pcloudy.png
Tuesday July 14th, 2020 3:17PM

Even where virus accelerates, lockdowns are cracking open

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW DELHI (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic accelerated across Latin America, Russia and the Indian subcontinent on Friday even as infection curves flattened and reopening was underway in much of Europe, Asia and the United States.

Many governments — even those where the virus is still on the rise — say they must shift their focus to saving jobs that are vanishing as quickly as the disease can spread. In the United States and China, the world's two largest economies, unemployment is soaring.

The Federal Reserve chairman has estimated that as many as 1 in 4 Americans could be jobless, while in China analysts estimate around a third of the urban workforce is unemployed.

Meanwhile, the virus is roaring through countries ill-equipped to handle the pandemic, which many scientists fear will seed the embers of a second global wave of infections.

India saw its biggest single-day spike since the pandemic began, and Pakistan and Russia recorded their highest death tolls. Most new Indian cases are in Bihar, where thousands returned home from jobs in the cities. For over a month, some walked among crowds for hundreds of miles.

Latin America’s two most populous nations — Mexico and Brazil — have reported record counts of new cases and deaths almost daily this week, fueling criticism of their presidents, who have slow-walked shutdowns in attempts to limit economic damage.

Cases rose and intensive-care units were swamped in Peru, Chile and Ecuador — countries lauded for imposing early and aggressive business shutdowns and quarantines.

Brazil reported more than 20,000 deaths and 300,000 confirmed cases Thursday night — the third worst-hit country in the world in terms of infection by official counts. Experts consider both numbers undercounts due to widespread lack of testing.

“It does not forgive, it does not choose race, or if you are rich or poor, black or white,” Bruno Almeida de Mello, a 24-year-old Uber driver, said at his 66-year-old grandmother’s burial in Rio de Janeiro. “It’s sad that in other countries people believe, but not here.”

She had all the virus’s symptoms, but Vandelma Rosa’s death certificate reads “suspected of COVID-19,” he said, because her hospital lacked tests. That means she did not figure in the death toll, which nevertheless on Thursday marked its biggest single-day increase: 1,181.

President Jair Bolsonaro has scoffed at the seriousness of the virus and actively campaigned against state governors’ attempts to limit movement and commerce.

Bolsonaro fired his first health minister for supporting governors. His second minister resigned after openly disagreeing with Bolsonaro about chloroquine, the predecessor of the anti-malarial often touted by U.S. President Donald Trump as a viable coronavirus treatment.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador downplayed the threat for weeks as he continued to travel the country after Mexico’s first confirmed case. He insisted that Mexico was different, that its strong family bonds and work ethic would pull it through.

The country is now reporting more than 400 deaths a day, and new infections still have not peaked.

Armando Sepulveda, a mausoleum manager in suburban Mexico City, said his burial and cremation business has doubled in recent weeks.

“The crematoriums are saturated,” Sepulveda said. “All of the ovens don’t have that capacity.” Families scour the city looking for funeral services that can handle their dead, because the hospitals cannot keep the bodies, he said.

The Mexican government has shifted its attention to reactivating the economy. Mining, construction and parts of the North American automotive supply chain were allowed to resume operations this week.

Russian health officials registered 150 deaths in 24 hours, for a total of 3,249. Many outside Russia have suggested the country is manipulating its statistics to show a comparatively low death rate. The total confirmed number of cases exceeded 326,000 on Friday.

The governor of the German region of Saxony, Michael Kretschmer, suggested that his country could bring in Russian patients, as it has those from European Union countries as a gesture of “solidarity.”

China announced it would give local governments 2 trillion yuan ($280 billion) to help undo the damage from shutdowns imposed to curb the spread of the virus that first appeared in the city of Wuhan in late 2019 and has now infected at least 5.1 million people worldwide, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The Bank of Japan said it would provide $280 billion in zero-interest, unsecured loans to banks for financing small and medium-size businesses.

