World coronavirus dispatch: WHO chief says no return to 'old normal' soon

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
WHO chief says no return to the 'old normal' for foreseeable future as Covid-19 cases globally going past the 13 million figure.

"Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction; the virus remains public enemy number one. If the basics aren't followed, there is only one way this pandemic is going to go. It's going to get worse and worse and worse," said Tedros Ghebreyesus.

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 13,103,290

Change Over Yesterday: 349,792

Total Deaths: 572,428

Total Recovered: 7,228,660

Nations hit with most cases: US (3,363,056), Brazil (1,884,967), India (878,254), Russia (732,547) and Peru (330,123)

Source:

One of world’s busiest borders to reopen after virus closure: Singapore and Malaysia will implement a reciprocal green lane for travel across their border, which some 300,000 people traverse by land each day. Officials are aiming to start the program August 10, facilitating travel for essential business and official purposes.

Singapore’s GDP falls 12.6 per cent: Singapore's economy shrank 12.6 per cent on the year in the April-June quarter due to sweeping Covid-19 business closures, the government's preliminary data showed. Singapore is one of the first Asian countries to report GDP figures for the April-June period, when many economies were under lockdowns.

UK warned of winter resurgence in Covid-19: A winter resurgence of Covid-19 in the UK could result in more cases and deaths than the recent peak, according to a government-commissioned report. In the worst-case scenario, where very limited action is taken, the number of coronavirus-related deaths could hit 120,000 between September and June 2021.

UK economy shrinks by one-fifth under lockdown: It shrank by 19.1 percent in the three months to May, as the full impact of lockdown was felt. The economy actually grew by 1.8 percent in May, but this was not enough to make up for the fall of 6.9 per cent in March and the record 20.4 percent decline in April.

California under lockdown as virus cases surge: California Governor Gavin Newsom’s decision Monday to reimpose restrictions on bars, restaurants, gyms and even ordinary office work to tamp down a surge of coronavirus infections is dimming economic growth prospects for the nation as a whole. The Golden States employs 40 million people.

Specials

Here's how scientists know the coronavirus wasn't made in a lab

 
The genetic makeup or “genome” of SARS-CoV-2 has been sequenced and publicly shared thousands of times by scientists all over the world. If the virus had been genetically engineered in a lab there would be signs of manipulation in the genome data. This would include evidence of an existing viral sequence as the backbone for the new virus, and obvious, targeted inserted (or deleted) genetic elements.

Private jet billionaire bets on bright future for high-end trips: With no clear recovery in sight for commercial airlines, luxury jet owners plan to capitalize on growing awareness and demand for the flexibility and greater physical distancing that private jets offer. One of the companies Malta-based VistaJet Group said that the demand was booming given that C-suite executives will continue to travel to business is attractive.

Europe, U.S. not convinced on working from home
Working from home became the norm for many during virus restrictions, but people aren’t sure they want it to continue in the post-pandemic world, according to according to YouGov’s Economic Recovery Tracker covering 26 countries. In 12 of those nations, including Canada, Australia, the U.S. and most of Europe, more respondents disagreed than agreed with the statement “I will work from home a lot more.”

Fake pharmaceutical industry thrives in West Africa 

The lack of regulatory oversight is one of the reasons why the region is so attractive to criminals in the business of falsifying medicines. And in West Africa it is a big business. In Nigeria, when there are arrests, often the networks are so powerful that there are rarely prosecutions - the best lawyers are hired to negotiate bail or find ways to adjourn court cases for many years.

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