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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

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.

9:26 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Freeport-McMoRan exceeds performance targets – Hochschild reports Peru outbreak – Ivanhoe Mines procures test equipment

7 July

Japan-based Mitsui Mining and Smelting has restarted operations at its Huanzala and Palka zinc mines in Peru following a closure. The two mines had been suspended since March after the local government issued a state of emergency to limit the spread of Covid-19. A Mitsui Mining spokesman was quoted by Reuters as saying that the mines resumed operations after the country restarted some economic activities and Mitsui secured approval from the local government. The company has resumed operations with measures in place to prevent infection among workers.

Freeport-McMoRan has exceeded several key performance targets included in its April revised operating plans that were announced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting negative impact on the economy worldwide. The company’s copper sales for the second quarter of this year are expected to exceed the estimate of 690 million pounds by approximately 8% and gold sales are expected to exceed expectation by about 10%. At each of its operating sites, the company has implemented operating protocols to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Hochschild Mining has reported that some of its workers have tested positive for Covid-19 at its Inmaculada operation in Peru, despite taking various preventative measures against the virus. Prioritising the health of its employees above business continuity, the company temporarily halted operations at the mine. Inmaculada is set to continue with a reduced workforce operating care and maintenance activities at the site. Hochschild’s Pallancata mine in Peru and San Jose mine in Argentina currently remain in operation.

Ivanhoe Mines has reported that its Kamoa-Kakula project has procured a polymerize chain reaction (PCR) testing device from German company Bosch as part of its Covid-19 readiness initiatives. It will initially receive 500 test kits. PCR tests are capable of detecting the presence of an antigen directly, rather than the presence of the body’s immune response, or antibodies. Additionally, the project has established a Covid-19 isolation facility at the Kamoa camp. The company will move any suspected or symptomatic cases to this facility for isolation, treatment and testing.

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.

9:22 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Trevali suspends Santander mine – DRC looks to end mandatory confinement – Indonesia to cut coal production

6 July

Trevali Mining has suspended operations at its Santander mine in Peru after it reported that a total of 82 workers have tested positive for Covid-19. The cases were identified during routine testing and the company quarantined all 298 workers on site who underwent further testing. At present, three individuals are displaying mild symptoms while all other workers are asymptomatic. Trevali suspended operations to focus on the health and safety of Santander’s workforce and the community. Workers who have tested negative and are not required for critical tasks at the mine site are being transported offsite to their homes.

Democratic Republic of Congo Mines Minister Willy Kitobo Samsoni is set to meet with mining companies to agree a moratorium on confining workers to mine sites due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Last month, civil society groups demanded an end to mandatory confinement policies hat were implemented by copper and cobalt mining companies to avoid outbreaks. Reuters quoted Samsoni as saying in a statement that he would deliver a moratorium to mining companies by engaging with them to end confinement while taking their individual needs into account.

Indonesian mining companies have announced their decision to cut domestic production by 50 million tonnes this year in an effort to increase worldwide coal prices which have been declining amid the Covid-19 crisis. The Indonesian Coal Mining Association (APBI) has forecast coal production this year to fall short by 11% to 530 million metric tonnes. But members of the association are planning to cut production to 480 million tonnes due to weak prices. Last month, the country’s benchmark coal price hit $5,298 per tonne, according to data released by the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry. APBI chairman Pandu Sjahrir was quoted by The Jakarta Post as saying that the low price trend will continue amid concerns over a possible second wave of Covid-19.

Czech Republic Health Minister Adam Vojtech said that Covid-19 cases in its mining area are currently under control and are expected to ease soon. An increase in new coronavirus infections in a Czech coal mining region has been the driver of a recent jump in overall cases. Due to the rise in cases, some other European Union members such as Slovenia were prompted to remove the Czech Republic from their list of safe countries. Vojtech tweeted that the situation is currently under control and a drop in cases is expected if infected people maintain quarantine and abide by the rules.

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

11:25 am

Axora: mining to see social and technological change after Covid-19

Axora has announced a number of predictions for the future of the global mining industry, with social change and technological innovations set to become more commonplace amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company, which describes itself as the creators of “the world’s first curated innovation marketplace” hosted a webinar on Thursday this week, highlighting a number of challenges that the mining industry faces. According to S&P Global, the spread of Covid-19, and resulting lockdown measures, has affected 247 mine sites in 33 countries, with some of the world’s most productive miners bearing the brunt of the lockdown; mining production in South Africa alone, for instance, is set to fall 50% year-on-year.

Read more about the company’s predictions here.

9:29 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Czech company OKD closes mines – Codelco CEO urges Chile not to impose restrictions – Minerals Council warns of virus stigma

3 July

Czechia-based hard coal mining group OKD has closed all its mining operations for six weeks as the company fights Covid-19 infections. During recent weeks, the mines, located in the country’s east near the Polish border, have been the main hot spot of new cases. As part of OKD’s decision, three deep mines will be closed in addition to the first location where the outbreak started which was shut on 22 May. Reuters reported news agency CTK as saying that after blanket testing was carried out for 3,403 employees at the company’s two CSM mines, a total of 704 positive cases were revealed, all with no or mild symptoms.

Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL) has reported that its stand-alone steel production, which includes pig iron, increased 8% quarter-on-quarter during Q1 FY21 in the midst of the economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Several steel companies have been forced to cut production due to a fall in sales caused by the pandemic induced lockdowns.

Chilean copper producer Codelco CEO Octavio Araneda has warned that any move to ramp up restrictions on its mines amid the Covid-19 outbreak would be “catastrophic” for the country. Araneda said in an interview that despite increasing criticism from unions and politicians, the company had acted proactively to contain the virus. In April and May, the company had held output and shipments of copper steady despite the growing crisis. However, the pandemic has increased its infection tally leading to calls for further restrictions.

The Minerals Council South Africa and its member companies have collaborated to fight stigmatisation of Covid-19. The council noted that the issue of stigmatisation of the pandemic nationally and globally has significant ramifications for reporting, behaviour and also for people getting treatment. Together, the Minerals Council and its members are making every effort to address stigmatisation by improving trust in health services and company support mechanisms providing practical information in a transparent way.

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

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.

9:21 am

Coronavirus company news summary – PGG provides update on outbreak – BHP to ramp down at Cerro Colorado – India gold imports plummet

2 July

Polish coal producer PGG has reported that 82% of its miners infected with Covid-19 have recovered, as it relies on support from the government to see it through the crisis. As of 1 July, the company reported a total of 1886 cases. The government halted output at ten PGG mines and at two mines owned by JSW on 8 June to contain the spread of the virus. PGG said that the epidemic in the company is expiring and the wave is under control.

Global mining company BHP has announced plans to ramp down activity at its Cerro Colorado copper mine located in Chile amid the pandemic. Last year, the mine produced 71,700t of copper, or about 1.2% of the country’s total. Cerro Colorado has also initiated a process to adjust its mine plan to meet operational requirements for the remaining period of its existing environmental licence, which is set to expire at the end of 2023.

The Peru government said that mining activity in the country plummeted in May this year compared to a year earlier due to the implementation of lockdown to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. During mid-March, the country started a strict quarantine, while in May the government passed an order for restarting some key industries. Following this order, mining companies started increasing production. According to the national INEI statistics agency, copper output for May declined by 42.2%, while that of gold slipped 65.1% and production of Zinc tumbled 75.7%.

Last month, India’s gold imports plunged 86% year-on-year due to record high prices and a ban on international air travel amid a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19, a government source told Reuters. Many jewellery shops were also closed during lockdown. India, which is the world’s second-biggest consumer of gold, imported around 11t of gold last month, down from 77.73t a year ago, the undisclosed source said.

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

 

10:15 am

Mining investment down 37% as Covid-19 triggers uncertainty

Business investment in the global mining sector has fallen by 37% according to tax relief consultancy Catax, with concerns regarding the long-term viability of many mining operations amidst the Covid-19 pandemic discouraging investment in the sector.

Total investment in mining projects reached £1.2bn in the first quarter of 2020, down from £1.9bn in the same period last year, as investors turn away from large-scale mining projects. This hesitancy has had ripple effects around the world, with the industrial price of diamonds collapsing from $2,500 per carat to just $100 per carat according to the Zimbabwean Centre for Natural Resources Governance, a particularly stark example of the sudden lack of faith in the mining industry.

“The mining industry has been hit hard by coronavirus, with demand collapsing as factories and whole industries stopped production due to the pandemic,” said Catax CEO Mark Tighe. “Demand is starting to pick up, but it will be hard for the sector to make up the ground it has lost over the past three months.”

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.

9:23 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Alrosa restarts Minry diamond mine – Kirkland Lake reissues guidance – Chile sees rise in mining activity

1 July

Alrosa has announced the restart of operations at its International underground diamond mine located near Minry in Russia. The latest decision was made by the Mirny Mining and Processing Division management as the majority of workers and contractors were tested negative for Covid-19. 12 Covid-19 cases that were confirmed among the mine employees are being treated. The operations of the mine restarted in a two-shift mode. Alrosa management noted that regular testing for the virus will continue until the Covid-19 situation stabilises in Russia.

