World coronavirus dispatch: 20% of US workforce has sought jobless benefits

Topics Coronavirus | USA | Donald Trump

A medical worker at NYU Langone Medical Center is asked to take a group photo of her medical staff colleagues
In some cheer for sports fans, Germany's Bundesliga is resuming from 16 May, albeit behind closed doors. It has become the first sporting event to announce a re-start. The German Football Association (DFL) said the season would resume under strict health protocols that ban fans from the stadium and require players to have Covid-19 testing. Around 300 people, including players, staff and officials, will be in or around the stadiums during match days. The league has been suspended since 13 March.

The development may be marker for how other sporting events might resume in the post-Covid era. While organisers would lose key ticketing revenue and some advertisers might back out, hitting the broadcast earnings, a tapered re-start, some say, is better than nothing.

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total confirmed cases: 3,781,896

Change over previous day: 101,520

Total deaths: 264,602

Total recovered: 1,254,744

Nations hit with most cases: The US (1,231,943), Spain (220,325), Italy (214,457), the UK (202,359) and Russia (177,160).


US unemployment claims hit 33.3 million: A further 3.2 million Americans sought unemployment benefits last week as the economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic continued to mount. The new applications brought the total number of jobless claims since mid-March to 33.3 million, or about 20 per cent of the US workforce. The number of new claims reported each week has subsided since hitting a peak of 6.9 million in March.

US, China trade chiefs to speak to end deadlock: Top Chinese and American trade negotiators will speak as soon as next week after US President Donald Trump threatened to "terminate" the phase-one trade deal between the two countries if Beijing failed to adhere to the terms. The halt to global trade due to the coronavirus outbreak means that Chinese purchase of US goods have been far behind the agreed pace in the first four months of the year.

UK central bank to extend stimulus: The Bank of England signalled it could expand monetary stimulus as soon as next month to help the battered UK economy amid an outlook for a 14 per cent slump that could be the worst in Europe. Policy makers wanted to immediately increase bond purchases – the main policy tool now that the key interest rate is near zero – by 100 billion pounds ($124 billion) at Wednesday’s meeting.

WHO may launch mission in China to find source of virus: The World Health Organization is considering a new mission to seek the source of the novel coronavirus in China, amid growing controversy over the origin of a pandemic that has killed more than a quarter of a million people globally. An earlier mission in February determined bats as reservoir for the virus, but an intermediate host could not be identified.

Japan approves Gilead’s remdesivir as Covid-19 drug: Japan has approved Gilead’s remdesivir as a treatment for Covid-19, making it the country’s first officially authorised drug for the disease. Japan reached the decision just three days after the US drugmaker filed for fast-track approval for the treatment.

Russia overtakes Germany, France after record surge in coronavirus cases: Russia overtook France and Germany in number of confirmed coronavirus cases to become the fifth most affected country in the world after witnessing a record daily surge. Moscow’s mayor said the real number of cases in the capital was more than triple the official tally. Further, restrictions in Moscow have been extended until May 31.

Europe's richest man loses $30 billion in pandemic: Europe’s wealthiest man, Bernard Arnault is spending long hours plotting a post-virus future for his luxury goods empire, LVMH. The billionaire, 71, who owns more than 70 brands – from Dior to Fendi – has seen his wealth plunging. With LVMH shares down 19 per cent this year, his net worth shrank by more than $30 billion, more money lost than by any other individual in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Gold's Gym files for bankruptcy: Gold's Gym has filed for bankruptcy protection. Its 700 gyms worldwide will stay open as it looks to restructure during the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, Gold's Gym permanently closed about 30 company-owned gyms. The company at the time said the decision was made "to maintain the strength and growth of the potential of the brand as well as ensure the continued viability of the company for decades to come".

Facebook provides $16 million funding to 200 local newsrooms: Facebook has awarded $16 million in grants to more than 200 local news outlets – $10.3 million from the Covid-19 relief fund and $5.4 million for participants in its local news accelerator programme.


Coronavirus impact on indigenous people: The outbreak is posing a particular threat to many indigenous groups. Across the globe, these people tend to have poorer health and less access to health care than their non-indigenous peers. While there are vast differences among indigenous groups, the United Nations estimates the life expectancy of indigenous people can be up to 20 years lower than that of their counterparts.

Long Reads

The medical students who joined the battle against coronavirus: Fourth-year medical students of the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University graduated early to go to work in overwhelmed hospitals. But the pandemic has made their training more complicated, and more perilous.


Experience this for charts on pandemic spread across the world

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