A second wave of infections is spreading across the globe, with spikes in infections in places that have previously seen a plateau, including more than a dozen U.S. states.
Coronavirus Forex Updates: Health officials are concerned that July 4th celebrations in the U.S. will cause the rise in new cases to spike even higher in the coming days.
Updated July 6, 2020
The number of new daily COVID-19 diagnoses worldwide hit a new record high over the weekend, with 212,326 cases in a 24-hour period. There are now over 11 million cases, with over 537,000 deaths worldwide. Though the United States remains the country with the highest number of cases, the European Union as a region has more cases than in the U.S. combined. Health officials are concerned that July 4th celebrations in the U.S. will cause the rise in new cases to spike even higher in the coming days.
A second wave of infections is spreading across the globe, with spikes in infections in places that have previously seen a plateau, including more than a dozen U.S. states. After a spike in cases in Melbourne, Australia, government officials have announced a closure of the borders between the country's two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, for the first time in 100 years. The move is expected to increase the economic problems in the region, as the country heads into recession territory for the first time in nearly 30 years.
Despite strong concerns about the virus's trajectory, global stock markets soared higher on Monday, with all European benchmarks trading up over 1 percent as of 12:28 p.m. GMT, and most Asian indexes closing higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is also poised to open higher, with futures indicating significant jumps on the open.
Updated July 2, 2020
The number of global COVID-19 is set to surpass 11 million today, with new daily cases continuing to surge in the United States, India, Russia, and Brazil. Second waves of infections are being spotted in several regions that have previously been thought to have controlled the virus's spread, including Australia, Europe, Israel, Japan, South Korea, and China.
Research out of Harvard has suggested that an outbreak in Beijing that has infected nearly 300 people since June could have started in South or Southeast Asia. The newest outbreak in the area raises questions about the safety of traveling as well as the dangers of importing meat.
Apple has announced its intention to close another 30 stores in the United States, bringing the total to 77 closures, in response to the rising number of cases in specific states. Apple stock prices declined following the announcement.
The World Health Organization has warned that countries may have to reimpose lockdowns in an effort to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus. In the U.S., health officials suspect that the number of daily cases is over 100,000, but that limited testing is masking the true devastation of the disease. The U.S. has not yet mandated the wearing of face masks in public, though some states have taken the responsibility on themselves and those within their borders. Approximately 500,000 tests are being carried out in the U.S. on a daily basis, well below what the Food and Drug Administration says is sufficient. Similarly, a new study by Yale University researchers has indicated that the number of U.S. deaths caused by COVID-19 could be underreported by as much as 28 percent.
Updated July 1, 2020:
The United States reported 47,000 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, Reuters reported, the biggest one-day surge since the start of the pandemic. Health officials have warned that the number of new daily COVID-19 cases is likely to double if the situation is not brought under control. Several states have announced mandatory quarantine laws on incoming passengers from other states. New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are among those discouraging travel from states that have high infection rates, including Texas, California, Arizona, Florida, and Louisiana. The European Union announced a white list of countries from which travelers could arrive, and it notably left the U.S. off of this list of welcome visitors.
Second waves of the virus are beginning in several countries, including Australia, South Korea, and Israel. In both Israel and Australia, the governments are opting to lock down regions that have high numbers of new cases rather than closing up the economies they've worked so hard to open. Health officials warn that these limited lockdowns may not be enough to contain the virus and that rollbacks and closures may become necessary. Japanese officials have warned that they may declare another state of emergency as the number of new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo surpassed 50 per day for the last five consecutive days. In the U.S., many states have paused their reopening efforts in an effort to prevent further spread of the virus, though most states have refused to rollback businesses that have already opened. Some businesses, such as Apple, have made independent decisions to close stores temporarily until things get under control.
Reports out of China indicate that there may be a strain of swine flu that has the potential to become another pandemic. Health officials have warned that the new G4 EA H1N1 strain has similar characteristics to the 1918 pandemic flu and the 2009 H1N1 virus, which infected 700 million people worldwide. Health officials have said that they will keep an eye on this new strain of flue to see if it will evolve into something dangerous for humans.
Updated June 24, 2020
Over 9.3 million coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, and the death toll is rising steadily towards the 500,000 mark, despite the efforts to develop new treatments. Many regions are seeing an increase in the number of new daily cases as they pursue reopening strategies. Tokyo has reported a cluster of new infections and has expressed concerns about the possibility of a further spike in cases. Over half of the states in the U.S. are also seeing a rise in new daily diagnoses. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a recognized leader in coronavirus policy, has strongly urged a pause in reopening until the spike in cases gets under control. Brazil has recorded over a million cases, while the U.S. has nearly 2.5 million cases.
Over 700 cities in the U.S. have announced plans to delay or cancel infrastructure projects due to budgetary problems caused by the coronavirus. Universities and colleges in the country are also showing signs of economic distress and are showing signs of canceling programs and activities that are burdening their budgets.
Central banks are trying to implement policies based on 'nowcasting' models rather than forecasting models, Reuters reported, due to the fact that forecasting has become so difficult due to changes prompted by coronavirus shutdowns which are largely unpredictable. Nowcasting looks at current data such as electricity usage, credit card usage, and traffic in commercial hubs, to get a sense of how people are reacting to the reopening of economies. According to the report, the Irish and Israeli central banks are among the first to use these measures as a way to understand the full scope of COVID-19's economic impact.
Updated June 22, 2020:
Global coronavirus cases topped 9 million on Sunday, with the majority of new cases coming from the United States and Latin America. Reopening in Europe have also caused a resurgence of the virus's spread in some countries, including in Germany, where the coronavirus reproduction rate hit 2.88 percent on Sunday, up from 1.79 percent on Saturday. It is widely believed that a reproduction rate of less than 1 percent is required in order to contain the deadly virus. The reproduction rate indicates how many people will get infected if 100 people carry the virus. A rate of 2.88 means that 288 people will get infected following every 100 diagnosed cases.
The US reported two consecutive days of more than 30,000 new infections, the highest number since May. In jest, President Donald Trump suggested that the high number of new cases stems from a high testing rate, and that his country should slow down the number of tests to keep the virus numbers lower. His Democratic adversaries (as well as many of his supporters) did not find the statement amusing. Seven states hit record numbers of new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, including Missouri, Florida, South Carolina, Utah, Arizona, Montana, and Nevada. Health officials are warning that the new infections are mostly younger people who have gathered in public places like bars despite recommendations to continue staying home unless absolutely necessary.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave what he hopes will be his last daily coronavirus briefing on Friday as the state, the first US epicenter of the virus, hopes that it has gotten cases under control. Cuomo officially closed all sleepaway summer camps last week in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.
Despite the fact that many stores and venues are officially reopening around the world, some businesses have been forced to close again or to extend their plans to reopen in response to the continued spread of the virus. Cruise lines have announced that they will postpone all departures until September 15, and Apple stores in several US states have recently closed again. Several bars and health clubs in China have also been shuttered as the country battles upwards of 20 new daily cases, when it had seen 0 new daily cases only a few weeks ago.
Updated June 18, 2020:
The number of global coronavirus continues to rise, with health officials remaining concerned that the worst is not over, even though the number of cases remains below the virus's peak on April 18. The number of global cases as of Thursday morning was over 8,408,000, with 451,000 deaths.
New York state is scheduled to begin its reopening process on Monday, as the number of daily deaths in the state continues to decline. The number of new cases, however, remains high. Several other states have also seen a spike in new cases in recent days. Texas has been particularly hard-hit since it started reopening, with an 11 percent daily spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations yesterday.
World tourism slowly began to reopen earlier this week, with the EU and some Caribbean nations opening their borders, and planning for additional openings as the summer progresses. Greece, Croatia, and Portugal are among the countries that have started to accept tourists, the New York Times reported. Austria also reopened flights to and from select European countries this week, though travel is still recommended only for required purposes.
In Asia, most travel remains banned, as it is in most of Africa and South America. Australia and New Zealand have also kept their borders closed.
The rush to open tourism is an effort to help the battered industry get back on its feet, though health officials warn that rushing things could bring a stronger, faster second wave of infections. Industry analysts don't expect the air travel industry to recover for several years, as travelers will remain afraid of flying and governments will remain concerned about the spread of the virus until a vaccine is developed.
Updated June 16, 2020:
The number of global coronavirus cases passed 8 million on Tuesday morning in Asia, CNBC reported. Many countries are seeing a rise in cases as they attempt to navigate the economic reopening process. China reported 40 new cases on Monday, and Israel has reported more than 100 cases for the past 2 weeks after weeks of having fewer than 100 cases. A dozen states in the United States, including Florida, Arizona, North Carolina, and Texas, have also reported a rise in the number of new daily cases. Indonesia reported a record number of cases on Monday, and cases in Brazil, Russia, and India continue to rise as well.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has officially announced that hydroxychloroquine is 'unlikely' to be effective, despite President Donald Trump's aggressive touting of the drug as a cure for the virus.
Several European countries reopened their borders on Monday, and the European Union is considering an official reopening of its borders to international travelers as of July 1. Greece and Austria are among the countries that have begun to allow travel from select countries. Still, health officials warn of complacency and the dangers of reopening borders too quickly before the pandemic is truly slowed.
A new report by Italian researched published in Britain's The Guardian suggests that there will not be a post-corona baby boom as originally expected. The study posits that the stress of being home with existing children may reduce the desire to reproduce further. Economic pressures during recent months are also likely to serve as a deterrent, the study showed.
Updated June 1, 2020:
Russia has approved the influenza drug Avifavir for use to treat COVID-19, with trials showing that the drug may shorten recovery time for coronavirus patients. The final stage of the trial is ongoing, but the RDIF, Russia's sovereign wealth fund, has said that initial trials look positive. The drug is expected to be released in Russia sometime this month.
