Inside Covid-19: US, UK brace for second wave; face-mask science; SA musicians – Ep 88

European countries like Great Britain are warning of a second wave of Covid-19, and the US is also poised for more coronavirus cases as the northern hemisphere heads towards winter. In this episode of Inside Covid-19, we hear from our partners at Bloomberg how the US is preparing. Also in this episode, we examine evidence that reducing the viral dose of Covid-19 can reduce the severity of the disease. BizNews reporter Linda van Tilburg speaks to an international infectious diseases expert Dr Monica Gandhi of the University of California, about new studies that have explored whether face masks can really help to protect us from Covid-19. And, we take a look at how the creative industries are surviving, with Gwen Ansell, an Associate of the Gordon Institute for Business Science and a jazz specialist who speaks to us about how the South African music industry is adapting to the era of Covid-19. – Jarryd Neves & Jackie Cameron

Inside Covid-19 headlines

  • Iran recorded its biggest spike in daily cases since the pandemic began, with 3,712 new infections, surpassing 3,574 cases reported on June 4, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state TV. The death toll rose by 178 overnight, almost unchanged from 177 a day earlier, says Bloomberg.
  • The World Health Organization is maintaining its guidance that people newly diagnosed with Covid-19 should isolate for 14 days, Margaret Harris, a WHO spokeswoman, said at a briefing in Geneva. France recently reduced such restrictions to seven days. While the average incubation period is five to six days, it may last as long as 12, Harris said. The WHO also recommends that people keep at least one meter (3.3 feet) apart from each other, and the more distance the better. Distance and time duration are key factors in transmission, Harris is reported by Bloomberg as saying.
  • Europeans struggled to spend money in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, sparking a surge in savings, according to the European Central Bank. With economies in lockdown and millions of consumers forced to stay at home, people in the euro area were unable — rather than unwilling — to consume as normal in the first half of the year, the ECB said in its economic bulletin published Tuesday. Economists across the globe are trying to gauge whether the crisis will lead to a prolonged period of weak demand. While the figures suggest that people weren’t necessarily holding on to cash for precautionary reasons, the ECB warned that could change, says Bloomberg.
  • The number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in England and Wales rose for the first time since April, says the newswire. Coronavirus-linked deaths rose 27% to 99 in the seven days through Sept. 11 from a week earlier, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday. Death registrations may have been lower in the previous week due to the bank holiday, the government agency said. People in the U.K. should work from home if possible as the country prepares to impose new measures on social distancing. ‘If it is possible for people to work from home, then we’d encourage them to do so,’ UK Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove told Sky News on Tuesday. The government will help people work from home and Gove said “no” when asked if it still wanted 80% of its officials back working in ministry offices. He confirmed a new measure to close hospitality venues at 10 p.m.
  • India, the second-worst affected country, reported 75,083 new coronavirus infections in the lowest daily increase since Sept. 7, says Bloomberg. The latest numbers are down from more than 86,000 on Monday and new infections above 90,000 the previous four days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The nation’s case tally is has now reached 5.56 million while the coronavirus-related death toll is 88,935, according to government data.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland Park will officially re-open on Friday with all guests required to undergo temperature screening and wear face masks. Guests will have to reserve their visit 7 days in advance although holders of the Magic Access annual pass can do so 1 day ahead, according to a notice on its website.
  • Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said he’s been impressed by ability of employees to operate remotely and predicted that some new work habits will remain after the pandemic. Apple created products including new Apple Watches and iPads that are launching on time this year, despite the need for most employees to work away from the office due to Covid-19, Cook said during an interview at The Atlantic Festival on Monday. Cook said he doesn’t believe Apple will “return to the way we were because we’ve found that there are some things that actually work really well virtually”, reports Bloomberg. Cook said 10% to 15% of Apple employees have gone back to the office and he hopes the majority of staff can return to the company’s new campus in Silicon Valley sometime next year.
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