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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Covid in UK doubled every 8 days from Aug-Sept

From Oxford and AstraZeneca resuming vaccine trial to Australia's business aid, here's a roundup of Covid-19 news from around the world

Topics
UK | Coronavirus Vaccine | Coronavirus

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Google searches for gut symptoms predicted Covid hot spots, study finds: Researchers at the top-ranked hospital in Boston compared search interest in loss of taste and appetite, and diarrhea with the reported incidence of Covid-19 in 15 US states from January 20 to April 20. Using Google Trends online tool, they found that Internet searches on gastrointestinal symptoms predicted a rise in Covid-19 cases weeks later demonstrating a novel early warning system for hot spots of the pandemic disease. The research is published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.


Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:


Total Confirmed Cases: 2,87,59,173


Change Over Yesterday: 2,77,760


Total Deaths: 9,20,233


Total Recovered: 1,94,39,431

Nations hit with most cases: US (64,85,222), India (47,54,356), Brazil (43,15,687), Russia (10,53,663) and Peru (7,16,670)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

in England doubled every eight days August to September: Scientists from Imperial College London said that the prevalence of infections doubled every eight days from late August to early September in England, a significant quickening of the spread. The scientists tested a random sample of 150,000 people and estimated. Read more here

Oxford and AstraZeneca resume vaccine trial: Oxford university and AstraZeneca are to resume the international clinical trial of their proposed candidate. Speculation that there might be a significant delay in the much-watched study turns out to have been unjustified. The trial was paused last Sunday when a participant fell ill in the UK, the university said this afternoon, though news that it had been put on hold did not leak out till Wednesday.

Australia to offer $2.2 billion aid to businesses in Victoria: The Australian state of Victoria will offer businesses another A$3 billion ($2.2 billion) in support, equal to the total of the previous two rounds of aid. The latest package will comprise cash grants, tax relief and fee waivers that in total is equivalent to about a quarter of the state’s annual tax revenue. Read more here

France daily coronavirus cases top 10,000, most since lockdown: France reported more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, the largest daily increase since the end of the country’s lockdown in May, a day after Prime Minister Jean Castex warned of a “clear worsening” in the spread of the virus. Cases rose by 10,561 over 24 hours. The seven-day rolling average stands at 8,029. Read more here

Specials

The year unconventional monetary policy turned conventional

Global central bankers are discovering that monetary policies they once viewed as unconventional and temporary are now proving to be conventional and long-lasting. Forced to think outside the box by the 2008 financial crisis and then again this year by the coronavirus pandemic, the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and most of their international counterparts have become more aggressive and innovative than ever in defending their economies from recession and the threat of deflation. Recent months witnessed a return not just of policies first used on a widescale basis following the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings, such as quantitative easing, but the adoption of even more esoteric ones. As this graphic from Bloomberg shows, most central banks are diving deeper into the unknown. The Fed is buying different types of bonds, the ECB is getting creative with negative interest rates, and Australia has adopted Japanese-style efforts to control bond yields. Read more here

The pandemic set off a wave of theft in the Philippines, the latest target: Plants

The government has stepped up monitoring of social media and patrolling of protected natural areas amid reports of traders scouring mountains and forests for plants, including endangered species, to meet a sudden spike in demand from locked-down Filipinos who are craving some greenery in their homes. Carniverous pitcher plants and bantigue trees, popular in crafting bonsai, are among those sought after, Demallete said. The bureau’s agents, hampered by quarantine restrictions, are working with the National Bureau of Investigation to catch illegal gatherers and traders of the “vulnerable” and “endangered” species such as Alocasia Zebrina and Alocasia Sanderiana. Read more here

How Covid-19’s made flying business class feel more like economy
: Efforts to minimize human interaction and reduce the risk of infection are taking the shine off the most expensive seats onboard commercial aircraft. Gone are the multi-course banquets and warm personal service, once the hallmarks of carriers like Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways. These days, what’s left of premium-grade travel is functional, hygienic and closer to cattle class -- only with more legroom. The limitations are one more headache for an industry grappling with a near-total collapse in demand and follow years of luxury oneupmanship among carriers in a contest for the most profitable passengers. Suddenly, it’s harder to tell airlines apart when you’re up the pointy end. That’s making it tougher to win top-paying customers, and risks pushing some to the back of the plane. Read more here

At home: Is staying home harming your child’s immune system? 
Exposure to a wide variety of microbes early in childhood also trains kids’ immune systems to recognize what’s dangerous and what’s not. Parents are now told to feed their babies allergens like peanut butter and eggs earlier rather than later in infancy, because doing so teaches baby’s immune system, little by little, that these foods are safe. And according to the hygiene hypothesis — a controversial theory first proposed in 1989 by an English scientist, David P. Strachan — as kids in developed countries have grown up with more bleach and disinfectant wipes and fewer infections over recent decades, rates of allergies and autoimmune diseases have increased substantially. Cleanliness and isolation, the argument goes, aren’t good for developing immunity, although some scientists aren’t convinced. Read more here

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First Published: Sun, September 13 2020. 16:06 IST
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