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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Is South Africa becoming a failed state?

China's vaccine frontrunner says its shots are safe, Canada flight cancelled over child without mask, Auto stocks bounce back in Europe and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Topics
Coronavirus | South Africa | Lockdown

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

China’s tech and finance groups flock to Singapore: China’s largest technology and financial services companies are stepping up efforts to expand in Singapore, as doors slamming shut on mainland groups in the US and India make the Asian finance hub crucial for international growth. Alibaba-backed Ant Group, China’s second-largest brokerage Haitong Securities, Huawei’s cloud division and Tencent-backed digital bank WeBank are among the companies that have in recent months approached Singapore’s industry groups about becoming members or partnerships. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 27,871,271

Change Over Yesterday: 532,139

Total Deaths: 903,756

Total Recovered: 18,780,806

Nations hit with most cases: US (6,362,440), India (4,465,863), Brazil (4,197,889), Russia (1,037,526) and Peru (696,190)

Source: Johns Hopkins Research Center

China's frontrunner says its shots are safe: China National Biotec Group said none of the recipients of its two shots has reported an adverse reaction, even as AstraZeneca suspended its trial due to new side effect. Hundreds of thousands of people have received the Covid-19 shots so far, which are being administered under an emergency-use program that allows experimental shots to frontline workers. Read more here

Canada flight cancelled over child without mask: A Canadian flight was cancelled and police were called because a child was not wearing a mask. Safwan Choudhry says WestJet wanted his 19-month-old to wear a mask, but the baby girl would not stop crying. The airline says the issue was not with the infant, who is below the age required to wear a mask, but with Mr Choudhry's three-year-old. all passengers were ordered to disembark. Read more here

Auto stocks bounce back in Europe as people return to commuting on cars: European auto stocks are emerging as a surprise winner as the pandemic grinds on. The Stoxx 600 Automobiles & Parts Index has gained 14% this quarter, Every member of the gauge is up since the start of July, led by Germany’s Daimler AG, Finnish tire producer Nokian Renkaat Oyj and French parts maker Valeo SA. Read more here

London’s largest insurer says Covid claim could reach $6.5 billion: The world’s largest insurance market, Lloyd’s of London, announced a pre-tax loss of 400 million pounds for the first half of the year after reinsurance provisions helped cover some 2.4 billion pounds of losses from Covid claims. The firm posted a 2.3 billion profit for the same period last year. Read more here

Deadly hog fever arrives in Germany, Europe’s top pork producer: A deadly pig disease has just entered Germany for the first time. A confirmed case of African swine fever has been identified in the eastern state of Brandenburg. The virus, which kills most infected pigs within 10 days but is not harmful to humans, was detected in the corpse of a wild boar found near the Polish border. Read more here

JPMorgan fires employees who took Covid relief funds: JPMorgan has dismissed several employees who allegedly pocketed bailout funds that were supposed to help businesses dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that America’s largest bank had discovered that some employees improperly applied for and received money under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programme. Read more here

Specials

AstraZeneca’s Covid trial pause a reminder of huge challenges in race for vaccines

When AstraZeneca confirmed on Tuesday evening that it had temporarily halted trials of its coronavirus vaccine, the news disconcerted millions around the globe. The pharma group’s measured statement sought to dispel any suggestion that the race to develop a — the candidate it is developing in partnership with Oxford university is considered a frontrunner — had encountered significant problems. The pause showed the company would follow those all drug-testing principles, as a suspected serious adverse reaction suffered by a UK trial participant was assessed by a committee of independent experts. But the incident has served as a reminder that the pharma industry is trying to pull off an unprecedented feat: aiming to beat, by several years, the previous fastest development of a At the moment, that record is held by the mumps vaccine, which took four years to bring to market. Read more here

ALSO READ: Serum Institute puts India trials of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine on hold

UK’s corporate debt woes

One in five UK companies is a “zombie,” with profits only just covering debt interest payments, according to a report by an influential Conservative think tank.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak should relax the rules on repayment of coronavirus debts, Onward said, as it warned the post-pandemic economic recovery will be hampered by “crippling levels of corporate debt.” UK business have taken out more than 50 billion pounds ($65 billion) of state-backed loans under government programs to help them weather the pandemic. UK business have taken out more than 50 billion pounds ($65 billion) of state-backed loans under government programs to help them weather the pandemic. Onward said the government should change the terms to allow companies to make repayments only when they’re profitable. Read more here

heading toward becoming a failed state, says key think tank

faces a precipitous economic and political collapse by 2030 unless it changes its economic model and implements growth-friendly policies, according to Eunomix Business and Economics Ltd. Using a range of measures, the Johannesburg-based political and economic risk consultancy forecasts the country will rank near the bottom of a table of more than 180 countries in terms of security, similar to Nigeria and Ukraine, and have prosperity akin to Bangladesh or Ivory Coast. That’s a significant decline from its current position, though it should fare better on governance and welfare measures. “Bar a meaningful change of trajectory, will be a failed state by 2030,” Eunomix said in a report. Read more here

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First Published: Thu, September 10 2020. 15:51 IST
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