World Coronavirus Dispatch: European Union finally agrees on relief package

Two early trials, one from the University of Oxford, and one from a group of researchers in Wuhan, have shown positive results
European Union finally agrees on relief package: EU leaders Tuesday stitched together a consensus for a historic relief plan to support Europe out of the coronavirus crisis. As per the plan, European Commission, EU’s executive body, will borrow 750 billion euros ($857 billion) using its triple-A-rated debt, and disburse 390 billion euros ($446 billion) in grants and 360 billion euros ($412 billion) in cheap loans to its member nations. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics: 

Total Confirmed Cases: 14,714,500

Change Over Yesterday: 207,009
Total Deaths: 610,149
Total Recovered: 8,305,326

Nations hit with most cases: US (3,830,926), Brazil (2,118,646), India (1,155,338), Russia (782,040) and South Africa (373,628)

Oxford, Wuhan Centre vaccine candidates show promise: Two early trials, one from the University of Oxford, and one from a group of researchers in Wuhan, have shown positive results. Both early trials showed efficacy in increasing the presence of antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to Covid-19, and also indicated that these prospective vaccines were safe to administer based on available information. Read more here

Two South African ministers in hospital with coronavirus: Two members of the South African cabinet -- Thembelani Nxesi, the minister for employment and labour, and Gwede Mantashe, the minister for mineral resources -- have been admitted to hospital with Covid -19. Both men had been self-isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus. Read more here

Swiss watch exports may slide 30 per cent: The Swiss watch industry faces a 30 per cent drop in exports this year as the coronavirus pandemic slashed demand. The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry gave the forecast after shipments declined 36 per cent to $7.4 billion in the first half. A full-year decline that big would be the worst performance in decades. Read more here

LinkedIn cuts 960 jobs: Microsoft’s professional networking site LinkedIn said on Tuesday it would cut about 960 jobs, or six per cent of its global workforce, as the coronavirus pandemic is having a sustained impact on demand for its recruitment products. Jobs will be cut across sales and hiring divisions of the group globally. Read more here

Amid pandemic, Singapore reports worst spell of dengue: Singapore is on track to record its worst dengue outbreak in history, with new weekly cases that have surpassed Covid-19 cases in the city-state. Recorded cases of the disease reached 1,736 in the week ending July 18, the highest number of weekly infections ever recorded. Read more here


How safe is going to gym?
TL; DR: It depends on where you live and the precautions you and the gym take. Experts suggest avoiding the locker rooms, bringing your own water bottle and using hand sanitiser. They also suggest checking in online, rather than in person, and seeking activities that are outdoors instead of indoors when possible. Gym staff should be cleaning exercise machines between uses and regularly wiping down other frequently touched areas with products that kill viruses. And experts say face coverings should be worn at the gym whenever possible. Read more here

WHO’s “unbiased” inquiry to find the source of virus in China, under question: Chinese officials are hailing a visit by a team of experts sent to Beijing by the WHO to investigate the source of the coronavirus as evidence that the country is a responsible and transparent global power. But the investigation is likely to take many months and could face delays. It is unclear how much access the two scientists received, and now they are in 14-day quarantine before they start work on collating the findings. Moreover, “the whole political landscape is not favorable to doing an unbiased scientific investigation,” said Wang Linfa, a virologist in Singapore. Read more here

5 ways how coronavirus has changed suburban real estate: 
The well-documented exodus from the cities in the US over the past few months is upending housing market dynamics in close-in suburbs in Long Island, Fairfield County, Conn., Westchester County and northern New Jersey. Areas that have seen declining values for years are suddenly attracting flocks of buyers. Multiple competing offers, a phenomenon last commonplace in the run-up to the housing market collapse, are the norm again for listings in turnkey condition, and especially if they’re priced under $1 million. Demand for single-family rentals is also unrelenting — and landlords are cashing in big-time. Read more here

Meet the man who sailed across the Atlantic alone, to get home to his elderly parents
That's what Juan Manuel Ballestero did when flights were cancelled and borders shut, at the start of the coronavirus lockdown. He spoke to the BBC at the end of an 85-day journey. Watch here

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