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GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 13.1 million – infections still on the rise in the Americas

14 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 13,113,000 with over 573,000 deaths and 7,268,000 recoveries.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths continues to rise in the US, as it remains the country with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths continues to rise in Central and South America, especially in Brazil and Peru.

Both countries are currently included in the top ten countries with highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths.

The UK has the seventh highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and the third highest number of Covid-19 deaths.

However, both the number of daily confirmed cases and deaths have been decreasing.

Nanthida Nanthavong, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

11:08 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 13 million – cities and states returning to tighter restrictions worldwide

14 July

Global: More than 13 million people around the world have now been confirmed to have had the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The five most affected countries include United States (3,361,042), Brazil (884,967), India (878,254), Russia (732,547) and Peru (330,123).

Australia: In the Australian state of Victoria, 270 new cases of the virus were identified overnight. Staff from the private sector including airlines, telecommunications companies and banks, as well as 1,000 additional Australian defence force personnel, will be deployed to help efforts to contain Covid-19 in the state.

UK: Britain must start “intense preparations” for a second wave of coronavirus that has the potential to kill as many as 120,000 hospital patients in a worst-case scenario, experts have warned. In addition, the British government will announce on Tuesday that people will have to wear masks when they go into a shop from July 24.

US: More than 880 employees of private contractors running US immigration detention centres have tested positive, according to congressional testimony given by company executives.

Japan: Health officials in Tokyo, Japan, appealed on Tuesday for more than 800 theatregoers to get tested after a production starring a Japanese boy band was found to be the source of at least 20 cases.

DRC: Ebola is spreading in the western Democratic Republic of the Congo, with nearly 50 known cases across a region bordering the Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

China: The wave of coronavirus cases connected with Beijing’s wholesale market that began in June appears to have been brought under control with no new cases of the disease reported in the Chinese capital for eight successive days.

Lockdown updates

Global: Cities and states around the world returned to tighter coronavirus restrictions to battle recurring outbreaks, as global infections passed 13 million and the World Health Organization warned there were “no shortcuts out of the pandemic”.

US: California’s governor Gavin Newsom ordered all bars to close statewide and all restaurants, cinemas and museums to halt indoor operations, in a dramatic rolling back of reopening efforts as cases continue to surge. The US has reported roughly 60,000 new cases a day for almost a week, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

China: Hong Kong will impose strict new social distancing measures from midnight on Tuesday, the most stringent there since the start of the pandemic, as authorities warned the risk of a large-scale outbreak was extremely high. Hong Kong has also introduced fines for anyone refusing to wear a mask on public transport.

Australia: As cases passed 10,000 on Tuesday, the state of New South Wales also introduced restrictions on bars. The measures are partly in response to a new cluster at a Sydney pub called The Crossroads. New South Wales recorded 13 new cases as of Monday evening, in addition to ten cases connected to the pub.

Philippines: In the Philippines, a quarter of a million people in Manila will return to lockdown in an attempt to stall the infection rate there. With just over 57,000 cases, the Philippines has the second-highest number of infections in south-east Asia. Nearly 1,600 people have died in the country over the course of the pandemic so far.

Mexico: An entire hospital in Mexico’s southern Oaxaca state has been put in quarantine, after 68% of its remaining staff tested positive.

Malaysia and Singapore: are to ease border restrictions between the two countries to support essential business and official traffic, as well as residents who have long-term work permits for the other country.

Economic updates

US: The New York Times reported that about 5.4 million Americans lost health insurance in the pandemic, more than have ever lost coverage through job losses in a year, according to a new study, as the Trump administration ramped up its war with Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s top public health expert, over the handling of the crisis.

Singapore: Singapore’s economy suffered a coronavirus-induced record contraction in the second quarter, putting it on course for its worst-ever slump this year. Gross domestic product (GDP) plunged by a record 41.2% in the three months ended March, on a quarter-on-quarter annualised basis, preliminary data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry showed on Tuesday.

China: Intensive testing of meat, seafood and other products for the coronavirus has tripled customs clearance times at some major Chinese ports, raising concerns the delays could ensnare global trade flows.

9:18 am

Coronavirus company news summary – US shale output to fall to two-year low – China’s crude imports increase

14 July

The US Energy Information Administration has said that the crude output from seven major shale formations will drop to a two-year low next month. In the monthly productivity forecast, the agency said that the production will be around 7.49 million barrels per day (bpd) in August. It comes after the number of operating oil and gas rigs in the US dropped to a record low of 258 in the week to 10 July.

Oil Search has unveiled plans to write off around $380m from some exploration assets and a gas-to-power project in Papua New Guinea. In a statement to the stock exchange, the company said that it will record an impairment between $360m and $400m in its half-year results. However, the decision would not impact its cash earnings.

China’s crude oil imports rose for the second consecutive month amid the Covid-19 crisis, Reuters reported citing data from the General Administration of Customs. In June, China received 53.18 million tonnes of oil (equivalent to 12.9 million bpd), significantly higher compared to 11.3 million bpd of oil imported in May.

Norway’s Aker Solutions has said that it expects to achieve better financial results in second quarter than it had anticipated due to the implementation of cost-saving measures and higher activity. In the second quarter, the company is expecting an operating revenue of about NOK5.4bn ($570m) and EBITDA of around NOK230m ($24.33m).

8:39 am

UK house prices could crash by 30% during ‘Covid crunch’

14 July

As Covid-19 is expected to cause the worst global recession since the World War II according to the World Bank’s analysis, the UK housing prices could crash by 20%-30%, opined Jonathan Davis sharing an article published by Anthony Codling, CEO at property platform twindig.

The article highlights that the current situation in housing is different from that during the credit crunch.

Anthony Codling, a former Executive Director at JP Morgan Cazenove, articulated the housing situation during ‘Covid crunch’ as seller drought and that during the credit crunch as buyer drought.

Despite the seller drought, Codling feels downward pressure on housing prices due to growing fear of unemployment and mortgages getting more expensive and limited as banks step up to protect their balance sheets.

Read more

10:14 am

UK oil and gas sector loses 7,500 jobs amid Covid-19 pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has slashed 7,500 jobs in the UK oil and gas sector, with industry body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) predicting that up to 30,000 positions could be lost in the future.

The announcement follows the long-term prediction made earlier this year, as a combination of financial uncertainty amid the Covid-19 crisis and tumbling oil prices combine to cause significant disruption to the UK oil and gas industry. On Friday, OGUK CEO Deirdre Michie told Scottish MPs that operators have had to cut activity levels by 40% in order to maintain profit margins amid disrupted production and revenue dropping by around 30%.

“Jobs are under pressure,” said Michie. “We put out a report about two to three weeks ago that put out an estimate that, if current conditions continue to prevail, up to 30,000 jobs could be lost across the industry. That is a very challenging situation to find ourselves in.”

9:31 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Nigeria’s oil savings drops to $72.41m – IEA raises 2020 oil demand forecast

13 July

The number of oil and gas rigs operating in the US fell for the consecutive tenth week to a record low amid Covid-19 crisis. In the week to 10 July, the figure dropped to 258, according to the data reported by energy services firm Baker Hughes. However, the rate of fall has reduced in the recent weeks with several energy firms resuming drilling operations.

Nigeria’s excess crude account, an oil savings account which holds US currency against crude oil sales, has $72.41m as of 7 July. The figure dropped from $324.54m held on 20 November last year, reported Reuters. Nigeria is one of the biggest oil exporters in Africa and crude oil sales account for nearly 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has increased its 2020 oil demand forecast as relaxations of Covid-19 related curbs increased fuel demand. The agency revised its forecast to 92.1 million barrels per day (bpd), an increase of 400,000 bpd from its earlier outlook last month. However, IEA also warned that the increase in coronavirus cases in several countries continue to threaten the outlook.

According to a Reuters report, the Russian currency Rouble has further weakened as Covid-19 cases continue to increase. Primarily, the record-breaking surge in US coronavirus cases has affected Russian rouble. On 10 July, the currency was 0.5% weaker against US Dollar at 71.26.

9:27 am

International Update: Record 24 hour increase in Covid-19 cases – US state of Florida records more than 15,000 infections in one day

13 July

Global: The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours. The biggest increases were recorded in the United States, Brazil, India and South Africa.

A new report by Oxfam warns that the hunger crisis worsened by the pandemic could potentially kill more people each day than the infection itself, which has claimed more than half a million lives so far.

US: The state of Florida has registered 15,300 new infections on Sunday, the biggest daily increase in recorded coronavirus cases in any US state since the beginning of the pandemic.

Current hospitalisations in the US state of Texas rose by 327 to a new high of 10,410, a record high for the 14th day in a row.

New York City, once the epicenter of the US coronavirus outbreak, reported its first day with zero confirmed or probable virus deaths on Sunday since the pandemic began, according to initial data from the city’s health department.

Japan and the United States are sharing information about coronavirus cases at US military bases in Okinawa prefecture, a government spokesman said on Monday, after 62 new cases were confirmed at three bases.

Brazil: Brazil, the world’s number-two coronavirus hot spot after the United States, has registered 631 new deaths, with a new total of 1,864,681 confirmed cases, Reuters news agency reported quoting the country’s health ministry.

Mexico: Mexico’s coronavirus death toll passed Italy’s on Sunday, AFP reports, becoming the fourth-highest globally, with at least 35,006 fatalities over the course of the pandemic so far.

Argentina: Argentina has exceeded 100,000 cases of novel coronavirus infections as it struggles to contain spiralling case rates despite a strict quarantine imposed on the capital Buenos Aires and its surroundings.

Australia: The Australian state of New South Wales has recorded 14 new cases of coronavirus in the 24-hours to 8pm last night. Eight of the new cases are connected to a cluster at a restaurant and pub, the Crossroads Hotel. They include five people who had attended the hotel and three of their close contacts.

Philippines: The Philippines’ health ministry on Monday confirmed 162 new coronavirus deaths, the country’s biggest single-day increase in casualties, as a health ministry official said authorities validated some earlier cases included in the tally.

South Korea: One in three South Korean patients seriously ill with Covid-19 showed an improvement in their condition after being given Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral remdesivir, Reuters news agency reported on Monday quoting health authorities.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 159 to 198,963, Reuters news agency reported on Monday citing data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

UK: The UK said 650 more people tested positive, in line with the average 0.2% increase in the previous seven days, bringing the total to 289,603. The death toll climbed by 21 to 44,819.

Lockdown updates

US: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos pushed the administration’s position of opening schools in the fall, despite a heavy rate of Covid-19 infections in many states, in two Sunday-morning interviews.

Spain: Regional authorities in northeast Spain have tightened a health lockdown and confined over 140,000 people to only leaving their homes for work and other essential activities, the Associated Press news agency reported.

South Africa: President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has reinstated a ban on the sale of alcohol to reduce the volume of trauma patients so that hospitals have more beds to treat Covid-19 patients.

State of Palestine: The Palestinian Authority on Sunday imposed a night-time and weekend curfew on the occupied West Bank for the coming 14 days to try to rein in rising coronavirus numbers.

Singapore: Singapore can return to tackling Covid-19 and “other urgent challenges” with the general election over, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Facebook post. The country’s cinemas are reopening Monday as part of a plan to ease restrictions.

China: The Hong Kong government will decide on Monday whether it will tighten social distancing measures, Radio Television Hong Kong reported, without saying where it got the information. Any decision would be announced as soon as Monday.

8:40 am

EU post Covid-19 economic recovery mirage will fade, says US economist

13 July

As the recession induced by Covid-19 affects the world economies, economists recall the situation caused by the 1918 flu pandemic.

Although the June economic data suggests that the US economy has improved, emerging trends suggest that the situation is getting worse again.

However, Daniel Lacalle, chief economist at Tressis Gestion, is upbeat about the recovery in the US compared to the Eurozone.

In one of his latest live shows, Lacalle opined that the economic recovery in the US will be better than that of Eurozone, where the mirage of recovery will fade as ‘demographics, high taxes, and bloated government spending’ work to a disadvantage.

Lacalle believes that US will outperform the Eurozone over the long run despite the temporary setbacks caused by Covid-19.

Read more

2:47 pm

IEA raises 2020 oil demand forecast amid further Covid-19 disruptions

The International Energy Agency (IEA), the autonomous intergovernmental organisation, has increased its 2020 oil demand forecast as it warned that the spread of Covid-19 poses new risks to the future oil outlook.

Today, IEA raised its forecast to 92.1 million barrels per day (bpd), a 400,000-bpd increase from its outlook last month, as the easing of lockdown measures in many countries has caused a rebound to fuel deliveries in May and June.

Despite that, global oil supply fell by 2.4 million bpd in June, to a 9-year low of 86.9 million bpd. Meanwhile, crude oil floating storage fell by 34.9 million barrels, to 176.4 million barrels, from the all-time high seen in May.

The IEA said in its monthly report: “While the oil market has undoubtedly made progress … the large, and in some countries, accelerating number of Covid-19 cases is a disturbing reminder that the pandemic is not under control and the risk to our market outlook is almost certainly to the downside.”

Oil refining activities in 2020 are also set to decline by more than the organisation had expected last month and to grow less in 2021, IEA said.

“For refiners, any benefit from improving demand is likely to be offset by expectations of much tighter feedstock markets ahead. Refining margins will also be challenged by a major product stocks overhang from the very weak second quarter of 2020,” the IEA said.

Around the world, demand dived by 16.4 million bpd in the second quarter of 2020 in response to national lockdowns and international travel bans.

Demand in 2021 is anticipated to be 2.6 million bpd below its 2019 levels, as kerosene and jet fuel will make up about three-quarters of the losses due to reduced air travel.

However, a quick recovery of demand in large consumer counties China and India is hoped to lead to a partial market recovery and some stability in 2021.

10:58 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global cases of Covid-19 over 12,270,000 – record rise in South Africa – further spike in Hong Kong

10 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 12,270,000, with over 555,000 deaths and 6,740,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, total confirmed cases and total deaths continue to rise.

This is primarily driven by high number of cases reported in North and Latin America, and South Asia.

More specifically, the US, Brazil, and India contribute approximately 45% of cases to the global confirmed case burden, and over 40% of deaths to the global death toll.

Cases are rising in Africa driven by record rise in daily new cases in South Africa.

Hong Kong kept the Covid-19 cases under control in the first wave of this pandemic.

However, a spike in new cases caused by local transmission have been reported in recent days, and Hong Kong is planning to suspend all the schools to control the outbreak.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:07 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Nopsema to resume physical inspections – US oil and gas sector may see additional bankruptcies

10 July

India’s fuel demand has further increased last month as economic activity resumed following a Covid-19 related lockdown, Reuters reported citing government data. In June, refined fuel consumption jumped to 16.29 million tonnes, an 11% increase from the previous month. However, the fuel demand is still 7.9% less compared to the figures recorded a year ago.

US-based Noble Energy is planning to remove most of the curtailments on oil production as crude prices have recovered from record lows in April. In the second quarter, the company trimmed production by an average of 11,000 barrels of oil per day. Overall, US shale drillers reduced supply by around 2 million barrels per day as demand plummeted following Covid-19 pandemic, reported Reuters.

Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (Nopsema) is set to resume physical inspections of offshore oil and gas facilities gradually. The agency plans to restart inspections next month, subject to availability of safety arrangements. During the pandemic, Nopsema resorted to virtual inspections to comply with the government’s physical distancing and safety guidelines.

A report by the international corporate law firm Haynes and Boone has said that North American oil and gas sector is expected to see further bankruptcies this year due to bleak market conditions. The report noted that there were 18 producer bankruptcies in the second quarter of this year. Haynes and Boone lawyers further anticipate a fall in demand due to the recent increase in Covid-19 cases.

