COVID-19 Monitor

Last Updated:July 3, 2020

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Canada’s economy saw record 11.6% drop in April, but signs of rebound emerging (The Globe and Mail) Published on: June 30, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business, Economic Impact
  • Canada’s real GDP is likely to grow 3 per cent in May, bouncing back from a record decline in April, Statistics Canada said in a flash estimate on Tuesday, as businesses across the country began to reopen following coronavirus-linked shutdowns.
  • The goods-producing sector posted a 17.0 per cent decrease, led by sharp declines in manufacturing and construction, with the service sector down 9.7 per cent on sharp plunges in the hospitality, retail and transportation sectors, the StatsCan data showed.
  • “April was a ‘mense horribilis’ for the Canadian economy, and the only thing good about it was that in all likelihood it marked the bottom of this short but extremely deep recession,” Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said in a note.
E.U. Formalizes Reopening, Barring Travelers From U.S. (NY Times) Published on: June 30, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • The list of nations that European Union countries have approved includes Australia, Canada and New Zealand, while travelers from China will be permitted if China reciprocates.
  • The list of safe countries will be reviewed every two weeks to reflect the changing realities of the coronavirus outbreaks in individual nations, officials said, and countries could be added or removed from the list.
  • Exceptions are also being made for travelers from countries outside the safe list, including health care workers, diplomats, humanitarian workers, transit passengers, asylum seekers and students, as well as “passengers traveling for imperative family reasons” and foreign workers whose employment in Europe is deemed essential.
Companies Hit by Covid-19 Want Insurance Payouts. Insurers Say No. (WSJ) Published on: June 30, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • A cavalcade of restaurateurs, retailers and others hurt by pandemic shutdowns have sued to force their insurers to cover billions in business losses.
  • But insurance companies have largely refused to pay claims under this coverage, citing a standard requirement for physical damage.
  • More than half of property policies in force today specifically exclude viruses. The firms filing the lawsuits mostly hold policies without that exclusion.
The radical technologies to keep offices clear of coronavirus (FT) Published on: June 30, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • The big challenges posed by the virus indoors are the collection of particles on surfaces and the flow of air between individuals.
  • NitroPep’s spikes are tiny antimicrobial agents that can be added to desks, walls and other surfaces and rupture anything with a membrane that lands on them.
  • Coronavirus has even turbocharged demand for UV disinfecting robots. Danish company UVD Robots was the first company to invent these machines, which travel around buildings emitting UV light that leaves bacteria and viruses too damaged to function.
If and when there is a COVID-19 vaccine, will people actually get it? (Poynter) Published on: June 30, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • Think it is hard to get people to wear a mask? Wait until health workers try to vaccinate the entire population.
  • A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that if a COVID-19 vaccine were available today and proven effective, only 54% of Black adults would be willing to get it, compared to 74% of white adults.
  • For one thing, health insurance companies could tell their customers that they have to get vaccinated if they want coverage when they get sick.
  • A plurality of U.S. adults (38%) say they now find it harder to identify “what is true and what is false about the outbreak,” while three-in-ten say they are finding this easier to do. Another 31% say the difficulty of parsing truth from fiction has not changed.
Survey: Americans trust CDC most, Trump least for information about COVID-19 (The Hill) Published on: June 30, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • The majority of respondents to the survey, 64 per cent, said the CDC and other public health organizations get the facts right almost or most of the time regarding COVID-19.
  • Pew’s survey found that 50 per cent of Americans said the same about their “local news media” and 44 per cent said so about “the news media in general.”
  • The White House task force held its first coronavirus briefings since May on Friday, amid spikes across the country, largely in the South and the West.
Choosing the right path to unlock the economy (McKinsey) Published on: June 30, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • How should governments approach the different possible paths to reopening their economies? And what is needed to spur businesses and consumers to start spending again?
  • Flattening the infection curve as fast as possible and ensuring hospital capacity, treatment and testing were the imperatives to safeguard our lives.
  • The expansion of treatment capacity has been impressive; we can think back to when Wuhan managed to build a hospital in two weeks, and no one in Europe or the US believed it would be possible there—but it was.
The Video Call Is Starting. Time to Put on Your Zoom Shirt. (NY Times) Published on: June 29, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • If you ask, people who have managed to stay employed during the pandemic will confess to owning a Zoom Shirt: a top, typically kept on the back of the computer chair or a hanger nearby, that they pop on in the moments before their webcam lights up.
  • Maria Rugolo, an apparel industry analyst for the NPD Group, said her company had run a poll showing that only 10 per cent of people get dressed for working at home at the start of the day and change into “comfortable clothes” later.
  • Ironically, a garment that rarely leaves a single room needs the same qualities as a travel shirt: durable, easy to store, able to front in a variety of social settings. It also must come on and off in a flash.
Lufthansa to link Covid-19 tests with tickets in effort to avoid quarantine (FT) Published on: June 29, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • Lufthansa is to offer passengers Covid-19 tests at Frankfurt airport that provide results within hours and can be linked to individual tickets in an effort to allow travellers to avoid quarantine.
  • The introduction of mandatory quarantines in several countries, including the UK, for international visitors, has hit airlines attempting to increase their long-haul flights in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Research carried out for the airline trade association Iata found that more than 80 per cent of travellers were concerned about being forced to quarantine at their destination, or upon their return to their home countries.
‘Kat’ Returns to the Office. Her Employer Is Watching Her Closely. (WSJ) Published on: June 29, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • Follow a day in the life of a fictional U.S. office worker coming back after working remotely during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • A thermal camera in her building’s lobby again checks her temperature, while her Bluetooth ID badge notifies a nearby sensor that she has arrived.
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signals from her smartphone log the amount of time she spends at least six feet away from colleagues, factoring that into a score.
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