Nearly 39 million Americans have lost their jobs since the crisis accelerated two months ago. States from coast to coast are gradually reopening their economies and letting people return to work, but more than 2.4 million people filed for unemployment last week alone.

Much of the country remains unlikely to venture out to bars, restaurants, theaters or gyms anytime soon, despite state and local officials across the country increasingly allowing businesses to reopen, according to a new survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

That hesitancy could muffle any recovery from what has been the sharpest and swiftest economic downturn in U.S. history — comparable only to the Great Depression almost 90 years ago.

In an eerie echo of famous Depression-era images, U.S. cities are authorizing homeless tent encampments, including San Francisco, where about 80 tents are now neatly spaced out on a wide street near city hall as part of a “safe sleeping village” opened last week. The area between the city’s central library and its Asian Art Museum is fenced off to outsiders, monitored around the clock and provides meals, showers, clean water and trash pickup.

Nathan Rice, a 32-year-old who is camping there, said he’d much rather have a hotel room than a tent on a sidewalk.

“I hear it on the news, hear it from people here that they’re going to be getting us hotel rooms,” he said. “That’s what we want, you know, to be safe inside.”

Despite an often combative approach to scientists who disagree with him, Trump’s approval ratings have remained steady, underscoring the way Americans seem to have made up their minds about him. A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research says 41% approve of his job performance, while 58% disapprove. That’s consistent with opinions of him throughout his three years in office.

In Congress, Republicans are staking out plans to phase out coronavirus-related unemployment benefits to encourage Americans to go back to work, although it’s not clear when there will be jobs to return to. The Senate also began efforts to fast-track an extension of a popular small business lending program.

European countries also have seen heavy job losses, but robust government safety-net programs in places like Germany and France are subsidizing the wages of millions of workers and keeping them on the payroll. Tourism, a major income generator for Europe, has become a flashpoint as countries debate whether to quarantine new arrivals this summer for the virus’s two-week maximum incubation period.

Spain’s National Statistics Institute published its tourism report Friday showing columns of zeros for overnight stays, average length of stays and occupancy rates in April. Spain is Europe’s second most popular tourist destination, after France, and an economic recovery without visitors is all but unthinkable.

___

Hinnant reported from Paris and Biller from Rio de Janeiro. Associated Press reporters around the world also contributed.