9:46 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases near 12.3 million – US cases rise by almost 62,000 in a day

10 July

Global: There are 12,272,098 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data, and 554,989 deaths.

US: Coronavirus cases in the US rose by 61,791 from a day earlier to 3.08 million, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News. It was the first time the number of reported new cases exceeded the 60,000-a-day mark.

Texas reported a record number of deaths for the third straight day, topping 100 for the first time. Total fatalities rose 3.7%, to 2,918. The sharp increase in deaths this week follows a similar upturn in cases about three weeks ago.

The US state of California filed a lawsuit seeking to block a Trump administration rule that could force tens of thousands of international students to leave the country if their schools hold all classes online amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mexico: Mexico on Thursday posted a fresh record for new coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 7,280 cases, bringing its overall tally of infections to 282,283, health ministry data showed.

Australia: The Australian state of Victoria recorded 288 new cases – the highest one-day total for an Australian state since the outbreak began. The Australian government decided to cut incoming international passengers, including citizens, by half as well as charging them for their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

South Africa: South Africa announced on Thursday its highest daily number of confirmed coronavirus cases with 13,674.

UK: The UK has turned down the chance to join a European Union coronavirus vaccination program after ministers expressed concern about “costly delays,” the Telegraph reports, citing unidentified people in the government.

Lockdown updates

Japan: Japan is forging ahead with further steps to re-open the economy even as daily coronavirus cases continue to climb, with local media reporting Tokyo posted a daily record of over 240 infections on Friday.

New Zealand: New Zealand’s government has revealed that a third person has absconded from a managed isolation facility, saying a man cut through a fence so that he could go to buy some alcohol.

Singapore: Singaporeans voted in a general election Friday as the city-state struggles to recover from a coronavirus outbreak. The country has 45,423 active cases. At least 26 people have died.

UK: Recreational team sports are resuming in England, starting with cricket on Saturday, the same day that outdoor swimming pools can reopen. Beauticians, salons and spas can reopen on Monday, followed by gyms and indoor pools on July 25, according to UK government announcements.

China: Hong Kong is set to announce the suspension of all schools after a spike in locally transmitted coronavirus cases, the South China Morning Post reported.

China’s embassy in Kazakhstan has warned its citizens to take precautions against an outbreak of pneumonia in the country that it says is more lethal than Covid-19.

Algeria: Algeria will reimpose travel restrictions on Friday and increase testing in a bid to stop a rise in coronavirus infections, the government said.

7:18 am

FDI projected to contract by at least 30% due to Covid-19

10 July

The Covid-19 pandemic has undone years of economic globalisation as foreign direct investments have been disrupted like never before.

Developing countries are the most affected as foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows are expected to drop below the global average.

As the recovery from the pandemic prolongs and FDI inflows drop, developing countries are expected to lose export revenues consequently impact employment opportunities.

Stephany Griffith-Jones, an economist, shared an article on how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting the flow of global FDI.

The article notes that developing countries are expected to be the worst affected due to this disruption of FDI.

The pandemic led to a capital outflow of $83bn in late March from developing countries, which is the largest ever recorded.

Further, global FDI flows are projected to contract by 30%-%40 between 2020 and 2021.

All sectors are expected to be affected particularly airlines, leisure, and restaurants.

Read more

9:48 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Irving Oil to lay off 6% of its workforce – OMV’s Q2 output falls 5%

9 July

Irving Oil has announced that it is downsizing 6% of its global workforce due to the economic fallout as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. This constitutes to layoffs of about 250 people from its workforce in Canada, the US, Ireland and the UK.

Vietnam’s state-owned firm PetroVietnam reportedly considers its investment in renewable energy sources such as wind farms and floating solar panels. The latest move comes as the company’s domestic crude oil production has ‘peaked’ at many of its offshore fields, Reuters reported.

Austrian oil and gas firm OMV’s Q2-2020 production output fell 5% compared to Q2-2019 and fell 2% from the first quarter this year. The drop is largely due to lockdown measures in wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, Libyan disruptions, as well as plunging demand.

9:37 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases total 12,043,922 – record daily rises in Mexico and Argentina

9 July

Global: Covid-19 infections have passed 12 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, with 12,043,922 currently confirmed.

The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw US membership from the World Health Organization (WHO) could have life-threatening consequences for people around the globe, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, or MSF.

US: The US has surpassed three million confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. It said there have been 132,309 deaths among the total of 3,055,101 cases.

US Vice-President Mike Pence urged schools to reopen despite the pandemic, echoing comments from Trump. During a White House coronavirus task force briefing at the US department of education, Pence said: “It’s time for us to get our kids back to school.” But many school officials are expressing doubts about their ability to safely reopen their doors.

President Trump threatened to withhold funding from schools that don’t reopen. The president also criticised the school reopening guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “very tough” and “expensive.”

Brazil: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro vetoed provisions of a law requiring government to provide drinking water, disinfectants and guaranteed hospital beds to indigenous communities amid the pandemic.

Mexico: Mexico has posted a fresh record for new coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 6,995 infections, overtaking Spain to register the world’s eighth highest case count, according to a Reuters news agency tally.

Argentina: Argentina has posted a daily record of 3,604 confirmed cases of Covid-19. The sharp rise, the first time daily cases have surpassed 3,000, took the total number to 87,030, fivefold the number at the start of June, though still well below caseloads in Brazil, Chile and Peru.

Chile: The number of coronavirus cases has passed the 301,000 mark in Chile, according to the Johns-Hopkins University tracker. The figure is currently 301,019, which is the sixth-highest in the world after the US, Brazil, India, Russia, and Peru.

Iran: Iran’s coronavirus death toll exceeded 12,000 on Wednesday, the health ministry said, with 153 deaths in the past 24 hours, amid a sharp rise in the number of daily infections and deaths in the past week as lockdown measures have eased.

Japan: Tokyo has recorded 224 new cases of coronavirus infection on Thursday, according to the public broadcaster NHK, surpassing the Japanese capital’s previous record of 206 infections on April 17.

Nigeria: Nigeria’s confirmed coronavirus cases has surpassed passed 30,000, Reuters reported quoting the country’s disease control centre, as the virus spreads in Africa’s most populous country amid an easing of restrictions put in place to curb the disease.

South Korea: South Korea has reported 50 new cases of the coronavirus as new clusters continue to emerge across the country, AP news agency reported.

China: China says it has nine new confirmed coronavirus cases, all of them brought from outside the country, and no new deaths, AP news agency reported.

The Chinese Government has announced that it is seeking international cooperation to conduct research projects on drugs, vaccines, test kits, and even traditional Chinese medicine to fight the coronavirus.

Hong Kong: Hong Kong has found at least 47 new locally-transmitted virus cases as of 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, HK01 reported. That topped the previous record of 28 daily local cases set in March. At least ten of the latest batch of cases were of unknown origin, HK01 said, indicating that authorities may struggle to contain the current outbreak.

Lockdown updates

Australia: Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, has re-entered lockdown, as the state of Victoria struggles to contain a coronavirus outbreak that has seen daily cases rise by over 100 for several days.

Italy: Italian authorities stopped 125 Bangladeshi people from entering the country today after they landed at Rome’s Fiumicino airport on a flight from Qatar. Yesterday, Italy suspended flights from Bangladesh for a week after 36 people who arrived in Rome on a flight the day before tested positive for coronavirus.

Austria: Austria’s government has announced travel restrictions for fellow EU members Romania and Bulgaria after a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in both countries.

Economy updates

Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned the European Union not to waste time in agreeing on a recovery plan to pull the continent out of a historic recession caused by the coronavirus lockdown. Merkel said she hoped to see a deal before the summer break on a proposed €750bn recovery plan.

UAE: Business conditions in Dubai showed signs of picking up in June as the city reopens after a lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.



8:28 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 infections pass 12 million – numbers rising fast in US, India and Brazil

9 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 12,042,000, with over 550,000 deaths and 6,590,000 recoveries.

Daily confirmed cases continue to rise rapidly across the world driven mainly by the US, Brazil and India which are reporting high number of daily new cases.

Latin and North America remains the most affected region as Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico and the US contribute roughly 47% to the total confirmed case burden in the world.

Cases are in gradual decline in the majority of European countries.

South Asia which includes countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh is one of the most populous areas in the world.

As these countries are reporting high numbers of new daily cases, with no indication that cases will decline in the near future, South Asia could be the next global pandemic hotspot after Latin America.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData

7:28 am

Covid-19 pandemic could shift the balance of economic power

9 July

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the weaknesses of various countries in responding to a disaster of such as a viral outbreak.

China has been quick in controlling the outbreak, while other countries are yet to bring it under control.

The quick spread of the pandemic and inability to bring it under control led a series of blame games and rivalries among some of the biggest nations.

As China quickly recovers, the balance of power may shift post-pandemic.

Konstantina Beleli, an economist and consultant, shared an article on how the Covid-19 pandemic is aggravating existing rivalries and blame games between nations.

The article notes that in the differences in economic and demographic growth is expected to shift the balance of power from the west to the east.

The pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in the European Union (EU), while intensifying the rivalries between the US, China and Russia.

Read more

11:29 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases increasing by 200,000 a day – US deaths pass 131,000 – UK to reveal mini budget

8 July

Global: There are nearly 11.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

The WHO says coronavirus cases are increasing by 200,000 a day, doubling from April and May. The WHO emergencies chief said that the number of Covid-19 deaths appeared to be stable for the moment, but he cautioned that there is often a lag time between when confirmed cases increase and when deaths are reported due to the time it takes for the coronavirus to run its course in patients.

The World Health Organization on Tuesday acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.

US: Known US coronavirus cases stand at almost three million, with 2,911,888 currently confirmed on the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The country’s death toll has passed 131,000 following a massive surge of new cases that has derailed efforts to restart the economy.

The US state of California has reported a record daily rise in confirmed cases of coronavirus – some 10,201 cases.

The US will withdraw the World Health Organisation (WHO) on 6 July 2021 under a 1948 joint resolution of the US Congress, which also obliges Washington to pay financial support. Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic challenger for the presidency, said he would return the US to the WHO once elected.

Brazil: President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for Covid-19. He said he began feeling ill on Sunday and has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug with unproven effectiveness against Covid-19. In addition, the country has recorded another 1,312 deaths and more than 48,000 new cases.

UK: Scientists at University College London are warning of the risk of brain damage from coronavirus. UCL researchers studied 43 patients who suffered either temporary brain dysfunction, stroke, nerve damage or other serious effects on their brain, and say the disease can lead to severe neurological complications including psychosis and delirium.

India: Mumbai will no longer require a doctor’s prescription from people seeking a test for coronavirus, as India’s largest city and the epicenter of its outbreak seeks to catch more cases early.

Japan: Tokyo has confirmed more than 100 virus cases for six straight days, yet there’s no sign a new state of emergency will be announced.

Lockdown updates

Australia: Australia’s coronavirus emergency cabinet will consider limiting the number of its citizens and residents returning home from overseas, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday. The prime minister added there were no plans to reimpose restrictions across the country, after Victoria, the country’s second-most populous state, enforced stay-at-home rules in metropolitan Melbourne and one regional area due to a spike in infections.

New Zealand: Officials are reviewing security at mandatory quarantine hotels after a man who tested positive for Covid-19 escaped and spent an hour wandering city streets.

Israel: Israel’s public health director has quit amid a spike in new coronavirus cases, saying the country had been too hasty to reopen its economy and had lost its way in dealing with the pandemic.

Economy updates

UK: Britain is to unveil a mini-budget to kickstart the UK economy, hoping costly infrastructure investment will help build its way out of the crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Finance minister Rishi Sunak is due to deliver his spending plans at 1130 GMT, having already flagged £3 billion ($3.7 billion, €3.3bn) of green investment.

Malaysia: Auditors for AirAsia, Southeast Asia’s biggest low cost carrier, have warned there is risk to the airline’s ability to continue in business as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

11:14 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 11.8 million – US infections reach 2.99 million as the rise continues

8 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 11,840,000, with over 544,000 deaths and 6,340,000 recoveries.

Daily confirmed cases continue to rise across the world.

The total confirmed cases in the US cases have now reached nearly three million and  will continue to rise rapidly in the near future.

Brazil and India which are the second and third most affected countries are also reporting high number of daily new cases.

In the majority of countries in Europe, cases are in decline although localized outbreaks have been reported in some countries.

Israel was one of the few countries which kept the Covid-19 cases under control in the first wave of this pandemic.

However, cases have started to spike in the recent days cancelling the earlier achievement and the country has re-imposed a lock-down.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData 

9:49 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Iran slashes oil production as stocks surge – Algeria seeks to transform oil-reliant economy

8 July

Iran has trimmed oil production to the lowest level in four decades, Reuters reported citing industry data. The production fell as stocks increased due to plummeting exports caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and other sanctions on Iran. A Reuters OPEC survey estimates that Iran’s crude production was around 1.9 million bpd last month.   

Algeria is preparing to introduce a new economic plan that seeks to reduce dependence on oil and gas sector. The move comes after the Covid-19 pandemic reduced oil prices, which in turn led to a significant drop in revenue delaying several projects. The new economic plan is expected to receive government approval in the coming days.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an agency of the US Department of Labor, has issued a Covid-19 guidance for oil and gas workers. The guidance requires companies to implement social distancing protocols at work places, ensure adequate ventilation, provide protective gear to workers and implement staggered timings to reduce contagion risks.

According to a Reuters report, Canadian oil companies have taken a cautious approach despite an improvement in oil prices. Most of the companies have trimmed operating expenses and seek to hold it at reduced levels. Crude prices are now hovering at around $40 a barrel from negative levels recorded in April.

7:33 am

Pandemic driven job losses ten times times higher than 2008 banking crisis

8 July

Unemployment rates have reached unprecedented levels globally due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The impact of the pandemic on jobs is ten times higher than the 2008 global financial crisis.

Despite the job retention schemes and unemployment benefits offered by governments, unemployment rates are not expected to recover until after 2021.

Miles Corak, professor of economics at The Graduate Center, shared statistics related to the job retention schemes implemented across various countries from an article published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The article details how the Covid-19 pandemic is leading to a collapse in economic activity and increasing unemployment rates, which is expected to reach 12% globally and 10% for OECD countries by the end of 2020.

Corak noted that these job retention programmes have not succeeded in Canada as businesses have not adopted them.

He added that temporary layoffs are turning into permanent layoffs resulting in an increase in the duration of unemployment and decline in earnings.

In other news, Fausto Panunzi, professor of economics at the University of Bocconi, shared an article on the revival of pawnshops in Italy.

With banks declining to extend loans and government aid packages set to end next month, Italians are turning to pawnshops for loans.

Read more

10:16 am

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 11.6 million as infections continue to rise – UK most heavily affected in Europe

7 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 11,620,000, with over 538,000 deaths and 6,303,000 recoveries.

Daily confirmed cases continue to rise across the world.

Of the top ten most affected countries, five countries are in North and Latin America. Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico and the US contribute roughly 45% to the total confirmed case burden in the world.

In Asia, India is continuing to report the high number of daily confirmed cases.

In the majority of countries in Europe, daily confirmed cases continue to decrease.

The UK has been the most heavily affected country in Europe with highest number of Covid-19 deaths.

The number of cases and deaths in the UK are in sharp decline in recent days.

However, localized outbreaks have been reported which may be an indicator of a potential resurgence of cases.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:10 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Eni to write-off $4bn from asset value – Several LNG projects delayed

7 July

A federal judge has ordered the 557,000 barrel-per-day Dakota Access pipeline in the US to shut down for environmental review, a step that is expected to boost oil shipments by rail. According to a Reuters report, it may help the struggling transport firms, which were forced to furlough employees due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. As per the federal order, the pipeline needs to be shut within a month.

