World coronavirus dispatch: US to end ties with WHO for not nailing China

Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House. Photo: PTI
US President Donald Trump has said that he is terminating the country's relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO). The president has accused the WHO of failing to hold Beijing to account over the coronavirus pandemic. The US is the global health agency's largest single contributor, providing more than $400 million in 2019. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:
  • Total confirmed cases: 5,813,997
  • Change over yesterday: 116,099
  • Total deaths: 365,015
  • Total recovered: 2,495,712
  • Nations with most cases: US (1,747,087), Brazil (465,166), Russia (387,623), UK (272,067) and Spain (238,564)
Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Emergency lifted, Japan fears Korean-style second wave: After weeks of lockdown under Japan's coronavirus state of emergency. Tokyo announced on Friday that it would further loosen restrictions next week, allowing shopping malls, cinemas and gyms to operate. Restaurants extended business hours until 10 pm earlier this week, and schools are looking to gradually reopen. Read more here

China reports four new cases: China reported four new confirmed cases of coronavirus on May 29. The country has also confirmed four new asymptomatic cases, compared to five the day before. Read more here

Iran further eases restrictions: Iran has lifted curbs on the operating hours of shopping malls in the latest step towards reopening the economy. Meanwhile, all mosques in the country will be open to worshipers for daily prayers thrice a day. Read more here

Indonesia opens malls: The Indonesian government will gradually open shopping malls, entertainment sites and restaurants starting in June, in an attempt to jump-start the economy. Resumption of activities will be prioritised in the so-called green zones. Read more here


Reinventing the restaurant, according to top chefs and experts

The landscape has changed forever culturally, socially and economically. For most restaurants, the immediate aim is to survive. Many that closed in March will never serve another customer. Can others recover? If so, what might that recovery look like? Lockdown has also offered a plethora of opportunities — to the baker who delivers, the milkman, the local takeaway. "Adapt" and "diversify" have become the themes of the moment. Those who embrace change will have a better chance than those who don't — or can't. Read here to know what some of the top voices in the industry have to say

Why gold is rising?

Gold goes up when interest rates fall. If you adjust the price of gold for inflation, you see it falling in the early part of the past decade as the real yield on government bonds rose. More recently, the opposite has been happening: The inflation-adjusted price of gold has risen, while the real interest rate on 10-year Treasury notes in the US has fallen. This relationship makes sense. Gold pays no interest, so it’s unattractive at a time when the real interest paid on bonds is high. In short, gold isn’t going up because of inflation. It’s going up because the Fed and other central banks are slashing interest rates to fight the opposite risk—deflation caused by the deep Covid-19 recession. Read more here

Influencers rise as no one is making TV ads

Advertising has mostly collapsed, but brands are still spending -- just not on billboards, newspaper ads or TV spots. The current situation has opened up a new frontier for social media influencers, the newcomers to the ad game, which could help them bounce back when the crisis eases. The great pullback in advertising budgets hasn’t been evenly distributed. Spending on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok is down, even for influencers, though not as much as on traditional media. Read more here

How China tested 11 million people in two weeks

China’s testing efforts are part of a push at all levels of government to shift the public narrative to the future, amid accusations the country delayed its response to the virus. Beijing is speeding up development of vaccines, expanding testing across the nation and maintaining rigid travel restrictions. Read more here


Nations may target wealthy to re-coup virus losses, says Citi Group expert Luigi Pigorini, who has been through many economic downturn in his lifetime of 58. He said as nations seek to recoup the cost of the pandemic, the result will likely be that some of the world’s biggest fortunes end up in the crosshairs. Read it here

See: A 'hug curtain' was installed in a retirement home in Argentina to help people hug their relatives.

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