Kirkland Lake Gold has re-issued this year’s guidance after it withdrew its initial production guidance in April this year owing to the impact of measures introduced by the company to limit the spread of Covid-19 among its workforce. Production of 1,350,000 to 1,400,000 ounces, improved unit costs, lower expected sustaining capital expenditures and higher target growth capital expenditures are included among the re-issued guidance. Ongoing costs related to the company’s Covid-19 protocols are included in operating cash cost guidance. Kirkland Lake’s latest decision follows the ramp up of operations at Detour Lake and Macassa, which were transitioned to reduced operations as part of the company’s response to the pandemic.

Three undisclosed sources told Reuters that a dedicated emergency relief fund is being created by the World Bank to provide support and relief to 40 million artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) across the globe. A World Bank spokeswoman has confirmed the fund, which was yet to be launched officially. The fund is expected to offer short-term assistance to artisanal mining communities to better cope with the impacts of Covid-19.

Total mining activity in Chile rose by 2.1% even despite the Covid-19 pandemic hitting the country. The rise was due to an increase in the extraction as well as processing of copper and the production of  battery metal lithium carbonate. Reuters quoted INE as saying that output of copper has remained resilient amid the pandemic, creeping up 0.6% last month as Chile’s sprawling mines operated with skeleton crews.

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.

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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

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.

 

9:20 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Gold prices rise amid Covid-19 concerns – US coal mining communities strained – Greenpeace warns of risk to Amazon indigenous peoples

30 June

Gold prices have increased as concerns over a surge in Covid-19 infections across the globe dented optimism for a swift economic rebound. This drove investors towards the safe-haven metal. Spot gold increased 0.2% at $1,773.41 per ounce. US gold futures rose 0.5% to $1,788.40 per ounce. ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said that the safe-haven buying is coming through fairly strong, following the second wave of Covid-19 infections in the US.

Coal mining communities in the US have urged for urgent help to stem the economic damage caused due to the decline of coal, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Consumption of coal is believed to have declined by 23% this year, and due to the pandemic, several mines were closed. The fall in coal industry activity is expected to have significant impact on communities such as Appalachia, the Navajo nation, and parts of Illinois and Wyoming that are historically dependent on coal.

Non-governmental environmental organisation Greenpeace International said that illegal miners in Brazil are threatening not only the Amazon rainforest, but also exposing indigenous people to the virus by going further and further into indigenous lands in the rainforest. Last month, Greenpeace Brazil filed a complaint to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office of the Pará state demanding the urgent and definitive removal of the miners from their lands. The Munduruku and Sai Cinza indigenous lands are located in the Pará state.

A new study conducted by the Kimberly Process Civil Society Coalition has revealed that Zimbabwe is among seven countries negatively impacted by the stoppage of diamond sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The study added that this has led to a rise in illicit flows and rampant smuggling of the precious gems. Furthermore, it indicated that the sector has been hit hard by the virus and the pandemic has disrupted activities across the supply chain.

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.

 

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3:44 pm

Mopani district becomes South Africa’s new Covid-19 epicentre

A new ‘cluster outbreak’ of Covid-19 cases has been reported in South Africa’s Limpopo province, with the Mopani district identified as the new epicentre of the pandemic in the country.

Health member of the province’s executive council, Phophi Ramathuba, has said that the Mopani district in the country is changing from a district with no cases at all to an epicentre with low recovery rate.

By late Sunday, the number of infections in the district had reached 147, out of a total of 866 in the entire province.

It was also confirmed that while mines in the Phalaborwa area were the initial source of the fast Covid-19 spread, starting with a mine worker arriving from the Eastern Cape, mining activity is not solely to blame for the rising cases.

According to Ramathuba, non-adherence to health protocols by members of the public is the reason behind the jump in cases.

A concerning trend is also the fact that some miners are residing at different places within communities, meaning that the spread of Covid-19 in communities can go unnoticed.

The Sekhukhune district was previously the province’s epicentre due to an outbreak of Covid-19 in the mining towns.

As of today, according to the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the cumulative number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Africa is 138,134, with 6,337 new cases identified.

A total of 1,567,084 tests have been processed cumulatively, of which 38,075 tests have been conducted since the last report.

The institute has also warned of an upcoming surge in Covid-19 cases during the later winter months in the country – July and August.

It is anticipated that every province will witness an increase in their case numbers in areas with high economic activity, beginning with Gauteng and the Western Cape, and followed by the Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal.

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  

9:30 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Trevali suspends Santander mine operations – Tata Steel closes Jamadoba mine – Chile reports copper output fall

29 June

Trevali Mining has temporarily suspended mining and milling operations at the Santander mine in Peru after 19 workers tested positive for Covid-19. For these workers who are asymptomatic, the company says it has provided safe and preventative quarantine. Operations were suspended to undertake additional testing on site. Prior to a roster change, a total of 69 workers were screened with rapid serological tests of which 19 yielded Covid-19 positive results. The company said new transport options and protocols between the operation and the main areas where its workers live will also be agreed and implemented prior to restart of operations.

Tata Steel has announced the temporary closure of its Jamadoba underground coal operation after a mine manager tested positive for Covid-19. The manager, who was posted at the mine’s pit number two, is currently admitted to Tata Main Hospital in Jamshedpur. Tata Steel spokesperson Rajesh Thakur was quoted by The Economic Times as saying that operations at the mine have been halted as a precautionary measure to stop the spread of the virus. It also launched sanitisation work of the coal mine and the surrounding areas. Furthermore, all mine staff and associates of the mine manager have been directed to undergo necessary health check-ups.

Chile’s Mines Minister Baldo Prokurica has reported a 3.5% fall in copper output due to the growing impact of Covid-19 on the industry. The country’s copper output has declined 200,000t. Reuters quoted Prokurica as saying that the projection – by the Cochilco copper commission representing around 3.5% of the country’s total production for last year – was a best guess since the combined impact of the virus and economic fallout made it “very difficult” to predict with certainty. Prokurica will meet the Interior Ministry’s Crime Prevention undersecretary this week to outline an audit of the mining industry’s anti-coronavirus measures that would be carried out by Chile´s Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin).

The Czech Republic’s daily number of Covid-19 cases increased to 260, which is said to be the highest since 8 April primarily due to surge in an eastern mining region, according to Health Minister Adam Vojtech. Almost half of the new cases were identified in the Karvina region in the east of the country, where a hotspot is believed to have appeared among mine workers. Reuters quoted Vojtech as saying in a live debate on Prima television that massive testing is being conducted in the most-affected region, Karvina, and it is primarily about mining company OKD.

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.

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3:51 pm

South African mining industry joins forces to increase Covid-19 testing

 

The South African mining industry, with the support of the Minerals Council South Africa, is aiming to increase its Covid-19 testing capacity, both for companies and the country’s overall testing objectives, Global Mining Review reports.

Companies, which are required to test employees that fail screening measures, have implemented a risk-based approach that involves additional testing for higher risk people, such as healthcare workers, security personnel, and returning mineworkers, when clusters of infection are identified.

The South African mining industry has undertaken 15,994 tests, as of 25 June 2020.

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

9:49 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.

 

9:19 am

Coronavirus company news summary – six Covid-19 deaths in South African mines – Vale signs Covid-19 monitoring deal – delays to SA mine migrant worker return

26 June

Minerals Council South Africa has said that the country’s mining industry has recorded 1,796 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, with six deaths so far, as mines ramp up production after an extended lockdown. Until now, the mining sector has conducted about 15,994 Covid-19 tests in the country, Reuters reported.

Brazilian iron ore miner Vale has signed an agreement with authorities on monitoring for possible Covid-19 cases at its Itabira mine complex. Earlier this month, mine activities were suspended at the Itabira iron ore production complex, comprising the Conceição, Cauê and Periquito mines, to protect mine workers in the region from the spread of coronavirus.

Precious metals producers in South Africa are facing delays in bringing back thousands of migrant workers from surrounding countries to ramp up output at their facilities after Covid-19 lockdown. Bloomberg cited the Minerals Council of South Africa as saying that the industry has been given approval to bring back 12,432 migrant workers from Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini and other nations. However, the mining firms are still awaiting final approval to proceed.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Queensland resources sector has remained strong during the coronavirus pandemic, experiencing just a 1% drop in jobs during the May quarter. ABS data showed that direct jobs in mining sector moved just from 66,331 to 65,337 during the period.

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.

