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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Italy locks down financial capital Milan

England readies for new lockdown, French shopkeepers revolt against orders to close, Indonesia's first recession in over two decades and other pandemic-related news across the globe

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Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

coronavirus
A heath worker prepares the injection site on a patient's arm for administration of the Sputnik V vaccine during a trial in Moscow, on Sept. 23. (Photo: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Europe’s second lockdown wave risks double-dip recessions: As winter approaches, Europe is locking down again. Governments are trying to limit the pain to a few industries, but the costs may still be high. Italy has locked down a few at-risk regions including Milan, while mandating milder rules for Rome and the rest of the country, including early closing hours for bars and restaurants. Germany is shuttering its beer taverns and eateries, and France has mandated even stricter measures. Switzerland has banned performances by choirs. Even with closures of limited scope, the Euro area is heading for a double-dip recession.

Bloomberg sees GDP contracting this quarter, reversing a 12.7 percent rebound in the previous three months. Goldman Sachs Group forecasts the economy will shrink 2.3 percent in the final three months of 2020. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 48,034,287

Change Over Yesterday: 686,072

Total Deaths: 1,224,415

Total Recovered: 31,832,864

Nations hit with most cases: US (9,480,242), India (8,313,876), Brazil (5,590,025), Russia (1,680,579) and France (1,591,152)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Italy locks down financial capital Milan and much of industrial north: Italy’s latest restrictions to try to rein in the coronavirus include a partial lockdown of its richest and most populous region Lombardy around the financial capital Milan, Prime Minister said. The region is now divided into three zones - red, orange and yellow, according to the intensity of the epidemic. Read more here

England readies for new lockdown: All non-essential venues — which in England includes pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, golf courses, gyms, swimming pools, entertainment places and stores selling items like books, clothing and sneakers — must close Thursday until at least 2 December. Schools and universities remain open this time, as are construction sites and factories. Read more mere

French shopkeepers revolt against orders to close: France’s second national lockdown has ignited nationwide backlash. Small businesses are fighting what they say is unfair competition from Amazon and big retailers as a nationwide lockdown takes effect. At supermarkets and electronic retailers, items considered nonessential, including books, clothes, toys, flowers and even dishes, are to be off-limits to consumers during the monthlong lockdown. Read more here

China blocks travellers from Britain, Belgium and the Philippines: China has temporarily suspended entry of non-Chinese nationals travelling from the UK. The suspension was a partial reversal of an easing on September 28, when China allowed all foreigners with valid residence permits to enter. Starting November 6, all passengers from the US, France, Germany and Thailand bound for mainland China must take both a nucleic acid test and a blood test for antibodies against the coronavirus. Read more here

Covid hotspots stuck with Trump in close presidential race: The Covid-19 pandemic may not have dented Trump’s support as much as expected—he actually improved his margins from four years ago in some of the counties hardest hit by the coronavirus. In those counties that ranked among the top 10 per cent for Covid-19 deaths per person, Trump’s margin of victory improved from 23.6 points in 2016 to 26.4 points this year. Read more here

Indonesia records its first recession in more than two decades: Indonesia suffered its first recession in over two decades in the third quarter and millions of people lost their jobs over the past year. GDP shrank by a slightly more than expected 3.49 per cent year-on-year as household consumption fell while investment also dropped in the third quarter, official data showed. Read more

Ireland's R number drops below one: The R-rate of Covid-19 transmission in the Republic of Ireland has dropped below 1- between 0.7 and 0.9. The R-rate indicates how many someone with coronavirus could go on to infect. The news comes two weeks after the Irish government imposed its toughest Level 5 restrictions nationwide. Read more here

Specials

Singapore re-opening plan ditches quarantine for tests, ratios

Singapore, a small island nation dependent upon tourism and trade, is working hard to reopen its borders. Singapore is using a plan involving ratios and testing to open its borders to as many visitors as possible based on their home country of risk. The government looks at a country’s “observed prevalence rate” of coronavirus infections and is “mathematically, statistically” managing this to make sure that “we have a highest number of visitors, business travellers” possible without breaking the risk budget. Singapore is working on travel bubbles with other countries, urging them not to “wait for the conditions to be right” before discussions start.

Read more here

Britain’s Marks & Spencer reported the first loss in its 94 years

After clothing sales were hammered by the Covid-19 pandemic 2020 losses were 55 percent.

Although an encouraging performance in food sent its battered shares higher with the stock up 5% on Wednesday as investors took comfort the half year loss was not as bad as feared. Marks & Spencer (M&S) was struggling to reinvent itself after decades of failed attempts before the pandemic hit. M&S cautioned that England’s new four-week lockdown, beginning Thursday, would hit clothing and homeware sales and profit. Read more here

Denmark will kill all farmed mink, citing coronavirus infections
The Danish government will slaughter millions of mink at more than 1,000 farms, citing concerns that a mutation in the novel coronavirus that has infected the mink could possibly interfere with the effectiveness of a vaccine for humans. There are 15 million or more mink in Denmark, which is one of the world’s major exporters of mink furs. Armed forces would be involved in the culling of mink. Read more

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First Published: Thu, November 05 2020. 16:58 IST
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