China Develops $26bn Ultra High Voltage Electrical Grids to Stimulate Economic Recovery
China identified its first COVID infection from Wuhan in Hubei Province in December 2019. In an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, China in January 2020 locked down Wuhan and other most affected cities and ordered mandatory closure of the factories and businesses. Leaving a huge impact on the industrial and service sectors, COVID shrank the Chinese economy in Q1 2020 for the first time in the last decade. In March 2020, the World Health Organization has declared COVID as a pandemic, considering the faster transmission of the disease across geographies.
Hence, as a measure to provide further stimulus and secure investors’ confidence, China has introduced a “new infrastructure” strategy aiming time-bound development of state-of-the-art infrastructure.
Economic Update: McKinsey’s four forces that will mould the next normal – US DOL reveals more than 38 million unemployed
McKinsey has said that they are predicting “Four forces that will mold the next normal” in the post Covid-19 world.
Those being: The metamorphosis of demand, Rapid changes in the workforce, Shifts in regulation and Increasing information about protocols for safety.
According to the US Department Of Labor, (DOL) the US unemployment rate has increased by another 2.4 million in the week to 16 May, bringing the total of unemployed Americans to over 38 million since the start if the pandemic and consequent social distancing measures.
EU to hold 15GW of renewable energy tenders
According to a leaked document, in the next two years, the European Commission will hold 15GW-worth of renewable energy tenders.
The move, part of the EU’s coronavirus recovery plan worth €75bn, will have a cost of €25bn. The document, which was published by Euractiv, outlines that another €10bn will be made available by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to increase states’ renewable build-out.
International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 5.1 million – Brazil deaths exceed 20,000 – Australia extends ban on cruise ship visits
Global: Global cases stand at 5,102,573, with deaths reported at 332,924, according to the Johns Hopkins university tracker.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Ukraine have reached an agreement in principle on a new $5bn aid package to help Kyiv battle the coronavirus crisis.
Germany and Russia urged the United Nations to partially reopen its New York City headquarters as the secretary general proposes to scale back the annual General Assembly meeting in September.
Brazil: Latin America’s biggest country has recorded a one-day death toll of 1,188, taking the confirmed total to 20,047.
Indonesia: Indonesia has had its biggest one day jump in cases: the world’s fourth most populous country reported 973 new infections on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 20,162.
South Korea: South Korea has reported 20 new cases, which came as health authorities worked to contain the cluster connected to Seoul nightclubs.
Thailand: Thailand reported no new coronavirus infections or deaths on Friday, maintaining the total of 3,037 confirmed cases and 56 fatalities since the outbreak started in January.
Thailand will extend its nationwide state of emergency for another month through June, according to Taweesilp Witsanuyotin, a spokesman for the Covid-19 centre.
China: China took the rare move of not setting an annual growth target this year after the coronavirus battered the world’s second-largest economy and ravaged global growth.
Australia: New South Wales has announced cafes and restaurants will be allowed to have up to 50 patrons from 1 June, up from ten currently allowed.
Australia extended its ban on cruise ship visits for three months until September 17. The Australian Border Force said any cruise ship capable of carrying more than 100 passengers is prohibited from operating cruises in the country.
Australia is seeking an exemption from a requirement that travellers arriving in the United Kingdom quarantine for 14 days to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
India: India’s central bank cut interest rates in an unscheduled announcement on Friday, ramping up support for an economy it expects will contract for the first time in more than four decades.
US: The US Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday that 27 antibody tests will no longer be distributed in the US, part of a previously announced crackdown on the tests.
Coronavirus company news summary – UK registers 40% YoY surge in power generation – New England grid to meet power demands
Wind farms in the UK registered a 40% year-on-year surge in output in the first quarter of this year, thereby overtaking fossil fuels. According to a report published by Electric Insights, ensuring that the grid isn’t overloaded by wind and solar is a challenge and a dip in demand due to Covid-19 lockdown has made it even tougher. National Grid has asked for emergency powers to switch off renewable generators if needed to limit supply.
JSW Energy’s agreement to acquire GMR Energy‘s entire stake in GMR Kamalanga Energy has been deferred due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
GMR Kamalanga Energy owns and operates three units of 350MW capacity in the Indian state of Odisha. The deal was valued INR53.21bn ($701m), subject to working capital and other adjustments.
ISO New England has said that New England has more than necessary electric supplies to meet peak consumer demand this summer despite the Covid-19 outbreak.
The body, which operates the six-state power grid, has registered a 3% to 5% decline in consumer demand attributable to the pandemic.
Reliance Power subsidiary Vidarbha Industries Power (VIPL) has decided to layoff 141 out of its 170 workers at the 600MW Butibori power plant in the Indian state of Maharashtra amid the coronavirus outbreak. The coal-based thermal power plant was closed since January last year and employees were carrying out only maintenance and preservation work. This work will now be carried out the remaining 29 employees.
Strategic lockdown lifting may help economies recover
Lockdown measures implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic have led to contraction of GDP levels globally.
Research indicates that some of the damage caused by the pandemic may be undone by lifting the restrictions.
The lockdown measures, however, should be lifted based on a strategic approach to avoid the threat of a second wave of infections.
Gregory Daco, Chief US Economist at Oxford Economics, shared an article on how lifting of lockdown restrictions in China helped in returning the industry value to positive levels in April.
Retail sales, however, were lagging due to consumers’ maintaining voluntary social distancing.
The article notes that based on the trends in China, the global economy may start to expand again if the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Consumers may start to spend on goods and services that they could not purchase in the second quarter but will also cut back their spending on other areas, the article added.
GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid cases exceed 5 million – increases continue in Latin America – no new cases in London
Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 5,000,000, with over 328,000 deaths and 1,900,000 recoveries.
In Europe and North America, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries.
In Latin America, Peru, Mexico, and Chile each continues to experience a record number of daily cases or death.
Peru has second most number of cases after Brazil in Latin America.
Cases in India are increasing at the fastest pace in Asia with a 30% increase in cases since last week.
After facing the brunt of Covid-19 in the UK, London has reported steep decline in daily new cases with no new cases reported in the last 24 hours.
This is a positive development, but it remains to be seen if this decline in new cases will continue in the near future.
Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData
EU to unveil coronavirus green recovery package
The European Union is expected to unveil the greenest coronavirus recovery plan in the world.
According to Bloomberg, the plan – which will be unveiled by the European Commission’s president Ursula Von Der Leye on 27 May – will seek to drive private investments as well as foster a green stimulus to help countries recover from the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Economic Update: Covid-19 worst pandemic driven economic impact since 2000 – people could be out of work for 2-3 years
Deloitte economist Akrur Barua says that the economic impact of Covid-19 is likely to be more harsh than other epidemics and pandemics in Asia since 2000:
“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Asia will likely be worse than other epidemics and pandemics due to three key reasons.
“Firstly, the scale of the current pandemic is much larger than any other health care crisis this century.
“Secondly, state-mandated social distancing in Asia (and the world over) now is way more severe than in the past.
“Finally, Asia plays a bigger role in the world economy and is more interconnected with the rest of the world now than at the time of SARS.”
A new report from the World Economic Forum looks at what the coronavirus pandemic means for the world, based on the views and analysis of 350 senior risk professionals.
Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum and Head of Centre for the New Economy and Society, concluded: “The effects of recent events will be felt by many businesses for years to come and some may not survive without support.
“We have to think much more carefully about helping with reskilling and upskilling, and providing better social safety nets for affected workers, because it may be a two- to three-year journey before they’re able to move into a new sector.
“We’re already starting to see some of the permanent structural changes brought about by the impact of the pandemic.
“As parts of Asia and Europe begin to emerge from lockdown restrictions, there are signs of seemingly permanent changes in consumer behavior.
“We have to start rethinking where future sources of economic growth will come from.”
IEA Bioenergy highlights potential for biomass amid Covid-19
IEA Bioenergy, the biofuel wing of the International Energy Agency (IEA), has promoted the potential for biomass to alleviate energy concerns amid the Covid-19 pandemic, drawing attention to the flexibility and long-term viability of the energy source.
During a webinar hosted yesterday, chair of the IEA Bioenergy Executive Committee Jim Spaeth highlighted the flexible nature of biomass, and that it could see increased usage as traditional energy sources struggle amid the pandemic; he noted that worldwide energy demand is set to fall by 6%, seven times greater than the decline following the 2009 financial crisis.
Read more about the IEA’s announcement here.
International Update: Covid-19 infections near 5 million – Europe told to brace itself for second wave – global trade lowest in four years says WTO
Global: After the biggest single-day increase in cases worldwide so far in the pandemic, the number of confirmed infections is close to 5 million, with the Johns Hopkins University data currently listing 4,996,634.
The World Health Organization gave a stark warning on Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, after 106,000 new cases were recorded worldwide over the past 24 hours – the most in a single day so far.
International imports and exports have fallen to their lowest level for at least four years, according to World Trade Organization figures.
Europe: Europe should brace itself for a second wave of coronavirus infections, according to the director of the EU agency responsible for advising governments on disease control.
European Union regulators called on passengers to wear face masks, observe physical distancing and frequently wash their hands in new guidelines for air travel in the age of Covid-19.
Greece: Tourists will be welcomed back to Greece from 15 June, the prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has announced.
Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the country won’t be cutting foreign aid due to the coronavirus pandemic, and further relief for poor nations is needed.
UK: The number of unaccompanied young migrants crossing the Channel from France to Britain has spiked during the coronavirus outbreak, as travel restrictions force them onto boats rather than trucks.
US: Donald Trump has said he may seek to revive a face-to-face meeting of Group of Seven leaders near Washington, after earlier canceling the gathering due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Expedia Group Inc. followed its peers in the online travel industry in witnessing a staggering decline in business since the spread of the virus, with total gross bookings down 39% in the first quarter.
Mexico: At least 500 Cuban health workers are helping tackle the coronavirus in Mexico City, Mexican officials told Reuters, making it likely the largest contingent the communist-led island has deployed globally as part of its response to the pandemic.
Japan: Japan’s economy minister says experts have approved a government plan to remove a coronavirus state of emergency in Osaka and two neighbouring prefectures in the west where the infection is deemed slowing, while keeping the measure in place in the Tokyo region and Hokkaido.
Cambodia: Cambodia has announced the lifting of a travel ban of tourists from Iran, Italy, Germany, Spain, France and the US.
South Korea: South Korea’s exports of coronavirus test kits are expected to gather momentum down the road due to high overseas demand, Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday, quoting industry sources.
Coronavirus company news summary – UK defers Norfolk windfarm final call – Kenya power demand dips by 8%
ACME Solar has annulled an agreement to supply power at record low tariff to state-run Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI) citing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The company, which bagged the 600MW project in Rajasthan at a rate of INR2.44 ($0.03) per unit in 2018, argued that the projects have already been deferred by 15 months and further postponement will continue given the uncertainty caused by the outbreak.
Power demand in Kenya had dipped by nearly 8% in the wake of lockdown imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Kenya Electricity Generating (KenGen) said Sunday usage levels seen throughout the week as industries suspend their activities in response to the pandemic.
The UK Government has decided to defer a final call on the 1.8GW Norfolk Boreas windfarm by up to five months in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Government authorities said the pandemic has delayed several hearings, and a number of interested parties have been unable to participate. Swedish energy company Vattenfall said delaying a decision was “regrettable” and may call the country’s green ambitions into question.
American electric utility company Evergy has pledged to donate $2.2m to help agencies and communities respond to challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The company said up to $1m has been allocated to help customers pay their utility bills and $800,000 has been earmarked for economic recovery programmes. Remaining funds totalling $400,000 will be given to non-profit groups.
Covid-19 driven recession could impact 2020 graduate careers for a decade
Unemployment levels have reached new highs over the last three months since the lockdown was initiated in the US.
As millions of students graduate during this uncertain time, their future job prospects remain bleak.
Careers and earnings may be impacted for graduates for many years.
