Governments take measured steps to jumpstart economies amid coronavirus fears

Governments take measured steps to jumpstart economies amid coronavirus fears
Above, a merchant wears a face mask and gloves at a jewelry shop in Dubai on May 12, 2020 as markets were reopened amidst an easing of pandemic restrictions. (AFP)
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Updated 16 May 2020

Governments take measured steps to jumpstart economies amid coronavirus fears

Governments take measured steps to jumpstart economies amid coronavirus fears
  • Some countries have issued workplace safety guidelines as part of precautionary steps

DUBAI: The world’s major governments are reopening businesses and factories to jumpstart their economies that have been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

In the Middle East, some countries have issued workplace safety guidelines as part of precautionary steps again the spread of highly contagious virus while others have reversed their easing of lockdown measures amid fears of a second wave of infection.

May 15, 2020 Friday (all times in GMT)

18:23 -  French health authorities reported 104 new coronavirus deaths on Friday, or a slowing increase of 0.4%, bringing the total to 27,529, still the fourth-highest in the world.

17:30Egypt announced 399 new cases of coronavirus and 21 more deaths from the disease.

16:50 - The number of people who have died in the United Kingdom after testing positive for COVID-19 rose by 384 to 33,998, Britain's health ministry said on Friday.

16:25 - Turkey announced more than 1,700 new cases of coronavirus on Friday. 

16:10 - Scientists and researchers are working at "breakneck" speed to find solutions for COVID-19 but the pandemic can only be beaten with equitable distribution of medicines and vaccines, the head of the World Health Organization said on Friday.

15:55 - The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on doctors to be alert for an autoimmune condition among children that is believed to be linked to COVID-19.

15:40 - Brazilian Health Minister Nelson Teich resigned Friday, over what a ministry official said was "incompatibility" with President Jair Bolsonaro's approach to fighting the country's spiralling coronavirus crisis.

15:37 - Algeria announced 187 new cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths from the disease on Friday. 

14:40 - Saint Peter's Basilica, the largest Catholic church in the world, will reopen to visitors on Monday after a two-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Holy See said Friday.

13:57 -  The US government plans to stockpile hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines that are under development to combat the novel coronavirus with the goal of having one or more vaccines ready to deploy by the end of the year, the health secretary said on Friday.
"We've got over 100 vaccine candidates that have been discovered," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Fox Business Network. "What we're doing now is we're narrowing those down to the core group that we're going to place huge multi-hundred million dollar bets on and scale massive vaccine domestic production so that we by the end of the year, we hope, would have one or more safe and effective vaccines and hundreds of millions of doses." 

13:45 - The UAE announced 747 new cases of coronavirus on Friday. 

12:46 – Saudi Arabia reported 2,307 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infected people to 49,176. There were also nine coronavirus fatalities, bringing the total number of deaths to 292.

12:32 – Qatar said there were 1,153 new coronavirus cases overnight, bringing the Gulf country’s caseload to 29,425.

12:31 – Bahrain confirmed 220 new coronavirus patients, bringing the total number of infection cases to 3,771.

11:11 – French officials called for self-restraint as the country prepared for its first weekend since the coronavirus lockdown was eased. READ MORE

10:05 – Lebanon said there were five new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infected people to 891.

09:42 – Evening dresses made of gold mesh, gilded sunglasses and glittering crowns are sparkling again from the windows of Dubai’s historic gold souk which was shuttered during the coronavirus lockdown. READ THE STORY




A jeweler showcases bars of gold at the Dubai Gold Souk on May 13, 2020 as shops re-opened amidst an easing of pandemic restrictions. (AFP)

09:22Spain’s number of coronavirus cases increased to 230,183 and fatalities rose to 27,459.

08:44 – Malaysia confirmed 36 new coronavirus cases, bringing its caseload to 6,855.

08:36Philippines reported 215 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infected people to 12,091.

08:25 – Treating COVID-19 patients with the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine had no positive effect and caused other health complications, two new studies showed. READ MORE

08:00An American cargo pilot who admitted to “poor judgment” in breaking a quarantine order to buy medical supplies became the first foreigner imprisoned in Singapore for breaching its restrictions meant to curb the coronavirus.

07:51 – Oman reported 284 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 4,625.

07:40Russia confirmed 10,598 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infected people to 262,843.

07:15Singapore’s health ministry said on Friday it had confirmed 793 more coronavirus cases, taking the city state’s tally of infections to 26,891.

06:28 – Oman confirmed the death of a citizen due to coronavirus, increasing the death toll in the country to 19.

06:18 – The mopeds are back in Hanoi, cars once more clog Karachi’s streets and gridlock has returned to Beijing’s ring roads — as lockdowns caused by the coronavirus ease, the temporary respite from traffic has also been broken. READ THE STORY




Above, motorists travel along a road in Yangon on May 14, 2020. (AFP)

04:57Restaurants, cafes and bars in Australia’s most populous state were reopening on Friday after a two-month shutdown under coronavirus lockdown measures, boosting the federal government’s bid to get people back in work and the economy back on track.

04:43Large parts of Japan marked the first day out of a state of emergency on Friday while major cities remained under coronavirus restrictions and new testing suggested that contagion in Tokyo was wider than official figures.

04:09Singapore Airlines will cut capital spending this financial year by at least 12 percent from its previous plan, with the final reduction to be determined by talks with planemakers over delivery delays, its chief financial officer said on Friday.

04:06US President Donald Trump said he intends to prepare for future pandemics by replenishing the national stockpile and bringing manufacturing of critical supplies and equipment back to the US. His comments came the same day a whistleblower told Congress the Trump administration had failed to properly prepare for the current pandemic.

04:00 – The health ministers of South Korea, China and Japan will get together by video conference on Friday to discuss ways to work together in the global campaign against the coronavirus, South Korean officials said.