Italy’s Eni has decided to write down around €3.5bn ($4bn) from the value of its assets after it reduced oil and gas price outlook due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. The company trimmed its 2023 long-term price assumption for Brent crude from $70 a barrel to $60 a barrel, Reuters reported citing a company statement. Eni also reiterated its pledge to reduce greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050.

A team of researchers at Global Energy Monitor has said that the Covid-19 pandemic and rising environmental concerns have delayed several LNG projects recently. It said that around 20 major LNG export projects in pre-construction development are delayed due to unavailability of necessary financing.

TSG Marine is set to utilise new technology to help the offshore industry in combating Covid-19 pandemic. The move will involve deploying a rapid sanitisation system to clean workplaces and providing non-contact screening equipment that is capable of identifying elevated temperatures in up to 30 people per second.

9:58 am

International Update: US Covid-19 cases near three million – infections in India pass 700,000 – Israel re-imposes restrictions

7 July

US: Known US coronavirus cases stand at almost three million, with 2,911,888 currently confirmed on the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The country’s death toll passed 130,000 on Monday, following a massive surge of new cases that has derailed efforts to restart the economy.

India: India has reported 467 new deaths on Tuesday, taking the toll to 20,160. It also recorded 22,252 new infections, increasing the total to 719,665. The country on Monday overtook Russia as the third most affected country globally, behind the United States and Brazil.

Australia: The state of Victoria, which is fighting a worsening coronavirus outbreak, has confirmed 191 new cases overnight, breaking yesterday’s record of 127 cases.

UK: Nearly one in six Britons will refuse a coronavirus vaccine if and when one becomes available, and a similar number are unsure whether they will get one, according to a survey. The findings come amid a significant rise in anti-vaccination sentiment on social media, and represent a threat to efforts to contain the disease.

South Africa: South Africa’s coronavirus cases have passed 200,000, the highest total in Africa. There are currently 205,721 cases and 3,310 deaths recorded, making it the 15th worst-affected country worldwide.

DRC: The Democratic Republic of Congo extended its coronavirus health emergency on Monday for 15 days, the sixth extension since March, with some lawmakers voicing concern about the effect on the economy.

China: Beijing has reported no new cases of coronavirus for the first time since an outbreak emerged at the Chinese capital’s main wholesale market last month.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: New Zealand’s government will limit the number of citizens flying home with the national airline to reduce pressure on its overflowing quarantine facilities.

Israel: Israel has re-imposed certain restrictions after a surge in cases, to avoid a wider lockdown that could devastate the economy. Bars, nightclubs, gyms and event halls have been closed.

7:23 am

Orthodox economics ineffective during Covid-19 pandemic

7 July

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the already deepening crises facing the world.

Traditional economic theories did not provide the solutions needed to address these problems as it is limited to cost-benefit analysis and mathematical models.

Post Covid-19, economists should focus on precautionary action that can help the world cope with unforeseen disasters.

Richard Murphy, professor of international political economy at the University of London, shared an article on how orthodox economics is proving ineffective during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

The article notes that the world was already facing a number of crises before the pandemic including climate change, inequality and robots replacing humans.

Conventional economic theories have not been helpful in addressing these problems as solutions were often disregarded as being unaffordable and counter-productive.

The article notes that the traditional cost-benefit way of decision making should be avoided and a bottom-up approach to economics must be adopted.

Read more

12:12 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 infections pass 11.45 million – South Africa struggles to control surge of new cases

6 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 11,450,000, with over 535,000 deaths and 6,180,000 recoveries.

Cases have been rising rapidly in North and Latin America, with the US and Brazil contributing to the most of in the increase in the daily new cases.

In the majority of countries in Europe and Asia, daily confirmed cases continue to decrease.

However, cases in India are rising at the fastest pace in Asia with a record number of daily new cases.

South Africa has been the most heavily affected country in Africa by Covid-19.

Given that it is one of the most developed countries in Africa, its struggle to control the surge of new cases does not bode well for other African countries with far fewer resources than South Africa.

Bishal Bhandari, PhD, Senior Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:06 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 11.4 million – infections rising by one million a week

6 July

Global: There are currently 11,419,638 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, as infections continue to rise by around one million per week. There are 15 countries with over 200,000 known cases each.

US: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday reported 52,228 new cases, and said the number of deaths had risen by 271 to 129,576.

Brazil: Brazil has recorded 26,051 new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours as well as 602 deaths, pushing cumulative deaths to a total of 64,867.

Mexico: Health authorities reported 4,683 confirmed new infections of Covid-19 on Sunday, pushing its tally to a total of 256,848, and 273 more deaths to a total of 30,639. In addition, Mexico’s president Andres Manuel Lopex Obrador refused to compare Mexico with European countries as the country’s coronavirus death toll mounted.

India: India reported just under 25,000 cases and 613 deaths in 24 hours – the biggest daily spike since the first case was detected in late January.

Iran: The latest figures published by the Iranian health ministry on Sunday showed a record 163 had died in the past 24 hours, higher than any daily figure in the country over the course of the pandemic so far.

Peru: Peru on Sunday jumped past 300,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the fifth-highest in the world, as the nation of nearly 33 million people slowly reopens its battered economy.

UK: The Department for Health and Social Care reported that the UK had another 516 positive cases on Saturday, down from 624 the day before and taking the total to more than 285,000. There were 22 new deaths from the virus.

Australia: The state of Victoria recorded its largest jump in cases at any point in the coronavirus crisis, with 127 cases reported on Monday, as the premier announced the border with neighbouring New South Wales would be closed from midnight on Tuesday.

Germany: Germany’s coronavirus infection rate rose slightly while remaining below the key threshold of 1.0 for a 12th day, and the number of new cases held far below the level at the height of the outbreak.

South Africa: South Africa reported a record 173 deaths, bringing the total to 3,199. The number came after four consecutive days of record rises in cases. Cumulative infections rose to 196,750 with 8,773 new cases in the latest daily report.

Lockdown updates

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia announced health protocols to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in the 2020 hajj season, banning gatherings and meetings between pilgrims, the state news agency said on Monday.

Spain: A lockdown has been ordered for a region of Galicia in north-western Spain, restricting travel in and out of A Marina for about 70,000 residents. The five-day measure was ordered after cases started to rise from two different outbreaks.

Greece: Greece has announced it will prohibit Serbian tourists from entering the country as of 6am tomorrow. The ban, due to last until at least 15 July, follows a surge in incidents of coronavirus in the Balkan state.

Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan on Sunday imposed a second round of nationwide restrictions that are to last at least two weeks, in a bid to counter a huge surge in coronavirus cases which has overwhelmed the country’s healthcare system.

India: India has withdrawn a planned reopening of the Taj Mahal, citing the risk of new coronavirus infections spreading in the northern city of Agra from visitors, as the country’s infections are rising at the fastest pace in three months.

Philippines: Coronavirus cases in the Philippines rose by a record on Sunday, which authorities attributed to increased contact among the population as quarantine measures are eased.

Economic updates

UK: Prime minister Boris Johnson will inject £1.57bn into Britain’s beleaguered arts and heritage sectors in a long-awaited coronavirus rescue package described by the government as the biggest one-off investment in UK culture.

Hong Kong: Business conditions in Hong Kong showed further signs of stabilization in June, as the government eased social-distancing restrictions with coronavirus infection rates largely under control.

US: A House Democratic spending bill will set aside $10 billion for the coronavirus response and require the US to send funds to the World Health Organization, an agency targeted by President Donald Trump over its handling of the pandemic.

9:44 am

Coronavirus company news summary – US oil and gas rig numbers fall – Dominion, Duke withdraw from Atlantic Coast Pipeline – Covid-19 oil price collapse rattles Russian economy

6 July

The number of oil and natural gas rigs operating in the US fell for the ninth consecutive week amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In the week to 2 July, the figure dropped to an all-time low of 263, according to Baker Hughes data. The number of oil rigs fell by three to 185, while gas rigs increased by one to 76.

Dominion Energy and Duke Energy have decided to exit from the $8bn Atlantic Coast Pipeline project due to delays and spiralling costs. The decision comes a month after the US Supreme Court gave the project a favourable ruling despite the concerns of environmentalists. Dominion and Duke anticipate further legal hurdles, which triggered their withdrawal.

According to an ANI report, the Russian economy has been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and the following oil prices collapse. The unemployment rate in Russia also soared in the last few months, with the number of listed jobless people hitting 4.5 million. The oil and gas sector contributes nearly 40% in taxes to the country’s budget.

India’s gas industry is expected to receive around $140bn investment over eight years as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerates energy transition in the country, The Economic Times reported, citing a Morgan Stanley report. The gas industry is expected to contribute around 10% of India’s energy supplies by 2025, the report added. Currently, the figure stands at around 6%.

6:58 am

Low demand could stall oil prices until 2030

6 July

Oil demand witnessed an unprecedented shock in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill.

Lockdown measures and decline in mobility is expected to lead to the largest fall in oil demand in history in 2020.

Although demand returned in the second quarter, oil demand may not return to peak before 2030.

Daniel Lacalle, an economist and chief economist at Tressis SV, shared an article on the forecasts on oil demand made by Goldman Sachs.

Demand for oil is expected to return to pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels by 2022, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs.

The article adds that global demand for oil is expected to decline by 8% in 2020 and rebound by 6% in 2021.

Further, Goldman Sachs analysts predict that oil prices are not expected to peak before 2030.

Read more

4:21 pm

Chinese oil refineries run at over 100% capacity amid Covid-19

China’s state-owned crude oil refineries (Sinopec, PetroChina, CNOOC, and Sinochem) have increased their crude oil refining rates from an average of 76% in May to 80% of capacity in June, as profit margins increase, a survey by energy analysis company S&P Global Platts showed.

Seven refineries, with a combined capacity of 1.49 million b/d, have been operating at above 100% capacity in June, accounting for 17% of the surveyed capacity.

June’s runs of the refineries were also higher than the 79% recorded in the survey a year earlier, the data showed.

Read the full article here

9:49 am

Coronavirus company news summary – ExxonMobil set for second consecutive loss – Russia to ease global oil output cuts

3 July

Oil and gas major ExxonMobil is set for its second consecutive loss in Q2 as the drop in oil and gas prices after the Covid-19-related lockdowns caused a plunge in fuel demand. According to Reuters, the weaker oil and gas prices will hit earnings at the company’s E&P business by anywhere from $2.5bn to $3.1bn.

Analysts at investment bank Goldman Sachs expect oil demand to return to pre-coronavirus levels by 2022, citing a pick-up in commuting, a shift to private transportation, as well as higher infrastructure spending. Reuters cited the US bank as saying that the global oil demand is expected to fall by 8% this year, rebounding 6% next year and ‘fully recover’ to pre-coronavirus levels by 2022.

Argentine energy company YPF said it was seeking a swap deal on $1bn of international bonds to push back the payments which are currently due in March next year. The latest move comes as the sector has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, Reuters reported.

Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that the country isn’t planning on changing the supply cuts agreement it has agreed with OPEC which is set to expire this month-end. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), including Russia and other producers, together known as OPEC+, is expected to start easing oil output cuts from next month. Novak also added that oil consumption may not recover to pre-pandemic levels until the end of next year.

8:01 am

US government urged to increase relief measures for small businesses and jobless

3 July

The US job market gained a significant number of jobs during June particularly in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, which were severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, permanent job losses are still rising even as workers start to return to their jobs.

As some states re-impose certain restrictions due to resurgence in Covid-19 cases, more jobs are projected to be lost.

Claudia Sahm, an economist, shared statistics related to unemployment rates in the US.

The data shows that permanent jobs losses are rising despite 4.8 million furloughed workers being brought back to work, according to the latest job report from the US Labour Department.

Further, the statistics reveal that the job market is still below the 15 million jobs registered during February.

Sahm noted that the government should announce more relief measures for families, small businesses, and state/local government.

Read more

1:48 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 10.7 million – US, Russia, India and Brazil contribute over 50% of cases

2 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 10,717,000, with over 516,000 deaths and 5,501,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, total confirmed cases and total deaths continue to rise.

This is primarily driven by increasing trends observed in Latin America, North America, and Eurasia.

More specifically, the US, Brazil, Russia, and India contribute over 50% of cases to the global confirmed case burden, and over 40% of deaths to the global death toll.

In the Eastern Mediterranean region, daily confirmed cases and daily deaths continue to surge, with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan at the forefront.

To date, these three countries alone contribute nearly 60% of cases to the total confirmed case burden in this region.

Additional countries to watch include Egypt, Iraq, and Oman.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

11:16 am

Draeger to continue North Sea safety investments despite Covid-19

Safety equipment manufacturer Draeger has announced plans to continue investment at its Aberdeen office to improve operational safety, in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company’s Aberdeen base contains the country’s largest supply of direct-to-customer safety equipment, with over 1,600 items, ranging from breathing apparatus to gas detection hardware. Draeger also announced the appointment of David Donaldson to lead its marine and offshore office, based in Aberdeen. Donaldson will head up projects including the installation of 120 new wireless gas detectors at North Sea facilities by November.

“Despite the great challenges that face the oil and gas industry as a result of Covid-19, there is growing optimism for the future, particularly amongst medium-sized organisations that are large and robust enough to weather the storm, but small and nimble enough to respond to new and emerging opportunities that the current crisis is presenting,” said Donaldson. “We see real opportunity in this area of the market, and look forward to playing our part in supporting future growth here as business starts to resume.”

9:35 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases near 10.7 million – countries try to allay fears after US Remdesivir grab

2 July

Global: Currently, 10,694,288 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed worldwide, and 516,210 deaths recorded according to Johns Hopkins University. The US has the biggest outbreak, with 2,686,480 confirmed cases, followed by Brazil (1,448,753), Russia (653,479), India (604,641) and the UK (314,992).

Countries including Britain, Germany and Switzerland sought to allay concerns that they won’t have sufficient stocks of Gilead Sciences Inc.’s Remdesivir, one of two drugs shown to treat Covid-19, after the US forged a deal to snap up almost all the supplies for three months.

US: Covid-19 cases in the US rose by almost 50,000, the biggest daily increase since the pandemic started, according to the latest Reuters tally late on Wednesday.

India: India has now recorded more than 600,000 coronavirus infections and 17,834 deaths. The country has the fourth-largest outbreak in the world, and the increase in infections presents a severe challenge for its overburdened health system.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry has reported 5,681 new cases of coronavirus infections and 741 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 231,770 cases and 28,510 deaths.

Colombia: Colombia’s confirmed coronavirus infections tipped across the 100,000 case threshold on Wednesday, as the country’s quarantine measures roll on and intensive care units fill, Reuters news agency reported.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 503 to 195,228, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday. The reported death toll rose by nine to 8,994.

China: China on Thursday reported three new coronavirus cases and two new asymptomatic case in the mainland for 1 July, compared with three cases a day earlier, the health authority said.

A small World Health Organization advance team is making preparations with Chinese colleagues to set up the scope of its mission to China to investigate the origins of the coronavirus, according to Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program.

South Korea: South Korea found 54 more confirmed Covid-19 cases in 24 hours, raising the total tally to 12,904, according to data from Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Thailand: Thailand has confirmed six new cases of Covid-19, all related to returnees who are staying in state quarantine. The country has recorded no local transmission of the virus for more than five weeks.

New Zealand: Health minister, David Clark, resigned on Thursday, following recent slip-ups in the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and personal mistakes. Clark said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had accepted his resignation.

