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COVID-19 Monitor

Last Updated:September 25, 2020

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Mnuchin, Powell Urge More Spending to Help Economy Recover From Pandemic (WSJ) Published on: September 22, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • The two top U.S. economic officials told lawmakers that emergency loan programs to support the coronavirus-stricken economy were largely working as intended and that more government spending would be needed to sustain the recovery.
  • Their answers suggested they believed those loan programs had done what they could to preserve favorable financial conditions for eligible borrowers and that what many would-be borrowers need now are grants, which would require new funding from Congress, as opposed to loans from the Fed.
  • The Treasury secretary said Tuesday he didn’t see a need to use the remaining $259 billion and supported repurposing $200 billion of those funds for other spending programs.
With CERB winding down, Ottawa starts tinkering with an engine of the economic recovery (Financial Post) Published on: September 22, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business
  • The $2,000-a-month CERB — which, on Sept. 27, Ottawa will start transitioning recipients away from, bringing in a “simplified” Employment Insurance program and other temporary benefits instead — has helped millions of people who had to stop working because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Consumer spending, largely due to the rapid roll out of the CERB, has been mostly responsible for keeping the economy afloat since March.
  • Income supports are critical to individuals but, also, to our country’s economic stability and positioning for a recovery CERB and other government transfer payments also helped drive up the amount of money that Canadians are saving during these uncertain pandemic times, the TD Bank report found.
Civic duty or infringing freedom? Surveying Canadians’ attitudes about masks (CTV News) Published on: September 22, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business
  • The online survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies says 83 per cent of respondents feel governments should order people to wear a mask in all indoor public spaces.
  • That represented a 16 per cent increase from July, before the recent rise in COVID-19 cases has sparked concerns many parts of the country are entering the dreaded second wave of the pandemic.
  • As for the anti-mask protests that have happened in various parts of the country in recent weeks, 88 per cent of respondents said they opposed the demonstrations while 12 per cent supported them.
Coronavirus crisis triggered global mental health crisis for women, first-of-its-kind study finds (The Independent) Published on: September 22, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • Care International, a leading global humanitarian agency which polled 10,000 people in 40 countries about the repercussions of the public health crisis, found 27 per cent of women reported an increase in problems linked to mental illness, in comparison to only ten per cent of men.
  • Researchers found 55 per cent of women reported income loss as one of the biggest effects of the Covid-19 emergency, compared to 34 per cent of men.
  • Emily Janoch, the report’s lead author, said: “Six months ago, Care sounded the alarm that the global health crisis would only widen the gender gap and reverse decades of progress across women’s health, nutrition and economic stability.”
Global stocks sink on fears of new Covid lockdowns (FT) Published on: September 21, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact
  • Global stocks suffered a heavy hit on Monday, while government bonds rallied and the US dollar snapped a losing streak in a rush of nerves about the fate of the economic recovery and a potential new set of lockdowns to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Renewed virus concerns dealt a blow to bank and travel shares across markets, pulling Bank of America down 4 per cent and United Airlines down 10 per cent at one point.
  • Patrick Vallance, Britain’s chief scientific adviser, warned on Monday that there could be 50,000 new infections every day by mid-October if the virus continued spreading at its current rate. New infections in the UK were doubling every seven days, he said.
CANADA: One in four credit-cardholders couldn’t make payments in May and June, survey says (Sudbury.com) Published on: September 21, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business
  • Nearly one in four customers of the major credit-card companies were unable to make monthly payments this spring, according to a survey released on Thursday by J.D. Power.
  • As of the end of July, the average deferral rate for personal loans and credit cards at the Big Six banks fell to 4.3 per cent, down from 9.6 per cent in April, according to RBC, which said that banks deferred payments on nearly 470,000 credit cards.
  • Overall, respondents favoured Tangerine Bank, American Express and Canadian Tire cards the most, and Canadians were generally more loyal to their credit card issuers than U.S. cardholders.
The N95 shortage America can’t seem to fix (Washington Post) Published on: September 21, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • Nurses and doctors depend on respirator masks to protect them from covid-19. So why are we still running low on an item that once cost around $1?
  • N95s were designed to be thrown away after every patient. By this July afternoon, Williams had been wearing the same one for more than two months.
  • The organizations that represent millions of nurses, doctors, hospitals and clinics are pleading for more federal intervention, while the administration maintains that the government has already done enough and that the PPE industry has stepped up on its own.
CDC says it mistakenly published guidance about COVID-19 spreading through air (Axios) Published on: September 21, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • The CDC has removed new guidance that acknowledged airborne transmission of the coronavirus, posting in a note on its website that the guidance was only a draft and had been published in error.
  • The initial update — which was little noticed until a CNN story was published Sunday — had come months after scientists pushed for the agency to acknowledge the disease was transmissible through the air.
When will the COVID-19 pandemic end? (McKinsey) Published on: September 21, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • In the United States and most other developed economies, the epidemiological end point is most likely to be achieved in the third or fourth quarter of 2021, with the potential to transition to normalcy sooner, possibly in the first or second quarter of 2021.
  • Most countries have deferred the hope of achieving herd immunity until the arrival of a vaccine. When herd immunity is reached, ongoing public-health interventions for COVID-19 can stop without fear of resurgence.
  • Vaccine distribution to a sufficient portion of a population to induce herd immunity could take place in as few as six months.
This Toronto restaurant owner’s insurance jumped from $9,000 to almost $30,000 during COVID-19. He’s not alone (Toronto Star) Published on: September 21, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business
  • The price tag for insuring Ascari’s Hi-Lo Bar had suddenly risen from $9,000 per year to almost $30,000 with a different insurer, at a time when restaurants and bars are already struggling because of restrictions and closures thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Across the Greater Toronto Area, restaurants, bars, retailers and landscapers are seeing their insurance premiums skyrocket, during the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, if they can find any coverage at all.
  • Insurance industry representatives point to weather calamities caused by climate change as the biggest cause of the price rise, and say fewer companies are issuing commercial policies.
  • There’s also potential liability if a customer catches COVID, and — some experts say — the potential for payouts for business-interruption insurance.
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