World Coronavirus Dispatch: Tycoon running 500 hotels warns of more job cuts

Microsoft Corp said on Friday it would allow most of its employees to clock in up to half their weekly working hours remotely, providing greater flexibility even after offices start reopening.

The software-maker said in a blog post that while returning to office is optional for most employees for now, Microsoft was not committing to having every employee work remotely. It had 163,000 full-time employees as of June. 

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 36,883,768

Change Over Yesterday: 356,427

Total Deaths: 1,068,225

Total Recovered: 25,664,292

Nations hit with most cases: US (7,664,675), India (6,979,423), Brazil (5,055,888), Russia (1,265,572) and Colombia (894,300)

Coronavirus hospital numbers in England same as on eve of lockdown: The official data published on Friday showed there are now 3,090 Covid patients being treated in English hospitals, seven fewer than the 3,097 figure on March 23 — the first day of the lockdown. The total has risen by 50 per cent in the last week. Jonathan Van Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, warned at a private meeting of parliamentarians that the situation was “critical”. Read more here

Donald Trump Jr. to hit campaign trail after Covid quarantine: Donald Trump Jr., who self-quarantined after traveling with people who later tested positive for the coronavirus, is planning to take part in 26 campaign events next week on behalf of his father, according to sources. The younger Trump flew on Air Force One to last week’s debate in Cleveland with Trump, first lady and a bunch of officials. Read more here

Merkel sounds alert with virus resurgent in Europe’s cities: Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany is at a tipping point in Europe’s resurgent virus pandemic and France reported the most daily cases yet, signaling the potential for rising economic and human costs heading into the winter. Spain’s government has declared state of emergency in Madrid. Read more here

Tycoon running 500 hotels warns of more job cuts, closures: Minor International Pcl, which runs more than 500 hotels across 55 countries, may cut more jobs and shut recently re-opened properties as the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions continue to keep guests away. “We’ve taken a lot of job cuts and we’ll probably have to take more,” Bill Heinecke, chairman and founder, said in an interview. Read more here

In US, rapid Covid test push wavers on nursing home false positives: A federal effort to arm nursing homes with rapid coronavirus tests is stumbling on concern the tests return false positives, putting at least one state at odds with federal officials over the value of the tests. Nevada this month ordered nursing homes to stop using the point-of-care tests. Read more here

Argentina's GDP to fall 11.8 percent in 2020 due to Covid-19, central bank poll says: Argentina’s economy is set to contract by 11.8 percent in 2020, a slightly rosier outlook than a previous estimate of a 12.1 percent drop, according to a central bank survey. The bank´s Market Expectations Survey (REM) predicts inflation at 36.9 percent in 2020. Prices are expected to jump 3 percent in September, the poll showed. Read more here


US airlines make leisure passengers the new priority class 
US airlines are fighting over leisure travellers, the historic second-class citizens of flight, like passengers on a crowded plane angling for the last available overhead bin. United, American and Delta airlines have all discounted fares, eliminated change fees and revamped their networks to add more flights to holiday destinations as they seek to appeal to the only people flying right now. The pandemic has forced large airlines to focus on winning business from the roughly 80 per cent of passengers who bring in just 50 per cent of the revenue with corporate travellers staying home — except when they, too, are tempted by a sun-and-surf getaway. While the strategy has yielded working capital for airlines and decent deals for would-be holidaymakers, analysts said it is a long-term loser for the largest US carriers because it cannot cover the costs that accompany running a network for business travellers. Read more here 

How parents can support teenagers in the pandemic college process
College admissions consultants urge parents to push their teens to find creative ways to engage with activities, even if the usual channels of sports teams or in-person gatherings are shut down. Others suggest backing off during this stressful time. Some advised parents to go to great lengths to ensure their seniors sit for an SAT or ACT exam. Others just shrug and say test scores aren’t that important, anyway. They could all, however, agree on one thing: Pay attention to what your child wants and needs in this moment of swirling, shifting demands. Read more here

Where is the pandemic headed
The coronavirus is not going to be over anytime soon, say NYT health reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr. But on vaccines and other interventions, he finds reasons for optimism. Listen here 

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