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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

12:58 pm

AfritTin to resume production in Namibia following Covid-19 shutdown

AfriTin Mining has announced that its Uis tin mine in Namibia will return to full operational capacity following a brief shutdown due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The mine, which had been in the midst of a ramp-up in production ahead of the spread of the virus, will now aim to produce 65 tonnes of production a month, with the company expecting a 20% profit margin on the tin it produces. The net value for the mine is estimated at around $124m, but with the relative lack of Covid-19 cases in Namibia, the miner is optimistic that its project will deliver a return on investment shortly; Namibia has reported just 90 cases of the virus, none of which have lead to deaths, out of a population of 2.5 million people.

“Namibia is a relatively easy place to curtail the spread of a pandemic,” said AfriTin CEO Anthony Viljoen. “Our mine is 200 kilometres from a major town [and local people] are very cognisant of the importance of mining.”

10:55 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Codelco reports third Covid-19 death – Impala Platinum lifts force majeure – Calibre Mining lowers production guidance

25 June

Codelco, the state-owned mining firm of Chile and the world’s largest copper producer, has reported the death of a third worker from coronavirus.  This death will put more pressure on the copper mining industry as the labour unions have been asking for greater safety of workers, reports Reuters. The deceased had reportedly contracted Covid-19 outside of work.

South African platinum miner Impala Platinum has lifted force majeure declared on its contracts and revised 2020 production guidance amid Covid-19. After a lockdown, the country’s mining firms have returned to 85% capacity, reported Reuters. South Africa is the world’s top platinum producer. In March and April, it reported a sharp drop in mining production as mines were shut down due to Covid-19.

Canadian miner Calibre Mining has reduced its 2020 production guidance after a ten-week suspension of mining activities due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The gold producer has now forecast production to be between 110,000 and 125,000 ounces from its Nicaraguan mines. Before the temporary shutdown, Calibre expected 2020 production to be between 140,000 and 150,000 ounces.

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.

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.

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3:42 pm

BHP tightens health protocols as Chilean Covid cases exceeds 200

BHP has announced stricter health and safety protocols at its Chilean operations, following over 200 positive tests for Covid-19 at the miner’s facilities.

Cases of Covid-19 at its Escondida copper mine, the world’s largest, reached 150 earlier this week, while the Spence project reported 59 cases of the virus. In response, the miner has rerouted all flights to the facilities through Antofagasta airport, to avoid the city of Calama that has recorded a high number of cases, and stressed the importance of social distancing measures for workers.

The news is the latest challenge for the miner, which had reported a 8% decline in global copper output in the first three months of the year, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt traditional working methods, and impede new projects. The Spence mine, for instance, was set to receive a $2.5bn investment to increase its annual copper output to 200,000 tonnes, a move which has had to be shelved. BHP also noted that 76 of these cases remained “active”, according to Reuters, and although the miner has not reported any deaths among its workforce, the spreading pandemic will be of concern to the company and its employees.

“This is a dynamic situation that can change rapidly, which is why we are making our best effort to implement all measures necessary to protect the health of our workers and contractors,” said BHP.

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

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.

10:33 am

Coronavirus company news summary – BHP announces strict health protocols – Polish coal mines continue maintenance – Congo to address child labour in mines

24 June

Global mining company BHP Group has announced strict health protocols after Covid-19 cases at its Escondida copper mine in Chile reached 150, with 59 of these identified at its smaller Spence deposit. Of the total cases, 76 of them remained active and the discovery of new cases suggested a “stabilisation and tendency toward decline.” BHP said that the situation can change rapidly as a result of which the company is putting in more efforts to implement all measures necessary to protect the health of its workers and contractors.

A total of 12 coal mines in Poland are continuing maintenance works for safety reasons amid the pandemic. Earlier this month, the government said production would be stopped at these mines to stop the rapid spread of Covid-19 infections among miners. Poland State Assets Minister Jacek Sasin said that output would be halted for three weeks at two JSW-owned mines and another ten mines that are operated by PGG. According to a source, ten PGG mines are operating at 30-50% of normal operations and if they were closed completely for three weeks, the company’s production would be expected to decline by 1.3-1.5 million tonnes.

Authorities in the southeastern mining heartland of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the main producer of copper in Africa and the global source of cobalt, are putting in more efforts to tackle child labour amid worries that the Covid-19 pandemic may drive more families to put their children to work in mines, according to officials. Congo accounts for two-thirds of global supplies of the metal that is used in smartphones and electric car batteries. Congo’s economy has been hard hit by the pandemic, which has weakened demand for metals as well as other raw materials.

Indonesia expects that a planned $3.7bn investment in 35 ore processing facilities would be delayed to next year if the Covid-19 outbreak persists until the end of 2020. Energy and Mineral Resources Minister advisor Irwandy Arif was quoted by Reuters as saying that these investments are planned for plants that are under construction or scheduled to start development this year. Among these projects are 18 nickel smelters, two copper projects and seven bauxite smelter projects, among others. They are now expected to be completed by around 2023 due to the delay.

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

3:15 pm

Covid-19 threatens to derail Zimbabwe’s $12bn mining plan

The Covid-19 pandemic could derail the Zimbabwe Government’s plan to expand the value of its mining industry to $12bn by 2023, according to environmental group the Centre for Natural Resources Governance (CNRG).

Mineral exports were responsible for close to two-thirds of the country’s export earnings as recently as October 2018, and the country’s mining industry is expected to play a key role in any long-term growth in the Zimbabwean economy. Diamonds in particular are among the country’s most valuable commodities, and the CNRG expects revenues of around $1bn from the sale of diamonds by 2023. This is a far cry from the $12bn price tag expected by the government however, which is targeting an increase in annual diamond production to ten million carats by 2023.

Read more about the impacts of the pandemic on the Zimbabwean mining industry here.

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

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

2:28 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

9:24 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Codelco to suspend operations after second Covid-19 death – Glencore-Marafe makes layoffs

22 June

The Glencore-Merafe Chrome Venture in South Africa has started employee consultations on possible job cuts due to the weak economic environment. Many mining companies in the country were forced to halt production after a strict lockdown was implemented in late March to slow the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. A company release on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange said the consultation process is a result of the worsening operating environment across the ferrochrome industry in South Africa. The Glencore-Merafe Chrome Venture, in which Glencore owns 79.5%, has a total capacity of 2.3mt of ferrochrome annually.

Chile-based copper mining company Codelco has announced plans to suspend construction projects in the northern part of the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This announcement came hours after the second death of a company worker due to coronavirus was confirmed. In a statement the company said it will try to maintain production at its Chuquicamata mine while staffing the operation with local personnel. Additionally, it has put measures in place to guard against the spread of the virus after the government reported an increase in deaths due to the pandemic. The government has also increased its estimated number of fatal cases to more than 7,000 from the previously confirmed 4,265 that were confirmed earlier, Reuters reported.

Poland Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin said that the situation in Polish coal mines is stable after a rapid increase in new cases of Covid-19 in the past few weeks. Health ministry figures showed infections among miners have been disproportionately high, while miners accounted for almost 20% of total reported cases in the country. Sasin further added that over the past few days, new daily cases reported in the Silesia coal region have declined to less than 100 after exceeding 200 before. A total of 352 new Covid-19 cases were reported by the ministry, including 91 from Silesia. In total, Poland has 31,316 cases and 1,334 deaths.

South Africa’s Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter said the industry has undertaken a risk-based approach to implement preventive mechanisms as much as possible to get the industry back to work. Baxter added that the prime responsibility rests with management for ensuring the better implementation of measures to ensure safe working practices. Employees, their chosen representatives, and the regulator also need to be responsible to minimise the spread of the virus.

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

3:34 pm

Zambian copper mining revenues fall 30% as a result of Covid-19

Copper mining companies in Zambia, Africa’s second biggest copper producer, have seen a 30% drop in revenues over the three months to April, due to Covid-19 response measures. The post-pandemic disruption is now expected to last for another 12 months, the Chamber of Mines said on Thursday, Reuters reports.

The Chamber further elaborated that global lockdown measures have severely impacted the Zambian mining supply chains and impeded the export and sale of copper, hurting revenues and government coffers.

Royalty payments are estimated to have come in at $60-65m between February and April, about two-thirds of the $90m previously estimated.

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

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.

9:31 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Anglo American Platinum updates on production – Peru mines restart – Zambia sees 30% drop in mining revenue

19 June

South Africa’s Anglo American Platinum has announced that it expects to bring its mining production back up to 75% to 80% of capacity by the end of this year as mines in the country recover from a forced shutdown related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company CEO Natascha Viljoen was quoted by Reuters as saying that the production lost during early lockdown, when most mines in the country closed, would probably not be recovered. Viljoen added that the mines are expected to have an infection rate of between 7% and 10% with Covid-19 screening procedures in place.

Mining companies in Peru are restarting operations that were halted by measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, with mass testing, isolation periods and revamped shift patterns now implemented. This development is said to be key to the country’s economic engine and metals output devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic. But concerns have been raised by unions for mine workers that some planned shifts are too long and urged for strengthening of testing and protective measures. At least 41 large Peruvian firms have implemented government-mandated hygiene protocols as they aim to reach full production capacity during the third quarter.