Lockdown updates

US: The US has postponed flights for dozens of American diplomats who had planned to return to China later this month, Reuters reports, after failing to reach an agreement with Beijing over issues including Covid-19 testing and quarantine.

Australia: Police in Melbourne have warned that little leniency will be shown to people found flouting lockdown rules in hotspot areas, Australian Associated Press reports. More than 300,000 people entered a second lockdown in Melbourne’s inner north and west from Thursday after a spike in coronavirus cases.

Cuba: Cuba has announced that it will begin easing a pandemic lockdown on Havana on Friday, while most of the rest of the country will move to phase two of a three-phase process towards normalization.

Japan: Tokyo confirmed more than 100 new coronavirus infection cases on Thursday, according to public broadcaster NHK, the Japanese capital’s highest daily tally in two months. The city of 14 million initially sought to hold new daily cases below 20 since Japan lifted a state of emergency on 25 May, but its tally has consistently exceeded 50 recently, Reuters reports.

France: All indicators are showing the coronavirus is under control in mainland France after some 200 clusters identified since lockdown measures were loosened were contained, French Health Minister Olivier Veransaid in an interview on RTL radio.

Economic updates

US: Manhattan home sales plunged the most on record in the second quarter as New York was shut down to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The US House of Congress on Wednesday approved the extension of the popular Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses until 8 August, hours after the deadline for applications lapsed with more than $130 billion still available.

Australia: About 480,000 mostly younger Australian workers have drained their retirement savings accounts after the government allowed early access to alleviate their financial hardship during the coronavirus outbreak, according to an industry group.

7:34 am

Covid-19 affect on job market worse than expected

2 July

Governments across the world have collectively injected more than $10tn in fiscal stimulus since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite this stimulus, unemployment and business closures have been at an all time high.

Governments, workers and employers need to work together to draft an economic recovery plan that is both sustainable and effective in the long run.

Colin Williams, professor of public policy at the University of Sheffield, shared an article by UN News on the forecasts made by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the tough road ahead for the global job market.

The ILO noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the job market more than initially predicted.

The article noted that working hours fell by 14% in the second quarter of 2020 equivalent to the loss of approximately 400 million jobs.

In other news, Rob Gill, managing director at Altura Mortgage Finance, shared an article on forecasts made by the Bank of England’s chief economist on a possible V-shaped recovery for the UK, although a prolonged period of unemployment is expected.

Read more

2:42 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases near 10.5 million – EU begins to open borders

1 July

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 10,499,000, with over 511,000 deaths and 5,377,000 recoveries.

In the majority of countries in Europe and Asia, daily confirmed cases continue to decrease, while North America and Latin America continue to see a rise in daily cases.

The US and Brazil primarily drive these increases due to the sheer magnitude of total confirmed cases that rank them first and second highest in the world, respectively.

Starting today, the European Union (EU) opens its borders to travelers from more than a dozen countries.

Several criteria have been set to determine which countries are safe. The criteria require that in the previous 14 days, confirmed cases per 100,000 citizens are similar or below that of the EU, and daily confirmed cases show a stable or decreasing trend.

The list of safe countries will be reviewed every two weeks.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData


9:37 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 10.4 million – US corners World Remdesivir supplies

1 July

Global: There are 10,450,628 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, and 510,632 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

US: Tuesday saw 44,358 new coronavirus cases confirmed in the US, according to The Covid Tracking Project, which said on Twitter that the seven-day average for new daily cases as doubled since 13 June and that hospitalisations in the country jumped by the highest number since 21 April.

The US has bought up virtually all the stocks for the next three months of Remdesivir, one of the two drugs proven to work against Covid-19, leaving none for the UK, Europe or most of the rest of the world. In addition, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reports that the country has started providing the drug to patients for coronavirus treatment.

Brazil: Brazil has reported 1,271 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, bringing its total since the start of the pandemic to 59,656.

Mexico: Mexico reported 5,432 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 226,089, according to data released by the Health Ministry. Deaths rose 648 to 27,769.

Japan: Tokyo has confirmed 67 new cases of coronavirus infection, marking the highest daily tally in the Japanese capital since the state of emergency was lifted in late May.

North Korea: The WHO has told NK News that North Korea has tested just 922 people for Covid-19. It’s the first update on the coronavirus situation in North Korea for two months.

Singapore: Singapore has controlled the spread of the coronavirus and kept fatality rates low, the country’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says in a letter posted to his Facebook page. Singapore is still recording more than 200 new cases of the coronavirus a day, with its overall tally at 43,907 infections, the second-highest in Southeast Asia.

Lockdown updates

Australia: Australian authorities will lock down around 300,000 people in suburbs north of Melbourne for a month from late on Wednesday to contain the risk of infection after two weeks of double-digit rises in new coronavirus cases in Australia’s second most populous state.

US: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that travellers from eight additional states, including California, will be required to quarantine for 14 days when travelling to New York.

Economic updates

Global: The pandemic has taken a much heavier toll on jobs than previously feared, the UN says, warning the situation in the Americas is particularly dire. In a fresh study, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that by the mid-year point, global working hours were down 14 percent compared to last December – equivalent to some 400 million full-time jobs.

The United Nations has called on governments to provide nearly $10bn in aid for Syria, as the war-torn country’s humanitarian crisis deepens amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Airbus SE embarked on the most extensive restructuring in its history, setting out plans to cut 15,000 civil-aerospace jobs worldwide as it attempts to steer through the crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Asia: Asia’s loss of economic output due to the deadly coronavirus will likely persist until 2022, according to the International Monetary Fund.

9:26 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Shell to trim asset value by up to $22bn – India’s ONGC reports quarterly loss

1 July

Shell has announced plans to reduce up to $22bn from the value of its oil and gas assets following the Covid-19 pandemic. The company also forecasted that the pandemic will have an impact on oil prices for at least three years, while sales will recover gradually.

Oil Search, a Papua New Guinea-focused oil and gas exploration and development company, is set to trim its workforce by nearly one-third due to weak oil prices amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The company reduced its workforce to 1,222 people, while an additional 137 will leave by year-end, Reuters reported citing the company.

India’s state-owned ONGC has reported a loss of INR30.98bn ($409.9m) in the March quarter after it was hit by an impairment due to fall in crude prices. The crude oil production was 5.82 million in the three month period, dropping marginally from 5.9 million tonnes recorded in the same quarter last year.

US-based energy company ConocoPhillips has deployed a low-code platform Mendix to reduce costs and boost operational efficiency. The company has introduced 20 enterprise-grade applications, since it started implementing Mendix 18 months ago. The move comes at a time when companies are focusing on digitisation to trim costs amid Covid-19 crisis.

7:16 am

How wearing masks can save 5% of US GDP during Covid-19 pandemic

1 July

Covid-19 cases in the US are on the rise again as many states have withdrawn lockdown relaxations and imposed stay-at-home orders.

Another round of lockdown measures could prove devastating to the US economy. A nationwide policy urging people to wear masks could help save the economy.

Christopher Ingraham, a journalist, shared an article on research conducted by a team of economists at Goldman Sachs that revealed that wearing masks can help in saving 5% of GDP in the US.

The article notes that another round of lockdowns can be avoided if the US implemented a nationwide mask policy mandating everyone to wear a mask.

The US has not adopted a mask policy compared to Europe and Asia, where masks have witnessed a widespread uptake.

The article notes that state-wise implementation of mask policy has helped in cutting infection rate by 25%.

A country-level implementation may help in reducing the infection rate.

Read more

2:54 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 10.4 million with 509,000 deaths – lockdowns reinstated in Australian state of Victoria

30 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 10,415,000, with over 509,000 deaths and 5,253,000 recoveries.

Across the world, daily confirmed cases continue to rise.

Of the top ten most affected countries, less than half continue to report increases in daily confirmed cases. However, of these, the US, Brazil, India, and Iran contribute roughly 70% to the top ten total confirmed case burden, and nearly 50% to the global total confirmed case burden.

Meanwhile, Australia reported its highest number of new infections since the end of April, with over 80 daily confirmed cases reported on Monday.

This is primarily driven by spikes in new infections observed across Melbourne, a city in Victoria, the second most populous state.

As a result, the government has reinstated lockdowns in this region.

While the government announced a three-stage plan in May to ease lockdown restrictions, these localized outbreaks may be an indicator of a potential resurgence.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData

2:54 pm

Shell anticipates $22bn hit from Covid-19 price fall

Anglo-Dutch oil operator Shell has announced that it is writing down the value of its assets by $22bn, as lower oil prices push the company to boost its shift away from fossil fuels.

The company said that the changes to its price forecast are influenced by the economic downturn and fall in demand caused by the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shell said in a statement that it expects Brent crude to cost $40 per barrel in 2021 and $50 per barrel in 2022, as prices are forecast to rise to $60 per barrel in 2023.

1:13 pm

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 10 million – pandemic ‘speeding up’, says WHO

30 June

Global: As of 29 June there have been 10,021,401 cases of Covid-19 and 499,913 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) who called the figures ‘a sombre landmark’.

WHO chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a briefing: “The hard reality is that this is not even close to being over. Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up.”

US: Los Angeles County recorded an “alarming” one-day spike of nearly 3,000 new Covid-19 infections on Monday, taking its total to more than 100,000 cases.

Houston-area intensive-care unit wards were 95% full as of Sunday night, up from 93% on Saturday, according to data from the Texas Medical Center.

Japan: Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said Japan’s capital had a caseload in the “mid-50s” on Tuesday, broadcaster NTV reported.

New Zealand: New Zealand confirmed no new cases of Covid-19, after two weeks with a number of cases in returning travellers.

China: China’s National Health Commission says the country had 19 new cases of coronavirus up to midnight on June 29, compared with 12 the day before.

Researchers in China have discovered a new type of swine flu that is capable of triggering a pandemic, according to a study in the US science journal PNAS.

Ireland: The number of reported new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland has begun to increase in a “worrying” trend, the chief medical officer warned.

Iran: Iran reported 162 more deaths from Covid-19, the highest single-day toll since the country’s outbreak began in February.

Germany: Germany’s coronavirus infection rate held below the key threshold of 1.0 for a sixth day, and the number of new cases remained far fewer than the level at the height of the outbreak.

Lockdown updates

UK: On Monday the British government imposed a lockdown on the city of Leicester, which has a much higher Covid-19 infection rate than anywhere else in the country.

US: Los Angeles is to close its beaches for the 4 July holiday weekend after reporting a record one-day rise in cases.

The governor of the US state of Arizona has told bars, cinemas, gyms, water parks and nightclubs they have to close again.

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy said on Monday indoor dining will no longer resume on Thursday in the state as previously planned.

Mexico: Mexico City began allowing more businesses to reopen Monday, after almost three months of various types of lockdowns.

Australia: The state of South Australia has cancelled plans to reopen its borders to interstate travellers from neighbouring Victoria after a spike in coronavirus cases there.

Ireland: Ireland moves to the third stage of reopening on Monday, with domestic travel resuming, most businesses able to operate and sports restarting, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in Dublin. Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport. Some restrictions on international travel will ease 9 July, he said.

Economic updates

Japan: Japan’s unemployment rate rose to 2.9 percent in May, official data showed Tuesday, the third consecutive monthly rise as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll.


10:09 am

Impact of Covid-19 crisis and weakened oil prices on Latin American NOCs

The GlobalData Upstream Impact Scorecard considers a number of factors that determine a company’s upstream business impact from Covid-19 and weakened oil prices in comparison to industry peers. The main oil and gas peer group analysed is a sample of Latin American NOCs, consisting of Ecopetrol SA, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) and YPF SA. Other three operators considered in the analysis are Petroecuador EP, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) and Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB).

Click here to read the full article.

9:34 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Hunting trims 25% of workforce – Chesapeake Energy to cancel pipeline contracts

30 June

Energean, which is set to acquire Edison’s oil and gas operations, has agreed to revise the terms of the agreement that significantly reduces the value of the transaction amid bleak market outlook. Last year, Energean signed an agreement to acquire Edison E&P from Edison for $850m. The revised transaction values $284m following the exclusion of some assets.

Oilfield services group Hunting has reduced its workforce by a quarter due to the impact of low oil prices and weak demand. According to Reuters, the company employed 2,956 people across its global operations at the end of 2019. The redundancies involved trimming 739 jobs.

Brazil’s Petrobras has said that some platforms in the deepwater Buzios oil field touched record production levels amid Covid-19 crisis. The company also sold 764,000m3 of diesel between 14 June and 20 June, much higher compared to 757,000m3 sold in the last week of March when restrictions were not implemented, Reuters reported.

Chesapeake Energy, a US-based oil and gas producer, has sought approval from the court to cancel pipeline contracts worth $311m, reported Reuters. It comes days after the company, struggling with heavy debt, filed for bankruptcy seeking protection for at least five years.

7:58 am

Covid-19 spread was aided by resistance to evidence of asymptomatic transmission

30 June

Health officials and government authorities ignored the risk of asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 despite mounting evidence from scientists across the world.

Acknowledgement of the risk would have necessitated drastic containment measures, something which government officials were reluctant to implement.

Timely response was the most crucial element for stopping the global spread of the disease.

Paul Romer, an economist, shared a New York Times article on how a two-month delay over public health response to Covid-19 led to its global spread.

The delay was due to faulty scientific assumptions and resistance towards new evidence on the evolving nature of the disease, which resulted in a sluggish response to controlling the spread of the virus.

Despite some scientists raising red flags over asymptomatic transmission, the warnings were dismissed by health officials and political leaders.

Asymptomatic transmission would have required more aggressive methods of containment including wearing of masks by healthy persons and restriction of international travel.

The reluctance of adopt such drastic measures was one of the main reasons for the global spread of the disease that has cost thousands of lives, the article adds.


Read more

1:58 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 10.1 million – more than half a million deaths – India fears second surge

29 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 10,168,000, with over 502,000 deaths and 5,158,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, daily confirmed cases continue to increase.

In North America and across the world, the US maintains its place as the most affected country with over 2.5 million total confirmed cases, while Russia leads the Eurasian region with over 640,000 total confirmed cases, and Brazil leads the Latin American region with over 1.3 million total confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, India sets a record high with nearly 20,000 daily confirmed cases reported on Sunday.

This marks the country’s biggest one-day jump, and brings the total number of confirmed cases to about 550,000.

India is currently the fourth worst-hit nation in the world, following the US, Brazil, and Russia.

However, if India continues to experience a surge in cases, it will likely surpass Russia.

Natasha Karim, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist at GlobalData  

1:55 pm

Hunting to cut workforce by a quarter amid Covid-19

British oil and gas equipment manufacturer Hunting has announced cuts to around 25% of its workforce as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the global oil and gas industry.

The company, which had 2,956 employees on its payroll at the end of last year, said that it would cut 739 jobs by the end of June following a series of financial struggles. The company’s Titan range of perforating systems and logging instruments reported a 40% decline in sales in the first six months of the year, underpinning a fall of more than 50% of its projected capital expenditure for the year.

“Our business is likely to continue to see volatile trading throughout Q3 2020, but the group’s cost base has now been recalibrated to current market conditions,” said CEO Jim Johnson.

9:29 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Chesapeake Energy files for bankruptcy – India expects oil demand to rebound

29 June

The number of operating oil and gas rigs in the US and Canada dropped to a record low as the industry struggles with dull demand following the Covid-19 outbreak. According to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes, the US oil and gas rig count slipped to 265. In Canada, the figure dropped to 13,

Chesapeake Energy, a US-based shale producer, has filed for bankruptcy to strengthen its balance sheet. Burdened with heavy debts, the company was also hit by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Chesapeake Energy will continue to operate in the ordinary course throughout the restructuring process.

