Monday, 6 April 2020

COVID-19: Hopeful signs in West, renewed concerns in Asia

Markets fell last week, with the S&P 500 declining 2.1 percent.

While the falls were mainly driven by fears over the COVID-19 pandemic, latest reports on the disease provide some encouraging news.

Italy, which has suffered the highest death toll in the world from the disease, reported on Sunday another 525 deaths, the lowest since 19 March, to bring its total to 15,887.

Spain, which has the second highest death toll, reported 674 deaths, its third straight day of declining numbers.

In the US, the death toll hit 9,458 on Sunday, with New York state, the epicentre, seeing 594 deaths, slightly down from the previous day.

However, even as the West sees hopeful signs, fears of a second wave of the pandemic has hit Asia.

China reported 39 new coronavirus cases as of Sunday, up from 30 a day earlier. 78 new asymptomatic cases had been identified as of the end of Sunday, compared with 47 the day before.

In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looks set to declare a state of emergency as early as Tuesday in a bid to stop the coronavirus spreading across the country as the cumulative number of infections topped 1,000 in Tokyo alone.

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