Once the COVID epicenter of the US, New York City reports first day without any Coronavirus death 2
New York City's COVID cases and deaths have steadily gone down. Photo by Dietmar Rabich on Wikimedia Commons
Culture

Once the COVID epicenter of the US, New York City reports first day without any Coronavirus death

Plus, Malta had a COVID case free week, a Colombian market uses AI to control the virus, and China defies predictions and posts economic growth in the second quarter. BY JACS T. SAMPAYAN
ANCX | Jul 19 2020

As the world remains mired in COVID-19 case counts and alarming updates, it’s hard to look past everyone’s grim newsfeeds. But opening our eyes wider to a bigger world that is, albeit slowly, starting to stand up should give us hope—or at least an easier day. ANCX will regularly gather positive developments in different corners of the globe to show that, in trying to move forward, we can confidently train our eyes upward.

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New York City moves into Phase Four with its falling COVID numbers

Last week, New York City reported its first day with zero deaths connected with the Coronavirus according to data from the New York city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The first COVID death was reported in March while fatalities peaked in the following month with 597 on a single day. According to the latest update, New York City has had 226,000 COVID cases and 22,859 COVID-related deaths. “In the absence of national leadership, our city has stepped up to show what it means to reopen safely,” says New York City Hall spokeswoman Avery Cohen. “With cases surging around the country, we know we can’t let our guard down just yet, and will continue to do everything we can to fight the virus together.” The city will be moving into Phase Four of its reopening plan by tomorrow, and will allow such public places as the Central Park Zoo and Bronx Zoo to reopen at reduced capacity. Television may restart production as well as higher education activities and sporting events albeit without spectators. Museums, cinemas, malls, and indoor dining will still not be allowed to open.

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Colombian market uses AI to track and control the Coronavirus

Plaza Minorista teamed up with researchers at the University of Antioquia to install AI technology to control and track COVID, among the first in Latin America. Minorista is a market in the Colombian city of MedellĂ­n that attracts 15,000 buyers who browse among 3,300 vendors. "Plaza Minorista is a meeting point," Edison Palacio, the market’s director, says. "With the arrival of this pandemic to the city, we immediately became a high-risk zone." They now use facial recognition software to collect data—age, gender, if they were wearing a mask—on everyone in the vicinity. Thermal cameras stationed around also take the temperature of 200 people per minute, which will set off an alarm if someone has a high reading or is not wearing a mask properly.

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Malta records a week without a new COVID case

Health Minister Chris Fearne tweeted three days ago that Malta has had a week without any COVID cases, the first since the virus reached the country in March. “We must continue to be prudent to maintain our success," Fearne urged his fellow citizens. The Mediterranean island employed a high rate of testing (some 20 percent of its population) and contact tracing—both of which were made easier to accomplish by its relatively small size. But since tourism accounted for one-third of its GDP, their economy suffered greatly as the Mediterranean island closed its borders. Since the tweet, the country recorded two additional cases, and no additional COVID-related death.

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China posts growth in the second quarter, defying predictions

Chinese officials announced that its GDP grew by 3.2 percent in the second quarter of 2020 compared to a year ago, a surprising achievement given the state of the world. Lockdown measures in the Asian superpower have eased and its government has rolled out stimulus programs to strengthen its economy. “Generally speaking, the national economy overcame the adverse impact of the epidemic in the first half gradually and demonstrated a momentum of restorative growth and gradual recovery, further manifesting its development resilience and vitality,” reads a China’s National Bureau of Statistics in a press release last Thursday.

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Bank of England head is optimistic about UK economy’s performance

Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, says the United Kingdom’s economy is starting to regain its footing, particularly in the housing and automotive industries. “We are seeing activity return. We are beginning to see this recovery,” he says in a webinar hosted by his bank. Its hospitality and entertainment sectors, however, continue to struggle, and it is still unclear what long term economic effects will manifest later on. Bailey insists that both his institution and the government are doing their very best, and their interventions have worked so far. 

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