Poland-based coking coal producer JSW has launched a campaign to defend miners who have faced public abuse and unfair blame on social media over a rise in Covid-19 infections in the country. Health Ministry figures show an increase in infections among miners disproportionately, accounting for about half of the daily rise in cases in recent weeks. Miners account for almost 20% of the country’s total reported cases of the virus. According to JSW spokesman, the campaign is aimed at defending the mineworkers and their families, as well as local communities.

Mining companies in Zambia have witnessed a 30% drop in revenue over the three months from February to April this year, illustrating the deep impact of Covid-19 on mining finances, according to the country’s Chamber of Mines. Severe global restrictions on movement have hit mining supply chains and hindered the export and sale of copper. Secondly, during the crisis, the copper price collapsed, and though it has since strengthened, is still down by around 12% over the period when compared to last year. Despite maintaining production, Zambian mining companies have struggled to export and sell their copper.

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

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.

 

9:27 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Vale receives permission for Itabira restart – Iamgold halts Rosebel operations – DRC offers support to miners

18 June

Brazil’s iron ore mining company Vale has received permission from Minas Gerais state labour inspectors to reopen mines in the Itabira complex that were closed due to Covid-19 concerns. The company noted that the operation will be gradually resumed and the iron ore production guidance of 310-330mt need not be revised this year. The Sub-Secretariat for Labour Inspection concluded in its technical report that Vale adopted additional measures that were considered satisfactory to mitigate the risk of workers’ contamination during their labour activities.

Canadian gold miner Iamgold has halted operations at its Rosebel gold mine in Suriname after seven personnel at the mine were diagnosed with Covid-19. Operations will be suspended until the appropriate controls are implemented to protect the safety of all employees. The company has quarantined all the personnel who are receiving medical care as appropriate. Disinfection of their living quarters and work areas, along with contact tracing, is ongoing. At Rosebel, the company has implemented all sanitary measures in close communication with health authorities and reduced the on-site workforce to essential services only.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mines minister Willy Kitobo Samsoni said that financial support will be offered to mining companies that need help due to disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Reuters quoted Samsoni as saying that the state may be able to help mining companies if there are cases of force majeure. Congo is the world’s main source of cobalt and accounts for two-thirds of global supplies of the metal, which is used in smartphones and electric car batteries.

US-based Albemarle told Reuters that it plans to immediately close its Atacama potash plant for 15 working days to comply with restrictions that require mining companies to reduce staff. The company said in a statement that the measure is in place to meet its objective of reducing staffing levels by 24 people amid a rise in infections across the country. The company’s latest decision is not expected to have any impact on its production of lithium, an ingredient which is used in the batteries that power electric vehicles.

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

3:05 pm

US coal miners seek federal Covid-19 protection

A union representing US coal miners has made a legal petition to force the federal government to take further measures to protect them amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, The Associated Press reported.

The petition, filed by the United Mine Workers (UMW) and the United Steelworkers unions, asks the US Circuit Court of Appeals at the district of Columbia for an expedited order against the US Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Read the full article here

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.

 

9:18 am

Coronavirus company news summary – K92 provides operations update – Freegold restarts Golden Summit – Peru mining sector hit by economic downturn

17 June

K92 Mining has reported that its underground Kainantu Gold Mine has delivered strong performance despite the ongoing Covid-19 State of Emergency in Papua New Guinea. Gold equivalent production is on track to exceed the first quarter of this year. The State of Emergency ended on 16 June resulting in the easing of some restrictions in Papua New Guinea. Recently, twin incline activities have recommenced at the mine due to the easing of restrictions.

Freegold Ventures has restarted drilling on its Golden Summit Project located near Fairbanks, Alaska. Initially, a Phase 1 10,000m drill programme involving about 15-20 holes is planned, starting with the completion of Hole GSDL2002 that was closed at 165m in March due to safety concerns resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. The company noted that extensive safety protocols have been put in place to assist reducing the spread of the virus and to protect its contractors, employees and community.

Mining in Peru has declined sharply as the country’s economy sank by more than 40% year-on-year in April after the Covid-19 lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of the virus. Peru is one of the world’s largest producers of copper, gold and silver and mining represents 60% of its exports. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, production was drastically scaled back. Complete operation was allowed to resume last month, with some recovery expected by economists in the next few months. Peru has reported nearly 233,000 cases and more than 6,500 deaths, according to the BBC.

Human rights organisations have expressed concern for cobalt miners in Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Lualaba and Haut-Katanga provinces following reports of on-site confinement policies amid Covid-19. To stay operational during the pandemic, at least six Congolese mining companies are under complete or partial lockdown for more than two months. Currently, there is high demand for Cobalt for its value in devices with rechargeable batteries, including electric cars. A group of 11 non-governmental organisations have signed a letter addressed to 12 of the biggest cobalt and copper mining companies in DRC to put an end to mandatory mine-site confinement policies.

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.

Read more

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 – Talco Gold delays antimony production – India’s gold refineries close due to low supply – Wescoal provides Covid-19 update

16 June

Talco Gold, jointly owned by Talco and China’s Tibet Huayu Mining, has reported that the start of commercial antimony production will take place in October this year. Initially, the company planned to start the production of antimony, a metal used in batteries and fire retardants, from the Konchoch deposits in western Tajikistan in March, but postponed it because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Talco information and public relations department head Igor Sattarov was quoted by Reuters as saying that the pandemic has significantly changed the project’s timeframe.

Half of India’s gold refineries have closed down following the Covid-19 pandemic. Out of the 20 refineries, 10 have closed down as international flights are currently non-operational and dore is not coming from Switzerland, Ghana and Peru. These countries send nearly 20t of dore to India for refining. Association of Gold Refineries and Mints secretary James Jose told ET that the refineries, which were only refining imported dore gold, have closed down due to no dore coming into the country.

Data released by the Indian trade ministry has revealed that the country’s merchandise exports declined by more than a third last month from a year ago, due to a fall in demand and shipments across the globe following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The data showed that merchandise exports fell by 36.47% to $19.05bn during the month, while imports were down 51.05% to $22.20bn, Reuters reported.

Coal mining company Wescoal has announced that all operations of the company have developed Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and approved a Code of Practice (COPs) in line with national legislation, which it has been operating since March. Furthermore, all business units developed business continuity plans and are prepared for any eventuality. Wescoal is also continuously reviewing and revising its plans to safeguard its staff, contractors and operations.

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

3:37 pm

New study confirms bacteria could be used in iron extraction

A new study by the University of California’s Bakar Fellows Program has found further knowledge about microscopic bacteria that can be used in iron ore mining.

Bakar Fellows Program professor of plant and microbial biology Arash Komeili has said that the discovery may lead to new ways to extract metals for commercial value and to manipulate the genes to tease apart ferrosome transport and storage.

Komeili said: “Modifying the types of genes for ferrosome metal transport should allow us to concentrate new metals of interest like gold, copper or manganese.

“The mined metals in the engineered ferrosomes would be present in the same cells as the magnetic particles of manetosomes.

“Because the magnetosomes are magnetic, the accumulated metal could then be extracted by magnets.”

Despite the Covid-19-related disruption, the Bakar Fellows Program funding will support further research on this, to gain better understanding of the process and how it can be applied to mineral extraction.

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

1:02 pm

International Update: Global covid-19 cases near 8 million – second wave hits Beijing – WHO say England should not lift lockdown

15 June

Global: Covid-19 cases worldwide pass 7.9 million. According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, which relies on official government figures, there have been 433,394 known coronavirus deaths worldwide since the start of the pandemic.

Demand for flu vaccine soars as countries plan for second Covid-19 wave. Fears of a second wave of coronavirus have sparked a global scramble for influenza shots from countries that hope to vaccinate great swathes of the population to reduce pressure on their health services.

US: Scott Gottlieb, former US Food and Drug Administration chief, said rising case counts and high hospitalization rates in some states coupled with increasing positivity suggests “there are outbreaks under way.”

The coronavirus is likely to keep spreading until at least 60% of the US population has been infected, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Colombia: Confirmed coronavirus cases in Colombia have risen to over 50,000, the country’s Health Ministry said on Sunday, while neighbouring Ecuador approached the same milestone.

Germany: Germany’s coronavirus infection rate held slightly above the key threshold of 1.0. There were 251 new infections in the 24 hours through Monday morning, bringing the total to 187,518.

Lockdown updates

China: Beijing authorities have locked down residential compounds and fired officials over a new Covid-19 outbreak as health officials warned the risk of the outbreak worsening was “very high”. Ten neighbourhoods in Beijing have been sealed off as part of the city’s attempt to deal with a sudden spike of cases linked to a wholesale food market.

Japan: Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi says the government has made no decision to ease the entry ban imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus after local media reported it might lift it for people from certain countries.

UK: England’s coronavirus lockdown should not be further lifted until the government’s contact-tracing system has proven to be “robust and effective”, the World Health Organization has said.