___

Follow AP pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Careers, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Even where virus accelerates, lockdowns are cracking open
The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating across Latin America, Russia, India and Pakistan even as curves are flattening and economies start to reopen in much of Europe, Asia and the United States
8:43AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Pakistani officials say at least 2 survived plane crash
Pakistani civil aviation officials say at least two people have survived the crash of a domestic flight near Karachi that had 107 passengers and crew on board
8:42AM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: German politician: Offer help to Russia patients
A German regional politician is reportedly suggesting taking in COVID-19 patients from Russia, which is seeing a spike in cases
8:37AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Virus accelerates across Latin America, India, Pakistan
The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating across Latin America, Russia, India and Pakistan even as curves are flattening and economies start to reopen in much of Europe, Asia and the United States
7:51AM ( 1 hour ago )
Man who filmed Arbery shooting video charged in his slaying
The Georgia man who filmed cellphone video of the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery has now been charged with murder
7:50AM ( 1 hour ago )
Recording Academy records John Prine song for charity
The Recording Academy has released a new recording of John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” with proceeds going to support the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund
7:35AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
In virus chaos, some find solace, purpose in helping others
Digital fundraising campaigns
2:54AM ( 6 hours ago )
China focus on jobs, fighting virus as layoffs sweep globe
China is doubling down on fighting the coronavirus pandemic and creating jobs as the number of people thrown out of work soars worldwide
1:58AM ( 6 hours ago )
GOP weighs jobless aid cuts to urge Americans back to work
Republicans want to phase out unemployment benefits to encourage Americans to go back to work
12:07AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online National News
World shares slide, spooked by China moves toward Hong Kong
Shares are down in Europe and Asia, led by a nearly 6% decline in Hong Kong after communist leaders in China proposed legislation Friday that could limit opposition activity in the former British colony
7:49AM ( 1 hour ago )
Asian shares fall on US friction with China, Hong Kong fears
Shares are slipping in Asia, led by a sharp decline in Hong Kong, as tensions flare between the U.S. and China
2:56AM ( 5 hours ago )
The Latest: UN again urges global cease-fire to fight virus
The United Nations secretary-general is again urging factions in conflict to heed his call for a global cease-fire to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic
1:28AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
China may pass bill to crack down on Hong Kong opposition
A spokesperson says China’s ceremonial parliament will consider a bill that could limit opposition activity in Hong Kong
8:29PM ( 12 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump: US flag will be half-staff next 3 days
President Donald Trump says he will order the U.S. flag to be flown at half-staff over the next three days as the death toll from COVID-19 surpasses 95,000
7:33PM ( 13 hours ago )
The Latest: Whitmer wins legal fight with lawmakers
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer prevailed in a high-stakes challenge from Republican lawmakers who sued over her authority to declare emergencies and order sweeping restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak
6:24PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: Indonesia apologizes to citizens for virus
Indonesian Vice President Ma’ruf Amin apologized to all Indonesians as the threat of COVID-19 in the country is not over yet
7:01AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Spain says lockdown put hotel occupancy at 'nil'
The latest report from Spain’s National Statistics Institute makes grim reading for the country’s tourism sector
6:05AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Staff quarantined over slaughterhouse virus toll
The owner of an abattoir in the eastern Netherlands says that health authorities have placed all 600 staff in home quarantine for two weeks after 45 workers tested positive for the coronavirus
5:11AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Tech giants are embracing remote work. Others may follow
For a preview of the future of office work, watch how the biggest tech companies are preparing for a post-pandemic world
4:56PM ( 15 hours ago )
China lawmakers gather as doubts swirl over pandemic safety
China is convening its biggest political gathering and President Donald Trump has said he is considering holding the Group of Seven summit in June as doubts simmer over how safe is safe enough with the pandemic still not under control
2:27AM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Japan ending state of emergency in 3 prefectures
Japan’s economy minister says experts have approved a government plan to remove a coronavirus state of emergency in Osaka and two neighboring prefectures in the west where the infection is deemed slowing, while keeping the measure in place in the Tokyo region and Hokkaido
1:29AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Careers
Retailers reopening more stores, tourism expanding
Discount retailer TJX has reopened more than 1,600 of its stores worldwide to date
7:03PM ( 13 hours ago )
'Hundreds of millions' in fraudulent jobless benefits paid
Impostors have used the stolen information of tens of thousands of people in Washington state to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in unemployment benefits
5:50PM ( 15 hours ago )
Pandemic highlights big box stores' ability to pivot
Big box stores like Best Buy,Target, Walmart and others have been able to capitalize on their digital expertise and stay relevant during the pandemic
5:04PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
Pakistani officials say at least 2 survived plane crash
Pakistani civil aviation officials say at least two people have survived the crash of a domestic flight near Karachi that had 107 passengers and crew on board
8:42AM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: German politician: Offer help to Russia patients
A German regional politician is reportedly suggesting taking in COVID-19 patients from Russia, which is seeing a spike in cases
8:37AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Mayor: Pakistan plane crashes near Karachi, all 107 killed
A passenger plane has crashed in a crowded neighborhood on the edge of the international airport near Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi
8:34AM ( 20 minutes ago )
IMF to give Ukraine $5 billion to cope with virus fallout
The International Monetary Fund has reached an agreement with Ukraine to allocate $5 billion to help the country cope with the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak
8:28AM ( 26 minutes ago )
Swiss ski resort plans to create longest World Cup downhill
A Swiss ski resort plans to create the longest downhill race in the men's World Cup
8:27AM ( 27 minutes ago )