Worst recession in a century amid pandemic - OECD: Live updates

1 year ago 53
google news Flipboard
The global economy is set to contract by 6 percent in 2020, according to the OECD.  India recorded 9,985 cases in one day and 274 deaths, as the country emerged from a two-month lockdown.   Concerns are growing about a second wave of coronavirus in the US, with 22 states reporting weekly increases in coronavirus cases. China has dismissed as "ridiculous" a Harvard Medical School study that suggested the coronavirus could have been circulating in Wuhan as early as August. Scientists have also said it offers no convincing evidence of when the outbreak began.  Nearly 7.2 million people have now been confirmed to have the coronavirus and nearly 409,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The US, the UK and Brazil have recorded the highest death tolls. The US, Brazil and Russia have the most cases.

Here are the latest updates:

Wednesday, June 10  11:38 GMT - Austria lifting checks at Italian border and for most EU arrivals

Austria is lifting checks at its border with Italy and ending quarantine requirements for more than 20 European countries as of June 16, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said.

The western European nation draws many of its visitors from neighbouring Germany, with which it has already reopened its border, so the move will have a greater effect on Austrians, who will be able to return from summer destinations like Italy and Croatia without having to go into quarantine or show a negative test.

Austria Lift Coronavirus Further RestrictionsAustria will welcome travellers from 31 countries without restrictions, including most of Europe [File: Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images]

11:17 GMT - UK must be able to raise Hong Kong, COVID issues with China, says Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said  Britain must able to speak out about "serious concerns" about the origins of COVID-19, Hong Kong and the country's critical national infrastructure with China.

"We must feel absolutely free to raise those issues loud and clear with Beijing and that's what we will continue to do," Johnson told parliament.

10:55 GMT - Virus pummels global economy, jobs - even without 2nd wave

The virus crisis has triggered the worst global recession in nearly a century - and the pain is not over yet even if there is no second wave of infections, an international economic report warned.

Hundreds of millions of people have lost their jobs, and the crisis is hitting the poor and young people the hardest, worsening inequalities, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in its latest analysis of global economic data.

"It is probably the most uncertain and dramatic outlook since the creation of the OECD," Secretary General Angel Gurria, adding that OECD could not "make projections as as we normally do".

10:35 GMT - Decades of debt: UK's finance chief told to make gradual pay-offs

United Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is being asked by members of the ruling Conservative party to take his time to pay off the record debt the country is racking up as it tries to weather the coronavirus pandemic. By that, they mean decades.

With the economy on course for its deepest recession for at least a century, the government is now paying the wages of more than 10 million workers to stave off mass unemployment.

Read more here.

Brexit back on agenda despite coronavirus pandemic

10:15 GMT - Avoiding Australia: Economic pain if Chinese students stay away

Australia's economy, facing its first recession in 30 years because of the coronavirus, would suffer if Chinese students heeded a warning from their government to stay away because of racist incidents, Australia's trade minister said.

International education is Australia's fourth-largest foreign exchange earner, worth 38 billion Australian dollars ($26bn) annually, and more critical to the economy than beef or barley, products hit with Chinese import bans and tariffs last month.

Read more here.

09:55 GMT - Pope expresses concern about children in poverty amid virus

Pope Francis appealed for help to protect children who are being forced to work to help their families living in extreme poverty during the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking from the Papal library at the Vatican during his weekly audience, the Pope said that in some circumstances this amounted to child slavery or imprisonment.

Pausing from his prepared text, the Pope added, "we are all responsible for this."

There have been 12 cases of COVID-19 among the employees and residents of the small Vatican city state.

09:40 GMT - Denmark sees no rise in COVID-19 cases after further easing of lockdown

Denmark, the first country outside Asia to ease its coronavirus lockdown, said the spread of COVID-19 has not accelerated since it entered its second phase of reopening society last month.

The Nordic country allowed restaurants, cafes and malls to resume business during May in the second phase of easing lockdown restrictions. In April it had allowed day care centres, schools, hair dressers and some small businesses to reopen.

"The level of contagion in society is still very low," the Danish health authority said in a report on Wednesday, adding that the number of confirmed new infections had continued to fall despite more tests being carried out.

What's the psychological cost of the coronavirus? I Inside Story

09:18 GMT - Pangolin removed from list of traditional medicines in China

China has removed the pangolin from a list of traditional medicines as it heightens protections for the endangered scale-covered mammals.

The pangolin has been excluded from the official Chinese Pharmacopoeiaálist this year, along with other substances including pills containing bat faeces, the state-owned publication The Paper reported on Tuesday.

The mammal is thought by some scientists to have been the intermediary host for the new coronavirus, which was first discovered in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December.

