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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Pathogen can last 28 days on glass and currency

China to test 9 mn after fresh outbreak, UK risks losing its most robot-proof jobs, Divorce lawyers cash in on Covid stress and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Lockdown

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

A heath worker prepares the injection site on a patient's arm for administration of the Sputnik V vaccine during a trial in Moscow | (Photo: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

IMF loans exacerbate poverty? The vast majority of International Monetary Fund loans extended during the Covid-19 pandemic have suggested or demanded spending cuts that would worsen poverty and inequality, charity group Oxfam says.

Seventy-six of the fund’s 91 loans since March have sought belt tightening, according to Oxfam. The result could be deep cuts to public healthcare and pensions; wage freezes and cuts for workers such as doctors and teachers; and reduced unemployment benefits like sick pay. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 37,213,592

Change Over Yesterday: 329,824

Total Deaths: 1,072,959

Total Recovered: 25,883,454

Nations hit with most cases: US (7,718,947), India (7,053,806), Brazil (5,082,637), Russia (1,278,245) and Colombia (902,747)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

can last 28 days on glass, currency, Australian study finds: The virus that causes ovid-19 can survive on banknotes, glass and stainless steel for up to 28 days, much longer than the flu virus, found a study by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO. It found that at 20 degrees Celsius SARS-COV-2 virus remained infectious for 28 days on smooth surfaces such as plastic banknotes and glass found on mobile phone screens. Read more here

China to test 9 million after fresh outbreak: Chinese health authorities will test all 9 million people in the eastern city of Qingdao for the this week after nine cases linked to a hospital were found. This breaks a two-month streak with no virus transmissions within China reported, though China has a practice of not reporting asymptomatic cases. Read more here

Bank of England letter taps banks on negative rate readiness: On Monday, the Bank of England sent a letter to ask banks to complete a form about their readiness to deal with a zero or negative bank rate and and "the steps that you would need to take to prepare for the implementation of these”. Banks must reply to the request of information by November 12, the Thursday after the next monetary policy announcement. Read more here

UK risks losing its most robot-proof jobs to Covid crisis: Jobs in supermarkets, residential care and couriering have all been lifted by the crisis. Yet they face a high risk of replacement by new technology in future, according to a report by the Royal Society for Arts published Monday. That disruption is also being accelerated by the pandemic, it said. Read more here

European Central Bank keeps possibility of further stimulus open: The European Central Bank isn’t happy with the inflation outlook and will decide “meeting by meeting” whether more monetary stimulus will be needed, chief economist Philip Lane said. Lane pointed to data arriving over the coming weeks that will help policy makers make their decision, dodging a question on whether updated forecasts in December might be a trigger. Read more here

ALSO READ: India Coronavirus Dispatch: Mumbai sees a scramble for plasma donors

Sweden faces historic pay battle for its Covid fighters: With wage talks for 3 million employees under way, union bosses for public sector workers such as nurses are banking on a lot more popular support to help force through their demands. The upshot could be a hefty increase in pay levels that ends up jump starting inflation and filtering through the entire economy. Read more here


As globe gallops into vaccine trials, insurers remain unfazed

While more than 40 experimental Covid-19 vaccines are being tested on humans, the insurance companies with decades of experience in assessing the risks of clinical trials don’t see anything to be unduly concerned about. Executives at insurer Allianz and brokers Gallagher and Marsh, among the leading players in clinical trials insurance, told Reuters that premiums had only marginally increased so far in the current pandemic. They argued there was little structural difference to trials carried out in the past, despite drugmakers around the world competing to shatter the fastest time in history for developing a vaccine, which stands at around four years. Read more here

The election—not just Covid—is tanking the travel industry

There’s a significant dip in travel bookings every four years, pandemics or not. Regardless of circumstances like Covid, the economy, or the personalities running for president, the travel industry always sees a downturn during an election year, say travel company executives. The effect doesn’t end the day the votes are counted. Lags in spending continue through the lame duck period and the early days of a new administration, regardless of whether a democrat or republican takes control of the White House. Read more here

Divorce lawyers cash in on pandemic tension

measures and curbs on mobility have led to a sharp rise in divorce enquiries. Since the start of the pandemic many wealthy people have split from their partners, including celebrities such as US singer Kelly Clarkson, fashion designer Mary-Kate Olsen and Irish boyband star Shane Lynch. While no comprehensive data exists, the signs are clear: in the US, Legal Templates, an online legal document provider, noted a 34 per cent year-on-year rise in requests from its wealthiest clients after lockdown; in the UK, Stowe, a specialist family law firm, reported a 41 per cent increase in divorce enquiries; and lawyers in Italy have spoken of a 30 per cent rise in divorce cases. Read more here

For managers:

How to make the hybrid workforce model work

Overnight, lockdowns demonstrated that large swaths of workers could do their jobs at home. The experience has made companies rethink working patterns — yet few are prepared, for now, to recreate Automattic’s remote model. Rather, in an attempt to reduce their office space and accommodate employees’ desire for flexibility, they are mixing remote and office work — or hybrid working. Here’s a guide to the challenges and their work-arounds

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First Published: Mon, October 12 2020. 15:37 IST