World Coronavirus Dispatch: Covid-19 drugs enter the black market

A health worker collects a swab sample for Covid-19 Rapid antigen testing at CMO office old Civil Hospital, in Gurugram.
Covid-19 drugs entre the black market: A BBC investigation has found that two life-saving drugs used to treat Covid-19 patients in India - remdesivir and tocilizumab - are in short supply and being sold for excessive rates on a thriving black market. The demand for remdesivir is driven by the fact that it has managed to cut the duration of Covid symptoms from 15 days down to 11 in clinical trial at hospitals around the world.

 
Experts have warned that it's no "silver bullet". But in the absence of any proven drug, doctors are increasingly prescribing it in India, driving demand in Delhi and other Indian cities. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics: 



Total Confirmed Cases: 11,272,342

Change Over Yesterday: 35,447

Total Deaths: 538,190
Total Recovered: 6,305,845

Nations hit with most cases: US (2,938,624), Brazil (1,623,284), India (719,664), Russia (686,852) and Peru (305,703)


UK virus death toll passes 55,000: Suspected death toll in UK has hit 55,398. However, the government has said total deaths in England and Wales in the week to June 26 had now fallen below the five-year average for the second week running. Read more here

 
Trump says US aid program protected 51.1 million jobs: US treasury released Monday gives Americans their first full look at who got cash from the Paycheck Protection Program. Senior officials hailed the program as a “wild success,” with the data showing it supported about 84 percent of all small business employees. Read more here 

 
Harvard asks most students to study remotely: Harvard University said Monday that only up to 40 percent of its undergraduates would be allowed on campus at a time during the next academic year, but that tuition and fees would remain the same. The university said that all first-year students would be invited to campus for the fall semester, but would be sent home in the spring to allow seniors to return before they graduate. Read more here 

 
UK newspaper publisher Reach to cut 550 jobs: As well as cutting 12 per cent of its workforce, Reach also plans to close some of its offices and centralise operations. About 1,000 members of staff have been on the government’s furlough scheme since April. Read more here


Melbourne goes into a six-week lockdown: Australia’s second-largest city will be locked down for six weeks as a coronavirus outbreak risks triggering a second wave of infections in the nation. The state recorded 191 new cases overnight, its biggest daily increase since the crisis began. Read more here 

 
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad aims to fly to 58 destinations by August: Etihad Airways aims to operate at about 45 percent of its pre-coronavirus capacity by August as airlines across the world ramp up flights. The Abu Dhabi state-owned carrier plans to fly to 58 destinations, subject to lifting of international restrictions. See this link for complete list of destinations. Read more here 

 
Europe set for deeper recession: European Commission: Europe’s economy will suffer more than previously estimated this year and take longer to recover because of the coronavirus, according to the European Commission. It now forecasts a contraction of 8.7 percent in the euro area this year, a full percentage point deeper than previously predicted. Read more here

Specials

Virus’s devastating toll on Egypt: 
More than a quarter of employed Egyptians lost their jobs between the end of February and May. Egypt in March suspended international flights, banned mass gatherings and imposed a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew while calling on people to cut travel between provinces. The government earlier cut its economic growth projections for the fiscal year that started in July, but the depth of the slowdown depends on when the contagion will subside. According to a research report, about 90 percent of Egypt’s households switched to cheaper food to adjust to the new circumstances. Read more here 

 
In Tokyo, a temple offers pandemic-hit Vietnamese workers a safe haven
The three-storey Buddhist temple, Nisshinkutsu, has become a haven for young Vietnamese migrant workers, one of the groups hardest-hit by the economic slump that followed the novel coronavirus outbreak in Japan. In ordinary times, nuns at the temple would offer prayers for the deceased, but with the coronavirus upending the economy, they now spend their time making care packages for Vietnamese scattered across the country. The temple became known after it took in Vietnamese workers who were left homeless after the 2011 earthquake in northern Japan. Read more here 

 
Beijing just reported no new cases. Here’s how they turned it around
Instead of resorting to a sudden across-the-board lockdown that risked reversing the gains made since China started reopening, Beijing deployed more targeted measures. While some -- like confining whole neighborhoods to their homes -- may be more difficult to replicate, they could hold lessons for other countries given an effective vaccine is months, potentially even years, away. Overall, China has the capacity to test 3.8 million samples nationwide every day, officials said June 24, likely one of the fastest speeds worldwide. Such scale is achieved using a method known as batch testing, where multiple samples are assessed simultaneously with detailed follow-up if any trace of the virus is found. Read more here

Watch: Any coronavirus vaccine would offer only "finite" protection, says Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Watch it here


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