Pangolin scalesPangolins are the world's most trafficked animals and have been commonly used as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine, though their therapeutic value isn't scientifically proven [File: Reuters]

08:55 GMT - Potential COVID-19 vaccine from China shows promise in animal tests

A potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by Chinese researchers showed promise in trials in monkeys, triggering antibodies and raising no safety issues, researchers said, and a human trial with more than 1,000 participants is under way.

The vaccine candidate, called BBIBP-CorV, induced high-level neutralising antibodies that can block the virus from infecting cells in monkeys, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits, researchers said in a paper published in online by the medical journal Cell on Saturday.

08:35 GMT - Malaysia to reopen schools in stages from June 24 - minister

Malaysia will begin reopening schools from June 24, its education minister said on Wednesday, as the country enters recovery mode after three months of strict curbs on movement and businesses to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Southeast Asia's third-largest economy began lifting most coronavirus restrictions from Wednesday, after the government declared that the outbreak was under control.

08:15 GMT - Africa’s coronavirus cases have surpass 200,000. 

Coronvirus cases in Africa topped 200,000, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 54-nation continent has 202,782 cases and 5,516 deaths.

While Africa still represents a tiny percentage of the world’s total COVID-19 cases, well under 5 percent, officials in South Africa and elsewhere have expressed concern as the number of infections continues to climb.

South Africa leads the continent with 52,991 cases, with almost two-thirds of them in the Western Cape province centered on the city of Cape Town.

South Africa school opening - COVID19-  Westbury Primary school in Johannesburg [Dorion Alexander/Al Jazeera]

 South Africa leads the continent with 52,991 cases [Dorion Alexander/Al Jazeera] 

07:55 GMT - Turkish unemployment falls to 13.2% in Feb-April despite coronavirus

Turkey's unemployment rate fell to 13.2 percent in the February-April period from 13.6 percent a month earlier, data showed, falling despite an economic slowdown driven by measures to counter the coronavirus outbreak.

The government imposed a three-month ban on layoffs in April to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday the government had prepared a comprehensive package to boost employment.

The unemployment rate stood at 14.1 percent in the same period last year. 

07:45 GMT - US says consulate in China's Wuhan to reopen in near future

The United States will soon resume operations at its consulate in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus outbreak began late last year, the US Embassy said.

US ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, "intends to resume operations in Wuhan in the near future", Frank Whitaker, minister counselor for Public Affairs at the embassy, said in an email to Reuters, without giving a specific date.

The US State Department withdrew consulate staff and their families in late January after the Chinese government put the city under lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.

07:20 GMT - Bulgaria extends epidemic emergency until end of June

Bulgaria will extend the epidemic emergency until the end of June to fight the spread of the coronavirus after an increase in new registered cases, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said.

The Balkan country has eased most of the restrictive measures it imposed in the middle of March, allowing restaurants and shopping malls to reopen. 

Leader of Bulgarian party Volya, Mareshki, and a deputy from his party wear protective suits during debates in the parliament in Sofia

Borissov said the government did not plan to introduce new restrictions for the time being but appealed to people to keep social distancing [File:Dimitar Kyosemarliev/Reuters]

06:50 GMT - Hairdressers, beauty salons reopen in Malaysia

Malaysia reopened nearly all economic and social activities Wednesday after nearly three months of lockdown successfully brought down virus infections.

Malaysians can now travel for domestic holidays, get their hair cut and visit street markets, while schools and religious activities will gradually resume.

Night clubs, pubs, karaoke, theme parks and reflexology centers will stay shut during the recovery period.
Contact sports or those that involve many spectators such as football, and activities involving mass groups, are still banned. 

Malaysia blog entry

Malaysia has recorded 8,336 infections and 117 deaths [File: Mohd Rasfan/AFP]

06:30 GMT - Applications for asylum in EU plummet during pandemic

Asylum applications in Europe fell to the lowest level in April for over a decade as borders closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, European Union figures show, compounding the challenges of people fleeing conflict and persecution.

The number of asylum applications declined to 8,730 during April, an 86 percent drop from 61,421 in February, according to figures obtained by Reuters from the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

The EU had shut its external borders in March and many of its 27 member states suspended registration of applications.

06:11 GMT - India surge continues with nearly 10,000 cases

The number of coronavirus cases in India continued to rapidly increase Wednesday, with officials reporting nearly 10,000 new cases over the past 24 hours.

The spike has come as the government moves forward with reopening restaurants, shopping malls and religious places in most of its states after a more than two-month-old lockdown.

The government has already partially restored train services and domestic flights and allowed shops and manufacturing to reopen. Subways, hotels and schools and colleges, however, remain shuttered nationwide.

The Health Ministry on Wednesday reported an 24-hour increase of 9,985 cases and 274 deaths. India has recorded 276,583 positive cases, the fifth highest in the world, and 7,745 deaths.