Demonstrations in the United States that were prompted by the brutal killing of George Floyd have forced the closure of corona testing centers in Los Angeles, and have officials worried that the rioting may lead to the spread of the virus.
China reported its steepest increase in new daily cases since May 11, with 16 new cases yesterday. The total number of global cases is over 6.2 million cases worldwide.
Updated May 31, 2020:
Global coronavirus cases passed 6 million over the weekend, fulfilling statisticians' predictions of a million new cases in a 7-10 day period. Cases surged in Latin America and Russia and continued to climb in the United States even as lockdown restrictions were eased. India and Israel both also saw a surge in cases as lockdown measures were eased further.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he is "terminating" the country's relationship with the World Health Organization. The move came after Trump repeatedly critized the WHO for its handling of the coronavirus and the organization's alignment with China. The European Union asked the U.S. to reconsider cutting ties, claiming that breaking the relationship in the middle of a pandemic is not the right way to save lives.
Sweden's GDP expanded at a higher rate than that of most European countries, data published Friday revealed. The country's GDP increased by 0.4 percent in Q1 2020. Sweden's GDP increased by 0.1 percent in the quarter when seasonally adjusted and compared to Q4 2019. The DGP growth surprised analysts, most of whom expected a contraction of 0.6 percent. Sweden was on of the only countries not to impose a strict lockdown on its citizens, and though its economy perhaps didn't suffer as much as other countries' economies did, it saw more coronavirus cases and fatalities than all other Nordic countries with nearly 36,000 cases and 4,266 deaths thus far.
Updated May 28, 2020:
The number of coronavirus cases worldwide continues to climb, with Brazil seeing the biggest jump in daily infections on Wednesday. Of concern is a rise in cases in South Korea, where 79 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Wednesday, the highest number of new daily cases since April 5. At least 69 of the cases are contributed to the same logistics facility. Additional cases are expected to surface in the coming days as the virus spreads from person to person.
A new report released yesterday indicates that African Americans accounted for nearly 23 percent of the coronavirus deaths in the United States, even though they make up approximately 13 percent of the population. This phenomenon is likely the result of less access to healthcare, lower wages, and predisposition to health conditions in the African American population.
The World Health Organization confirmed that the "jury is still very much out" on whether people who have had the coronavirus are able to get re-infected. Many healthcare officials have claimed in the past that one you've had the virus you cannot get it again, giving people a false sense of security when venturing out, especially as countries gradually reopen. WHO officials were quick to kibosh that notion, and to remind people that we still have much to learn about how the virus works.
Updated May 27, 2020:
World coronavirus cases sat at 5,685,938 as of Wednesday morning. Cases continue to spike in Russia and Brazil. A surge of new cases in South Korea has health officials worried that a second wave of the virus may be forthcoming. The country reported 40 new cases as of midnight Tuesday, far surpassing the 19 daily cases from the previous day. At least 36 of the cases were linked to the same source, an e-commerce group.
Pharmaceutical company Merck has announced that it is approaching vaccine development in a "very aggressive fashion" as the need for a COVID-19 vaccine remains pressing. The company's CEO is remaining responsible in its mission. Merck is one of many companies that is highly focused on developing a vaccine. Other companies are working on developing drugs to help heal those who have contracted the virus.
U.S. consumer confidence rose unexpectedly in May, the Conference Board's reports showed on Tuesday. The consumer confidence index rose from 85.7 to 86.6, boosted by reopening of the economies in many U.S. states.
Updated May 26, 2020:
There are now nearly 5.6 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, with 347,907 deaths and over 2.3 million people recovered. The United States counts over 1.7 million cases with just under 100,000 deaths, and Brazil is the country with the second-highest number of cases with 376,699 cases. The World Health Organization continues to warn of a second wave of infections as countries reopen and people become more lax about social distancing. Nevertheless, European leaders remain confident that with increased testing and contact tracing capabilities, they can prevent a second wave while reopening their economies, according to a report by Reuters.
Singapore slashed its 2020 growth forecast for the third time due to economic repercussions of the novel coronavirus. The region's growth contracted by 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2020, a less severe decline than expected. Singapore has some 32,000 cases and has rolled out multiple stimulus packages to help its citizens economically.
WHO suspended tests on hydroxychloroquine, the drug publicly touted by U.S. President Donald Trump as a contender for thwarting COVID-19. Trump has also announced that he has stopped taking the drug.
Updated May 25, 2020:
The number of global coronavirus cases surpassed 5.5 million worldwide on Monday morning, with health officials worrying that the world will see 1 million new cases approximately every seven to ten days. U.S. President Donald Trump banned travel into the U.S. from Brazil. As of May 28, travelers who have been in Brazil within a 14-day period will not be allowed to enter. The ban came as the number of cases in Brazil surpassed those in Russia to become the country with the second-highest number of cases, with the U.S. remaining the country with the highest number of COVID-19 cases. According to White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, the ban does not include the flow of commerce between the countries.
Across the world, many countries are working hard to reopen, with Australia set to gradually reopen its tourism industry, and Japanese officials weighing the opportunity to end the state of emergency imposed in several regions, and Spain set to reopen beaches and ease restrictions on restaurants in Barcelona and Madrid, to allow establishments to serve customers at 50 percent capacity.
Russia reported its highest daily death toll from the novel coronavirus on Sunday, with 153 fatalities. The country had 8,599 new cases on Sunday, lower than previous counts, but still a high enough number that indicates the country hasn't yet flattened the virus's curve.
Updated May 24, 2020:
The number of global COVID-19 cases continues to rise, with some 5.4 million people having been diagnosed thus far, and just under 344,000 deaths. Cases continue to spike in Russia and Brazil as well as in the United States, though both politicians and global heath officials believe that the epicenter of the virus is now shifting towards Brazil and Latin America. Brazil's indigenous population is seeing a death rate that is double the mortality rate in the rest of the country. New York State saw 84 deaths on Saturday, the lowest daily death count in the state since March 24. However, while the number of daily cases in New York is slowly declining, cases are rising in other states such as Alabama.
European Union policymakers are currently working on a plan to open the region to tourists, with talk of "green corridors" or "travel bubbles" that would allow visitors from certain countries. Also in development are tracking apps that will track travelers to warn them of potential infections within the EU. Despite this big step forward, it is expected to be months, if not years, before travelers take to the skies again in earnest.
Updated May 21, 2020
The World Health Organization reported the highest number of daily COVID-19 diagnoses yesterday, the same day the world surpassed 5 million cases worldwide. There were 106,00 cases reported to WHO on Wednesday. Some two-thirds of the cases were from only four countries, including the United States and Russia. Cases in Brazil are now rising at the second highest daily rate, only behind the U.S. According to Reuters, the world is now seeing 1 million new cases every two weeks.
Two studies released on Wednesday showed that monkeys developed immunity from reinfection, a positive sign that vaccines, when developed will succeed in keeping cases down. The research goes a long way to confirm the long-pondered theory that those who have had COVID-19 cannot be re-infected. Of the 25 monkeys vaccinated in the study, eight were completely protected from the novel coronavirus and others showed a "substantial degree of protection." The studies do not prove that humans develop immunity, but boost confidence that human immunity could be highly possible.
Updated May 20, 2020
Global markets backtracked from recent surges on Tuesday as health officials called into question the vaccine study released by Moderna Inc that showed progress towards a COVID-19 vaccine. Wall Street benchmarks all closed lower on Tuesday, and Asian markets retreated on Wednesday as investor optimism over the vaccine's development waned and traders began to worry again about the persistence of COVID-19 and the possibility of a second wave. Global cases are poised to surpass 5 million, with just under 325,000 deaths.
There are approximately 1.5 million cases in the United States alone, which President Donald Trump hailed as a 'badge of honor' because it speaks to the country's high rate of testing. The U.S. has not yet banned travel to Latin America even though the epicenter of the pandemic seems to be rapidly shifting to that area. Brazil is now the country with the fourth highest cases worldwide, trailing only the U.S., Russia, and Spain. On Tuesday, Brazil posted it highest number of daily coronavirus deaths to date.
David Malpass, President of the World Bank, warned that 60 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. "That erases all the progress made in poverty alleviation in the past three years," he warned on Tuesday.
Updated May 19, 2020:
The COVID-19 curve in several Asian countries including Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Taiwan seems to have flattened, with the number of new daily cases remaining impressively low in recent weeks. Despite these encouraging signs, global health officials urge global citizens to remain vigilant and to look for signs of the virus to prevent a resurgence.
Meanwhile, in Sweden, though the curve has started to flatten, health officials have slammed the country's "herd immunity" plan which created a mortality rate three times higher than that of its neighbor Denmark, and seven times higher than that of Finland. Still, Sweden's mortality rate remained lower than that in France, Spain, and the UK, all of which imposed stricter lockdown measures.
Global airlines including Qantas and Delta have begun to unveil plans for return to the skies. Qantas that it will begin providing masks and cleaning wipes on board its flights, while Delta announced that it will add more flights to meet demand as it keeps seats empty to adhere to new social distancing norms.
Studies continue to research how the novel coronavirus affects children, with indications being that the virus has different affects on adults and children. Chinese researched analyzed data from 24 prior studies and noticed that lomphopenia, a low level of immune cells in the body, was present in 80 percent of adults but only 10 percent of children who were confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus. Also noted in the study was that children are more likely to show signs of weakened haeras as a result of the illness than adults.
Updated May 18, 2020:
The number of global coronavirus cases continues to climb, with the total number of diagnoses around 4,804,849 as of Monday morning. Some 316,711 people have died from the disease so far. The mayor of Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city, has said that the city's health system is near collapse as the region struggles to manage an increase of daily cases. Brazil has just over 241,000 cases thus far, making it the country with the fifth-most cases in the world. It is poised to overcome the UK in the number of cases in the coming days, though the death toll in Brazil is roughly half that in the UK.
