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World Coronavirus Dispatch: Why the death rate in Africa is so low

German manufacturing continues to recover, France could extend emergency furlough, Thailand to close national parks every year, and other pandemic-related news across the globe

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Vaccine | Global economy

Yuvraj Malik  |  New Delhi 

Photo: Shutterstock
Demand increased 2.8 percent, down from a jump of almost 30 percent a month earlier and less than economists expected.

Scientists explore surprise theory for low death rate in Africa: Infection and death rates in many African countries have turned out to be much lower than initially feared. As the number of infections dips sharply in South Africa, experts there are exploring a startling hypothesis. They have cited a youthful population as the best explanation for Africa's relatively low infection rates. "It seems possible that our struggles, our poor conditions might be working in favour of African countries and our populations," said Shabir Madhi, South Africa's top virologist. Read more here

Let’s look at the global statistics

Total Confirmed Cases: 26,310,505

Change Over Yesterday: 274,250

Total Deaths: 868,810

Total Recovered: 17,525,973

Nations hit with most cases: US (6,150,998), Brazil (4.041,638), India (3.936,747), Russia (1,006,923) and Peru (657,129)

Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

German manufacturing continues its recovery: Demand increased 2.8 percent, down from a jump of almost 30 percent a month earlier and less than economists expected. Export orders surged, particularly from outside the euro area. At the same time, domestic orders for investment goods declined sharply following strong growth the previous month. Read more here

French could extend emergency furlough beyond 2020: France could extend the furlough program it created to protect jobs during the Covid-19 crisis, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said, indicating the government is ready to spend more than the 100 billion euros ($119 billion) unveiled in its stimulus plan earlier in the day. Read more here

Also read, 22 French schools closed due to coronavirus

Thailand to close national parks every year to help environment: The closure of the parks during the pandemic has allowed the natural habitat to recover from the hordes of tourist crowds and brought a return of wildlife, like whales and turtles, to Thailand’s world-famous beaches. Authorities now want to close the parks annually for two to four months at a time. Read more here

English Premier League’s broadcast deal with China falls through: Days before the new season kicks off on September 12, the soccer league and its Chinese licensee, Suning Holdings Group, said Thursday their agreement had been terminated. In China the league is the most-watched overseas soccer competition. Read more here

Virgin Australia creditors approve Bain’s $2.5 billion takeover: Virgin Australia Holdings creditors have approved Bain Capital’s acquisition of the airline, the last hurdle in the private equity firm’s bid to restructure the business. The approval was the last key milestone for the voluntary administration process, and caps a hotly-contested auction for the company. Read more here

Australian recommits to opening up the economy by December: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said most state and territory leaders have recommitted to opening up the economy by December, but failed to secure an immediate agreement to lift border restrictions that are hampering the recovery. Authorities have barred travel from the two most-populous states of New South Wales and Victoria. Read more here


The mining industry is starting to embrace AI

While slow to adopt AI in comparison with other sectors, the challenges of declining ore grades for metals including copper and gold is pushing more mining companies to take a closer look at technology. Instead of spending more on exploration, start-ups are helping producers to maximize the metal extracted from the mines they already own. The AI software can be adapted for other mining processes including drilling and water pumping. It can also test out alternative scenarios without having to incur the risk and cost of altering a mine.

AI can also help to monitor mining operations remotely, and shift workers away from potentially dangerous underground sites. Read more here

TikTok buyer will face huge challenge, Snap’s Evan Spiegel says

“For whoever purchases TikTok, it basically requires you to build the entire core technology from the ground up to support the service and to do so without any engineering talent . . . and without the core technology,” said Mr Spiegel, at the FT Weekend Festival. He added that Snap typically preferred to acquire companies together with their engineers, a move that may not be possible with TikTok. “Typically if you buy a business, it comes with a really talented team and I think for us the team is usually everything,” said Mr Spiegel. ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, has been ordered to sell the app’s US business by mid-November or face a ban from President Donald Trump. Read more here

Trump and Covid force Chinese students to rethink the US

Chinese students have also transformed the entire business model of American higher education, a lucrative sector where tuition payments totalled $170 billion in the 2017-18 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. US universities have come to depend on students -- mainly from the wealthy Chinese middle-class -- to fill budget holes. Now, amid the pent-up anxieties of Chinese students -- fueled by Covid, a fraught US-China relationship, racism, and the trade war -- the feared scenario seems to be unfolding. Read more here

What we know about the US C.D.C.’s Covid-19 vaccine plans
In planning documents sent last week to public health agencies around the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention described preparations for two vaccines they refer to simply as Vaccine A and Vaccine B. The technical details of the vaccines, including the time between doses and their storage temperatures, match well with the two vaccines furthest along in clinical tests in the United States, made by Moderna and Pfizer. Here’s what you need to know about how the vaccines work, how they’re being tested and how they might be rolled out to the public

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First Published: Fri, September 04 2020. 15:29 IST