After months of challenging negotiations, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution specifying a ’humanitarian pause’ to conflicts worldwide for 90-days to overcome the COVID-19 virus. The Head of Amnesty International, Sherine Tadros, at the UN Office in New York echo the need to focus on vital priorities like healthcare, especially during the pandemic.
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives hit out against President Donald Trump on Thursday, and brushed aside Mr. Trump’s claims that the allegations of Russia placing a bounty on Americans soldiers were a hoax. The House Speaker said that the President had also said that COVID-19 was a hoax, and, criticizing the President, she said that he himself ’is a hoax’.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been passed by both the US Senate and the House for an extension date on the $660bn small business support program. Upon the president’s approval, the final day for applications will remain open to the 8th of August 2020. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pushed for additional transparency as relatively larger firms have also claimed the monetary benefits.
The Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr Anthony Stephen Fauci, points out three main failings by both the public and authorities: (1) Reopening states too early (2) People are not abiding by rules of social distancing, (3) Authorities to promote contact tracing more effectively.
College students in Alabama who contracted the coronavirus have been attending COVID-19 parties over the past few weeks, authorities said. Tuscaloosa City Councilor said that party organizers were purposefully inviting guests who have tested positive for COVID-19 with the goal of infecting each other for money. ’Whoever gets COVID first gets the pot (of money), the councilor explained.
United States President Donald Trump, while speaking to Fox Business, reiterated his belief that the coronavirus will eventually ’just disappear’. The President also said that he is optimistic about a post lockdown economic recovery, and cited recent strong numbers related to jobs and a bounce back of retail sales.
Apple plans to shut 30 additional stores in the US by Thursday, bringing the total number of reclosures in the country to 77 as Covid-19 cases rapidly rise in various regions. Stores in Alabama, California, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada and Oklahoma will close Thursday. Other stores in Florida, Mississippi, Texas and Utah are closed as of Wednesday.
US manufacturing bounced back in June as major parts of the country reopened, ending three months of contraction caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, said that its manufacturing index rose to 52.6 last month after registering 43.1 in May and 41.5 in April. Any reading below 50 signals that US manufacturing is contracting.
The US administration is planning to introduce a new method to boost screening for the coronavirus, which involves combining samples from multiple people and testing as a group, instead of carefully rationing tests to only those with symptoms. The method called Pool testing would enable frequent surveillance of asymptomatic people, and mass identification of infections could hasten the reopening.
The COVID-19 &Tourism report published by The UN Conference on Trade and Development is based on three scenarios for the industry, with lockdown measures lasting 4 months, 8 months and 12 months. In those scenarios, they have projected revenues to fall $1.17 trillion, $2.22 trillion and $3.3 trillion respectively or between 1.5-4.2 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).
A man in India is believed to have been a super-spreader, feared to have infected almost 100 people with the coronavirus. The 30-year-old software engineer working in Delhi returned to his hometown in the state of Bihar last month for his wedding and died with COVID-19 symptoms just two days after the ceremony. The local government is investigating how the large wedding was allowed to take place.
The reopening of Google offices in the United States of America has been pushed back due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases. The search engine giant was set to bring back workers starting from the 6th of July but the sudden increase in cases in several states has pushed the date back to the month of September.
Australia has decided to lock down ~300,000 people in suburbs north of Melbourne for a month beginning 1st Ju. This is to contain the risk of infection after two weeks of double-digit rises in new covid-19 cases in Melbourne. Australia had fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with ~7,830 cases and 104 deaths, but the latest resurgence has stoked fears of a second wave of COVID-19.
As per a Kaiser Health News investigation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) received thousands of pleas from health workers seeking better protective gear for their hospitals and nursing homes. However, the probe finds that the agency, tasked with protecting workers from harm on the job, had closed almost all of those complaints, and none of them led to a citation or a fine
South Korea has started supply of COVID-19 medicine remdesivir which have been donated by Gilead Sciences, and plans to procure more supplies in Aug. The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said that Patients who are eligible for remdesivir are severe patients with pneumonia and in need of oxygen. Gilead has priced remdesivir at US$390 per vial in US and other developed countries.
The top U.S. disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned senators to not be shocked if the number of new Covid-19 cases per day tops 100,000 if the lockdown is lifted now. He said too many Americans are not practicing safe social distancing including wearing a face covering. The number of new cases on Tuesday was over 40,000 for the 4th day in a row. Four states account for half of all new cases.
Ron DeSantis, the Governor of Florida on Tuesday said that Florida will not go back on reopening. This statement comes from the Governor despite the state registering thousands of new cases of the novel coronavirus everyday. Governor DeSantis said that Florida would not follow Texas’s move in pausing reopening.
FedEx reported better-than-expected results in Q4 as the surge in online buying amid Covid-19 offset higher costs. It reported a loss of $334mn, or $1.28 a share, compared to a loss of $1.97bn, or $7.56 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned $663mn, or $2.53 a share, compared with $5.01 a year ago. Sales fell slightly to $17.4bn from $17.8bn a year ago.
The IRS has said it has no plans to extend the July 15 deadline for Americans to submit their federal income tax. It added, though, that if taxpayers aren’t ready to file by then, they can request an extension, which will give them until October 15. Back in March, the IRS pushed the deadline from April 15 to July 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday criticized President Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and stressed on the need for a uniform nationwide response. The Presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee claimed that the state-by-state approach would cause confusion and slow down progress.
Arizona’s Gov. Ducey has ordered all businesses to shut down as new Covid-19 cases surged jumped 118% in the last two weeks. However over the weekend, more than a thousand Arizona health professionals signed a petition criticizing the governor’s pandemic response as too little, too late. They alleged, Ducey was focused on education and recommendations instead of requirements and enforcement.
PM Johnson promised to shake UK’s economy out of its Covid-19 induced crisis by fast-tracking infra investment and slashing property planning rules. He said that the citizens cannot continue to be prisoners of the crisis and we must work fast because the GDP has already seen the impact. However his message was overshadowed by new lockdown rules in Leicester where Covid-19 infections are surging.
Bharat Biotech’s Covid vaccine candidate Covaxin is set to undergo human clinical trials in July. It was developed at the firm’s Genome Valley plant in Hyderabad, in collaboration with the ICMR. Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech, said that they are proud to announce Covaxin, India’s first indigenous vaccine for Covid-19 as it enters the human clinical trial stage.
Google has turned off automatic back up for photos & videos from messaging apps. This is primarily to ’save internet resources’ due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. While Google has not given details of the list of apps that will experience this change, it does mention apps like WhatsApp, Messages, and Kik. This change is already in effect and the Photos app will give users a message on the same.