Konstantina Beleli, an economist and journalist, shared an article on how million of students in US are graduating in one of the worst job markets witnessed since the Great Depression.
The article notes that the unemployment rate in the US currently stands at 14.7% but for people aged between 20 and 24, the rate increases to 25.7%, according to statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Research suggests that the careers and earnings of these students are expected to be impacted for more than a decade.
GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global confirmed Covid-19 cases exceed 4.9 million – record daily numbers of new cases in South America
Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,900,000, with over 323,000 deaths and 1,690,000 recoveries.
Brazil account for most of the daily confirmed cases in Latin America.
Meanwhile, countries to watch will be Peru, Mexico, and Chile as each continues to experience a record number of daily cases.
Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Chile have each set a record high of new daily cases.
In Europe and North America, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries.
It has been accepted that children are not the group most at risk from Covid-19.
However, as schools have started to reopen in Europe; it remains unclear whether they are super spreaders and transmit the infection even if they are asymptomatic.
Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData
Coal is “no longer economically competitive in the US”
Yuan-Sheng Yu, senior analyst at research and advisory firm Lux Research, the US technology company, Yuan-Sheng Yu, has commented on the shift of energy and coal market conditions in the US amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
He says: “According to the EIA, renewable energy will surpass coal in the US electricity mix this year for the first time in history. Coal has been on the decline for nearly two decades and was replaced by natural gas as the primary source of electricity in 2016, but a 16-year low in electricity demand brought on by Covid-19 will likely shutter the US coal industry for good.
“While natural gas and renewables are key to decarbonisation, the pandemic has brought the well-known fact to the public light: coal is no longer economically competitive in the US. It is becoming clear that Covid-19 will lead to a shake-up of the energy landscape and catalyse the energy transition, with investors eyeing new energy sector plays as we emerge from the pandemic.”
ACME Solar stops low tariff due to coronavirus
Indian solar developer ACME Solar has stopped supplying power at India’s lowest tariff to government-owned Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI).
As reported by Reuters, ACME Solar attributed the decision to project delays and uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Economic Update: US GDP to contract by 11% in Q2 – eyes on China’s additional fiscal support – UK GDP downgraded
The US Congressional Budget office has said that it estimates that real gross domestic product will contract by 11% in the second quarter of this year, which is equivalent to a decline of 38% at an annual rate, and that the number of people employed will be almost 26 million lower than the number in the fourth quarter of 2019.
World Bank commentators have written that all eyes are on China this week as additional fiscal support to stem downward pressure on growth is expected:
“How to spend may be as important as how much to spend. China’s fiscal stimulus should be aligned with its medium-term objectives of rebalancing the economy toward more inclusive and greener growth.
“This suggests that the priority this time around needs to be enhancing China’s social safety nets and investing in accelerating the transition toward a carbon-neutral, more resource-efficient and competitive economy.”
Deloitte UK chief economist Ian Stewart has written on the company’s blog that due to the UK’s slow lockdown easing and contraction of economic activity, the firm is downgrading its 2020 UK GDP forecast, ‘with an expected contraction of 11.7% compared to our previous estimate of 6.8%’.
Stewart says: “For 2021 we see the economy growing by 8.5%, up from a previous forecast of 6.5%. Our 2020 forecast is at the low end of the current range of forecasts, which on average expect a contraction of 7.9% this year.
“However, the trend has been for forecasters to downgrade their numbers, with more recent forecasts consistently more pessimistic than earlier ones.”
Covid-19 crisis drives companies to rethink global expansion strategies
The UN Conference on Trade and Development estimates global foreign direct investment flows will contract by as much as 40% over the next year.
But is the impact equal across all sectors and geographies?
Where will companies pull back from, and where will tomorrow’s opportunities most likely be found?
How are companies changing their modes of entry for new markets in order to adapt to the current conditions?
NS Media Group – which is set to launch a dedicated information service focused on corporate cross-border expansion – is running a short survey to help answer these questions and would like to hear directly from executives in multinational companies involved in overseas investment decisions as to how corporate strategies are evolving.
This is an essential piece of research to better understand the impact Covid-19 is having in global business and investment.
French Government awards 1GW solar projects and lines up 7GW for future auctions
On 28 April, World Economic Forum (WEF) outlined how sustainable infrastructure can aid post-Covid-19 recovery. WEF suggestion is in line with International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) – Global Renewable Outlook, published on 20 April 2020. IRENA highlights how the decarbonisation of the energy system could support short-term recovery while creating resilient and inclusive economies and societies. Countries like Australia, France, Spain and China have taken the first steps, stimulating the power sector by attracting investments in renewable infrastructure. However, utilities or RE developers need to overcome Covid-19-induced challenges around accessing capital, debt and to supply chains, which can restrict the entry of new investments.
In the first week of April, France Energy Ministry awarded 1.7GW of renewable projects to private developers who participated in the national-level auctions. The auctions were as per the plan drafted in France’s multi-annual energy programme. Of the total 1.7GW, wind turbine will power 750MW and different solar technologies will power the rest. Overall, 288 projects were approved from several procurement rounds. These projects have a realistic potential to supply 2.6TWh of electricity every year to the French grid.
To read more, please click here.
International Update: Covid-19 cases approach 5 million – EU criticizes Trump’s threat to permanently cut US funding for the WHO
Global: According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, at least 323,286 people are known to have died while at least 4,897,567 are confirmed as having been infected since the outbreak began.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday that the developed world could learn lessons from the preventative measures taken by many African countries to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Coronavirus shutdowns around the world could undo three years of gains in alleviating poverty, the president of the World Bank has said.
The European Union hailed the World Health Assembly’s approval of an EU-sponsored resolution on the virus, saying the move highlights the importance of a “collective response” to the pandemic and criticized Trump’s threat to permanently cut US funding for the WHO.
US: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday praised the Taiwan’s coronavirus response and called it a reliable partner, in a statement congratulating President Tsai Ing-wen on her inauguration for a second term that stood in sharp contrast with recent US criticism of China.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority will use ultraviolet light to help remove Covid-19 from its subways, buses and commuter trains as the technology has been shown to eradicate the virus from surfaces.
Moderna Inc. fell as much as 12% after trade publication Stat reported the company withheld key information about its coronavirus vaccine.
The US and Canada will keep their border shut to non-essential travel for another month as efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are extended.
New Zealand: New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has suggested employers to consider a four-day working week and other flexible working options as a way to boost tourism and help employees address persistent work/life balance issues.
Netherlands: The Netherlands will press ahead with a further easing of lockdown measures in June due to a steadily declining number of infections and hospital admissions, its prime minister Mark Rutte has said.
The Dutch government confirmed that bars and restaurants can start opening for business again next month as the country slowly lifts more restrictions to aid an economy hurting from the coronavirus outbreak.
UK: There will be no “face-to-face lectures” at the University of Cambridge in the 2020/21 academic year, the institution has said.
Rishi Sunak, the UK’s chancellor, said the country is facing “a severe recession the likes of which we haven’t seen”.
Estonia: The Baltic nation of Estonia has started testing one of the world’s first digital immunity passports, according to Back to Work, a coalition of technology firms, medical experts and local government officials which are developing the app.
Coronavirus company news summary – Renewable power capacity dips 13% : IEA – CALSSA releases California economic stimulus
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that the world is set to add 167GW of renewable power capacity in 2020, which represents a dip of 13% compared last year because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The IEA’s Renewable Market Update report added that in spite of the slowdown in new additions, overall global renewable power capacity will still grow by 6% in 2020, exceeding the total power capacity of North America and Europe combined.
An eight-point economic stimulus plan to support and expand solar and storage jobs in California amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has been released by the California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA). The latest survey report suggests that 92% of solar and storage businesses pointed to negative impacts on their operations as a result of the pandemic. Approximately 21% of employees were either laid off or sent on furlough, indicating a loss of 15,600 jobs in California in the first six weeks of the outbreak.
Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom has said that 96% of its 246,000 associates would return to work as usual as on Monday as the government eased lockdown norms imposed post the coronavirus outbreak. Alexei Likhachev, head of Rosatom, said this would not be applicable to workers who are above 65 years of age and suffer from chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, or mothers with multiple children.
The decision by the Mexican Government to freeze the opening of new renewable power plants has been provisionally suspended by a local court. In its decision, which was reported by Reuters, the court said that the order by market regulator CENACE risked distorting free competition to the detriment of the consumer. CENACE in its order argued that the intermittency of wind and solar power endangered the reliability of the national power supply during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Emerging risks due to Covid-19 to restrict the project finance market for renewable energy development
The Covid-19 pandemic is having significant implications on various sectors, including renewables. Until the outbreak, the renewables sector enjoyed rapid growth supported by technology advancements, market competition between developers and suppliers, robust supply chain, growing investor interests, and innovative business models, along with the global agenda to embrace low carbon power generation. At present, the sector is likely to face a lean period with stakeholders along the value chain, facing disruptions that threaten the sector’s growth trajectory. Renewable projects at various stages of development are exposed to the risks originating from the crisis induced by Covid-19. Projects are exposed to legal issues, logistics risks, personnel shortages, project development hurdles, and most importantly shortfalls in financing.
To read more, please click here.
Trade wars could result from Covid-19 driven economic downturn
Global trade wars could result from the devastating economic impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Some countries have held China accountable for not controlling the spread of the disease.
Prof. Steve Hanke, Applied Economist Johns Hopkins University, shared an article on the 80% tariff imposed by China on barley exports from Australia for five years.
China is imposing the tariff after Australia became one of 100 countries that called for a probe into the spread of the Covid-19 disease.
Similar actions on other countries are also expected in the near future, with experts predicting that global trade wars are in the making.
GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 4.8 million – concerns over accurate reporting in Africa
Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,810,000, with over 319,000 deaths and 1,790,000 recoveries.
In Europe, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries except for Russia which continues to experience an increase in cases.
Brazil in Latin America and the US in North America account for most of the reported daily confirmed cases in that continent.
There are approximately 85,000 confirmed cases and 3,000 Covid-19 deaths in Africa.
The relatively low death toll had raised hopes that Africa may be spared worst of this pandemic, until recently.
A WHO model estimated that although cases might rise exponentially to at least a quarter of a billion people infected in Africa this year, countries in Africa will have fewer deaths than Europe and the US because of its younger population and lower comorbidity prevalence such as diabetes.
However, the current reported death toll is unlikely to accurately reflect the true extent of the outbreak’s impact in Africa due to testing limitations.
Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData
Chile’s annual installed renewables capacity to decline to 0.97GW due to Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted lockdown measures in countries across the world as a viable option to deal with the rapid transmission of the virus. The virus reached the South American continent, with Brazil followed by Chile reporting cases at the beginning of March.
Since the middle of March, the government imposed a lockdown and established an action plan that includes employment, public health and tax actions to the tune of $11.75bn, which is equivalent to 4.7% of the nation’s GDP.
Click here to read the full article.
Despite coronavirus US top destination for renewables: RECAI
Despite the ongoing coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, the US is the world’s top country for renewable energy.
According to the Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index – which ranks the forty most attractive countries in terms of renewable energy investment and opportunities – the US has surpassed China, which had maintained the pole position since May 2017.
Almost 50,000 ‘excess’ deaths in England and Wales, says ONS
Nearly 50,000 more people than expected have died in England and Wales since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
New figures put out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this morning show an estimated 49,647 “excess” deaths occurred from 14 March to 8 May, with 39,071 of those attributed to Covid-19.
However, the number of weekly deaths, both caused by the virus and overall, is now at its lowest since the start of April.
Economic Update: UNCTAD projects trade decline of 27% – IMF questions future financial stability – UK Jobseekers exceed 2 million
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a 3% drop in global trade values in the first quarter of 2020, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
The downturn is expected to accelerate in the second quarter, according to UNCTAD forecasts, which project a quarter-on-quarter decline of 27%.