As cases slow in countries like Germany, France, the UK, and the U.S., investors have begun to worry whether a second wave of infections will be crushing both on both personal and economic levels. Health officials are warning people not to become too lax in their vigilance against the virus and to continue wearing masks and washing their hands regularly even if they are permitted to go out in public. Shelter-at-home orders remain in several U.S. states including New York and New Jersey, though restrictions are expected to be relaxed in the coming days.
The U.S. and China remain in a state of frustrating discord after U.S. politicians accused China of causing the spread of COVID-19 and hiding important information about the virus from the world. Investors remain concerned that the tensions will impact trade between two of the world's largest economies. As a result, spot gold prices hit their highest levels since October 2012 as traders rushed to purchase the safe-haven asset.
Updated May 17, 2020
Brazil passed Italy and France with a higher number of coronavirus cases over the weekend, bringing the country's total to nearly 234,000 cases and 15,662 deaths. Cases in Russia also continue to rise, with 281,752 cases registered, and only 2,631 deaths reported. New COVID-19 cases in India also continue to rise, with just under 91,000 total cases in the country as of Sunday morning. Despite the continuing increase of new daily cases, social distancing restrictions are expected to be eased starting tomorrow in India. Restrictions are also being eased in other areas.
Italian officials announced on Saturday that they would be resuming travel to and from Italy as well as flights within Italy. According to reports by the BBC, travelers from within the EU will be allowed to enter Italy without being required to quarantine for two weeks as other travelers are required to. Italian Prime Minster Giuseppe Conte commented that the newly-eased restrictions were a calculated risk" and a necessary move to help restart the economy.
CNBC reported that Slovenia became the first European country to declare an end to the coronavirus epidemic within its borders. The country reported just one new case on Thursday, and no new deaths. Just 35 people have been infected in Slovenia within the past two weeks.
Updated May 14, 2020:
Just under 4.5 million people in the world have been infected with the novel coronavirus, with nearly 300,000 fatalities worldwide. The number of cases in Italy and the United Kingdom which had been considered the epicenter of the virus after it passed from Wuhan, has been eclipsed by the number of cases in Russia, which continues to see a rise in cases even as other countries see a decline. The number of cases in Brazil continues to rise as well, and there have been over 190,000 COVID-19 cases reported in the country.
Australia reported some 594,000 job losses in April, with unemployment in the country jumping from 5.2 percent in March to 6.2 percent in April. The numbers beat forecasts of an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent in April.
There has been a rise in multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, doctors in the U.S. have reported. With at least 150 cases identified in the U.S., doctors are researching the possibility that this disease could be related to immune responses to the virus, even if it's not directly caused by the virus. Health officials warn that there may be an increase in these cases in the near future, and that people should remain vigilant in their social distancing efforts.
Updated May 13, 2020:
South Korea reported 26 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, most of which were linked to a South Korean nightclub where some 100 people were recently infected. The continued reporting of new cases indicates that a second wave of coronavirus infections may be starting, causing fear among both health workers and investors worldwide.
The number of cases in Brazil eclipsed that of cases in Germany yesterday, with the country now having 178,214 COVID cases and 12,461 fatalities. The epicenter of the virus has recently shifted to Brazil, which is expected to surpass France in its number of cases by the end of the day, though the number of deaths in Brazil is roughly half that of those in France.
Mexico reported a new daily high number of deaths from the virus, with 353 deaths on Tuesday. The country had 1,997 new cases on Tuesday, for a total of 38,324.
In the United States, Democrats in the House of Representatives proposed a new measure to provide an additional round of stimulus checks to U.S. citizens. The proposed second round of checks, if passed, is meant to be more generous than the first round, and should be easier to implement since the challenges of payment were handled in the first round.
Updated May 12, 2020:
The number of daily COVID-19 diagnoses continues to decline in many hard-hit areas including France, Italy, and New York, but an uptick in cases in peripheral areas is sparking concern that a second wave of the virus may be coming, and that it could be more harmful than the first outbreak both in terms of the financial devastation and in terms of the death toll. The concern thwarted the recent rally on Wall Street and sent Asian stock indexes lower during Tuesday's Asian trading session.
A resurgence of daily coronavirus cases has been seen in China and South Korea in recent days causing some recently relaxed restrictions to be imposed again. Though the numbers are still comparatively small, they are concerning for global health officials, including those at the World Health Organization (WHO). In China, the city of Shulan had not seen any new infections for more than 70 days, Reuters reported, but now they are seeing low numbers of new cases in the area. In South Korea, after two weeks of under 20 new cases per day, there has now been two consecutive days of close to twenty new cases per day.
In the United States, many states outside bigger metropolitan areas are seeing an uptick of cases, including Tennessee, Iowa, and Texas. Central City, Kentucky also saw a 650 percent increase in cases in the past seven days.
Updated May 11, 2020:
As global coronavirus cases crossed 4,181,000, South Korea warned of a second wave of infections which may already be hitting the country. The country reported 35 new cases on Sunday, which may not seem like a lot, but there had been only single-digit numbers and several days with no new cases in recent weeks.
In Ghana, it appears that one person infected 533 people in a fish-processing plant. The country now has some 4,700 cases, the most in any West-African country. Cases in Russia also continued to rise on Sunday. Over 100 Russian central bank employees have been infected. The country now has nearly 210,000 COVID-19 cases and 1,915 deaths. It has far surpassed Germany and France in the number of cases, but its death rate remains shockingly low, with only 13 deaths per 1 million people, causing officials to question whether the accuracy of reporting in the country is accurate. The United States has reported 244 deaths per 1 million people, while Spain had 569 deaths per 1 million people, and France had 404 deaths per 1 million people.
Gradual reopening of economies continues worldwide, with Shanghai Disney opening Monday at 30 percent capacity and with social distancing measures in place. Peruvian miners are expected to restart operations in the coming days and to return to 80 percent of normal copper production within a month. Asian markets were mostly higher on Monday afternoon as traders enjoyed increased risk appetite on hopes that the economic reopenings would be the first step in returning the world economy to its former state.
Updated May 10, 2020:
The number of global coronavirus cases was over 4,117,000 as of Sunday morning, with over 280,000 deaths. Russia surpassed France and Germany to have the fifth-highest number of cases, with nearly 200,000 cases. The number of COVID-19 cases in India topped 60,000 after passing the 50,000 mark just days ago. More than 20,000 of the cases were in the Maharashtra region. South Korea, recently hailed as one of the countries that best-handled the virus, recently saw an increase in cases, with 34 new cases on Sunday, many of which were tied to Seoul.
In the United States, several high-ranking officials have recent been diagnosed with and exposed to COVID-19. Among those currently working from self-quarantine are Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Stephen Hah, the commissioner of the FDA, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The number of new cases in Illinois surpassed the number of new cases in the metro New York region for the first time over the weekend.
On Saturday, Spanish officials reported the lowest daily death count from the virus, with the daily death count falling to 143, compared with 179 the day before. Israel also reported positive results over the weekend, with no new deaths reported on Saturday.
Tensions remain high between China and the U.S. over the coronavirus, and analysts are currently scrambling to determine how the global economic recovery will be impacted by the continuing tensions. The UK and Australia seem to have sided with the U.S. and blamed China for the outbreak, and such measures may reduce the demand from China, which could impact oil prices, retail opportunities and production lines worldwide.
Updated May 7, 2020
The number of global coronavirus cases sat above 3,820,680 as of Thursday morning, with 265,094 deaths. The epicenter of the virus has been moving stealthily eastward, starting in China, then moving to Europe, then the United States, and now settling in Brazil, where over 10,500 cases were confirmed on Wednesday, well above the previous daily high of 7,288 on April 30. Brazil also posted a new record of fatalities, with 615 deaths on Wednesday. The previous high was 600 fatalities the day before.
India also reported a spike in new cases, with 3,561 new COVID-19 diagnoses and 89 deaths. The country now has over 50,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. The rise in new cases comes even as Indian citizens face the strictest nationwide lockdown worldwide.
Data out of China yesterday showed that the country's services sector remained deep in contraction territory, with unemployment hitting record levels and export orders plummeting even after signs of improvement in March. The Caixin/Markit services PMI edged slightly higher, up to 44.4 in April from 43 in March, but still remained well below historic averages. All levels under 50 indicate a contraction. April marks the third straight month of contraction for the services sector in China.
Updated May 6, 2020:
The number of daily coronavirus cases continues to decline worldwide, but confusion regarding treatment options and bringing an end to social distancing restrictions remains. There have now been over 3,727,993 cases diagnosed worldwide, and some 1,242,482 deaths as of Wednesday morning.
Health workers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory released a 33-page report with their findings that the virus has mutated and that a new, more deadly strain, is already spreading globally. Nevertheless, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he remains committed to reopening the economy despite the fact that the additional loss of life is inevitable. He cited incidental deaths from corona such as higher rates of suicide as the impetus for pushing forward with localized reopening, despite the fact that no studies have confirmed a higher suicide rate during the pandemic and the fact that the curve hasn't been safely flattened in many areas of the country. There have been over 71,000 deaths in the U.S. alone, and new predictions show that this rate is likely to double by mid-August.
In Europe, though 26 countries have seen a decline in new daily COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks, the European Union's agency for disease control has said that four countries still haven't managed to reduce their "14-day notification rate." These countries are Poland, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. On Tuesday, the number of deaths in the UK surpassed the number of fatalities in both Italy and Spain, which thus far had been the epicenter of Europe's outbreak, with 29,079 and 25,428 deaths respectively. As of Tuesday, the UK had more than 32,000 coronavirus fatalities.
