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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Economic revival seen in Sub-Saharan Africa

UK mulls expanding local curbs, why Japanese merchants are becoming more upbeat, Brazil cases top 5 million and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Lockdown

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

A lab technician removes a vaccine bank from a cryostorage during production of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Gamaleya National Research Center in Moscow ( Photo: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Sub-Saharan Africa will probably reverse an economic contraction next year as countries in the region begin to ease movement restrictions, even as the impact of the will endure for years to come, according to the World Bank.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s gross domestic product is on track to shrink 3.3 per cent this year, its worst performance on record, due to the combined effects of the disease and lower oil and commodities prices. Growth of about 2.1 per cent could follow in 2021 and 3.2 per cent in 2022, the bank said. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 36,166,574

Change Over Yesterday: 351,759

Total Deaths: 1,055,833

Total Recovered: 25,243,450

Nations hit with most cases: US (7,550,731), India (6,835,655), Brazil (5,000,694), Russia (1,242,258) and Colombia (877,684)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Trump calls treatment he received a ‘cure’: In a video released on Wednesday, the president promised to authorise the antibody treatment — provided to him on a “compassionate use” basis by Regeneron of the US — for widespread use, even though companies that make it say it can only be used in specific cases. Trump, who returned to the White House from Walter Reed military hospital on Monday, said he saw his Covid-19 infection as “a blessing from God” because it had led him to the treatment. Read more here

UK considering more local Covid-19 curbs as virus spreads: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is considering additional local Covid-19 restrictions for parts of northern England as the second wave of the novel accelerates, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said. “We are currently considering what the right action would be to take in those places,” he said. Read more here

French economic recovery is stuck: French economic output is plateauing at 5 per cent below pre-crisis levels, according to the Bank of France, adding to signs the country’s recovery from is faltering. The central bank’s monthly survey of some 8,500 companies showed little change between August and September in the level of activity in industry, services and construction. Read more here

Japanese merchants’ mood returns to least gloomy since 2018: A gauge of current sentiment among store managers, barbers, taxi drivers and others who deal directly with consumers climbed to 49.3, the highest since April 2018, the Cabinet Office’s Economy Watchers survey showed Thursday. The current index has improved for five straight months after bottoming in April, during the worst of the virus emergency. Read more here

UK’s EasyJet racks up first ever loss after virus slams demand: EasyJet Plc recorded its first-ever annual loss and is reviewing ways to raise more funds after the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc. The UK company lost as much as 845 million pounds ($1.1 billion) in the year through September. The airline has about 2.3 billion pounds in cash to survive an extensive slump and called on the state for further support. Read more here

Brazil cases top 5 million as debate shifts from virus to fiscal: Brazil hit the 5-million mark for confirmed infections as mishmash quarantine measures continue to fade and the raging health crisis gives way to a fierce debate on how to support those hit by the pandemic-induced economic downturn. The Latin American country reported 31,553 new cases Wednesday, pushing the total to 5,000,694. Read more here

World Economic Forum drops Davos as venue for 2021 meeting: The World Economic Forum, whose base in the Swiss Alpine ski resort has become shorthand for its annual meetings each January, had already told the executives that Covid-19 had forced it to push back its next event to May 2021. On Wednesday the organisation disclosed that it would also move its meetings to a lower altitude setting. Read more here


What we dream when we dream about Covid-19

Deirdre Barrett, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School and the author of “Pandemic Dreams,” has administered dream surveys to thousands of people in the last year, including the one with the home-schooling mother. Barrett is the editor in chief of the journal Dreaming, which in its September issue posted four new reports on how the sleeping brain has incorporated the threat of Covid-19. The findings reinforce current thinking about the way that waking anxiety plays out during REM sleep: in images or metaphors representing the most urgent worries, whether these involve catching the coronavirus (those clouds of insects) or violating mask-wearing protocols. Taken together, the papers also hint at an answer to a larger question: What is the purpose of dreaming, if any? Read here to know

Executives at JPMorgan, the IMF, and NatWest tell what they've learned from 2020

Joyce Chang, Howard Davies, and Gita Gopinath describe the joys and regrets of a pandemic year. Read here

How the pandemic has changed or exercise habits

Many of us have been moving less since the pandemic began. But some, including many older men and women, seem to be moving more. Read more here

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First Published: Thu, October 08 2020. 15:50 IST