- The Asian Development Bank says the economies of “Asia” will contract by 0.7 percent by 2020, the first downturn in nearly six decades.
- The southwestern Chinese city of Ruili has been locked down, with all 200,000 residents to be tested for COVID-19 after two Myanmar nationals were diagnosed with the virus.
- More than 29 million people around the world have been diagnosed with coronavirus, and 927,245 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 20 million have recovered.
Here are the latest updates:
Tuesday, September 15th
04:55 GMT – Badminton̵
7;s top events postponed due to COVID-19
Badminton World Federation (BWF) says tHis year’s Thomas and Uber Cup finals in Denmark have been postponed to 2021.
South Korea and Indonesia withdrew from the biennial championship on Saturday and joined Australia, Taiwan and Thailand.
The finals were originally scheduled for May, but were first postponed to August due to COVID-19 and then October.
“These are exceptional circumstances in which we find ourselves, and while a return to international badminton remains a priority for BWF, health and safety throughout the badminton community is of the utmost importance,” the federation said in a statement.
04:50 GMT – High schools, high schools reopen in Pakistan
Universities, colleges and colleges are reopening in Pakistan for the first time in six months on Tuesday.
It is the first phase of the country’s plan to resume education, and there, strict protocols will be in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread.
Pakistan registered 404 new cases of coronavirus and six deaths on Monday.
04:30 GMT – Hong Kong Lamb claims success with mass testing
Hong Kong CEO Carrie Lam has described the area’s mass screening for COVID-19 as a success, although less than a quarter of the 7.5 million population has participated.
“Having 1.78 million volunteers participate in a massive testing program is a very good result,” Lam said, according to public television station RTHK, adding the tests would help authorities identify asymptomatic cases and fine-tune their pandemic response.
“Now with a relatively low rate – I think the rate may be two cases per 100,000 situations – that gives a very good epidemiological picture of what is happening in Hong Kong.”
Hong Kong launches COVID-19 test campaign despite boycott calls
04:05 GMT – Main opposition party wants Myanmar election postponed
The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), Myanmar’s largest opposition party, and a number of smaller parties are calling for the November elections to be postponed following an increase in coronavirus cases.
The parties say coronavirus restrictions have prevented campaigns starting last week, giving the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) an unfair advantage.
Myanmar has confirmed more than 3,000 cases of coronavirus and 32 deaths following a sudden resurgence of the pandemic in the middle of last month.
03:40 GMT – COVID-19 increases healthy diet, plant-based foods in China
Chinese companies are betting on a bright future for plant-based ‘meat products’ as people take their health more seriously in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and other health hazards.
Beijing-based startup Zhenmeat, whose products include plant-based meatballs, steak, pork loin, crayfish and dumplings, is one of many small Chinese companies entering the market, and its ‘meatballs’ – made from peas and soy protein – are now available at trial basis in a store in Beijing by the Chinese hot-pot chain Hope Tree.
Zhenmeat founder and CEO Vince Lu told Reuters news agency that sales had “significantly increased” since June.
Director of the China Market Research Group, Ben Cavender, says the key to the future of the plant-based meat market is taste. “When we interview consumers, the vast majority say they are open to trying these products once,” he said. “But the big question is, how do they like it? Do they see how they can fit it into their diet on a daily basis, whether it’s cooking at home or in restaurants? But if they like it, they keep buying. “
03:20 GMT – China vaccines may be ready as early as November: official
An official at the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has told state television that coronavirus vaccines that the country is developing could be ready for use by the public as early as November.
Phase three clinical trials went smoothly and the vaccines could be ready for the public in November or December, CDC chief biosafety expert Guizhen Wu said in an interview with state television late Monday.
Wu took an experimental vaccine himself in April and said she did not experience abnormal symptoms but did did not indicate which vaccines she was referring to. China has four vaccines in the final phase of clinical trials, and at least three have already been offered key workers during an emergency use program launched in July.
COVID-19 Vaccine: Safety Concerns When Countries Hurry To Be Healed
02:30 GMT – Asia’s economies contract in 2020 for the first time since the 1960s
The economies of developing Asia – from the Cook Islands in the Pacific to Kazakhstan in Central Asia – are expected to contract in 2020 for the first time in almost six decades, throwing tens of thousands of people into poverty, according to the Asian Development Bank.
The 0.7 percent drop in gross domestic product is comparable to ADB’s earlier estimate in June of 0.1 percent growth, marking “the first regional GDP decline since the early 1960s,” the bank said.
ADB says the region should return to growth in 2021 and predict a 6.8 percent expansion, but coronavirus will be the key.
Asia’s economies are contracting for the first time since the early 1960s.
🔷The decline is broadly based – 3/4 of the region’s economies are expected to contract. China exception.
🔷 Recovery resumes next year.
Go here for full report and more ▶ ️ https://t.co/9QlMNY7upu pic.twitter.com/NdSxCkxg8M
– Asian Development Bank (@ADB_HQ) September 15, 2020
02:20 GMT – South Korea must provide vaccines to 60 percent of the population
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun says the country plans to secure a supply of coronavirus vaccines to 30 million people or 60 percent of the country’s population.
02:15 GMT – US official accused researchers of ‘upliftment’: New York Times
The top communications officer at the U.S. Department of State responsible for fighting the coronavirus told his followers in a Facebook Live session that government researchers engaged in “excitement” in their handling of the pandemic, according to the New York Times.
Michael Caputo, assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), claimed without proof that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) housed a “resistance unit” determined to undermine President Donald Trump, the newspaper said. .
Caputo is a former adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign.
Suggestive researchers plan ‘uplift’ is a bit like claiming that @FortniteGame is being taken over by otters
– Bill Hanage (@BillHanage) September 15, 2020
01:15 GMT – Test rate positivity down in California
Only 3.5 percent of COVID-19 tests came back positive in California over the past seven days, the lowest rate since the state began reporting the data in March, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
The newspaper says its analysis of the data also shows new confirmed cases at its lowest since mid-June and admissions at its lowest since early April.
00:15 GMT – US judge rules Pennsylvania ‘constitutional’ restrictions
A federal judge in the US state of Pennsylvania has ruled that lockdown measures introduced in March to limit the spread of COVID-19 are “constitutional”.
The measures, including the closure of businesses and a restriction on the size of meetings, were challenged in court by several Republican lawmakers and small business owners who argued that the restrictions put their businesses at risk.
Judge William Stickman ruled in their favor, saying that although the state governor acted with “good intentions in addressing a public health emergency,” he had no right to violate citizens’ fundamental freedoms.
“There is no doubt that this country has faced and will face emergencies of any kind,” the judge wrote. “But the solution to a national crisis can never be allowed to replace the commitment to individual freedom that underpins the American experiment.”
00:00 GMT – Border town in southwest China to start mass testing
The Chinese city of Ruili, located on the border with Myanmar, will begin nucleic acid testing of all residents after two people were discovered to have COVID-19 on Sunday.
The two patients are both from Myanmar and entered China illegally, according to state channel CGTN. They have been isolated in hospital along with five others. About 190 close contacts of the two have also been isolated.
A city-wide lockdown has been introduced in Ruili and all residents have been told to stay home.
Hello and welcome to Al Jazera’s continued coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I am Kate Mayberry and Kuala Lumpur.
Read all the updates from yesterday (September 14) here.