World Coronavirus Dispatch: Saudi Arabia to resume commercial activities

Saudi Arabia has announced it will lift its nationwide curfew today, but says other restrictions will remain. All economic and commercial activities will resume, but bans on travel and religious pilgrimages will not change. The kingdom has not yet made any announcements about the annual Hajj pilgrimage, beginning in late July. Around 2.5 million pilgrims normally travel to the city of Mecca for the annual pilgrimage. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics

Total Confirmed Cases: 87,92,027

Change Over Yesterday: 1,26,107

Total Deaths: 4,64,467

Total Recovered: 43,65,962

Nations hit with most cases: US (22,55,119), Brazil (10,32,913), Russia (5,76,162), India (4,10,451) and UK (3,04,580)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Millions of European jobs at risk when furlough support ends: Employment subsidy programmes cover 45m jobs, or a third of the workforce, in Germany, France, Britain and Italy and Spain. Governments have mostly extended their schemes into the autumn, fearing that premature withdrawal of support could trigger mass job losses. Read more here

Spain to accept British tourists from today: Spain has said it will accept British visitors from Sunday — without the need for quarantine — as it seeks to save its tourist season from the devastation inflicted by the crisis. Read more here

Mainland China reports 26 new cases, including 22 in Beijing: The city of more than 20 million people reported its first case in the latest wave on June 11. The resurgence has been linked to a wholesale food center in the southwest of Beijing. So far, 227 people in the city have been infected in the latest outbreak. Read more here

Important IMF report due Wednesday: Two months after its dire predictions of the steepest recession in almost a century, the IMF will release new global economic forecasts next week. Officials at the Washington-based Fund have warned that a revised outlook due on Wednesday may feature a more pessimistic view than in April. Back then, they estimated a global contraction of 3 percent this year. Read more here

Trump calls “Kung Flu”: President Donald Trump called the “Kung flu” during a rally in Oklahoma, employing a slang term that’s been criticized as racist while claiming increased diagnostic testing has driven up US case totals. Read more here


Governments around the world have a serious problem: How do they scale back virus relief?
 Almost $11 trillion of fiscal resources has been approved globally since the crisis began, with an extra $5 trillion still in the pipeline, according to the Institute of Finance. Analysis by McKinsey estimates that government deficits worldwide could reach $11 trillion this year and a cumulative total of $30 trillion by 2023. For now, finance ministers and their central bank counterparts in major developed economies including the US, Japan and Europe continue to pledge more spending to support their economies. A mix of near zero interest rates, unprecedented quantitative easing and well-functioning debt markets means they’re able to fund their stimulus with little stress, but that mix may not hold forever. Read more here

Rush to publish coronavirus data creates academic ‘storm’

The retraction of three papers in prominent medical journals in the space of a week over concerns about data quality has highlighted the perils of rushing to publish scientific studies in response to the coronavirus crisis. Two journals, the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet, this month withdrew reports on trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the virus in the same week. The third, Annals of Internal Medicine, retracted a study into the effectiveness of face masks in blocking viral transmission. Read more here

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