The Covid-19 crisis has forced a vast majority of people, including top executives, to work remotely as governments imposed sweeping measures to curb the spread of the pandemic, putting a strain on physical and mental well-being. A new survey shows, nearly eight out of 10 corporate executives have experienced poor mental health during the crisis, prompting a number of them to re-evaluate and improve work-life balance. The survey also found that less than a third of the participants intend to keep working from home primarily, and a quarter of them planned to trim working hours. Read more here


Let’s look at the global statistics:


Total Confirmed Cases: 33,078,537


Change Over Yesterday: 327,125


Total Deaths: 997,737


Total Recovered: 22,926,282


Nations hit with most cases: US (7,115,046), India (6,074,702), Brazil (4,732,309), Russia (1,146,273) and Colombia (813,056)


Source: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center


Australian firm says its nasal spray reduced growth in animals: Australian biotech company Ena Respiratory said that a nasal spray it is developing to improve the human immune system to fight common cold and flu significantly reduced the growth of the in a recent study on animals. The study on ferrets showed the product INNA-051 lowered the levels of the virus that causes Covid-19 by up to 96 percent. Read more here


South Africa set to hit 34.8 percent unemployment in Q2: South Africa is forecast to set an unwelcome world record this week when its statistics agency is predicted to report unemployment rose to a record 34.8 percent in the second quarter, which would be the highest of 83 countries tracked by Bloomberg. A study by a group of 30 academics and researchers shows 1.5 million more people were furloughed. Read more here


Brazil reports 14,318 new cases of coronavirus, 335 deaths: Brazil recorded 14,318 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 335 deaths from the disease. The South Asian country has registered more than 4.7 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has reached 141,741. Read more here


UK university students furious over virus restrictions: Some students complained they were being “imprisoned” in their dormitories and politicians debated whether young people should be allowed to go home for Christmas. Students at universities in Glasgow, Manchester and Edinburgh — who have returned to campus in the past few weeks — are being asked to self-isolate in their residence halls, with security guards at some schools preventing young people from leaving their buildings. Read more here


Philippines warns against complacency as virus spread slows: Reforms to centralize hospital command and intensify tracking and isolation helped cut back new infections and decongest health facilities this month, the nation’s health ministry said. It is investigating a slight uptick in severe and critical cases. Deaths accounted for 1.7 percent of cases as of September 21 versus 1.6 percent on August 17. Read more here


Tokyo HQs no longer such a capital idea for Japan Inc: Growing numbers of Tokyo-based companies are considering relocating some of their functions to other parts of Japan, spurred by a desire to minimize risks in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.


Half of Japan’s listed companies are concentrated in the capital, but teleworking, which has become common due to the Covid-19 outbreak, presents an opportunity for these companies to escape Tokyo’s congestion, executives say. Read more here


Specials


Germany has its own Dr Fauci—and actually follows his advice


Christian Drosten helped spare his country from the worst of Covid. Now he’s worried about the second wave. As a doctoral student in Hamburg in 2003, he’d discovered that the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, then terrifying Asia was caused by a coronavirus. Although it was unclear whether a coronavirus was responsible for the Wuhan outbreak, Drosten fully understood the danger. While the viruses are common pathogens known to cause colds, some discovered in recent decades are highly lethal. He alerted his staff to get ready for the possibility of a deadly pandemic. When Chinese researchers confirmed that the culprit was indeed a coronavirus and on Jan. 10—a Friday—published its genome sequence, the Charité scientists sprang into action. Working through the weekend, they pulled together samples of the SARS virus and other coronaviruses, aiming to make a test that could detect the new threat. Read more here


How Americans are moving during Covid


Are people in the US migrating during the coronavirus crisis in different ways than pre-pandemic? Are they leaving cities? Moving to the suburbs? These are popular questions without definitive answers — yet. But there is some data emerging that can paint a better picture of Americans’ geographic response to the pandemic. One thing’s for certain: So far, there is little support for the dramatic claims that people are fleeing cities writ large. In fact, available data indicates that overall, fewer people moved at all since the beginning of stay-at-home orders and through June — even with interest in moving on the rise again. Read more here


Who’s succeeding against the coronavirus and why





Countries that quickly rolled out testing and tracing in January — including South Korea and Germany — squashed their early waves. Testing enabled policy makers to react quickly to the growing threat and convinced people of the danger at hand. The benefit of that early action appears to be long-lasting. While both countries faced rising cases again at the end of summer, they seem to have driven the virus levels so low in preceding months that they’re so far able to handle the situation calmly. By contrast, the US and UK were considered by some experts just a year ago to be the most prepared countries on the planet for a pandemic. Yet each failed to put sufficient testing in place early on, allowing the virus to spread largely unchecked, eroding some people’s faith in health officials and leading to two of the highest rates of Covid deaths per capita in the world. Read more here


Info-graphics


1 million: tracking the Covid-19 death toll


It is a pandemic that has divided countries from within, yet unites the world in common anguish and loss. In the United States, a son in Sacramento can only listen to a description of his mother’s burial in New Jersey via his daughter, the only relative permitted to attend.


The dead are poor — in an Indian village, a man’s family borrows a wooden cart that a neighbor used to sell fish and carries his body to his funeral pyre. And the dead are workers — in Brazil, a man who works in a meatpacking plant does everything he can think of to protect himself, yet he brings the bug home and now his wife is dead. Yet at each stop along the virus’s eight-month journey, as deaths mounted, those whose loved ones died feel compelled to tell the stories of the people they’ve lost. See here





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