World Coronavirus Dispatch: Slim chances of catching Covid-19 in a flight

Around the world, people are grasping onto their sacrosanct daily pleasures, moments of near normality
Last-ditch talks on new aid package for US economy fail: Democrats and Republicans remain at odds over everything from unemployment benefits to financial aid for schools. The failure to reach a deal will disappoint tens of millions of unemployed Americans who had been receiving an extra $600 a week on top of normal unemployment benefits during the pandemic. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:                                              
Total Confirmed Cases: 1,90,25,580
Change Over Yesterday: 2,11,402
Total Deaths: 7,13,845
Total Recovered: 1,14,95,650

Nations hit with most cases: US (48,82,433), Brazil (29,12,212), India (19,64,536), Russia (8,70,187) and South Africa (5,38,184)

Russia reports more than 5,200 new coronavirus cases: Russian authorities reported 5,212 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, pushing its national tally to 882,347, the fourth largest in the world. The official death toll rose to 14,854 after officials said 129 people had died across the country in the last 24 hours. Read more here 

India's Serum Institute to get $150 million from Gates Foundation for Covid-19 vaccine: Serum Institute of India would receive $150 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GAVI vaccines alliance to make 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for India and other emerging economies as early as 2021. Read more here 

UK restaurants boosted by discount scheme but still in pain: Restaurateurs hailed a surge in bookings and doubling of sales on the first day of the government’s Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme, but warned that the industry was “still in crisis”. Food sales in pubs and restaurants on Monday were up 100 per cent on the week before and were 95 per cent up on Tuesday, according to the main industry tracker, CGA. Read more here 

Mauritius becomes first African country to weed out coronavirus: Mauritius is one of the few places in the world that hasn’t had a locally transmitted infection in over three months. It recorded its last Covid-19 death on April 27 and has managed to keep the total number of confirmed cases to just 344. Read more here 


Millions of Americans have lost jobs in the pandemic — and robots and AI are replacing them faster than ever: Machines have made jobs obsolete for centuries. The spinning jenny replaced weavers, buttons displaced elevator operators, and the Internet drove travel agencies out of business. One study estimates that about 400,000 jobs were lost to automation in U.S. factories from 1990 to 2007. But the drive to replace humans with machinery is accelerating as companies struggle to avoid workplace infections of Covid-19 and to keep operating costs low. The US shed around 40 million jobs at the peak of the pandemic, and while some have come back, some will never return. One group of economists estimates that 42 percent of the jobs lost are gone forever. Read more here

The odds of catching Covid-19 on a flight are slim: Arnold Barnett, a professor of management science at MIT, has been trying to quantify the odds of catching Covid-19 from flying. He’s factored in a bunch of variables, including the odds of being seated near someone in the infectious stage of the disease, and the odds that the protection of masks (now required on most flights) will fail. He’s accounted for the way air is constantly renewed in airplane cabins, which experts say makes it very unlikely you’ll contract the disease from people who aren’t in your immediate vicinity. What Barnett came up with was that we have about a 1/4300 chance of getting Covid-19 on a full 2-hour flight — that is, about 1 in 4300 passengers will pick up the virus, on average. The odds of getting the virus are about half that, 1/7700, if airlines leave the middle seat empty. Read more here 

The things we buy to feel normal: Around the world, people are grasping onto their sacrosanct daily pleasures, moments of near normality in an otherwise upended world. Although cafes in commuter areas and city centers are suffering while workers stay home, consumers are finding their fix in local neighbourhoods. In London, there were plenty of customers Saturday enjoying an afternoon drink at Pubs. After an initial devastating hit, customers are also returning to the big chains Starbucks and McDonald’s. In San Diego, California, a burrito is the perfect end to a long day of surfing or swimming. Roberto’s Taco Shop serves its popular California burrito — filled with french fries, carne asada, sour cream and cheddar cheese — at a number of locations along the coast. Read more here


This week in the global economy, in charts
Here are some of the charts that appeared on Bloomberg this week, offering insight into the latest developments in the global economy. Check them out here

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