US: A ban on travel from the UK to the US will likely remain for months, and in the worst case may not end until a vaccine is available.

France: French president Emmanuel Macron has said that all of France will move into the ‘green zone’ regarding coronavirus risks from Monday.

Economic updates

Global: The global economy is in a new expansion cycle and output will return to pre-coronavirus crisis levels by the fourth quarter, according to Morgan Stanley economists.

UK: Forecasters say that the British economy will shrink by 8% this year and is unlikely to recover from the damage wrought by the coronavirus crisis until 2023.

 

11:34 am

Tajikistan pushes back TALCO Gold opening by four months

Tajik state metals firm TALCO has announced that the beginning of production at its TALCO Gold project, a joint venture between the company and China’s Tibet Huayu Mining Company, has been delayed until October due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The virus has already disrupted proposed operations at the mine, which was scheduled to begin commercial production at the end of March this year but has now seen its start-up date pushed back twice. While construction at the site is 80% complete, according to Reuters, the pandemic and resulting lockdown measures has delayed the delivery of equipment produced in Finland, which could take another two months to arrive.

The mine will produce antimony, a metal that is valuable for its use in batteries as a lead-antimony alloy. Alongside its predicted annual gold production of 2.5 tonnes, the TALCO Gold Mine could produce up to 21,000 tonnes of antimony, which could help drive Tajikistan to be the world’s third-largest producer of the metal.

9:19 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Chilean miners unions voice safety concerns – NGOs warn DRC companies may be violating rights – Australian government works to restore lost mining jobs

15 June

Unions of copper miners in Chile have urged for a re-evaluation of the operational continuity plans of the country’s biggest mining companies due to an “alarming” rise in Covid-19 cases among workers. In a statement signed by the union leadership of Codelco, the Mines Federation rejected the “business as usual” discourse advanced by miners as well as the mines minister, Baldo Prokurica. Reuters reported a statement saying: “The increase in cases is alarming and demonstrates that the preventive measures implemented with health and safety protocols aimed at self-care are not working and makes it evident that contrary to what the union believed, security and isolation measures have not immunised workers from contagion.”

The Department of Mining and Geology in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has taken up the issue of non-disposition of fee by mining companies for a number of months including May this year when India’s Covid-19 lockdown was in place. As mine operators faltered in fee payments it has caused a loss of revenue to the state exchequer. Mining secretary Roshan Jacob sent a letter to all district magistrates in which he said that the government has received complaints of mine operators not depositing trimester mining fee. He was quoted by TNN as saying that the availability of mining material is of extreme need in the wake of the pandemic.

A group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) including London-based Rights and Accountability in Development and Amnesty International, and US-based Human Rights Watch said that copper and cobalt-mining companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) may be violating the rights of their workers with strict confinement policies that are meant to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of the mines in the country have kept their employees on site and continued to operate amid the pandemic. They have also tightly controlled traffic in and out of the mines. The NGOs were quoted by Bloomberg as saying in an emailed letter to 13 mining companies that the conditions of the confinement have not always been sufficient.

The Australian government has announced the primary membership of five industrial relations working groups to find ways to regrow lost mining jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ten members that comprise each group will tackle known problems in the information retrieval (IR) system holding back the economic recovery of the country. They will address issues related to greenfields agreements and project approvals for new enterprises within the mining industry to boost the economy. The working groups will also address other issues such as casual and fixed term employment, award simplification, among others.

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

2:59 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: US Covid-19 infections pass 2 million – India fourth most affected country as cases approach 300,000

12 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 7,534,000, with over 421,000 deaths and 3,555,000 recoveries.

The US has reported more than 540,000 recovered cases of Covid-19, more than 2 million total confirmed cases and and more than 1,369,000 active cases.

India moves up ahead of the UK as the fourth most affected country, with more than 297,000 total cases reported.

The US, Brazil and Russia remain the top three countries with the highest number of total confirmed cases.

Mexico has reported nearly 16,000 deaths due to Covid-19 placing it among the top ten countries with the most deaths from coronavirus.

Since 6 April the case fatality rates observed in in Mexico have been higher than those in mainland China.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSTHM, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

2:46 pm

New Saudi mining investment law to deliver $64bn GDP boost

The Saudi Arabian Cabinet has approved a new mining investment law which includes a new fund to provide sustainable finance for the sector as well as support for new geological survey and exploration programs.

Saudi Arabia Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Bandar Alkhorayef called the law a strategic initiative that will boost the mining sector’s contribution to gross domestic product by over SR240bn ($64bn), reduce imports by SR37bn, and create 200,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2030.

10:58 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 cases pass 7.5 million – Brazil infections pass 800,000 – transmissions accelerating in Africa

12 June

Global: There are 7,514,481 confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University data. There have been 420,993 known deaths so far. The true figures for deaths and infections are likely to be significantly higher due to time delays, differing testing rates and definitions, and suspected underreporting.

Brazil: Brazil reported a total of 802,828 confirmed cases of coronavirus on Thursday, with 30,412 new infections in the last 24 hours in the world’s second worst outbreak after the United States.

Indonesia: Hundreds of children in Indonesia are believed to have died from Covid-19, giving the country one of the world’s highest rates of child deaths from the new coronavirus.

Africa: The speed the new coronavirus jumped from 100,000 to 200,000 confirmed cases in Africa shows just how quickly the pandemic is accelerating on the continent, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

India: India’s coronavirus infections rose by 10,930 to overtake the total number of recorded cases in the UK, making it the world’s fourth-worst affected nation.

UK: An unpublished United Kingdom government report said that black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups in the UK should be given targeted health advice in the event of a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak, according to Sky News.

China: Beijing sees first local transmission case in several weeks. A 52-year-old man who has no history of traveling outside the city or contact with anyone coming in has been diagnosed with Covid-19. He is the first local transmission case in China for several weeks.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: New Zealand is relaxing its borders to grant exemptions for certain workers and partners of New Zealand citizens to enter the country. The relaxed rules, which will see America’s Cup sailors included, come after 21 days with no new Covid-19 cases across the country and no current live cases.

Australia: Australia’s federal government stepped up pressure on state and territory leaders on Friday to reopen internal borders, a step viewed as key to reviving the country’s coronavirus-hit economy.

Thailand: Thailand will end most of its remaining lockdown curbs and allow more businesses in the country to reopen on 15 June after no local coronavirus transmissions were found for over two weeks.

Japan: Tokyo lifted the city’s virus alert and moved into the next and final phase of its reopening as the Japanese capital continued its recovery.

Economic updates

Global: The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could plunge an extra 395 million people into extreme poverty and swell the total number of those living on less than $1.90 a day worldwide to more than one billion, according to a new report.

The global economy is recovering more slowly than expected from the pandemic and will bear lingering scars from the experience, International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said in a video released Friday.

US: Stocks fell sharply Thursday on Wall Street as coronavirus cases in the US increased again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 1,800 points, almost 7%, and the S&P 500 dropped 5.9%, its worst day since mid-March, when stocks went through repeated harrowing falls as the virus lockdowns began.

UK: The UK economy shrank a record 20.4% in April as businesses and workers reeled under the lockdown designed to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan: Japan’s parliament passed a record 31.9 trillion yen ($298 billion) extra budget on Friday in an effort to counter the economic impact of the virus.

 

9:22 am

Coronavirus company news summary – DRC miners urged to end mine confinement policies – South Africa reports production decline – Polish miner records outbreak

12 June

A group of 11 civil society organisations have urged copper and cobalt mining companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo to end mandatory mine-site confinement policies. Sealing mine sites off is a measure taken by mining firms in Congo in a bid to avoid Covid-19 outbreaks which could force them to shut down. Workers at many mines in Congo’s southern copper- and cobalt-rich region have been told by managers to either stay and work or lose their jobs, the organisations said.

The resource industry in Australia is set to aid the economic recovery as higher prices and expansion plans assist the country as it emerges from its coronavirus lockdown. Mining in the country accounts for nearly 6% of gross domestic product but plays a key role in national income, BloombergQuint reported. Iron ore is Australia’s biggest export and has broken $100 a tonne amid off-shore supply concerns, thereby offering a timely budget boost.

Mining production in South Africa declined during March and April this year, when output was largely halted during a lockdown that was aimed at containing the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Following a nationwide lockdown in late March, mines in the country were forced to shut temporarily. Total mining output in the country declined 47.3% year on year in April and contracted 18.0% in March, according to Statistics South Africa. As estimated by industry body the Minerals Council South Africa, mining production is set to fall by between 8% and 10% this year due to the pandemic.

Poland-based coking coal producer Jastrzebska Spólka Weglowa (JSW) has temporarily suspended production at its KWK Budryk and KWK Knurów-Szczyglowice mines due to a rise in new Covid-19 cases among its workers, Fastmarkets reported. The infection is believed to have spread in several mines, even after taking precautionary measures, such as screening tests among its workers.