Updated May 5, 2020:
The relaxing of social distancing measures in the United States has prompted researchers to revise their original mortality model for COVID-19 and to adjust it upward, nearly doubling the country's mortality projections by early August. The current model shows nearly 135,000 deaths from the virus by mid-summer, and analysts expect that the pandemic will a serious threat in many states through the summer. Over 1.2 million American have already been diagnosed with COVID-19, and nearly 69,000 have died thus far. Previous projections expected the number of fatalities in the country to be between 59,300 and 114,200.
Millions of Italians returned to work on Monday, specifically in the construction in manufacturing industries. Other industries such as retail and food services will gradually reopen in the coming days. Italy joins a host of other countries including Israel, New Zealand, and Australia, that are gradually easing restrictions after flattening the virus's curve. Health officials have warned of premature reopening, which is a realistic threat in many U.S. hotspots.
Reports out of Israel indicate that scientists have isolated a key coronavirus antibody and that the antibody formula is currently being patented as an antidote for the virus. The discovered antibody is thought to be monoclonal, which means it comes from a single recovered cell and is thus more powerful in creating a treatment than previous antibodies which were polyclonal, or coming from two or more cells of differing ancestry.
Updated May 4, 2020
The number of global coronavirus cases topped 3.5 million on Sunday, as health officials continue their quest for both treatment options and a vaccine. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that there is a "significant amount of evidence" that the novel coronavirus came from a laboratory in China, despite reports from U.S. intelligence agencies contrary to that statement. Chinese officials have continually disputed similar statements. U.S. President Donald Trump also made inflammatory statements blaming China for trying to cover up the virus in an effort to hoard medical supplies.
Indian lawmakers announced the extension of the country's lockdown as of Sunday evening for another two weeks as the number of cases in the country surpassed 40,000 despite the recent lockdown measures. The number of new coronavirus cases also spiked in Russia, where new cases exceeded 10,000 for the first time. The number of new cases in Britain seems to have peaked, but the number of daily deaths from COVID-19 continues to rise in the country with Britain's death toll expected to pass that of Italy this week, despite having some 37,000 fewer cases. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being pressured to reopen the region's economy even as the death toll continues to climb.
French lawmakers announced on Sunday that the new quarantine measures announced over the weekend for all incoming travelers will not apply to those coming from the UK or within the Schengen region.
Updated May 3, 2020:
As many regions begin to reopen their economies, some are facing an increased number of new daily coronavirus diagnoses. One such region is the U.S. state of Texas, which has had more than 1,000 new cases per day in the past 3 days, up from the stats just a few days prior. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has warned against the premature reopening of businesses and has noted that he will not kowtow to pressure to reopen before it is safe.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use for remdesivir to treat the coronavirus. Heal officials warn against use of the drug outside of hospitals.
French lawmakers announced over the weekend that the country will be imposing a mandatory two-week quarantine on all arrivals from outside of the country, though no details were given about where or how the quarantine would take place, and whether the restrictions would be in place for anyone from inside the Schengen area.
More jobs were cut in the U.S. aviation sector, despite government bailouts which require airlines to keep workers employed until the end of September. Increased layoffs are expected on October 1, as analysts don't expect the airline industry to rebound for 2-3 years. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett announced over the weekend that he sold all of his airline stock holdings due to COVID-19.
Updated May 1, 2020
The number of global coronavirus cases sat above 3.3 million as of Friday morning, with the number of deaths above 234,120. The European Commission has called for an investigation into the start of the outbreak and has called on China to be involved in the process. U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened "retaliatory" measures against China for its role in the outbreak and the carnage it has caused both to the U.S. economy and to Trump's chances at re-election. Trump has historically taken a hardline approach against China, which began with tariffs that he imposed upon Chinese imports at the start of his tenure. Trump has said that the tariffs are now taking a backseat to his focus on dealing with the virus.
In addition to the economic declines caused by the pandemic, world leaders are concerned about the potential for food shortages and even famine as the supply chain has been largely disrupted. Farmers are struggling with excess supplies while a rise in unemployment and poverty has prevented people in developing countries from getting the food they need.
Updated April 30, 2020:
The numbers of global coronavirus cases continues to rise, though the lower numbers of daily new cases give people optimism that the worst is behind us. Now lawmakers, market analysts, and the billions of people worldwide who have been told to stay home are looking at the plans to emerge from the lockdowns, the reopening of global economies, and the potential for a second wave of infections either now or next winter (or both). Health officials worldwide remain committed to finding more efficient treatments and plans for prevention, though thus far a cure has been elusive. The most optimistic trials so far have indicated that the drug remdesivir can reduce the time it takes for patients to heal from the virus, and U.S. President Donald Trump is calling on the FDA to approve the drug as quickly as possible as a treatment for COVID-19.
The number of global cases as of Thursday morning sat at 3,220,830, with 228,239 deaths worldwide. Nearly one-third of global cases were in the United States. South Korea reported no new domestic cases for the first time since February on Wednesday. The country did see four new cases but claims that all were imported from other countries. China also reported four new cases from overseas and no new domestic cases.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) announced on Thursday that it expects global energy demand to plummet this year due to the pandemic, which the IEA has said is the biggest shock since World War II. The Agency is predicting a 6 percent drop in energy demand this year, the steepest decline in 70 years.
Updated April 29, 2020:
The number of coronavirus cases worldwide sat at some 3,193,000 as of Wednesday afternoon in Asia. The number of deaths in the United States was above 59,000, which analysts quickly pointed out was higher than the country's total death count during the Vietnam War. Despite the continued rise in daily cases, the number of new daily cases seems to be decreasing in even the hardest-hit of regions, including New York City, Italy, and Spain. The infection rate continues to rise in Germany and Mexico at rates higher than hoped for this stage of the pandemic.
Many countries, including Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and Israel, are already rolling out plans for reopening their economies, as are several U.S. states. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state's lockdown may extended past May 15 if the CDC's guidelines for easing restrictions aren't met.
The U.S. Federal Reserve will be announcing its April decision later on Wednesday, and traders are now looking towards the central bank to see how it will react to the economic carnage caused by the coronavirus. Expectations are for interest rates to remain in their current near-zero placement following the meeting.
Updated April 28, 2020:
The number of global coronavirus cases surpassed 3 million on Monday, with cases in the United States accounting for some 1,010,000. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that he is strongly considering extending the state's lockdown past May 15, at least in some of the more highly-impacted areas. He also announced that the state has tested 7,500 people for antibodies against COVID019, and that that 14.9 percent of those tested positive, indicating that they had carried the virus and survived. Cuomo used this data to suggest that the number of infections is substantially higher than what the number of positive tests reveals.
Singapore's central bank announced Tuesday morning that its economic woes could be deeper than expected. "There remains significant uncertainty over the severity of the downturn, as well as the eventual recovery," the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in its semi-annual statement. The region has a current forecast of a decrease in GDP by -4 percent to -1 percent, though potential increases in the lockdown measures could aggravate matters further. Singapore is currently facing the worst recession in its 55-year history, and its GDP contracted 2.2 percent, its sharpest contraction since 2009.
In Hong Kong, leader Carrie Lam announced that civil servants will return to work next Monday, May 4, after the region had no new coronavirus infections for the second consecutive day yesterday. Some leisure venues including sports facilities and libraries are also slated to reopen next week, though they will still be subject to social distancing requirements and limited to groups of four people. No announcements have been made about the relaxation of travel restrictions in Hong Kong.
Asian stock markets were trading mixed on Tuesday afternoon after all three Wall Street benchmarks closed higher on Monday. The Asian indexes came under pressure due to the continuing decline of oil prices which saw U.S. WTI futures fall more than 13 percent after tumbling some 25 percent on Monday.
Updated April 27, 2020
The number of global coronavirus cases will surpass 3 million on Monday, and though the curve seems to have flattened in most of Europe and America. Health officials are now concerned that the epicenter of the novel coronavirus will shift to Latin America and Brazil.
A Moody's economist has predicted that Japan and Singapore will suffer the biggest economic losses as a result of the pandemic as both economies were weak before the pandemic started and have been forced to impose the strictest lockdown measures, which will hinder their economies further. The latest numbers out of Japan showed the economy contracting by 6.3 percent year on year in Q4 2019, while Singapore's economy shrank 2.2 percent in Q1 2020. Singapore reported 931 new coronavirus cases on Sunday. Most of them were linked to dormitories of foreign workers, a hotspot for the disease in recent days.
The Bank of Japan announced on Monday an expanded monetary stimulus for the second consecutive month to help ameliorate the economic problems plaguing the country. The BOJ increased the number of corporate bonds and commercial paper it committed to buying to some 20 trillion yen ($186 billion) from around $7 trillion yen.
Some U.S. states are expecting to expand their reopening procedures in the coming days, though New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday that his state will reopen in phases only once the Center for Disease Control confirms that state hospitalization rates have declined for 14 days. He has remained adamant that reopening policies must not include the attraction of visitors from outside of New York who may bring the virus back to the state.
Updated April 26, 2020:
The global death toll of the deadly coronavirus surpassed 200,000 over the weekend, and totaled some 203,000 deaths as of Sunday morning, with more than 2,921,000 people infected worldwide. As the number of new diagnoses seems to slow worldwide, health officials remain confused and concerned about drugs being used to treat COVID-19. Health Canada issues a warning against purchasing cloroquine or hydroxychloroquine after new research indicated that the death rate when using the drugs may actually be higher than in cases without use of the drugs. Physicians have also railed against U.S. President Donald after he suggested that injecting COVID-19 patients with disinfectant could be used to cure the virus.
