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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Stanford study on infections from Trump rallies

Fresh curbs in Austria and Portugal, London loses faith in govt pleas to stay home, perks companies use to get staff back to office, and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

Coronavirus, vaccine, covid, drugs, clinical trials
The latest sell-off has come as a second wave of cases forced more lockdowns in Europe, threatening the economic recovery and spooking investors around the world

Big Tech meltdown and rising virus cases lead S&P 500 to worst week since March:

Stocks fell on Friday, dropping for the fourth time in the past five days in a retreat that has added up to Wall Street’s worst week since March, as rising pandemic cases, new shutdowns and a sell-off in large technology stocks all dragged the major benchmarks lower. The S&P 500 fell 1.2 per cent, bringing its loss for the week to 5.6 per cent. That’s its biggest weekly drop since the week through March 20, when stocks plunged 15 per cent before they began to rebound after the Federal Reserve and lawmakers in Washington stepped in to bolster the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 6.5 per cent this week. The latest sell-off has come as a second wave of cases forced more lockdowns in Europe, threatening the economic recovery and spooking investors around the world. In the United States, a record number of cases is prompting city and county governments to start imposing some curfews and limits on gatherings. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics:

Total Confirmed Cases: 46,110,801

Change Over Yesterday: 439,102

Total Deaths: 1,195,930

Total Recovered: 30,858,057

Nations hit with most cases: US (9,126,578 ), India (8,184,082), Brazil (5,535,605), Russia (1,624,648) and France (1,412,709)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

Austria and Portugal announce restrictions: Austria and Portugal have announced new restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread of In Austria, the restrictions include a curfew from 20:00 to 06:00. Cafes and restaurants will be takeaway only. Portugal's measures cover 70 per cent of the country. People will be required to stay at home except for work, school or essential errands. Read more here

Hungary and Poland see record cases: Hungary and Poland are the latest countries to see record daily cases, as Europe grapples with a second wave.

Poland saw new cases jump by 21,897 on Saturday, and Hungary saw a record daily increase of 3,908. Slovakia is testing everyone over the age of 10 to try to stop the spread of the disease there. The project to test four million people in the country, where infections have soared, is expected to last over two weekends. Read more here

London loses faith in government pleas to stay home: While the financial district emptied in March when the government first told people to work from home if they could, the reverse has been true since PM Boris Johnson issued the advice again last month. It adds to evidence of the public’s diminishing faith in the government’s handling of the pandemic as cases accelerate. Read more here

Swiss try light touch virus curbs in effort to keep economy open: Switzerland is resisting a lockdown to stem the second wave of the coronavirus. The debt-averse Swiss government is desperately trying to keep the economy open and has so far opted for a lighter touch: expanding mandatory mask-wearing, limiting the number of people that can gather privately or publicly and closing nightclubs. It has stopped short of shutting restaurants and bars. Read more here

Russia's new coronavirus cases hit record high of 18,665: Russia’s daily tally of coronavirus cases hit a record high of 18,665 on Sunday, including 5,261 in Moscow, taking the national tally to 1,636,781. Authorities also reported 245 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 28,235. Read more here


A Stanford study tries to quantify infections stemming from Trump rallies

A group of Stanford University economists who created a statistical model estimate that there have been at least 30,000 coronavirus infections and 700 deaths as a result of 18 campaign rallies President Trump held between June and September. The numbers, which will surely reignite accusations from Democratic and public health officials that the president is putting voters at risk for political gain, are not based on individual cases traced directly to particular campaign events. Instead, the Stanford researchers, led by Professor B. Douglas Bernheim, the chairman of the university’s economics department, conducted a regression analysis. They compared the 18 counties where Mr. Trump held rallies to as many as 200 counties with similar demographics and similar trajectories of confirmed Covid-19 cases prior to the rally date. Read more here

Hungary’s Pandemic Woe: How to Get Rid of All Those Ventilators?

Hungary’s government has conceded that it bought too many ventilators earlier this year during the first wave of the pandemic. Now it’s trying to get rid of them. “We’re able to sell those in excess of our strategic stockpile or we’re able to help others” by donating them, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told reporters on Thursday in Budapest.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government bought more than 16,000 ventilators this year and it’s trying to reduce its inventory by half, according to news website. Hungary has instructed its diplomats to try to sell the equipment abroad. Hungary had 255 patients on ventilators as of Wednesday, almost five times as many as in the beginning of October. In the past week, Hungary had the third-highest number of deaths per capita in the European Union after the Czech Republic and Belgium. Read more here

These are the perks companies use to get workers back to their offices

At the headquarters of SL Green, a real estate company in Manhattan, employees walk the halls with masks on, line up with proper spacing for free lunch and sit at cubicles behind plastic barriers that rise up well over six feet. Birthday parties are celebrated in the office — but over Zoom, with snacks available to be picked up and eaten by employees in front of their computers. Workers can even bring their children into the office for remote schooling, to be supervised by tutors paid by the company. SL Green is one of a small number of companies in New York City that have required workers to return to the office during the coronavirus pandemic, at least for some tasks, a list that includes other real estate firms as well as some banks and companies like JP Morgan Chase and L’Oréal. Read more here

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First Published: Sun, November 01 2020. 17:27 IST