7:36 am

Global trade to decline by 27% in Q2, says UNCTAD

12 June

Lockdown restrictions and closure of international borders due to the Covid-19 pandemic has had a great impact on global trade, causing it to shrink.

Supply and demand in industries such as automotive and energy declined drastically.

Although the lockdown restrictions are being eased in some countries, it will be a long time before global trade returns to normal.

Howard Archer, chief economic advisor to EY ITEM Club, shared an article on the decline in global trade.

Trade is predicted to shrink by 27% in the second quarter, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Trade in the automotive and energy industries collapsed although agri-products trade remained stable.

UNCTAD also projects that global trade to decline by 20% in 2020, according to the article.

Read more

2:12 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases approach 7.5 million – Egypt most affected country in Africa

11 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 7,397,000, with over 417,000 deaths and 3,478,000 recoveries.

In Asia, Russia, India and Pakistan have reported the highest numbers of active cases of Covid-19. Meanwhile, Brunei, Taiwan and Vietnam have the reported the lowest number of active cases of Covid-19.

In Africa, Egypt is the most affected country with the highest number of total confirmed cases and active cases of Covid-19. South Africa follows Egypt in number of active cases reported ahead of Ghana.

The US, UK and Brazil have reported the highest number of deaths due to Covid-19, globally. To date, 190 countries have reported cases of Covid-19.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSTHM, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

11:24 am

76% of Cameroonian miners report staff cuts amid Covid-19

The Cameroonian mining industry is one of the sectors most affected by the spread of Covid-19, according to a report by the country’s National Institute for Statistics (INS), with 76% of mining companies reporting staff cuts amid the pandemic.

The report, which surveyed small and medium businesses between 27 April and 10 May, is discouraging reading for a number of sectors. The staff cuts figure for mining is significantly higher than the average percentage of small and medium enterprises affected, with 59% of all companies of this size cutting jobs, across all sectors. The INS report noted that 62% of all companies have had to cut working hours, and 57% have postponed planned investments, both operations that are critical to the mining industry.

Cameroon has reported over 8,600 cases of Covid-19, the 61st-most in the world, but has reported relatively few deaths. Out of a population of 26.5 million people, there have only been 212 deaths reported, an average of eight deaths per million people.

9:34 am

International Update: US Covid-19 cases exceed 2 million, deaths approach 113,000 – India swamped by rising infections

11 June

US: The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the US, which is by far the worst-affected country worldwide, passed 2 million on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University data, which lists 2,000,464 cases. The country has recorded 112,908 deaths. Brazil, with the next highest number of cases, has 772,416 confirmed infections.

US deaths could reach 200,000 in September. Ashish Jha, the head of Harvard’s Global Health Institute, told CNN in an interview on Wednesday that without drastic action, the number of US deaths would march on.

Latin America: Latin America pandemic deaths passed 70,000, according to a Reuters count, as Mexico hit a daily record for confirmed infections. Brazil remains Latin America’s most affected country as total fatalities are just shy of 40,000, the world’s third highest death toll after the United States and Britain.

India: India reported a record of 9,996 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours with health services in the worst-hit cities of Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai getting swamped by the rising infections.

Thailand: Thailand on Thursday reported no new coronavirus infections or deaths, maintaining the total of 3,125 confirmed cases and 58 fatalities, according to Reuters news agency.

South Korea: South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 45 new coronavirus cases, including 40 local infections on Thurday – a slight decrease from 50 the previous day.

China: China reported 11 new coronavirus cases with all of them imported into the country. The new infections include six in Shanghai and three in Guangdong province, according to a statement from China’s National Health Commission.

Lockdown updates

EU: The EU plans a “gradual and partial” easing of a ban on most travel to the bloc as of 1 July , the EU’s foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters on Wednesday in Brussels.

Cuba: Cuba will test all visitors for coronavirus when it reopens to international tourism, which will be limited at first to the beach resorts at the keys of the Caribbean’s largest island, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz said on Wednesday.

Mexico: Mexico City will embark on a large-scale testing effort as the centrepiece of its plan to reopen its economy, its mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has said.

Pakistan: Pakistan’s de facto health minister has downplayed a World Health Organisation warning to the country on reimposing a lockdown in order to control the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

 

 

9:17 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Chilean mine workers threaten walkout – Brazil expands Vale probe – Coal sees demand resurgence

11 June

Unionised workers at Chile’s state-run copper miner Codelco are threatening to halt work at some sites in order to implement a self-imposed quarantine after a union member died from Covid-19. According to the Federation of Copper Workers (FTC), there had been “alarming” numbers of coronavirus infections at several of the mines in the country and measures to contain its spread are insufficient. FTC was quoted by Reuters as saying in a statement that if it is necessary to halt work in those areas until sanitary conditions are adequate to protect mine workers, they are ready to do so.

Brazilian prosecutors have expanded a probe into efforts by Vale to protect workers from the Covid-19 pandemic. Reuters reported that the office that enforces labor laws in the Para state of Brazil has stepped up an investigation into potential shortcomings in Vale’s efforts. The federal labor prosecutor’s office (MPT) has an internal working group known as the GEAF in place to monitor the company’s iron ore operations in the Carajas region. MPT said in a statement that it was expanding GEAF’s remit to help gauge the measures implemented by the company to contain the spread of Covid-19 among workers.

Demand for coal in India, China and across Asia is increasing and expected to continue growing after being tripped by the Covid-19 pandemic. The US coal industry has been the sector hit hardest, Bloomberg reported. Due to a fall in power demand, utilities in the country closed coal plants first, crimping its domestic consumption. While exports have propped up miners’ earnings in past years, declining prices across the globe have made international shipments more profitable.

Fura Gems has cancelled the inaugural Colombian emerald auction due to travel restrictions and current market conditions resulting from the Covid-19. The emerald auction was initially scheduled in Antwerp, Belgium. The company noted that it will continue to monitor market conditions to determine the appropriate time to hold the auction.

7:24 am

Second Covid-19 wave could see worst contraction in global economy in 100 years

11 June

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to widespread unemployment and potential bankruptcies of businesses and companies across the world.

The economic downturn caused by the pandemic is considered to be one of the biggest in the past century. Developed nations are expected to feel the impact of the pandemic for a long time posting a slow economic recovery.

Stephany Griffith-Jones, an economist, shared an article on how the global economy is expected to suffer the worst recession in a century.

The article is based on a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The article notes that the global economy is expected to contract by 6% due to the pandemic and by 7.6% if there is a second wave of infections.

The report from OECD notes that this is the worst contraction in 100 years.

Read more

2:20 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid cases pass 7.2 million – US, Brazil and UK have most active cases

10 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 7,257,000, with over 411,000 deaths and 3,387,000 recoveries.

The US, Brazil and the UK are the top three countries with the highest number active cases of Covid-19.

The US, Brazil and Russia have reported the highest number of recovered cases, globally.

Recovery trends in the EU remain the same with Germany reporting more recovered cases that Italy or Spain.

In Latin America, Chile and Mexico are the third and fourth most affected countries, respectively.

Brazil, Mexico and Ecuador have reported the highest number of deaths due to Covid-19 in Latin America.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSTHM, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

2:16 pm

Covid-19 could cut global seaborne coal demand by 10%

The Covid-19 pandemic could cut global seaborne coal demand by up to 10%, according to Pandu Sjahrir, the chair of the Indonesian Coal Mining Association, as a combination of lockdown measures and falling coal prices combine to cut demand across the sector.

Sjahrir noted that global demand could fall as low as 895 million tonnes (Mt), 85Mt lower than originally forecast, and 10% lower than the global demand recorded in 2019. This trend has hit some of the world’s largest coal consumers hardest, with Indian demand falling by 40Mt, and declines of 10Mt in China and South Korea.

Read more about the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on global coal demand here.

10:25 am

International Update: World faces food crisis following Covid-19 pandemic, warns UN – 21 US states report weekly increase in Covid cases

10 June

Global: The world faces a food crisis worse than any seen for at least 50 years, the UN has warned. Social protections for poor people are urgently needed as the looming recession following the Covid-19 pandemic may put basic nutrition out of reach.

EU: A group of EU member states called for medical and equipment stockpiles to be increased. The leaders of Denmark, Spain and Germany, as well as France, Belgium and Poland, called for measures to boost the bloc’s long-term resilience to public health crises and backed proposals for shared research and development of vaccines and treatment.

US: On Tuesday, 21 US states reported weekly increases in new cases of Covid-19. Arizona, Utah and New Mexico all posted rises of 40% or higher for the week ended Sunday, compared with the prior seven days, according to a Reuters analysis.

Deborah Birx, the coordinator of President Trump’s coronavirus task force, expressed concern that participants in US protests could spread the illness by yelling through their masks, the Daily Beast reported Tuesday night. The White House did not immediately respond late Tuesday night to a request for comment on the Daily Beast report.

