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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Lockdown curbs are returning across globe

Kenya Airways CEO seeks $500 mn from state, Traders to don VR headsets in home offices, Madrid imposes curbs on 850,000, and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus Vaccine | Lockdown | Coronavirus

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

metro, coronavirus, lockdown, covid

restrictions are returning around the world: In Spain, children over six are being asked to wear masks, while Denmark has issued a 10pm curfew for bars & restaurants in the capital. In large areas of England, separate households will be banned from meeting from next week as the government introduces tighter restrictions following a rise in cases. Israel has gone back into national Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 30,513,096

Change Over Yesterday: 434,207

Total Deaths: 951,841

Total Recovered: 20,781,266

Nations hit with most cases: US (6,724,667), India (5,308,014), Brazil (4,495,183), Russia (1,086,955) and Colombia (750,471)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Kenya Airways CEO seeks $500 million from state to survive virus: The carrier, which is 49 percent state owned, must also be fully nationalized alongside Kenya Airports Authority, which runs the Nairobi hub, CEO Allan Kilavuka said. “If we don’t restructure the airline, and take the airline as is into this organization, then we are doing a disservice to the taxpayer,” Kilavuka said. “Right now it is under-capitalized, given the effects of Covid.” Read more here

Madrid orders 850,000 people in capital to stay in own areas: Under new rules that take effect on Monday and will apply for an initial period of two weeks, people can only exit or enter the affected areas for work, education, health or similar reasons. The measure will apply to the parts of Madrid most afflicted by the second wave of the pandemic — 37 areas largely in the poorer south of the city. Read more here

Dublin brought under tighter Covid-19 restrictions: Tighter Covid-19 restrictions have come into force in Dublin in an effort to stem rising levels of the virus. For the next three weeks, people will be discouraged from leaving the city and county unless for essential reasons. They are being asked to work from home where possible, while indoor gatherings and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 15 people. Read more here

Australia's Victoria logs fewest cases since June: Australia's state of Victoria, the center of the country's outbreak, reported its lowest daily increase of infections in three months, putting it on course to relax a hard in the state capital of Melbourne by the end of the month. Victoria recorded 21 new cases in the prior 24 hours, its lowest since June 24. Read more here


Johnson’s Covid test ‘shambles’ risks UK economic revival
: Back in March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced to lock down the country because there was no testing program to keep track of the outbreak. Now, labs are swamped again as the virus spreads and even the premier says the service can’t cope with the “colossal” surge in demand. Anxious government officials know they must avoid what Johnson admits would be a “disastrous” second national lockdown to save the economy and that fixing the testing crisis urgently is vital. But it could take weeks to sort out the mess and the risk for Britain’s struggling companies -- and their workers -- is that by then it will be too late. The government -- and companies -- need the test-and-trace system to work to get people safely back to offices but instead ministers are being forced to ration testing and focus resources on those who need them most. Read more here

For a vaccine to be widely available in coming months, a long list of exceptionally difficult goals have to be met: 
The Trump administration has offered timelines for a vaccine that fly in the face of almost every experience in pharmaceutical history. On Tuesday, Trump said a shot could be ready in three or four weeks. Then, on Wednesday, Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at the Department of Health and Human Services and one of the senior leaders of the Warp Speed program, said every American could be vaccinated by the end of March. Mango said that there are enough doses in production and that trials are moving at a speed so that “the combination of those two will permit us to vaccinate every American before the end of first quarter 2021.” A few hours later, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that “we do believe that it will be widely available by the end of” this year, though also referred to doses of the vaccine being production by then, as opposed to actually distributed. Mango’s and McEnany ’s remarks were contradicted by the head of the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, Director Robert Redfield, who told Congress Wednesday that it would likely take until late spring or the summer of next year for most Americans to have access to a vaccine. Other top U.S. health officials have said it’s not likely a vaccine will be ready until the end of the year, and that expanding access to the more than 300 million people living in the U.S. will take longer. Read more here

Traders set to don virtual reality headsets in their home offices

Spare bedrooms and living rooms could soon become part of vibrant trading floors as one of the world’s biggest investment banks considers providing staff with augmented reality headsets. UBS has experimented with issuing its London-based traders with Microsoft HoloLenses, which would allow staff to recreate the experience of working in a packed trading floor without leaving their homes. Banks have been desperate to bring workers back to the office, especially for regulatory-sensitive roles such as trading, but surges in infection rates have meant many staff are wary about using public transport. Read more here

Does wearing glasses protect you from

In one hospital in Suizhou, China, 276 patients were admitted over a 47 day period, but only 16 patients — less than 6 percent — had myopia or nearsightedness that required them to wear glasses for more than eight hours a day. By comparison, more than 30 percent of similarly aged people in the region needed glasses for nearsightedness, earlier research had shown. Given that the rate of nearsightedness appeared to be so much higher in the general population than in the Covid ward, the scientists wondered: Could wearing glasses protect a person from becoming infected with coronavirus? Read here to know.

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First Published: Sat, September 19 2020. 14:46 IST