By Powerscourt on 15/11/2020
Powerscourt Coronavirus Briefing – 15 November 2020
Europe continues to impose some of the strictest measures globally to combat the virus, with Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz telling the public to “meet nobody.” An “around-the-clock” curfew will be imposed from Tuesday, with people only allowed to leave their homes to buy groceries, travel to essential work or provide urgent care. Austria’s second lockdown will be stricter than others in Europe, because schools will also close. Greece announced the closure of all schools until at least the end of the month, after the country’s health experts warned that existing restrictions were failing to slow the pandemic quickly enough. Italy expanded restrictions to include Florence and Naples, while a panel advising the Swiss government called for bars and restaurants to close. Despite the breakthrough in the search for a vaccine, ministers in a number of countries have made it clear that they expect some restrictions to stay in place for weeks, or even months.
Things are no different across the world, with many others in the grip of the second wave: South Korea reported 208 new coronavirus cases, the eighth straight day of triple-digit increases and North Dakota became the 35th U.S. state to require face coverings in public, as states across the country grapple with a surge in coronavirus infections. Daily deaths are over 1,000. Twice in the past week, they hit 1,400.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he “most likely” has a moderate case of Covid-19, as he continued to question the accuracy of the tests.
Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious-disease doctor, said that the U.S. may begin offering the vaccine to priority groups at the end of December. He believes that the efficacy of Pfizer’s vaccine may help persuade more people to get inoculated. Just over half of U.S. adults said in September they would definitely or probably take a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 if it were available, down from 72% in May. A survey of people in 19 countries published last month found 71.5% of participants would probably take a vaccine. Germany plans to set up hundreds of centres across the country in December to prepare for mass vaccination against the coronavirus.
WHAT ARE COMPANIES SAYING?
Consumer & Retail
The Australian Airline believe that, due to Australia’s adept handling of Covid-19 and tough calls made by Qantas management, the company is now perfectly positioned to break even and come out of the pandemic ahead of its rivals, according to chief executive Alan Joyce. Joyce is very optimistic, viewing a ‘massive surge in pent up demand’ once borders reopen fully as key to these forecasts. Mr. Joyce said passenger numbers for European, US and Middle Eastern carriers were dropping due to surging Covid-19 cases while domestic rival Virgin Australia is still recovering from administration. The re-opening of Australia, which contributes two thirds of Qantas’ profit, should enable the carrier to claim 70 per cent of the domestic market, up 10 percentage points on pre-Covid-19 levels, he believes.
IN THE NEWS
Lobbyists given secret access to covid meetings – THE TIMES
Universities seek to remain open while keeping virus at bay – FINANCIAL TIMES
Oxford vs Pfizer: How costs and logistics could still see Oxford’s vaccine win out – THE TELEGRAPH