Argentina extended its nationwide lockdowns over the weekend. The restrictions were set to end today but will be extended until May 10. People will be allowed to take short walks outside their homes. In the meanwhile, several countries such as Israel and Italy are slowly emerging from the lockdowns, allowing small businesses and stores to open with new safety precautions in place. French lawmakers have announced that their lockdown will begin to unwind on May 11. Several airlines have also announced the resuming of several routes. However, public health officials warn of the dangers that reopening too soon could cause a second wave of infections, while analysts worry that even when businesses are reopened consumers will be afraid to head outside.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to return to work tomorrow after being hospitalized and recovering from the coronavirus.
Updated April 23, 2020
The number of new global coronavirus cases seems to be declining, but some disturbing facts are causing health officials to worry whether a new wave of the virus will be shortly forthcoming due to premature reopening in some areas.
The number of new COVID-19 cases jumped in Italy on Wednesday even as the number of deaths in the country declined. The number of new daily cases also jumped in Israel where restrictions started to get eased earlier this week, causing lawmakers to reassess whether the lockdown restrictions should be returned. Singapore has also seen a spike in cases in recent days, largely attributed to its migrant worker population.
U.S. President Donald Trump signed a ban on all immigration into effect on Wednesday in what he claims is an effort to control the coronavirus. The ban is set to last for 60 days at which point it will be re-evaluated. Skeptics question whether he doesn't have a secret agenda after historically making staunchly anti-immigration comments and promoting "America first". Trump also brushed off health officials' concerns that the coronavirus could come back in force next winter and could coincide with flu season, overburdening hospitals even more than the current pandemic has.
Updated April 22, 2020
The number of new COVID-19 cases continues to grow worldwide, with the total number of cases sitting at some 2,558,000 as of Wednesday morning, with nearly 178,000 deaths worldwide. Still, the number of new daily cases is declining in many regions, giving health officials and traders hope that the peak has passed. Nevertheless, new cases in China have raised the question as to whether reopening commerce will cause a second wave of infections to occur. Health clubs in Beijing were shuttered again on Wednesday after briefly reopening when a new case was discovered in the city from a resident returning from Miami who infected several other family members after his 14-day quarantine period.
Singapore extended its partial lockdown measures by 4 more weeks, through June 1, after the country saw over 1,000 cases for the second consecutive day on Tuesday. Most of the new cases are migrant workers from other Asian countries. Singapore is now the country with the highest number of confirmed cases in Southeast Asia.
Hydroxychloroquine, the drug publicly touted by U.S. President Donald Trump as the drug that will bring salvation for corona patients, has likely been discredited after reports from the Veterans Health Administration showed that 28% of the drug’s users died, compared to 11 percent of patients who died without receiving hydroxychloroquine.
Updated April 21, 2020:
Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam announced an extension of the region's current lockdown for another 14 days from April 23, despite Monday posting Hong Kong's first day with no new coronavirus cases.
U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that he will be suspending all immigration to the U.S. in an effort to control the coronavirus.
S&P Global has forecasted that job losses across Asia Pacific could double as a result of the coronavirus, and that jobs won’t immediately be recreated the minute lockdown restrictions are eased. “Unemployment rates across Asia-Pacific could rise by well over 3 percentage points, twice as large as the average recession,” said S&P’s Asia Pacific Chief Economist Shaun Roache in a report Monday.
The forecast presented by the S&P Global analysts predicted grim expectations, with Australia seeing an increase in unemployment rates of more than 3 percentage points, and Japan’s unemployment rate increasing by more than 2 percentage points. South Korea is expected to see an increase in unemployment of more than 4 percentage points. The report highlights that the biggest losses will be in the services sector which requires the most human contact, and that the recovery for these losses will likely take two to three years.
On Monday the S&P 500 was within 1 percent of where it was trading a year ago, erasing the year’s gains but, analysts are quick to point out, not falling below last year’s levels as many other indexes have. The tempered losses of the S&P 500 comes mostly from boosts in the tech sector, especially Microsoft, Amazon, and Netflix, which have continued to rise during these challenging times.
Updated April 20, 2020
Global health workers and market analysts are cautiously optimistic that the coronavirus has peaked in many of the areas that have seen the most devastation, including Italy, Spain, and New York City. The number of new cases has declined worldwide in the past few days, though the number of cases in the United States surpassed 750,000 and the country’s death toll surpassed 40,000. Protestors in the U.S. have called for an ease in restrictions and a start to opening the economy, though lawmakers believe it’s too early to roll back the current closures. The death toll in the U.S. took 38 days to hit 10,000 deaths, but then only 5 more days to double that number and hit 20,000 deaths. The country’s infection toll has doubled in the past 13 days, and healthcare workers believe that the actual number of infected people is significantly higher than what is currently being reported due to lack of testing capabilities.
South Korea has started to ease its social distancing restrictions, allowing for some outdoor venues and sports activities to be reopened, and the country has seen a surge in public activities. The country’s number of new cases on Monday stood at 13 after having only 8 the day before, but it’s too early to tell if the easing led to the increase. Worldwide, lawmakers are concerned about easing restrictions too early and causing a second wave of contagion, even as economies continue to suffer. The U.S. dollar firmed on Monday as renewed worry left traders looking for the safest options. The New Zealand dollar headed higher after an announcement that the country’s economy would begin to reopen as early as next week.
Updated April 19, 2020:
Updated April 16, 2020:
With more than 632,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that the country has “passed the peak” of the coronavirus outbreak. The statement was predicated on the fact that new cases in New York State are declining. He also mentioned that the number of new cases remains “flat” in other hotspots including Detroit and Denver, while there are declines in other major cities. In the past six consecutive days, the number of new cases in the U.S. has declined, providing optimism that the worst is over. On this basis, President Trump has announced his plans to start easing social distancing restrictions and to reopen business as soon as possible. Vice President Mike Pence was quick to add that there will be some areas of the country that will be slower to reopen than others in order to keep the number of new cases from rising again.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden is mulling a similar ease of restrictions, but she has said that even if some restrictions are reduced, there will not be an immediate return to normal. New Zealand has fewer than 1,500 cases of the virus, and Arden is hoping to eliminate the virus completely within her country’s borders. She has said that most stores will be opening online only, and that school attendance will mostly be voluntary, with distance learning still providing an excellent option.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast on Wednesday that for the first time in 60 years, Asia as a region will not post any economic growth in 2020 due to the coronavirus. “This is a crisis like no other. It is worse than the Global Financial Crisis, and Asia is not immune,” Chang Yong Rhee, director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the IMF, wrote in a blog post published on Wednesday. Asia has historically been one of the fast growing economies in the world.
Updated April 14, 2020:
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide continues to advance, with over 1.9 million cases confirmed across the globe as of Tuesday morning. India has extended its nationwide lockdown through May 3 to halt the spread of the virus, while several U.S. states and European countries have begun to discuss easing the restrictions despite rising umbers worldwide. Among the states eager to ease the lockdowns are New York and California, two of the hardest-hit states. Some 1,500 COVID-19 deaths were reported in the U.S. on Monday, down from last week’s count of about 2,000 daily deaths. New cases in the U.S. were counted as some 23,000 on Monday, well below last week’s counts which saw above 30,000 new cases confirmed per day.
A handful of new reports out Monday indicate that nobody really knows how the virus works, what will stop it, or what will happen next. Though many believe that those infected with the virus become immune, a report from South Korea released yesterday showed that at least 116 people who were cleared of the virus have tested positive again. The data calls into question whether immunity exists, or whether testing isn’t entirely accurate. It also calls into question whether easing lockdown restrictions will be safe, or whether a second wave of the virus will emerge once people are in contact with each other again.
Another report out of Israel indicates that the virus has a peak time of 70 days, and that social distancing won’t help curb the virus as much as simply just waiting it out and letting it take its deadly course. The report suggested that the economic ruin from the virus’s restrictions will exacerbate the situation, causing longer-term damage than waiting. The findings of this report have been largely ignored by lawmakers worldwide who insist on social distancing as a way to protect people from the disease. However, if the theory is accurate, the peak of the virus may rapidly be approaching in current hotspots, which could give reason for cautious optimism.
Updated April 13, 2020:
The number of global coronavirus cases surpassed 1,853,000 on Sunday. The number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths was some 114,000, though experts predict that the number of total coronavirus deaths is substantially higher due to lack of testing capabilities, especially among those who die outside a hospital setting.
Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari said on Sunday that the U.S. economy will likely face a “long, hard road” to recovery, which will see the economy start and stop several times as the country tries to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases in China hit 108 on Sunday, the first time new cases in the country surged past 100 in several days. Chinese officials assert that the majority of cases came from travelers from overseas. The country also reported some 60 new diagnoses of asymptomatic patients who are not included in the official number of new daily cases.
Italian officials reported 431 deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday, the lowest daily tally since March 19. There were 4,092 new cases confirmed in Italy on Sunday, a slight decline from previous daily counts, though the Easter holiday could be responsible for slower testing and reporting.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released from the hospital on Sunday after recovering sufficiently from his bout with the novel coronavirus.
Updated April 12, 2020
The entire country of the United States is now under a major disaster declaration after the U.S. reported the highest death toll in the world on Saturday. The declaration of Wyoming as a disaster area came 22 days after the first state, New York, was declared as a disaster zone. The declaration allows all states to access funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help fight the spread of COVID-19. The U.S. has reported over 20,000 deaths, with most of them in the state of New York, which reported nearly 800 deaths per day in the past several days. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced cautious optimism that the curve is flattening in his state, though he says that the high death rate is not where he wanted the curve to be. According to experts quoted by CNN, the U.S. likely saw a peak in its daily death toll, though many remain skeptical as social distancing measures haven’t been implemented aggressively in every state, which leaves the door open for further spread of the virus. Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus coordinator is among those who believe that the country’s peak hasn’t yet been reached.
