World coronavirus dispatch: Symptomless spread is 'rare', says WHO

Transmission of the coronavirus by asymptomatic people is “very rare”, said the World Health Organization’s (WHO's) Maria Van Kerkhove
The global economy will this year contract the most since World War II, and emerging nations’ output will shrink for the first time in at least six decades, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank has said. Global GDP will probably shrink 5.2 per cent in 2020, and emerging and developing economies will shrink 2.5 per cent, their worst performance since 1960, when collation of data began. Read here

Let’s look at the global statistics

Total confirmed cases: 7,119,736
Change over previous day: 104,657
Total deaths: 406,542
Total recovered: 3,294,675
Nations hit with most cases: The US (1,961,185), Brazil (707,412), Russia (476,043), the UK (288,834) and India (267,046).

England launches study of coronavirus spread in schools: The British health ministry has launched a study to find out the prevalence and spread of coronavirus among school children and teachers in the country to help inform the phased reintroduction of education after a lengthy nationwide lockdown. Read more here.

WHO says symptomless spread is ‘Rare’: Transmission of the coronavirus by asymptomatic people is “very rare”, said the World Health Organization’s (WHO's) Maria Van Kerkhove, contradicting a widely held belief among health officials and researchers. More research is needed but if proven correct, the development could have a major impact on how the battle to contain the pandemic. Read more here.

10% slump in French economy in 2020: The French economic output will take two years to recover from virus-related slump, the country’s central bank has said. Unemployment will be 12 per cent in the first half of 2021 and decline to only 9.7 per cent by the end of 2022. The economy, which will shrink more than 10 per cent this year, will recover to the level reached last year around mid-2022. Read more here

No virus-linked death in London for the first time: London reported no virus-linked deaths for the first time since lockdowns began in the UK. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to set out further restriction-easing plans on Tuesday. The UK capital was the worst-affected area during the peak of the crisis, suffering hundreds of deaths a day for weeks. Read more here

Alibaba’s cloud unit to recruit 5,000: Alibaba Group said its cloud unit aimed to recruit 5,000 people globally from now until the end of this financial year, in areas including network, database, servers, chips and artificial intelligence. Read more here


US Navy test shows 60% of carrier crew have coronavirus antibodies: A US Navy investigation into the spread of the coronavirus aboard the Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, which reported 1,100 cases in April, has found that about 60 per cent of sailors tested had antibodies for the virus, according to an exclusive report in Reuters. About 400 volunteers participated in the serology tests, enough to provide statistically relevant data about how the virus spread aboard one of world’s largest warships. Read more here

Shipping lines face formidable foe in pandemic: The evidence of disruption to world trade is stark — sailors are stranded on ships, thanks to Covid-19 travel restrictions, while containers packed with everything from televisions to clothes have arrived in western ports from Asia just as consumer demand in Europe and the US evaporates. The outlook is that the shipping industry has navigated the crisis with some skill, but pressure to cut prices is growing. Read more here.

Adopting high-frequency data to keep up with crisis: The Israel example shows how central banks around the world are being forced to innovate in real time, in the face of an economic crisis whose impact has been so sudden and so severe that traditional methods of analysing and presenting data have become largely useless. The Israel central bank created an internal application that drew on different data feeds so that it could have a full and updated picture of the economy, and brought the high-frequency indicators into what they called the “situation room” for daily meetings led by Governor Amir Yaron. Read more here.
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