International Monetary Fund researchers have written in a blog that relying on monetary policy alone to respond to shocks from events such as Covid-19 might not be enough and also raise questions about side effects on future financial stability and threats to central bank independence:
“While keeping an eye on debt sustainability concerns over the long term, fiscal policy needs to play a larger role. Putting in place more automatic fiscal responses in advanced economies could help build their resilience to future adverse shocks.
“If rules for fiscal stimulus are well communicated and established before shocks occur, they can help shape expectations and reduce uncertainty, thereby dampening the drop in activity once a negative shock materialises.”
The UK Office for National Statistics said that in April there was a 69.1% month-on-month increase in the number of claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance, taking the level to over 2 million.
Daily Report: Big falls in Covid-19 fatalities in Europe – global figures lag behind
Western Europe and America might have “passed the peak” – but many countries around the world are still very much fighting a rising tide of Covid 19.
Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Peru, India, Pakistan, and Indonesia have all seen daily death figures rise, when calculated as a seven-day rolling average.
The rise in South America and elsewhere means that global figures are only going down slightly week-on-week, despite big falls in Europe.
In the last seven days, 32,151 people died after being tested positive for the disease, according to the latest data from John’s Hopkins University.
That compares to 34,793 over the previous week.
At least 318,481 people have now died from the disease worldwide.
OVO and SSE Energy to cut 2,600 jobs amid Covid-19
British energy companies OVO Energy and SSE Energy Services today announced plans to cut 2,600 jobs, more than one-tenth of their total workforce, as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerates a transition to more streamlined operating practices in the power sector.
OVO noted that the redundancies have been in place since September last year, when OVO acquired SSE in a $500m merger, and planned to cut jobs related to physical energy infrastructure as demand for these services falls. The company noted that since the lockdown began in the UK, the country has seen a 69% drop in engineering works carried out at home and a 92% reduction in smart meter installations.
Read more about OVO’s redundancies amid the pandemic here.
International Update: Global Covid cases pass 4.8 million – Trump taking hydroxychloroquine – IMF says full economic recovery unlikely in 2021.
Global: Global cases pass 4.8 million. There are 4,805,005 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
The World Health Organization said on Monday an independent review of the global coronavirus response would begin as soon as possible.
IMF chief says full economic recovery unlikely in 2021.
Studies from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Council of Museums have confirmed that more than 85,000 museums across the world – about 90 percent of all institutions – have shut because of the coronavirus.
US: President Trump has said he has been taking hydroxychloroquine, his doctor released a letter confirming that they had discussed the use of the drug and “concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.
Some areas of New York City have seen death rates nearly 15 times higher than others, according to data released by New York City’s health department, showing the disproportionate toll taken on poorer communities.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has set aside $11bn in new funding to support coronavirus testing.
US President Donald Trump has again attacked the WHO calling the UN agency a “puppet of China” that has “done a very sad job” in handling the coronavirus.
Brazil: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil stands at 255,368, according to Johns Hopkins University, overtaking the UK to become the third-worst affected country in terms of cases.
Australia: The death toll in Australia has reached 100, following the death of a 93-year-old woman who had been diagnosed with Covid-19.
Qantas Airways Ltd. said putting extra space between passengers on planes could lead to a big increase in airfares and discourage people from flying.
India: The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in India has passed 100,000, currently standing at 100,328 according to Johns Hopkins University figures.
Qatar: Qatar will close all shops and halt all commercial activities, from 19 to 30 May.
Italy: Italy registers lowest deaths since March as bars, restaurants, shops, hairdressers, museums and churches reopen. The country registered 99 deaths and 451 infections on Monday.
Coronavirus company news summary – 65,000 lost jobs in US solar sector – UK experiences surge in solar output due to lockdown
Approximately 65,000 people in the US solar industry have lost their jobs in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the majority of job losses were among workers who install solar energy equipment. Most of the jobs could come back when economic activities gather momentum.
International hydropower associations have expressed concerns that the extensive uncertainty and liquidity crunch created by the Covid-19 outbreak have put financing and refinancing of many hydropower projects at risk. New and upgrade projects have also been suspended in some regions, leading to a slump in confidence regarding future investments and operations.
The steep decline in air pollution due to the Covid-19 lockdown and ample sunshine resulted in a strong surge in UK solar power output. Since lockdown began, even installations made eight years ago have surpassed their daily production records by multiple times due to cleaner air, The Guardian reported.
Solar companies in India have guardedly restarted their manufacturing and production activities with limited staff as the government eases lockdown norms to revive the economy. To ensure workplace hygiene and employee safety, companies are implementing measures such as checking body temperature of staff at the time of entry. Wearing of mouth masks and gloves have been made mandatory as well as adhering to social distancing norms.
Covid-19 lockdown increases online spending to 25% – 100,000 stores could close
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced retail and food outlets to remain closed to avoid the spread of the disease and comply with the lockdown measures.
Consumers unable to make purchases in physical stores are increasingly opting for online services for a variety of products.
Gregory Daco, Chief US Economist at Oxford Economics, shared a chart on how the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is shifting consumer spending towards online shopping, which increased by 15% to 25%.
Consumers are purchasing various products online including office supplies, consumer electronics, home furnishings, auto parts etc.
In the article, UBS Group notes that approximately 100,000 retail stores will close over the next five years as online shopping picks up.
Clothing, electronics and home furnishings stores are expected to be most affected by this trend.
GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: More than 4.7 million cases of Covid-19 worldwide – concerns about rapid spread in Brazil
Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,720,000, with over 316,000 deaths and 1,750,000 recoveries.
Latin and North America continue to see a rise in daily confirmed cases, whereas in Europe, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease in majority of the countries.
Russia continues to experience a surge in cases, ranking second in the world behind the US.
India, the second most populous country in the world, has seen rise in daily confirmed cases, which has prompted it to extend the lock-down by two weeks.
This pandemic has also hit indigenous population in Brazil raising concerns about how quickly the disease had spread through remote vulnerable communities with poor access to healthcare facilities.
Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData
IEA concerned for coronavirus-related South America biofuel crisis
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has expressed concern over the biofuel sector’s crisis in Latin America, caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.
In a press statement released today, the IEA said that producers of biofuels in South America’s two biggest markets, Argentina and Brazil, are facing lower demand and lower prices – both in the domestic and export markets.
To address the situation, said the IEA, it will be critical to recognise the role of biofuels and their benefits in the regional economy.
Cities And Regions Update: Changes in infections focus as lockdowns ease – Illinois in US and UK North West gain prominence
The number of new daily Covid-19 cases had continued to drop in the most affected regions in Europe and America, with most new cases recorded in Mexico and some South American countries.
Illinois has overtaken Massachusetts as the third most affected region in the US, with the number of daily new cases there quickly approaching those in New York.
In the UK, where restrictions were slightly eased on May 13, the north west of England has now recorded 23,610 cases of Covid-19 and is set to overtake London as the epicentre of the outbreak with numbers.
Lombardy, the most affected region of Italy, has seen more modest decreases in the number of new cases compared to the rest of the country.
Italy’s shops and cafes reopened on Monday after ten weeks of lockdown.
Madrid has also seen a slight uptick in the proportion of Spain’s new Covid-19 cases.
This chart is currently being updated weekly with the latest figures – although some countries have a slight delay in publishing the very latest case numbers by region or state.
EBRD invests in Polish wind and solar power amid Covid-19
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced its decision to grant French renewable operator Qair, and French infrastructure fund RGreen Invest, five loans of approximately €63m equivalent, for the production of about 200MW of renewable energy.
Qair’s project involves construction under the Polish renewable energy auction support scheme ‘Contract for Difference’. The financing will benefit the company’s portfolio to the tune of 93MW of new capacity at three wind farms: Udanin (50MW), Parzeczew (9MW), and Wrzesnia (9MW); as well as 25MW of new solar photovoltaic power. In addition, the funding will help operations at the Linowo (58MW), and Rzepin (48MW) wind farms.
Daily Report: Some South American countries seeing a rise in Covid-19 fatalities – worldwide trend is down
The daily rate of deaths attributed Covid-19 has continued to fall.
Most counties worldwide – including the US and the UK – are now on a downward trajectory of new deaths.
However, some South American countries are struggling to control the outbreak, with Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Ecuador all seeing the number of deaths rise, when looking at a rolling average.
At least 315,185 people have died from Covid-19.
International Update: Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Brazil – fatalities fall in Europe – US freeze on WHO payments continues
Global: There are 4,716,513 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide. At least 315,187 people have died over the course of the pandemic so far.
Sunday has seen lower death tolls reported in the UK, Spain and Italy. The UK’s daily coronavirus death toll was the lowest since lockdown began, with 170 deaths recorded. Meanwhile, Spain has recorded its lowest single-day death toll in two months. Italy on Sunday recorded its lowest daily toll, 145, since lockdown was declared.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is to raise the question of Taiwan’s participation as an observer at the World Health Assembly (WHA), which opens virtually on Monday, before one of its committees.
Brazil: In Brazil, the BBC reports that the mayor of São Paulo, the country’s largest city, has warned that hospitals have reached 90% capacity and are “near collapse”: they could run out of space in just two weeks’ time, he said.
Confirmed Covid-19 cases in Brazil have surpassed the total in Italy, with the country announcing nearly 15,000 new infections on Saturday. This takes Brazil’s total to more than 230,000, the fourth-largest confirmed caseload after the US, Russia and the UK.
US: US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Sunday that US unemployment could hit 25%, but expressed optimism Sunday that the economy can begin to recover from a devastating recession in the second half of the year, assuming the coronavirus doesn’t erupt in a second wave.
President Donald Trump said US payments to the World Health Organization that he froze last month may return at 10% of the existing level. Trump said the cut is one of the numerous options he’s considering. A cut to 10% would match “much lower China payments,” Trump said in a tweet responding to broadcaster Lou Dobbs. “Have not made final decision. All funds are frozen,” Trump said.
Japan: Japan dived into its first recession since 2015, according to official data Monday, with the world’s third-largest economy contracting by 0.9% in the first quarter as it wrestles with the fallout from the coronavirus.
South Africa: South Africa on Sunday reported 1,160 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily number since the first case was recorded in March, AFP reports.
India: India has extended a nearly two-month-old lockdown by another two weeks with Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai and other key regions still fighting to control the rising curve of coronavirus infections.
Nigeria: Nigeria has seized a British plane for defying a travel ban imposed as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the aviation minister said Sunday.
Qatar: Qatar has begun enforcing the world’s toughest penalties of up to three years’ in prison for failing to wear masks in public, in a country with one of the highest coronavirus infection rates.
Italy: Italy’s shops, restaurants and hair salons have been preparing to reopen on Monday, as the government further eases the lockdown.
China: The city of Wuhan conducted 222,675 nucleic acid tests on 16 May, the local health authority said, nearly doubling from a day earlier.
Russia: The growth of new coronavirus cases in Russia is stabilising, a top health official has said, as the daily tally fell under 10,000 for the third time this week.
Spain: Spain recorded 102 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours from 138 deaths reported on Friday, according to data from the Health Ministry. New infections increased by 539 to 230,698, compared to 549 the previous day.
Thailand: The ban on international commercial flights to Thailand that was supposed to end on May 31 will be extended for another month, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand said.
Coronavirus company news summary – US scraps rent holiday for solar and wind – Tata Power mulls options to improve liquidity
The US Government has scrapped a two-year rent holiday for solar and wind projects operating on federal lands even as the power sectors struggles to cope up with the crisis created by the coronavirus outbreak. According to Reuters, Avangrid has been served with a bill for more than $3m for two years of rent on its 131MW wind project near San Diego. Two other renewable projects also acknowledged that they had received retroactive rent bills.
Mexico has introduced new regulations to govern the electricity sector that is expected to reduce the role of renewable energy amidst the Covid-19 health emergency. The move is expected to impact 28 solar and wind projects that were ready to go online, and another 16 under construction, with a total of $6.4bn in investments.
