WHO admits that coronavirus can be airborne: The WHO had described this form of transmission as doubtful and a problem mostly in medical procedures. But growing scientific and anecdotal evidence suggest this route may be important in spreading the virus, and this week more than 200 scientists urged the agency to revisit the research and revise its position.
In an updated scientific brief, the agency also asserted more directly than it had in the past that the virus may be spread by people who do not have symptoms: “Infected people can transmit the virus both when they have symptoms and when they don’t have symptoms,” the agency said.
Let’s look at the global statistics:
Total Confirmed Cases: 1,24,66,337
Change Over Yesterday: 4,22,415
Total Deaths: 5,59,622
Total Recovered: 68,54,820
Nations hit with most cases: US (31,84,573), Brazil (18,00,827), India (7,93,802), Russia (7,12,863) and Peru (3,19,646)
Japan’s Contact-Tracing App Fails: Japan’s health ministry suspended the registration of positive cases on its contact-tracing smartphone app Cocoa as it worked to fix an error that left some people unable to enter their information. The ministry aims to get the feature running again next week. Read more here.
San Francisco to Pause Reopening Salons, Parlours: San Francisco will delay reopening businesses that provide personal services, including haircuts, massages, tattoos and manicures, from an originally planned restart on Monday. The city made a similar move earlier this week to halt re-openings of indoor dining and outdoor bars. Read more here.
California to release 8,000 prisoners to slow pandemic: California will release up to 8,000 inmates early from state prisons to slow the spread of Covid-19 inside facilities. Several California prisons have suffered large coronavirus outbreaks and the state corrections department said inmates could be eligible for release by the end of August. Read more here.
UK bats for stricter face mask rules: Boris Johnson has hinted the government is preparing to announce “stricter” rules on wearing face masks in England as officials confirmed ministers were actively looking at making their use mandatory in shops to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Read more here.
Companies are accounting for Covid-19 in filings, and it is murky
Some companies are adopting an innovative approach to accounting for the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on their earnings: they’re leaving it out. At least eight borrowers have tweaked the figures in recent months to show investors how healthy their business would be if it weren’t for the damage wrought by Covid-19. Investors and market watchdogs have spoken out against the practice, warning that turning the commonly used Ebidta (earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortization) into Ebidtac (c for coronavirus) can give a misleading impression. Read more here.
Wuhan’s uneven recovery offers a glimpse of the hard road back to normality
As of May, factory output, retail sales and exports in the city were nowhere near the same level as last year. That’s even though some factories worked throughout the lockdown and normal activity had resumed by April. Private consumption continued to lag factory production, mirroring the divergence seen across China. Wuhan eases movement restrictions on April 8 and then, just as people were beginning to venture outside more the sudden emergence of a new cluster of infections in May once again put the city on edge. Restrictions returned, and the local government tested the entire population of 11 million in just two weeks. Since then, the city hasn’t reported a single case. Read more here.
Redesigning society after Covid-19
London School of Economics and Political Science director Minouche Shafik argues that countries would address the need for more flexible employment models. Countries are split among those that provide low flexibility and high protection (most of Europe), high flexibility and low protection (the US), and low protection with low flexibility for the formal sector and high flexibility for the informal sector (most of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America). A few countries — Denmark, New Zealand, Japan and Australia — occupy the “sweet spot” of providing high flexibility and high protection. They strike the right balance, giving employers flexibility to adjust their labour force while also making sure that workers are supported. Read more here.