According to a Bloomberg report, Exxon Mobil is planning to trim its workforce in the US amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. The move may involve laying off around 5% to 10% of US-based employees as part of the company’s plan to streamline organisational structure.

India expects that oil demand will recover to normal levels sooner than the predictions made by the International Energy Agency and Opec. At the end of this month, the demand was around 85% of the levels recorded in the same period last year, Indian oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan told Bloomberg.

7:30 am

No certainties in global economic recovery post Covid-19

29 June

Countries across the world have started reopening their economies despite the rising number of cases in hopes of a quick recovery from the pandemic.

Global recovery from the pandemic, however, seems very uncertain as it has caused an uneven impact on various sectors and countries.

Konstantina Beleli, economist, shared forecasts made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about an uneven and uncertain recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as 75% of countries start to lift lockdown restrictions.

The IMF forecasts that the global economy will witness a deeper contraction of 4.9% and an uneven recovery as different countries and sectors were impacted at different levels by the pandemic.

The global impact of the pandemic is impacting export-dependent economies, while trade tensions are further compounding the recovery of global trade.

Policy makers should watch the situation as it evolves and provide sufficient fiscal and monetary support, the article adds.

In other news, a survey of Australian economists points to a weak ‘W shaped’ recovery and declining living standards in their country.

Read more

3:55 pm

Oil set for second weekly loss since April as US Covid-19 cases soar

Oil is set for the second weekly decline since April, as US Covid-19 cases cloud demand outlook, Bloomberg reports.

The US is witnessing a record number of new Covid-19 cases, with a wave across the Sun Belt impeding prospects for an oil-demand recovery.

Futures in New York rose to nearly $39 a barrel on Friday, 26 June, but are down about 1.6% for the week. Centre of the American oil industry, Texas stopped its reopening as virus cases soared and Houston’s intensive care wards reached capacity.

1:52 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 9.6 million – more than 2 million in Latin America – sharp increases in Eastern Europe

26 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 9,632,000, with over 489,000 deaths and 4,859,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, daily confirmed cases are increasing at a higher pace.

This is primarily driven by increases observed in countries with dense urban populations such as Brazil, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa, and Mexico.

Additionally, in Latin America, the number of total confirmed cases has tripled in the past month, now surpassing 2 million infections.

In Eastern Europe, sharp increases in daily confirmed cases are being reported indicative of a second peak.

Ukraine and Croatia both observed a daily record spike in cases, with more than 1,100 new cases in Ukraine, and nearly 100 new cases in Croatia.

This will be a region to watch as the increases may signal an oncoming wave of new infections.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:52 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Sapura energy trims workforce – Second wave will dent fuel demand

26 June

Malaysian oil and gas services company Sapura Energy is set to trim its workforce by 20% in a bid to reduce costs amid Covid-19 crisis. The redundancies will involve 63% contractual workers and 37% permanent employees. The company has around 4,000 full-time employees.

Occidental Petroleum has indicated that it may write-down the value of its assets by up to $9bn in the second quarter due to dull market outlook. The company also plans to restructure some of its debt to prevent a possible default, reported Reuter=

Hamilton Health Box has entered into a collaboration with health platform 1Health.io to provide Covid-19 testing for oil and gas industry workers. The move will help the companies to test their employees at headquarters and remote rig locations across the US.

A second wave of Covid-19 infections can again reduce fuel demand, Reuters reported citing industry data. Currently, fuel usage is on the rise as the countries eased coronavirus related restrictions. This month, road traffic in some cities returned to 2019 levels.

9:49 am

International Update: US believed to have 20 million Covid-19 infections – consecutive day rise of 5,000 cases in Florida – threat to close UK beaches

26 June

Global: Cases worldwide were nearing 9.6 million on Friday, with the World Health Organisation saying it expected global infections to pass ten million by the end of the week. The current total stands at 9,586,769. At least 488,740 people have died so far.

US: Government experts believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted coronavirus. Cases are now rising in 27 US states, up from 22 earlier this week.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence will lead a coronavirus task force press briefing on Friday morning as cases rise in 27 states.

For the second consecutive day, Florida has reported more than 5,000 new confirmed cases of Covid-19. Thursday’s rise in reported cases was lower than Wednesday’s record-setting mark, but it is only the second time the state has crossed the 5,000-case mark in a day.

The number of US coronavirus infections rose by at least 39,818 cases at the end of Thursday, according to a Reuters news agency tally, marking the biggest daily increase in the country since the start of the pandemic.

Europe: A Europe-wide study shows child virus deaths ‘extremely rare’. Fewer than one in 100 children who test positive for Covid-19 end up dying although a small but significant percentage develop severe illness, a new Europe-wide study showed Friday.

Dr Hans Henri P Kluge, the World Health Organization regional director for Europe, expressed concern over a resurgence of coronavirus infections on the continent, saying that last week that Europe saw an increase in weekly cases for the first time in months.

China: China reported a further decline in newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday, with 13 cases. There were 11 in Beijing, where mass testing has been carried out following an outbreak that appears to have been largely brought under control.

South Korea: South Korea reported 39 new cases, mostly from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area where officials have been struggling to stem transmissions amid increased public activity and eased attitudes on social distancing.

New Zealand: New Zealand has reported one new case of Covid-19. After reporting just over a week without any active cases of the virus, the number of diagnosed instances has started to increase again as a growing number of New Zealanders return from Covid-19 hotspots abroad.

Mexico: Mexican Finance Minister Arturo Herrera said he has tested positive for Covid-19 and is working from home under quarantine, according to a tweet. Herrera said he has “light symptoms” of the coronavirus.

Lockdown updates

UK: Health secretary Matt Hancock threatens to close beaches. A major incident was declared after tens of thousands of people defied pleas to stay away and descended in their droves on beaches in Bournemouth and other stretches of the Dorset coast.

Ireland: Ireland moves to the third stage of reopening on Monday, with domestic travel resuming, most businesses able to operate and sports restarting, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in Dublin. Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport. Some restrictions on international travel will ease 9 July, he said.

Economic updates

Vietnam: Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc warned the pandemic had swept away years of economic gains as South-East Asian leaders met online to discuss a regional emergency fund to tackle the crisis.

US: Bain Capital LP agreed to buy collapsed Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. in one of the biggest single bets on the airline industry since it was shattered by the coronavirus pandemic.


7:10 am

UNCTAD forecasts 40% decline in FDI due to Covid-19 pandemic

26 June

Foreign direct investments (FDI) are projected to plunge by 40% in 2020 due to the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Developing and emerging economies are expected to be the worst affected with export-oriented and commodity linked investments projected to be severely impacted.

The decline in FDIs may transform international production and increase sustainability.

Olga Solleder, an economist, tweeted forecast made by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the decline in FDI by 40% in 2020.

The projections are based on UNCTAD’s new report World Investment Report 2020.

The new report notes that FDI will decline below $1tn for the first time since 2005.

FDI is expected further decline by 5%-10% in 2021, the report adds.

Read more

2:40 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases reach a daily global record high with more than 212,000 infections

25 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 9,453,000, with over 483,000 deaths and 4,764,000 recoveries.

Worldwide, the number of daily confirmed cases has reached a record high with over 212,000 cases reported.

Brazil reported a staggering number of over 82,000 newly confirmed cases, more than two times higher than daily records reported by the US.

Additionally, Brazil reported a daily record high of over 2,500 deaths.

In the US, daily confirmed cases hit a new high with nearly 38,000 cases, two months after the last peak.

Despite the increasing number of daily confirmed cases, daily deaths continue to decrease with less than 800 deaths reported.

In South Africa, India, Pakistan and Latin America, the pandemic continues to grow rapidly.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

12:57 pm

Nigerian petroleum department criticises companies for Covid response

The Nigerian Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has criticised the country’s offshore companies for failing to implement health and safety measures to tackle the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic announced by the department in April.

According to government figures, Nigeria has reported 22,020 positive tests for Covid-19, the 50th-highest in the world, although just 542 people have died from the virus. This has given the country a death rate of just three per million people, a relatively low figure that has perhaps encouraged the country’s oil and gas sector to focus more on expanding operations and enhancing productivity than ensuring safe working conditions. Earlier this month, the country launched its first licensing round for marginal oilfields in 18 years.

In response, the DPR has been critical of the sector’s overall response to the crisis, although stopped short of naming individual companies for their supposed lack of efforts to curb the pandemic.

Read more about the DPR’s response to the pandemic here.

10:08 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases expected to pass 10 million by weekend – US confirms second highest one day total

25 June

Global: Covid-19 cases worldwide passed 9.4 million on Thursday, with the WHO saying it expected global infections to pass ten million by the end of the week. At least 480,000 people have died so far.

The World Health Organization has warned that hospitals are facing a shortage in oxygen concentrators, which are needed to support the breathing of Covid-19 patients suffering from respiratory distress, as one million new cases of coronavirus are confirmed worldwide per week.

Volunteers in the UK, Brazil and South Africa received their first doses of an experimental vaccine as part of a human trial run by Oxford University, as cases continue to rise and concerns grow over potential access to life-saving treatments.

US: Cases continue to surge in the Americas, with the US confirming its second-highest one-day total in the pandemic so far, according to Oxford University data project Our World in Data, with 34,700 new infections. It is the highest since 26 April, when a record 48,529 cases were confirmed in 24 hours.

Seven US states, mainly in the south and west, and including Texas, California and Arizona, reported record increases on Wednesday with the nationwide tally rising by more than 38,600.

Mexico: Mexico confirmed its second-highest daily coronavirus death toll so far, with 947 fatalities on Wednesday. The highest daily toll came on 3 June with 1,092 deaths.

China: China reported 19 newly confirmed cases of coronavirus amid mass testing in Beijing, where a recent outbreak appears to have been brought under control. Of the new cases it reported Thursday, 13 were in Beijing and one in the neighbouring province of Hebei.

Pakistan: Coronavirus testing numbers in Pakistan – one of the countries with the highest rate of spread of the infection currently – are continuing to drop, with just 21,835 tests conducted on Wednesday.

Australia: Australia’s military is to send 1,000 troops to Melbourne to tackle new coronavirus clusters that have emerged in the capital of Victoria state, which has recorded almost 150 new infections during the past week.

Germany: Germany’s coronavirus infection rate fell to the lowest in almost three weeks, while the number of new cases remained well below the level at the height of the outbreak.

South Korea: South Korea reported 28 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, bringing the total tally to 12,563, according to data from Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Five of the new cases are imported and 23 cases are local. There was one additional death for a total at 282.

South Africa: South Africa reported a record 5,688 new cases, bringing the total to 111,796, data released Wednesday by the Health Ministry showed.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: New Zealand citizens returning home from coronavirus hotspots are facing a backlash from some as people worry that the arrivals will bring a resurgence in cases.

UK: In a letter published in the British Medical Journal, doctors, including the presidents of the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians, warned that local flare-ups are likely and a second wave is a real risk in the UK.

US: The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have ordered travellers from eight other states to quarantine for 14 days on arrival as the epidemic in the US gathers momentum.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered everyone in the state to wear face masks in public after a spike in Covid-19 cases followed the reopening of the economy.

Vietnam: Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc says the country will not rush to open its borders to foreigners as it strives to prevent a second wave of the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a post on the government’s website.

UAE: The United Arab Emirates has lifted a curfew put in place three months ago to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

9:57 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Gas industry expects strong demand post virus – Petrofac anticipates material impact

25 June

According to Reuters, the gas industry is expecting strong demand after the Covid-19 crisis is over. However, the pandemic has delayed several projects, which in turn may affect supplies in the next four years. Globally, projects worth more than 140 million tonnes were deferred.

State news agency APS said that Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has reshuffled the government. The move comes at a time when the economic crisis has deepened due to the fall in oil revenues after the Covid-19 pandemic. As part of the reshuffle, Algeria’s central bank chief Aymene Benaberahmane took over the Economy Ministry.

Oilfield services Petrofac has said that trading and awards are materially impacted by Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent collapse of oil prices. In a trading update, the company also said that it is on track to reduce expenses by $125m this year and up to $200m in 2021.

Occidental Petroleum has sought bids for the properties that it is divesting in Wyoming and Colorado. The move was announced by Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon. Occidental is burdened with huge debt following the acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum last year ahead of the oil price crash.

7:53 am

Targeted policies essential for post Covid economic recovery – accuracy of Covid-19 data cannot be trusted globally

25 June

Central banks of various economies have announced stimulus packages to deal with the impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

These measures offer a short-term solution for the crisis.

More targeted policies that address various aspects of the economy are essential to enable a quick economic recovery.

Jonathan Portes, professor of economics at King’s College London, shared his article on the long-term impact of the Covid-19 crisis.

In the article, Portes notes that the unemployment caused by the pandemic may be severe for young people and reduce future employment and wage prospects.

The article also notes that 30% of firms in Europe are expected to face liquidity issues, while business investments are likely to remain weak during the short and medium term.

Portes adds that expansionary macroeconomic policies may be required to deal with the impact of the pandemic.

In other news, Prof. Steve Hanke, an economist at Johns Hopkins, opined that countries like Syria, China, Russia and Vietnam have complete control over media and cannot be trusted for the accuracy of their Covid-19 data.

Read more

2:53 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases near 9.3 million world wide – Saudi Arabia restricts Hajj – infections rise in Iran

24 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 9,273,000, with over 477,000 deaths and 4,645,000 recoveries.

Latin America, the US, India and Russia report about 70% of the global daily confirmed cases.

Sweden reported nearly 2,000 newly confirmed cases yesterday, accounting for the highest numbers in Europe.

In Portugal, several regions are hesitant to lift current restrictions as new cases emerge.

Saudi Arabia, the fifth most affected country in Asia, officially restricted the Hajj, an annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

As a result, foreigners are no longer allowed to attend the ceremony this year.

In Iran, several provinces continue to report high numbers of newly confirmed cases.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

1:47 pm

Offshore giants join ORE Catapult’s floating offshore wind project

Ten of the world’s biggest offshore operators have joined the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s national Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence, determined to work on next generation offshore wind technologies amid Covid-19.

Offshore wind developers EDF RenewablesEDP RenewablesEquinorESBMainstream Renewable PowerScottishPower RenewablesSSE Renewables, and Offshore Wind Power, a joint venture between the Green Investment Group and RIDG, are joined by energy companies Total and Shell in the Centre of Excellence.

Their efforts will focus on the areas of floating wind activity in the UK across four workstreams: technology development; supply chain and operations; development and consent; and delivering net zero.

Their main objectives are to cut the cost of energy from floating wind; accelerate the build-out of floating farms; create opportunities for the UK supply chain; and drive innovations in manufacturing, installation, operations, and maintenance.

12:02 pm

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases near 9.3 million while deaths approach 478,000 – ‘disturbing’ surge in cases in US

24 June

Global: Covid related deaths worldwide passed 475,000, according to Johns Hopkins University figures, with the known toll currently at 477,584, and known infections standing at 9,263,466.

US: The next few weeks are critical to tamping down a ‘disturbing’ coronavirus surge, Dr Anthony Fauci told Congress on Tuesday, issuing a plea for people to avoid crowds and wear masks just hours before mask-shunning President Donald Trump was set to hold a campaign rally in one hot spot.

Seven US states have reported their highest coronavirus patient admissions in the pandemic so far, as cases surge in the US following the easing of restrictions.

Brazil: Brazil confirmed more than 39,000 cases in a single day on Tuesday. The death toll in Latin America’s biggest economy stands at 52,645.