The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) has said that it will adhere to its schedule of work in Egypt, in spite of the prevailing coronavirus pandemic. Implementation of the Marsa Alam power transformer station has already been completed by the company, apart from the work on the Berenice – Marsa Alam – El Quseir 220kV power line project.
Tata Power is reportedly planning to issue non-convertible debentures, bonds or other debt securities on a private placement basis to bolster its liquidity position. Its board of directors is expected to meet on 19 May to take a final call. The move is said to be in response to a dip in demand for electricity in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak that has increased the risk of distribution companies delaying payments.
GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases still rising in the Americas – first incidents recorded in Bangladesh refugee camps
Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,444,000, with over 302,000 deaths and 1,588,000 recoveries.
In Europe, the daily confirmed cases continue to decrease, while Latin America and North America continue to see a rise in daily cases.
In Asia, daily cases continue to decrease in the majority of countries, while Russia continues to experience a surge in cases, ranking second in the world behind the US.
In Bangladesh, the first cases of coronavirus were confirmed in crowded refugee camps.
Approximately one million refugees have taken shelter, raising concerns about how quickly the disease can spread through vulnerable communities.
Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData
The Philippines prepares for a rise in power demand post-lockdown
The Philippines’ Department of Energy warns that more electricity generation will soon be needed, as power demand in the country is expected to surge alongside areas easing the Covid-19 lockdown, ABS-CBN News reported.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has said that the current 12,000MW in supply is catering to demand of up to 9,000MW, which is projected to grow significantly post-lockdown.
For this reason, the secretary has warned that the completion of new power plants, including a 668MW GN Power Dinginin coal-fired plant, planned to be finished by June, cannot be delayed.
Germany gives renewable projects Covid-19 deadline extension
Germany has extended by six months the deadlines for state-subsidised renewable energy projects to help the sector cope with the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Economic minister Peter Altmaier said: “With the amendments to the law, we are ensuring that the coronavirus pandemic does not lead to delays in the energy transition.
“With the Planning Assurance act, we ensure that important planning and approval procedures, such as in the expansion of the power grid, can be carried out quickly even during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Covid-19 responsible for more than 27% of UK care home deaths during March and April – deaths more than double same period 2019
Nearly 46,000 residents of care homes in England and Wales lost their lives between the start of the coronavirus pandemic and 1 May.
Between 2 March and 1 May more than 27% of care home deaths, some 12,526, are known to have involved Covid-19, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today.
The ONS recorded a total of 45,899 deaths among care home residents between 2 March and 1 May – more than twice as many as the 22,573 who died during the same period in 2019.
It means that even after the 12,526 known Covid-19 cases are accounted for, there have still been 10,800 “extra”, unexplained deaths which may be directly or indirectly related to the virus, too.
Economic Forecast: German economy faces biggest slump since WW2 – US employment shows largest decline since 1948
Deutsche Bank says the Covid-19 pandemic and, in particular, lockdown measures will push the German economy into its biggest slump since WW2. Their report suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic hits German labour market differently than the Global Financial Market Crisis of 2009.
The US Bureau of Labour Statistics said the unemployment rate increased 10.3 percentage points to 14.7 percent in April.
“The employment–population ratio, at 51.3 percent, dropped by 8.7 percentage points over the month. This is the lowest ratio and largest over-the-month decline in the history of the data back to January 1948.”
HSBC has said the near-term global inflation outlook is clear – it is heading even lower. HSBC global chief economist Janet Henry wrote in a blog:
“The collapse in oil prices and discounting by companies keen to boost sales should more than offset higher food prices to turn Eurozone and US inflation negative this summer.”
“But if businesses fail – including restaurants or even airlines – the reduced competition could see the survivors raise prices over the next year or two.
“Supply-chain disruptions may also push up prices. So after hitting new lows by mid-2020, headline inflation will be notably higher in 12 to 15 months as demand increases and oil recovers.”
Daily Report: Covid-19 deaths approach 303,000 – UK fatalities fall as US and Italy rise
At least 302,418 people have died from Covid-19 so far, according to the latest statistics published by Johns Hopkins University.
The figures are likely to be an undercount, as do not include people who have died without being tested for the disease.
The grim milestone means that the epidemic has now overtaken the 1812 Russian typhus outbreak and the 1812–1819 Ottoman plague in terms of the raw number of people killed.
Deaths appear to be falling in the UK, although the US and Italy have both seen a slight uptick in the number of fatalities over the last two days.
International Update: Covid-19 infections near 4.5 million – Bolsonaro wants lockdown lift as Brazil records almost 14,000 cases in a day
Global: The global toll from Covid-19 has passed 300,000, with nearly 4.5 million people infected. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, at least 302,452 people have now died as a result of the outbreak. The institution says it has counted 4,443,597 confirmed cases worldwide.
The health ministers of South Korea, China and Japan will gather by video conference to discuss ways to work together in the global campaign against the novel coronavirus, South Korean officials said.
A WHO modelling study indicates the coronavirus could kill 150,000 people in Africa and infect 231 million people in a year unless urgent action is taken.
EU: A vaccine for coronavirus must be available to all countries, the EU has insisted, after the British chief executive of French drugs company Sanofi said it was reserving the first shipments of its vaccine for the US.
The European commission has suspended the delivery of ten million face masks from China after two countries complained about the poor quality of the batches they received, the Associated Press reports.
Brazil: Brazil registered a daily record 13,944 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday as President Jair Bolsonaro urged business leaders to push for lifting lockdown orders in the country’s financial center, Sao Paulo.
US: President Donald Trump signalled a further deterioration of his relationship with China over the novel coronavirus, saying he has no interest in speaking to President Xi Jinping right now and going so far as to suggest he could even cut ties with the world’s second largest economy.
New guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advising states on how to reopen bars, restaurants and workplaces was posted on Thursday. It outlines a series of steps workplaces and restaurants should take to keep employees and customers safe before they reopen, including encouraging hand-washing, social distancing and how to check for symptoms of potential Covid-19 cases.
US House Democrats will push aside more than 200 years of precedent and vote on Friday to let lawmakers serve as proxies for colleagues quarantined or otherwise stuck at home during the pandemic.
The Trump administration is preparing an executive order that would require certain essential drugs and medical treatments for a variety of conditions be made in the US.
Delta Air Lines Inc. will retire all 18 of its biggest aircraft, the Boeing 777, by year-end and is warning pilots of massive overstaffing amid the collapse in travel demand caused by the pandemic.
UK: British Airways owner IAG SA said it intends to go ahead with plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs, while Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh castigated the government’s handling of the crisis.
Slovenia: The Slovenian government is calling an official end to its coronavirus epidemic, becoming the first European country to do so after authorities confirmed less than seven new coronavirus cases each day for the past two weeks.
Australia: Australia’s most populous state New South Wales (NSW) is reopening restaurants, cafes and bars after a two-month shutdown, under the condition they limit customers to ten at any one time.
Coronavirus company news summary – Brazil offers $2bn aid package to energy sector – EDF’s revenues fall by 1%
Work has recommenced on the 950MW Moray East offshore wind farm after the Scottish Government eased Covid-19 related guidance. The Moray offshore windfarm (East) said that it had asked its principal contractor Siemens to conduct a thorough assessment of activities and work will be carried where the guidance can be followed.
The Government of Brazil is reportedly mulling to offer aid package of BRL12bn ($2.06bn) to power companies grappling with challenges posed by a sudden dip in electricity demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to Reuters, the government is holding negotiations with state banks BNDES, Banco do Brasil SA and Caixa Economica Federal as well as private banks Itau Unibanco and Banco Bradesco SA.
French state-controlled utility EDF’s first-quarter revenue fell by 1% to €20.7bn ($22.4bn) as the company had to slash electricity generation due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The company said that the ongoing health crisis has both curbed demand and disrupted maintenance works at its reactors.
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has said that consumption of electricity will plummet by 4.6% this year as the Covid-19 pandemic has severely disrupted business operations in the country. In its short-term outlook, the agency said that power demand will dip to 3,716 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2020 from 3,896 billion kWh in 2019. It will rise to 3,753 billion kWh in 2021.
US unemployment could hit 25% say experts
The latest report from the US Labour Department pegs the unemployment rate at more than 20%.
Although new unemployment claims have slowed down, the unemployment rate is still one of the highest since the Great Recession.
Timothy McBride, Bernard Becker Professor at Washington University, tweeted on the US Labour Department’s latest report on unemployment claims.
The report notes that an additional 2.98 million claims were filed over the last two months bringing the total unemployment claims to 36.5 million.
McBride noted that the unemployment rate is expected to be more than 20% or even 25% by the time the next official report is released.
GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 on the rise in Latin America – total lockdown in Chile’s capital
Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,364,000, with over 297,000 deaths and 1,560,000 recoveries.
In Latin America, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Chile will be countries to watch as each continues to experience a record number of daily cases or deaths.
To date, the daily mortality reached all-time highs in Brazil, Mexico, and Peru.
Additionally, Brazil set a record high with 11,385 new daily cases, and surpassing France’s total cases.
In Chile, a significant spike of more than 60% increase in daily new cases triggered a total lockdown of Santiago, the nation’s capital.
In China, Wuhan launched its mass testing drive in response to a resurgence of cases observed over the weekend.
While some residents are supportive of this initiative, others are concerned over further spreading the infection while waiting in long lines.
Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData
Northern Powergrid releases new community energy engagement strategy
Northern Powergrid, the electricity distribution network operator for the North East, Yorkshire, and northern Lincolnshire regions of England, has announced the launch of its new community energy engagement strategy, aimed at encouraging the growth of community energy partnerships and boosting decarbonisation.
Northern Powergrid’s Community Energy Engagement Strategy focuses on five distinct principles, including: listening to communities, keeping them informed, creating engagement, empowering keen organisations, and advocating for communities by amplifying their voice.
EU energy system is resilient: EU energy commissioner
The European Union‘s energy commissioner Kadri Simson and other European energy ministers have discussed the preparedness of Europe’s energy sector to face the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
During a video conference, European ministers have agreed that the energy system is resilient and there is currently no risk of supply disruption.
Simson has also highlighted that the renewable energy transition will be at the heart of recovery plans. She said: “he European Green Deal will be at the heart of the recovery plan and energy will have an important role to play.”
Covid-19 driven decline in the jobs market may be slowing
The Coronavirus crash in the jobs market appears to be starting to taper off in several badly hit industries.
Figures from data analytics firm GlobalData shows that while the jobs market has contracted since 1 March, in recent weeks the number of available jobs remained flat in the hardest hit sectors.
All of the sectors tracked have seen jobs shrink – but some have escaped more lightly than others.
The statistics show that the number of travel and tourism jobs available for application has fallen to a fifth of what it was on 1 March.
However, jobs in the oil and gas industry have dropped just over 30% compared to 1 March.
Covid-19 has had a major, ongoing economic impact across the globe; but that impact is not uniform across different industries.
While some economic sectors have seen business rapidly decline, others have – to date – been more stable. Some have even seen an increase in demand.
This chart aims to give a broad overview of which sectors are suffering the most since the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic.
It uses exclusive dynamic intelligence provided by GlobalData to track the number of jobs open for applications, across the world, across 19 economic sectors.
The summary chart shows the six which have seen the biggest percentage drop in these “active” jobs.
Daily Report: Global Covid-19 deaths rise by more than 5,000 – weekly trend is down
The number of deaths from Covid-19 around the world rose to by 5,255 yesterday to a total of 297,197.
There have been 33,342 deaths over the last seven days – down slightly from 36,166 the previous week.
Economic Forecast: Covid-19 to slash global economic output by $8.5trn – 305 million full time jobs could be lost in Q2
Covid-19 is to slash global economic output by $8.5 trillion over next two years, wiping out nearly all gains of the previous four years according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects report.
The report highlights the pandemic could foster a new normal, fundamentally reshaping human interactions, inter-dependence, trade and globalization, while accelerating digitalization and automation.
