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World Coronavirus Dispatch: New infections in the US double in two weeks

South Korea urges staggered vacations, Japan auto sales tumble, how air pollution makes Covid-19 more deadly and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Japan’s automakers | South Korea

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

A health official takes a swab sample of a child who returned from Pakistan at a Covid-19 coronavirus testing centre in Srinagar
A health official takes a swab sample of a child who returned from Pakistan at a Covid-19 coronavirus testing centre in Srinagar

The number of new infections reported in the US double in two weeks. The country reported more than 42,000 new cases, nearly 15,000 more than Sunday last week and double the number reported on Sundays over the previous month. The five highest totals for new infections have been reported over the past five days. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 10,146,971

Change Over Yesterday: 162,860

Total Deaths: 501,940

Total Recovered: 5,053,230

Nations hit with most cases: US (2,548,996), Brazil (1,344,143), Russia (633,563), India (548,318) and UK (312,640)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam show signs of recovery: South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam appear to have more control of the spread of the virus. Where as the graphs are moving in completely the wrong direction in parts of the Americas, south Asia and Africa. Read more here

urges staggered vacations: has urged for staggered vacation schedules ahead of the holiday season and has warned against gatherings as cases rise. President Moon Jae-in said: “We need everyone’s cooperation in ensuring watertight virus prevention measures in tourist sites and spreading a safe travel and play culture.” Read more here

Japan automakers’ sales tumble: Japanese automakers’ global sales declined 38 percent in May, in the third straight month of big falls as most factories and dealerships remained closed. The country’s seven major automakers, including Toyota, Nissan and Honda, sold a total of 1.47 million vehicles last month, down sharply from 2.38 million units a year ago. Read more here

Australia sees biggest daily rise in Covid-19 cases in two months: Propelled by Victoria state reporting 75 cases, Australia recorded 85 new infections in the past 24 hours, its biggest daily outbreak since April 11. Australia has fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with around 7,800 cases and 104 deaths. Read more here

South Africa’s surge of virus cases expected to rise rapidly: “We are seeing a rapid rise in the cumulative number of positive Covid-19 cases indicating that, as we had expected, we are approaching a surge during the months of July and August,” Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize said. The country has more than a third of the reported cases for all 54 countries in Africa. Read more here


Experts urge empathy dealing with underperforming WFH employees: When dealing with underperforming employees working from home, be sympathetic, ask open-ended questions, and pick up the phone rather than using Zoom. A conversational, humane approach is more likely to foster a helpful dialogue and forestall defensiveness, say experts. Read more here

Reviving Britain’s economy is tough with an aging workforce:
 The pandemic is transforming workplaces across the world, with offices and factory floors adjusting to social-distancing rules. For metal pressing company Bruderer UK, it’s underscored a weakness in the British economy that management has been grappling with for years. About 60 percent of employees are aged over 60, putting them statistically at higher risk of complications from Covid-19 than younger workers. Read more here

Companies use pandemic to look into shedding laggard brands: From black tea to bottled water, European companies look to shed underperforming brands during the pandemic. KKR to Blackstone are lining up bids for Unilever Plc’s tea unit, which could be worth $6.2 billion. Lipton Tea had a strategic review in January. Nestle is considering a sale of its US mass-market bottled water business, which includes the Poland Spring and Pure Life brands. Read more here

What previous pandemics teach us:
 Outbreaks of infectious disease manifest in many different shapes and sizes. Some, like malaria, continue to spread widely for centuries, even in the face of effective means of control. Others, like SARS, arise quickly and are tamed in just a few months. After causing millions of cases of death and disfigurement, smallpox was eradicated with vaccination; polio appears headed in the same direction. Read more here

Podcast: Air pollution kills 7 million people a year - and probably makes Covid-19 more deadly, argues Harvard University Climate centre director Aaron Bernstein on World Economic Forum’s World Vs Virus podcast. Listen here

First Published: Mon, June 29 2020. 16:20 IST