s plans to gradually re-open the U.S. economy offset data that showed China suffered its worst economic contraction on record due to the coronavirus outbreak.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 2.6% after reaching a five-week high. Shares in China rose 1.8% as the weak GDP data reinforced expectations that more stimulus is coming, while shares in Australia were up 2.62%.
E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 index traded 3.38% higher, also close to a five-week high.
European soccer’s governing body (UEFA) is working on a proposal that could see the remainder of the Champions League condensed into a week-long mini-tournament with the final taking place on Aug. 29 in Istanbul, the BBC has reported.
Football, as with most sports around the world, has been brought to a standstill by the COVID-19 pandemic, with all major European leagues suspended and the Champions League stalled in the middle of its round of 16.
6.27 Southwest asks unions to start considering post-aid concessions
Southwest Airlines Co has approached unions representing pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and other employees to discuss potential concessions to prepare for a slow industry recovery, a company official told Reuters on Thursday.
Southwest, with about 60,000 employees, is set to receive $4 billion in federal payroll aid under the CARES Act, which prohibits any involuntary furloughs or pay cuts until Sept. 30.
6.13 China’s Wuhan city revises up total coronavirus death toll by 1,290
hina’s Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, said on Friday it had revised up its total coronavirus death toll by 1,290, according to state-run CCTV.
Wuhan also revised up confirmed cases by 325.
6.06 Japan airlines keep most domestic flights despite few takers for seats
Japan’s top airlines are operating a majority of their domestic capacity even though the coronavirus outbreak has left seats on flights mostly empty, amid a lack of clear government directives on the functioning of transport infrastructure in the crisis.
ANA Holdings Inc and Japan Airlines Co Ltd (JAL) , Japan’s two biggest airlines, have cut around 90% of international flights but left their domestic networks relatively intact, industry data showed. The two normally fly around 800 or more domestic flights daily.
5.31 Saudi Arabia faces coronavirus crisis from position of strength – minister
Saudi Arabia is facing the current global crisis from a position of strength, given its strong financial position and reserves, with relatively low government debt, its finance minister said, referring to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
Mohammed al-Jadaan said in the virtual meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, held on Thursday, that the Saudi government’s priorities are necessary resources for health care system, financial and economic support to those affected by coronavirus while taking into account the re-prioritization of spending under the current circumstances, Saudi state news agency SPA reported on early Friday.
5.22 Australia may keep coronavirus restrictions for a year, schools could adopt roster
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said some measures, like a rule requiring people to stand at least 1.5 metres apart, would likely remain for several months, given there was no guarantee a vaccine would be developed in that time.
“Social distancing is something we should get very used to,” Morrison told radio station 3AW. “It could be a year, but I’m not speculating about that.”
Morrison has said wider social distancing measures will stay for at least another four weeks while advocating reopening schools across the country, citing medical advice that children are a low risk of transmission.
5.06 China’s Q1 GDP posts first decline on record as virus shuts down economy
China’s economy shrank 6.8% in January-March from a year earlier, official data showed on Friday, the first such decline since at least 1992 when quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) records began.
The historic slump in the world’s second-largest economy comes after efforts to contain the coronavirus, which first emerged in China late last year, shut down factories, transport and shopping malls.
Similar shutdowns now in effect in major economies elsewhere have devastated global trade and suggest an immediate Chinese recovery is likely to be some way off.
3.50 U.S. House Speaker Pelosi says Trump guidelines ‘vague and inconsistent’
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called President Donald Trump’s guidelines for reopening the economy “vague and inconsistent” and said more coronavirus testing needed to be done.
“The White House’s vague and inconsistent document does nothing to make up for the President’s failure to listen to the scientists and produce and distribute national rapid testing,” Pelosi said in a statement.
3.15 Nigeria urges ‘appropriate’ debt solutions for middle-income countries
Nigerian Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said an agreement by official bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments by the poorest countries harmed by the coronavirus pandemic was a welcome first step, but “appropriate” solutions were also needed for middle-income countries with debt challenges.
In remarks prepared for delivery on Friday at the World Bank’s Development Committee, Ahmed urges the Bank and other multilateral institutions to explore ways of participating the debt relief initiative.
3.14 Mexico registers 450 new cases of coronavirus and 37 deaths – health ministry
Mexican health officials reported on Thursday 450 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 37 new deaths, bringing the country’s total to 6,297 cases and 486 deaths.
Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said last week the country might have as many as 26,500 people infected with the fast-spreading coronavirus.
Citing government models, Lopez-Gatell said many who are infected likely did not have symptoms or were not diagnosed.