A rapid surge in economic activities online will likely eliminate many existing jobs, while creating new jobs in the digital economy.
The United Nations’s International Labour Organization predicts 1.6bn informal economy workers could suffer “massive damage” to their livelihoods.
In the second quarter of 2020, Covid-19 may cost the equivalent of 305 million full-time jobs.
Current G7 jobless totals vary widely, from 30 million in the United States to 1.76 million in Japan.
McKinsey believe that Europe’s CEOs will have to draw on the region’s spirit of innovation to recover post Covid-19.
However, the region with its vast innovation and ideas has seen companies struggling to monetise and commercialise ideas:
“A lot of good ideas that originated in Europe, in areas such as big data, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI), for example, are often not scaled at all or adopted and brought to market by foreign investors.”
McKinsey also add that: “No European company established in the past 30 years has yet joined the ranks of the world’s top 100 companies by market capitalization, compared with three in China and seven in the United States.
“SAP, established in 1972, was the last European entrant to the global top 100, and all top 100 European companies are more than 30 years old.”
International Update: Global Covid-19 deaths near 300,000 – WHO warns virus could become endemic
Global: The number of lives lost worldwide in the coronavirus pandemic is nearing 300,000, according to Johns Hopkins University figures, with 297,197 deaths reported.
The coronavirus that causes Covid-19 could become endemic like HIV, the World Health Organization has said, warning against any attempt to predict how long it would keep circulating and calling for a “massive effort” to counter it.
The United Nations is forecasting that the coronavirus pandemic will shrink the world economy by 3.2 percent this year, the sharpest contraction since the Great Depression in the 1930s, pushing an estimated 34.3 million people into extreme poverty mostly in Africa.
US: A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court decided that an unelected state agency head’s emergency order shutting down the state because of the Covid-19 pandemic is not enforceable.
President Donald Trump plans to name Moncef Slaoui, the former head of GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s vaccines division, and Gustave Perna, a four-star US general, to lead a Manhattan Project-style effort to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, two people familiar with the matter said.
Canada and the US appear likely to extend a ban on non-essential travel until June 21 amid the pandemic, a Canadian government source and a top US official told Reuters.
Russia: The city of Moscow said on Wednesday it had ascribed the deaths of more than 60% of coronavirus patients in April to other causes as it defended what it said was the superior way it and Russia counted the number of people killed by the novel virus. At 242,271, Russia has the second-highest number of confirmed cases in the world after the United States.
UK: Roche Holding AG’s coronavirus antibody test was cleared by a UK health authority, a boost to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he seeks ways to gradually relax lockdown restrictions.
The UK government’s coronavirus aid program for self-employed people received more than £340 million ($416 million) of claims in its first morning of operation.
Italy: Doctors in Italy have reported the first clear evidence of a link between Covid-19 and a rare but serious inflammatory disorder that has required some children to undergo life-saving treatment in intensive care units.
Italy’s government approved a much-delayed €55 billion ($60 billion) stimulus package to rescue an economy crippled by a two-month nationwide lockdown, promising a boost in liquidity for businesses and aid for families in need.
China: Hong Kong authorities are going to screen hundreds of families, local media is reporting, after its 23-day run of no local infections was broken with the diagnosis of Covid-19 in a 66-year-old woman with no recent travel history, and her five-year-old granddaughter.
Japan: Japan was expected to lift a state of emergency across a large part of the country on Thursday, according to Reuters, but Tokyo will remain under restrictions until there is a convincing containment of the coronavirus.
Japanese company Takeda Pharmaceutical could start a clinical trial as early as July for a potential treatment of Covid-19 that is based on antibodies from recovered patients’ blood, company executives said.
Qatar: The Qatari government ordered all citizens to wear masks when they step outside for any reason beginning 17 May, state-run QNA reported. People who violate the order will be subjected to either imprisonment of up to three years, or a fine of as much as 200,000 riyals ($55,000) or both, according to the report.
New Zealand: New Zealand’s finance minister Grant Robertson has unveiled an unprecedented NZ$50bn fund to save jobs and reduce unemployment to pre-coronavirus levels within two years.
Australia: Australia posted its biggest ever monthly rise in unemployment on Thursday because of coronavirus lockdown measures, even as the country begins to gradually ease those social distancing rules.
Coronavirus company news summary – Verbund slashes 2020 profit guidance – Construction of Dubai CSP goes ahead
The Indian Government has announced plans to inject INR900bn ($12.03bn) into power distribution companies facing severe cash flow problems due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and REC will make this one-time liquidity injection in two equal instalments.
Austrian electricity company Verbund has slashed its profit guidance for the year 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic led to a massive dip in demand. The company now expects its profit to be in the range of €470m and €560m ($510m-$607m), compared to the previous estimate of €510m-630m. The company reported a first-quarter profit of €156.5m as prices fell sharply due to the pandemic.
Construction of the 700MW Noor Energy1 concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Dubai is progressing as per schedule despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to engineering firm Worley. The engineering firm noted that it has been able to acclimatize its service as the Covid-19 pandemic advanced. It keeps workers connected via videoconferencing and regular project meetings.
Electricity prices in Japan have almost hit zero, as the coronavirus pandemic badly impacted the industrial activity in the country, Reuters reported. The Japan Electric Power Exchange (JEPX) day-ahead prices fell to JPY0.01 ($0.0001) per kilowatt-hour for the first time in February. They continued to trade at that level for several hours on most days after the government imposed a state of emergency in April.
US sees slowdown in Covid-19 driven job losses among lower paid
The US has already announced more than $2.2tn in stimulus packages to protect the economy from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. As unemployment rates continue to rise, additional stimulus packages may be needed even if they are costly and increase debt.
Paul Krugman, an economist and Nobel laureate, tweeted an article on the slowdown in unemployment rate due to Covid-19 in the US.
The article is based on surveys conducted by Civis Analytics, which shows that women, part-time workers and workers earning more than $100,000 are still facing unemployment.
However, the unemployment rate among full-time employees, men and workers earning less than $50,000 was falling by mid-to-late April.
GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: New clusters of Covid-19 as lockdowns ease – confirmed cases surge in Brazil
Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,278,000, with more than 292,000 deaths and 1,502,000 recoveries.
As nations continue to gradually lift lockdown measures, new clusters emerge in regions once commended for their mitigation efforts. These include South Korea, Wuhan, China, and Singapore.
In South Korea, more than 100 new cases were reported over the weekend in a popular Seoul nightlife district.
In Wuhan, six new cases were confirmed over the weekend after more than a month, prompting the city to order testing for all residents.
Meanwhile, in Singapore, more than 23,000 cases were linked to migrant worker dormitories at the end of April.
Brazil continues to experience a surge in confirmed cases, with 178,214 cases which surpass the 173,289 cases in Germany, and draw closer to the 178,349 cases in France.
Additionally, Brazil records its highest death toll to date with 881 confirmed deaths.
Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData
Coronavirus has shown energy system vulnerabilities: WEF
According to an analysis by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has shown the vulnerabilities of the global energy system.
Resilience – including policy and cooperation mechanisms, say WEF experts Roberto Bocca and Harsh Vijay Singh – will be fundamental to accelerate the sector’s recovery.
Experts see signs of revival but they predict that it will take longer to go back to normal.
Report: clean energy technologies could be unaffected by Covid-19
Law firm Ashurst has released a report into a number of emerging technologies in the energy sector, such as electric vehicles and battery storage, highlighting key trends across the power sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Among their findings, Ashurst does not expect interest and investment in these fields to decline despite ongoing uncertainties.
The report, ‘Powering Change – Energy in Transition’ polled more than 2,000 “senior business leaders” from across G20 member states concerning their investment in new energy technologies. Battery storage and electric vehicles were the most popular investments, with 46% and 43% of respondents investing in these projects respectively, while two-thirds of Indian respondents had made investments into electric vehicles alone.
Read more about Ashurst’s report here.
Economic Forecast: Downturn ‘sharper but shorter’ than 2008, says Morgan Stanley – IMF warns of catastrophic consequences in sub-Saharan Africa
Morgan Stanley Chief Economist and Global Head of Economics Research Chetan Ahya said this economic downturn will be sharper—but shorter—than the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) that began in 2008.
His view is based on the cause of the downturn and that, “this recession has prompted the most coordinated and aggressive monetary and fiscal easing that we have witnessed in modern times”.
“By our estimates, global economic contraction will trough at 7.5% in the second quarter of this year (far worse than the 2.4% contraction in the first quarter of 2009), while output—for the world as a whole and developed markets—will return to prerecession levels in 4 and 8 quarters, respectively, compared with 6 and 14 quarters after the GFC.”
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that a failure to contain the spread of the virus in sub-Saharan Africa will have catastrophic economic, health and humanitarian consequences.
According to the latest Regional Economic Outlook by the IMF the sub-Saharan Africa economy will contract by 1.6 percent this year; the worst reading on record.
Economies across the regions of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) may contract on average by 3.5% this year, because of the impact of the coronavirus, with a rebound of 4.8% possible in 2021.
However, in its latest Regional Economic Prospects report, the EBRD warned that these projections are subject to “unprecedented uncertainty”.
Covid-19 Daily Report: Deaths from Covid-19 continue to fall in most countries with serious outbreaks – US still seeing highest number
Daily new deaths from Covid-19 continue to fall in most countries with the largest outbreaks.
Worldwide, the US is continuing to see the highest number of new deaths from Covid-19, followed by the UK, however, in both countries the figure is falling.
Brazil is currently seeing the most rapid spread of the disease, with 808 new deaths yesterday, up from 571 the week before.
Although the raw number of deaths in many countries rose yesterday compared to Monday, that is likely to do with the “weekend effect” – a lag in data collection over the weekend.
At least 291,942 people have now died from the disease worldwide.
International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 4.25 million – NIAID director warns US of ‘serious consequences’ if lockdown eased too soon
Global: According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, at least 4,261,955 people around the world are known to have contracted the virus, while at least 291,964 have died since the pandemic began.
The World Health Organization says some treatments appear to be limiting the severity or length of suffering caused by Covid-19 and that it is focusing on learning more about four or five of the most promising ones.
US: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr Anthony Fauci has warned of serious consequences if US states reopen before building capacity to deal with new Covid-19 outbreaks.
US Republican senators proposed legislation on Tuesday that would empower President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on China if Beijing does not give a “full accounting” for the coronavirus outbreak.
Twitter will allow its employees to work from home “forever”, chief executive officer Jack Dorsey said in a company-wide email Tuesday.
Brazil: Brazil reported a new record for coronavirus deaths as Latin America’s largest economy becomes the new global hotspot for the pandemic. The country reported a record 881 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours on Tuesday, its health ministry said, taking its total to 12,400.
China: The Chinese city of Wuhan, the original centre of the pandemic, plans to test all 11 million residents for the coronavirus, according to local media.
China’s National Health Commission has confirmed seven new cases of coronavirus, six of them in the northeastern province of Jilin where the city of Shulan increased its risk level from medium to high at the weekend.
India: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a stimulus package for labourers and small businesses on Tuesday worth about 10% of India’s GDP.
Gilead Sciences Inc. is licensing its potential Covid-19 treatment, remdesivir, to five generic drug manufacturers in India and Pakistan to expedite supply chain development and help meet anticipated demand.
Iceland: Iceland will test all airline passengers arriving at Keflavik Airport for coronavirus by June 15, with those resulting negative spared a mandatory two-week quarantine, the government said Tuesday.
Coronavirus company news summary – IAEA receives backing for Covid-19 initiative – GE Power India restarts manufacturing at India facility
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has said that retail sales of electricity in the commercial sector will decline by 6.5% this year in the wake of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Industrial retail sales of electricity are also estimated to register a 6.5% dip in 2020 as many factories cut back production. Sales of electricity to the residential sector are expected to fall by 1.3%.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has received extrabudgetary backing of €22m ($24m) from member states for its global Covid-19 initiative. The funding will be used to help nearly 120 member nations to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Funds will be used to assist laboratories to use a nuclear-derived testing technique called real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR).
