World coronavirus dispatch: US death toll very close to the 100,000 mark

Topics Europe | healthcare | Coronavirus

The US's one-day coronavirus death rate hovered at its lowest level in about two months, slowing the nation's march towards an overall total of 100,000 fatalities.
In what may be the first sign of international travel opening up, Germany is considering lifting travel restrictions from 31 European countries starting June 15. People from 26 other European Union nations and Britain, as well as the four non-EU countries in the Schengen passport-free zone — Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland — may be allowed access to Germany. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total confirmed cases: 5,497,538
Change over yesterday: 89,237
Total deaths: 346,269
Total recovered: 2,232,593
Nations hit with most cases: The US (1,662,768), Brazil (374,898), Russia (353,472), the UK (262,547) and Spain (235,400).

US death rate hovers at two-month low: The US's one-day coronavirus death rate hovered at its lowest level in about two months, slowing the nation's march towards an overall total of 100,000 fatalities. A further 523 people in the US died from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, according to data compiled on Monday. Read more here

Chile’s Latam Airlines files for bankruptcy: Latin America’s largest airline has sought bankruptcy court protection in New York after the Covid-19 pandemic grounded flights across the region. Earlier, in May, Colombia’s largest air carrier Avianca Holdings had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Read more here

Singapore sees 7 per cent economic contraction: The Singapore government now expects gross domestic product to shrink 4-7 per cent this year, compared with a previous forecast of a 1-4 per cent contraction, as the outlook for external demand has deteriorated. Singapore has been severely hit by the slump in global trade and travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here

WHO halts trials of hydroxychloroquine: The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it will temporarily drop hydroxychloroquine from its global study into experimental Covid-19 treatments and ban its trails, citing a paper that showed people taking this anti-malarial drug were at higher risk of death and heart problems. Read more here

Dubai to ease restrictions from Wednesday: The Gulf emirate said on Monday that businesses would have to comply with social distancing protocols as the daily lockdown on movement was also set to be shortened to 11pm-6am. The curfew currently starts at 8 pm. Commercial establishment, including gyms and cinemas, will be allowed to open. Read more here

German government agrees to $9.8-bn bailout for Lufthansa: Lufthansa is to receive a rescue package worth a total of 9 billion pounds from the German government, which will own at least a fifth of the national carrier. The aid will include 3 billion pounds in loans via KfW, the country’s state-owned development bank, and will preclude the airline from paying dividends and constrain executive pay. Read more here

Specials

How an army of data scientists is helping Indonesia fight the coronavirus: In the face of patchy data and conflicting advice from Indonesia’s central government over measures to fight coronavirus, 800 volunteers of The Kawal Covid-19 group have emerged as an increasingly important source of information and guidance. The group organised a data model presented to the provincial governor that showed there could be 70,000 deaths by July in West Java if no restrictions were imposed, compared with only 20,000 if it took tough action. Following this, the province was locked down. Kawal’s origins lie in volunteer groups that were set up to monitor 2014 and 2019 elections and which published crowd-sourced results to try to prevent manipulation. Read more here

In US, wealthiest hospitals got billions from federal bailout fund, smaller ones got little: The US’s Department of Health and Human Services has disbursed $72 billion in grants since April to hospitals and other health care providers through a bailout programme which was part of the CARES Act economic stimulus package. The department plans to eventually distribute more than $100 billion more. An NYT investigation reveals that the riches have so far flowed in large part to hospitals that had already built up deep financial reserves to help them withstand an economic storm. Smaller, poorer hospitals are receiving tiny amounts of federal aid by comparison. Read more here

Covid-19 symptoms you didn’t know about: What effect does the virus’ have on your blood, brain, eyes, gastrointestinal tract, hands, heart and liver? Read it all in this important compilation

Opinion

Interview with Jim O’Neill, former Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management: The economist known globally for coining the acronym ‘BRIC’ in the aftermath of the 9/11 crisis spoke about his views on which economies would navigate their way successfully out of the current crisis, making a case for recognising healthcare as a major infrastructure investment for countries, and whether we are seeing the beginning of a deglobalisation wave. Read it here

Covid-19 is the tip of the iceberg: Shi Zhengli, a virologist renowned for her work on coronavirus in bats, said in an interview on Chinese state television that viruses being discovered now were “just the tip of the iceberg” and called for international cooperation in the fight against epidemics. The deputy director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology said research into viruses needs scientists and governments to be transparent and cooperative, and that it is “very regrettable” when science is politicised. Read more here


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