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World Coronavirus Dispatch: 85,000 cases on Friday mark third surge in US

UK considers shorter self-isolation period, crude oil Oilon surge in cases, why 2020 is different for student loan payments, and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | UK | China

Yuvraj Malik 

Malaysia detects new Covid-19 strain that's 10 times more infectious
Pandemic-stricken EU member states have made it plain that they intend to fully tap the €390bn of recovery fund grants leaders agreed in July.

Third surge in the US: This harrowing third surge, which led to a US single-day record of more than 85,000 new cases on Friday, is happening less than two weeks from Election Day, which will mark the end of a campaign dominated by the pandemic and President Trump’s much-criticized response to it.

As of Friday evening, 15 states had added more cases in the past week than in any other seven-day stretch of the pandemic. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 43,009,311

Change Over Yesterday: 384,401

Total Deaths: 1,153,857

Total Recovered: 28,959,776

Nations hit with most cases: US (8,636,165), India (7,909,959), Brazil (5,394,128), Russia (1,503,652) and France(1,130,143)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

considers shorter Covid self-isolation period: Reports said ministers believed a cut from the current 14-day period to as few as seven days could produce an overall public health benefit because those told to isolate would be more likely to follow the imposed restrictions. There has been anecdotal evidence that people asked to spend two weeks away from others after contact with an infected person have quickly started disregarding the advice. Read more here

tests millions in Xinjiang after asymptomatic cases found: has tested nearly three million people in Xinjiang province to tackle a small cluster of cases, in the latest example of the country’s aggressive approach to bringing new outbreaks under control. Free testing was also rolled out for nearly 4.75 million people in Kashgar, which is located in the far west of Read more here

suspends access to after a local virus case is detected: “Trekking and mountaineering in Everest region have been suspended for now to prevent the spread of virus,” Laxman Adhikari, a village chief of the Everest region, said phone to the NYT. “We cannot say how long it will be suspended.” The infected man is a politician from Namche Bazaar, a town in the Solukhumbu District. Read more here

Oil falls as Covid-19 case surge stokes demand concerns: Oil extended last week’s losses on Monday, falling nearly 2 percent as a surge in Covid-19 infections in the United States and Europe prompted concern over crude demand, while the prospect of increased supply also hit sentiment. Opec-plus is also set to increase output by 2 million bpd in January 2021 after cutting production by a record amount earlier this year. Read more here

Oxford Covid vaccine trials offer hope for the elderly: The discovery that the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, triggers protective antibodies and T-cells in older age groups has encouraged researchers as they seek evidence that it will spare those in later life from serious illness or death from the virus. Read more here

China's leaders meet to hammer out 5-year economic plan: Some 200 members of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, the country's top policy-setting body, are gathering in Beijing for the party's fifth plenary session. The country's leaders will use the four-day, closed-door meeting that starts Monday to discuss long-term economic and social development strategies in the backdrop of growth slowing due to Covid-19. Read more here


EU capitals hesitate over recovery fund loans

Pandemic-stricken EU member states have made it plain that they intend to fully tap the €390bn of recovery fund grants leaders agreed in July. What is much less clear is how far they intend to avail themselves of the cheap loans the European Commission is also offering. Countries including Spain and Portugal have sent mixed messages over their appetite for the tens of billions of euros in low-cost loans the EU is making available as part of the joint borrowing programme. Italy has for its part signalled that it wants to use the entirety of the loans, while many rich northern European states are likely to spurn them altogether. The EU’s recovery fund is split between non-refundable grants, which are highly prized, and a loans programme under which the commission will effectively borrow on countries’ behalf. Read more here

In big financial centres — from New York to Toronto to London to Sydney — rents for city apartments are plunging

International students who normally bolster demand are stuck at home and young renters — the most mobile group in real estate — are finding fewer reasons to pay a premium to live in what is, for now, no longer the center of things.With remote working in vogue for everyone from banks to tech companies, and the quirky shops and bars that made living in a city fun curtailed, the equation about where to live is changing. And so is the balance of power between landlords and tenants. Read more here

Why 2020 is different for student loan payments

Recent graduates usually have to start repaying in November. But because of the pandemic, payments on most federal loans have been suspended until January. Read more here

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First Published: Mon, October 26 2020. 14:13 IST