Several countries have already started to reduce their social distancing restrictions, including China, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Reports out of Denmark indicate that policymakers are eager to ease some restrictions though the situation there appears less stable than that of other countries. In India, a spike in new cases to some 900 per day over the weekend has resulted in the proposal of an extension of its country-wide lockdown until at least the end of April. A formal decision is expected in the coming days.
In his Easter address at a near- empty St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis urged people not to “yield to fear” over coronavirus concerns, referring to the current times as “the darkest hour” just as it was in the days before Jesus rose from the dead. "Do not be afraid, do not yield to fear: this is the message of hope. It is addressed to us today," he added.
Updated April 8, 2020
Chinese officials officially ended the 11-week lockdown on the Chinese province of Wuhan on Wednesday after officials believed that the threat of the virus had passed and that it was now safe to travel in and out of the region. Wuhan was the epicenter of the novel coronavirus when it was first discovered in December 2019. China confirmed no new deaths due to coronavirus for several days this week, giving its citizens yet another reason to rejoice and giving global leaders encouragement that they can also flatten the virus’s curve. There were 2 new coronavirus deaths on April 7.
Despite reasons to be optimistic, the curve has not yet flattened in several of the world’s biggest cities, including London, where UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains hospitalized in intensive care with coronavirus, and New York City, where the death toll on Tuesday surpassed that of 9/11, with over 3,202 deaths in the city. According to the Financial Times, the death toll in New York City is climbing faster than most other subnational regions, including Italy’s Lombardi region and Madrid.
U.S. President Donald Trump has taken aim at the World Health Organization (WHO) for not sounding the alarm early enough or diligent enough at the start of the pandemic’s outbreak. Trump’s comments went so far as to threaten withholding of funding from the WHO, though Congress has already authorized $122 million for the organization and it is unlikely to withdraw its commitment.
Updated April 7, 2020
Signs that the global fight against COVID-19 are working to slow the pandemic sent global stock markets higher on Monday afternoon in New York and Tuesday morning in Asia. The death toll continued to slow in Italy and Spain, but health officials have warned that there’s still a long way to go before the novel coronavirus stops its damage. Health officials also warn of interpreting trends too prematurely as U.S. numbers showed signs that the devastation may be slowing. Optimism out of the U.S. came even as the country’s death toll topped 10,000 on Monday. The warning from health officials came as some countries, like the Czech Republic, have started to mull easing the restrictions on their citizens. U.S. stock futures point to a lower open on Tuesday, indicating that like the virus, the volatility in the market is here to remain for some time.
On Monday, China reported its first day without coronavirus deaths since the discovery of the virus, but at the same time, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized in the intensive care unit as he fights against the virus. He is the first world leader to contract COVID-19.
Updated April 6, 2020
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the globe continues to rise despite a decline in the daily number of new cases in several countries including Australia and South Korea. Many countries are still struggling to control the virus, including Japan, whose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to declare a state of emergency in a briefing at 2 p.m. local time today, and the United States, whose death toll is expected to surpass 10,000 sometime on Monday. The number of global deaths was hovering around 70,000 as of Monday morning, with the total number of confirmed cases some 1,274,000, up more than 25 percent since hitting 1 million global cases last Friday.
A Malaysian tiger at the Bronx zoo has tested positive for COVID-19 after coming into contact with an infected zookeeper. This is the first confirmation of the virus in a tiger, though a dog had been diagnosed in China in late February. Researchers are still evaluating how the virus develops in animals, though they stress that there is no immediate concern that house pets will become spreaders of the virus.
Updated April 5, 2020:
Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus have topped 1,200,000 worldwide, with the death toll nearing 65,000. U.S. President Donald Trump has warned of a deathly week ahead, though the death toll in hard-hit Italy hit its lowest in two weeks yesterday. Still, reports from Reuters indicate that the death toll in Italy may be substantially higher as the current metrics only measure hospital deaths, and many unfortunate people are left to die at home because the overburdened healthcare system in Italy cannot dispatch ambulances or provide safe assessments to the sick fast enough due to a lack of masks and protective gear. France’s death toll hit new highs on Saturday, as did the death toll in the U.S.
Jobs numbers out on Friday in the United States painted a grim picture, with 701,000 jobs lost last month, according to reports from the Labor Department, but analysts have argued that the numbers were gathered prematurely, and that the full extent of the layoffs has yet to be seen, even though Friday’s numbers were the bleakest that the U.S. has seen since the global financial crisis of 2008. Ironically, healthcare workers were among those hardest hit by unemployment as many practitioners, including dentists and all physicians not caring for coronavirus cases, were forced to close their offices, at least temporarily. The hospitality industry was, not surprisingly, the hardest hit. President Trump has said that he will ask for additional funding for small businesses if the initial allocations are not sufficient.
Updated April 2, 2020
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide topped 936,000 on Thursday morning, while the number of deaths crept closer to 50,000. Italy’s death toll from the coronavirus was the lowest its been in the past six days, but the country’s number of new infections continued to rise, and the government extended the current lockdown until at least mid-April. White House Health Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that a coronavirus vaccine is on track for human testing, but that it’ll still take over a year for such a vaccine to be available to the public, if it even passes all the necessary testing.
Economic analysts worldwide have praised China’s ability to ‘get back to business’ in recent weeks, though data indicates that the country is not quite running business as usual; earlier this week it was reported that some 429,000 Chinese businesses have either closed completely or paused their operations for the year, with wholesale and retail businesses comprising the bulk of these closures. Leasing and business services comprised roughly 15 percent of the closed businesses, and manufacturing services accounted for 8 percent of the closures. Many businesses in the entertainment industry are eager to return to business but remain in forced closure by the Chinese government in the wake of the virus’ spread. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused Chinese health officials of intentionally under-reporting the extent of the novel coronavirus’ spread in China, CNBC reported, after Trump received secret intelligence to support the claim.
Updated April 1, 2020:
Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus are hovering near 860,000 as of Wednesday morning, with the number of global deaths counted as 42,322.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he expects 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. alone, and that the country should brace for a difficult two-week period ahead. The U.S. only has some 4,000 fatalities, which means that the country’s current dire situation may only be the tip of the iceberg. Makeshift hospitals have already been set up in New York as have makeshift morgues that have been established in refrigerated trucks to help New York City officials deal with the growing number of deaths.
Chinese officials announced that they would now be reporting the number of cases of those who tested positive but were asymptomatic, a number which has thus far remained classified. The number is thought to be well over 40,000 people. The concern about these cases comes as China’s factories continue their return to normal activity, with people scared that asymptomatic COVID-19 ‘carriers’ may be spreading the virus unbeknownst to healthy individuals. The possibility suggests that the number of new cases in China may pick up again after several weeks of decline.
Automakers are bracing for especially rough times ahead due to production slowdowns, global lockdowns, and the mounting economic crisis which is likely to prevent new car purchases for some time until the global economy rebounds. In the meanwhile, some automakers such as Ford are using their facilities to produce much-needed ventilators. Other automakers that have vowed to help are Fiat, which has pledged to produce 1 million masks per month in its China factory, as well as General Motors and Tesla.
Updated March 31, 2020:
As the number of new coronavirus cases declines in China and Italy daily, the death toll continues to rise, and the World Health Organization has warned that the pandemic is far from over, and that inevitably, every country in the world will be hit. David Nabarro, a special envoy on COVID-19 to the WHO, urged world leaders to take quick action to control the outbreak, saying that “trying to get in ahead of an exponential problem is much easier if you’re dealing with it early on.”
The Japanese government has warned its citizens from traveling to 73 countries, up from 20 in its last warning. The country is just one of dozens to recommend its citizens not travel, a move that has battered the air travel industry worldwide. Airlines have been seeking bailouts to help deal with canceled flights and grounded planes, and many companies have grounded their fleet through mid-April, with some announcing cancellations through May.
A new field hospital has been erected in New York City’s Central Park to treat coronavirus patients as the city’s number of new cases continues to soar. Some 3,000 Americans have succumbed to the virus already, and the country is poised to surpass China’s death toll by tomorrow. The U.S. now has the highest number of cases by far, with 164,253 cases as of Tuesday morning in Asia, more the number of cases in China, where the virus was discovered three months ago.
Updated March 30, 2020:
Global diagnoses of the novel coronavirus have surpassed 720,000, including UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was diagnosed over the weekend.
The United States has the highest number of cases, nearing 140,000. President Donald Trump has announced that the protective measures in the country, which we meant to end before Easter in mid-April, will be extended until at least April 30. Argentina has also extended its quarantine until at least mid-April. Italian lawmakers are still considering whether to extend the countrywide lockdown which were originally slated to expire on Friday. Deaths in Italy are the third-highest in the world, despite the number of new diagnoses declining daily in the past few days. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of Spain increased restrictions in the hard-hit country, saying that all non-essential workers must stay home, and will be required to make up missed work at a later date in exchange for a full salary now. Coronavirus diagnoses in Spain surged more than 6,000 in a single day on Saturday.
Global stock markets are poised to trade lower on Monday, with Dow futures pointing to an open of more than 200 points lower. Asian markets were broadly lower on Monday afternoon, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 falling over 3 percent as of 1:46 pm. HK/SIN. Both of China’s benchmarks were lower, as was Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index which eased 0.54 percent.
Oil prices headed downward on Monday as well, as the April 1 deadline looms for a truce between Russia and Saudi Arabia, and none seems forthcoming. If no agreement is reached, production will be increased and prices are likely to continue falling, especially as demand declines due to coronavirus.
