Tuesday, 05 May 2020 06:36

 

Summary of Latest Developments.

An estimated 251,059 people around the world have now died from COVID-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed cases exceeds 3.5 million, while nearly 1.2 million people have recovered.

China's state broadcaster CCTV attacked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's comments on the origins of the coronavirus as "insane and evasive".

Researchers at the University of Washington have nearly doubled their forecast for deaths in the US as lockdowns area eased. Government documents obtained by the New York Times earlier, said the US could see up to 3,000 deaths a day from the coronavirus by June 1.

Italy was among countries in Europe and around the world that began cautiously easing lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

 

Here are the latest updates:

 

US researchers double death forecast, citing eased lockdowns.

A newly-revised coronavirus mortality model predicts nearly 135,000 Americans will die from COVID-19 by early August, almost double previous projections, as social-distancing measures are relaxed;

The new forecast from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) reflect "rising mobility in most US states" with an easing of business closures and stay-at-home orders expected in 31 states by May 11, the institute said.

The IHME projections are presented as a statistical range of outcomes. The latest forecast predicts the cumulative number of US deaths from COVID-19 will run from as few as 95,092 to as many as 242,890 by August 4 - with 134,475 lives lost representing the most likely, middle ground.

In the previous April 29 revision, the middle-case figure was 72,400 deaths, within a range between 59,300 and 114,200 fatalities.

 

Germany reports 685 new cases, 139 more deaths.

Germany's Robert Koch Institute says the number of coronavirus cases in the country has risen by 685, bringing the total to 163,860. A further 139 deaths were reported, bringing the total to 6,831.

 

Fugitive in China gives himself up after failing to get health code.

Health monitoring through phone apps is at the centre of China's return to normal life after the coronavirus outbreak.

The app is colour-coded according to each person's health status, and allows them to move around, get work and even buy food.

But it seems it has also ensnared a man who had been on the run for more than two decades after a killing. The Global Times says he turned himself in because he couldn't get the code. 

 

 

New Zealand reports no new cases for second day.

New Zealand has recorded no new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined a coronavirus cabinet meeting with Australia.

The two countries discussed opening borders and Ardern said it was unlikely New Zealand would have open borders with the rest of the world for a "long time" it was looking to work something out with Australia.

 

China reports one new case of coronavirus, no deaths.

China's National Health Commission says the country found just one case of coronavirus on Monday, in someone who had returned from overseas. It also reported 15 asymptomatic cases of the disease.

There were no new deaths.

 

IMF approves $226 million for Cameroon to help ease COVID-19 impact.

The board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday approved a disbursement for Cameroon of around $226 million to help the central African nation meet urgent balance of payments needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic and terms of trade shocks from a sharp fall in oil prices are having a significant impact on Cameroon's economy, leading to a historic fall of real GDP growth, the IMF said in a statement.

"Cameroon is facing serious challenges from the twin COVID-19 pandemic and terms of trade shocks," it said, adding "the shocks have given rise to substantial fiscal pressures and an urgent balance of payments need." 

 

WHO chief urges unity in fight against coronavirus. 

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has urged the world to unite to defeat the new coronavirus.

"This virus will be with us for a long time and we must come together to develop and share the tools to defeat it," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing in Geneva.

"We will prevail through national unity and global solidarity," he added, praising pledges of $8 billion from world leaders for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The Geneva-based body will launch this week its updated strategic preparedness and response plan, which will provide an update of its funding needs in order to support the international and national plans to fight the virus, Tedros said.

 

South Africa GDP could shrink as much as 12 percent

South Africa's economy could contract by as much 12 percent and unemployment balloon to more than one-third of the workforce due to the impact of the coronavirus, Director-General of the National Treasury Dondo Mogajane said in a radio interview.

"Anything between minus 7 percent up to 12 percent could be the impact [on GDP]. We have to focus on the post-virus environment so we can contain the impact ... It's gonna be huge," said the head of treasury on talk radio station 702.

"We could even reach 40 percent unemployment if things go the way they are. The manufacturing industry is impacted. Mining is impacted. The services sector is impacted. Look at tourism for instance, it's on its knees," Mogajane said.

 

Source: News Agencies.