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World Coronavirus Dispatch: A look at ASEAN's GDP forecasts for 2021

Youngsters' despair deepens as Covid crisis drags on, China refuses to hand over raw data critical to WHO probe and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Akash Podishetty  |  Hyderabad 

Singapore maintained its forecast of gross domestic product growth of 4-6 per cent for 2021, unchanged from its estimate in November

As the pandemic drags on for months or possibly even years into the future, it is inevitable that the countries will respond with curfews, lockdowns and other curbs on movement. In this context, health professionals are concerned about the deteriorating mental state of young people, who they say have been among the most badly affected by the current crisis. Across the world, countries are prioritising the elderly and frontline workers and rightly so, as they are most vulnerable to the disease, but that could also mean it's a long wait for the young. With schools, colleges and institutions shut and an uncertain future staring at them, the resilience of youth may be tested and it has already been overestimated according to mental health experts. Read here

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 108,818,669

Global deaths: 2,399,985

Nations with most cases: US (27,640,282), India (10,916,589), Brazil (9,834,513), United Kingdom (4,049,920), Russia (4,026,506).

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

China refuses to hand over raw data critical to WHO probe

China has refused to hand over raw data that might be critical to uncover the origins of the pandemic that emerged in Wuhan, independent investigators of the World Health Organization (WHO) said. Several members of the team said that there have been arguments with the Chinese scientists about the quality of data that has been given. The Chinese side, according to the investigators, has urged them to accept the Beijing version that the virus may have originated outside the country, a theory that has found little support among the scientific community abroad. Read here

ASEAN's 2021 GDP forecasts

Southeast Asian economies are looking to come out of the long shadow of pandemic this year, and are aiming to regain the growth momentum they had before the Covid-19 pandemic triggered historic declines in 2020. This report gives us a peep into the early forecasts around the region. Singapore maintained its forecast of gross domestic product growth of 4-6 per cent for 2021, unchanged from its estimate in November. The city-state is coming off a record 5.4 per cent annual contraction in 2020. Indonesia expects GDP to grow between 4.5 per cent and 5.5 per cent this year, after a 2.1 per cent contraction in 2020. Meanwhile, the Philippines projects a growth range of 6.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent for this year, versus a 9.5 per cent drop in 2020, as the economy reopens further and vaccinations begin. Thailand lowered its sights, revising its 2021 forecast down to 2.5 to 3.5 per cent growth. Read here

Australia gets first batch of Pfizer vaccines

Australia on Monday received the first batch of around 142,000 Pfizer vaccines and the country will begin its rollout from next week. “The eagle has landed,” declared the health minister, ending weeks of doubt as to whether supply delays could blow out the government’s timeline to begin vaccinations in late February. Of the first Pfizer shipment, 62,000 doses will be set aside as second doses in case of supply interruptions. Of the first 80,000 doses available, 30,000 will be administered by the federal government in aged care, with the remaining 50,000 to be administered by state and territory governments to hotel quarantine and other frontline workers. Read here

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First Published: Mon, February 15 2021. 14:52 IST