Mexico: The epidemic in Mexico is advancing toward its peak level of infections, WHO warned. Mexico, where total confirmed cases exceed 120,000 and the death toll stands at about 14,000, began a gradual re-opening of the economy at the start of June.

Argentina: Argentina confirmed more than 1,000 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday as the rate of new infections continued to rise just days after it extended lockdown measures in the capital Buenos Aires.

Brazil: On Tuesday Brazil restored detailed Covid-19 data to the official national website, following a scandal about the removal of cumulative totals and a ruling by a Supreme Court justice that the full set of information be reinstated.

South Korea: South Korea’s coronavirus cases spiked to 50 new cases on Wednesday, after two consecutive days of fewer than 40 cases.

UK: Zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas will be allowed to reopen in England from 15 June. Boris Johnson will make the official announcement on Wednesday.

Sweden: Sweden’s top health authority will stop holding daily briefings that had provided updates on the country’s Covid-19 infection rate and death toll.

Singapore: Singapore is set to start human clinical trials on Potenti on a potential treatment for Covid-19 next week, the Straits Times reported on Wednesday.

Singapore has granted Gilead’s drug known as Remdesivir conditional approval as a treatment for the Covid-19 infection, the Health Sciences Authority says in a statement.

Lockdown updates

Pakistan: The World Health Organization (WHO) has told Pakistan it should implement “intermittent” lockdowns to counter a surge in coronavirus infections that has come as the country loosens restrictions, an official said Tuesday.

Thailand: The Thai government may consider lifting the nationwide night-time curfew for 15 days in a trial period to gauge public response, Deputy Army Chief Nattapol Nakpanich tells reporters in Bangkok on Wednesday. The curfew currently runs from 11pm to 3am.

Economic updates

Global: The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) says the shock of the coronavirus will fuel poverty and unrest for years to come, undoing decades of progress in socio-economic development.

Australia: household sentiment surged back toward levels recorded before the Covid -19 outbreak hit the economy, boosted by the country’s success in bringing the coronavirus under control.

India: India is examining plans to end its export ban on hydroxychloroquine used somewhat controversially in the treatment of Covid-19, the Economic Times reports, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Japan: Japan’s Fujifilm is to spend $928 million to expand a facility in Denmark where it plans to produce Covid-19 treatments.

9:44 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Goa urged to resume mining – Minerals Council South Africa provides Covid-19 update – Rwanda issues mining recovery strategies

10 June

Vedanta has cut its aluminium cost of production (CoP) by 20% year-on-year to $1451 per tonne amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has sucked demand and pressured international prices. For the full fiscal year FY20, the CoP declined 14% year-on-year to $1690 a tonne. Due to an increase in alumina production, the company was able to achieve competitiveness in aluminium manufacture largely. Vedanta achieved a record production of 1.81mt of alumina in FY20 at its Lanjigarh refinery located in Odisha.

The Polytechnic Mining Alumni Association of Goa (PolyMAAG) has urged the Goa government in India to take immediate steps to resume mining operations in the state. The Association said that sustainable exploration and mining of minerals plays a key role in the economic development of any country. For the state of Goa, which was already facing at an economic downturn due to abrupt stoppage of mining activities from March 2018, the Covid-19 pandemic has created a greater challenge, PTI reported.

The Minerals Council South Africa has announced that a total of 679 miners have tested positive for Covid-19 with one death in the country’s mining sector. Many of the cases have been identified even though the individuals did not show up any symptoms or show only mild symptoms. The council further said that in some of the clusters identified in mining, up to 95% of those who tested positive have been asymptomatic and tested only due to effective implementation of tracking and tracing systems. At present, more than 230,000 miners are currently back at work in the country.

The Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB) has released a set of strategies that can facilitate mineral processing and trading companies to restart complete operations, thereby allowing the sector to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, The New Times reported. Additionally, Rwanda has started a mining inspection campaign that will inform recovery strategies post the pandemic while also helping to contain its spread in the mining industry. Due to the implementation of lockdown measures by several countries mining and mineral trading activities across the globe have slowed down.

7:19 am

Central banks need to play a more active role in Covid-19 economic recovery

10 June

Central banks of various economies have injected new money into financial markets to deal with the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

These actions although useful may not be enough to post a strong recovery.

Investment-led growth policies and long-term investments are essential to reverse some of the damage caused by the pandemic.

Stephany Griffith-Jones, an economist, shared an article on how central banks need to take more action to support economies after the Covid-19 pandemic.

G7 nations injected approximately $2.5tn into financial markets in March and April using quantitative easing and liquidity programmes to prevent a collapse in the financial sector.

The article notes that banks need to play a bigger role by lending to sectors that are productive and create more jobs.

These jobs also need to be sustainable to create green infrastructure that enables transition towards a zero carbon economy.

 

Read more

2:02 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Global Covid-19 cases pass 7.1 million – US, Brazil and Russia most affected – UK second most deaths behind US

9 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 7,138,000, with over 406,000 deaths and 3,311,000 recoveries.

The US, Brazil and Russia remain the top three most affected countries.

Cases in India are expected to continue increasing as social distancing measures are being relaxed before seeing a consistent decline in new daily cases.

New confirmed cases in Russia remain high, but look to be reaching a plateau.

The US is the country with the most number of deaths due to Covid-19, followed by the UK and Brazil.

In Asia and the Middle East Iran, India, and Russia are the top three countries with the most reported deaths due to Covid-19.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSTHM, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

12:26 pm

Minerals Council SA denies mines are the “epicentre” of Covid-19

The Minerals Council South Africa, the body responsible for representing some of the country’s largest miners, has hit back at allegations that the mining sector is the “epicentre” of Covid-19 in South Africa.

South African mining has come under scrutiny for its response to the pandemic, with 679 cases of Covid-19 reported among miners already, out of just over 50,000 across the country. The country’s mining sector only implemented strict mining safety rules in May, following pressure from trade unions, and moves such as a reopening of mines to operate at 50% capacity have raised concerns that the mining industry is not doing enough to protect workers.

Read more about the Minerals Council’s response to the pandemic here.

9:25 am

International Update: Covid-19 pandemic worsening globally, says WHO – analysis suggests virus in China earlier than estimated

9 June

Global: Global infections have risen to 7,119,454, with deaths at 406,540, according to Johns Hopkins data. The US still has the most infections (1,961,185) and deaths (111,007). The UK has the second highest death toll globally (40,680).

The World Health Organization has warned against complacency, saying the coronavirus pandemic situation is worsening around the globe. The WHO said it had recorded its highest daily tally of new infections on Sunday (136,000), with Covid-19 raging in the Americas. “Although the situation in Europe is improving, globally it is worsening,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

New analysis from researchers at Boston and Harvard universities suggests the coronavirus could have been circulating in China earlier than previously estimated.

US: University of Washington researchers have estimated that 145,728 people could die of Covid-19 in the United States by August. Infectious disease experts have said that large street protests held in major cities after George Floyd’s death could spark a new outbreak.

Brazil: Brazil has reported 679 deaths from coronavirus and 15,654 new cases amid growing controversy about its data and allegations of political manipulation.

Mexico: Mexico has reported 354 new deaths and 2,999 new infections from Covid-19.

Pakistan: Pakistan has recorded its deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak so far, with at least 105 people dead, according to Al Jazeera correspondent Asad Hashim.

Italy: More than half the residents tested for coronavirus in Italy’s northern province of Bergamo have been found to have coronavirus antibodies.

China: Viral cultivation results were negative for all 300 asymptomatic cases found from the earlier mass tests in Wuhan, according to the Municipal Health Commission. Almost 1,200 close contacts of the 300 also tested negative.

Lockdown updates

Russia: Russia will lift a range of lockdown measures on Tuesday, including the lockdown in Moscow, the city’s mayor has announced. The capital’s restriction on movement end on Tuesday, allowing residents to travel freely for the first time since March. Some measures have gradually eased, with some shops opening.

Hungary: Hungary fully reopened its border with Slovenia from Tuesday amid a gradual easing of measures to counter the coronavirus pandemic in both countries, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a Facebook video.

Germany: Germany recorded an increase in the number of new coronavirus cases, and the infection rate climbed further above the key threshold of 1.0.

9:24 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Poland closes 12 coal mines – Canadian miner secures test kits – Antioquia provides operations update

9 June

Poland has halted work at 12 coal mines for three weeks to contain the spread of Covid-19 among miners. Miners account for almost 20% of coronavirus cases that have been reported in the country. Denouncing the move, the Solidarity trade union said that the decision would lead to permanent closures as the government was already planning to restructure the industry. Poland Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin was quoted by Reuters as saying that miners will receive complete pay for this period and there will be no impact on coal deliveries.

Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has opposed the request from coal miners in the country to relax coal royalty payments amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ministry non-tax state revenue of coal and minerals director Johnson Pakpahan was quoted by The Jakarta Post as saying that such relaxations would “disrupt government cash flows” during the time when Indonesia planned to disburse huge amounts in economic recovery schemes as well as relief programmes through the pandemic.

