By Powerscourt on 06/09/2020
Powerscourt Coronavirus Briefing – 06 September 2020
The United Nations has warned that the first COVID-19 famines are looming in the chronically food-deprived conflict areas of Yemen, South Sudan, north east Nigeria and the DRC. Mark Lowcock, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said that the risk of famines in these regions had been intensified by “natural disasters, economic shocks and public-health crises, all compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic”. These locations are persistently vulnerable to food deprivation on account of armed conflicts but the pandemic has made getting humanitarian relief to these needed areas all the harder.
From September 15, passengers travelling from the US into China on direct flights will be required to provide negative COVID-19 nucleic-acid test results, to be taken within three days of boarding at the last layover destination. China’s new requirement is the latest restriction to be imposed on US citizens by Beijing as relations between the two countries continue to deteriorate.
In an interview with the FT, the outgoing Director General of the CBI, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, warned that a large number of redundancies are expected in the UK this month as companies prepare for the end of Government wage support in October. Dame Carolyn urged the Government to strike a deal with the EU, warning that business resilience has been brought “so low” in the coronavirus crisis. She said that “cash reserves and stock built up to deal with the cliff edge Brexit last December have gone”. She acknowledged that the Government’s job retention scheme had been “an absolute lifesaver” during lockdown but that more help was now needed.
COVID-19 could now be endemic in some parts of the UK that combine severe deprivation, poor housing and large BAME communities, according to an analysis by Public Health England in a leaked document seen by the Observer. Parts of the north of England have seen recent local lockdown measures enforced following spikes though this has had little effect in reducing the level of infections as the virus is now firmly established within these communities.
In more upbeat news, the Sunday Times reports that following the “eat out to help out” restaurant scheme, a similar “seat out to help out” scheme will be introduced to help encourage people to attend cultural events as plans to reopen theatres and sport stadiums, without the need for social distancing, are being accelerated and could be with us in a matter of weeks. One idea being looked at could see theatres and restaurants encouraged to team up in a boost for both cultural institutions and the hospitality sector.
WHAT ARE COMPANIES SAYING?
The car manufacturer will not expand production in its home country as it cuts costs to confront the downturn in the global car market resulting from the pandemic. CEO Ola Kallenius told the FT it would invest in the growing Chinese market and overseas, in order to “further keep this balance of trying to produce where you sell”.
Financials & Real Estate
The accountancy firm has reported that remote working could cost the economy £15bn a year as a result of the impact on businesses such as coffee shops, cleaners and security. Those working at home would be spending less which would in turn affect the spending power of those whose jobs rely on workers.
IN THE NEWS
Coronavirus: working from home will cost Britain £15bn a year, warns PwC – The Times
Britons go back to work in biggest numbers since lockdown – Financial Times
Sunak urged to extend furlough amid fears of cliff-edge job crisis – The Telegraph