China: A Chinese pharmaceutical firm has won approval to run a large-scale “Phase 3” clinical trial of its novel coronavirus vaccine candidate in the United Arab Emirates. China is seeking to test potential vaccines overseas because of a lack of new patients at home.

Health authorities in China reported 12 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with seven recorded in the country’s capital, Beijing, indicating that a roughly two-week spike in the city appears to be firmly on the wane.

South Africa: A South African school confirmed 200 infections among pupils and staff. More than 200 pupils and staff who returned to a boarding school in South Africa’s impoverished Eastern Cape province this month tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday, officials said.

Australia: Australia confirmed its first death in a month. The man in his 80s died in the state of Victoria, in the first coronavirus-related death in more than a month. Australia’s total death toll from the virus now stands at 103.

New Zealand: New Zealand recorded one new Covid-19 case, diagnosed in a traveller returning from abroad who remains in government-run isolation facilities. The country has reported 11 active cases, all in people returning to the country. Nine of them were diagnosed during their government-managed isolation and remain there.

Japan: Daily cases in Tokyo, Japan, have moved in a range of around 20 to 40 for much of the past week, with infections not exceeding 50 since early May, when the city was still under a state of emergency.

Italy: Italy registered 122 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday compared with 218 on Monday, based on figures released by the country’s civil protection agency. It was the fewest new infections since 26 February.

Lockdown updates

US: Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington state in the US, ordered residents to wear face masks in public after the region saw its positive tests rise by 35 percent last week.

EU: The European Union may decide to keep the door shut to Americans when the bloc eases controls on its external borders.

Maldives: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the president of the Maldives, said the island nation is opening its borders on July 15 to tourist arrivals from all countries.

Economic updates

Global: Medecins Sans Frontieres, and 40 civil society groups, are calling on GAVI to reviews its pricing mechanism for future coronavirus vaccines, ahead of a GAVI board meeting due to start in Geneva later on Wednesday.

10:45 am

Impact of Covid-19 on Asia Pacific refinery sector

Nationwide lockdowns across the Asia Pacific region to curtail the spread of Covid-19 has resulted in a steep decline in demand for transportation fuel. This has resulted in piling up of stocks and higher inventory costs, which have forced refineries in the Asia Pacific to look for alternative strategies to reduce losses. Capping production capacities, cutting capital expenditure and stalling avoidable projects have become a norm for several refiners to conserve cash and sustain the crisis.

Click here to read the full article.

9:15 am

Coronavirus company news summary – China’s gasoline exports plummet – Shell plans major restructuring

24 June

US-based engineering and construction company KBR has decided to quit LNG construction and other fixed contract energy projects to focus on government contracts and technology businesses, according to Reuters. In a letter to the employees, KBR CEO Stuart Bradie said that the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the decision.

FAR Senegal has defaulted on its payment obligations towards the Sangomar joint venture project to preserve cash. In the recent months, the company failed to secure necessary funding to support the project due to Covid-19 crisis and oil price crash.

China’s gasoline exports plummeted last month due to dull demand for refined fuel amid Covid-19 crisis, Reuters said citing data from the General Administration of Customs. The exports plunged 64.2% in May compared to the figures of the previous month, hitting the lowest level in more than a year.

According to Reuters, Royal Dutch Shell is planning a major restructuring of the company by the end of the year, as part of its efforts to shift to lower-carbon oriented business. In an internal video, Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said that the current Covid-19 pandemic will expedite the transition to green energy.

7:57 am

Economists highlight self induced and Covid-19 driven recessions

24 June

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the global economy into a level of recession that was last witnessed during the World War II.

Emerging markets and developing economies are the worst affected as five out of six economies are expected to fall into outright recession as per capita income declines drastically.

Linda Yueh, an economist at the University of Oxford, shared an article by World Bank on the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The article notes that the recession caused by the pandemic will be the deepest since World War II and twice as deep as the 2008 global financial crisis.

The article further notes that emerging markets and developing economies are expected to contract for the first time in 60 years.

The global unemployment rate is also expected to rise to the highest levels since 1965, the article adds.

In other news, economist Dany Bahar noted that a decision made by the US government – to suspend visas for the H-1B programme designated for high-skilled workers and other categories – will result in a long-term, self-induced recession for the US.

He added that these policies are xenophobic and lack evidence to prove their rationale.

Read more

4:07 pm

India suspends work at two oil fields following death from Covid-19

The Indian state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has suspended work at two drilling rigs in the Arabian Sea after 54 employees tested positive for Covid-19, one of whom died.

India has the fourth-most cases in the world, with over 440,000 people testing positive for Covid-19. However, its death rate of just ten per million people is among the lowest in the world, showing how few cases are reaching fatal stages.

Prior to these 54 positive tests, work at ONGC’s facilities had not been impeded, with the Mumbai High oil field producing around 170,000 barrels of oil per day, while the Bassein field produces 60,000 barrels of oil per day. However, with ONGC announcing plans to suspend operations and airlift affected workers to shore, the company’s projects are finally suffering from the elevated risk of Covid-19 on oil rigs, where isolated work and employees’ close proximity to one another can encourage the spread of the virus.

3:12 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases exceed 9.1 million – numbers still increasing

23 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 9,121,000, with more than 472,000 deaths and 4,548,000 recoveries.

Since early June, daily confirmed cases have increased worldwide, with the majority reported from Latin America, the US, Russia and India.

In Europe, the proportion of daily confirmed cases is less than 10% of the world, with Sweden and the UK reporting the highest number of daily confirmed cases.

In the UK, as the infection rate continues to fall, the government has eased restrictions for vulnerable individuals.

In Asia, countries with dense urban populations such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh continue to report a high number of daily confirmed cases.

In Africa, daily confirmed cases are increasing steadily.

However, these cases represent about 5% of the global daily confirmed cases, with South Africa, Egypt and Cameroon reporting the highest numbers.

Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:04 am

Coronavirus company news summary – China aims to increase crude production this year – Polarcus to trim workforce by 20% – ONGC halts operations at two rigs

23 June

China is planning to increase crude and natural gas production this year to ensure energy security amid the Covid-19 crisis. It aims to improve crude production by 1% to 193 million tonnes and natural gas production by 4.3% to 181 billion cubic metres, Reuters reports, citing data from annual production plan released by the National Energy Administration (NEA).

Offshore seismic services provider Polarcus is to trim its workforce by 20% in response to the current market volatility due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company also announced a range of permanent and temporary compensation adjustments for senior-level staff in a bid to improve capital flow. Read more here.

India’s state-owned oil firm ONGC has temporarily ceased operations at two offshore rigs in the Arabian Sea following reports of Covid-19 cases among workers. According to local news sources, 54 offshore employees tested positive for coronavirus and one person had died. However, ONGC said that oil and gas production has not been affected.

Indian crude oil processing recovered significantly last month following an increase in industrial activity and transportation after Covid-19 related lockdowns. In May, crude processing jumped 7.3% from the levels seen in April to around 3.87 million barrels per day, according to Reuters.

9:47 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 9 million – alarming surge to 2.3 million in US

23 June

Global: Currently, 9,079,452 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported, according to Johns Hopkins University. At least 471,754 people have died. The US is the world’s worst-affected country by case numbers, with more than 2.3 million cases.

The World Health Organization called on Monday for a rapid increase in production of dexamethasone, a cheap steroid which has been shown to reduce deaths in critically ill coronavirus patients.

Nearly 260 million children missed out on school in 2018 and the coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the problem, according to UNESCO’s 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report, which also said the pandemic was an opportunity for change and a rethinking of education systems.

French drugmaker Sanofi says it hopes to get regulatory approval for the coronavirus vaccine it is developing with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline by the first half of next year.

US: The coronavirus death toll in the US has reached 120,340, according to the latest figures from John Hopkins University.

The Trump administration is temporarily suspending the entry of certain foreign workers to the United States to free up jobs while the economy reels from the coronavirus pandemic, despite strong opposition from many businesses.

California officials implored residents to wear face masks and keep their distance from each other, after a record number of people were hospitalised with coronavirus over the weekend.

Mexico: Mexico reported 4,577 new confirmed Covid-19 infections, bringing the country’s total to 185,122, according to its Health Ministry. Its death toll from the pandemic now stands at 22,584.

China: China reported 22 new coronavirus cases for 22 June, 13 of which were in the capital Beijing, the National Health Commission said on Tuesday.

South Africa: South Africa now has over 100,000 infections, the highest on the continent, while the number of deaths inched towards 2,000. Despite the grim death toll, data shows that the mortality rate in South Africa is at 2%, while 52.6% of virus patients have recovered.

India: India’s health ministry has said that the nationwide tally had reached 440,215 cases, including 14,011 deaths. The state of Delhi, which includes the capital of New Delhi, has reported 62,655 cases with the rate of new infections rapidly expanding in recent weeks as a nationwide lockdown has eased.

Lockdown updates

US: An alarming surge in coronavirus cases in parts of the US following eased lockdowns is raising concern that the outbreak is spiralling out of control because of Americans’ resistance to wearing masks and keeping their distance from others.

UK: British prime minister Boris Johnson will announce on Tuesday that museums, galleries and cinemas in England will be allowed to reopen from 4 July, alongside pubs, restaurants and hairdressers, in a decisive but potentially risky easing of lockdown measures in England.

South Korea: The South Korean city of Daegu is taking legal action against the Shincheonji church and its founder, claiming it hindered quarantine efforts and contributed towards mass infections of Covid-19 in February.

Denmark: As countries mull when to reopen, Denmark is seeing smaller virus outbreaks in schools, entertainment parks and nursing homes as it gradually leaves its Covid-19 lockdown.

Economic updates

Thailand: Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha said at a briefing that he’s debating whether to extend the country’s state of emergency after it expires June 30.

7:53 am

Service sector hardest hit by job losses due to Covid-19

23 June

The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the job market leaving millions of people without jobs.

The service sector, which employs a large portion of low income workers, is one of the hardest hit sectors.

As social distancing and lockdown measures continue to control the spread of the virus, many of these jobs are unlikely to return any time soon.

Colin Williams, professor of public policy at University of Sheffield, shared an article based on statistics from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on workers and businesses.

The article notes that approximately three quarters of the global workforce is at risk of losing their jobs due to lockdown measures and business closures caused by the pandemic.

The article noted that South East Asia and the Pacific regions are the most affected with 76% of the workforce at risk followed by the Americas, Africa and Europe.

Read more

2:29 pm

Senegal’s first oil field delayed by up to two years due to Covid-19

Senegal’s president Macky Sall has announced that the country’s first oil and gas projects could be delayed by up to two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with economic disruption in the wake of the virus hampering investment in the offshore sector.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Sall noted that the pandemic could cause the country’s annual GDP growth to collapse from 6.5% over the last five years to, at best, 1% in future. This impending recession could spell doom for the country’s nascent offshore sector, with what is planned to be its first oil field, the Sangomar field, requiring investment of more than $4bn before beginning production, originally scheduled for 2023.

While Senegal has managed to contain much of the spread of Covid-19, with just over 5,800 confirmed cases and just 84 deaths out of a population of close to 17 million, the country has not been spared from international economic disruption. Oil majors such as BP and Total are among the investors in the Sangomar field, and with uncertainty plaguing the global offshore sector, the future of Senegal’s first oil field looks equally unclear.

2:28 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: US and Brazil report more than half daily Covid cases as global numbers near 9 million – South Korea experiencing second wave

22 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 8,975,000, with over 468,000 deaths and 4,448,000 recoveries.

The daily confirmed cases are increasing globally.

The US and Brazil are reporting over half of global daily confirmed cases.

Officials in South Korea announced that the country is experiencing a second wave of the pandemic as new cases emerge from populous areas.

In Asia, countries such as India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran show continuous increases in daily confirmed cases.

In the UK, the alert level has been reduced as the number of new cases is below the level seen in the days before lockdown.

However, officials have raised the alert in some regions of Germany and Wales.

China, similar to Germany, has raised lockdown measures in a few regions.


Bahram Hassanpourfard, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:37 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Norway’s oil production slips – Neptune Energy to cut around 400 jobs

22 June

According to energy services firm Baker Hughes, the oil and gas rigs operating in the US and Canada have dropped to a record low amid Covid-19 crisis. The US rig count fell by 13 to 266 in the week to 19 June. In the same time period, the figure slipped to 17 in Canada.

European oil exploration and production company Neptune Energy is set to trim 400 jobs across nine countries to improve cash flow amid low oil prices. The redundancies represent nearly 21% of its workforce. The company has around 1,900 employees globally, said Reuters.

India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas (ONGC) has said that the Covid-19 pandemic may delay the execution of its projects. Currently, ONGC is working to implement several oil and gas projects in India. According to PTI, the company is also working to optimise its operating expenditure.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has said that the oil production last month dropped 2.1% compared to the previous month. In May, the production averaged 1.74 million barrels per day. The natural gas production also slipped 12.4% month-on-month, missing earlier forecasts.

9:10 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases near 9 million – deaths approach half million – quarantine clashes in Germany

22 June

Global: The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases currently stands at 8,929,394, while the global death toll is at 467,676, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Sunday, with the total rising by 183,020 in a 24-hour period. The biggest increase was from North and South America with over 116,000 new cases, according to its daily report.

The European Union and China will seek to cool tensions on Monday at a video summit, their first formal talks since ties soured over European accusations that Beijing has spread disinformation about the novel coronavirus.

Mexico: Mexico has reported 5,343 new infections and 1,044 additional deaths from the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, the health ministry said, bringing the totals for the country to 180,545 cases and 21,825 deaths.

India: The Delhi government has become the first in India to requisition its hotels. Starting this week, 25 establishments will be repurposed as emergency Covid-19 care centres for patients with mild to moderate symptoms. The move comes as India’s coronavirus caseload has risen to 425,282 as infections soar in rural areas to which migrant workers fleeing major cities have returned in recent weeks.

Greece: Authorities say Greece had 10 new Covid-19 cases and no virus-related deaths between Saturday and Sunday, according to the Associated Press.

Thailand: Thailand on Monday reported three new coronavirus cases, all imported, marking 28 days without local transmission, Reuters news agency reported quoting a senior official.

China: China’s customs authority said on Sunday it had suspended imports of poultry products from a plant owned by US-based meat processor Tyson that has been hit by coronavirus.

China reported 18 new coronavirus cases for June 21, 9 of which were in the capital Beijing, Reuters reported on Monday quoting the National Health Commission. Another seven cases are categorised as asymptomatic.

South Korea: New coronavirus cases in South Korea dipped to a nearly one-month low on Monday due mainly to less testing over the weekend, Yonhap news agency reported quoted health officials.

Lockdown updates

Germany: German police were injured as clashes erupt over virus quarantine. Several police officers were hurt in clashes with residents of a high-rise apartment block in Goettingen who had been placed under quarantine over a coronavirus outbreak, authorities said on Sunday.

US: New York City’s effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus through contact tracing has been hampered by the reluctance of many people who are infected with the virus to provide information to tracers, according to a report in The New York Times.

New Zealand: Citizens returning home to New Zealand could undergo two weeks of quarantine in campervans because hotels in Auckland were nearing capacity, the ministry of health has warned.

UK: London City Airport reopened for passenger flights on Sunday after a three-month shutdown, according to a statement by the airport.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out which further parts of the UK economy can open in July, and give an update in Parliament on Tuesday after hearing conclusions of the review into England’s 2-metre (6 feet 7 inches) social distancing rule.

Australia: Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state has tightened coronavirus controls as a spike in cases triggers fears the nation could be hit by a second wave of infections.

United Arab Emirates: Dubai will allow tourists into the Middle East business hub starting July 7 for the first time since the United Arab Emirates imposed travel restrictions to stem the outbreak.