2.58 China urges World Bank to suspend debt payments for poor borrowers
China on Thursday urged the World Bank to allow its poorest borrowers to suspend debt payments to the lender while they deal with the coronavirus pandemic, saying the world’s biggest multilateral development bank should “lead by example.”
Chinese Finance Minister Liu Kun said in a statement to the World Bank’s Development committee that all parties should take part in joint actions to address debt vulnerabilities amid the pandemic, including commercial, multilateral and official bilateral creditors.
1.37 IMF sees ‘lost decade’ of no growth in Latin America due to pandemic
The International Monetary Fund on Thursday said the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, combined with other problems in recent years, meant Latin America and the Caribbean would likely see “no growth” in the decade from 2015 to 2025.
Alejandro Werner, who heads the IMF’s Western Hemisphere department, said the global lender was racing to process 16 requests for emergency assistance, about half of which were from Caribbean nations devastated by a halt in tourism.
U.S. President Donald Trump laid out guidelines on Thursday for reopening the coronavirus-ravaged U.S. economy, saying states should take a phased approach to let Americans return to work as conditions allow.
Trump told a White House news conference that governors will be empowered to tailor the approach to their own states and that if they need to remain closed, they should do so.
“We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time,” Trump said.
What happened on Thursday
Europe is in eye of the storm, with the number of cases nearing a million, and should move with extreme caution when considering easing lockdowns, the WHO’s regional director said.
Britain extended its nationwide lockdown as stand-in leader Dominic Raab ordered Britons to stay at home for at least another three weeks.
Luxury carmaker Ferrari has begun making parts to convert snorkel masks into respirators for treating patients with coronavirus and protecting medical workers.
Britain’s economy looks set for a widely feared record contraction after figures showed retail spending plunged by more than a quarter and one in four firms stopped trading temporarily.
Ireland has contained and effectively suppressed the first wave of the outbreak in the population at large but not in nursing homes where its spread remains a concern, the country’s chief medical officer said.
Seven Northeastern states extended a shutdown until May 15 to contain the pandemic, even as President Donald Trump prepared to unveil recommendations to begin easing the lockdown in the least-affected U.S. states.
Canada’s border restrictions with the U.S. will remain in place “for a significant time” as the two nations fight the outbreak, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
U.S. defense secretary said he believed China’s leaders have been misleading and opaque about the outbreak and does not trust that they are being truthful even now.
Hundreds of thousands of children could die this year due to the global economic downturn sparked by the pandemic and tens of millions more could fall into extreme poverty, the United Nations warned.
Mexico’s president said the country was looking to return to normal beginning June 1, with schools and businesses reopening provided people comply with anti-coronavirus health measures until then.
ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
China reported fewer imported cases on Thursday, but said locally transmitted infections rose, with the capital Beijing seeing new local cases for the first time in more than three weeks.
Japan’s prime minister expanded a state of emergency to include the entire country and said the government was considering cash payouts for all.
India charged a Muslim leader with culpable homicide not amounting to murder for holding a gathering last month that authorities say led to a big jump in infections.
Indonesia expects the number of cases to peak between May and June with around 95,000 infections, a government adviser said.
Australia will retain curbs on public movement for at least four more weeks, its prime minister said, dashing speculation the sustained low growth in new cases could spur a quicker return to normal.
Singapore’s health ministry confirmed 728 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, a new daily record, taking the total in the city-state to 4,427.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
Coronavirus outbreaks across the Middle East threaten to shatter the lives of millions of already destitute people in conflict zones, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.
Coronavirus cases in Africa could shoot up from thousands now to 10 million within three to six months according to very provisional modelling, a regional World Health Organization (WHO) official said.
Six Gulf Arab states approved Kuwait’s proposal for a common network for food supply safety.
Israel’s military said it has begun converting common home-use respirators into ventilators capable of providing potentially life-saving breathing support for COVID-19 patients.
World stock markets seesawed while bond yields retreated as dire U.S. jobless data underscored a deepening downturn and tamped down investor hopes a listless economy would soon be back on its feet.
Hedge fund Elliott Management said global stocks could ultimately lose half of their value from February’s high, according to a letter sent to clients.
The United States opposes creation of liquidity through issuance of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights as part of the response to the pandemic, U.S. treasury secretary said.
ConocoPhillips said it would slash spending and cut U.S. oil output by about 30% of this year’s target, the largest cut so far by a major shale producer to deal with an unprecedented drop in oil demand.
Louis Vuitton owner LVMH posted a 17% drop in comparable sales in the first quarter due to the pandemic, as government-imposed lockdowns forced it to close stores and production sites in key markets.