World coronavirus dispatch: Hottest Silicon Valley start-ups are on sale

Topics Coronavirus | Death toll | Lockdown

FILE PIC: A doctor collects sample from a man for COVID-19 test in a 'Red Zone' area of Bemina during ongoing nationwide lockdown, in Srinagar
A report from a group of experts at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota has warned that the coronavirus pandemic is likely to last as long as two years.

As people may be at their most infectious before they display any symptoms, controlling the outbreak is much more difficult, the report warned. It is unlikely that the warning will cause politicians to further delay their plans to reopen economies, as the costs continue to mount from the shutdown. Authorities are focusing on finding a vaccine amid the move to ease lockdowns around the world.

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total confirmed cases: 3,274,747

Change over previous day: 52,640

Total deaths: 233,792

Total recovered: 1,023,911

Nations hit with most cases: The US (1,070,032), Spain (213,435), Italy (205,463), the UK (172,481) and France (167,301).

European economy could stay below last year’s level through 2022: The euro-area economy could shrink as much as 12 per cent this year and fail to return to its pre-coronavirus size until the end of 2022, according to the European Central Bank. The ECB has predicted an uncertain recovery from the crisis. Gross domestic product might rebound by only 4-6 per cent next year. Read more here.

Trump resumes offensive on China: US President Donald Trump seems to be resuming his campaign against China by exploring options to block a government retirement savings fund from investing in Chinese equities. He told reporters he could also use tariffs to hit the country as he speculated China could have spread coronavirus. Read more here.

US essential workers strike: Essential workers in the US went on a nationwide strike on 1 May, the Labour Day, to demand safer conditions during the coronavirus outbreak, while other groups planned rallies against tight stay-at-home orders they said were crippling the US economy. The organisers said employees of Amazon, Whole Foods, Target, Fedex and other companies would be in attendance. Read more here.

More job cuts at WeWork: Sandeep Mathrani, the WeWork CEO, has warned staff that more jobs would be lost on top of the 2,400 eliminated last year and 250 more in March. WeWork, which rents out office space on short-term and flexible leases, has had a turbulent year after pulling its IPO in September and ousting the co-founder and CEO. Read more here.

UK households and companies stockpile cash: UK households and businesses hoarded cash in March as the coronavirus lockdown began to bite, with the Bank of England reporting a record increase in the amount of money held in bank accounts, and in borrowing by larger businesses. Read more here.

Dubai ruler donates 60 tonnes of protective equipment to UK: The ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum has donated 60 tonnes of personal protective equipment to the UK, according to Dubai Media Office. Sheikh Mohammed bought the equipment from suppliers in China and offered it to the UK’s National Health Service. Read more here


Coronavirus impact on markets: The best month for global equities in almost a decade has given way to a poor start to 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 would come next would be particularly fraught. US President Donald Trump also rattled markets by reviving his trade dispute with China as he sought to blame the nation for the spread of the virus. Read more here

How coronavirus is reshaping Asia's borders, business and trade: In the Asia Pacific, China, India, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand and Australia have all barred non-residents from entering. Others, including Japan, have suspended visa waivers and imposed quarantines on most arrivals. Whole cities are under effective lockdowns — streets empty, businesses shuttered. The suddenness with which these measures dropped into place is shocking for those who have only known an era of globalisation and relative plenty. Read more here

Future of air-travel, for average travel: Quick rundown of all things expected when air travel resumes again, whenever it does. Expect everything to take much longer. Passengers could be required to arrive at least four hours ahead of their flights and pass through a "disinfection tunnel" or thermal scanner. New procedures for everything from luggage check-in to security clearance and boarding. You might even need to have your blood tested to prove you're in good health before boarding. Read this to get a sense.

Hottest Silicon Valley start-ups begin to sell themselves at a discount: Many Silicon Valley companies have some headroom after raising money last year. But more than a quarter of US start-ups are still projected to run out of cash before the IMF expects the world to return to economic growth later this year. Read about those firms here.

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