GE Power India has restarted manufacturing operations at its Noida facility, which was suspended in March after the lockdown imposed by the government to contain the spread of Covid-19. However, all employees in non-manufacturing roles will continue to work from home until 17 May 2020 or further, the company said. Early this month, the company resumed operations at its Durgapur plant in West Bengal.
UK Power Networks has decided to restart some utility work after suspending non-essential utility works in March to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The electricity company’s specialist teams will restart work on constructing and upgrading electricity substations with updated, safe working methods.
Covid-19 driving a fall in consumer price index that could lead to recession, say economists
The consumer price index (CPI) continues to fall as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses to shutdown and people to remain under lockdown.
The consumer spending has drastically reduced amid this environment with the threat of rising inflation or even deflation.
Pedro da Costa, a journalist, shared an article on the decline in consumer prices in the US. The consumer price index (CPI) dropped 0.8% in April after falling 0.4% in March, which is biggest decline since December 2008 when the country was going through recession.
The article is based on a report from the Labour Department that showed a record decline in prices in April raising the possibility of deflation.
GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Russia second highest in confirmed Covid-19 cases – India eases lockdown as infections rise
Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,194,000, with over 286,000 deaths and 1,464,000 recoveries.
Russia now leads the Eurasian region with over 232,000 confirmed cases, ranking second highest in the world following the US.
Of the top ten most affected countries outside of the US and Russia, the majority are experiencing a decrease in daily cases, with the exception of Brazil and Iran, with over 169,000 and 109,000 cases, respectively.
Meanwhile, India eases lockdown restrictions by restarting its train network, one of the world’s largest in the world, despite rising infections.
While passengers will wear masks, the sheer number of passengers and tight quarters is concerning; more than 54,000 people have made reservations
Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData
Report: Covid-19 cuts air pollution, avoiding 11,000 deaths in Europe
A new report has found that 11,000 deaths were avoided in Europe over the course of April, with lockdown measures implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic triggering a decline in industrial activity and the generation of air pollution.
The report, published earlier this month by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), noted that the continent-wide quarantine had led to a 40% reduction in the average level of nitrogen dioxide compared to April 2019, and a 10% reduction in the average level of particulate matter. Other findings included a decline of 1.3 million in the number of working days lost to absence, 6,000 fewer new cases of asthma in children, and 600 fewer preterm births.
Read more about the impacts of Covid-19 on pollution in Europe here.
Macroeconomic Forecast: GDP forecasts revised downwards again – Italy nears double digit decline
The GDP growth forecast for European countries and the US have been revised downwards yet again — with estimates for France seeing the biggest drop.
Italy remains the country likely to take the biggest hit according to this week’s GlobalData forecasts, with the country’s economy expected to shrink by 9.4% during 2020.
France now expected to see a 8.4% shrinkage of GDP over the year, compared to last week’s estimate of 7.4%.
The UK economy is expected to shrink by 7.6% this year, Germany’s by 6.7% and that of the US by 5.3%.
Both China and India continue to register modest estimated positive growths of 0.8% and 1% respectively.
Stock markets have seen some positive growth from last week in all markets except India.
Covid-19 macroeconomic dashboard
We are using exclusive dynamic figures provided by GlobalData analysts to track key economic indicators in major world economies hit by Covid-19. Deaths from the virus are plotted alongside the indexed performance of each country’s major stock exchange. Figures are tracked daily from the March 1, 2020.
Economic Forecast: Covid-19 pandemic could push 40-60 million into extreme poverty
The World Bank predicts an increase in poverty globally for the first time since 1998 due to the current pandemic. They said that the pandemic is pushing about 40-60 million people into extreme poverty, with their best estimate being 49 million.
The modelling also predicts that the share of the world’s population living on less than $1.90 per day—is projected to increase from 8.2% in 2019 to 8.6% in 2020, or from 632 million people to 665 million people.
McKinsey estimates that in the weeks from 6 April to 19 May around 22 percent of the United Kingdom’s working-age population, or nine million people, had been furloughed.
At that same time less than 1 percent of businesses reported ceasing to trade permanently or having laid off people.
McKinsey states: “The knock-on consequences of the lockdown are anticipated to result in significant job losses down the road. Businesses’ ability to continue to employ and pay workers might be particularly precarious when government support starts to be withdrawn.”
Covid-19 restricts project finance market for renewable energy development
The ongoing Covid-19 crisis is disrupting everyday life and causing major economic uncertainty. Globally, countries are implementing measures to restrict the transmission of Covid-19. The effect of such measures is having significant implications on various sectors, including renewables.
Until the Covid-19 outbreak, the renewables sector enjoyed rapid growth supported by technology advancements, market competition between developers and suppliers, robust supply chain, growing investor interests and innovative business models along with the global agenda to embrace low-carbon power generation.
Click here to read the full article.
Covid-19 Daily Report: Global mortality rate trending down – fears that trend could be halted as lockdowns ease
The number of Covid-19 cases continues to fall with the number of deaths seeing an expected post-weekend slight uptick on Monday, our coronavirus tracker shows.
The total number of cases is now at 4,117,502, with the number of confirmed Covid-19 deaths now at 286,330.
The US continues to have the biggest share of those, recording 1,156 deaths yesterday.
That’s double the number of deaths in the UK, Spain and France combined.
The mortality rate in all the countries in our tracker is generally trending downwards.
However, as lockdowns are eased in some capacity across the world, some fear we could see the numbers climb back up.
International Update: Work on vaccines accelerating – Trump declares victory – New York Covid-19 deaths may be 5,000 higher than official figures
Global: The global confirmed death toll exceeds 285,000. The number of people known to have died since the pandemic began has reached at least 286,330, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University. They say at least 4,177,584 people are known to have been infected.
The World Health Organization says “extreme vigilance” is needed as countries begin to exit lockdowns imposed to curb the virus’ spread.
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the International Council of Nurses are calling on governments to commit to ensuring the protection and safety of nurses and other health workers, especially in resource-poor, disaster and conflict settings.
The World Health Organization chief says there are approximately seven or eight “top” candidates for a vaccine to combat the coronavirus and work on them is being accelerated.
US: New York City’s death toll may be 5,000 higher than official toll. Between 11 March and 2 May, about 24,000 more people died in the city than researchers would ordinarily expect during that time period, a report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
President Trump declared victory over the “invisible enemy” as deaths surpassed 80,000 in the US. “We have met the moment and we have prevailed,” Trump, flanked by ventilators and testing supplies, said during a briefing in the White House Rose Garden on Monday.
The White House ordered everyone entering the West Wing to wear a face mask after Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary tested positive for the coronavirus last week.
The Trump administration plans to distribute $11 billion to states for coronavirus testing, according to senior administration officials.
China: China reports no new domestic cases after spike on weekend. China reported zero new domestic coronavirus infections on Tuesday, after two consecutive days of double-digit increases fuelled fears of a second wave of infections.
Australia: Easing restrictions to boost Australian economy by US$6bn a month. Once Australia removes most social distancing restrictions by July, its economy will be boosted by AU$9.4bn (US$6.15bn) each month, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will say on Tuesday.
Japan: The Japanese Health Ministry is set to approve antigen coronavirus testing kits on Wednesday, a ministry official said on Tuesday, in a move to boost the number of diagnostic tests available to battle the pandemic.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is following the US in speeding up the approval of unproven virus drugs, as he faces new criticism over his plan for exiting a state of emergency and reviving Japan’s economy.
Russia: Putin eases Russia lockdown despite infection surge. The Russian president announces an easing of the nationwide lockdown, even as the country sees a record number of new infections.
UK: Boris Johnson watered down his plan for rebooting the UK economy after employers and labour unions said many workplaces aren’t ready to return to work.
Coronavirus company news summary – US Government approves $1bn solar farm – BC Hydro witnesses 10% drop in power usage
The US Department of Interior has approved a $1bn solar power project in the Nevada desert to boost economic activity amidst the coronavirus pandemic. The 690MW Gemini Solar project will include a battery system to store energy for use and it will generate enough electricity to power 260,000 homes in the Las Vegas area.
German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex has said that supply chain issues caused due to the coronavirus health crisis continue to negatively impact its business. The company, which recently suspended guidance, added that it cannot give a fixed timeline for when it could come up with a new outlook for the current year. Nordex CEO Jose Luis Blanco said: “The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have been dominating everyday life in Europe and many other regions for several weeks now. The Nordex Group and the wind energy sector as a whole are being impacted by this crisis.”
Canadian electric utility BC Hydro has said that the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic led to a 10% drop in power usage, forcing it to take action to avoid flooding risks. The company will temporarily slash power generation at some of its projects as well as spill water at some of its facilities to balance generation and use.
Central Maine Power has reached an agreement with the Maine Public Advocate’s Office to create a $500,000 fund to settle a disconnection case. To be set up at the company’s shareholders’ expense, the fund will be used to assist residential clients who could not pay their electricity bills due to economic hardship caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stimulus packages could bring higher taxes and debt post Covid-19 say economists
The lockdown measures imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic has affected countries across the world with decline in revenues, high unemployment rates and economic uncertainty.
Governments are releasing stimulus packages to combat the impact but this may lead to higher taxes and debt, which will further burden people after the crisis.
Prof. Steve Hanke, Applied Economist at Johns Hopkins University, tweeted an article on the stimulus packages announced by the government and its consequences.
He noted that the US government has already created $1.48tn in deficit in 2020 and is still planning to announce more stimulus packages.
Hanke mentioned that future taxpayers will have to bear the hefty costs of the stimulus packages being announced by the government.
GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global cases of Covid-19 exceed 4 million – Germany reports increasing infections after easing lockdown
Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 4,118,000, with over 283,000 deaths and 1,420,000 recoveries.
Several European countries enter their first week of eased lockdown restrictions, ranging from re-opening restaurants, bars, and salons to partially re-opening schools.
While the daily confirmed cases are decreasing in most European countries, there is still concern over a second wave of cases.
In Germany, where lockdown measures were gradually reduced at the end of April, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported an increase in the infection rate, or the estimated number of people a patient infects.
While there is a degree of uncertainty in the implications, this will be a country to watch as lockdown measures continue to lift around the world.
Meanwhile, Russia officially surpassed the number of confirmed cases in both Italy and the UK, with approximately 221,000 cases to the UK’s 220,000 and Italy’s 210,000 cases.
This development comes in response to Russia reporting their highest daily increase to date with 11,656 new infections, positioning them as the third most burdened country in the world, after the US and Spain.
Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData
US to dismantle environmental laws with Covid-19 pretext
Using the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic as a pretext, the US Government is weakening environmental protections, according to the Guardian.
In the wake of the November elections, the Trump administration is putting in place a series of measures to disregard environmental laws. These include easing standards for fuel efficiency in new cars and freezing rules on soot air pollution, leasing public soil to oil and gas companies and proposing to drop requirements for liquified natural gas terminals.
Covid-19 Cities and Regions: New cases continue to drop – widespread easing of lockdowns
The number of new daily Covid-19 continues to drop in major cities and regions in Europe and the US as Wuhan records its first new cases since the end of the lockdown.
The US reported relatively stable numbers of new cases throughout last week, but some fear that the economic reopening in several states might push the numbers back up.
There are also reports of an outbreak inside Donald Trump’s White House as some staff went into isolation.
The UK saw some of the smallest daily increases in new cases since March. Britain is also set to slowly ease restrictions as the official government guidance was changed from “stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives” to “stay alert, control the virus, save lives”.
Spain is loosening lockdown rules as well, mostly in rural areas that were less affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Italy, which has the third highest death toll at 30,000, saw numbers continue to fall over the last week.
Elsewhere in China, authorities have reported new coronavirus clusters in Wuhan, where the outbreak first originated. These are the first new confirmed cases since lockdown was ended in April.
