Pains in Asian factories deepened in May, with worsening global trade caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with the export powers in Japan and South Korea suffering the sharpest declines in commercial activities in more than a decade, reports the Reuters.
A series of manufacturing surveys released on Monday suggests that any recovery in business will take some time, even if China's manufacturing activity unexpectedly returns to growth in May.
The China Caixin / Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) reached 50.7 last month, marking the highest reading since January as easing the blockages allowed companies to get back to work and clear pending orders.
But with many of China's trading partners still restricted, its new export orders continued to contract, the survey by private companies showed on Monday. China's official PMI survey on Sunday showed the recovery of the world's second largest economy intact but fragile.
Japan's manufacturing activity has shrunk at the fastest pace since 2009 in May, a separate survey from the private sector showed, while South Korea has also seen production decline at the sharpest pace in more than a decade.
Taiwan's manufacturing activity also declined in May. Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines saw PMIs recover from April, although all indices remained below the 50-mark limit that separates contraction and expansion.
Official data released on Monday showed that South Korea has increased its exports for the third consecutive month.
Asia's economic problems are likely to echo in other parts of the world, including Europe, where economies continue to suffer major damage in the factory and service sectors.
Hong Kong reports first case of locally transmitted coronavirus in two weeks
Hong Kong confirmed its first cases of locally transmitted coronavirus in more than two weeks, fueling concerns about its spread as movement restrictions are relaxed, reports Reuters.
The Health Protection Center (CHP) said on Sunday that it is investigating two confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing the number of cases so far to 1,085. Four people died of the disease in Hong Kong.
The global financial center registered a case last transmitted locally on May 14, when a 62-year-old man with no travel history was confirmed with coronavirus.
The two new cases involved a 34-year-old woman and a 56-year-old man. There was also no travel history during the incubation or infectious period, said the CHP. Contact tracking was in progress, he added.
The woman works the night shift at a Kerry Logistics warehouse in the Kwai Chung district, where she labels items imported from the UK, RTHK reported.
Two coworkers, who fell ill about a month ago, tested positive for Covid-19 and authorities are investigating whether the warehouse where one of the patients works represents a new set of infections, RTHK reported, citing the CHP.
About 25 employees at the warehouse and three doctors who dealt with one of the patients are in quarantine for 14 days, RTHK reported.
Australia's three decades of uninterrupted prosperity are coming to an abrupt end when the global coronavirus pandemic causes one of its most lucrative sources of income: immigration, reports Reuters.
The country was able to manage the outbreak and reopen its AU $ 2tn ($ 1.33tn) economy, thanks in part to the early closure of its borders.
But the policy has led to a halt in mass immigration – a major source of consumer demand, work and growth – in an economy facing its first recession since the early 1990s.
Net immigration, including international students and skilled worker visas, is expected to drop 85% in the fiscal year through June 2021, restricting demand for everything from cars and properties, education and alliances.
The drought in international student arrivals, which in recent years have accounted for about 40% of the inflow of migrants, is expected to hit the $ 37 billion education sector, Australia's second largest service export after tourism.
A drop in new arrivals may also dampen the construction boom in Australia's most important real estate sector, which has been fueled by migrants in large cities like Sydney and Melbourne.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has increased from 333 to 181,815, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.
The reported death toll increased from 11 to 8,511, the count showed.
Japan may open doors for travelers from selected countries
Japan is considering reopening its borders for travelers from selected countries that have low levels of coronavirus infections as it begins to ease restrictions imposed earlier this year to control the outbreak, reports Reuters.
As schools, cinemas, sports clubs and department stores reopened in the country's capital on Monday, the media reported that the government also plans to allow travelers from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand to enter the country in the coming months. There were no immediate comments from the Foreign Ministry.
16,751 coronavirus cases were confirmed in Japan on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University data, with 898 deaths. Since February, Japan has banned the entry of foreigners to limit the spread of the virus to foreign visitors.
The government is considering allowing business travelers from the four countries to enter if they test negative for Covid-19 in two separate tests, carried out after leaving their country of origin and arriving in Japan, Asahi Shimbun reported, citing non-government sources. identified.
Once allowed in the country, visitors' movements would be restricted to areas such as places of stay, company offices and factories, the newspaper said, adding that the use of public transport would be prohibited.
Wuhan, China reports zero new cases
Wuhan, a Chinese city of about 11 million people, where the Covid-19 pandemic began, did not register new asymptomatic cases on Sunday, according to Chinese health officials.
State media, Xinhua, said on Monday more than 60,000 nucleic acid tests were carried out on Sunday, finding no asymptomatic cases.
Earlier this month, the Chinese authorities drew up an ambitious plan with the apparent goal of having all 11 million Wuhan residents tested in 10 days, after an outbreak was detected in a residential home. Authorities reported tests up to 1.4 million people a day.
