WHO raises global risk assessment for covid-19 to ‘very high’ from ‘high’
CORONA WATCH- WHO raises global risk assessment for covid-19 to ‘very high’ from ‘high’: The elevated risk level is meant to push countries to boost their response system to keep the disease from spreading further, said Mike Ryan, who runs the agency’s emergencies program, according to Bloomberg. The WHO has not yet deemed the situation a pandemic.
China’s PMI falls to all time low amid virus spread: China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to a record low of 35.7 in February as the country’s economy struggles under the weight of the covid-19 outbreak, China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced on Saturday, according to the Financial Times. The reading is worse than during the 2008 financial crisis underscoring the enormity of the threat posed by the virus to the world’s second largest economy. Banking Group ANZ has estimated that prior to this weekend the economy was operating at just 20% capacity, with around 50% of workers returning over the past few days.
Covid-19 continued to dominate headlines in the foreign press over the weekend as the number of confirmed cases and the death toll continued to climb:
- South Korea: More than 800 new covid-19 cases were reported in South Korea on Saturday. (Wall Street Journal)
- Iran: At least 210 people in Iran have now died from the virus. (BBC)
- Europe: Italy and France introduced a ban on all public gatherings as the numbers of cases increased. (The Guardian)
- US: A patient in Seattle became the first person to die in the US. (CNN)