Global infections: 98,782,736
Change Over Yesterday: 602,245
Global deaths: 2,121,681
Nations with most cases: US (24,994,467), India (10,654,533), Brazil (8,816,254), Russia (3,679,247), United Kingdom (3,627,789).
Hong Kong and Madrid tighten lockdowns
Governments are reverting to strict social distancing norms with the spread of highly contagious variants threatening nascent recovery from the crisis. In a dramatic measure taken since coronavirus
surfaced, Hong Kong's authorities locked down parts of Jordan District, one of the most densely packed neighbourhoods, and began testing everyone there. In Madrid, restaurants and bars will need to close early on Monday, as part of a series of new lockdown curbs announced by the authorities in Spain’s capital region. In a seperate press conference, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had been advised of early signs that the new variant, which first emerged late in September, may carry higher risk of death, something scientists and researchers have denied so far. Read here
New Zealand sees first community case in months
New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus
community infection in nearly two months, with a 56-year-old woman testing positive. Authorities have began tracing her close contacts and the places she has visited. Public health experts and opposition parties in the country warned the government not to squander away the success it has achieved in containing the pandemic by delaying the vaccination programme. New Zealand has adopted a wait-and-watch strategy on inoculation to get to learn more about the vaccines' safety and efficacy, a move experts said will only put the public at risk with new variants spreading rapidly. Read here
Paris street artists face a lonely struggle
For more than 140 years, Paris's iconic the "Place du Tertre" or "artists’ square" has been a haven for painters. Many legendary ones such as Van Gogh and Picasso lived and worked in the now picturesque but previously poor district. Over time, the square became famous for its landmark street artists among those on the tourist trail. In normal times Place du Tertre is packed with tourists, even on a chilly January afternoon. However, in the time of coronavirus, the square, home to painters, portraitists and silhouette artists, is almost entirely deserted. The artists are struggling – and not just due to lack of tourists. Read here
Thai hotel groups urge scrapping of quarantine rules for vaccinated tourists
Thailand’s hotel operators want the government to do away with mandatory quarantine rules for foreign tourists who show proof they have been vaccinated for coronavirus in order to revive the crisis-hit industry, according to a report in the Financial Times. Thailand's economy is heavily dependent on tourism, the second-largest industry, accounting for about a fifth of gross domestic product. The country sealed its borders to most foreign visitors last March and imposed strict testing and quarantine measures on those seeking to enter. The pandemic has emptied out some of Thailand’s best-known attractions with government subsidies for Thais’ hotels making up only part of the industry’s losses. Read here
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.