Datametrex has announced a purchase order of Covid-19 test kits from a Canada-based mining company for its Ontario and Quebec operations. Datametrex will provide testing kits and equipment to the mining company. The equipment and testing kits will be imported and distributed to the company at its operating sites in Ontario and Quebec, two provinces which account for 90% of Canada’s confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Antioquia Gold has reported that some delays have occurred in underground development and stope preparation at its Cisneros mining operation due to the Covid-19 pandemic and related contingencies. However, the company has restarted hiring of personnel and staffing levels are returning to pre-Covid-19 levels. Furthermore, several narrow vein stoping blocks are ready to be mined with the long hole stoping method. In the coming months, the blocks will contribute to increased feed grade.

 

7:36 am

Economic forecasts may not be accurate due to Covid-19 unpredictability

9 June

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced experts to predict what lies ahead as economies gradually start to re-open.

However, the economic forecasts made by economists using known models may not be relevant in the current scenario, as these models do not take into account the unpredictable changes brought by the pandemic.

Branko Milanovic, an economist, shared his article on how the Covid-19 pandemic has brought unpredictable social and political changes to the world. Economists use models that consider an economy as a self-contained system that is vulnerable to economic shocks.

The current pandemic, however, has aggravated several social and political changes such as the trade war between the US and China, and the protests against racism in the US.

The pandemic also presents a number of unknown challenges, such as the possibility of a second wave and its impact on countries.

In such a situation, any economic models may not closely predict the future of the global economy.

 

Read more

2:19 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Report: Covid-19 cases exceed 7 million – India and Brazil still showing rises – EU remains stable

8 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 7,000,000, with over 403,000 deaths and 3,149,000 recoveries

Brazil remains in second place in the ranking of top ten most affected countries.

Cases in Brazil are expected to continue increasing as the economy reopened on 5 June before achieving a consistent decline in new daily cases.

India has also seen an increase cases reported, it now is the fifth most affected country, globally.

EU trends remain relatively stable with a continued decrease in cases.

Iran is saw a second peak in new cases due to Ramadan and Eid, however, trends need to be monitored.

Turkey continues to see a decline in new cases of Covid-19.

Ana Fernandez Menjivar, MSc DLSTHM, Senior Epidemiologist, GlobalData

11:08 am

Poland suspends work at 22 coal mines as Covid-19 continues to spread

Poland has announced the suspension of work at 22 coal mines as it tries to limit the spread of Covid-19, with its mining workforce one of the groups to be hardest-hit by the virus.

The mines – ten owned by the Polska Grupa Górnicza and 12 operated by state-owned Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa – will be closed for three weeks, according to deputy prime minister Jacek Sasin. All employees, apart from essential “residual staff” who are necessary to keep the lights on, will be set to receive downtime benefits. Sasin also noted that he does not expect coal deliveries to be disrupted by the temporary shutdown.

Read more about the impacts of Covid-19 on Polish coal here.

10:48 am

International Update: Global Covid-19 infections pass 7 million – US exceeds 1.9 million – 15 countries have more than 100,000 cases

8 June

Global: Covid-19 infections now stand at 7,015,079, after another rise in cases from Brazil. The country now has 691,758 cases and 36,455 deaths. The US is the worst-affected country, with 1,940,468 confirmed cases and more than a quarter of the world’s deaths at 110,503. There are 15 countries with more than 100,000 confirmed cases.

Saudi Arabia: Saudi virus cases top 100,000 with new spike ahead of the Hajj. The total number of infections rose to 101,914 – the highest in the Gulf – while the death toll climbed to 712, the health ministry said.

Pakistan: Pakistan has become the latest nation to cross 100,000 cases, after surpassing China in the past few days.

Vietnam: Vietnam reports two imported cases of Covid-19. Both infections were in Vietnamese citizens returning from Mexico who were quarantined on arrival, its health ministry said.

Poland: Poland reports virus spike linked to mine. Most of the hundreds of new cases reported by the health ministry were linked to a coal mine in the country’s south.

Thailand: There has been no local transmission of coronavirus in Thailand for the past two weeks, with all 77 cases over the last 14 days imported from overseas.

Guatemala: Guatemala’s president Alejandro Giammattei says he will work remotely after 18 members of his office and security detail were diagnosed with coronavirus.

Chile: Chile has revised its coronavirus death toll after reviewing death registry data and information from laboratories carrying out Covid-19 tests and consolidating the list.

Sweden: The Swedish prime minister was forced to defend his Covid-19 strategy after opposition parties mounted a scathing attack on his government amid signs its handling of the pandemic has been fatally flawed.

Lockdown updates

New Zealand: New Zealand has declared itself Covid-19-free. Prime minister Jacinda Ardern said all coronavirus restrictions, except those at their international border would be lifted at midnight on Monday night.

UK: UK travel quarantine laws come into force. Most people arriving in Britain from Monday will have to self-isolate for two weeks under a new coronavirus restriction that will apply those coming in by plane, ferry or train.

Indonesia: Retail stores, restaurants and offices reopened in Jakarta, Indonesia, after more than two-months as authorities eased social restriction rules to jump-start an economy hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Denmark: Denmark continued to roll back its restrictions on Monday, after dramatically reducing its Covid-19 infection rate. Danes can once again visit gyms, public pools and amusement parks. And a ban on groups of no more than 10 was lifted, with the new limit set at 50.

South Korea: New cases of coronavirus have slowed in South Korea but concerns remain over a second wave of the outbreak in Seoul as the country entered the final phase of its plan to reopen schools.

Economic updates

France: France will offer a plan worth “billions of euros” to rescue its beleaguered aerospace industry, Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said Sunday, as companies struggle with fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

9:23 am

Coronavirus company news summary – Poland records outbreak among miners – Iron price set to surge – Vale closes operation amid outbreak

8 June

Poland has recorded a total of 1,151 new Covid-19 infections over the weekend, according to the Polish health ministry and reported by BBC. An outbreak among miners and their families at the coal mine located in southern Poland accounted for two-thirds of the figure. Upper Silesia has more than 12 active mines where workers operate in humid conditions at close proximity to one another. A strict lockdown was introduced in Poland in March, which has avoided the comparatively large number of deaths seen in Western Europe.

China-based Zijin Mining Group is set to acquire a 50.1% stake in Tibet Julong Copper for $548m. Tibet Julong operates the Qulong copper mine and the Zhibula mine. Zijin’s latest move to acquire a large domestic mine comes as copper smelters fret over raw material supply due to mine closures globally owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

India’s commercial iron ore producer NMDC and other companies are set to benefit from a surge in seaborne iron ore prices across the globe. Business Standard reported that the rally stems primarily from the supply crunch in Brazil, which is still struggling with a rise in Covid-19 cases. Iron ore prices globally are now trending more than $100 per tonne. Due to the revival of steel production in China, demand for the ingredient has increased and simultaneously, disruptions in Brazil after soaring cases of the pandemic has limited supply, thereby increasing prices.

Iron ore futures have increased after Vale was ordered to close operations at a complex that accounts for about a tenth of its output, adding to supply woes and boosting concerns that surging cases of Covid-19 in Brazil will disrupt other mines. Bloomberg reported that a Brazilian labour court issued the order to halt mining at the company’s Itabira complex after 188 workers tested positive. Vale said that it had managed to operate through the pandemic, implementing safety measures without stalling output.

8:23 am

Monetary systems need to be global during Covid crisis

8 June

The Covid-19 pandemic followed by the widespread protests against racism in the US and UK, have highlighted the suffering faced by marginalised communities and economies across the world.

A monetary system that provides equal access to finance for all economies and not just advanced economies is needed.

Claudia Sahm, a macroeconomist, shared an article on the need for a global monetary system that is based on principles of social justice and sustainability.

The article notes that lessons from past crises may give us clues on achieving such a system.

The pandemic has already impacted developing and emerging economies, with more than $100bn in portfolio funds exiting from these markets.

The monetary autonomy and fiscal capacity that advanced economies have is needed for these emerging markets as well to ensure public good.

Read more

2:20 pm

GlobalData Epidemiologist Update: Covid-19 cases continue to rise – mass gatherings a cause for concern

5 June

Globally, the total confirmed cases of Covid-19 have reached over 6,658,000 with over 391,000 deaths and 2,886,000 recoveries.

Globally, cases continue to rise with 4 June seeing one of the largest one day growths since the start of the pandemic.

India has continued to see increasing rate of growth in cases since early April and these new cases contributed in part to the large spike seen globally.

Civil rights protests continued in the US into the second weekend, with countries all over taking similar action.

These mass gatherings pose a major concern for nations worldwide as efforts are made to contain a second wave of infections.

Topias Lemetyinen, MPH, Managing Epidemiologist, GlobalData

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