Economic updates

China: Chinese banks have offered relief on 3.9 trillion yuan ($551 billion) of loans since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic to help struggling small businesses and bolster an economy facing its worst slump in four decades.

UK: Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey signalled a major shift in the central bank’s strategy for removing emergency stimulus, stressing the need to reduce the institution’s balance sheet before hiking interest rates.

7:20 am

Investors may be too optimistic of rapid economic recovery

22 June

Stock markets have been performing above average despite a warning from the World Health Organisation that a new and dangerous phase of the pandemic is emerging.

The possibility of a fourth phase of stimulus package in the US and reopening of the economy are some of the factors fuelling this performance, leading investors to predict a quick V-shaped recovery.

The huge impact of the pandemic and a possible resurgence of cases may not lead to such a quick recovery.

Timothy McBride, Bernard Becker Professor at the Washington University, shared an article on how some investors are too optimistic of a quick economic recovery.

The article notes that stock markets are performing well in the US despite the rise in the number of Covid-19 cases.

Over the last few weeks, markets have performed above average prompting some investors to predict a V-shaped recovery, the article adds.

Such projections seem premature as they do not take into account the permanent damage caused by the pandemic.

Read more

1:46 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases approach 8.5 million – infections rising fast in Latin America and Africa

19 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 8,488,000, with over 453,000 deaths and 4,155,000 recoveries.

In Latin America, Covid-19 infections continue to rage. Peru and Chile are on the list of top ten most affected countries globally, with Mexico following close behind.

In Africa, the pandemic is also accelerating, with South Africa reporting as the worst hit country across the continent.

Despite cases rising, lock-down measures are being eased in South Africa, with hair-dressers, restaurants and casinos being able to re-open.

In North America, the US is still thought to be in the first wave of transmission, but states are in varying stages of outbreaks.

New York and New Jersey are seeing a decrease in daily cases, while many other states are still experiencing an increase in cases.

In China, Beijing remains in partial lock-down following the identification of a cluster of new cases linked to local transmissions found at the Xinfadi food market.

Schools have been closed and majority inbound and outbound flights cancelled in an effort to curb a second wave of infection.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

12:51 pm

West African LNG exports hold steady amidst Covid-19 pandemic

Liquified natural gas (LNG) exports from Angola, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and Nigeria have not been significantly disrupted by the spread of Covid-19, according to analysis from S&P Global Platts.

The resilience of the West African LNG exporters is a welcome surprise for an industry that has seen significant disruption due to the pandemic. S&P figures show that Nigerian exports were down just 4% in the first five months of the year, compared to the same period in 2019, while supplies from Angola and Cameroon had actually increased year-on-year.

While the countries have faced a number of challenges to maintain this production, including disruption to shipping lanes that have caused cargo to take longer to reach its destination, much of these countries’ LNG production is driven by domestic sources, which have been relatively untroubled by the pandemic.

“With supply to the Nigeria LNG facility being associated gas, LNG exports are to a degree driven by domestic oil production, which Platts Analytics estimates fell by around 5% over the first five months of the year,” Platts Analytics LNG analyst Luke Cottell said.

“This meant we saw little change in LNG exports year on year, although a record volume of Nigerian LNG on the water in late May was indicative of the difficulties such cargoes faced in finding a home amid record low prices in both Asia and Europe.”

10:55 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Saudi Aramco axes hundreds of jobs – Ovintiv slashes workforce by 25%

19 June

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned petroleum and natural gas firm Saudi Aramco has started cutting hundreds of jobs as it seeks to reduce costs in response to the oil price crash, reported Bloomberg citing credible sources. The company, which employs almost 80,000 people, has started laying off foreign staff across several divisions.

Integrated energy firm Sasol has announced its plans to end West African oil operations as it seeks to revamp its business structure. The company cited weaker oil prices and lower demand due to Covid-19 as the primary reasons for the organisational overhaul. Sasol noted that the redesign of the organisation would have an impact on its workforce, but did not disclose how many jobs might be lost.

Petroleum Association of Japan (PAJ) said that weaker oil demand in the country, which has been triggered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, is currently balanced by reduced production from the OPEC+ producers. Demand for gasoline and gas oil in the country has  picked up since last month as coronavirus-related restrictions have been eased across the nation.

Ovintiv has laid off 25% of its overall workforce this month as the oil and gas firm batters with plunging fuel demand and lower prices as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Earlier this year, Encana rebranded itself as Ovintiv and shifted its headquarters from Canada to US.

10:08 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 death toll passes 453,000 – infections top 165,000 in Pakistan and Mexico

19 June

Global: The global death toll from Covid-19 passes 450,000. The number of people who have lost their lives in the pandemic so far stands at 453,289, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker.

The World Health Organization said Thursday that a few hundred million Covid-19 vaccine doses could be produced by the end of the year – and be targeted at those most vulnerable to the virus.

The United Nations food agency is warning that without immediate funding, its global transport system will have to stop delivering thousands of tonnes of masks, gloves and other critical equipment to 132 countries by the third week of July.

US: The number of coronavirus cases in California’s San Quentin state prison has tripled within the last two weeks, prompting advocates, families and attorneys to demand urgent action to fast track the release of prisoners and curb the spread among correctional officers.

Pakistan: Pakistan added 4,944 infections in 24 hours, bringing its total to 165,062. The health ministry also reported that its total number of deaths from the virus stood at 3,229.

China: China has published the genome data for the coronavirus behind the latest Covid-19 outbreak in the capital city of Beijing, the website of state-backed National Microbiology Data Center showed on Friday.

New confirmed cases of coronavirus remained stable in Beijing on Friday after a public health official declared Beijing’s latest outbreak under control.

New Zealand: Covid-19 testing of thousands of people in New Zealand has not uncovered any new cases, health officials say. The testing was undertaken after a quarantine bungle when two women were allowed out of managed isolation without being tested – and later turned out to have the coronavirus.

Mexico: Mexico’s health ministry reported on Thursday a record 5,662 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 667 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 165,455 cases and 19,747 deaths.

South Korea: South Korea reported 49 cases of Covid-19 on Friday, of which 26 came from the capital Seoul and the nearby port city of Incheon.

Thailand: Thailand reported five new cases on Friday, all from state quarantine, bringing its total to 3,146. All five cases were returnees from Saudi Arabia and showed no symptoms, and no new deaths were reported.

Argentina: Coronavirus cases may peak in Argentina between the end of June and beginning of July even as cases and deaths increase at a faster pace, according to Health Minister Gines Gonzalez Garcia.

Lockdown updates

Japan: Tokyo lifted all remaining restrictions on businesses on Friday, although officials urged caution over a possible second wave of the coronavirus.

Japan agreed with Vietnam to work toward a staged easing of travel restrictions between the countries, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

US: AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the largest US theater chain, will reopen most locations on 15 July and expects major cities to let audiences back in time for Walt Disney Co.’s “Mulan” premiere nine days later.

American Airlines Group Inc. removed a passenger who refused to wear a face covering and banned him from taking flights in the future, after US. carriers pledged to boost enforcement of mask use. The man, Brandon Straka, won’t be allowed to fly on the airline until face coverings are no longer required, the company said.

UK: Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a $1.2 billion package to help UK children catch up on schooling they missed during lockdown, saying he was “determined” to get kids back in school by September.

All non-essential shops in Wales will be able to reopen from Monday 22 June so long as physical distancing can take place, as part of the devolved government’s cautious easing of lockdown restrictions.

China: Beijing Capital International Airport cancelled 305 inbound flights and 272 headed outbound on Friday, the Beijing Daily reported. Many travellers have cancelled their plans after a second coronavirus outbreak in the city.

Economic updates

India: On Thursday India fully lifted an export ban on hydroxychloroquine, a drug favoured by US President Donald Trump as a treatment against coronavirus. Questions remain over the malaria medicine’s effectiveness against Covid-19.

8:05 am

Students face future earnings loss due to Covid-19

19 June

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the closure of schools and colleges across the world to contain the spread of the disease.

The closures have left billions of students out of school impacting learning and schooling levels. In the long-term, the pandemic may impact marginalised groups and hurt the future earnings of millions of students.

João Pedro Azevedo, a development economist, tweeted on how the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to result in the loss of $1,408 in yearly earnings for students from the current cohort.

Further, students may lose between $6,472 and $25,680 in earnings over their lifetime.

The statistics are based on a new report from the World Bank containing data from 157 countries on how the pandemic is impacting schooling and learning outcomes.

The new report notes that the pandemic may exacerbate inequality and students from minority groups are more likely to be affected.

Read more

2:17 pm

Norway’s oil market stabilises amid Covid-19, oil minister says

Norway’s oil minister has said that the country has no plans to make more oil output cuts in response to Covid-19 disruption, Reuters reports.

Norway Minister of petroleum and energy Tina Bru said that the oil market has stabilised more than was anticipated a few months ago.

“It would, of course, be possible to end output cuts at an earlier time, but the plan is to maintain cuts until the end of 2020,” she said.

The country had previously said it would reduce oil production by 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June 2020 and 134,000 bpd in the second half of the year.

1:42 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases approach 8.4 million – WHO fears devastation for Yemen

18 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 8,350,000, with over 449,000 deaths and 4,087,000 recoveries.

Latin America is now considered the epicentre of Covid-19.

Brazil reports the largest number of cases and deaths after the US.

Peru, Chile and Mexico are also experiencing a steep rise in cases and deaths.

Despite this increase, Mexico has started to ease lock-down measures, with critics fearing this is too soon.

Across Europe where cases are plateauing, restrictions are being lifted and borders re-opening.

Countries in South Asia, such as India and Pakistan continue to battle with the virus. India ranking fourth on the list of most heavily affected countries globally.

With cases increasing in Yemen, the WHO estimates that at least half of the population will become affected by Covid-19.

This could have devastating implications due to the country’s fragile healthcare system.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:51 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 death toll nears 450,000 – no US lockdown as cases rise – vaccines may be available next year

18 June

Global: The global death toll from coronavirus is nearing 450,000, with more than 8.2 million confirmed cases of the disease worldwide. The Johns Hopkins University tracker is recording more than 448,959 deaths from Covid-19 across the world, as of Wednesday evening UK time.

A new study conducted by Chinese and American scientists said that humans may never develop immunity against the coronavirus, the South China Morning Post reported.

The World Health Organization has halted the trial test of the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus.

France: Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson said in a Les Echos interview that three types of vaccines are currently in the works globally and Sanofi’s version could be ready in April-May 2021. Vaccines should “be affordable and anyone who needs should be able to access it,” Hudson said.

Brazil: Brazil recorded 1,269 additional Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday, bringing its official death toll from Covid-19 to 46,510, the most in the world outside the United States.

India: India has reported its highest number of cases in the pandemic so far, with 12,881 confirmed in the last 24 hours, for a total of 366,946 cases. There have been 334 additional deaths, bringing the toll to 12,237.

UK: The number of coronavirus infections in the UK has passed 300,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, with the current total standing at 300,717. At least 42,238 people have died in the UK so far.

Argentina: Argentina’s president Alberto Fernández has gone into voluntary isolation, amid growing concerns over a surge of coronavirus infections, including several cases among the country’s political elite.

South Korea: South Korea has reported 59 Covid-19 cases as infections steadily rise in the capital area where half the country’s 51 million people live, according to the Associated Press.

Germany: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 580 to 187,764, Reuters news agency reported on Thursday quoting data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.

China: Beijing confirmed 21 new Covid-19 cases as of 17 June, China’s health authority said on Thursday, down from 31 a day earlier.

Japan: Tokyo found 41 cases of coronavirus on Thursday and will continue to ask people in the capital to take preventative measures, NHK reports in a flash headline.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: More reports have emerged in New Zealand of people leaving isolation without being tested and going on to meet friends, placing government officials under increasing scrutiny over the rigour of their Covid-19 quarantine rules. Police revealed that six people absconded from managed isolation after being granted compassionate leave from Covid-19 quarantine to attend a funeral in Hamilton.

Japan: The Japanese government will lift all domestic travel restrictions on Friday as it looks to move into the next phase of reopening, including a restart of events and nightlife.

Pakistan: Pakistan has announced plans to repatriate all of its those citizens stranded around the globe, including in the Middle East, as a result of the pandemic, AP news agency reported.

Economic updates

US: President Donald Trump has said the United States would not close businesses again as several states reported rising numbers of new coronavirus infections.

Australia: Australia’s unemployment rate has jumped to 7.1% after another 227,700 people lost their jobs thanks to Covid-19.

Jordan: Many people in Jordan are struggling to meet basic needs after a more than two-month lockdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic, a UN Development Programme (UNDP) study said, with reports of unemployment expected to rise to 19 percent.

China: China will exempt some African countries from repaying zero-interest rate loans due at the end of 2020, Reuters news agency reported quoting President Xi Jinping.

India: India’s credit rating outlook was cut to negative from stable by Fitch Ratings Ltd., citing the economy’s weakening growth outlook and increased challenges with public debt levels.


9:42 am

Coronavirus company news summary – BP raises $12bn to strengthen balance sheet – US shale producers poised to increase output

18 June

Oil and gas company Ovintiv has started trimming its workforce in North America due to dull drilling activity amid Covid-19 crisis, reported Bloomberg. However, a company spokesperson did not specify how many employees are being laid off as part of this redundancy process. Earlier this year, Encana rebranded itself as Ovintiv and shifted its headquarters from Canada to US.

According to the Financial Times, British oil major BP has raised $12bn of debt with equity-like features to bolster its balance sheet. It comes days after the company decided to write off $17.5bn from the value of its assets after reducing its forecasts of future energy prices.

US shale producers are expected to increase crude output by nearly 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of this month, Reuters reported quoting crude buyers and analysts. The move may put further complicate efforts by OPEC+, which seeks to revive oil prices by trimming output.

Chevron-led TCO has resumed rotation of its workers at Tengiz field in Kazakhstan in compliance with the government guidelines. With the move, the company aims to relieve those workers who have been on extended rotations as well as ensure safe production operations.

7:20 am

US economic recovery could be stalled by global dependency

18 June

The US economy is predicted to contract by 40% in 2020 although a strong rebound is forecast in the fourth quarter.

The recovery of the economy, however, will be dependent on global conditions as the US economy is more dependent on global demand than it was 50 years ago.

Michal Rozworski, an economist and author, shared an article on the structural forces that are working against the recovery of the US economy.

Although economists have forecast a strong recovery in the fourth quarter of the year, the inherent structural changes that occurred over the last 50 years may not allow the US economy to recover a quickly as predicted.

The US economy is dependent on global demand in various sectors including aerospace, information technology, defence, oilfield services, and finance.

Consumers are more wary of spending on non-essential things related to these sectors in the current uncertain environment created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Demand in some of these sectors, therefore, may not return to normal and help the economy rebound as predicted by experts.

Read more

3:16 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases near 8.2 million – Latin America the new epicentre – fears of second wave in Europe as lockdowns ease

17 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 8,190,000, with over 444,000 deaths and 3,970,000 recoveries.

Latin America is now described as the epicentre of Covid-19 with confirmed cases and deaths in Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Chile rising rapidly.

Brazil remains the most heavily affect country following the US.

In Europe, majority of countries have past the first peak of transmission, though as lock-down measures relax there are fears of a second wave of cases.

Countries in South Asia, such as India and Pakistan continue to battle with the virus. India ranking 4th in the list of most heavily affected countries worldwide.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

1:01 pm

Japanese oil imports down 36% year-on-year due to Covid-19

Figures from the Japanese Government have shown that the country’s oil imports in May fell to the lowest total in three decades, as the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a collapse in oil demand across the world.