Monitoring the cities at the heart of the Covid-19 outbreak
Cities – with their high population density, young and mobile demographics, and developed public transport systems – are particularly susceptible to rapidly-spreading viral outbreak. Here we drill down into subnational Covid-19 figures to show which areas are seeing disproportionate numbers of Covid-19 cases.
While different countries count at different administrative levels, the pattern is clear: London and Madrid are “regions” in their own right, while New York State includes New York City and Lombardy covers Milan. This chart is currently being updated weekly with the latest figures – although some countries have a slight delay in publishing the very latest case numbers by region or state.
Unemployment post Covid-19 must be addressed, say economists
The Covid-19 pandemic may lead to unknown economic challenges as countries across the world face rising unemployment rates and inflation.
Governments are trying to minimise the impact of the pandemic through economic relief packages but it may lead to huge debts.
Jonathan Portes, professor of economics at King’s College London, tweeted about the basic things that need to be done to address the unemployment issue in the UK.
He noted that people’s income should be supported, viable jobs should be made available for workers after the crisis and help should be provided to workers to find new type of jobs if their old jobs are no longer viable
Portes added that assistance should be provided to young people who are entering the labour market amid the economic downturn.
UAE: production at Barakah Nuclear Plant unimpeded by Covid-19
Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has announced that the UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant has not recorded a single case of Covid-19 among its 700 employees, and that the spread of the virus has not impeded development at the facility.
Over the weekend, the UAE Government announced 781 new cases of Covid-19 within the country, taking the total number of cases to 18,198, of which 198 lead to deaths. As of today, the UAE has the 29th-most cases in the world, according to Worldometers, placing the country between Qatar and Israel. However, with 1.2 million tests having been completed, the UAE is the tenth-most tested country in the world, and ENEC is optimistic that this diligence will lead to uninterrupted operations at Barakah.
In a virtual fireside chat held last week with Frederick Kempe, president and CEO of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center, Al Hammadi claimed that despite the pandemic, the corporation was in the “advanced stages” of starting up the first of the facility’s four reactors.
Read more about the impacts of Covid-19 on the Barakah plant here.
Economic Forecast: Small businesses under pressure – Hamada warns against monetary easing – ‘populist’ investments forecast to increase
The European Central Banks SME survey showed that SMEs are reporting a rapid deterioration in economic environment in context of Covid-19.
The survey shows that expectations about the availability of bank loans were falling significantly in the Euro area (-11%, down from 4% in 2014 when survey was last carried out)), with the level of deterioration varying across countries.
Reflecting the severity of the coronavirus pandemic in different countries, Italian SMEs reported the largest deterioration in net terms (-13%, from 9%), followed by French and Spanish SMEs (-9% and -12%, from 8% and -1%, respectively).
Yale University Professor of Economics Koichi Hamada warned over the dangers of monetary easing led by the US.
Hamada wrote in his blog published by the World Economic Forum: “Today, governments are generally focused either on “flattening the curve” of their first wave of Covid-19 infections or, increasingly, on avoiding a second wave of infections as they ease social-distancing protocols and allow economic activity to resume.
“But, with the US apparently intent on flooding global markets with dollars, even economies that have so far managed the crisis effectively may have little choice but to pursue their own monetary easing.”
Commenting on the surge in unemployment in the US investment bank Citi said it expects more populist stances to gain traction in western economies.
From an equity market standpoint the bank said: “refocusing on domestic-focused industries vs. globally-oriented businesses could prove an opportunity for value stocks as the anti-globalisation drive negatively affects global industries and promotes domestic ‘national’ champions.
“Pressure on stock buybacks could mean the end of a ‘just buy the market’ mentality and usher in a new period emphasising the importance of stock selection and dividends in the search for positive returns.”
The analysis by the bank also added that: “Currently, US equity markets are pricing in an earnings rebound, but with concerns over falling profit margins as a result of the downturn, expectations for medium-term earnings growth might be optimistic.”
Covid-19 Daily Report: Deaths showing a downward trend – US continues to record the greatest number
The number of Covid-19 deaths has continued to fall, with all of the countries with the highest death tolls seeing a general downwards trajectory when looking at a rolling average of deaths.
The figures today are likely to be skewed downwards by the “weekend effect” – so daily progress might seem better than it is.
The US continues to record the most deaths in the world, recording 731 yesterday – more than double the UK which saw 268.
However, both countries seem to be on a slow downwards trajectory.
Coronavirus company news summary – Fuel assemblies at Barakah’s unit 1 concluded – NPTC’s thermal facilities reach PLF
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has concluded the loading of fuel assemblies into unit 1 of the Barakah nuclear energy plant despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. ENEC chief Mohamed al-Hammadi said this unit will reach criticality very soon. Seven hundred people are working on the project to meet the deadline. “Testing is also continuing at units 2, 3 and 4, following the completion of all major construction work,” added al-Hammadi.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) in its new study report has said that the global clean energy sector would need a consistent supply of critical minerals to continue a hassle-free progress post Covid-19. Compared to fossil fuel-based counterparts, clean energy technologies usually need more minerals. “Even in fossil fuel-based technologies, achieving higher efficiency and lower emissions relies on the extensive use of minerals. For example, the most efficient coal-fired power plants require a lot more nickel than the least efficient ones in order to allow for higher combustion temperatures,” the report added.
India’s state-owned utility NTPC has said that its three thermal power facilities have achieved 100% power load factor (PLF) after a surge in demand as the federal government eased restriction on select industrial and economic activities recently. These three facilities, located at Vindhyachal in Madhya Pradesh, Talcher Kaniha in Odisha and Sipat in Chhattisgarh, account for 17% of the company’s total capacity.
Industry experts in India believe that disruption in supply from the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing dip in domestic solar capacity addition present a good opportunity for local solar modules and cells manufacturers. The industry representative also called for a pressing need for a national vision policy for local solar modules manufacturing as well as ancillary products. Tata Power Solar CEO Ashish Khanna told PTI: “We’ve world-class technology, but we don’t have scale like China. For manufacturing to succeed, we need a policy framework that ensures long term off-takes at sustainable prices.”
International Update: Covid-19 deaths fall in New York – new outbreak in China – scientists find evidence of coronavirus mutations
US: New York reported the fewest new Covid-19 deaths – 207 – since the end of March and other indicators began to show the outbreak nearing the level of the starting point for what Governor Andrew Cuomo called “this hellish journey.”
UK: In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans to ease restrictions, but they’ve been labelled divisive, confusing and vague, after he said some places could reopen and the government was “actively encouraging” people to return to work, without giving details of how.
New Zealand: New Zealand to move to level 2 lockdown, easing some restrictions. Jacinda Ardern said parties, weddings, stag dos, and funerals will be capped at ten, both inside and outside, as the director-general of health had deemed these events “high-risk”.
South Korea: South Korea has reported 35 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, with 29 linked to Seoul clubs and bars, which were attended by a man in his 20s.
Japan: Japan could lift a state-of-emergency in many regions this week if new coronavirus cases are under control, the economy minister said on Monday.
China: An untraced coronavirus outbreak in a Chinese city near the Russian border and a spate of new cases in Wuhan has prompted fears of a fresh wave of infections in China. Wuhan has recorded its highest number of new infections since 11 March, reporting five new cases for 10 May, among 17 new cases nationwide, the highest in almost two weeks.
Scientists have found evidence for mutations in some strains of the coronavirus that suggest the pathogen may be adapting to humans after spilling over from bats.
Pakistan: Pakistan will allow markets and shops to open for several days a week from Monday, as it loosens its coronavirus lockdown.
Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Monday ordered the distribution of ‘Ramadan Aid’ worth 1.85 billion riyal ($492.6 million) for social security beneficiaries.
GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 3.8 million – numbers spike in Germany – low UK recovery rate a concern
Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 3,834,000, with over 269,000 deaths and 1,278,000 recoveries.
While the daily confirmed cases and death are decreasing in most European countries, the UK experienced a noticible increase in daily new cases on 6 May.
While the number of daily confirmed death is still decreasing in the UK, the total recovered cases in the UK is very low at about 960 cases.
Compared to the global recovery rate of 32%, UK’s rate of .46% is concerning and shows that UK still has long to go until full recovery.
Germany, a country frequently used as a model for Covid-19 response in Europe, also reported spikes in new cases of more than 1,000 on Wednesday and Thursday.
Other countries such as Russia, Brazil, India, Egypt, and Mexico are still experiencing a rise in confirmed cases.
There are indications of a slow shift of the pandemic toward African countries.
Although compare with the US and Europe, the confirmed case numbers are not significantly high.
Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData
Covid-19 Transport Status: Berlin, Milan, Madrid, Rome mobility all up – London increasing
Road traffic and public transport use in Berlin, Rome, Milan and Madrid have picked up as governments in Continental Europe eased lockdown restrictions this week.
All four cities showed a definite uptick in mobility – although movement in Milan and Rome remains at roughly 10 per cent of the levels seen before Covid-19 struck.
That may well reflect some confusion and compromises in new rules introduced in Italy, which mean most shops will remain closed for another fortnight and people are only permitted to visit family and those with whom they have a “stable and enduring” link.
Road congestion and public transport use in Berlin rose above 20% of pre-lockdown levels this week; Madrid saw public transport use double.
Among countries where strict lockdowns remain in place, London saw public transport use creep above 10% of pre-lockdown levels – a result, perhaps, of somewhat confusing messages about how and when the Westminster government plans to ease current restrictions, as well as anecdotally-reported “lockdown fatigue” as bright spring weather tests people’s resolve.
The Covid-19 lockdown: tracking if, when and where the world starts moving again
This graphic is fed by three key sources.
We use Citymapper’s mobility index to monitor public transport use, TomTom’s live traffic index to measure road use, and summary data from FlightRadar24 to count the total number of commercial flights each day.
Covid-19 rescue packages risk years of public debt say economists
Public debt concerns are being voiced by leading macroeconomic influencers.
Governments across the world are providing stimulus packages to protect people from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although these packages are essential, as millions have lost their jobs due to lockdown measures, it may lead to huge levels of public debt. The consequences of the debt are expected to impact economies for a long time.
David W Versailles, an economist, shared an article on how public debt in advance economies will reach high levels amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The article notes governments should find a balance between stimulus and restraint as too much public debt can burden societies for years to come.
GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Almost 88,000 new Covid-19 cases – Lockdowns easing – new cases surge
With 87,941 new confirmed cases reported, the total number of confirmed cases has passed 3,775,000 globally.
About 75% of the total confirmed cases belong to the US and Europe.
The global count of total deaths is 264,437 and the total recovered is 1,254,744 (about 33% of total confirmed cases).
Following the consistent reduction of daily confirmed cases in Europe, governments have lifted restrictions even further.
However, concerns remain about seeing additional surges due to removing the restriction too early.
Other parts of the world are also lifting restrictions, but have already observed surges.
For instance, following a month of reduction in daily confirmed cases, Iranian officials allowed gatherings in many regions.
Only few days later starting on 1 May, the daily new confirmed cases increased significantly and the country has now passed 101,000 total confirmed cases.
Daily confirmed cases in countries such as Russia, Mexico, and Brazil are still rising.
Brazil in particular,reported 10,503 new confirmed cases yesterday (nearly twice of that reported the day before).
High populous and dense urban areas, such as São Paulo, are areas to monitor.
Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData
Coronavirus company news summary – EDF to cut Sizewell B output – Barakah plant construction unaffected – Siemens Gamesa expects earnings hit
EDF Energy is likely to cut power output at its Sizewell B nuclear plant to address the 20% dip in UK power demand caused due to the coronavirus lockdown. The company may take one of the two turbines at the nuclear plant offline, reducing its output by half to 600MW.
Emirates Nuclear Energy (ENEC) has said the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic is not likely to delay the construction of the $24bn Barakah nuclear energy plant in the UAE, despite the economic disruption it has caused.
