World Coronavirus Dispatch: About 10 million under local lockdown across UK

Coronavirus testing
UN food chief David Beasley called on the world’s billionaires on Thursday to step up and help save some 30 million people he said are at risk of dying if they don’t receive help from the World Food Programme. Globally some 270 million people were headed toward the brink of starvation and WFP hopes to reach 138 million people this year, Beasley told the UN Security Council

“We need $4.9 billion to feed, for one year, all 30 million people who will die without WFP’s assistance,” Beasley said, noting that there are some 2,000 billionaires with a net worth of $8 trillion and several made billions during the pandemic,” said Beasley. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 30,078,889

Change Over Yesterday: 314,834

Total Deaths: 944,887

Total Recovered: 20,439,713

Nations hit with most cases: US (6,674,458), India (5,118,253), Brazil (4,455,386), Russia (1,081,152) and Peru (744,400)

A second wave of coronavirus across Europe: The WHO warned of a “very serious” resurgence of the coronavirus across Europe but said that transmission could be contained by local rather than national measures. “We have a very serious situation unfolding before us,” Hans Kluge, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, said. “Weekly cases have now exceeded those reported when the pandemic first peaked in Europe in March.” Read more here

France to further tighten coronavirus curbs in big cities: French health minister Olivier Véran said that new restrictions to slow the accelerating spread of coronavirus infections would be applied to the cities of Lyon and Nice, while Marseille and the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe could face even tighter measures than those already in place, including closure of bars and bans on public meetings. Read more here

US average daily death toll rises to highest in two weeks: The US reported its smallest rise in coronavirus deaths in three days on Thursday, but recent high tallies have lifted the nation's average fatality rate to its highest in two weeks. A further 863 people died from the disease, down from Wednesday's three-week high of 1,202 and compared with 1,170 a week ago. Read more here

Almost 10 million under local lockdown across UK: Local lockdowns now cover almost 15 per cent of the population as governments in all four UK nations struggle to contain a surge in coronavirus with minimum damage to the economy, keeping workplaces and schools open while instructing people not to socialise to avoid spreading the disease. Read more here

Qantas CEO pay sinks 83% to $1.2 million as Covid axes bonus: The compensation of Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas Airways, Australia biggest airline, fell 83 percent to A$1.7 million ($1.2 million) in the year ended June as the airline slashed salaries and bonuses to save money during the coronavirus crisis. Qantas is cutting as many as 8,500 jobs to weather a near-halt in income. Read more here

Citigroup to hire 6,000 young people in Asia as joblessness soars: Citigroup is embarking on hiring 6,000 young people in Asia over the next three years in an effort to help cushion the region from a blowout in youth unemployment. It’s also offering 60,000 job training opportunities for youth below the age of 24 over the next three years across its retail and institutional businesses in the region, the New York-based bank said. Read more here

Party-throwers risk $7,600 fine for violating Ontario pandemic rules: Throwing an illegal party in Ontario will now come at a serious cost. Organizers of these events will now be fined five figures — the highest in the country. "This is to send a message to the reckless, careless people that want to hold these parties, who want to put their neighbours and their community in jeopardy," said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Read more here


Infection rates soar in college towns as students return
Among the 50 US counties with the highest concentrations of students and overall populations of at least 50,000, 20 have consistently reported higher rates of new virus cases than their states have since September 1, according to an Associated Press analysis. On average, infection rates in those 20 counties have been more than three times higher than their states’ overall rates. At James Madison University in Virginia, which recently sent students home through September amid a surge in cases, the county is averaging a weekly infection rate of nearly 90 cases per 100,000 people, or more than eight times the statewide average. Health officials fear that surges among college students will spread to more vulnerable people — older ones and those with underlying health problems — and trigger a new wave of cases and hospitalizations. Some worry that colleges could overwhelm hospitals already bracing for increasing cases of Covid-19 and flu this fall and winter. Read more here

JPMorgan’s top Europe bankers see rising M&A as crisis wanes
“Companies across sectors are not shying away from large transactions, and are using this time to do deals they have been looking at for a long time,” said Dorothee Blessing, co-head of investment banking in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at the US lender. “In many cases, it’s with the goal of investing in the future rather than just defensive moves.” While the pandemic has dragged global deal volumes down 32 percent in 2020, there have been signs of a recovery in the second half. Companies led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group and US pharmaceuticals group Gilead Sciences have just ensured the fastest start to a week for mergers and acquisitions since late November 2019. Read more here

Covid symptoms: Is it a cold, flu or coronavirus?
Colds, flu and Covid-19 are caused by different viruses, but can have similar symptoms. Does a fever or sneezing mean you have the virus? What about a runny or blocked nose? What if you are very unwell? Some very useful advice here.

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