COVID-19 Monitor

Last Updated:March 28, 2020

Navigator Sight is an AI-powered news service for decision makers to stay abreast of the issues that matter most. As readers engage with a story, our machine learning algorithm improves. View updates here or sign up below to receive them in your inbox.

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Navigator Sight: AI-powered COVID-19 news service for decision makers


Times like these remind us of the importance of decision-making based on sound data and informed opinions.

Like all Canadians, Navigator is carefully watching the development and spread of the COVID-19 virus and working to appropriately adapt our business practices.

The volume of information is overwhelming, making it difficult to identify information and opinions that matter most in any news cycle. To help you make sense of it all, Navigator Sight uses AI and machine learning to separate the signal from the noise. Browse the latest recommendations or subscribe to receive email updates.


Trump invokes federal law to force GM to make ventilators (FT) Published on: March 27, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • President Donald Trump deployed the government’s powers to compel General Motors to make ventilators needed to help healthcare providers treat patients that contract coronavirus, as the number of US cases continues to grow.
  • “Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course,” the White House said in a statement. “GM was wasting time.”
  • Although GM has closed all its plants in North America, 1,000 UAW members will return to work to make the ventilators. The company also plans to make surgical masks at a Warren, Michigan, plant reaching 50,000 per day in two weeks.
Bank of Canada ventures into uncharted territory to fight coronavirus fallout (Financial Post) Published on: March 27, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business, Economic Impact
  • Along with the interest-rate cut, the central bank said it will begin buying at least $5 billion worth of government bonds per week until the economy turns around.
  • The Bank of Canada’s trading desk has been watching markets for government bonds, mortgage-backed securities, and short-term business loans become increasingly rigid as lenders attach severe risk premiums to the interest rates they charge in normal times.
  • Poloz avoided arithmetical predictions about the future. He said the Bank of Canada will release its quarterly economic report on April 15.
China Shuts Down All Cinemas, Again (Hollywood Reporter) Published on: March 27, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • Over 600 movie theaters across China were given the green light to reopen their doors over the past week, but Beijing’s Film Bureau put out a notice late Friday ordering all theaters to go back into shutdown.
  • “This second closure will not be a one- or two-week issue,” an executive at a major exhibition company told The Hollywood Reporter, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of commenting on government policy related to the coronavirus.
  • On Thursday, China halted most incoming flights and imposed a blanket ban on the entry of all foreigners, even those with work permits.
Some U.S. Cities Could Have Coronavirus Outbreaks Worse Than Wuhan’s (NY Times) Published on: March 27, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • If its rate of growth in coronavirus cases continues, the New York City metropolitan area will suffer a more severe outbreak than those experienced in Wuhan, China, or the Lombardy region of Italy.
  • But as an epidemic progresses, the number of cases per capita can provide a good measure of the prevalence of coronavirus in a community.
  • By this measure, the situation in New York does not appear promising. The rate of increase in cases is far higher than it was in Wuhan or Lombardy, once they had reached similar numbers of cases.
  • Other metropolitan areas, like Detroit and New Orleans, stand out as places where a coronavirus outbreak might escalate quickly without preventive measures.
New Rochelle, Once a Coronavirus Hot Spot, May Now Offer Hope (NY Times) Published on: March 27, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • “Everybody talks about flattening the curve, and I think that’s exactly what we were able to do,” a health official said.
  • The state took drastic measures that stirred a backlash, including creating a containment zone. But now, the latest data indicates that the measures may be starting to work.
  • Over the last four days, only 38 new cases were reported to the county.
Canada can ignore drug, device patents during outbreak under new law (Reuters) Published on: March 26, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business, Economic Impact
  • Canada’s emergency legislation on the coronavirus crisis gives the health minister powers to circumvent patent law and ensure medical supplies, medication or vaccines can be produced locally.
  • Ventilators could be the legislation’s first target, pharmaceutical consultancy PDCI Market Access said in a note to clients.
  • Canada’s main pharmaceutical lobby group, Innovative Medicines Canada, said it was concerned that the legislation did not require the government to check in with the original manufacturer to see what it can supply before authorizing others to step in.
Lessons from Asian banks on their coronavirus response (McKinsey) Published on: March 26, 2020 | Category: Global Response, Leadership
  • Financial institutions in countries initially affected by the pandemic moved quickly to safeguard their employees, transform their operations, and serve customers in new ways.
  • To guide the pandemic response, many financial institutions formed a response-management unit composed of executive-level, cross-functional teams.
  • In defining remote and work-from-home setups, bank executives considered both the level of human interaction required for certain tasks and the degree to which work can be segmented and individualized.
Chefs, DJs, teachers: the rise of the lockdown celebrity (FT) Published on: March 26, 2020 | Category: Leadership
  • On Monday, the first day of the country’s lockdown, Mr Wicks’s exercise class attracted about 869,000 live viewers.
  • While celebrities and influencers have traditionally broadcast aspirational content relating to fashion and travel, now, with travel bans in place and no events to dress up for, social media platforms are producing more everyday stars: DJs live-streaming from their bedrooms, teachers hosting classes over YouTube and chefs broadcasting cooking tutorials on Instagram Live.
  • On Tuesday, for instance, Facebook said in a blog post that users had been spending 70 per cent more time across its apps in Italy since the crisis took hold, while Instagram and Facebook Live views in the country had doubled in a week.
The Coronavirus War Economy Will Change the World (Foreign Policy) Published on: March 26, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • There are models less reliant on the private sector than the DPA; one important peacetime predecessor is the New Deal-era Works Progress Administration. This sort of public scheme would be able to put to work the large numbers of workers who are facing unemployment in the coming weeks and months.
  • As one financial analyst pointed out, “lockdown economics” is in many ways the exact opposite of the wartime economics of total mobilization.
  • But this is not a problem of prioritizing expenditures or limited resources. The issue is sustaining circulation. In the short run, the demands of disease prevention (quarantine measures) and care (hospitalization) will put the livelihood of those dependent on other forms of capitalist production at risk. Only massive government intervention to protect the channels of economic circulation can resolve this tension in a way that does not sacrifice the former for the latter.
  • Despite being framed as exceptional wartime or postwar measures, many provisions rapidly became entrenched.
  • There is no precedent for the asymmetric mix of mobilization and demobilization of labor that we are witnessing right now.
Cohen: Why Canada’s response to COVID-19 is so different from that of the U.S. (Ottawa Citizen) Published on: March 26, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business, Global Response
  • The prime minister appears in public every day, alone, outside his residence. He speaks sensibly, with authority, without hyperbole. This has been his finest hour.
  • Nor do we question the competence of his ministers who are the other faces of the crisis – Chrystia Freeland, Marc Garneau, Patty Hajdu, Bill Blair. All are calm, competent and professional. This is what we want.
  • Canadians accept big government, which is how we built the social welfare state. Two-thirds of us voted for progressives last year. We defer to authority.
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