Hello, this is Usaid Siddiqui in Doha taking over from my colleague Kate Mayberry 

06:00 GMT -

I'm now handing over the blog to my colleagues in Doha. A quick update on developments over the past few hours... The US appears to be facing the risk of a second wave of infections, Brazil has restored its coronavirus data after a political storm and a court order, and Mexico and Argentina are seeing daily surges in cases.

05:45 GMT - Gone by July: Upbeat prognosis from Australia

A senior medical official in New South Wales says Australia will have largely eradicated the coronavirus by July when community sports are due to resume.

"Our view has been that we had hoped that by June/July that we would see coronavirus largely disappearing from the country, so this is pretty much on track," said Bill Rawlinson, a senior medical virologist with New South Wales Health.

Australia's latest data shows seven new cases - three in NSW and four in the state of Victoria. 

04:45 GMT - Global Peace Index report uploaded

The IEP has now uploaded its Global Peace Index report to social media.

The Global Peace Index 2020 is now available for download

In the 2020 report:

⭕ Rankings & trends
⭕ Regional overviews
⭕ Civil unrest
⭕ Positive Peace & pandemics
⭕ Ecological Threat Register

Download now → https://t.co/IRRl4mLJ2i pic.twitter.com/wlZj1AZrwa

— Global Peace Index (@GlobPeaceIndex) June 10, 2020 04:00 GMT - Coronavirus shock to fuel years of poverty, unrest

The Insitute for Economics and Peace (IEP) says the shock of the coronavirus will fuel poverty and unrest for years to come, undoing decades of progress in socio-economic development.

The Australian-based think tank says the countries that will suffer the most will be those that are politically-fragile whose economies are generally less robust.

"The worst is still to come," said Steve Killelea, the head of the IEP at the launch of its annual Global Peace Index.

IEP says heavily-indebted countries will find it hard to get the money they need to rebuild their economies once lockdowns are relaxed, raising the risk of riots and unrest. Cuts in overseas aid could also hurt countries such as Afghanistan, Yemen and South Sudan.    

03:55 GMT - Fujifilm to spend $928m to expand Danish facility for COVID-19 drug

Japan's Fujifilm is to spend $928 million to expand a facility in Denmark where it plans to produce COVID-19 treatments.

Fujifilm says the investment will help expand production lines for bulk drug substances, as well as viral vaccines.

02:15 GMT - California, Arizona see coronavirus cases spike

Cases of coronavirus are spiking and leading to more hospital admissions in parts of California and Arizona, raising the risk of authorities tightening public health restrictions to curb the virus' spread.

More than 18 million people in California, including residents of Los Angeles, Santa Clara and Fresno are now on a state watch list of places at risk, according to Reuters.

"Many of the cases that are showing up in hospitals are linked to gatherings that are taking place in homes - birthday parties and funerals," said Olivia Kasirye, the public health director of Sacramento County.

Reuters reports 22 states across the US recorded weekly increases in coronavirus cases on Tuesday. Arizona, Utah and New Mexico all recorded rises of 40 percent or more over the week, it said.

01:20 GMT - Argentina daily coronavirus cases top 1,000 for first time 

Argentina has confirmed more than 1,000 new daily cases of coronavirus for the first time.

Argentina's Health Ministry on Tuesday said it had logged 1,141 new cases in the past 24 hours, as well 24 deaths, pushing its totals to 24,761 cases and 717 deaths since the outbreak began in early March.

Latin America has become the new epicentre of the global outbreak although Argentina's case load remains remains significantly lower than neighbours Chile and Brazil.

Argentina last week extended a mandatory lockdown in Buenos Aires, which accounts for the country's highest concentration of confirmed infections. Other areas have moved to "mandatory and preventive social distancing."

More than 1,000 COVID-19 infections in Buenos Aires slum

23:50 GMT (Tuesday) - Mexico warns peak could be weeks away

Mexico's deputy health minister says it could be weeks before the country, which has already started to reopen its economy, sees a peak in coronavirus cases. 

"We still haven't reached the maximum point," Hugo Lopez-Gatell said at a news conference, saying numbers would continue to rise each day. The country is forecasting up to 35,000 deaths up to October.

The health ministry said 596 people died from COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total to 14,649.

23:30 GMT (Tuesday) - Brazil restores data after court challenge to its removal

Brazil has restored data on its COVID-19 outbreak to its official national website after a Supreme Court judge ordered the government to reinstate cumulative totals and state breakdowns.

The decision to remove the data triggered an outcry and accusations that the government, under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, was trying to mask the extent of the outbreak. 

On Tuesday evening, Brazil had a total of 739,503 confirmed cases with 38,406 deaths. It has the second-highest caseload in the world after the US and the third-highest death toll after the United States and the United Kingdom.

----

Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera's continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I'm Kate Mayberry in Kuala Lumpur.

Read all the updates from yesterday (June 9) here.

  1. Homepage
  2. International