World Coronavirus Dispatch: US states see 'disturbing surge' in infections

Topics Coronavirus | United States | Japan

In Kawasaki, a city just south of Tokyo, nearly 300 people had tested positive for the coronavirus by early June.
America's top infectious disease expert has told lawmakers that the US is seeing a "disturbing surge" in coronavirus infections in some states. A panel of health officials, including Dr Anthony Fauci, said the next few days will be crucial to stem the new outbreaks. Cases are climbing rapidly across a number of US states. The four top experts also testified they were never told by President Donald Trump to "slow down" testing.

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 9,263,466
Change Over Yesterday: 163,376
Total Deaths: 477,584
Total Recovered: 4,630,391
Nations hit with most cases: US (2,347,022), Brazil (1,145,906), Russia (598,878), India (456,183) and UK (307,682)

World Bank approves $1 billion aid for Congo: The World Bank approved a $1 billion aid package for the Democratic Republic of Congo in a sign of confidence that the country’s new government can grow revenue and distance itself from a long history of corruption.

US’s GNC files for bankruptcy: US health and wellness company GNC Holdings filed for bankruptcy protection with the aim of selling itself and closing stores after its latest effort to manage its debt load failed. Founded in 1935 in Pennsylvania, it sells  selling health and nutrition related product. Read more here

Credit Suisse says Asia stocks to outperform in second half: Asia excluding Japan stocks are set to outperform other emerging markets in the second half of 2020, supported by a weakening U.S. dollar, improving economic data and monetary policy support, according to Credit Suisse Group AG. Read more here

UK lockdown to lift in July: Boris Johnson has launched the biggest gamble of his premiership, announcing that July will see a dramatic lifting of the lockdown measures imposed in England in March. The goal is to save the economy. The risk is that it causes a second spike in coronavirus infections.

UK news publishers seek compensation: News publishers have asked the government to waive competition rules so the industry can discuss contingency plans for Britain’s 200-year-old newspaper distribution system. After decades of consolidation, Menzies Distribution and Smiths News have been left as a duopoly, acting as exclusive suppliers by postcode.


When the virus hit, Japan already had an army of contact tracers

In Kawasaki, a city just south of Tokyo, nearly 300 people had tested positive for the coronavirus by early June. But Koizumi was unperturbed. Kawasaki’s seven public health centres are part of a web of over 450 such institutions across Japan which played a crucial role in limiting the nation’s outbreak. The centres meant Japan already had an army of trained contact tracers when the virus struck, and may provide a model for other countries as they look to build systems that will future-proof them for the next pandemic.

An epidemic of contaminated waste is following the coronavirus

The world is struggling to deal with the spread of another medical problem created by the coronavirus -- a deluge of contaminated waste. During the peak of the crisis, Wuhan, the city where the outbreak began, generated 240 tons a day of medical refuse -- six times the normal level, according to the nation’s Environment Ministry. Manila in the Philippines produced an additional 280 tons a day of medical trash, while Jakarta generated 212 tons, the Asian Development Bank estimated. Only a few countries have the capacity to handle the additional volumes, the bank said.


Making sense of pent up-demand: Indulgences are Out, durables are in Consumer behavior in China and South Korea as the pandemic eased offers clues to how Americans will act. The first thing the Chinese did was take out insurance policies-- they bought apartments, long seen as a store of value. In May home sales quickly reversed April’s decline, with prices in first-tier megacities jumping 8.6 percent from a year ago. North Asians seem to favor durable goods. From China to South Korea, car sales staged a sharp V-shaped rebound. People were also spending money on home improvement, with furniture sales back up in China. Meanwhile, demand for pure consumption goods, such as clothing, remained sluggish in China as well as South Korea. The tilt toward durables makes sense, because consumers still feel fragile.

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