Updated March 29, 2020:
Worldwide coronavirus cases surged past 660,000 over the weekend, and the United States became the country with the highest number of confirmed cases. In Italy, the death toll surpassed 10,000, and reports indicate that the countrywide lockdown will continue past the original end date of April 3. In the meanwhile, Chinese officials have announced that the lockdown in the Wuhan province, the area where the virus was first detected, will end on April 8, Bloomberg reported. Despite dwindling cases in China and a slow but steady resume to a normal work routine, analysts question whether the Chinese economy will bounce back as quickly as hoped, especially considering the lockdowns in the rest of the world which will prevent consumption levels from returning their former glory.
According to reports by CNBC, satellite imagery from the U.S. shows that the country’s economy has come to a near standstill. Of specific note are photos of resorts that remain empty, airplanes that remain grounded, and highways that lack their normal traffic. Images of empty parking lots and beaches further contribute to the bleak picture. These images, coupled with the record 3.28 million unemployment claims last week, shows a dire picture for one of the world’s leading economies. President Trump has remained optimistic that the country will return to its normal levels of functioning by Easter, though health officials remain skeptical of this plan, and critical of Trump’s desire to put the economy above public health demands.
Updated March 26, 2020:
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended higher for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, prompted by an agreement by U.S. lawmakers for a $2 trillion+ stimulus package. The S&P 500 also closed higher for the second straight day. The gains did not extend into the Asian markets which were broadly lower during Thursday’s trading session. The Nikkei 225 saw the steepest losses of 4.51 percent as of 2:34 p.m. HK/SIN. Likewise, futures were lower for both indexes overnight, indicating that the winning streak may not be back in full force. Specifically, traders are nervous to see the U.S. jobless reports which will be out later today and are expected to show record-breaking numbers. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom has said that the state saw 1 million unemployment claims in the past two weeks alone.
The global death toll surpassed 18,000 on Wednesday, with the number of total cases hovering near 415,000. The U.S. death toll surpassed 1,000, and Spain’s death toll saw its biggest daily surge, with the total number now surpassing the number of total deaths in China. Italy and Spain remain the worst hit thus far, though American officials warn citizens to brace for a second wave of cases.
Russia has suspended all international flights, with the exception of flights meant to return its citizens home. In India, the government has put the entire country on lockdown for 21 days starting yesterday to help contain the virus, but many of the country’s citizens are expected to struggle under the restrictions, both financially and with lack of resources. The government hasn’t yet addressed its plan to deal with these cases.
Updated March 25, 2020:
U.S. lawmakers struck a deal early Wednesday morning for a $2 trillion+ stimulus package to help staunch the economic devastation caused by shutdowns due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. The package will include direct payments up to $3,000 for millions of Americans, $350 billion in small business loans, $500 billion for specific hard-hit industries, and $75 billion for hospitals, among other allowances.
The stimulus comes after U.S. President Trump said that he would likely relax restrictions rather than increase them, despite the continued spread of the virus and the likelihood that New York will become COVID-19’s next epicenter. New cases in Italy have declined in the past few days thanks to strict lockdown measures, but Trump has been hesitant to impose such strict moves within the U.S., drawing harsh criticism from healthcare officials worldwide.
The Dow surged more than 11 percent on Tuesday, it’s biggest one-day spike since 1933, on optimism regarding the stimulus package, and the S&P 500 closed up over 9 percent, its steepest gains since 2008. Asian markets followed Wall Street higher on Wednesday, with the Nikkei 225 advancing 8.06 percent by 2:17 p.m. HK/SIN. South Korea’s Kospi and Australia’s ASX 200 were both up 5.54 percent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 3.11 percent. Analysts have begun to debate whether the bottom to the declines has been hit, though many believe that until the virus is completely under control there may still be more selloffs ahead.
Updated March 24, 2020:
The coronavirus pandemic is spreading faster and faster, the World Health Organization warned on Monday. The WHO cited frightening statistics: “It took 67 days from the first case to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for second 100,000 cases, and just four days for the third 100,000 cases,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. In his address, he also mentioned the need for better protection for healthcare workers, many of whom have fallen ill or come into contact with ill patients, requiring quarantine and making them unavailable to do their important work, a result which will cause healthcare systems worldwide to deteriorate further.
In the meanwhile, while the WHO was sounding the alarm, U.S. President Donald Trump took a step back from the mayhem, downplaying the threat of COIV-19, and commenting that he expects to bring the U.S. economy back to operations “soon” despite health officials calling for stricter closures. “At some point we’re going to open up our country, and it will be fairly soon,” Trump said, ignoring the fact that deaths in the U.S. surpassed 500, and cases exceeded 43,000 on Monday. Trump’s comments were prompted by his theory that economic ruin will destroy more lives than the novel coronavirus. He also mentioned that there are other factors that cause far more deaths, such as traffic accidents and the flu, comparisons that have been discredited by global health agencies.
The U.S. government’s proposed $1-trillion+ bailout failed to pass in the Senate on Monday, as lawmakers continue to haggle over the terms of the agreement. European leaders are also still struggling to form the proper stimulus packages. The latest idea is to propose ‘corona-bonds’, a new financial instrument that would merge securities from different European countries. The idea is welcomed by many EU policymakers, but faces many challenges before it can be passed and properly implemented, leaving analysts worried if it’s a truly plausible plan.
Updated March 23, 2020:
Reports out from Italy on Monday show the death toll from the novel coronavirus at nearly 5,500, nearly two thousand casualties more than those in China, largely due to the weak health system in Italy which remains overburdened. Despite the continued spread of the virus around the world, U.S. President Donald Trump has announced that “we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.” Though he didn’t elaborate, many members of the media and market analysts assume he was referring to the economic consequences of imposing further lockdowns in the United States. Though the U.S. has implemented lockdowns in some areas, it hasn’t made the full precautions necessary to stop the virus from spreading across state or international lines.
Additional lockdown restrictions were implemented in the United Arab Emirates, Australia and New Zealand, banning all essential services and travel. Canada has become the first country to officially withdraw from the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had announced earlier on Sunday that it was not considering canceling the event, though a postponement may be necessary. A decision is expected within four weeks.
Updated March 22, 2020
There have now been more than 300,000 recorded cases of the COVID-19 virus in the world, and the United States has now become one of the countries with the highest number of cases, following only China, Italy, and Spain.
Updated March 20, 2020
The global death count resulting from the coronavirus has now topped 10,000, according to the latest reports from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. Travel restrictions continue, with Malaysia closing its borders and Vietnam announcing visa reductions. Asia-based airline Cathay Pacific Airlines announcing that it will cut its passenger capacity by 96 percent through May.
The U.S. state of California has announced a widespread lock down, though most U.S. states have not implemented such sweeping policies, leaving the virus with the potential to continue spreading throughout the country. There have been over 200 deaths in the U.S. and nearly 15,000 cases reported.
Updated March 19, 2020:
Border closings continue across the globe, with the U.S.-Canadian border closed to all non-essential traffic. New Zealand, Australia, and Israel have become the latest countries to close their borders to all non-residents, moves which will likely constrict the travel industry further. The United Arab Emirates is also barring entry to valid resident visa holders for the next two weeks.
The United Kingdom remains behind the rest of the world in closing its services. It has announced a shutdown of the school system starting Friday and only partial closures of its underground transportation system. Boris Johnson has been largely criticized for being too lax by not demanding stricter closures despite seeing over 100 deaths in the kingdom.
Australia's central bank cut interest rates on Thursday for the second time this month, putting the benchmark cash rate at an all-time low of 0.25 percent. The country's Qantas Airlines announced a full suspension of all international flights until May 2020.
Updated March 18, 2020
Chinese health officials reported only 13 new coronavirus diagnoses on Tuesday, and 11 new deaths. The country has seen a continued decline in new cases just as new cases have been surging throughout the world. Italy's death toll rose over 2,500 on Tuesday and the global death toll is hovering just under 8,000 deaths.
Taiwanese government officials have announced that its borders will be closed to foreigners. The announcement came as the number of cases climbed in Asia, with spikes in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Policymakers around the globe continue to debate about how to best handle the economic fallout of the coronavirus as businesses continue to be closed and new travel restrictions are announced on a near daily basis. U.S. President Donald Trump has requested an $850 billion to $1 trillion bailout package, which analysts say may not even be enough to boost the country's economy. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has pledged additional stimulus plans if the current measures prove insufficient. The Reserve Bank of Australia has announced another policy announcement for Thursday.
Updated March 17, 2020:
Restrictions on people around the globe continue to tighten as world leaders race to contain the dangerous COVID-19 virus. Malaysia has announced a closure of its borders, while Hong Kong has announced a 14-day quarantine for all visitors.
U.S. stock markets saw their third-worst day in history on Monday, despite efforts by the Federal Reserve to temper the economic blow. Microsoft and Nordstrom joined dozens of other global brands in closing its stores to help prevent the spread of the disease.
China has reported only 20 new cases on Monday and 13 new deaths. There remains spikes in the number of cases in other countries including South Korea, Italy, and the United States. Washington policymakers have thus far refrained from implementing blanket corona-based policies in the U.S., leaving local lawmakers to decide how their states should respond. U.S. citizens remain concerned that without a widespread policy, the virus will not be contained properly in the U.S.
Updated on March 16, 2020
Global leaders are desperately trying to contain the novel coronavirus that has been spreading like wildfire around the world. Heads of state have announced widespread closures of leisure activities including bars, restaurants, theaters, and gyms, and have urged their citizens to stay home. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has encouraged all events over 50 people to be canceled. In Israel, no gatherings of over 10 people are permitted. Over 350 people died from the disease in Italy on Sunday, the biggest daily jump, as the country faces the biggest health crisis outside of China.
