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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Global growth reliant on China more than ever

Unilever head says back to office full-time is old-fashioned, Swiss to vote on Covid curbs, Natural immunity after infection seen matching effective vaccines, and other pandemic news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Akash Podishetty  |  Hyderabad 

china, coronavirus, lockdown, economy
China’s economy is expected to account for 16.8 per cent of the global GDP, adjusted for inflation, according to forecasts by Moody’s Analytics

Queensland considers using mining camps for quarantine

Cases of the new UK variant detected in a Brisbane hotel have sparked concerns of a fast-spreading cluster across Australia, and authorities in Queensland are looking to use mining camps as quarantine facilities for travellers returning to the state. No new locally acquired cases have been recorded in Australia as yet. People from various states who were quarantined in the hotel but had since travelled inter-state were ordered to isolate and be tested. Just when Australian authorities seem to think that they have killed the virus once and for all, it keeps resurfacing, just to show how hard it is to contain the spread. Read here

Let's look at the global statistics

Global infections: 92,378,066

Change Over Yesterday: 752,744

Global deaths: 1,979,128

Nations with most cases: US (23,077,259), India (10,512,093), Brazil (8,256,536), Russia (3,434,934), United Kingdom (3,220,953).

Source: John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center.

Going back to office full-time seems old-fashioned now: Unilever head

In what is a signal that the pandemic has transformed work culture forever, Unilever, one of the most valued companies on the London Stock Exchange, said the workers will never return to the office for five days a week. The chief executive of the consumer goods group said the firm won't see workers returning to office full-time in North America and European branches as it has become old-fashioned now. He added that the company will consider a hybrid working model in the future. There has been a growing debate across the world among corporate leaders on how work will look like post-pandemic and whether working from home erodes social capital, thereby hampering innovation. Read here

Natural immunity after infection seen matching the effective vaccines

Does natural immunity after infection offer the same level of protection as vaccines? This is a question many scientists have tried to find an answer to since the pandemic began. Now a large-scale study on 20,000 UK health workers has found that people who have been previously infected with Covid-19 are protected against re-infection, that is matching the vaccine efficacy. The study found that prior infection provided at least 83 per cent protection against re-infection. It gave better than 94 per cent protection against symptomatic Covid-19. Read here

The world is reliant on China more than ever for growth

Aided by the early crackdown of the virus, China is in a different league, powering ahead with the economic recovery, while the rest of the world is still grapping with the spread of the virus --- old or new variant. Despite the noise, pandemic and pressure from the United States, China benefitted from the fact that many foreign units have not shifted out of the country on a large scale. With a staggering increase in China's share of global gross domestic product in 2020, the Wall Street Journal report talks about how the world is dependent on China for growth more than ever. In the year 2020, China’s economy is expected to account for 16.8 per cent of the global GDP, adjusted for inflation, according to forecasts by Moody’s Analytics. Read here

Swiss to vote on Covid restrictions

Fearing the virus, people across the world have sacrificed individual freedoms, restrictions and lockdowns were endured, almost taking the word of the governments on the face without any opposition. But, Switzerland will vote on a referendum to knock off the powers that can impose sweeping restrictions, revealing the deeply embedded democratic values in the polity. The country's campaigners have gathered 86,000 signatures to mandate a vote on Covid-19 Act. The swiss democracy allows citizens to put to a formal nationwide, any bill approved by the Federal Assembly vote, by collecting 50,000 valid signatures within a specific time period. The outcome will be legally binding. Read here

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First Published: Thu, January 14 2021. 14:40 IST