Covid-19 immunity and testing, explained | Vox


The Covid-19 coronavirus meets its most formidable foe the moment it enters the human body.

The immune system is waiting, ready for action, and it determines who dies and who survives. It is why the vast majority of the infected have recovered from the disease.

Yet one of the most important unknowns is why some people’s immune systems are up to the task of clearing out the virus while others are sluggish or overreact, leading to death. Just as vexing:

  • How do we know for sure if a person is immune to Covid-19 after infection?
  • What percentage of the US population will be immune after this first wave of infections is over?
  • Will immunity last over time, or will it fade?
  • Can a vaccine provide immunity and stop the pandemic?

Source: Covid-19 immunity and testing, explained – Vox

McConnell sparks bipartisan backlash with state bankruptcy remarks | TheHill


The debate over providing more federal funding for state and local governments is emerging as an early lightning rod in the next coronavirus bill, with Democrats and some Republicans asking for hundreds of billions in additional assistance.

But McConnell sparked his own political firestorm when, in response to a question from radio host Hugh Hewitt, he said he supported letting states declare bankruptcy and positioned Republicans as cautious of providing them with additional federal relief.

Source: McConnell sparks bipartisan backlash with state bankruptcy remarks | TheHill

Coronavirus poses serious financial risks to US universities


Universities around the country are dealing with health concerns as their first priority, and keeping instruction going—even if imperfectly—as the second priority. After dealing with these immediate issues, the next concern is fear of collapsing revenue.

Health and instruction deserve every bit of effort going into them. The extent of worry about collapsing revenue isn’t justified, at least not yet, though it could be soon. If lockdowns end before the fall, the financial hit will be somewhat painful.

On the other hand, if the health crisis is not resolved by fall, university finances could be in real jeopardy.

Source: Coronavirus poses serious financial risks to US universities

U.S. states test safety of reopening as pandemic pushes jobless claims higher | Reuters


From Tennessee and Texas to Ohio and Montana, a handful of governors around the country have announced plans to swiftly allow a return to business for some workplaces that had been ordered closed in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Those plans have drawn fire from public health experts and other governors who warn a premature easing of stay-at-home orders and business closures imposed over the past five weeks could trigger a renewed surge in coronavirus cases.

Source: U.S. states test safety of reopening as pandemic pushes jobless claims higher – Reuters

COVID-19 takes unequal toll on immigrants in Nordic region | Reuters


The Dakhare family’s story is a familiar one among Somalis in Norway and other Nordic countries, where the pandemic is taking a disproportionate toll on some immigrant groups. Governments in Sweden, Norway and Finland are taking extra steps to try to slow the spread of the disease in these communities.

Across Europe, little is known about who is affected by the virus because governments are releasing limited demographic information about the sick and those who die.

But a Reuters examination of government data in three Nordic countries where more details are available shows that some immigrant groups are among those affected at higher rates than the general populace.

Source: COVID-19 takes unequal toll on immigrants in Nordic region – Reuters

Coronavirus crisis heaps hardship on Brazilian migrants in Portugal | Reuters


Brazilians who make up Portugal’s biggest migrant community mainly came to Europe in search of a better life, but the coronavirus crisis has wiped out incomes and jobs for many – and even pushed some onto the street.

Life was not easy for Gomes, from Brasilia, who found a place in a Lisbon apartment, where over 20 people share five tiny bedrooms and cockroaches are common. But it got a lot worse when she lost her job just before Portugal’s March 18 lockdown.

Source: Coronavirus crisis heaps hardship on Brazilian migrants in Portugal – Reuters

Mortality rates drop sharply in parts of India, bucking coronavirus trend | Reuters


Some experts said the trend suggested that deaths from COVID-19, which are recorded separately and generally announced before overall mortality data, were not being under-reported as has happened in other countries.

While deaths in some countries have risen sharply in recent weeks, in India, where overall data is unavailable, the opposite seems to be happening in some places, leaving hospitals, funeral services and cremation sites wondering what is going on.

Source: Mortality rates drop sharply in parts of India, bucking coronavirus trend – Reuters

Corona Capital: Eni, Greenland, IndiGo | Reuters


The good-ish news is that Eni has 16 billion euros in liquidity if cash flows disappoint this year. Less good is that its 2020 estimate for 7.3 billion euros of adjusted cash flow before working capital changes depends on Brent $45 a barrel – double where it is now.

With the second quarter shaping up to be much worse and no end in sight to Covid-19-related demand slump or a storage crunch, it’s a disconcerting canary in the coal mine. (By George Hay)

Source: Breakingviews – Corona Capital: Eni, Greenland, IndiGo – Reuters

EU lays out trillion euro escape route from coronavirus pandemic | Reuters


European Union leaders agreed on Thursday to build a trillion euro emergency fund to help recover from the coronavirus pandemic, avoiding another all-night bust-up but leaving divisive details until the summer.

With the EU’s Brussels headquarters under lockdown – along with most of Europe – the 27 leaders held a four-hour video conference to consider proposals, rallying around a bigger common budget for 2021-27 with a recovery program.

Source: EU lays out trillion euro escape route from coronavirus pandemic – Reuters

WTO | WTO report finds growing number of export restrictions in response to COVID-19 crisis


Eighty countries and customs territories so far have introduced export prohibitions or restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic according to a new report by the WTO Secretariat.

The report, which is based on information from official sources and news outlets, draws attention to the current lack of transparency at the multilateral level and long-term risks that export restrictions pose to global supply chains and public welfare.

Source: WTO | 2020 News items – WTO report finds growing number of export restrictions in response to COVID-19 crisis