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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Jail for refusing corona tests in Hong Kong

Consumer spends & factory output boost China recovery, Japan vaults back from recession, full lockdown imposed in Austria and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Vaccine | Lockdown

Yuvraj Malik 

US coronavirus
With consumer spending picking up steadily and industrial production and investment rising faster than expected, the data shows China’s recovery is well on track

China’s recovery strengthens: With consumer spending picking up steadily and industrial production and investment rising faster than expected, the data shows China’s recovery is well on track. Stimulus policies, strong export demand, and the nation’s success in containing the spread of the has strengthened economic recovery. Industrial output rose 6.9 percent in October from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said Monday. Retail sales growth accelerated to 4.3 percent from 3.3 percent in September. Retail spending received a boost from the golden week holiday last month, though many shoppers also delayed purchases to take advantage of the Singles’ Day shopping festival in November. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 54,370,756

Change Over Yesterday: 363,316

Total Deaths: 1,317,139

Total Recovered: 34,955,148

Nations hit with most cases: US (11,036,935), India (8,845,127), Brazil (5,863,093), France (1,915,713) and Russia (1,915,713)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center.

vaults back from recession: Japan’s economy grew at the fastest pace on record in the third quarter, rebounding sharply from its biggest postwar slump, as improved exports and consumption helped the country emerge from the damage caused by the pandemic. It expanded an annualised 21.4 percent in July-September, beating a median market forecast of 18.9 percent gain and marking the first increase in four quarters, government data showed on Monday. Read more here

goes into a full lockdown: Starting on Tuesday and going until at least December 6, schools and most stores will close and people will be required to work from home unless their physical presence at a job site is critical. People will be able to leave their homes only for essential reasons, such as grocery shopping. Read more here

ALSO READ: Johnson & Johnson starts two-dose trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate

In Hong Kong, refusing to take tests could lead to jail time: Hong Kong is making mandatory for people in high-risk groups. Those who ignore orders face possible jail sentences. Those subject to the compulsory tests include people who show symptoms, residents linked to clusters, workers in high-risk occupations and travelers who are completing their mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arriving. Read more here

Greece closes all schools as part of its second lockdown: Although Greece was relatively successful in containing the first phase of the pandemic, in the spring, the second wave has been more taxing. Greek health authorities announced 3,038 new infections on Friday. High schools had already closed as part of the country’s second lockdown, which was introduced earlier this month. Read more here

South Korea mulls stricter restrictions as Covid-19 takes a grave turn: South Korea reported more than 200 new coronavirus cases for the third consecutive day on Monday, as the government mulls tightening social distancing to curb persistent outbreaks from offices, medical facilities and small gatherings. Tighter curbs would ban public gatherings of 100 people or more, limit religious services and audiences at sporting events. Read more here

ALSO READ: Covid-19 Factoid: India records lowest single-day spike in over 3 months


Covid-19 vaccine could end up helping the virus spread

A vaccine that protects against symptoms of Covid-19 could contribute to the spread of the disease if—and this is still just an if—the people who get vaccinated remain capable of carrying and transmitting the virus. That’s a risk that’s gotten little attention amid the deserved jubilation over a 9 November report from Pfizer and BioNTech that their vaccine candidate appears to be highly effective. How big a problem this might be is hard to say, because we don't know for sure if immunized people are capable of shedding infectious virus. It's possible that their antibodies will eradicate any infection pretty quickly, so they might just shed viral debris. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and others might provide just functional immunity—protecting people from the full-blown disease but not from carrying the virus. Functional immunity may also be what people get from being infected by the disease itself. Read more here

German knowhow set to play leading role in coronavirus fight

The German company BioNTech has gained worldwide attention for its work in creating the first But outside the spotlight, other German groups will also play an outsized role in bringing that shot to the world. Schott and Gerresheimer, two glassmakers, have been ramping up production of the special vials that will contain the vaccine, while Va-Q-Tec is churning out the insulated containers needed to ship it around the globe. Their work highlights another role German companies excel in: filling obscure but crucial niches in the world market. German companies not only dominate the market in glass vials — they also make the specialist containers that will be critical for distributing the new vaccine. Read more here

At home: Tips for Pandemic Insomnia

Stressful and upsetting experiences like the death of a loved one or the loss of a job — two widespread realities of Covid-19 — are known psychological triggers for If your is tied to such an event, the quickest way to get help is to call your doctor. One thing many doctors suggest is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. CBT, or CBT-I for insomnia, is a standard treatment for both acute and chronic and includes a variety of techniques. Meditation, mindfulness and muscle relaxation can help people whose sleep problems are tied to a stressful event. Read more here

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First Published: Mon, November 16 2020. 14:05 IST