World coronavirus dispatch: An opportunity to pitch surveillance tools?

Topics Coronavirus

A medic works on a sample for Covid-19 Rapid Test at a camp during the nationwide lockdown imposed in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, in Bhubaneswar, Monday, April 20, 2020 | Photo: PTI
Nations have started charting paths to ease lockdown measures imposed since January. With new confirmed infections and Covid-19 related deaths slowing in many countries, governments are coming under pressure to reopen schools and businesses, and relax movement restrictions.

Compare policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic:

Track the developments using Covid-19 Government Response Stringency Index by FT, a composite score developed by researchers at Oxford University 

Let’s look at global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 3,359,055
Change Over Yesterday: 84,308
Total Deaths: 239,090
Total Recovered: 1,060,848 

Nations hit with most cases: US (1,169,774), Spain (245,567), Italy (209,328), UK (182,260) and France (168,396)

Source: Center

Asian airlines navigate new safety norms after coronavirus

Across Asia, airlines are introducing social distancing-adhering seating plans, conducting temperature checks, and reducing or eliminating in-flight services, such as food and beverage sales and duty-free shopping, all in a bid to convince passengers -- and regulators -- that it is safe to fly again. Read more here  

Spain allows outdoor activities like exercise: Spanish adults are jogging and cycling again for the first time after seven weeks of coronavirus lockdown. The lockdown - one of Europe's strictest - was eased for children a week ago. There are now exercise slots for different age groups. Most adults can walk or play sports between 06:00 and 10:00, and between 20:00 and 23:00. Read more here  

Singapore reopens China drugstores and barbers with tracing system

Singapore will reopen businesses, step by step, starting May 5. Retail businesses that reopen will be required to use the government-developed SafeEntry contact tracing system to record who visits shops. Acupuncturists and Chinese medicine stores can open. Other businesses, including barbers, pet supply retailers and pastry shops, will be allowed to reopen on May 12. Read more here  

FDA grants an emergency use authorisation for remdesivir: The Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorised emergency use of remdesivir to treat Covid-19, but this is not an official regulatory approval. Remdesivir was shown in a clinical trial to shorten the time to recovery in some people. Read more here  

Rolls-Royce to cut up to 8,000 jobs: The aeroplane engine-maker is preparing to cut up to 8,000 jobs, the biggest single reduction in more than 30 years, after aircraft makers Airbus and Boeing slashed production to cope with plunging demand from airlines.

The company is drawing up a plan to shrink the 52,000-strong workforce by up to 15 per cent. Read more here  

UK offices set to remain closed for months: White-collar employers will be expected to keep most staff working from home for several months to prevent public transport from being overwhelmed. The business department, which has been working closely with company leaders to draw up plans for best-practice, will publish the recommendations next week. Read more here

Smartphone shipments fall: Global shipments of smartphones fell at the fastest rate on record in the first quarter, illustrating the devastating impact of Covid-19 on consumption and production. Shipments totalled about 275 million, an 11 percent decline from last year. Read more here  


Coronavirus impact on markets: The best month for global equities in almost a decade has given way to a poor start in May. The latest hit to investor sentiment came from an unlikely source -- megacap tech duo Apple Inc. and Inc. Both reported results that demonstrated resilience, but warned that predicting what comes next is particularly fraught. President Donald Trump also rattled markets by reviving his trade dispute with China as he seeks to blame the nation for the virus’s spread. Read more here  

Cyber-intel firms pitch spy tools to governments to trace coronavirus: Intelligence firms are pitching mass surveillance tools to governments as a way for countries to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Israeli and other firms known for mobile device-hacking software are telling governments how their services can help. So far, Israel is the only country known to be testing a mass surveillance system pitched by the companies, asking NSO Group, to help build its platform. Read more here  

From Comic-Con to Cannes, pandemic-hit events look for ways to convene: Some are using technology to try to replicate interactions like “bumping into” an industry colleague in the hallway. Others are pressing ahead with in-person events, but with precautions like limiting attendance and using contact-tracing apps. Many events are just cancelling or postponing. The events industry has historically been slow to rebound from economic recession. Read more here  

Long read

How should countries determine the death toll: Belgium is counting in a way that no other country in the world is currently doing: counting deaths in hospitals and care homes, but including deaths in care homes that are suspected, not confirmed, as Covid-19 cases. Read more here


How does Unilever Inc CEO Alan Jope see the global economy shifting and how will it impact the way we do business? "We are going into a recessionary environment. And all companies should be thinking about value proposition." Watch here

How does @Unilever CEO @alanjope see the global economy shifting and how will it impact the way we do business? "We are going into a recessionary environment. And all companies should be thinking about value proposition." #BloombergBreakaway

— Bloomberg Live (@BloombergLive) May 1, 2020

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