Tuesday 31st March 2020 News Briefing – Today’s headlines are dominated by the global Coronavirus Pandemic. As of 6:30 am (GMT), these are the global active numbers.
The coronavirus has infected more than 784,000 people worldwide and killed over 37,600. The US cases surpass China and Italy: The US now has the most confirmed cases worldwide — more than 160,500 with over 3,000 deaths, according to a WTX News count.
Global COVID-19 UPDATE
Coronavirus Cases: 785,807
- There are calls for Japan to declare a State of Emergency over the coronavirus pandemic.
- A new study suggests the middle-aged are at increased risk from Covid-19.
- The World Bank says the poor will get poorer in East Asia.
- Mafias are looking to gain from the devastating blow to Italy’s economy.
- Coronavirus is threatening Turkey’s fragile economy.
Coronavirus cases top 784,000 globally
CNN reports the global spread of Covid-19 has now infected more than 784,000 people and killed over 37,000 worldwide, according to figures from John Hopkins University.
The US still has the most confirmed cases with over 160,500. And more than 3,000 deaths – over 1,200 in New York State.
The US Treasury Secretary has said Americans could get their stimulus checks in their accounts within three weeks.
Read the full story on CNN
Calls grow for Japan to call a state of emergency over coronavirus
Japan Times says there are calls for Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare a state of emergency to curb the spread of the coronavirus before its too late.
“I personally feel it’s time (Japan) makes the declaration, and devises measures based on that,” Satoshi Kamayachi, a government expert on Covid-19 said at a news conference.
Referring to an unofficial telephone conference held with other members of the expert panel, he said. “Almost everyone agreed that it’s better to declare a state of emergency.”
Read the full story on Japan Times
New coronavirus study reveals increased risk from middle-aged
The Guardian says the first comprehensive study of Covid-19 deaths and hospitalisations in mainland China has revealed in stark detail the increase in risk for coronavirus patients once they reach middle age.
The analysis found that while the overall death rate for confirmed cases was 1.38%, the rate rose sharply with age – from 0.0016% in the under 10s, to 7.8% in 80s and over.
The study showed only 0.04% of 10 to 19-year-olds required hospital care compared with more than 18% of those in their 80s and above.
There was dramatic rises in the middle-aged groups too, with 4% of people in their 40s needing hospital treatment and more than 8% of patients in their 50s.
Read the full story on the Guardian
‘The poor will get poorer’ says the World Bank
BBC News reports the World Bank has said its economic outlook for how countries in East Asia will fare this year, taking into account the impact of the virus, is not looking good.
The virus has threatened tourism, trade and commodity-driven economies. Furthermore, it is also risking the livelihoods of millions of Asia’s most vulnerable.
The poor will get poorer, and even rich countries will struggle to keep businesses and households afloat.
In China – where the outbreak began, the bank says the virus’ impact will see economic growth shrink from 6.1% last year to 2.3% in 2020 if the pandemic doesn’t get worse.
Read the full story on BBC News
Mafias looking to gain from Italy’s economic loss
Arab News reports as Italy mourns nearly 11,000 deaths from the coronavirus and braces for the devastation of the eurozone’s third-largest economy, investigators in the country believe organised crime is looking to capitalise on the situation.
The Economist Intelligence Unit last week said it expects Italy’s gross domestic product to contract by 7 per cent for the year. And experts predict around 65 per cent of small and medium businesses in the country are at risk of bankruptcy – much to the delight of the mob.
Italy’s mafias were “caught on the back foot by the virus, but are now organising themselves,” Bologna’s Chief Prosecutor told Arab News.
Read the full story on Arab News
Virus threatens fragile Turkish economy
France24 says the Turkish economy was healing after a recession when the new coronavirus hit, leaving Ankara scrambling to contain the damage with stimulus measures worth billions and facing demands to do much more.
The death toll in Turkey is 168 with 10,827 recorded cases of the virus but the fear is that the situation could get much worse.
Turkey’s President announced earlier this month a $15 billion package to support the economy, with tax cuts for businesses and measures to help low-income households.
Read the full story on France24