Japan imported 1.92 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in May, 36% lower than a year earlier and is the second-lowest figure since records began in 1988.

The presence of a decline is not a surprise, with the International Energy Agency predicting a 9.3 million bpd decline in global oil demand this year due to the pandemic, but the depths to which Japanese demand has plummeted will be a concern for many. According to the US Energy Information Agency, Japan’s oil demand had been falling for some time, from 5.70 million bpd in 1996 to 4.27 million bpd in 2014. The Covid-19 pandemic, which has disrupted traditional means of working and transportation, has rapidly accelerated this decline.

11:24 am

Assessing the impact of the Covid-19-related crisis and weakened oil prices on US midsize independents

As crude oil prices and natural gas demand get pressured negatively by the current economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, many producers have forgone their 2020 guidance and readjusted capex, more significantly by oil producers than natural gas producers. This is because natural gas prices had a less drastic fallout than crude oil prices, and it proved beneficial for producers such as CNX Resources Corp and Gulfport Energy Corp who have major exposure in the Appalachia Basin.

The most impacted US Midsize producers have low percentage of their production hedged in 2020, have committed to high capital expenditure (capex) reductions, and have primarily liquid-rich operations in their portfolios.

Click here for the full article.

9:45 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 deaths pass 440,000 – cheap steroid hailed as major life saving breakthrough

17 June

Global: Deaths worldwide passed 440,000. According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government data, the global coronavirus death toll stands at 441,668. There are 8,162,276 known infections.

A cheap steroid has become the first life-saving treatment in the Covid-19 pandemic, described by scientists as “a major breakthrough” and raising hopes for the survival of thousands of the most seriously ill.

Food poses little risk of spreading the coronavirus, governments and industry groups from the US to Chile said, reassuring consumers after an outbreak in Beijing was blamed on imported fish. However, China’s customs authorities have started testing all shipments of imported meat for the coronavirus while officials in some major cities are also checking the products at domestic markets.

US: New coronavirus infections hit record highs in six US states on Tuesday. Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas all reported record increases in new cases on Tuesday after recording all-time highs last week. Nevada also reported its highest single-day tally of new cases on Tuesday, up from a previous high on 23 May.

Brazil: Brazil has had its worst day for new confirmed cases, recording 34,918 in 24 hours to bring its overall total to 923,189 total infections. The health ministry said the country has also suffered 1,282 deaths since the last update on Monday, bringing the number of confirmed fatalities there to 45,241.

India: Mumbai revised its official death toll from the coronavirus, adding 862 fatalities in India’s epicenter of the outbreak.

Germany: The number of new cases in Germany remained far below the level at the height of the outbreak. There were 570 new infections in the 24 hours through Wednesday morning, bringing the total to 188,252 according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Japan: Japanese researchers confirmed coronavirus testing in sewers as possible outbreak warning system. The researchers confirmed the presence of the coronavirus in wastewater plants, a finding that could serve as a signal for future outbreaks. The findings mirror similar studies in Australia, the United States, and Europe.

Mexico: Mexico’s 730 deaths are its third-highest one-day total, AP reports. Even as Mexico announced plans for reopening churches and religious events, the country posted near-record numbers of newly confirmed cases and deaths from Covid-19 on Tuesday.

Guinea-Bissau: More than 170 of Guinea-Bissau’s 2,000 health workers have contracted Covid-19, a World Health Organization expert said on Tuesday, warning that hospitals were close to being overwhelmed.

Honduras: The President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernandez said he and his wife are infected with Covid-19. Hernandez, 51, said in a national address that he began to feel unwell over the weekend and that he has light symptoms. Hernandez said he has enough energy to keep working.

Lockdown updates

Europe: European airlines are offering some attractive discounts to people itching for an escape from months of coronavirus lockdown. But fares could rise quickly as demand picks up.

China: Beijing raised its emergency level as dozens of new coronavirus cases emerged and residents were barred from any “unessential” travel. Authorities reported 31 new cases of the virus in Beijing as of Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections to 137 over the past six days.

New Zealand: The New Zealand government has so far identified 320 close contacts of the two women, who were not tested before they were released on compassionate grounds. PM Jacinda Ardern said she would not be replacing Minister of Health David Clark.

Australia: Australia says it expects its borders will remain closed until next year, although it might ease restrictions on students and other visitors who plan to stay for a longer period of time.


Economic updates

UK: The UK began talks with Australia and New Zealand on free trade deal. Australia and New Zealand are about to begin negotiations on a free trade agreement with the UK in what the Australian trade minister said was “a strong signal of our mutual support for free trade” in a post-Covid-19 world.

US: Princess Cruise Lines Ltd. asked the Central District of California to dismiss emotional distress claims brought by passengers who sailed aboard the Grand Princess after at least two passengers on its prior journey showed symptoms of coronavirus.


9:30 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Van Oord to axe around 500 jobs – Galp Energia restarts Sines refinery

17 June

Van Oord, a Dutch firm which supports offshore wind and oil & gas sectors, has planned to lay off around 500 employees due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic. The company noted that the oil price crash has reduced offshore field services, while dredging operations also contracted.

Portugal’s Galp Energia has resumed some operations at Sines refinery after it was forced to suspend production temporarily due to Covid-19 outbreak and fall in fuel demand. A company spokesperson told Reuters that Galp will gradually resume production at the refinery as planned.

US-based shale producer Devon Energy has trimmed oil production by nearly 10,000 barrels per day. The move comes as several oil and gas companies are reducing output due to plummeting demand amid Covid-19 pandemic. Devon Energy CEO Dave Hager told Reuters that the annual output this year will be nearly flat with 2019 levels.

India has urged local oil and gas companies to increase the usage of locally manufactured steel for infrastructure projects in a bid to revive the economy. The move is expected to create jobs and reduce imports. According to Engineers India, Indian petroleum sector will use around 50 million tonnes of steel in the following 15 years.

7:49 am

US economic stimulus packages insufficient for speedy recovery post Covid-19 economists warn

17 June

The Federal Reserve has announced trillions of dollars in stimulus packages, but it may not be sufficient as the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is severely impacting the US economy.

Experts feel the need for additional relief measures including unemployment benefits to prevent a prolonged recovery for the economy.

Joseph Zeballos-Roig, a journalist and writer, shared an article on how former Federal Reserve chairs and 130 economists signed a letter requesting additional relief measures to stop the US economy suffering a prolonged recovery.

Although the Federal Reserve has announced $3.5bn in stimulus package, the experts felt that more needs to be done to ensure that the US economy recovers at a faster pace.

Prolonged economic downturn can damage the economic and wealth creation opportunities especially minority communities, the article added.

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4:26 pm

UK oil and gas industry announces pathway to reduce emissions

Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), the trade association body, has published a new report outlining the plans of the offshore industry to halve operational emissions within the next 10 years, demonstrating the industry’s pathway to decarbonisation.

The ‘Production Emissions Targets Report’ also focuses on how skills, capabilities, and infrastructure can be used to make a major contribution to enabling the UK ambition of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

OGUK chief executive officer Deirdre Michie said: “We remain committed to addressing the challenge of climate change, as outlined in our Roadmap2035. Our industry will play its part by reducing its emissions and developing the solutions to contribute to the UK’s overall targets.”

Read the full article here

4:17 pm

Global ammonia industry shows signs of resilience despite the impact of Covid-19

The progress of upcoming ammonia projects is unlikely to be affected much by the outbreak of the pandemic. Potential impacts include increased uncertainty regarding phasing and completion timelines, but depend largely on the duration and severity of the outbreak.

Projects that are under initial stages of development could face startup delays. In addition, new ammonia capacities under construction may experience labour and equipment issues that may delay project completion and commissioning. There have been minimal project delay announcements due to the pandemic. The pre-commissioning activities at Ramagundam Fertilizers and Chemicals plant got impacted due to Covid-19 led lockdown.

Click here to read the full article.

1:40 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: US and Brazil worst affected by Covid-19 as global cases pass 8 million – steep increases in Peru and India

16 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 8,000,000, with over 437,000 deaths and 3,880,000 recoveries.

The US still remains the most heavily affected country, reporting the largest number of newly confirmed cases and deaths worldwide.

Brazil follows the US, with the number of deaths now overtaking those seen in the UK and total confirmed cases sharply increasing.

In Europe, all countries, excluding Poland and Sweden, are now past the first peak of transmission.

Peru reports a steep increase in daily cases and deaths despite implementing early lock-down measures from mid-March.

India continues to see a rise in infection and death rate, putting strain on their health system.

In Delhi, railway carriages are being converted to beds for Covid-19 patients to provide additional support.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

10:25 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 8 million – new Beijing outbreak ‘very grim’ say officials – India to re-impose lockdown

16 June

Global: A total of 8,005,294 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The actual figure is likely to be much higher because countries often have different criteria for testing, and milder and asymptomatic cases may go undetected.

A specific mutation in Covid-19 can significantly increase its ability to infect cells, according to a study by US researchers. It may explain why early outbreaks in some parts of the world did not end up overwhelming health systems as much as other outbreaks in New York and Italy.

China: There are more than 100 cases in the new Beijing Covid-19 outbreak. The World Health Organization said it understood no new deaths have been reported thus far in the Chinese capital but added that given Beijing’s size and connectivity, the outbreak was a cause for concern.

City officials in Beijing have described the coronavirus outbreak centred on the Xinfadi market as “very grim”, according to the Global Times.

Shanghai says it will impose a 14-day quarantine on all people arriving in the city from medium to high-risk Covid-19 areas elsewhere in China.

Norway: Norway’s health authorities said they suspended an app designed to help trace the spread of coronavirus after the country’s data protection agency said it was too invasive of privacy.

New Zealand: New Zealand has confirmed two new cases of coronavirus, both connected with travel to the United Kingdom and both connected.

Lockdown updates

Europe: Germany and France reopen borders as Europe emerges from lockdown. France’s president said the country’s Schengen borders would be open from Monday and its non-EU borders from 1 July. Germany also opened its borders to fellow European travellers, but the government warned people to be careful as they planned their summer holidays.

India: A lockdown will be re-imposed on Friday on 15 million people in the Indian city of Chennai and neighbouring districts, state officials said, as coronavirus cases surge in the region.

US: Gatherings of up to 25 people will be permitted in parts of New York that have entered the third phase of the state’s reopening plan, up from a previous limit of ten, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said.

Major US airlines have warned passengers who refuse to wear masks that they could be banned. Carriers could prevent anyone who is not covering their nose and mouth from boarding although they would provide masks to passengers without one.

Economic updates

Global: BP will slash up to $17.5bn (£14bn) from the value of its oil and gas assets, and may be forced to leave new fossil fuel discoveries in the ground, after its own forecasts found the Covid-19 pandemic may affect the world’s oil demand for the next 30 years.

The United Nations forecasts foreign direct investment globally will fall by as much as 40% this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and continue to slump in 2021, hitting developing nations hardest.

US: The Trump administration is preparing a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure proposal as part of its push to spur the world’s largest economy back to life, according to people familiar with the plan.



9:26 am

Coronavirus company news summary – BP to trim $17.5bn of asset value – Chesapeake Energy to file for bankruptcy

16 June

BP is planning to slash up to $17.5bn from the value of its oil and gas assets after an internal review trimmed crude price forecasts due to Covid-19. The British oil major predicted that oil prices will hover around $55 a barrel until 2050. The figure is 30% less than the previous assumption of $70.

According to a Reuters report, Chesapeake Energy is planning to file for bankruptcy soon amid the Covid-19 crisis. The company is currently in the final stages of negotiation to procure a $900m debtor-in-possession loan, which will help the company to manage operations when it in under administration.

Yemen, a war-torn country in the Middle-East, is planning to raise oil production by 25%. Yemeni energy minister Aws Abdullah al-Awd told Reuters that the country aims to increase production to 75,000 barrels per day in the upcoming months. The government controls the eastern and southern areas of the country, where key oil fields are located.

Iraq and major oil companies operating in the country have agreed to further trim crude production as Covid-19 pandemic reduced global oil demand. The decision comes after OPEC, Russia and other oil producers agreed to extend oil production cuts until the end of next month.

7:28 am

Covid-19 recession short but sharp, predicts Morgan Stanley

16 June

The number of Covid-19 cases continues to increase across the world particularly in developing and emerging nations and fresh outbreak being reported in China.

Some countries, however, have started reopening their economies and easing lockdown restrictions increasing the possibility of a V-shaped recovery.

John Ashcroft, an economist, shared an article on Morgan Stanley’s projections that the global economy is headed for a V-shaped recovery.

The article notes that the global economy will return to pre-crisis levels by the fourth quarter of 2020.

The predictions are based on the latest economic data in addition to policy actions taken by various governments.

Morgan Stanley predicts that the recession will be sharp but short although uncertainty still remains around this outlook.

Read more

2:26 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global confirmed cases of Covid-19 over 7,925,000 – US most heavily affected

15 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 7,925,000, with over 433,000 deaths and 3,780,000 recoveries.

The US still remains the most heavily affected country, reporting the largest number of newly confirmed cases and deaths worldwide.

Brazil follows the US, with the number of deaths now overtaking those seen in the UK and with total confirmed cases sharply increasing.

In Europe, all countries, excluding Poland and Sweden, are now past the first peak of transmission.

A cluster of new cases seen in Beijing linked to local transmissions found at the Xinfadi food market has led to lock-down measures being reintroduced.

Officials are concerned about an uncontrolled second wave. Chinese citizens are urged not to travel to the Capital.

New Zealand is thought to have eliminated the virus, with no current active cases and weeks since the last new case.

Katie Wrenn, MPH, Epidemiologist at GlobalData

9:17 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Scotland announces £62m support for energy sector – PTT to trim investment

Thailand’s state-owned oil and gas company PTT has announced plans to trim its 2020 investment budget by around 10-15% this year. The move will reduce planned expenses by up to $1.2bn according to Reuters. The company also anticipates some delays in several projects due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

Canadian oil sands companies have scrapped a nearly C$2bn ($1.47bn) investment plan to support green initiatives. The move was taken as part of cost-cutting measures amid the Covid-19 crisis, reported Reuters. Greenhouse emissions for oil sand extraction are usually higher compared to conventional oil recovery processes. Accordingly, the producers face higher pressure to reduce emissions and invest in green initiatives.

The Scottish government has announced a £62m fund to support the energy sector which is scrambling to recover from the impact of Covid-19 and oil price crash. The Energy Transition Fund will be utilised over the next five years to assist the companies to further diversify the businesses and attract private sector investment.

TechnipFMC team has been assisting in Covid-19 response efforts in Congo and Angola with practical donations. The initiatives included providing personal protective equipment to the health workers. The company has also ramped up efforts to support local orphanages in procuring necessary food supplies amid the pandemic.



8:04 am

Government policy changes needed to address ‘the new normal’

15 June

Governments across the world introduced various policies such as unemployment benefits, and tax deferrals to enable people to deal with the impact caused by the Covid-19 lockdowns.

As countries begin to reopen their economies, it is essential that governments introduce new policy changes that enable them to adjust to the new normal.

Adam Posen, president of Peterson Institute for International Economics, shared an article on the need for a new policy toolkit as lockdown measures are lifted across the world.

The article notes that some measures adopted during the lockdown such as employment benefits, grants and loans will come to an end.

In this environment, policy makers need to take into account the uncertainty facing the economies due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the article adds.

Governments should design new policies that enable people to adjust to the new changes after the lockdown is lifted.

A combination of unemployment benefits and pay cuts, tax deferrals and guaranteed loans are some policies that governments can consider.

Read more


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