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World coronavirus dispatch: Brazil’s daily new deaths, cases at record high

George Floyd, whose death has sparked global protests over the treatment of black people in America, had tested positive for Covid-19 in early April, according to his autoposy report. This fact, however, wasn’t cited as a factor in his death. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics

  • Total confirmed cases: 6,511,696
  • Change over previous day: 128,745
  • Total deaths: 386,073
  • Total recovered: 2,807,420
  • Nations hit with most cases: The US (1,851,520), Brazil (584,016), Russia (421,715), the UK (281,270) and Spain (240,326).

Source: Johns Hopkins Research Center

Hackers target California University leading Covid-19 research: A group of hackers with a history of targeting healthcare organisations executed a successful ransomware attack this week on the University of California, San Francisco. UCSF confirmed it was the target of an “illegal intrusion” but declined to explain which portion of its IT network might have been compromised. Read more here

Record daily deaths in Brazil: Brazil has reported a record number of daily deaths from Covid-19. It reported 1,349 new deaths on Wednesday, bringing the number of fatalities in the country to 32,548. It also recorded 28,633 new cases in the last 24 hours, pushing its total to 584,016, behind only the US. Read more here

Australia retail sales post record slump: Australian retail sales suffered a historic plunge in April, of a seasonally adjusted 17.7 per cent, their biggest so far, from an 8.5 per cent jump in March. Separate data showed exports dropped 11 per cent and imports 10 per cent in some of the largest declines in years. Read more here

resumes study of hydroxychloroquine: Last week, the (WHO) temporarily stopped people from enrolling for trials over concerns about the drug’s adverse effects on the heart. Now, the agency has said that its board has reviewed the data concerning heart risks and found “no reasons to modify the trial”. Read more here ()


Africa has to weather Covid-19 trauma without massive stimulus: While central North America, Asia and Europe have offered trillions of dollars to prop up businesses hit by lockdowns, a lack of liquidity restricts African governments from providing similar relief. South Africa, the continent’s most industrialised economy, announced a 500-billion-rand ($29.5-billion) package, with less than half of that, or about 3 per cent of GDP, new spending. Ivory Coast came up with a support plan of $3 billion, or 5 per cent of the world’s top cocoa grower’s output.

That compares with stimulus worth 15 per cent of GDP in the US and 12 per cent in Canada. Japan’s stimulus, including existing measures, equates to 42 per cent of GDP. Read more here

Cheap beach holidays target locals with airlines grounded: Across Southeast Asia, one of the most tourism-reliant regions in the world, hotels and travel businesses are slowly kicking into gear after countries like Thailand and Vietnam successfully flattened their virus infection curves and began easing lockdown restrictions. While leisure travel is still a long way off, hotels and airlines are slashing rates to lure locals. Even in countries where infection rates are still a worry, like Indonesia and Singapore, governments are hoping to reopen tourist hotspots like Bali and restart business travel to China and elsewhere. Read more here

Euro becomes key marker of emerging-market currency strength: The euro and emerging-market currencies are now showing the strongest correlation since late 2016, a period leading up to the previous US presidential election. Euro has gained on 11 of the past 14 trading days against the dollar, helped by the EU’s $842-billion stimulus proposal. Any gain for the euro against the dollar ends up making developing nations more competitive in global trade against the euro zone. Put another way, it enables emerging-market currencies to appreciate against the dollar. Read more here

Prince Charles says he ‘got away lightly’: Prince Charles, 71, self-isolated after testing positive for the virus in March and only experienced mild symptoms. “I was lucky in my case… but I’ve had it, and I can so understand what other people have gone through,” he said on a TV interview. He expressed sympathy with those had lost family or friends. “I feel particularly for those have lost their loved ones and have been unable to be with them at the time. That, to me, is the most ghastly thing,” the prince said. Read more here

UK’s childcare sector on the brink of collapse: An emergency bailout of the UK’s childcare sector is needed if nurseries and child-minding centres are to reopen, allowing parents to return to work, according to the trade union. Nurseries and self-employed childminders have now suffered big losses of income from fee-paying parents, many of whom do not plan to return yet even though nurseries are allowed to reopen. Read more here

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