Japan’s economy shrank less than initially estimated in the first quarter but the broad impact from the coronavirus crisis is still expected to send the country deeper into recession, Reuters reports.
A series of recent April data including exports, factory output and jobs figures suggested Japan is facing its worst postwar slump in the current quarter as the outbreak forced people to stay at home and businesses to close globally.
The world’s third-largest economy shrank an annualised 2.2% in January-March, revised data showed on Monday, less than the 3.4% contraction indicated in a preliminary reading and compared with a median market forecast of a 2.1% drop.
The revised data confirmed Japan had slipped into recession for the first time in four and a half years, after a 7.2% contraction in October-December, pressured by last year’s sales tax hike and the US-China trade war. Recessions are defined as two straight quarters of contraction.
On quarter-on-quarter basis, the economy contracted 0.6% in the first quarter compared with an initial reading of a 0.9% decline.
Confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in Panama reached 16,425 on Sunday, up 421 from the previous day, and deaths climbed by seven to 393, the health ministry said.
Director of Epidemiology Lourdes Moreno gave the Central American country’s latest data at a news conference.
Vietnam on Monday reported two new coronavirus infections, both of which were imported cases involving Vietnamese citizens returning from Mexico who were quarantined on arrival, its health ministry said.
The Southeast Asian country has gone 53 days without a domestically transmitted infection and has a total of 331 cases, with no deaths, the ministry said. Over 90% of the confirmed cases have recovered.
Brazil has registered 37,312 total coronavirus deaths while total cases in the country reached 685,427, according to the health ministry on Sunday.
Unlike in the previous day, the government released cumulative figures on Sunday and not a tally of deaths and new infections in the last 24 hours.
On Saturday the Latin American nation had registered 35,930 total coronavirus deaths and 672,846 confirmed cases.
Mexico’s health ministry reported on Sunday 3,484 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and 188 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 117,103 cases and 13,699 deaths.
The government has said the real number of infected people is significantly higher than the confirmed cases.
UK universities have been told to expect a sharp fall in the number of new international students coming next year, including a loss of up to £460m (US$585m) in income from students from east Asia.
A new survey of international students by the British Council has found that nearly 14,000 fewer students from eight countries – including China, Singapore and Malaysia – are likely to come to the UK in 2020/21 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decline of 20% in students from east Asia would amount to a 12% fall in overall international student numbers, causing a £460m loss of income from tuition and living expenses such as accommodation.
Saudi virus cases top 100,000 with new spike ahead of the hajj
The number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia surpassed 100,000 on Sunday, the health ministry said, amid a new surge in infections just weeks ahead of the start of the hajj, AFP reports.
The total number of infections rose to 101,914 – the highest in the Gulf – while the death toll climbed to 712, the ministry added.
The kingdom has seen infections spike as it eases stringent lockdown measures, with the number of daily cases exceeding 3,000 for the second day in a row on Sunday.
On Friday, the kingdom announced a renewed lockdown in the city of Jeddah, gateway to the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, to counter the jump in cases.
The kingdom has said it will continue to suspend the year-round “umrah” pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina over fears of the coronavirus pandemic spreading in Islam’s holiest cities.
Authorities are yet to announce whether they will proceed with this year’s hajj, scheduled for the end of July, but have urged Muslims to temporarily defer preparations for the annual pilgrimage.
Last year, some 2.5 million faithful travelled to Saudi Arabia from across the world to take part in the hajj, which all Muslims must perform at least once in their lives if able.
Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic with me, Helen Sullivan.
As always, we welcome questions, comments, news and tips from our blog readers. Get in touch on Twitter @helenrsullivan or via email: helen.sullivan[at]theguardian.com.
The known number of people who have lost their lives in just over six months of the coronavirus pandemic has passed the sombre milestone of 400,000. More than a quarter of these deaths are in the US alone. Cases meanwhile are approaching 7 million, with 6,981,701 currently confirmed.
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia has become the 15th country to count more than 100,000 cases, with 101,914 confirmed infections, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Here are the key developments from the last few hours:
- Global deaths pass 400,000. According to Johns Hopkins University figures, known coronavirus deaths worldwide currently number 401,564. The sombre milestone comes as cases approach 7 million, with 6,973,195 currently confirmed. The US, with the highest deaths and infections globally, has 1,931,850 confirmed cases and 110,141 deaths. Brazil is next highest, with 672,846 cases and 35,930 deaths.
- US death toll is approaching 110,000, according to the CDC. The centre reported 1,920,904 cases of the coronavirus, an increase of 29,214 cases from its previous count, and said Covid-19 deaths in the US had risen by 709 to 109,901.
- India has recorded nearly 10,000 new cases. India on Sunday registered 9,971 new coronavirus cases, taking the country’s tally to 246,628 cases, with 6,929 deaths. The case numbers lags behind only the US, Brazil, Russia, UK and Spain. The country is preparing to reopen malls, restaurants, hotels and places of worship on Monday.
- France has registered 13 new deaths. The country’s coronavirus death toll rose by 13 on Sunday to reach 29,155, while the number of confirmed cases increased by 343 to 153,977. The number of people in hospital and ICU has continued to decline.
- Canada has reported 722 new cases. Canada has confirmed 722 new coronavirus cases, bringing its total to 95,057. The country has recorded 70 deaths, taking the death toll to 7,773, the Public Health Agency announced – an increase of 0.9%.
- Italy has reported 197 new cases, with the majority concentrated in the Lombardy region. The country has reported 53 Covid-19 deaths, against 72 the previous day, and 197 new cases, down from 270 the day before, the Civil Protection department said. Lombardy accounted for 125 of the 197 new cases reported despite making up just 16% of Italy’s population.
- Saudi Arabia has passed 100,000 confirmed cases. The number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia has passed 100,000, according to official figures. The ministry of health reported 3,045 new cases on Sunday, taking the total number of cases in the country to 101,914, the BBC reports.
- No new coronavirus deaths in Northern Ireland or Scotland for first time since lockdown. No new coronavirus deaths have been reported in Northern Ireland or Scotland for the first time since lockdown began. In Northern Ireland, the total deaths of those who tested positive for the virus stands at 537, while the number is 2,415 in Scotland. However, the Scottish health secretary cautioned it was “very likely” deaths would be registered in upcoming days, as there is often a delay in the recording of deaths over the weekend.
- A US senator has accused China of slowing down vaccine efforts.The Republican senator Rick Scott has claimed the US has evidence China is trying to slow down or sabotage the development of a Covid-19 vaccine by Western countries. He declined to give details of the evidence, saying it had come through the intelligence community.