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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Reinfections are real but rare, say experts

IMF sees early signs of global recovery, countries start hoarding food, Cristiano Ronaldo tests positive, and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Lockdown

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

coronavirus, coronavirus vaccine
The Czech Republic is imposing a three-week partial lockdown shutting schools, bars and clubs

Reinfections are real but very rare: Reports of reinfection with the evoke a nightmarish future: Repeat bouts of illness, impotent vaccines, unrelenting lockdowns — a pandemic without an end. A case study published on Monday, about a 25-year-old man in Nevada, has stoked those fears anew. The man became sicker the second time that he was infected with the virus, a pattern the immune system is supposed to prevent.

But these cases make the news precisely because they are rare, experts said: More than 38 million people worldwide have been infected with the coronavirus, and as of Monday, fewer than five of those cases have been confirmed by scientists to be reinfections. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 38,141,034

Change Over Yesterday: 284,673

Total Deaths: 1,086,315

Total Recovered: 26,472,646

Nations hit with most cases: US (7,858,344), India (7,239,389), Brazil (5,113,628), Russia (1,318,783) and Colombia (924,098)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Countries start hoarding food as prices rise and Covid worsens: Jordan has built up record wheat reserves while Egypt, the world’s top buyer of the grain, is tapping international markets during its local harvest and has boosted purchases by more than 50 percent since April. Taiwan said it will boost strategic food stockpiles and China has been buying to feed its growing hog herd. Read more here

IMF sees early signs of a global economic recovery: The IMF said on Tuesday that the world economy is beginning its ascent from the downturn but that the deep recession caused by the pandemic will leave scars on labor markets for years to come. In its latest World Economic Outlook report, it projected that the global economy would contract 4.4 percent in 2020. The forecast was a slight improvement from its midyear projection. Read more here

ALSO READ: India Coronavirus Dispatch: Owning a used car scores over sharing a cab

Merkel, Macron seek solutions in Europe’s battle: Chancellor Angela Merkel will consult with regional German leaders and French President Emmanuel Macron is due to appear on national television as Europe’s leaders labor to contain the alarming increase in coronavirus cases. Like their counterparts across the continent, Merkel and Macron are striving to avoid reimposing the broad restrictions. Read more here

Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo tests positive for coronavirus: Cristiano Ronaldo, one of soccer’s biggest stars, has tested positive for the coronavirus, Portugal’s soccer federation announced Tuesday. He was not displaying symptoms of Covid-19, and has entered isolation, away from the rest of Portugal’s players. Read more here

Europe tightens measures amid sharp rise in cases: The Czech Republic is imposing a three-week partial shutting schools, bars and clubs. In the Netherlands, a partial was announced, and masks have become compulsory in public indoor spaces. In Germany, schools, bars and clubs will be closed until 3 November while restaurants will be restricted to deliveries and takeaways. Read more here

Syria government 'prepares for virus second wave': The Syrian government has set up a temporary hospital for Covid-19 patients at a Damascus sports complex in preparation for what an official said was a possible second wave. Last month, researchers in the UK estimated that only a fraction of deaths due to Covid-19 in Damascus had been reported for various reasons, including limited testing capacity. Read more here

Northern Ireland set to close schools to curb virus spread: Northern Ireland is set to sign off on new curbs designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including school closures. The UK region’s power-sharing executive will meet on Wednesday to finalize the recommendations, Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said. McDonald said schools should close temporarily. Read more here


More companies are delaying the return to offices until the middle of next year

ALSO READ: Covid-19 Factoid: India witnessing a massive drop in daily deaths

Google, Uber, Slack, Airbnb, Microsoft, Target, Ford Motor and The New York Times are some of the companies that told employees they can expect to work from home until the middle of next year. Others have said most of their employees will never have to come into the office again. But even at companies that are announcing delays, they don’t apply to all workers. Read more here

The pandemic is expected to reduce the world’s 2020 energy demand by 5 per cent

The coronavirus pandemic will slash global energy demand this year by 5 per cent, according to an International Energy Agency forecast issued on Tuesday. The decline would be the largest over the last century except for those during the two World Wars and the Great Depression. In its annual World Energy Outlook, the agency said demand for the most carbon-intensive fuels, oil and coal, had slumped the most, while renewables had been affected the least. All told, the agency expects a 7 percent reduction from 2019 in energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions linked to climate change. Read more here

Is everybody doing … Ok? let’s ask social media

Researchers are looking at online behavior to gauge public mental health. The results aren’t pretty. Read here

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First Published: Wed, October 14 2020. 15:47 IST