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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Vaccine to be ready or Chinese public by Dec

German cases rise most in eight days, banks lower revenue outlook on lower loan demand, how lockdown has changed schooling in South Asia and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Lockdown

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

Coronavirus testing
Few countries have embraced the possibility of a vaccine more fervently than Indonesia

vaccine shots will be ready for public use as early as November or December in China, said the country’s top bio-safety scientist this week, a timeline that would make the Asian giant one of the first in the world to reach the milestone. Final stage clinical trials of several vaccine candidates have progressed very smoothly, said Wu Guizhen, chief bio-safety expert at China’s Disease Control and Prevention Center, in an interview with state television on Tuesday. She herself took a vaccine shot in April and has felt “nothing abnormal.” Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 29,582,122

Change Over Yesterday: 306,518

Total Deaths: 935,211

Total Recovered: 20,082,848

Nations hit with most cases: US (6,606,561), India (5,020,359), Brazil (4,382,263), Russia (1,069,873) and Peru (738,020)

Source: Johns Hopkins Research Center

US FDA investigating AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine candidate: “We don’t have all facts, so we don’t know the causation per se of this, but we really need to look into it. And our prime responsibility is the safety of the American people,” Commissioner Stephen Hahn said. Enrollment in the global trials, which is being developed with Oxford University, was paused on September 6. Read more here

Trump says a vaccine may be ready within four weeks: Trump’s timetable is far more optimistic than estimates by drug industry executives or other government officials, including National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci. He has said to expect a vaccine approval closer to the end of the year with broad distribution next year. Read more here

Also Read: Murder rates soared in the US in the first half of 2020

Indonesia embraces experimental Chinese Covid-19 vaccine to get back to work: Few countries have embraced the possibility of a vaccine more fervently than Indonesia, where the government projects the pandemic will push an additional 4.9 million people into poverty. It has started administering experimental shot developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech. Read more here

German cases rise most in eight days: There were 1,792 new cases in the 24 hours through Wednesday morning, bringing the total to 265,014. That compares with 1,485 the previous day, and with daily growth rates of above 1,000 throughout the past week. Fatalities increased by 11 to 9,367. The number of deaths is the highest in almost two weeks. Read more here

Banks lower revenue outlook as pandemic crimps loan demand: Executives at the top US banks warned investors that 2020 revenue will be lower than expected due to weak loan demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Bank of America, the second-largest US bank by assets, said it found little appetite for new loans. JPMorgan Chase trimmed its outlook for annual net interest income by $1 billion, citing an expected drop in loan demand. Read more here

BBC faces era of cuts after reporting ‘substantial shortfall’: Tim Davie, the BBC’s new director-general, warned of the “challenges ahead” for the public broadcaster, as it reported a £119m deficit in 2020 because of delays to cost cuts and the collection of licence fees from over-75s. In its report for the year to March, the audit committee noted the corporation was entering a period of “elevated risk” from the financial hit of the coronavirus pandemic and withdrawal of government funding. Read more here


49 per cent of MBA students say they’d accept permanent shift to online if fee cut allowed

Bloomberg Businessweek surveyed 3,532 first- and second-year students from 95 schools around the world to understand what was working in the now-online programs—and where students felt short-changed. Half of all students would be willing to see at least 20 per cent of their coursework go online in exchange for some level of tuition discount. Students at more expensive schools were less likely to say that their online education was worth the tuition. The survey, conducted from May to early August, included top-ranked schools like Stanford, Dartmouth, Harvard, IMD, Insead, and Ceibs—and a full range of schools from the Businessweek 2019-20 MBA ranking. Since this isn’t a ranking, and the pandemic hit schools in different ways at different times, we decided not to publish data on individual programs. Read more here

JPMorgan case is a test for NYC’s reopening planners

The academic teams in US government departments have been asked to model case numbers, help predict needed hospital resources and to advise the city on how to open up workplaces, schools, restaurants and more. The disclosure Tuesday of a Covid-19 case at the New York offices of JPMorgan Chase & Co. is likely just the latest example of what will happen as businesses push to get workers back to the office, and people begin going back to school and returning to restaurants and gyms. “If you do these types of phased reopenings, there are going to be certain increases in transmission activity,” Columbia University’s Jeff Shaman, who is part of a team working with the city to predict the path of the outbreak. “Every model will tell you you’re going to see increases in cases.” Read more here

How the has changed schooling in South Asia

School classrooms across the region were closed down, and these restrictions have largely remained in place. Currently:

In India, classrooms are largely closed, with teaching being done remotely. However, the government says students from grade 9 to 12 can go into schools on a voluntary basis with their parents' consent from 21 September if they need support.

Bangladesh and Nepal have extended school closures and will continue to rely on remote learning

Sri Lanka's schools reopened in August after trying to reopen in July, but then closing after a spike in cases

Children in Pakistan will return to school in phases, starting on 15 September as coronavirus case numbers have fallen. Read more here

At Home: How to turn your home into the best classroom it can be

Here are some of the best tools and tips for setting up a permanent or semi-permanent remote-learning space for your child, now that their classroom may be your living room, kitchen, or a home office you have to share. Read here

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First Published: Wed, September 16 2020. 14:36 IST