Xinhua said Sunday's results indicate that the mass testing campaign had an effect.
Continent China reported 16 new cases overall on Sunday, the highest daily number in three weeks. All were registered as imported cases – 11 in Sichuan province, three in Inner Mongolia and two in Guangdong.
The health commission also reported 16 asymptomatic cases – a distinction that Chinese health officials have made since April. Three of the asymptomatic cases were local transmission.
North Korea reopens schools for fear of viruses
North Korea will reopen schools this month after closing them due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports reported Monday.
Pyongyang has not confirmed a single infection, but has imposed strict rules, including closing its borders and isolating thousands of people.
The new school term – initially scheduled to start in early April – has been repeatedly postponed, although some universities and high schools were allowed to resume classes in mid-April, reports AFP.
"Educational authorities have been asked to provide thermometers and hand sanitizers at all school gates, classrooms and offices, while school and daycare workers have been advised to follow antivirus principles," Yonhap news agency reported. .
Analysts say the North is unlikely to avoid infections by the virus, which first appeared in neighboring countries China and went on to sweep the world, and that his ruined health system could struggle to deal with a major outbreak.
The number of coronavirus infections worldwide has increased to more than 6.1 million, with about 370,000 killed in 196 countries and territories.
In Moscow, Russia, regulated walking and exercise caused an avalanche of mockery on social media, with political commentator Alexander Golts calling them "pure madness".
Critics joked that life in Moscow was beginning to imitate dystopian fiction, like the novels by Aldous Huxley and Yevgeny Zamyatin.
Comedian Maxim Galkin, who has nearly eight million followers on Instagram, released an outline in which Putin and Sobyanin discuss a "breathing time" for Moscow residents (in Russian):
The five-minute parody has been viewed almost six million times in the past few days.
When restrictions are relaxed, laundries, laundry services and repair shops may reopen, while restaurants, cafes and cinemas will remain closed for the time being.
Moscow officials also said that mass meetings during the quarantine will not be allowed across the city which will remain in effect until at least June 14.
Moscow eases blockade despite high number of virus cases
Shopping centers and parks are due to reopen in Moscow today (Monday), as the Russian capital eases restrictions on coronaviruses, despite having the third highest number of cases in the world, with 405,843 infections.
The relaxation of the confinement orders in Moscow, the epicenter of Russia's outbreak with a population of more than 12 million, comes after President Vladimir Putin announced that the epidemic had reached its peak in the country, reports AFP.
Locked in since March 30, residents of the most populous city in Europe have so far been allowed to leave their homes for short trips to shop, walk dogs or travel to essential jobs with permission.
Although Muscovites enjoyed the opportunity to return to parks and shopping malls after weeks at home, many ridiculed the Moscow mayor's "experiment" aimed at regulating people's walking and exercise.
As a two-week test measure, Sergei Sobyanin said Moscow residents will be able to stroll according to a staggered schedule, based on their home address.
Sobyanin said in his blog that he feared that, with no limits on walking, people would flock to the streets in scenes reminiscent of the May day demonstrations in Soviet times.
Podcast: The coronavirus crisis in Britain's prisons
As Britain faced an unprecedented blockade, the situation of the 80,000 people arrested was even more severe. David Adams was recently released from prison and describes how prisoners were confined in their tiny cells for more than 23 hours a day:
Hi, Helen Sullivan taking the reins now. I'll bring the latest one to you in the next few hours.
A reminder that you can (and should!) Get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan or via email: helen.sullivan[at]theguardian.com.
In case you missed it, global deaths by Covid-19 currently stand at almost 372,000. The US passed the dismal 100,000 mark last week, but the UK, which has 276,000 infections, is reaching 40,000. As of Sunday, 38,571 had died from Covid-19.
Public health officials made a last-minute call for ministers to dismiss the coronavirus blockade in England on Monday, warning that the country is not prepared to deal with any increase in infection and that the public decision to take action to limiting transmission has been eroded.
The Association of Public Service Directors Cheers (ADPH) said new rules, including allowing groups of up to six people to meet outdoors and in private gardens "are not supported by science" and that photos of crowded beaches and beauty spots over the weekend show "the public it is not maintaining social distance as it was ”.
On Saturday and Sunday, parks and waterfront were crowded, as people anticipated lifting restrictions on what was called "happy Monday". Car showrooms and outdoor markets will also reopen, millions of children will return to primary schools and the most "protected" people most vulnerable will be allowed to leave for the first time since the blockade began in March, since the physical distance is maintained.
You can read our full story below:
I am sure that many of you have accompanied the unrest in America with widespread protests across the country. You can follow our live coverage here, but images of large crowds are sure to scare those responsible for fighting the virus, with growing concerns that the proximity of so many people on the streets could lead to an increase in cases.