World coronavirus dispatch: Europe recovering; Trump may ease curbs in US

Topics USA | Italy | Coronavirus

Europe is beginning to show some signs of recovery. Spain’s construction and manufacturing workers are back in action, and so are many stores in Austria and some in Italy. In Denmark, kids below the age of 11 have started going back to school.

A sobering bottom line, via Merkel – “It is a fragile situation in which caution is required, not exuberance.”

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total confirmed cases: 2,078,277

Change over previous day: 77,293

Total deaths: 138,101

Total recovered: 3,261,611

Nations hit with most cases: US (639,664), Spain (182,816), Italy (165,155), Germany (134,753) and France (134,582).

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Japan hands out cash to every citizen: The Japanese government has decided on a cash handout of 100,000 yen ($930) for every citizen, regardless of their income, to lower the economic blow from the new coronavirus. This distribution will cost the government more than 12 trillion yen, or $11 billion. Read more here.

US industrial output contraction in March: American industrial output registered its biggest decline since the US demobilised in 1946 at the end of World War II. Retail sales fell by an unprecedented 8.7 per cent, and April is expected to be far worse. Read more here.

Trump to announce re-opening plans: US President Donald Trump has said he will announce guidelines to ease the stay-at-home rules, citing data suggesting that the US has passed the peak of new cases. On Wednesday, Trump had a marathon round of calls with business leaders who urged him to move forward on reopening of the economy. Read more here.

New York may lose 475,000 jobs and $10 billion in taxes: Retail employment will take the biggest hit in the US, potentially shedding 100,000 jobs from April through June, according to state government agency. Another 86,000 jobs in hotels and restaurants, and 26,000 in the arts, entertainment and recreation industries, will also be lost. Read more here.

Germany slowly eases its lockdown measures: Europe’s largest economy is ready to emerge from a hibernation. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said her country will begin to slowly ease lockdown restrictions — some shops might open next week and schools would re-open from May 4. Read more here.

People return to shopping malls in China: The Chinese are slowly returning to shopping malls and auto dealerships. Authorities are trying to encourage spending by handing out shopping vouchers, but some people are still uneasy about a possible resurgence of coronavirus infections or losing their jobs. Read more here.

US media jobs hit by coronavirus: The Los Angeles Times, claiming “advertising revenue has been nearly eliminated” because of coronavirus, said it would furlough business-side employees and slash pay for senior executives by 5 per cent to 15 per cent. Read more here.


6 conditions for ending lockdowns by WHO:

  • Disease transmission under control
  • Health systems are able to "detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact"
  • Hot spot risks are minimised in vulnerable places
  • Schools, workplaces and other essential places have preventive measures
  • The risk of importing new cases "can be managed"
  • Communities are educated, engaged and empowered to live under a new normal

The doctor’s life: An AP photographer documented a doctor in a hard-hit Italian city, from his tension-laden 12-hour overnight shift to his drastically altered routine at home with his wife and 10-year-old son. See it here.

Interview with Changyong Rhee, IMF's Asia-Pacific director: Asian economies could fare better than their key trading partners in 2020, says IMF's Asia-Pacific director, with a projected growth rate of 1 per cent for emerging Asia and 0 per cent for Asia as a whole. But he warns that forecasts are uncertain due to countries in the region being at different stages of the pandemic. Read it here.


Coronavirus is mutating. What does it mean for a vaccine? A successful vaccine could stop the virus dead in its tracks, but only if the virus doesn't mutate its way around the shot. Here's what scientists are watching out for.


Mercedes AMG has unveils the production process of a new breathing aid. Watch it here:


Mercedes AMG unveils the production process of a new breathing aid

— Reuters (@Reuters) April 16, 2020

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