Central banks have taken swift emergency measures to counterbalance the economic decline that is certain to result from the sweeping closures. The U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates to zero on Sunday in an emergency measure, and was met with similar moves by the European Central Bank, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, and the Bank of Japan. Australia's central bank also announced new stimulus policies and said that it will announce details on Thursday.
Updated March 15, 2020:
Countries around the world continue to shutter businesses as the coronavirus continues to spread. Over 142,000 people have been infected worldwide, and 5,393 people have died. Among the countries closing all non-essential businesses are Italy, Israel, France, and Spain. The United States announced additional bans on travel from Europe including arrivals from the UK and Ireland. Australia has also announced a mandatory 14-day self quarantine for all international arrivals.
In the U.S., many retailers have announced self-imposed closures while the country races to contain the virus. Among the companies closing stores are Apple, which announced closures of all stores outside of China, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Urban Outfitters. Other retailers announced that they were remaining open in an attempt to float their businesses during this trying time.
Updated March 12, 2020:
Global markets fell dramatically on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump announced a travel ban on 26 European countries to be in effect for 30 days. Traders were also skittish after the World Health Organization classified the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, though many news outlets are reporting that this classification has no practical implications.
The virus's death toll in Italy spiked above 30 percent on Wednesday, prompting Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti to announce closures on all bars, restaurants, and stores with the exception of pharmacies and grocery stores. At this time government offices and factories have remained open in Italy. There are over 110,000 cases reported worldwide, and over 4,200 deaths.
Updated March 11, 2020
The Bank of England announced an emergency interest rate cut of 50 basis points to help counteract the damage caused to the country’s economy by the coronavirus, now called COVID-19. The bank also announced a new funding plan to help small and medium-sized businesses and to enable banks to lend more.
Chinese health officials announced only 24 new virus diagnoses and 22 new deaths, marking a dramatic decline in cases in the region. Nevertheless, cases around the world have spiked, causing widespread panic about the death rate and the virus’s impact on the economy. Chinese factories have been gradually reopening, but a full-out closure in Italy has stoked the panic.
U.S. President Trump announced the possibility of tax cuts to help temper economic losses, and the announcement sent U.S. benchmarks broadly higher on Tuesday. Gains were capped by a failure to announce an actual plan, and futures point to a lower open on Wednesday.
Updated March 10, 2020
The number of people infected with coronavirus surpassed 110,000 worldwide, with nearly 4,000 deaths globally. The number of new cases outside of China now far surpasses the number of new cases in China on a daily basis.
After announcing a quarantine on approximately one quarter of the Italian population over the weekend, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti announced that the entire country would be subject to a widespread lock down, and that people could leave their houses only for work and emergencies. Conti's stricter measures follow an order from the Israeli Ministry of Health that all people coming into the country must be quarantined for 14 days.
All three Wall Street benchmarks closed more than 7 percent lower on Monday, but Asian markets turned positive as traders remained optimistic that global central banks would be implementing stimulus packages in the near term.
Updated March 9, 2020:
China has closed 11 of its 14 emergency hospitals that were designated to care for coronavirus patients in the wake of a decline in both the death tolls and new diagnoses of cases in the country. Only 40 new diagnoses were reported in China on Sunday, with 22 deaths, prompting health officials, Chinese residents, and spectators worldwide to consider whether the virus truly has peaked in its epicenter.
But despite a decline in cases in China in recent days, there has been an uptick in cases worldwide, with the number of cases in the United States surging past 500 over the weekend. Likewise, the decline in cases did little to help Asian stocks recover, as benchmarks barreled lower thanks to the drama between Russia and OPEC and its impacts on the oil market.
Updated March 8, 2020:
Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conti announced today that nearly one quarter of his country's population will be on government-mandated lockdown until at least April 3. The country saw a dramatic spike in cases on Saturday, with 1,247 new diagnoses. The death toll in Italy currently sits at 233.
The first coronavirus death was announced in Latin America, with a patient in Argentina dying on Saturday. There are also confirmed cases in Peru, Chile, Colombia, and Paraguay, though no deaths have been reported in those regions.
China reported only 44 new diagnoses on Saturday and 27 new deaths, as health officials wonder whether the imminent threat is passing, and skeptics question whether not enough people are being tested in China and throughout the world.
Updated March 5, 2020
China reported 139 new cases and 31 new deaths on Wednesday, all of which were centered within the Wuhan province, the epicenter of the disease. South Korea reported 438 new cases and 3 new deaths, while the U.S. state of California declared a state of emergency following its first death and a total of 53 cases in the state thus far. A second death was reported in Australia. Health officials are quick to point out that the majority of deaths have been in people who are older and those who suffered from compromised health before contracting the virus. These consolations have done little to contain the panic that is rapidly spreading worldwide. The mortality rate for the virus now stands at 3.4 percent but the World Health Organization has warned that there may be many asymptomatic cases lurking, and a sudden spike in diagnoses could impact this number significantly.
Governments of 96 countries have banned travelers from South Korea, and airlines including Jet Blue and United have announced that additional cutbacks in service and hiring will be made in order to help manage the financial decline caused by fear of travel.
Updated March 4, 2020
Central banks around the world, including the Federal Reserve, have lowered interest rates in an effort to stimulate the economy in the face of widespread damage caused by the coronavirus. Still, analysts are concerned that many countries aren’t equipped to handle the crisis fully, as they don’t have enough funds to launch the massive stimulus needed to mitigate the damage.
Hong Kong’s business activity hit a record low in February, reports showed, with the region’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) hitting 33.1, the lowest level since 1998. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority slashed its base rate by 50 basis points to 1.5 percent, following the Fed’s move.
On Tuesday, Chinese health official confirmed 119 new cases and 38 deaths. South Korea had 516 new cases as of Wednesday morning. Three new deaths were reported in Washington state, and new diagnoses were made in New York state, and in North Carolina, raising concerns further that the virus is not sufficiently contained. A new case of coronavirus was also diagnosed in New Zealand.
Updated March 3, 2020
China recently reported its lowest number in a month of coronavirus cases, leaving the number of new infections at 125 and the death toll in the last 24 hours at 31. Nevertheless, the epidemic continues spreading to the rest of the world, being South Korea, Italy, and Iran the countries that lead in terms of the number of infections.
Markets are expecting a coordinated action from the main Central Banks against the effects of the outbreak. President Donald Trump called the Federal Reserve to join the Reserve Bank of Australia on its effort to face the epidemic through monetary policy easing, aiding the market's expectations.
Updated March 2, 2020:
Though the death toll related to coronavirus cases in China remained fairly low over the weekend, new cases were reported in countries previously unaffected by the virus, widening concern that the containment efforts are failing. Among the new regions to report coronavirus infections are Indonesia with two cases, and New York City, which saw its first case over the weekend, a woman who recently traveled to Iran. The United States also reported its second death from the virus on Sunday. 476 additional cases were reported in South Korea, along with four additional deaths, bringing the country’s death toll to 22.
Gold prices soared on Monday in response to the new cases, with gold futures up 2.477 percent in the mid-afternoon in Asia.
Updated: March 1, 2020
Both Thailand and Australia reported their first deaths from the coronavirus over the weekend. On Saturday, 35 people died from the virus in China, down from 47 deaths on Friday. Many people are hopeful that the continued decline of daily deaths in China points to a peak in the virus, though a daily increase of new cases across the globe remains troubling, even though there have been only isolated deaths in other regions. Several airlines have canceled flights to Milan after the virus was though to have spread there. Elal Israel Airlines and American Airlines are two of those who have paused service to Milan.
The U.S. government has raised its travel advisory for South Korea, Iran, and Italy. The S&P 500 slumped 11 percent last week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 12 percent, largely thanks to profit taking and selloffs due to concern surrounding how the coronavirus will continue to impact the global economy.
Updated on February 27, 2020
The Dow Jones Industrial Average looks poised to fall some 450 points on Thursday after the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced the first diagnosis of coronavirus in a patient that has not traveled recently. The Dow dropped more than 100 points on Wednesday, and has plunged over 2,000 points this week. The index is on target to see its worst weekly performance since 2008.
In China there were 433 new cases and 26 deaths reported on Wednesday, down significantly from the peaks, which may offer some optimism that the virus is under control. Still, a slew of new cases across the globe has traders concerned that the worst may still be yet to come.
Updated on February 26, 2020
U.S. stocks sold off strongly on Tuesday for the second consecutive day as traders remained fearful that the coronavirus would become a pandemic. Asian indexes were broadly lower on Wednesday, though without the severe losses seen on Wall Street.
Several countries have started to ban travelers from South Korea due to the increase in cases in the country. Among the countries barring entry to people who have been in South Korea are Vietnam, the Philippines, and Singapore. The United Arab Emirates has announced that it will be carefully monitoring all people entering the country, after its neighbor, Iran, announced upwards of 90 cases, and 16 deaths, the highest numbers outside of China to date.
Early Wednesday morning Chinese health officials reported 406 new diagnoses of the virus and 52 new deaths on Tuesday, February 25. 401 of the new cases were in the Hubei province.
Hong Kong reported a record budget deficit on Wednesday and renewed its commitment to helping residents with financial stimulus. The deficit was caused largely by the protests in the region as well as coronavirus fears and the slow of business in the area. The stimulus is expected to help companies and private households, but is not expected to stop the economic downturn, which is expected to get worse before a real recovery begins.
Updated February 25, 2020
Global markets were broadly lower on Tuesday, February 24, after a slew of new cases of coronavirus was announced around the world. Iran reported that 61 people have been infected, and that 12 have died from the lethal virus. South Korea reported 60 new cases, bringing the total of infections in the country to 893. China reported 71 new deaths and 508 new infections on Monday. The virus was found to have infected passengers on a Korean Air flight, and health officials are now trying to track those who may have also been infected.