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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Remdesivir not an effective cure, say WHO study

New US jobless claims rise to 900,000, stricter lockdown in London, Japanese theme park morphs into office, and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Lockdown

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

London, the world’s international financial capital, will enter a tighter Covid-19 lockdown from midnight on Friday

Remdesivir has little effect on Covid-19, WHO study says: The Covid-19 treatment remdesivir has no substantial effect on a patient’s chances of survival, a clinical trial by the World Health Organization has found, delivering a significant blow to hopes of identifying existing medicines to treat the disease.

Results from the WHO’s highly anticipated Solidarity trial, which studied the effects of remdesivir and three other potential drug regimens in 11,266 hospitalised patients, found that none of the treatments “substantially affected mortality” or reduced the need to ventilate patients, according to a copy of the study seen by the Financial Times. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 38,918,634

Change Over Yesterday: 408,371

Total Deaths: 1,098,378

Total Recovered: 26,887,928

Nations hit with most cases: US (7,979,885), India (7,370,468), Brazil (5,169,386), Russia (1,346,380) and Argentina (949,063)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

New US jobless claims rise to almost 900,000: New requests for US unemployment aid rose last week to almost 900,000, amid concerns that the labour market’s comeback has stalled as the White House and Democrats continue to clash over a new stimulus deal ahead of the presidential election. Initial jobless claims increased by 53,000 to 898,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Economists had expected 825,000 claims. Read more here

London goes into stricter lockdown: London, the world’s international financial capital, will enter a tighter Covid-19 from midnight on Friday. Under the rules, people cannot meet other households socially indoors in any setting, for example at home or in a restaurant. Travel should be reduced where possible. Read more here

Dozens of new infections in Ontario originated from a single gym: An outbreak of infections in Hamilton, Ontario, has been linked to a single spin studio that Canadian officials said appeared to be complying with public health regulations before dozens of people who attended classes there contracted the virus. Health officials have linked 44 cases directly to the studio. Read more here

Indoor cycling studio Cyc goes bankrupt, adding to fitness woes: Cyc’s bankruptcy follows other cycling boutiques. Flywheel Sports Inc., the operator of studios beloved by fitness-obsessed city dwellers, filed Chapter 7 last month. Major gym chains have also come under pressure. Town Sports International Holdings Inc., owner of the New York Sports Clubs and Lucille Roberts gyms, went bankrupt in September. Read more here

ALSO READ: India Coronavirus Dispatch: How cinema halls are coping with the new normal

Japanese theme park becomes new office for teleworkers: On Thursday, Yomiuriland, an amusement park in Tokyo, launched an “amusement workation” package to include a working booth next to its pool, and a ride on its observation ferris wheel with a portable WiFi router. A third of Japanese firms are reassessing using offices again. Read more here

Passengers arriving from Italy added to UK quarantine list: Italy, San Marino and the Vatican City State were all removed from the so-called “travel corridor list”. Many popular destinations have been taken off the safe list as infection rates have begun to rise again since the end of the summer, including France, Holland, Spain, Portugal and Turkey. Read more here


Working from home hasn’t slowed down Wall Street’s trading desks

The five biggest US investment banks are on pace for their first $100 billion year for trading revenue in more than a decade. In just three quarters, they’ve already generated almost $84 billion, more than any full year since 2010. Sell-side traders rode a wave of activity as markets plunged at the start of pandemic-spurred lockdowns before embarking on dramatic rebounds. Trading gains since the start of the pandemic have helped offset weakness in consumer businesses at the nation’s biggest banks, where loan-loss provisions piled up in the first half of the year. Read more here

Why Trump’s Covid-19 antibody cocktail won’t be widely available

The antibody cocktail US President Donald Trump credited for his swift recovery won’t become widely available because it’s impossible to make enough for everyone who might need it, according to the Swiss pharmaceutical giant working on scaling up production. “We’ll never be able to produce enough,” said Bill Anderson, drugs chief at Roche Holding AG, which is working together with US biotech Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. on the project. “This is clearly part of the answer for the world, not the answer. Hopefully we’ll have vaccines and other therapeutics.” The partners will probably be able to make as many as 2 million doses per year by the end of next March if the drug cocktail wins regulatory approval, Anderson said. That’s about the number of new Covid-19 cases identified worldwide in the past week. Read more here

Some consumers are eager to splurge on Louis Vuitton or Christian Dior handbags despite dire economic backdrop

The owner of Louis Vuitton enjoyed an unexpected rebound in consumers’ appetite for dresses and monogram bags, buoying third-quarter sales. Organic revenue at LVMH’s fashion and leather goods unit jumped 12 percent in the third quarter as the world’s largest luxury company cited strong sales of items like Christian Dior’s $3,000-and-up Bobby bags. Analysts expected a 0.9 percent decline. LVMH’s performance shows how its leading brands are helping it weather the pandemic’s destructive economic consequences after lockdowns and travel quarantines sent the luxury industry into a deep slump. Read more here

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First Published: Fri, October 16 2020. 15:31 IST