ENEC CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi said: “We are planning to go critical very soon—in a month or so—and we’re targeting to get the units operational before year’s end. I don’t see any supply-chain challenges so far.”
Siemens Gamesa has said that project delays and supply chain disruptions caused due to the Covid-19 outbreak will continue to dent its earnings this year after severely impacting profitability in Q2.
The wind turbine maker noted that the global health pandemic had a direct negative impact of €56m on its Q2 profitability; the company posted a net loss of €165m in Q2. Its profitability gauge stood at 7.5% a year ago.
German wind turbine maker Nordex has withdrawn its financial guidance for the financial year 2020 in the wake of economic turmoil caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In the current situation and since it is uncertain for how long it continues to exist it is not foreseeable when a new guidance for the current financial year 2020 will be possible,” the Hamburg-headquartered company said.
Covid-19 Daily Report: US deaths highest for two weeks – global trend is down
The US has recorded its highest level of Covid-19 deaths for more than a fortnight.
Some 2,367 new deaths were recorded in America yesterday – the most in a single 24-hour period since 21 April .
Globally there were 6,592 deaths yesterday, taking the weekly total to 36,166 – down from 40,724 the week before.
Covid-19 lockdown pushes WindEnergy Hamburg back to December
Originally scheduled for 22–25 September, the biennial WindEnergy Hamburg conference has been postponed to 1–4 December, with travel restrictions and uncertainty triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic making the event untenable in the current climate.
“Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC) is postponing WindEnergy Hamburg 2020 because of the Coronavirus pandemic and its global impact on major events and international travelling,” announced co-organisers HMC.
“HMC is in constant communication with the responsible health authorities to jointly assess the situation,” the group continued. “Comprehensive health protection measures appropriate for the given conditions will be taken and announced publicly in a timely manner for the rescheduled WindEnergy Hamburg in December 2020.”
The event will aim to bring together more than 35,000 visitors, from more than 100 countries, to discuss the future of onshore and offshore wind power. This year’s event prioritises “audience engagement and interactivity”, scrapping parallel sessions in favour of a more streamlined structure, and includes discussions on the impacts of the clean energy transition on both people and global business interests.
Economic Forecast: Bank of England predicts UK GDP to drop nearly 30% in Q2 – Deloitte say mass unemployment could reduce wages
The Bank of England said today that Covid-19 has dramatically reduced jobs and incomes in he UK with consumer spending in aggregate falling very significantly. In 2020 Q2, it is expected to be almost 30% lower than in 2019 Q4.
In addition the Bank of England predicts the UK GDP is expected to be close to 30% lower in 2020 Q2 than it was at the end of 2019.
UK GDP is expected to have fallen by around 3% in 2020 Q1 and then to fall by a further 25% in Q2.
S&P has said it expects GDP to fall by about 7.3% in the Eurozone and 6.5% in the UK this year, with a gradual rebound of 5.6% and 6% in 2021.
The ratings agency also said they see a larger economic risks, as outbreaks could resurge when lockdowns are loosened across the globe.
This week’s Deloitte global economic summary writes about the a risk of deflation.
Deloitte’s economists said: “Already we have seen a dramatic decline in the prices of oil and other commodities.
“Mass unemployment will likely mean downward pressure on wages.
“Although there have lately been shortages of some consumer staples (toilet paper, for example), early data indicates that inflation has decelerated.
“Even when recovery comes, the deflationary trend will likely be reversed only gradually.”
Moderate inflation can help in dealing with the huge debt created by Covid-19, say economists
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented levels of unemployment, huge levels of debt and an imminent threat of inflation or even deflation.
Economists believe that moderate levels of inflation can help economies around the world to deal with the debt and recover from the crisis.
Atif Mian, an economist, tweeted that the world is witnessing the highest levels of debt for the first time in many years. He added that the best way to reduce this debt will be moderate inflation particularly in advanced economies.
Mian noted that implementing moderate targeted-inflation may be a challenge in the near term.
International Update: 3.75 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 globally – WHO warns of risks of emerging from pandemic restrictions
Global: There are 3.75 million confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The number of confirmed cases stood at 3,755,341 on Thursday, with 263,831 deaths.
The director general of the World Health Organization warns of the risks of returning to lockdown if countries emerging from pandemic restrictions do not manage transitions “extremely carefully and in a phased approach” preparedness.
At least 90,000 healthcare workers globally are believed to have been infected, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) says, noting that the true figure could be as much as twice that.
The United Nations is issuing a new appeal for $4.7bn in funding to “protect millions of lives and stem the spread of coronavirus in fragile countries”.
Coronavirus-related border controls, lockdowns and flight shortages are making illegal drugs more expensive and difficult to obtain around the world, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
The International Monetary Fund approved $739 million in emergency funding for Kenya as the Covid-19 pandemic takes a serious toll on the East African nation’s economy and creates external financing needs.
UK: The British government will set out details of its plan to ease lockdown on Sunday, prime minister Boris Johnson says, adding his hope that some measures could come into force the following day.
Sweden: Sweden nears 3,000 deaths. The country’s public health agency reports that a total of 23,918 cases have been confirmed and 2,941 deaths recorded; an increase of 87 deaths from the day before.
India: India’s health ministry says the number of coronavirus infections rose to 52,952 in the country, up by 3,561 over the previous day, despite a strict weeks-long lockdown. The death toll is up by 89 to 1783.
India is seeking to lure US businesses, including medical devices giant Abbott Laboratories, to relocate from China.
China: China exports see surprise 3.5% jump in April, imports fall. China’s exports saw a shock 3.5% rise in April despite a hit to external demand from the coronavirus pandemic, official figures showed Thursday.
Japan: Japan is set to approve on Thursday the antiviral drug remdesivir for use against the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
Brazil: Brazil’s Congress approved two stimulus bills that will provide financial help to states and municipalities, and set aside 700 billion reais ($122 billion) for the economic recovery from the pandemic while also allowing the central bank to buy corporate bonds.
GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: UK has highest Covid-19 case fatality rate of ten most affected countries – more than double the global rate
The total confirmed cases of Covid-19 are 3,682,968 in the world while the case fatality rate* stays at 7% with the total deaths of 257,906.
The positive trend of daily recovered cases has stopped since 1st May.
However, this reduction has not changed the total recovered rate significantly. The fall of daily confirmed cases continues in the US and Europe.
Among the top ten most affected countries, the Covid-19’s case fatality rate varies greatly.
The UK has the highest rate at 15%. Russia has the lowest rate at around 1%.
The case fatality rate in Russia may increase soon following the recent rise in confirmed cases.
Russia – similar to Germany – has one of the highest number of hospital beds and nurses in the world which indicates the ability of the country to control the pandemic.
However, death reporting is not uniform across countries, and reporting accuracy also varies, therefore, reported deaths data may not accurately reflect the true burden of the outbreak.
Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist, GlobalData
*case fatality rate is defined as the proportion of confirmed Covid-19 cases resulted in deaths.
Rate of carbon emission falls across Europe amid Covid-19
Research from Cornwall Insight, a market research company, looking into electricity demand and carbon emissions across five European countries, during the four weeks from 23 March, has found that both demands for power and carbon emissions have fallen in comparison to 2019.
Cornwall Insight senior analyst Tom Andrews said: “Arguably, renewables have stepped into the baseload role, with gas and limited amounts of coal fulfilling a peaking role both when demand goes pick up, and when renewables output dips.
“Many system operators are now proving able to manage grids at 70% or more renewable energy and with a much lower level of demand than would – even a few months ago – have been expected,” he added.
Wind fundamental for economic recovery: GWEC
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), alongside other players, has released a statement urging governments to consider wind energy a “cornerstone of the global economic recovery.”
GWEC said in the statement: “The lasting impact of COVID-19 and the pace of global recovery will depend on the actions that we all take over the coming months.
“To achieve a sustainable and lasting economic recovery, these actions should focus on long-term impacts as well as the short-term need to generate growth and jobs.
“Governments need to ensure that their primary focus is on facilitating the clean energy transition, upholding emission standards and targeting public investments to Rebuild Better for the future.”
Covid-19 Daily Report: Deaths in stable decline in most global hotspots – US has some way to go
The US continues to stand out as the one major Covid-19 hotspot that can’t definitively claim to be well on the way to winning the fight against the first wave of the virus.
Our chart plots confirmed deaths from Covid-19 as a three-day rolling average to help smooth out quirks in the daily totals.
The US totals have been falling on a week-on-week basis but remain stubbornly high.
By contrast, Italy, Spain and France are seeing deaths at well under a third of “peak” rates, with Italy in particular showing consistent percentage drops.
The global chart remains largely a product of the charts of the USA, UK, France, Italy and Spain – who together have been responsible for nearly three-quarters of deaths worldwide.
Raycatch launches a “coronavirus version” of its solar PV management system
Raycatch, the AI technology start-up for solar energy, has developed a new version of its AI-driven digital asset management system that automates solar PV assets. Referred to internally as “the coronavirus version”, – DeepSolar 2.5 is focused on remote diagnostics and prioritisation of solar asset performance issues.
In order to navigate through the “new normal”, the new system now enables clear quantification of all solar asset performance issues, as well as recommendations on how to fix them. Raycatch has also applied more precise techniques and features that allow customers to do more from home.
International Update: Lockdown risks surge in TB – Covid-19 cases pass 3.65 million – US fatalities exceed 70,000
Global: Global confirmed cases exceed 3.65 million. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say at least 3,656,644 people have been infected since the outbreak began, while at least 256,736 are known to have died.
The global lockdown caused by Covid-19 risks a “devastating” surge in tuberculosis cases, with nearly 1.4 million additional deaths from the world’s biggest infectious killer by 2025, new research showed Wednesday.
Face masks should be worn on flights in future. The International Air Transport Association, which represents global airlines, says it is recommending the wearing of masks on flights, though normal seat allocation can be maintained.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said an experimental antibody treatment for Covid-19 could be available later this year, an expedited timeline for a drug that’s scheduled to be studied in humans for the first time in June.
Gilead Sciences Inc. is in talks to expand manufacturing of remdesivir, its Covid-19 treatment that’s been cleared by US health regulators for emergency use.
US: US death toll surpasses 70,000. At least 70,847 people are now known to have died in the USA, according to the data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The pandemic has cost Walt Disney US$1.4bn in the last three months as it shut down its theme parks around the world and halted film and TV productions, the company has announced.
The White House is discussing disbanding the president’s coronavirus task force, possibly as soon as Memorial Day (25 May), Vice President Mike Pence told reporters.
France: French drugmaker Sanofi says it plans to enrol thousands of people across the world in trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine it’s developing with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
UK: Britain’s death toll from the coronavirus has passed Italy’s to become the second-highest worldwide after the United States, and most impacted in Europe.
China: Suifenhe, the Chinese town on the country’s northeastern border, is loosening coronavirus restrictions that were introduced after a surge on cases among travellers returning from Russia, according to the Global Times.
China’s Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, said British politicians who have called for a reset of ties between the two nations risk poisoning the relationship. Anti-China rhetoric is in danger of undermining international solidarity in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, he said in a webinar on Tuesday.
Covid-19 Daily Report: UK worst hit in Europe as deaths approach 30,000 – global figure exceeds 257,000
The UK has now overtaken Italy according to the government’s daily tally of Covid-19 deaths to become the worst hit place in Europe, with 29,501 dead.
Yesterday it was reported that the UK had the highest number of deaths in Europe when looking at its registrations on death certificates – a slower method of counting which is different to the daily figures released by the government.
However, the UK has now overtaken Italy using the daily metric – which looks only at deaths where people have tested positive for the disease, and is therefore more comparable to Italy’s daily figures (which also include deaths in the community).
Worldwide, at least 257,239 people have died.
However, that grim figure still undercounts the true human cost of the virus – which is better measured using excess deaths – comparing the number of dead people to the usual figure at this time of year.